Towns And Villages You Didn't Know Were Cursed

Haunted or cursed places where strange supernatural phenomena take place are typically the foundation of a vast assortment of novels and movies in the horror genre that exists today. From novels like Stephen King’s “Salem’s Lot” to the film classics like Sam Raimi’s “The Evil Dead,” the plots of scary fictional tales with this kind of common theme are sometimes even set in towns and villages that actually exist in the real world. These existing locations are believed by many to be haunted by ghosts or cursed by powerful and malevolent unearthly beings. Because there are many chilling accounts of allegedly real hauntings and tragic events involving these old towns and villages, it is not surprising that they are used in fiction to maximize a story’s potential to horrify and terrorize its audience.

1. The Al Jazirah Al Hamra

Once a prosperous fishing village located on the northeastern edge of the United Arab Emirates, Al Jazirah Al Hamra used to be filled with antiquated houses that date back to the ancient times and was once an active coastal area where various trade transactions took place. For some reason, around 1968, the residents of the village collectively abandoned their homes. Today, while many of these previous inhabitants still have ownership over some of the land in the village, very few of their descendants continue to live there.

It was around the 1960s when rumors of Al Jazirah Al Hamra being haunted started to gain ground among UAE citizens. Many believe that the village is home to several “djinns” or genies – supernatural creatures in Arabian and Islamic mythologies. These djinns, in particular, are malevolent beings that feed on human flesh. Because of the dark tale surrounding the village, it is a popular tourist spot for those who enjoy ghost hunting and thrill-seeking. While some residents in the area discourage the nocturnal visits of strangers, many locals have also reported sightings of these djinns and have shared their stories with others.

2. The Cinco Saltos

Located in the rural region of Rio Negro, the City of Cinco Saltos is also notoriously known as the “City of Witches” due to reports of the rampant presence of black magicians, necromancers, and witches in the area. One infamous story about this old city involves its large cemetery where a body of a 12-year-old girl was supposedly found while workers renovated the area. Despite the fact that the girl was dead for around 70 years, the girl’s body is well-preserved due to mummification. Some even say that her body was tied to her coffin, leading superstitious residents of the city to suggest that the girl was used as a sacrifice in an occult ritual conducted by one of the hidden covens in the city. There are also reports of seeing a ghost of young girl roaming around the cemetery.

Another terrifying tale said to have taken place in Cinco Saltos involves the Pellegrini Lake where many child sacrifices were purportedly performed by the resident witches. This is supported by reports from visitors of hearing eerie shrieks of young kids when they pass through the lake’s crossing at night. Some people tried to locate the source of these unnerving screams but they always ended up unsuccessful.

3. The Dargavs

This village is more popularly known as the “City of the Dead” and is regarded as among the most enigmatic locations in Russia. Hidden somewhere in the Caucasus Mountains in North Ossetia of southern Russia. Looking at the site from a distance, it may seem like a regular hill village with crude houses, but in reality, Dargavs is no ordinary village. It is actually an ancient necropolis built around the Middle Ages. People of the Ossetian or Alanian tribe erected these house-looking crypts to bury their family members in, and today, there are currently around 100 stone crypts in the area and some of them contain scattered bones.

Today, many of the residents residing on the mountains steer clear of the necropolis due to a local legend warning that those who would visit the tombs in Dargavs end up receiving a curse that supposedly drives them to an early grave. It also doesn’t help that the area is covered with fog most of the time, adding a spookier feel to the grave site.

4. The Canewdon

Located in East Anglia, Canewdon is often referred to as the “witch country” of England as there are a lot of unverified superstitious tales surrounding the village, particularly about witchcraft. There was once a prophecy made by a famous “cunning man” from the 19th century named James Murrell about Canewdon, saying that the area would be doomed to be infested with witches forever. This makes sense in a way since the village has been the subject of witch lore since the 16th century. There is also a legend which states that each instance that a stone drops from the tower of St. Nicholas Church, a witch will perish only to have another take her place. Another legend claims that should a person run counterclockwise around the church or one of the tombs found in its courtyard during Halloween, ghosts, witches or even the Devil would appear.

More than the legends, what’s really tragic about the village of Canewdon was the fact that it was the site of many witch trials and executions that resulted in the suffering and demise of many people during the 16th and 17th centuries. Among the more notable magicians who came from Canewdon include George Pickingill, a black magician heralded as one of the world’s primary authority on witchcraft and Satanism during the early 20th century.

5. The Yarumal

The municipality of Yarumal in the Antioquia Department of Colombia has the unfortunate reputation of having an alarmingly large portion of its population suffer from the neurological curse of dementia. Out of 5,000 of its villagers, it has been determined that half of them will develop early-onset Alzheimer’s disease, with some of them getting afflicted with the neurological disease even before they hit 40 years of age.

As for the reason why so many of the residents in Yarumal are fated to suffer the affliction of dementia early in their lives, scientists have determined that a genetic mutation causing the disease can be traced back to a Spanish conquistador who arrived in the region sometime in the 17th century. The mutation is referred to as E280A and can be found on the 14th chromosome of a gene. While suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease is not fate that should be wished on anyone, there is a silver lining to the fact that many of the residents in Yarumal have this particular genetic mutation. Researchers believe that the people of Yarumal are the key to finding a permanent and effective cure to dementia, which is why the mountain village today is also serving as a large laboratory where the conditions of the villagers are thoroughly studied.

6. The Bhangarh

Regarded as the most haunted site in India, the ruins of the city of Bhangarh in the Rajasthan, India was once a stronghold of the Mughal Empire during the 16th century until the empire weakened by the early 19th century. However, it was the famine of 1783 that drastically diminished the human population in city and since then, Bhangarh has remained largely uninhabited.

The fort of Bhangarh is full of temples and palaces but despite its breathtaking sites, the city today is nothing more than an abandoned “ghost” town. In fact, even now, entry to the city between sunset and sunrise is prohibited and outsiders are warned against entering the city by the Archaeology Survey of India. There is even a legend circulating in the region that anyone who dared to visit the ghost city at night is fated to remain trapped inside the city’s ruins for eternity. Nevertheless, thousands of people have visited Bhangarh at night every year, either because they don’t believe in the curse or they want to see for themselves if it’s real.

As for why the city is cursed, one story tells of a holy man called Baba Balnath who gave his permission for the people to construct the town so long as the buildings they erected did not cast a shadow over his residence. If they did, he would punish the people by destroying the city. A descendant prince, however, violated this rule leading Balnath to curse the entire town.

Another tale speaks of a wizard called Singhiya who fell in love with the princess of Bhangarh named Ratnavati. To make the princess love him, Singhiya cast a spell on a fragrance purchased by one of the princess’s attendants. However, the princess saw through the plan and caused the magician’s death. Before he took his last breath, Singhiya cursed Bhangarh, prophesizing that people would soon abandon the city completely.

There is no way to tell if all these old towns and villages from different parts of the world are actually cursed. What we can say is that the spooky tales and legendary curses connected with these old sites are what makes these places all the more interesting for many of us. This is why many of us go out of our way to see them for ourselves – because they infuse a little fear, strangeness, and mystery into our normal lives.


The Mysterious Shadow People

Picture yourself in this scenario: You’re sitting comfortably on your sofa while you're browsing the pages of a magazine in your dimly-lit room. Then, all of a sudden, you noticed a movement across the room from the corner of your eye. The figure was dark and shadow-like, but you knew that should not be possible since you’re the only one there. Naturally, you gave it a second and closer look and verified that there was really nothing there. And so, you shrug off the eerie feeling swirling inside your stomach and returned to reading your magazine. But then, a few moments later, there it was again!

This time around, you looked up swiftly and saw a fleeting shadow that’s distinctly shaped like a human pass over the far wall. And once again, it disappeared without a trace.

What was that? Was that just some natural shadow from the dim lighting of your room? Or was that just a figment of your imagination? A ghost? Or is it possible that it’s an otherworldly being lurking in the shadows that seems to be a part of a spreading phenomenon of apparitions known as the “shadow people”?

What are the Shadow People?

The shadow people are perceived entities that appear as a patch of shadow shaped as a living, humanoid figure, which are usually interpreted by believers in the paranormal or supernatural as the presence of spirits or some otherworldly entities.

Tales of these human-like shadows come from different parts of the world. Most of these shadow creatures appear through our periphery vision, and people who see them are often unable to describe in detail the features of these mystical entities apart from their human-like forms and the occasional reports of fiery red eyes. Some shadow people materialize wearing the clothing of a Medieval monk while some emerge with a fedora on their heads. There are also reports of bald as well as genderless shadow entities.

Though it was generally believed that people can only see brief glimpses of these bizarre creatures, more and more people are claiming to see them straight on and for longer periods of time. Some of them just trek through the rooms of our homes at night, while others lurk in the doorways just watching us, day after day. However, there are those who give off a very menacing vibe and reeks of malevolent intent that seemingly feed on people’s fear.

The term “shadow people” is a general name for all kinds of strange beings that display certain similar characteristics, though their origins can be varied, and the behavior they exhibit can be very diverse as well. Moreover, the majority of these unusual entities can be classified into five categories: positive shadows, negative shadows, red-eyed shadows, hooded shadows, and the shadow entity known as The Hat Man.

Positive shadows are those that seem to pass by through people’s lives. They appear to walk with purpose through the room, never straying the path they walk on, and never acknowledging the person nearby. They never give off a threatening presence, but it could be very eerie to see them trespassing in your home without regard to those who live there.

Negative shadows are characterized by their tendency just to lurk and watch humans go about their business. However, unlike the positive shadow people, human beings inside a room with a lurking negative shadow tend to be swept over by the feeling of extreme terror when they spot them. A more negative version of these entities are the red-eyed shadows, which are known to stare at humans with their blazing red eyes. Eyewitnesses claim that they feel that this shadowed figure feeds on their fear.

There are also hooded shadows dressed as an ancient monk. Some people claim that this is also a malevolent entity, as eyewitnesses sense a deep rage emanating from this hooded figure. There is also a shadow creature known as the Hat Man. This entity is probably the most curious one of them all. The Hat Man appears to many people in various cultures across the globe, and he is seen dressed in an old-time business suit and wearing a fedora.  

Explanations Behind the Shadow People

The mysterious sightings of the shadow people have become a hot topic of conversation in the online world for years. Those who have seen these dark figures and believe in them wonder what these creatures really are and where they come from. To come up with suitable answers for these questions, a number of theories have been offered by believers and paranormal experts, and skeptics and mainstream science alike.

Although most reported encounters with the shadow people are very passive, there are some that are not so innocent. Negative shadows, red-eyed shadows and hooded shadows, for example, all give off the uncomfortable sensation of horror and terror when chanced upon by human beings. From a religious standpoint, these creatures are referred to in several scriptures and cultures with different names – demons in the Christian faith, jinn in Islam, sgili in the tradition of American Indians, and more.

There are also those who are of the opinion that the shadow people could be some form of ghosts or some manifestation of a residual memory of an individual whose bit of energy lingered in the mortal world even after that person’s spirit has already crossed over to the other side. There are also proposals that the shadow people are the embodiments of actual people whose physical bodies are elsewhere but are engaged in astral projection.

Another paranormal explanation for these dark entities is that they are interdimensional beings. Some support this theory strongly because theoretical physicists believe the laws of physics allow for other dimensions to exist and for beings to crossover. In the same vein of this theory, there also those who suspect extraterrestrials or aliens to be the shadow people and that go about their daily agenda on our planet disguised in the shadows.

Mainstream science and skeptics reject these paranormal or a supernatural theories because they currently cannot detect or test such phenomena. Maybe the answer lies beyond science.


The simplest and most likely explanation for the mysterious phenomenon of the shadow people – and is usually the one brought up by those who have never seen these creatures for themselves – is that it is caused by nothing more than human beings’ active imagination. Some people who have encountered a shadow person easily account the experience as nothing more than their minds playing tricks on them, and could simply be an illusion that was never really there. No doubt that many of these claimed encounters can be explained by people’s imaginations running wild since the human eye and the mind is easily fooled. But can they account for all cases of this phenomenon?


Most reported encounters with these shadow people can be explained by modern science, particularly by the workings of the human brain. Some of the details shared by people when they encountered a shadow entity are analogous to those that occur in cases of sleep paralysis. Many eyewitnesses claim that their experiences involving the shadow people occur just when they are about to fall asleep or right after they wake up. Many of them are also in bed during these encounters, and they report sensations of being held down, a tightness gripping their chest as if there was a person lying on top of them, and the inability to breathe. These unpleasant feeling only subside once the shadow is gone.

Physiologically, these sensations could be explained by conditions known as hypnagogic and/or hypnopompic paralysis. The hypnagogic and hypnopompic states are states of consciousness that occur between the “normal awake” state of consciousness and sleep. Hypnagogic state occurs just before a person falls asleep, while hypnopompic state occurs just before waking up.

It is the natural process of the human body to go through a natural state of paralysis once a person enters the REM stage of sleep, as this serves as a deterrent from us possibly physically acting out our dreams in the real world. Temporary and unpleasant sleep paralysis can happen when this mechanism sets in sooner than usual – before the individual is fully asleep – or persists longer than usual – after the person has seemingly fully awoken. This causes a person to be completely aware of his surroundings, and yet is still unable to flex a single inch of his body.

In this state, an individual is also able to perceive the images formed in their subconscious mind consciously even when they are supposedly still or already awake. These hallucinations may seem like they are real since they can be detected by some, if not all, of a person’s sensory perceptions. People can even experience auditory, smell, tactile, taste, and even visual phenomena while in the state of hypnagogia or hynopompia. Sufferers of this neurological phenomenon have also reported seeing faces while experiencing these states.


But what if a person saw a shadow creature while he or she is neither about to sleep nor had just awakened from sleep? In many cases, people who claim to have encountered the shadow people report that they saw these enigmatic entities through the corner of their eye or what is known as their peripheral vision. This area of human vision has been determined to be connected with the area of the brain whose main function is to detect and identify familiar patterns. However, this area also provides fewer and more crude or inaccurate details to the brain than people’s forward or central vision does. While this mechanism is very helpful to our day-to-day functions, there are also instances that it could result in a psychological phenomenon referred to as pareidolia.

Pareidolia is a type of illusion or misperception in which the brain inaccurately makes something out of patterns of shadow and light when in reality, these patterns are completely random and only contain a few features that make them look like they are figures or faces of animals or humans. Aside from explaining the detection of the shadow people, this phenomenon also provides a psychological explanation for many other paranormal apparitions and visions like UFO or Bigfoot sightings. It also explains why some people see the face of Jesus in a toast or a face in a photograph of the Cydonia region of Mars.  

There is no way to prove or disprove any of the more mysterious and paranormal explanations for seeing the shadow people, especially since science, the way it is at the moment, finds it virtually impossible to collect measurable data and tangible proof to study such phenomena in any empirically-sound and methodical way. Whether believer or skeptic, people can document as many anecdotal accounts and personal experiences of these mysterious entities and try to piece them together in the most objective and open-minded way until the time comes that science discovers or develops the tool we need to finally confirm or reject the existence of the shadow people.

What can be said for sure is this: While encountering a shadow entity can be weird and scary for some people, it is also a fascinating and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that allows people to witness the true power of the human brain and the extent of what it can do.