As much as we love to travel, the world can be a dangerous place for tourists and travellers. However, there are some locations throughout the world that seem to attract the negative. Some people have lost their lives at these locations, as others have seemed to simply vanish into thin air. May it be natural occurrences or due to humans themselves, these vacation spots have proven to be the demise of many. Here is a list of 10 places where people continue to die or disappear without a trace.
1. Yosemite National Park
Established on October 1, 1890, the Yosemite National Park has provided us with breathtaking views, towering forests and picturesque landscapes — as well as extremely spooky vanishings, unsolved disappearances and mysterious discoveries of human remains. Yosemite National Park attracts close to 4 million visitors per year but is also responsible for at least 45 disappearances. People are also known to lose their lives in the park.
One of the most famous cases occurred on February 15, 1999. Carole Sund, 43, her daughter Juli, 15, and a close family friend, Argentine exchange student, Silvina Pelosso, 16, went hiking around the giant redwoods of California’s Yosemite National Park. The three were murdered by the handyman at the lodge at which they were staying and the daughter was found with her throat slit. The car driven by the women was found torched. Although the handyman was caught, he managed to claim one more life, Joie Ruth Armstrong, who worked for the Yosemite Institute teaching children about nature, before being apprehended.
2. Paris, France
There’s a reason Paris is one of the most popular cities among travelers. Known as the “City of Light” or the “City of Love,” the streets of Paris overflow with culture, art, beauty, and history. It is certainly worth a visit. Or is it? The reason that Paris made it to this list, is because its iconic Eiffel Tower happens to be a very popular place in Europe for people to commit suicide. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Europe has the world’s highest suicide rate.
A lot of people take their lives in Paris by jumping off the “Iron Lady” (which is 1,063 feet high) and is the third most popular method of suicide after poisoning and hanging in France.
3. Lake Superior
One of the “Great Lakes”, Lake Superior is not only enormous and deep but is also accessible via the United States, as well as Canada. The lake is shared by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north, the US state of Minnesota to the west, and Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to the south. The lake is also a site where many ships have been known to disappear throughout history. More than 200 ships have vanished beneath the lake’s surface. Intense storms whip the lake into 30 foot tall waves that snap massive ships in two. Many ships have disappeared there without a trace.
4. Highway 16, British Columbia, Canada
The British Columbia, Canada section of the Yellowed Highway is a spot many have gone missing. Also known as Highway of Tears, the busy highway in western Canada that goes from Winnipeg to Graham Island is responsible for the disappearance of at least 18 women. Named for the route used to cross the Canadian Rockies, the major highway stretches close to 1,800 miles. The first to go missing was Monica Ignas in 1975. Her dead body was later found, but many of the missing girls have vanished, never to be seen again.
5. The Bennington Triangle
In the upper northeast of the United States, in the area around Glastenbury Mountain, lays a mysterious area of land. The Bennington Triangle is a part of the world where strange tales of people vanishing from the face of the planet are in abundance. The first person disappeared in 1945, and four more people disappeared in the years to follow. The last person to vanish in the area—located in the southwest area of the state of Vermont—was Frieda Langer, who disappeared in 1950. She wasn’t found until May 0f 1951, and the cause of death couldn’t be determined due to the condition of her remains. Strange occurrences were common in that area prior to the disappearances.
6. The Michigan Triangle
The Bermuda Triangle’s northern cousin, stretches from Ludington to Benton Harbor, Michigan. In 1891, the schooner Thomas Hume and his crew of seven sailed into the triangle, never to return. The ship and the crew simply vanished without a trace. Then in 1921, the ship Rosa Belle was found floating capsized in the Triangle without the 11 men who had sailed on her. After flying into the triangle in 1950, Northwest Airlines Flight 2501, carrying 58 passengers, never flew out. To this day, the circumstances surrounding the disappearances remain a mystery.
With a violent and deadly Wild West past, Arizona has plenty of mystery lingering in every wash and canyon; whether it’s odd supernatural events or infamous murders. Arizona is one of the biggest tourist hotspots in the United States and is a popular place for people to retire due to its climate. However, when it comes to people who keep mysteriously disappearing, there are a significant number of open cases. Arizona is largely a desert, which is a pretty ideal location for murderers to hide bodies. It also contains mountains and a lot of undeveloped space, making it easier for criminal to hide their tracks.
8. San Francisco, California
How can you just disappear without a trace? It’s a mystery, but it’s been happening with increasing frequency in San Francisco. Over 1,300 people have ended their lives via the Golden Gate Bridge in the 80+ years of existence. Standing at almost 9,000 feet, jumping off of the bridge is almost guaranteed to be fatal.
9. Pecos Village in New Mexico
A village that can be commuted to from Sante Fe, Pecos is a gateway to the fishing, hunting, camping and hiking offered by the state of New Mexico. It is also well known for being the site of unexplained vanishings. At times referred to as the Pecos Triangle—referencing the well-known Bermuda Triangle—authorities can’t always explain where people who disappear in Pecos end up.
For example, a 61-year-old man named Mel Nadel vanished in September of 2009. A resident of Santa Fe, the happily married man met up with friends on Elk Mountain but never returned home. Despite the efforts of aircraft, all-terrain vehicles, and hundreds of people searching on foot, Mel Nadel was never found. Strangely, Nadel was sporting thermal underwear when he went missing and was armed with a bow and a revolver. Neither his remains or anything on his person was ever recovered.
Pecos is also known for being a place where Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs) are reported, and the Native Americans of the area have often suggested it is a place haunted by malevolent supernatural entities.
Like the state of Arizona, the entire state of Alaska is infamous for being a spot where people just tend to disappear or die. Like Arizona, there are a significant number of missing persons compared to the national average. So why do people disappear from Alaska? Well, it is dark for over 2 months at a time in the northern portions of the state, which probably makes it pretty easy for criminals to dump bodies and hide their tracks. The wildlife—bears in particular—can also be pretty hazardous to one’s health.
Of course, locating missing people is very difficult in Alaska, considering there are almost 40 mountain ranges and roughly 3 million lakes. Avalanches and collapsing riverbeds can make a person disappear in a heartbeat. If you wander into the wrong spot, you could easily lose your life.
It has also been suggested that the reason so many people disappear in Alaska is not because of the snow and ice caused by the weather, or the fact that the darkness makes disposing of a body easy, but simply the darkness itself. Weeks of darkness at a time can cause depression, which can lead to suicide. In Alaska, finding a way to kill one’s self isn’t terribly difficult, and if it occurs in nature, it is relatively unlikely that the remains will ever be found.