We asked our regular contributors through e-mail What’s the creepiest place you’ve been? We got many interesting responses. Here are some of them. We have just copied and pasted their responses, not editing them in any way.
1. I investigated a fatal fire in the middle of nowhere in the woods. This house was set off so far into the woods it took me forever to get back there on a dirt road. I pull up in front of the house and of course, the whole thing is boarded up. But the house is huge and old. I got creepy feelings just looking at the place. The front door was boarded up with a bit I didn’t have so I had to climb through a window in the back that the family had left open.
As soon as I stepped foot in the house I felt like everything was wrong. I shouldn’t be there. I shouldn’t walk around. And I sure as hell shouldn’t take pictures. It was that feeling like when someone is mad at you and the slightest thing will set them off so you just kinda sit there in silence hoping they’ll forget you exist so you can do your thing.
But I was there to do a job and so I started to do my walkthrough and take photos. This was clearly a set fire and the guy who died had been murdered by his grandson. But I still had to document each area of origin thoroughly and do diagrams and all that because fatalities are a big deal. The entire time I’m walking through the house it feels like there’s someone standing behind me, looking for me to slip up just once. Like when your boss is there the one time and he’s just staring at you.
I finished the first floor and headed down into the basement where the guy had died. It was mid-July and it was very hot. But as soon as I got to the basement it was like somebody turned on the A/C. Of course, it was pitch black in the basement because A) it’s a basement and there’s not much light down there on a normal day and B) that’s where the bulk of the fire was so everything was pitch black. I walked through the basement into the bedroom. The fire hadn’t reached the bedroom as it had been started at the stairwell which acted as a decent chimney to prevent fire spread throughout the basement, but it did get hot enough in this room that the outline of the guy’s body was in the carpet right next to his dog’s body’s outline. As soon as I entered that room every single alarm bell in my mind was screaming “get the f**k out you moronic jackass, have you not seen a god damn horror movie? This is where the angry ghost of gramps murders you with a hatchet!” But I had a job to do so I stayed, took my photos and collected samples, searched the whole basement for anything to give an idea why this would happen. I frequently had to leave the basement to go outside to give my brain time to stop freaking the f**k out. And every time I walked back in the house everything in me was telling me to leave. The whole time I was in the basement it was like someone was standing In the corner, just watching me. And of course, I was working by my tiny flashlight that’s basically useless so that didn’t help much.
The last time I left the house, I crawled through the window and noticed that it had gotten cloudy and really windy while I was inside. Thinking it was a random midwestern storm I walked around the deck and looked out into the yard to find a buck just staring at me. I’d never seen a deer look angry but it just looked furious. I just kinda shrugged my shoulders and half waved and it turned and walked away. As soon as it walked away the wind died and it started to get warm again.
The creepiest house I’ve ever been to and weirdest sh*t I’ve ever experienced.
2. One year I worked in a haunted house that was inside a building that used to be a funeral home. The morgue was downstairs and still had the drawers. My job was to lay in the drawer and pop out when people walked by. Laying in a cramped drawer, in the dark, on cold metal, with flashes of lights and screams in the distance was probably the creepiest place.
I scared so many people, including a middle school aged kid who straight up pooped his pants and a drunk college chick who peed. So it was kind of worth it.
3. An abandoned mental institution in NJ. My friend brought us there and we wandered the grounds and went in a few buildings, including the morgue. The offices still had patient files and the pediatric area still had kids artwork. It had been abandoned for about eight years at that point. It was really creepy and also really sad.
4. Back during Vietnam, my unit got hit hard in the jungle. We split and one group went to help find the VC who attacked us, we stayed behind to evacuate the wounded. The 4 able bodies were supposed to hop on with the injured and go. We load up and one chopper doesn’t make it back so we 4 can’t load we would be grossly overweight. Its late sun is low pilot says he will drop these guys and come back for us. So we divvy up ammo from the wounded and squat in an open field. 20 minutes go by then an hour, two hours it’s now pitch black and were seated in a grassy field. We spent the whole night looking at every stick and leaf that twitched, you could feel the tension. We sat in a star back to back with our rifles pointed out. We knew we couldn’t repel the attack but we decided to take as many as we could before being overrun, if overrun we would pull grenades and do everyone and the VC for 25 feet in every direction. The tension was thick, sunrise we heard the Huey come. On the way back he had a hydraulics issue they worked all night to fix it so we could get flown out ASAP. All 4 dust offs had issues and took bullets so that is why the other one didn’t return the first time. That field of grass was extremely spooky even if it was just in our minds.
5. I went to a rest stop at 1 am outside Springfield Illinois a few years back. Went to the restroom and there was blood everywhere. It looked like something got slaughtered. I have never high tailed it out of somewhere so quickly beforehand.
6. Operating room for brain surgery.
It’s freezing cold, they wheel you up to this stainless steel bed with a cage you put your head in. They tighten down clamps on your head so it can’t move. Then knock you out.
You wake up multiple times over a 4.5-hour surgery, semi-conscious, eyes closed but you can say “I hear you guys”, or snap your fingers and hold a finger up like “waiter”, and the anesthesiologist hits you with a dose.
After they’re done, they poke a giant needle (ice pick) into different facial muscles to make sure they didn’t break anything. Poking it into a muscle causes subconscious flinching and they look at the muscle group flinching to make sure each category is still rigged up. I had a bunch of scabs and taped cotton balls across my face and scalp. Then they seal up your skull and sign off on it.
They use reciprocating saws and similar power tools to carpenters, it’s morbid, terrifying, cold. But it can give you your life back. I spent 2 nights in the hospital and was driving to work 7 days later feeling like a million bucks.
7. I explored the abandoned Six Flags in New Orleans. It was closed for Katrina and never opened again. While my friends and I were there we found everything essentially as it was left 4 years prior: computers in the admin office, tickets in admission booth, even jars of pickles in the concession stands.
8. I found an old abandoned farmhouse little ways outside of my little town.
It looked as if the people who had lived there just up and left one day. There were still dishes in the sink and a coffee cup with a newspaper beside it on the kitchen table (the date was in 2011). All their clothes were still hanging in the closet. State fair ribbons were stuck all over one wall, one dating back to 1912. Had it not been for the thick layer of dust covering everything, animal droppings, and their little footprints in the dust, you’d think someone still lived there, but no.
To make it creepier, I explored the house at about 3 AM. The silence of that place felt so heavy and it made me very uncomfortable being there.
I later asked around about the house and apparently, it belonged to an old couple whose children put them in a nursing home and just abandoned the house.
9. I had a friend who cleaned out and sold foreclosed homes for a living. He once took me on a ride to a house he had to photograph for the bank after it had gone into foreclosure. From the moment we got there, it was unsettling. It was in the area of a ski resort, and the neighborhood was wealthy, but once we stepped inside, it was clear that it had been used as a kind of boarding house for resort staff. Numbers outside each of the bedroom doors, large closets/ weird spaces turned into bedrooms. The place was filthy, with black garbage bags everywhere, pizza boxes, booze bottles, like clearly a party house for staff, but recently abandoned.
At one point, I was on the ground floor, and my friend was in the basement when I suddenly got full body chills. I was standing in the kitchen and there was a bathroom next to it with the door closed, and I somehow knew that there was someone hiding in that bathroom. At the very same instant, my friend called me down to the basement where he had found a back corner which had been converted into another sleeping area. There was a television still on, just showing static, and a kitchen knife on a crate next to the mattress. That was the moment I stepped directly behind my 6’4”, 300lb friend and told him we had to get out of there.
I’m pretty sure the home was being used as an illegal boarding house for undocumented resort workers, and I honestly felt bad for the terrified kid who was still squatting in the basement, but I sure as hell didn’t want to find him.
10. Forest Haven is an abandoned insane asylum in Maryland. It’s posted no trespassing and technically patrolled by guards, but in reality, is very easy to get into. I was there two weeks ago with my SO, exploring and taking photos. There are 22 buildings on the property, all just wide open and abandoned, covered in collapsed ceiling tiles, broken glass, and graffiti. There is still furniture in some of the rooms, and if you delve deep enough into the property, you can still find patient records that were left behind when they closed.
We actually found a stack of patient files in a dark, windowless room. It was so surreal, reading about a “severely mentally retarded” man with “a history of schizophrenia” who “talks incessantly.” This patient had a 1-page handwritten summary for every year that he had been in the hospital, and they all started out the same… “Kenny is an almost 45-year old white male with severe mental retardation and a history of schizophrenia. He has been at Forest Haven for five years”. Only the age and duration change from page to page. The first one is dated 1973, and the last page in his file is a printed memorial flyer showing he died in September of 1990. The facility was ordered to close in 1974 but didn’t actually close its doors until 1991. In its last year of operation, there were 9 deaths at the asylum. Kenny was one of them.
The creepiest part? The patient whose file I randomly opened up to, in the middle of a stack of wet, moldering files, sitting on the corner of a collapsing desk in an interior room of an abandoned basement? He shared the same first and middle name as my SO. Just a weird, creepy coincidence in a cold, wet, creepy place.