The Mausoleum of Qin Shi Huang, China

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The final resting place of Chinese Emperor Qin Shi Huang, this mausoleum is buried within a 76-metre tomb mound. It is best known for the discovery of over 8,000 terracotta statues – an army to serve the emperor after death, buried in pits surrounding the site. However, the Emperor’s tomb has never been opened. According to contemporary reports, he was obsessed with achieving immortality, and his tomb was filled with rivers of mercury (which was believed to be an elixir of life). By testing local soil samples, researchers have discovered that mercury levels in the area are indeed far higher than normal.

Hexentanzplatz, Germany

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This so-called ‘Witches’ Dance Floor’ lies in the Harz mountains and is believed to have been the site of ancient Pagan celebrations. One legend tells that Saxons dressed as witches and riding broomsticks were able to fend off invading Frankish soldiers. Today, the Hexentanzplatz is home to an open air theatre, a small theme park and various statues depicting witches and demons.

The Great Pyramid of Giza, Egypt

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Occultists have long shown an interest in The Great Pyramid of Giza, theorizing about supernatural aid in building it, as well as any hidden properties of astronomy, mathematics and physics. Among them was the famed mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton, who believed that by uncovering secrets of the Pyramids and the Ancient Egyptians, he might solve ancient mysteries and gain knowledge of alchemy.

Blå Jungfrun, Sweden

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This Swedish island in the Baltic Sea is uninhabited, and visitors are forbidden from staying overnight. A forested national park, it is home to a strange ancient stone labyrinth – removing its pieces is also forbidden. Sailors have long feared this island for its evil spirits, and according to Swedish folklore, witches assemble at the site once a year on Maundy Thursday. Across Sweden, children dress up as witches to celebrate this occasion and go trick-or-treating.

Alexian Brothers Hospital, USA

In a real-life event that inspired the horror movie The Exorcist, one unfortunate teenage boy from Maryland underwent an exorcism at this hospital. The unnamed minor was believed to be demonically possessed, as his family began experiencing strange paranormal activity around the home. The exorcism was completed by Jesuit priest Father William S. Bowdern over the course of two months, and the boy reportedly experienced no further paranormal events afterwards. The hospital ward was demolished in the late 70s and is now the site of South City Hospital.

The Statue of Liberty, United States

“The Statue of Liberty remains a deeply occult symbol,” notes historian Francesca Lidia Viano, “not merely in terms of the largely ignored esoteric traditions that informed its genesis, but also with regard to the many mysteries that still surround its history.” This famous figure’s strange, unplaceable face – inspired by the Ancient Egyptian goddess Isis, the Virgin Mary and the USA’s own Columbia – has given rise to various mysteries. Many occultists wonder why this hybrid pagan figure was chosen as the greatest symbol of America.

The Island of Poveglia, Italy

This tiny island near Venice became a quarantine port for people with contagious diseases like the plague in 1776. Later, it was the site of a mental hospital famed for its crude lobotomies, which closed in 1968. The now-deserted island is a popular haunt of paranormal investigators. They claim that the ghosts of the island’s countless suffering patients make this idyllic region one of the most haunted places on Earth.

Nicholas Flamel’s House, France

This figure of Harry Potter fame was a real-life alchemist, trying to discover the ‘philosopher’s stone’ and ‘elixir of life’ in 14th century France. Aside from his experiments in metallurgy and immortality, Flamel was a wealthy philanthropist. When his wife passed away, he commemorated her memory by building a homeless hostel in Paris. It is believed to be the oldest house in the whole city.

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

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The prehistoric monument of Stonehenge was constructed between 3000 and 2000 BC. It is surrounded by burial mounds known as tumuli, but the purpose of Stonehenge itself remains a mystery. The stones are laid out in a precise geometric pattern that aligns with the sunrise on the summer solstice. For thousands of years, people have theorized that Stonehenge’s stones may have mystical or magical powers, perhaps serving as a place of healing for early pilgrims. Since the 20th century, Neo-druids have congregated at this site to worship on special occasions.

City of the Dead, Russia

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Russia’s City of the Dead may look like a normal village, but only the long-deceased populate these houses. Ancient local people brought their dead here for burial, with clothes and possessions. For unknown reasons, many were buried in boats. This site is steeped in superstition and tradition. Locals typically refuse to wander into the necropolis, warning visitors that anyone who enters the graveyard will soon perish. A craze for spiritualism in 19th century Russia saw new heights of obsession with curses, the dead and the undead.