Aokigahara, Japan | 10 of The World's Eeriest Haunted Places

10 of The World's Eeriest Haunted Places

Aokigahara, Japan
Perhaps there’s no better place on earth to end your life, if that’s what you’re looking for. The dense trees and the absence of wildlife make this pristine emerald forest a hauntingly quiet place; an eerily suitable resting ground for the souls of so many troubled people who decided to take their own lives. Also known as the Suicide Forest or the Sea of Trees, Aokigahara sits peacefully at the base of Mt. Fuji and has historically been associated with demons in Japanese mythology. Hundreds of people have journeyed into the forest to kill themselves amidst its lush vegetation, prompting authorities and volunteers to conduct annual sweeps to clear away the bodies. Body counts, once published in the papers, are no longer publicized to avoid copycat suicides, a tactic that has somewhat worked. Only 57 bodies were retrieved from the forest in 2010, compared to 108 in 2004. Signs around the forest placed by local police plead with suicidal visitors to reconsider: “Your life is a precious gift to your parents” and “Please consult with the police before you decide to die.” Understandably, many people believe that the forest is haunted by the souls of those who have died there. Suicides aside, the forest has had a long association with death. In the 19th century, ubasute, the practice of abandoning the elderly or infirm in remote, desolate places, to die, was carried out there; and locals claim the forest has always been haunted by the Yurei, or angry spirits, of those who perished there. A place worth visiting, if only to capture the serenity perceived by those whose last sight was the emerald green of the forest.