Places You CAN'T Go & People Who Went Anyways

Let's investigate some forbidden places you can't visit and the people who went anyway!

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Our world has so many spectacular places to explore, and with transport links and travel apps constantly improving, the most secluded corners of the earth are now closer than ever! However, there are some places that are too dangerous, protected, or special to step foot on.

Whether it’s a network of abandoned mines, haunted islands, or top-secret military facilities, here are some of the most fascinating places you’re not allowed to visit and the people who did anyway.

Pokémon Hunters

The village of Box in England is nestled within a picture-perfect looking parish, but this place isn’t as flawless as it seems. In old, abandoned quarries nearby, large metal grates block off ominous cracks in the Earth.

They almost look like they’re keeping something locked in, rather than keeping people out! The Box Mine is a network of twisting tunnels more than 18 miles long which plunge to depths of up to 120 feet so unexpectedly, it’d be easy to get lost or worse.

Box Mine map

Mining here ceased in 1970, and parts of the quarries that had been taken over by Britain’s Ministry of Defesce were sealed shut. Since then, the tunnels have publicly been declared off-limits to the public, with Fire and Rescue Services warning people to stay out unless they have a map and properly trained guide.

However, they probably should’ve specified what kind of map, because in July 2016, four teenagers got horribly lost after following directions provided by an app. Not Google Maps, Pokémon Go: the mobile GPS Pokémon hunting game.

teenagers lost in Box Mine
©Be Amazed

Apparently, the boys were tracking certain Pokémon when they entered the tunnels and lost their way. They wandered around with only their phone lights on for hours until they, luckily, found enough signal to call for help, just before their phones were about to die.

Three fire crews and two rope units rushed in, but that wasn’t enough. They had to call a key holder, who had access to some parts of the tunnels that had been grated-off, before the rescue mission could commence.

Luckily, all four emerged unscathed, though they didn’t capture a single Pokémon.

calling for help

Poveglia Island

The tiny island of Poveglia is just 3 miles south of Venice, Italy. From afar, it resembles a lush, green oasis frozen in time, but its dilapidated buildings hint at a much darker past. Legally, the island is off-limits to the public, not just for the obvious safety risks, but because Poveglia has long been considered one of the most haunted places in the world.

During the 17th century, when the black plague struck Italy, thousands of the sick would be sent to Poveglia to quarantine but most of them never returned. Then in 1922, the island became the base of a mental hospital, and legends tell of a mad doctor who carried out an array of not-so-medically-approved experiments on his patients.

mad doctor

Even though the island was abandoned in 1968, and was ruled off-limits soon after, its sordid past has attracted plenty of ghost hunters and paranormal investigators. After obtaining approval from the island’s owner, businessman Luigi Brugnaroan, an anonymous Redditor explored the long-abandoned landmass.

In the daytime, they didn’t expect any paranormal experiences, but while she and her husband explored the island’s buildings, she felt like they were being watched from doorways, windows, and alleyways.

poveglia ghosts

Others who have dared trespass on the island say they’ve heard screams from patients of the past, as well as the moans and coughs of plague victims. Others report being touched, pushed, and slapped by spirits in the buildings.

Luckily, the Redditor made it out without personally sharing in any of these experiences, but that doesn’t make the island, and its past, any less troubling. Whether it’s actually haunted or not, keeping Poveglia off-limits might be the best way to honor not only its past, but also those who were never allowed to leave.

Tomb Raiders

In central China’s Shaanxi province, a simple looking building protects one of the most incredible man-made feats the world has ever seen! The Museum of the Terracotta Army is dedicated to the excavation sites of more than 8,000 life-size clay warriors, constructed more than 2,200 years ago.

2. Tomb of Qin Shi Huang 1

Tourists flock to the museum every year, but what they’re not allowed to step foot in, or even see, is the nearby 35-square-mile mausoleum. This contains the remains of China’s earliest leaders, including the unexcavated tomb of Qin Shi Huang, the very first Emperor from 221 BC.

The warriors are believed to have been hand-built to defend the Emperor in the afterlife. But despite the area’s obviously sacred status, not everyone pays it the respect it deserves.

In 2010, two evening guards were doing a routine patrol when they noticed loose dirt on the earth mound sealing one of the ancestral tombs. The guards also found hacksaws and mobile phone covers nearby, but nothing more.

tomb raiders

Twelve days later, they finally called the police when they spotted a hole in the very same seal, leading underground into the 100-feet deep tomb. Video cameras lowered down the tunnel revealed smashed and looted coffins, but no intruders.

Not long after the incident, however, authorities arrested nine suspects who confessed to using dynamite to blast the tunnel into the tomb. But for all their confessions, only a single relic was reportedly recovered.

Since then, the fate of the robbers brazen enough to try stealing from one of China’s most important historical sites has been kept under wraps. Although, seeing how tough China is on these kinds of offenses, I wouldn’t be surprised if they’ve ended up in an unmarked grave of their own!

A Royal Intruder

Buckingham Palace, the royal residence of the UK's monarchs, receives more than 500,000 visitors every year. But buying a tour ticket doesn’t mean you can explore the palace to your heart’s content.

For just 10 weeks in the summer, tourists are allowed inside the residence, but only get to see parts of the garden and six State Rooms, including the throne room.

However, the rest of the palace, including monarch’s private residence, is strictly off limits to anyone who’s not a privileged guest, a relevant member of staff, or, in one creepy case, a very crafty intruder! Shortly before 7 AM on July 9th, 1982, a 32-year-old man named Michael Fagan scaled the 14 ft high perimeter wall of Buckingham Palace.

Buckingham Palace walls

Even though it was topped with barbed wire, he made it over and shimmied up a drainpipe before hopping into the palace through an unlocked window.

Michael wandered the palace's corridors, triggering the alarm system. But the police assumed it was just a glitch and silenced it! He continued to roam around, accidentally breaking a glass ashtray, cutting his hand, and ominously holding onto the fragments of glass.

Fagan in Buckingham Palace

That’s how Michael strolled into the bedroom of none other than Queen Elizabeth herself and planted himself by her bed. He didn’t have any ill intentions towards her, but he also wasn’t in the most stable state of mind.

After she woke up, Fagan claims the Queen calmly told him to just wait where he was and hurried off into the corridor.

Places You CAN'T GO & People Who Went Anyways...

Her footman then came in, escorted Fagan away and then apparently offered him a glass of scotch. Whether that’s true or not, Fagan was then taken into custody by palace police. That’s when an even more shocking revelation came out: Fagan had broken into Buckingham Palace before!

A little over a month earlier, he claimed he’d climbed up another drainpipe, and entered through the bedroom window of a very startled maid!

He even set off 2 security alarms before hiding, but the police didn’t believe the maid, and thought the alarm just had a glitch in the system. Great deductive work from Her Majesty’s supposed ‘Finest’ there!

Fagan breaking in Buckingham Palace

Fagan then proceeded to peruse the halls, view portraits, sit on the throne, and even peed in a bin of ‘Corgi food’ before getting tired and leaving!

Clearly disturbed, he was committed to a psychiatric hospital for 3 months, and the queen decided not to press charges. Hopefully, he apologized to the Corgi’s for taking a leak in their food!

Keep Out

With over 1,400 quarries, and many abandoned shafts littering Arizona’s landscape, local mines have long welcomed rockhounds in search of hidden treasures. Which is exactly what 62-year-old John Waddell decided to do one Monday morning in October 2018.

He told his neighbor he planned to comb the area around a nearby mine and told him he’d be home by Tuesday. But on Wednesday morning John still hadn’t returned, so his neighbor finally went out looking for him.

As soon as the neighbor arrived at the site, he heard John screaming for help, from the bottom of a 100-foot-deep mineshaft with a huge warning sign posted at the entrance.

Man falls down Arizona mine shaft

Instead of following the sign’s instructions to keep away from the shaft, John had decided to check it out. He never intended to fall, but gravity works in mysterious ways.

After his plummet, John sustained several broken bones, but that wasn’t his biggest problem. Down in the darkness, he had company, and not the good kind; there were snakes. And not just any snakes, but deadly, venomous rattle snakes.

Despite being in agony, John managed to fight off and kill three while he was down there without sustaining any bites.

Places You CAN'T GO & People Who Went Anyways...

Emergency teams arrived shortly after his neighbor found him, and John was taken to hospital to recover.

The moral of this story is, if a sign tells you to stay away from a big dangerous hole, always assume it’s there for a good reason. And if that’s not enough to make you stay away, just remember, there could be snakes down there!

The Legally Haunted Fort of Bhangarh

Nestled amid the green hills of the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan, India, sits the magnificent fort of Bhangarh. Built back in the 16th century, it was once an architectural marvel. But today, the sprawling fort, having been legally classified as the most haunted site in India, is off-limits to any visitors post-sundown.

Ghosts and spirits are rumored to roam the premises, some of which have been blamed for many accidents which have happened there at night. This paranormal activity supposedly materialized after the fort was mysteriously abandoned sometime in the 1700’s.

According to one legend, a local hermit, who insisted that no building should cast a shadow on his home, cursed the fort.

hermit cursing the fort

Another legend tells of a magician who fell in love with a princess from the town and attempted to use a love potion to win her affection.

However, the princess flung the potion into a boulder, which then came loose and rolled onto the magician. Nice lesson in consent there! Before taking his final breath, he allegedly cursed the fort and the land that surrounds it.

hermit cursing the fort

But even though a visit to the fort is strictly forbidden after dark, that hasn’t stopped tourists and locals from undertaking the adventure.

One anonymous explorer paid the fort a visit with their friends in 2011 after they heard about the legends. The fort had already closed for the evening, so they bribed the keeper and snuck inside.

An hour into their exploration, the group saw a man sitting near a window with iron bars. He appeared completely zoned out, with wide unblinking eyes that weren’t focused on anything. That was, until he suddenly turned and ominously smirked at them, in the moment, these guys were so terrified, they immediately took off!

weird man in palace

But even those who aren’t brave enough to break in have heard things. Locals often report mysterious, blood-curdling screams and cries of women echoing from the fort at night. Eerie music and even inexplicable lights emanate from the long-abandoned walls.

IIt's safe to say that you don’t need to believe in ghosts to be very concerned about the idea of exploring this place at night.

Kenny Veach And The Mysterious Cave

Area 51, which sits about 85 miles north of Las Vegas, is a hot spot for all kinds of conspiracy theorists. Not only are there decades worth of extra-terrestrial rumors surrounding the air force base at its center, but it’s also a highly restricted area.

Members of the public are kept away by warning signs, electronic surveillance and armed guards. But just in case you didn’t know, Area 51 isn’t the only restricted military base in the area. Situated 8 miles northeast of Las Vegas is the Nellis Air Force Base.

Nellis Air Force Base
Airwolfhound from Hertfordshire, UK, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Covering more than 14,000 acres, it mainly consists of restricted ranges used for military flight operations. So, why is the proximity of both these bases of any relevance? Because, in 2014, one man took his interest in these restricted areas a little too far.

47-year-old Kenny Veach, a long-distance hiker, first came into the public eye when he left a mysterious comment on an unknown YouTube video. In the comment, Kenny claimed to have found a hidden cave somewhere in between the two air force bases.

And what made this cave so significant wasn’t just its abnormal M-like shape, but the fact that as soon as Kenny tried to enter it, he claimed he felt strange vibrations traveling through his body. The whole thing was so unnatural, he decided to immediately leave the cave.

Kenny Veach found a cave

But the internet wasn’t satisfied with his choice. After being egged on by other commenters, Kenny decided to return to the cave, this time bringing a camera to document his trip. The only problem was, he couldn’t remember the cave’s exact location.

Watch on YouTube

Evidently, this second trip turned out to be a bust. But Kenny wasn’t about to give up. A month later, he embarked on an overnight hike. Only this time, Kenny never returned.

As soon as his girlfriend reported him missing, a search party was formed by Nevada rescue volunteers. Kenny’s phone was found near an abandoned mine shaft a week later, but after sending down a camera which found nothing, the search was called to a close.

To this day, neither Kenny, nor his M-shaped cave, have been found. So, what exactly happened to him?

search for kenny

Many people theorize that since Kenny didn’t carry a GPS, he simply got lost in the desert. Another theory is that he faked his own death to start another life, which actually doesn’t sound too wild compared to the final theory.

Internet crawlers speculate that Kenny did end up finding the M-shaped cave, and that it turned out to be a secret government facility. According to them, Kenny might’ve seen something he shouldn’t have, and ended up being taken captive.

kenny taken captive

They also suggested the vibrations Kenny felt when he first entered the cave, were created by a high-tech alarm system set up to catch trespassers.

Ultimately, all these theories remain unproven and completely circumstantial. Anything could’ve happened to Kenny, and I’m afraid the only one who will ever know the truth, is Kenny himself.

Bohemian Grove

Nestled deep in the redwood forests of Northern California, Bohemian Grove is a 2,700-acre camp that’s completely isolated from the outside world.

This makes it the perfect spot for a male-members only club, where only the super rich and powerful are allowed to attend. Previous members include Ronald Regan, Richard Nixon, George Bush and George WH H. W. Bush!

Since the camp’s opening in 1972, its high-profile members have remained incredibly secretive about what goes on inside. From world leaders coming together and plotting the new world order, to performing sinister occultist rituals, conspiracy theorists have thought of it all.

Harvey Hancock at Bohemian Grove 1967

The only way to join the club, which requires an initiation fee of $25,000, is to be invited by an existing member. But back in the year 2000, conspiracy theorist and now-famous InfoWars owner Alex Jones decided to bypass this expensive invite and snuck into Bohemian Grove.

He, together with journalist and documentary filmmaker, Jon Ronson, snuck into the forest to observe the ominous workings of the so-called cult. And they weren’t disappointed by what they found! At first, it looked like a normal, albeit luxurious, campsite, with musicians playing instruments throughout, and fully stocked bars littering the place.

But then, at 9 PM, a loud bell rang, and the members all gathered around a huge 40 ft statue of a giant owl. A man dressed in long robes began chanting and preaching in old English verse, praying to the owl, occasionally punctuated by pyrotechnics!

Watch on YouTube

And if that wasn’t strange enough, several figures appeared from the trees wearing purple robes with hoods. They set fire to a big pit in front of the owl and tossed what looked like a coffin into the flames. However, before you freak out, there’s a perfectly plausible explanation for all of this.

While Alex thought they had stumbled upon a ritualistic sacrifice, Jon saw the more rational side of things. First of all, where Alex was convinced that the members were worshiping Moloch, an old pagan owl god, Jon thought the area was probably also an owl sanctuary.

Especially since there were little huts scattered throughout the trees, almost like they were put there to house owls. Also, the coffin was likely just an effigy, as it seemed too light to hold a person.

Cult at the Bohemian Grove

As for why they were burning it, the men’s chants explained that. Throughout the ritual, the men were chanting about getting rid of their outside cares by burning them to ash, just like they burnt the coffin. Doesn’t sound all that sinister when you put it like that.

We’d love to go and investigate more, but unfortunately, the last Bohemian Grove gathering took place all the way back in 2008. If it was still going on, you can bet we’d have seen the truth on TikTok by now!

The Paris Catacombs

Back in the 18th century, Paris didn’t exactly smell as good as it looked. With the city rapidly expanding, the cemeteries overflowed, and the unbearable stench attracted disease-carrying pests. Something had to be done, and the solution resulted in the creation of the mother of all spooky tourist attractions: The Paris Catacombs.

This labyrinth of passageways was installed in the tunnels of former quarries under the city, terrifyingly lined with the bones of approximately 6 million people who died hundreds of years ago. Stretching for 150 miles beneath Paris, visitors can travel back in time by recalling the history of the many Parisians buried there.

Paris catacombs (34687302205)
Dale Cruse from San Francisco, CA, USA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

However, only a small section of the catacombs is open to the public, and entering the other galleries has been against the law since 1955. But that hasn’t stopped a lot of people. Mischievous kids and perverse partygoers are known to access the catacombs through secret entrance points across the city. Many even upload their antics to YouTube!

Unfortunately, though, not everyone ends up having a great time. In 2017, two teenage boys got lost in the pitch-black labyrinth of tunnels. According to an official tour guide head count, they hadn’t gotten in through the tunnels open to the public, and so had stupidly made their way into the catacombs on their own.

Without a clear path or light source, they were lost beneath the city with only the dead for company. Three days later, a specialized search team was alerted to their disappearance, and sniffer dogs were able to, miraculously, track the two boys down!

lost teenagers in Paris Catacomb

They were hungry, dehydrated, and suffering from hypothermia, but alive. If it weren’t for those dogs, their bones might have joined the millions of others down there!

North Brother Island

Out in New York’s East River, there’s an island with a terrifying reputation, and I’m not talking about Rikers island! A stone’s throw away from this famous jail complex is North Brother Island, a place with a past more terrifying than any jail.

It’s currently illegal to visit, unless a visiting party has gained personal approval from the New York City Parks and Recreation Department. Sounds pretty stringent, and for good reasons.

Decaying, crumbling buildings are littered over the island, and it’s totally overrun with lush looking greenery. While it looks like it’d be a dream to explore, the history of this place makes it more of a nightmare.

North Brother Island pier (H.L.I.T. pic)
H.L.I.T., CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the 1880’s, the Riverside Quarantine Hospital was built across the island. New Yorkers with smallpox, tuberculosis and many more hideous illnesses were condemned to live out their days here being studied by doctors, including one Mary Mallon, aka Typhoid Mary.

She was the first US resident identified as an asymptomatic carrier of typhoid fever, a deadly bacterial infection spread through contaminated food or water, in 1907. Mary worked as a cook, and because she didn’t have any symptoms, she unknowingly infected at least 122 people, and was quarantined on North Brother Island for the rest of her life.

But the need for a quarantine hospital had declined by the 1930’s, and so the island was abandoned, until it was later used to house World War Two veterans wanting to further their studies in 1943.

Riverside Hospital North Brother Island crop
reivax from Washington, DC, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

After that, it was converted into a rehabilitation center for adolescent drug addicts. Although, some haunting messages left on the wall indicated these poor kids didn’t always have a choice in being there.

And following serious allegations of corruption, the island was abandoned for a final time in the 1960’s. Today, the whole place, and its unsettling history, has been left to rot. And with a history as dark as that, it’s probably for the best.

If you were amazed by these places you can't go (but probably don't want to anyway), you might want to read this article about places you can't swim. Thanks for reading!

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