The Creepiest Places on Earth

Published August 29, 2014
Updated August 28, 2023

You don't need to head to Netflix to experience the creepiest places in the world.

There are some corners of the world that are best left alone. The sites of murders, hauntings, or paranormal events may be interesting to read about but it’s another thing entirely to visit them.

Take LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans. In the 19th century, this handsome mansion in the center of town was the site of horrific torture. Its owner, Madame LaLaurie, was monstrously cruel to her slaves, many of whom were imprisoned in the attic. Today it’s considered one of the most haunted homes in the city, and visitors have reported encountering terrifying ghosts.

But creepy places aren’t just haunted houses. They’re also catacombs cut deep into the earth where corpses in glass coffins seem to blink during the day. They’re lakes that cough up skeletons, and forests where people go to die. The creepy places we cover below are all different — and are all bound to send a shiver down your spine.

Read on to learn about some of the creepiest places in the world, from islands filled with eerie dolls to abandoned insane asylums.

LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans’ Most Haunted House With A Horrific History

It’s said that terrible violence can leave a mark on a place. That certainly seems to be true of LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, one of the creepiest places in the United States and purportedly the city’s most haunted house.

Lalaurie Mansion

Chris Granger/
LaLaurie Mansion has a horrific history and is considered to be one of New Orlean’s most haunted homes.

The horrific story of LaLaurie Mansion started back in 1831, when Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie and her husband bought the handsome property at 1140 Royal Street. From the outside, everything seemed normal. But inside, Madame LaLaurie had transformed her home into a house of horrors.

No one knew until April 1834 when a fire broke out at the property. When volunteers arrived to help put it out, they encountered a Black cook who was chained to the stove in the kitchen. The cook told them that she had started the fire on purpose in hopes of dying by suicide.

That was alarming enough, but as the volunteers fanned out across LaLaurie Mansion they found one horror after another. In the attic, they came across a group of enslaved people who had been gruesomely tortured, with their bones broken, their eyes gouged out, and even worse. There was also purportedly a woman whose bones had been broken and reset so that she resembled a crab and people with deep holes carved in their skulls.

Portrait Of Madame Lalaurie

Public DomainMadame LaLaurie allegedly gruesomely tortured enslaved people living at her home in the 1830s, but no one knew until an enslaved cook started a fire.

“Seven slaves more or less horribly mutilated were seen suspended by the neck, with their limbs apparently stretched and torn from one extremity to the other,” The New Orleans Bee grimly reported the day after the fire. “They had been confined by her for several months… and had been merely kept in existence to prolong their suffering.”

Madame LaLaurie fled. But the house remained. Today, it’s considered to be one of the most haunted houses in America. People have reported hearing tortured shrieks and the dragging of chains, and some say they’ve seen ghosts, including a Black man in chains and a white woman with fiery eyes.

All That's Interesting
A New York-based publisher established in 2010, All That's Interesting brings together subject-level experts in history, true crime, and science to share stories that illuminate our world.