Over 40,000 people are buried at the Sedlec Ossuary

Devils, ghosts and other unearthly beings abound at these five alternative Halloween haunts, for those who like a little kitsch with their creep.

Devil's Museum, LithuaniaMarvel at the range of satanic statues
Creative Commons / Usien 4
Devils’ Museum, Kaunas, Lithuania

It may not be hell, but you’ll find the devil in many forms at the Devils’ Museum in Kaunas, Lithuania. The museum is part of the Mikalojus Konstantinas Čurlionis National Art Museum and home to almost 3,000 devil statues, carvings and paintings, many of which belonged to an artist and private collector.

Visitors can meet devils from a number of Eastern European countries, as well as some brought as ‘presents’ by other guests. No need to fear though; in Lithuanian folklore, the devil is more trickster than sadist.


Hell gardens ThailandGruesome statues fill the hell gardens
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Buddhist hell gardens: Wat Phai Rong Wua; Wat Wang Saen Suk; Wat Thawet, Thailand

This, in fact, is hell: a welcome sign at the entrance to Wat Wang Saen Suk reminds visitors of their departure from the living and descent toward eternal reckoning. At this Buddhist monastery and others, hell gardens depict the punishment of sinners with statues of men and women, appearing bloody and tortured by monsters and spears.

They’re an entertaining, if gruesome alternative to the traditional haunted house - many Thai families use the graphic visuals to teach their children about morality.


Sedlec Ossuary, ‘The Church of Bones,’ Sedlec, Czech Republic

Sedlec ossuary 200A bone chandelier is just one of many features
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The Sedlec Ossuary outside Kutná Hora, Czech Republic, is not only the final resting place for more than 40,000 people, but also one with ‘interesting’ décor. Built in the 15th century, the Church of Bones and its basement ossuary amassed the remains of locals eager to be buried at the chapel after it was rumoured the grounds had been sprinkled with soil from Jerusalem.

Over 400 years later, a local woodcarver was commissioned to display the bones within the church. The result: skeletal columns, a coat of arms, and a chandelier made out of every bone in the body.


The Devil’s Tramping Ground, Chatham County, North Carolina, USA

Devil's tramping ground 200Scientists have been unable to explain the barren clearing
Creative Commons / Jdhorne
Outside Siler City in Chatham County, North Carolina, in a 12m-wide clearing in woods off the highway, the devil does his plotting. This circle of exposed earth, perpetually bare of grass and avoided by animals, is known to locals as the Devil’s Tramping Ground.

According to legend, the dark lord emerges here every evening to conjure up evils against humanity. Believers claim anything left overnight within the circle’s bounds will be thrown out by morning—except the trash left over from the previous night’s teenage party.


The Ghost City, Fengdu, China

Ghost city fengdu200The Ghost King is one of the largest sculptures in the world
Creative Commons / JackZalium2
Take a trip to the netherworld simply by boating down the Yangtze River to Fengdu, China, or the ‘Ghost City’, where visitors can follow the journey to the afterlife according to Taoist beliefs. Legend says that the city, located on the Tao spirit-gathering Ming Mountain, became ghostly when two men transformed into celestial beings there over 2,000 years ago.

Visit the Nothing-To-Be-Done Bridge and the Ghost Torturing Pass where spirits are judged and tested for evil. The massive Ghost King (138m tall, 217m wide) presides over the city from the mountainside.

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