MANILA, Philippines - On Halloween (October 31), pop culture website Cracked.com listed "The 8 Creepiest Places on Earth," and the Kabayan Burial Caves in Benguet were listed as number one.
The list, compiled by Robert Brockway and Cezary Jan Strusiewicz, has received more than 800,000 hits and more than 2,000 Likes on Facebook.
Allow us to tell you about some of the places listed briefly:
1) The Kabayan Burial Caves, Philippines
Kabayan is found in Benguet in the Cordillera Mountain Ranges. According to Unesco.org, it is "recognized as a center of Ibaloi Culture."
The Ibaloi, a dominant Indigenous Peoples (IP) group in Kabayan, are known to have practised mummification of their dead long before the Spanish colonization.
Depending on the Ibaloi individual's social status upon death, the mummyfying process that used salt and herbs (after which the body was set under fire) may have taken up to two years. When the body fuilds were finally removed, the mummy was "placed inside a pinewood coffin and laid to rest in a man-made cave or in niche dug-out from solid rock."
This practice was said to have been abandoned after Christianity spread during the Spanish period.
According to Cracked.com, the caves were accidentally discovered by loggers clearing a mountain slope nearby. It is presumed that the loggers also found the 15 other caves in the area.
2) Chuuk Lagoon, New Guinea
Screen grab from YouTube (journeymanpictures)
According to Cracked.com, in February 1944, the US Navy launched Operation Hailstone, an attack on the Imperial Japanese Army.
As with any battle, thousands of soldiers from both sides died, their bodies left resting at the bottom of the Pacific. They remain there untouched until today.
But there's something more scary about this place than just the remains: Cracked.com says that, up to this day, there are still "a few million gallons of crude oil" at the bottom of Chuuk. If it spills, it can destroy the underwater ecosystem.
3) Muynak, Uzbekistan
Screen grab from YouTube (BeaugrandRaphael)
It looks like a ship graveyard in the middle of the desert today, but it used to be a city with a bustling fishing port by the Aral Sea.
So what happened to the water? Why and how did it vanish?
According to Cracked.com, beginning in the 1960s, "the Aral's waters have been continuously diverted for irrigation purposes by the Soviet government."
This caused the shoreline to recede and for the town to die. The remaining fishing vessels became stranded. Few people live there now, understandably.
4) Herxheim, Germany
Screen grab from YouTube (NohundCaro)
Herxheim is a place in southwest Germany. In 2009, Dr. Bruno Boulestin and his team discovered the mass grave while doing an archeological excavation in the 7,000-year-old site.
While they kind of expected remains, they did not expect to discover horrifying clues of cannibalism: upon closer inspection, the human bones revealed bite marks.
A line in a piece published in news.discovery.com in December 2009 about Herxheim goes: "Over a period of perhaps a few decades, hundreds of people were butchered and eaten before parts of their bodies were thrown into oval pits."
5) Voodoo Market, Lome, Togo
Screen grab from YouTube (alastair51060)
People who do not understand voodoo see it as black magic, but according to Cracked.com, in this capital of Togo in West Africa, it is a "legitimate religion that is being practiced seriously."
In West African Voodoo, they believe that animal remains "hold magical powers that can be used to protect oneself from evil and diseases."
So imagine this voodoo market like your regular grocery store except that, instead of toiletries and chips, you see assortments of animal skulls.
Other places who made it to the Cracked.com list are an abandoned Moscow laboratory, Robert Falcon Scott's hut in the South Pole and the entrance to the Mayan "hell" in Yucatan.
But not for the adventurous.
It's still the long weekend.
Go choose your own adventure. - Rappler.com