15 Off-Putting-Sounding Places With Terrifyingly Deathy Names That They Owe to Horrific Events
A lot of towns have a murder house, somewhere that witnessed horrific goings-on and awful events. But they’re never actually called “Murder House.” That would be real-estate suicide, it would drag down property values of the whole neighborhood — somehow in a way nobody benefitted from — and it would ultimately just bring more sadness.
There are places, though, where the tragic or grotesque events that happened were just so inescapable that the place couldn’t be called anything else, where horror is marbled through the earth itself. And there are others where it all happened long enough ago that it becomes a quirky piece of history, the distance of time somehow softening the impact of broken skulls and grieving relatives.
Enough people have died in the world that, statistically, most places you go you’re pretty close to where someone left this mortal realm, but these locations have it woven into them, death-ass places that just don’t feel inviting at all. Stay at home, home rules.
The Road of Death, Bolivia: You’d Have to Be a Cycle-Path to Ride It
Yungas Road in Bolivia earned its nickname due to an absurdly high accident rate that should put more people off going there. At least 18 cyclists have died there since 1998 — it has steep drops, areas with no guardrail and a general air of terror.
The Tower of Death, Uzbekistan: 150 Feet of Horror
This 150-foot tower was originally part of a mosque. Genghis Khan had the rest of it demolished in 1220, but left the tower because he enjoyed having people thrown off it. People were sentenced to be executed in this was as recently as 1920.
Massacre Cave, Scotland: Ha Ha Ha… No, Absolutely Fuck That, Don’t Go in There
The hellish-sounding Massacre Cave got its name after a 16th-century rivalry between Scottish clans got nasty. Four hundred members of Clan MacDonald hid in it to escape rampaging members of Clan MacLeod, who ended up blocking the entrance and suffocating them all.
Apache Death Cave, Arizona: Not Just a Catchy Name
In 1878, three Navajo girls were kidnapped by a group of Apaches. In revenge, a group of Navajo hunters tracked the Apaches to an underground cavern, started a fire in the entrance and killed the 42 people inside. The cave is said to be haunted, because of course it is, that’s fucking awful.
Dead Marsh, Namibia: Too Dead for Decomposition
The Namib Desert is home to Dead Vlei (vlei being Afrikaans for marsh), an area so devoid of water that the dead trees in it can’t even decompose — trees that died centuries ago are still there, dead and burned. The views are said to be nice, though?
Murderer’s Bay, New Zealand: Possibly Just Fuckin’ Cursed
Golden Bay, also known as Mohua, is a beautiful spot on New Zealand’s South Island. However, in 1642 it was given the Dutch name Moordenaarsbaai (Murderer’s Bay), then was renamed to Blind Bay, then Massacre Bay. Something there’s fucked up.
Murderer’s Bar, California: Not a Place for Happy Campers… Or Is It?
Murderer’s Bar was a prospecting town named after an incident in which several miners were killed, possibly in retaliation for mistreating native women. When a large amount of gold was found in the 1850s, it was cheerfully renamed Happy Camp.
The Divers’ Cemetery, Egypt: A True Hell-Hole
A deep, deep hole — well over 600 feet — that has been called the undersea equivalent of climbing Mount Everest, the Divers’ Cemetery is the site of at least 130 divers’ deaths over the past 15 years. Juuuust don’t do it, it’s clearly a death trap.
The Beach of the Dead, Spain: ¡Oh, Dios Mio!
An hour from Almeria, Playa de los Muertos is a stunningly beautiful beach… now. Back when it earned its name, it was less gorgeous, given all the corpses generally strewn over it, victims of the strong currents in the bay.
Death Railway, Thailand: Railly Horrible
Beautifully located but tainted by horror, over 100,000 prisoners of war and civilians died building the officially-titled Thai-Burma Railway under Japanese orders during World War II. Many of the people in charge were subsequently hanged for war crimes.
Dead Woman’s Crossing, Oklahoma: Not Much of a Mystery from History
This community in Custer Country takes its name from an unsolved murder dating from 1905 — a woman divorcing her husband was found beheaded. It doesn’t quite seem like one for Sherlock Holmes, you know?
Murdering Gully Road, Tasmania: Tasmanian Devilry
A particularly brutal murder happened outside Hobart in 1858: a man was shot, bludgeoned and set afire. The only non-horrifying detail of any of it? The investigating officer was known as the Police Magistrate of Circular Head, which is funny.
Shades of Death Road, New Jersey: Eerie Theories
There are conflicting stories about how this New Jersey thoroughfare got its name, and they’re all pretty grim: murderous highwaymen, mysterious beheadings, wildcat attacks or malaria-laden swamps.
Deadman’s Hill, Bedfordshire, U.K.: Bleak-Ass Nominative Determinism
A brutal murder in the 1960s is commonly thought to have given this unremarkable-looking piece of England its name, but the name predates the killing by over 40 years — pure dark coincidence made Deadman’s Hill a murder site.
The Road of Bones, Russia: Inhumane Highway
The Road of Bones, or M56 Kolyma highway, crosses Russia from east to west. It was built by prisoners forced to endure the freezing cold, and any that died — or were shot for disobeying orders — were buried within the road.