Eldritch Location

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"We're talking about a higher order of reality... The world they come from, the world I come from, has...more of everything. I don't think you understand yet; the light of Heaven would slash open your corneas. The music of Heaven would puncture your eardrums and drive you insane. The air of heaven would burst your lungs and boil your blood. Only spirit can bear Heaven's touch."
Zauriel, Murder Mysteries

In fiction-land, some places just don't agree with the laws of physics, geography, and the way we understand the world.

Eldritch Locations take many forms: Lost Worlds, Wonderlands ("Wonder" is not always a good thing) Strange Planets, Incomprehensible Voids, the insides of Eldritch Abominations, Alternate Universes, ordinary-looking buildings...basically, wherever the author decides could use some weirdness.

These are usually depicted as bad places, but not always. The ones that aren't are usually sources of Surreal Humor.

If this place is a planet or country, then it will often feature an Alien Sky, as well as Mix-and-Match Critters or Starfish Aliens by the herd. Expect all geometries to be Alien Geometries or Sinister. However, like any self-respecting Cosmic Horror Story, you can bet this is only a small part of its fundamental strangeness.

If it even exists in the same dimension as our Insignificant Little Blue Planet, chances are it's either outside the world entirely (and often accessible only by a Cool Gate), or located in a strange, unknown corner of the Earth. It may have never been seen by man before. If so, expect at least one character, upon seeing it, to widen his eyes and gasp: "What is this place?!"

The Big Bad may set up A Very Definitely Final Dungeon or an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield here.

Compare:

See also Genius Loci, Garden of Evil, Ominous Floating Castle, World Tree, Hyperspace Is a Scary Place, Bigger on the Inside, Year Inside, Hour Outside.

Some common settings, such as the Sugar Bowl, can fall right into this trope if you think about them enough.

Examples of Eldritch Location include:

Anime & Manga[edit | hide | hide all]

  • Hell's Gate in Darker than Black is full of Not of This Earth weirdness, the geography constantly shifts, Reality Is Out to Lunch, and, generally, there are very good reasons the scientists studying it have mostly abandoned manned missions in favor of sending in robots. As an added bonus, its appearance in the middle of Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe was accompanied by an Alien Sky covering the entire Earth and people suddenly becoming superpowered sociopaths.
    • Said "sending in robots" consists of sending in a robot with a camera and having a full room of people watch the video stream and write down everything they see, because even through the video, everyone sees something different.
  • The entire town of Kurôzu-cho in Uzumaki
  • Digimon Adventure 02 had the Dark Ocean, a place populated by something that is either an Eldritch Abomination that can take the form of a Digimon and are suspiciously called the Digi-Deep Ones and serve a master that is suspiciously similar to Cthulhu, Digimons whose designs are heavily influenced by the Cthulhu Mythos (Named Dragomon in the card game but not in the show), or Cthulhu and his minions making a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo. It was stated that The Dark Ocean is a separate Dimension from the other two established dimensions.
    • Wherever the Hell it was Etemon ended up in after his first defeat in Digimon Adventure.
  • Digimon Tamers has the inside of the D-Reaper's mass bubble when it invades Earth. It goes from a giant bunch of melted buildings and electronics and a few sidewalks to a liquid-like gooey landscape of pure pink and red evil all around. Not only that, but the digital world certainly qualifies when the D-Reaper has taken over and turned everything into a rather disturbing, apocalyptic-looking war zone.
  • Heaven and Hell in Ah! My Goddess both use and avert this concept. On the one hand, both are realms that exist in twelve-dimensions, far more than the normal humans of Earth can ever hope to perceive. However, due to their complete inability to perceive what they are not perceiving, the sheer alien quality of the two realms is completely lost on humans.
  • The End of Evangelion gave us the Sea of LCL, "a place with no AT-Field, where individual forms do not exist; an ambiguous world where you cannot tell where you end and others begin; a world where you exist everywhere and yet you exist nowhere, all at once". Its freaky nature is perfectly illustrated by the scene where Rei pulls out her hands out of Shinji's chest with absolutely no signs of injury on him.[1] It's not a Dream World in that the place only exists in the shared reality between Rei, Kaworu and Shinji.
    • The Sea of LCL is actually Primordial Earth after Rei had returned every living being in existence back to its most basic form. All Souls are now one with Rei and/or Kaworu, the Mother and Father respectively of every living being on Earth. So in said Reality of Rei, Kaworu, and Shinji it was basically the Entire World at the moment. Or maybe it was all concepts of Reality, depending on your interpretation of what the bloody hell was going on.
  • The so called 'closed spaces' in Haruhi Suzumiya can be considered a form of this.
  • The entire country of Amestris in Fullmetal Alchemist is a subtle version of this. The Xingese characters notice that alchemy in Amestris has something distinctly off about it, and a creepy vibe seems to ooze from the ground and tickle their chi-sense. This is because Amestrian alchemy is powered not by tectonic energy like normal alchemy, but by Philosopher's Stones, which are made from tortured, agonized human souls bound together. The Philosopher's Stone energy comes from Father's body, and is disseminated through the country by a massive system of pipes. This corrupt form of alchemy can be completely disabled by Father at will, making him theoretically invincible. The whole system is derailed by a countermeasure based on Xingese alkahestry devised by Scar's brother before the series even started.
    • Actually, it's been established that Amestrian alchemy is indeed powered by tectonic energy, but Father created a buffer to limit the amount of energy drawn and to have the ability to turn off the alchemy whenever he wanted. What the Xing characters sensed could either be Father or the buffer (or both)
    • In addition, there's the inside of the Gate, ("It's awful!") and the inside of Gluttony's stomach, which is a failed Gate somewhere "between reality and the real Gate".
  • In One Piece, the whole Grand Line might count, as the weather there does not conform to standard laws of meteorology; the only pirate known to have explored the entire place to the point of claiming expertise in the area was Gold Roger himself. It's not only violent and volatile, but can change in an instant, from a storm, to a blizzard, to a waterspout and calm for an hour before changing again. Islands are somewhat stable, but each is the same climate all year round (and are thus grouped into Winter, Spring, Summer, and Autumn to describe them) and each of those is has four seasons of its own, giving the Grand Line 16 seasons. Cyclones appear randomly, and there are even stranger places, like Enies Lobby, which has Endless Daytime. Navigation in the Grand Line can't be done with a normal compass due to the bizarre nature of its magnetic fields; a special compass called a Log Pose can be "set" to up to seven roues if you first visit them, and is a reliable way to navigate to them for a limited amount of time depending on what islands are in each route; an Eternal Pose is a superior version, which can be set to a specific island permanently
  • Hell in Hell Girl is this, and it is deliberately designed for personalized Mind Rape.
  • The Witches' barrier in Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica
  • The Red Night in Eleven Eyes.
  • Hueco Mundo and the precipice world in Bleach
  • The Book of Eibon (manga only) and inside Asura's sphere (anime only) also the Nakatsukasa mindscape at first in Soul Eater
  • Some dreamscapes in Yumekui Merry
  • Tsukuyomi and the Living Corpse Reincarnation realm, also some genjutsu are capable of projecting this type of location from Naruto.
  • Tokimi's realm in Tenchi Muyo. Its a floating temple-like thing in the middle of nowhere in the universe. outside of it, its got a twisted, planet thing with a Space Whale. Her presence fills the room, but she is not there. And that's only in the third dimension. Each dimension up is so much more complex that a being from a lower dimension cannot comprehend. and there are a lot of them.

Art[edit | hide]


Comic Books[edit | hide]

  • In The DCU, Heaven, of all places.
    • The city of Vanity from the short-lived Aztek series was implied to be one as well. It was a Wretched Hive that was worse than Gotham, full of a strange psychic malaise that turned two Captain Patriotic heroes into Nineties Anti-Heroes. It was implied that the town founders were all mad and used principles of sacred geometry to make the city utterly bent.
    • Let us not forget Arkham Asylum. The place gets destroyed regularly, yet somehow always magically comes back and it has a tendency to drive people completely batshit insane just by being there. When you remember these facts one kind of has to wonder why the city of Gotham thinks sending already insane supervillans there will make them better.
  • In the Marvel Universe , The Thanos Imperative introduced an entire freaking parallel universe as an Eldritch Location. It all began when somehow, somebody killed death and allowed Life to grow unrestrained. Now the entire universe is under the influence of Elder Gods and , using the Fault that has opened up in the MU, they are now intent on corrupting the rest of reality.

Quasar: I'm Protector Of The Universe. But how am I supposed to protect it from another universe? Planets, stars, whole galaxies that want to crush us all. I asked what's the worst that could happen. This is my answer.

  • Johnny's house in Johnny the Homicidal Maniac. It's implied the house grew its own Torture Cellar, and that the place is gradually expanding in order to take on more victims as Johnny grows increasingly insane and murderous. The Wall Johnny has to 'feed' also moves around the house, starting out at ground level and eventually finding its way down into the cellars.


Fanfiction[edit | hide]

  • Voidspace from Super Milestone Wars 2
  • Evangelion: The Rite of Spring [1] makes the battles with the Angels even more disturbing, as it moves the fight settings to Eldritch Location pocket universes. Kaworu and Rei's secret room in the theater may or may not count, but it certainly seems to defy the laws of nature. Really only to be expected for a story that's essentially Neon Genesis Evangelion meets Puella Magi Madoka Magica in art school.
  • The Emiya Clan basement is the equivalent of an epic dungeon crawler. It's basically where they throw all the junk they accumulate that is too dangerous or unstable to use. It's also where they lock any Eldritch Abomination that is too hard to destroy. Put two and two together and you get something along the lines of Moria.


Film[edit | hide]

  • Dark City.
  • In Labyrinth, Sarah's final showdown with Jareth occurs in a place that was designed by M. C. Escher.
  • Tiny in comparison to most examples, but the titular sauna in AJ Annila's Surreal Horror indie Sauna is a piece of Sinister Geometry that defies all definition, and has a habit of swallowing people whole, or sending them out...different. A common theory makes it the gate to Hell.
  • The apartment building in Ghostbusters certainly applies, given what it was designed for. The dimension one of the refrigerators opens onto counts as well.
  • Being John Malkovich.
  • Inception, because, well, it's All Just a Dream.
  • In Event Horizon, the dimension that the gravity drive took the titular ship into is summed up as "Hell", but from what's hinted, Hell is pretty fuckin' warm and fuzzy compared to what actually lies beyond the portal.
  • If you think about it, Toon Town in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? is an Eldritch Location in its context. All that stuff may be normal in cartoons, but in the middle of the real world it's bizarre to say the least. Alien Geometries? You bet. For example, the building you're in becomes higher than all the surrounding ones if you're in danger of falling from it and look down, simply because it's a trick used by animators to make it look more like the perspective is from really high up.
  • The Real World in The Matrix
  • The Hypercube in Cube 2: Hypercube.
  • The room in 1408. As Samuel L. Jackson's character insists, there are no ghosts, it's just "an evil fucking room".
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, normal laws of physics don't quite seem to apply in Castle Dracula, most notably seen when Harker opens a perfume bottle that starts dripping upwards into the ceiling. For extra creep factor, the castle itself vaguely resembles a ghoulish figure crouched on a cracked throne.
  • Yellow Submarine - The Beatles' Liverpool abode is a grim little wharfside hovel on the outside - inside it's a cavernous palace with endless corridors that open into scenes from King Kong, Magritte paintings, and the like, while various outsize objects, inanimate and otherwise, run in and out of doors when no one's looking. The places they visit on their journey are similarly extradimensional.


Literature[edit | hide]

  • The world described in the incomprehensible Codex Seraphinianus.
  • R'lyeh, the abode of Great Cthulhu in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
    • Lovecraft's writings have several of these in addition to R'lyeh. These include the subterranean N'knai, the planet Yuggoth with its black towers and rivers of pitch, and the Outer Void that exists beyond our four-dimensional space and is the dwelling place of the Outer Gods. The Dreamlands may also count, as it's apparently a separate plane of existence that shares a connection with our world.
    • Lets not forget the Plateau of Leng, that may exist somewhere in the Himalayas, in Antarctica, or in the Dreamlands, or possibly in all these places.
    • Wherever (or whatever) it was that could be seen from Erich Zahn's balcony, and drove him to compose such music. Probably extends somewhat to the entire street, given the narrator's later incapacity to locate it.
  • The lost city of Carcosa, "where black stars hang in the heavens; where the shadows of men's thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, when the twin suns sink into the lake of Hali. . ." From Robert Chambers's The King in Yellow, which he borrowed from Ambrose Bierce's "An Inhabitant of Carcosa". Later used by Lovecraft and his successor, August Derleth.
  • From Stephen King: The Dark Tower, a radioactive rift in the fabric of existence populated by Biological Mashups; Thunderclap, a Mordor-like desert; and End-World where The Dark Tower resides (a sort of Yggdrasil-like entity).[2]
    • Also the castle that Susannah's doppelganger visits in her dreams is described as an eldritch location filled with unknown horrors in the machinery-filled rooms below, on the edge of End-World which is portrayed as an even worse Eldritch Location with a pulsating red light coming from it.
    • The room in 1408. Both the short story and the movie are insistent that there's no ghosts.
  • As mentioned above: Giant country and The Land of Dreams in The BFG. They're somewhere on Earth, but they've never been seen by man before the events of the book, no one had even suspected they may exist, and not even the BFG, who lives in the land of Giants, knows where it is. (He gets there by homing instinct.)
  • The House of Leaves. According to some, the whole book qualifies.
  • The Nevernever in The Dresden Files. In size, it is to Australia what Earth is to the Rhode island, and the laws of physics just don't work the way they do in our world. In fact they almost never do.
    • Demonreach, introduced in Small Favor, is a less alien but no less powerful site. Aside from being the source of a massive dark energy ley line, it is also self-aware and does not show up on any maps because ships disappear around it and aircraft navigation goes out close to it. And apparently it has some connection to Dresden himself.
  • Brian Lumley's Necroscope novels have the vampire world which is home to a White Hole that plunged half the planet into and towered eternal night, and the Möbius Continuum.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, Uriel and Pasanius find that a Chaos-warped Afterlife Express has carried them into the Eye of Terror. Hideous, impossible landscapes haunted by monsters and holding many dead bodies, with tunnels that can drive people to murder and suicide, and a city of Alien Geometries with strange light creatures and impossible to trace routes, pollutants that come to life as Living Shadows and an Evil Tower of Ominousness.
    • Also, in Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn series, there is a similar place; the Alien Geometries is taken to its describable extreme (for instance, there are triangles that clearly have more than 360 degrees internally) and every little thing is another impossibility made possible. Most of those who enter lose their minds in a short while.
    • In fact, this sort of thing is common in Warpspace, Another Dimension which spaceships use for all interstellar travel. Also, there's a few regions where Warpspace and real space overlap, the largest one being the Eye of Terror.
  • The realm of the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn in The Wheel of Time is a pocket dimension full of bizarre Alien Geometry.
  • The Faction Paradox series has the Eleven-Day Empire, a tract of space/time, shaped like XVIII century London, ritualistically separated from reality by eleven days that never existed. Specifically, when the 18th century British Empire shifted from the Julian to the Gregorian calendar, the date changed from the 2nd to the 14th of September. Figuring that nobody was using them, the Faction took those eleven days, cut them off from the rest of causality, and turned them into a twisted shadow version of Victorian London under a perpetually burning sky. It's a weird place. (In its introduction, it's explained that if you were to point out that the above doesn't really make sense, because a shift in the calendar doesn't "create" unused days, Faction Paradox would say that that's rather the point.)
    • And then there's the City of the Saved: the result of the fusion of the ultimate sum of all human technology in all of history merged with a goddess from the end of time. What does that equate to? A galaxy-wide sentient space station, containing all humans to ever exist in immortal, perfect bodies, including all hybrids and virtually all fictional characters ever, permanently anchored at the edge of the Universe in its last nanosecond before the birth of the next. Unfortunately, there was an infection of something that came out of the other end, and now the normally very pleasant City's infected with nightmarish industrial wastelands specialized in human experimentation. It's as horrific as it sounds.
  • Most Simon R. Green novels feature at least one of these, if not more.
  • Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows" takes place in such a setting. A possibly sentient setting, no less.
  • Lancre from Discworld contains a few places like this, including the portal to the elves' world from Lords And Ladies and the "gnarly" ground in Carpe Jugulum.
    • Inverted in the Science of Discworld books, where the mundane physics of the Roundworld universe—i.e. our own—seem like this trope to the wizards, who are used to things running on narrativium rather than rules.
  • The setting of Full Tilt is superficially an Amusement Park of Doom, but the "rides" expand into mini-worlds, ranging from a burned-out slum to a mock-up of ancient Egypt to an asteroid field made of Pintos that explode when touched. According to throwaway dialogue from its creator, it's less "real" than our own world, but it will become more real as more and more people are drawn into it, and all other worlds will become mere shadows.
  • A very confined one, whose rooms are organized by variety of weirdness (time-based, outer-spacey, etc): the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter. It exists for the purpose of studying how magic "really" works.
  • The Duat in The Kane Chronicles. It's the expansion pack version of the Underworld from the Percy Jackson and The Olympians series by the same author (and canonically in the same universe). There are the shallower regions where we find the Halls of Maat, the center of Order in the universe and stronghold of the Egyptian Gods. And, presumably, the region controlled by the Olympians for their underworld and imprisoning the odd Eldritch Abomination. But then there are the deep reaches of the Duat, where there are vast gulfs even the gods fear to tread and Apophis lurks. This corresponds to the reaches where the Olympians tossed the remains of Kronos.
  • In Dean Koontz's Seize the Night, military scientists have found a way into some kine of parallel universe of red skies and black, fungus-like trees. The protagonists initially believed the scientists had been building a time machine to the future. Actually, they may have opened a doorway to Hell - so to speak. One of the characters later postulates that our ideas of Heaven and Hell may have come from genuine mystics who were able to glimpse alternate dimensions, some incredibly alien to our own.

"That's not the future. That's . . . sideways."

  • Pretty much everywhere in the Dr. Seuss books, especially "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
  • The Chronicles of Narnia has several. The Dark Island from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the only truly frightening one, though—more pleasant or neutral ones include Bism and the Wood Between the Worlds.
  • Te land of the elves from the Serrated Edge series fits, at least those parts not formed by a sufficiently strong will into some definite state. As with all travels into the realms of the Elves in this series, it is EXTREMELY hazardous to enter an unformed region without adequate (usually magical) assistance, and anything one can imagine (and many things one would rather not) may be found there. Entering with an unfamiliar Elf is actually MORE dangerous, because an untrained mortal is effectively incapable of distinguishing the Seelie (relatively benign) Elves from the Unseelie (Exclusively Evil) Elves until it's FAR too late.
  • The Darke Halls in Septimus Heap are described as this, having the power of driving people to madness.


Live Action TV[edit | hide]

  • The Q Continuum from the Star Trek franchise, home of the (supposedly) omnipotent and omniscient species known as the Q (and also sometimes used as a name for the species itself). When we saw it on-screen in two Voyager episodes, it appeared first as a gas station on a desert highway and then as a battlefield from the American Civil War (when the Q were fighting their own civil war). This was probably done due to the show's budget constraints, and was justified by explaining that the Continuum cannot be perceived by a humanoid as it truly exists, and thus it will appear as an analogue from the viewer's culture. In one TNG novel, the android Lt. Commander Data is taken to the Continuum and forced to perceive it in its true form. This causes him to shut down as the result of the sensory overload.
    • Another Star Trek example is the Next Generation episode "Remember Me," in which an experiment with warp bubbles goes wrong and sucks Dr. Crusher into some kind of parallel dimension shaped by the thoughts she was having at the moment she was trapped. It appears to be a replica of the Enterprise, except all the other crew members start vanishing one by one and no one except Crusher remembers they existed. Then it gets even worse. Dr. Crusher activates a view screen and sees a "warp energy field" encasing the ship. After establishing that there is no penetrating the field, she asks the computer to define the universe. It replies, "THE UNIVERSE IS A SPHEROID REGION 705 METERS IN DIAMETER". The computer says that there is nothing outside of the ship.
  • The Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. A world where people speak backwards, little people dance to jazz music and cream corn is used as a form of currency. The lodge itself is really just a series of identical rooms with red curtains and a zig-zag patterned floor. Or it could be that it is just the same room repeated over and over.
  • Heaven in Supernatural. Every heaven is basically just the best moment of your life over and over again.
  • Einstein's Realm in Farscape. Reachable only by wormhole, it acts as a meeting ground between the representative of the True Ancients and anyone knowledgeable enough to be dangerous to them: it's basically an iceberg floating in an ocean of wormholes beneath a pitch-black sky. Due to Einstein's influence, physics tend to behave quite strangely here, and Crichton often ends up speaking to long-dead individuals from his past and tumbling into Unrealized Realities.
  • Doctor Who is FULL of these. The TARDIS is one in living, alleged ship form. The Doctor has visited some quite notable ones, like The Impossible Planet (prison of a being that claims to be the ultimate source of evil in the universe), and the Zeta Minor (visited during The Planet of Evil) where strange beings lurked and tried to prevent catastrophe caused by removing material from the place. The Doctor also visited to near the end of the universe (finding desperate humans trying to flee from vampire-like Future Kind), and even the extrauniversal E-Space, multiple parallel universe, and once simply PARKING OUTSIDE REALITY. Perhaps the most Eldritch of all Eldritch Locations, House, a living pocket dimension that fed on TARDISes.


Mythology/Religion[edit | hide]

  • Celtic Mythology had a place called the Otherworld that was really weird home to the faeries and all sorts of mythical creatures.
  • Almost any concept of The Afterlife. Whether or not they're plausible is not a question for this wiki.
  • The "hollow" inside of the Earth.
  • Technically since God is described as omni-present, meaning that He can occupy all of space all at once and is just as present on Earth as he is in Heaven, the entire universe is an Eldritch Location for God Himself.
  • God's throne in Heaven is directly above everywhere on Earth. This is an obvious physical impossibility... except that God is beyond physics.
  • Norse Mythology has the Ginnungagap, Múspellsheimr to the "South" of that, Niflheimr to the "North," and pretty much any of the other Nine Worlds that isn't Miðgarðr(Midguard).


Tabletop Games[edit | hide]

  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Far Realm, but really, most of the planes qualify, doing stuff like having distance travelled depend on the amount of good deeds you do, or matter being shaped by thought.
    • Every other plane has some kind of mythology-based logic to it (Ethereal and Astral transport mimics the real-world mythology for movement in Out Of Body experiences, the Heaven and Hell planes are exactly what they sound like, etc.). The only identifiable trait of the Far Realm is that none of it is identifiable, or even quantifiable in any way, shape or form. Simply entering it causes unavoidable Mind Screw to outright Mind Rape.
      • Characters may sprout eyes on their palms (but not really), relive a hundred lifetimes in which their parents were Far Realm wights, or backwards speaking begin...
      • Altogether unsurprising, as the Far Realm is based on the works and mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. The Far Realm represents the edge of reality, where the reality that mortal minds can grasp transforms into something...different.
  • The D&D settings of Ravenloft, Planescape, and (by way of Art Major Astrophysics) Spelljammer each qualify as an Eldritch Location by their very nature.
  • Terra Incognitae in Scion are all the mysterious islands and lost worlds described in mythology. You can't get to them unless you yourself are mythological (i.e., have a Legend score).
  • Bardos in Genius: The Transgression are places that were once thought or believed to exist, then proved not to, or were hoped to exist but never came to pass. You can still travel to them if you know where to go (or stumble into them). They range from the Martian Empire and Tsoska to the Hollow Earth (recently taken over by Nazi mad scientists) and The Grid.
  • Changeling: The Lost gives up the Hedge, the mysterious otherspace between Earth and Faerie. Not only does it seem to map roughly to Earth in size, but it could technically be considered four-dimensional, as there's always going to be a direction that's just "towards Faerie."
  • Pretty much everywhere outside of Illusion in Kult. Weird geoscapes are the least of your worries. Gaia is the primal world where even the earth can get hungry and swallow people, Metropolis is a city filled with lunatics and Inferno is a classic Hell.
  • The Mad City of Don't Rest Your Head is pretty much made of this trope.
  • The Wyld in Exalted, in which reality as we know it pretty much stops working. Divided into the Bordermarches, the closest regions to normal reality, which are only mildly weird, the Middlemarches, where the laws of physics cease to be reliable and movement and distance are based more around narrative conventions than concrete measurements, the Deep Wyld, where reality is officially Out To Lunch, and the Pure Chaos, which isn't so much a location as it is the unshaped, incoherent chaos outside of the universe.
    • And then there are the Shadowlands, sites of past atrocities and mass murder where the border between Creation and the Underworld is just a bit thinner. Regaining Essence is hampered (unless you're a creature of the Underworld, in which case it picks up by comparison), ghosts can get around more easily, and improperly buried bodies tend to rise as zombies.
    • Several of the Primordials/Yozis are this as well. Things like the local geography, physical laws, and even time flow are often at the whims of the Titan that is the world. The most notable are Malfeas (the Demon King/City whose body acts as the prison of his fellows, and consists of multiple layers that constantly change shape and correspondence, and all inexplicably have the green sun of Hell right above them), Cecylene (the Endless Desert who is accessible from every layer of Malfeas and always takes exactly five days to cross) and Autochthon (who needed to deliberately modify his world body to make it habitable; the deeper parts of it show the reason for this).
    • There are even a few places in Creation that work like this. One is the Well of Udr, overseen by the Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils. It's a nexus of all possible dimensions where the strata of potential worlds collide and crash against one another, occasionally disgorging impossibilities. It's very tricky to get anywhere within its vicinity and hold onto your marbles, let alone stare into it. It's from here that the Dowager retrieved the Great Contagion.
  • The Umbra from the Old World of Darkness folds in itself any sort of alternative reality and other states of being. And one has to step sideways to reach it. Sideways to reality as a whole. Furthermore, different places in the Umbra have their own laws, and the further one gets from Earth, the weirder and more hostile, the worlds become, until the Deep Umbra is reached. Things are just plain wrong there. And very, very inhospitable for almost any type of earth-like life.
    • Its spiritual descendent, the Shadow Realm of the New World of Darkness, is more a Dark World. But if you go deep enough, you get to the parts of the Shadow Realm taken over by lords among the Spirits, and then the rules disappear.
  • Warhammer 40,000. Aside from the mentions in the literature section above, everything in the Eye of Terror ends up this way, as well as the Maelstrom (basically a mini Eye of Terror that doesn't even have the decency of an explanation of how it started). Any place a Warp Rift is opened starts to slowly turn into one of these, and if the rift is left unchecked it can end up turning the entire planet into a Daemon World. And that's just what happens when a tiny fraction of the Warp leaks into the real world...
    • The Dark City of Commorragh, home of the Dark Eldar, is also an example, being an enormous collection of realms located inside the Webway (a network of warded tunnels in the Warp), linked together with portals. It's basically Escher on crack and populated entirely by sadistic murder-elves.
  • Magic: The Gathering has locations associated with its resident Eldritch Abominations, the Eldrazi; in particular, a combination of solitude and proximity to the Eye of Ugin, which sealed the Eldrazi within the plane Zendikar, cost the planeswalker Sarkhan Vol his sanity.
  • In Nephilim, Selenim are capable of creating Realms, pocket universes that exist according to their will, which turn out like this trope.
  • The entirety of the JAGS Wonderland setting.


Tropes[edit | hide]

  • The Sugar Bowl is a strange form of this. It may be depicted as a genuinely nice place, or as it was in the article. However, there's no denying that a place with licorice trees and structurally sound buildings of candy would belong here.
  • The Clown Car Base also fits this trope in a way, especially when the trope is lampshaded, revealing it to be not just a perspective oddity, but a genuine physically disproportionate building.
  • Many Lost Worlds are this in a nutshell.
  • A Dark World can function as an Eldritch Location when it's explicitly evil or "wrong", but a few morality neutral Dark Places are natural "night side" reality counterparts to our own.
  • A Place Beyond Time is this by its very nature.


Video Games[edit | hide]

  • Bacterian, the Big Bad of the Gradius series qualifies: He is a Genius Loci Hive Mind that uses psychic powers to control his fleets. Every time he's defeated, the pieces of him regenerate to form new Bacterians. Gofer, Venom, Zelos, and some other large Bacterians also qualify.
  • The Pfhor ship of Marathon seems to be mostly organic, with green liquid all over the place. The gravity is low, too. The creepy music doesn't help either.
    • Marathon's game engine actually encourages non-Euclidean level design because of the way it implements overpasses. Several levels have passageways that pass through each other as an intentional Mind Screw, and some third-party mapmakers have taken it to a very confusing extreme.
  • Silent Hill features a weird variation of this trope through the eponymous town. Though its exact nature is very much up for debate, it appears to be abandoned and shrouded in fog, day and night come randomly, and a nightmarish "otherworld" version of the town lurks beneath the surface and can overtake you at any moment. The otherworld draws its form from people's minds, sometimes the protagonists and sometimes another character entirely; quite a few epileptic forests have grown from trying to explain it all.
  • EarthBound: Once the Devil's Machine is turned off, it's implied that Giygas might just be huge and dimension-warping enough to be not just an Eldritch Abomination, but one of these in his own right.
    • Way before that, Ness and Jeff get to visit Moonside, which also qualifies.
  • The various incarnations of the Lost Woods in the Zelda games: they either turn off your minimap, making navigation extremely difficult, or in Oracle of Seasons, one place is even completely off the map, not to mention the place where Like-Likes fall from the sky. In Ocarina of Time it's implied that anyone who isn't of The Fair Folk would tend to become hopelessly lost, eventually turning into skeletal imps doomed to haunt the forest forever.
    • While its own version of the Lost Woods isn't particularly odd, The Legend of Zelda Spirit Tracks definitely deserves a mention for its final area, the Dark Realm. Accessed through a dark portal that can only be found with a magic compass, it basically looks like Van Gogh's Starry Night in a black hole. Beneath the train tracks (Oh, yeah, by the way, there are train tracks. Inside an alternate dimension of pure evil.) is some kind of strange, smoky/watery "ground" that gives way to a completely different landscape right beneath it.
    • The Legend of Zelda Majoras Mask as a whole, the entire game, is made of this trope. The games's setting is a pseudo alternate dimension called Termina, and the fact that the game's titular villain is a reality warping, psychopathic eldritch abomination only makes it worse. Oh, and the closest thing you have to a mentor type character may or may not be a dimension hopping mastermind who planted Majora's mask on purpose.
  • The inner sections of the Pyxis (A.K.A the Box) from Clive Barker's Jericho.
  • Chzo Mythos is both this and an Eldritch Abomination, a pain elemental who satiates himself with tortured victims trapped inside his labyrinthine corridors for all eternity.
  • The interaction of Hyperspace Is a Scary Place and Pathspace in Immortal Defense produces one of these. From Pathspace, Hyperspace looks like a twisty path across a 2D plane, and from Hyperspace, Pathspace is the home of vindictive demigods who rain psychic death upon unwary travelers. The protagonist is one of these demigods.
  • Dwarf Fortress: The Adamantine Spire, a.k.a. the Adamantine Space Elevator. The weirdest part is that even when other people tried to recreate it using the same worldgen seed, it didn't show up. Current theories are that it's due to interference from old save data.
    • Fridge Horror: Considering what adamantine veins like the spire usually contain, it looks like whatever counts as Heaven in the Dorf 'verse is in for some serious Fun.
    • Some of the more convoluted succession forts such as Battlefailed become this. Battlefields had the temporally locked dwarves in the arena, Headshoots had the room outside of space, ect.
  • The Distortion World from Pokémon Platinum falls under this. Floating masses of land in a giant vortex, giant plants that sprout randomly out of nowhere, disappearing platforms, and waterfalls that float up are just a few features to be found. Not to mention that the only thing living in there is the Eldritch Abomination known as Giratina.
  • The Dark Rift from Skies of Arcadia.
  • Castlevania is an Eldritch Location and houses several Eldritch Abominations to boot. The discrepancy that crops up between the games is lampshaded and handwaved with a comment that the castle is "a creature of chaos." The castle can take many shapes and forms, picking and choosing when and if it wants to follow the laws of physics.
    • Hell, in the installment that gave us that Hand Wave (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night), the whole castle has an inverted duplicate revealed halfway through. You and the monsters fall towards and walk around on the ceiling. All the furniture is still on the floor. It is never explained why a second castle just appears out of the clouds, nor why it's upside down. And then there's the two mirrored split castles in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, which are somehow both the extension of Maxim's will...
  • Both final levels of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. The one from the first game, appropriately titled The End Of The World, is basically the remains of any and every world destroyed by The Heartless, and the one from the second game, The World That Never Was is a dark city overrun by Heartless overlooked by the warped castle that is the headquarters of Organization XIII, and its moon is apparently "the heart of reality itself."
    • In fact, the concept of the worlds makes them Eldritch Locations: They are apparently separated by barriers, but are described as sharing the same skies (for that last bit, what does Sora mean in Japanese?).
    • Birth by Sleep Final Mix gives us a deeper look at the Realm of Darkness, where the Heartless originate from. The new Secret Ending also shows that not all worlds are destroyed when consumed by the darkness...
  • Persona 3 has Tartarus, an ever-changing tower that only exists during the Dark Hour, and acts as a pathway from the world of Death and the Collective Unconsciousness from which humanity's Shadows can manifest. FES adds the Abyss of Time as its inverted twin.
    • Persona 4 has rather the creepy TV World, which once again, is the Collective Unconsciousness being forced to manifest via the "mind" of mass media. Subverted in the True Ending, where lifting the final veil of deceit from mankind's heart turns the Collective Unconsciousness itself into the Ghibli Hills.
    • Strange Journey has the Schwarzwelt. It is effectively a void over Antarctica where demons appear, overwriting Earth with their own reality. The Investigation Team's mission is to analyze and nullify the Schwarzwelt before it can consume the entire world. The game over screen shows what happens if your character dies...it ain't pretty.
      • The fun part is that the UN sent cameras into the Schwarzwelt during the planning stages...and nobody believed the results (one of them was a shopping mall). Turns out they were all accurate (but you don't want to eat the food in the shopping mall...).
    • Nocturne mostly takes place within the Vortex World, a chaotic, demon infested realm that the Earth reverts to when it comes time for a new world order to be decided. Naturally, it's up to you to shape it as you see fit. For bonus points, it's a truly literal form of Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe.
  • Xen, the "border-world" from Half-Life.
  • Everytime you fly through Bydo Dimension in R-Type, especially the Mind Screw territory of the final stages of Delta and, well, Final.
    • To put in specific terms, the Bydo Dimension in Delta, which is depicted in the picture above, looks like a twisted version of our world with babies encased in crystals, upside-down buildings, huge strands of DNA, and a weird forest of Bydo Trees. The Bydo Dimension in Final is an abyss full of fluid inhabited by eyeballs and the creature implied to be the real source of the Bydo. The Bydo Tree forest bit also appears in Final as a hidden stage. There is also a stage in Final that takes place in a weird dimension where there is only the player, a slug Bydo named Nomemayer, and particles of light that can turn anything and anyone into a Bydo. And there's Anti-Space, a dimension created by some Bydo guys named Gridlock.
  • In the final level of D-Generation, what before looked like an ordinary office building (albeit with hyperactive security measures) suddenly turns into a bizarre surreal nightmare. Oh, hi there headless guy! Well that's an interesting fractal background!
  • Dragon Age has the Fade, the place people (except dwarves) go when they dream, full of spirits and demons and doubling as Heaven, Hell and everything in between. Characters are trapped in their own "mini-Hells" (reflecting their own lives), the sky is full of floating mountains (heavily implied to be other, infinitely large hells) and the Black City is visible wherever you go.
    • And in the DLC Witch Hunt, Morrigan implies that beyond the Fade there are places that are even stranger where she's keeping her Demon Baby safe from her evil mom.
    • Amgarrak Thaig, the titular location of Golems of Amgarrak is definitely one, protected from the outside by a maze of shifting mist and having Lyrium Wells that were designed to phase-shift people into alternate versions of the Thaig in order to better safeguard its secrets.
    • The sequel brings us Kirkwall. Yes, that's right: the main setting. It's subtle, though; you can go through the whole game just thinking the whole place is a Crapsack City-State, but certain notes you find indicate that not only is the Veil unnaturally thin over the entire area, entire neighborhoods are constructed in the shapes of blood magic sigils, there are likely lakes of blood beneath the streets that still haven't dried, but demons are actively drawn to the place like flies to the point where they occasionally hunt non-mages because there's too much competition. And that's before you factor in Corypheus' corrupting presence from his Grey Warden Prison in the nearby Vimmark Mountains.
      • It - or very nearby - is actually where the magisters entered the Black City (sacrificing hundreds of slaves in a blood ritual in the process) and were transformed, like Corypheus, into darkspawn, causing the Blights. Kirkwall is basically the Dragon Age verse's version of the Hellmouth....
    • The Primeval Thaig is definitely one, built by prehistoric Dwarves that worshipped a pantheon of deities, constructed using magic thus giving it some degree of Alien Geometry, posessing a unique form of Red Lyrium running throughout the structure itself and inhabited by creatures like the Profane that Varric claims were supposed to be myth. It was also the location where Hawke and company first encountered the Lyrium Idol.
    • In an older BioWare example, the Spirit World of Jade Empire is similarly weird.
  • Homeworld: Cataclysm's Beast is said to come from "Outside". In the titular fanfic, Outside is taken to mean the highest level of Hyperspace.
  • The NES game The Magic of Scheherazade has the Eldritch Abomination Goragora trapped in ancient times in the "Dark World" (not to be confused with a Dark World), and the villain threatening to release it once more. He eventually learns the hard way that Evil Is Not a Toy, and begs the heroes to enter the Dark World and keep it from escaping. Beyond the gate and past the Point of No Return, the Very Definitely Final Dungeon looks like a starswept black abyss with walls and columns made out of transparent bubbles.
  • In Final Fantasy II, the Jade Passage and Pandaemonium.
  • In Final Fantasy IX, Terra, a parasitic other planet, actually inserted itself into Gaia long ago and is feeding off the planet from the inside. Creepy.
    • Another present in the same game is Memoria, a world formed from the collective memory of the entire planet.
  • Final Fantasy V has the Cleft of Dimensions, which is a patchwork of areas earlier swallowed up in The Void and home to many Eldritch Abominations including the game's two Nintendo Hard Bonus Bosses. The Updated Rerelease added the Sealed Temple, home to even more Bonus Bosses, including the Eldritch Abomination who created The Void.
  • Final Fantasy XI has a few that qualify, and they all tend to follow the "islands floating in nothingness" style:
    • The Promyvion areas appear to be corrupted, shadowy versions of other existing areas, topped off with haunting music and freakish looking monsters.
    • The Walk of Echoes is an area of disconnected structures floating in nothingness. It pretty much exists outside of time, and Atomos himself can be seen in the sky at all times.
    • And also the recently added Provenance areas, which are described as being the place where the source of all life comes from.
  • In Xenogears, Deus, already an Eldritch Abomination, becomes an enormous Eldritch Location in its own right.
  • The Dead Sea from Chrono Cross. It's the site of a massive Time Crash, where the canceled Bad Future from Chrono Trigger tried to reassert itself over Chronopolis. Waves of water, forever frozen in time, wash over the wreckage of the city, and at the heart is the Tower of Geddon, a conglomeration of locations from said canceled timeline haphazardly mashed together. Much later, you also go to the Darkness Beyond Time, where cancelled timelines are sent and where the Time Devourer lurks.
    • Its prequel Chrono Trigger already had the End of Time, the place where all possible time lines meet. As far as eldritch locations go, it's actually fairly harmless. The Updated Rerelease added a few more such as the Dimensional Vortexes, areas where time and space are essentially broken. The Darkness Beyond Time also makes an appearance.
  • In Wild ARMs 2, the Encroaching Parallel Universe "Kuiper Belt" is one of the most Nightmare Fuel examples yet.
  • In the original Phantasy Star series, the very Algol star system it takes place in is an enormous lock for a dreadful Sealed Evil in a Can. And the lock isn't exactly completely intact.
  • The titular planet in Albion looks like some alien world with primitive civilizations at first. Until it is revealed that it operates under completely different laws the Earth does. The fact that it's actually a sentient (benevolent) being, has something to do with it.
  • The tunnels under Pathways into Darkness's pyramid are actually the nightmares of a catatonic Eldritch Abomination made real.
  • Several places in the Warcraft universe qualify. Chief among them is Outland. It was formed when the planet Draenor was torn apart by multiple interdimensional gateways being opened on the surface. It's now a continent with several different ecosystems, some of which are healthy and normal, or at least, as normal as the rest of this universe. However, the continent is surrounded by, rather than an ocean, an edge, and if you walk off it you fall into nothingness. It also has an Alien Sky, which is sunless but otherwise mysteriously normal in some zones, but looks like energy cascading through space in other places. In several places there are Floating Islands, some of which have water perpetually falling off them with no source. Other examples in the Warcraft universe:
    • The Maelstrom. A hole in the world into which the ocean is perpetually draining. The constant attention of several powerful shamans is required to keep the world from falling apart through it.
    • Deepholm. It can be reached by flying into the Maelstrom. It is the home of earth elementals and other creatures native to the elemental plane, so it's not supposed to be comfortable to flesh-and-blood creatures like playable races. It is a massive cave with a rock-based ecosystem and rock pillars that float in the air.
  • The World of Mammon in Quest 64. The environment drastically changes with each transition, doors never lead to the same place twice, the sky is always the wrong the color, and the music is creepy as heck. The inhabitants are just as unnerving: among them are Living Statues that have more than a passing resemblance to the Weeping Angels. Of course, the entire place is the prison/domain of a demonic Eldritch Abomination.
  • Minecraft has a couple of these:
    • The Nether is a deliberate example. Once you finish the mining tech tree and craft a diamond pickaxe, you can build an obsidian Hell Gate and enter a skyless world filled with steep cliffs, lava lakes, and giant jellyfish that spit fireballs at you while flying out of reach of your arrows. Not only will your compass spin around aimlessly, so will your watch. However, any distance traveled inside the Nether is multiplied by eight once you return to the normal world, so it can be used to travel long distances relatively quickly, once you finish digging tunnels and building bridges.
    • The Far Lands are an unintentional example. The entire world is procedurally generated, so the game just keeps creating more land the farther you explore. However, if you travel too far, bugs start affecting map generation, block physics, item behavior, and mob pathfinding. The game's creator has stated that although he could fix this in a future update, he doesn't intend to, since it takes over 800 hours to legitimately walk that far, and the only players likely to reach it are those specifically looking for it. He also likes the idea of the laws of physics breaking down around the "edge" of an "infinite" map.
      • For bonus points, the Nether has its own Far Lands.
      • As of Beta 1.8, the large changes to the terrain generator made the Far Lands not generate anymore. Some were saddened by the loss of such a unique bug. Others breathed a sigh of relief.
    • The latest update added an area called "The End," only accessible through portals found in fortresses deep underground. It's a barren island floating in void, it's swarming with Endermen, the sky is perpetually dark, and a black dragon flies among a group of obsidian pillars.
  • The Breach starts off on an ordinary spaceship, but towards the end things start to shift into a mountainous region filled with yellow mist and glowing glyphs.
  • Mass Effect 2 has the derelict Reaper, which can still indoctrinate despite being dead for 37 million years, and the Collector Base, an immense space station located in the accretion disc at the heart of the galaxy, which serves as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon.
  • The Subspace of "Subspace Emissary" in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is this coupled with Amazing Technicolor Battlefield. And it only gets weirder when the parts of the regular world that were dragged into the Subspace are assembled into the Great Maze.
  • The Legend of Spyro Trilogy has Convexity, a gateway between the main world and the Dark Realms, occupied by the Dark Master. It's the location of the final boss battle, featuring floating platforms and strange whale-like creatures with tentacles.
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron has the Tower, where the majority of the game takes place. Each floor of the tower is ruled by a fallen angel and is essentially its own pocket universe where that angel and its followers live. Locations range from a burned-out wasteland to a cutesy cartoon-like world of colorful blocks and balloons to a futuristic Tron-like cityscape (complete with cycle combat!) to an underwater world. There's also the Darkness, a location that corrupts everything that falls into it and is where the souls of the angels' followers end up instead of Heaven.
  • The Neath. It is very difficult to die because it's downstream of Hell. Finding one's way around it can be literally maddening.
  • The entire world of Limbo. It's dark (as in pitch-black save for the rare spot of light), silent, and literally everything is after your blood. Or your brains.
  • STALKER is set in the Zone of Exclusion surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after its infamous meltdown. Referred to simply as "the Zone", said location has become a place when only the most heavily-armed and foolhardy ever set foot due to both massive amounts of leftover nuclear radiation and incredibly weird shit. You've got your standard mutants, bandits and unfriendly soldiers, but the Zone in STALKER doesn't need any of those things to kill you in unimaginably horrible ways. Gravity, temperature, the causticity of your surroundings, the noxiousness of flora, physics, time and space aren't exactly constants in the Zone, and if you're caught improperly sheltered during a blowout, you'll find it's even more bizarre and even more dangerous than ever. Briefly.
  • The Mortal Kombat series has the Netherrealm, which is home to the demonic Oni and is generally about the most depressing place you can be. Of course, it is the MK universe's equivalent of Hell.
    • There's also the Chaosrealm, where as the name would imply, nothing makes any sense whatsoever. The prevailing theme of the realm and all of its inhabitants is that they adamantly refuse to conform to any set of rules (especially the laws of physics). It is even implied at one point in Deception's Konquest mode that natives of other realms who stay there long enough will inevitably be driven insane as their mind struggles to make sense of the place.
  • The Boundary, as seen in the BlazBlue series can be classified as this - a nexus for all timelines, and so chock-full of nastiness and Mind Rape that mere entry can destroy you in some shape or form. Precisely seven beings are known to have traveled through the Boundary, either for Time Travel or some other reason.
    • Ragna the Bloodedge: Involuntarily dumped into the Cauldron at Kagutsuchi via Nu. Becomes Bloodedge, forfeits Azure Grimoire and memories in the process, emerges 100 years in the past.
    • Nu: Tosses self into the Cauldron at Kagutsuchi with Ragna after conjoined impalement via Legacy Edge. Becomes the Black Beast by merging with Ragna's Azure Grimoire, emerges 100 years in the past to wreak havoc upon the world.
    • Lotte Carmine: Willfully entered the Boundary For Science!. Loses mind and body within moments, becomes Arakune.
    • Hakumen/Jin Kisaragi: Jumps into the Cauldron after Ragna and Nu. Goes back 100 years in time, succumbs to injuries sustained prior to dive, but otherwise emerges unharmed - all mental damages relate to transfer to Susano'o. Also engages Yuki Terumi in a duel as a diversion so Jubei and Claudius Alucard can banish Terumi to the Boundary. Emerges 90 years later at 20% power, but is physically and mentally unharmed otherwise.
    • Yuki Terumi: Banished to the Boundary during engagement with Hakumen. Effects on mental state indeterminate due to continuum shift induced insanity.
    • Relius Clover: Enters the Cauldron for reasons unknown. Emerges 80 years later, physically unharmed; memories are jumbled during transfer, but are quickly reset to pre-jump state.
    • Makoto Nanaya: Loses consciousness in proximity to Cauldron at Ibukido due to Prime Field Device activity, emerges in Wheel of Fortune timeline. Travels back to Continuum Shift timeline with aid of Rachel Alucard. Zero physical and mental degradation in both transfers.
  • Historia in Radiant Historia, as well as Granorg's Royal Hall. Its final boss Apocrypha also looks something like this, albeit shrunk.
  • The universe of The Elder Scrolls. The planets are not actually planets but the planes of the gods appearing as such due to mortals being unable to comprehend it, the twin moons Masser and Secunda are the representation of Lorkhan's rotting divinity, and the nebulae are "un-stars". The stars themselves, including the sun, are actually holes in reality created when the Aedra fled Mundus.
    • The many planes of Oblivion would also count.
  • Astral Chaos in the Soul Series is a timeless alternate dimension from which the Soul Swords originate, and is filled with lost souls and an Eldritch Abomination or two.
  • The Labyrinth of Deceit in {{Kid Icarus|Uprising}} is a maze full of fake walls, holographic asteroid belts, gravity inversion switches, and disappearing paths. And even when you're not caught up in an illusion, the walls, ceilings, and floors are decorated... odd. And did we mention it's found inside a Space Rift?
  • Hang Castle in Sonic Heroes, but especially its interior, Mystic Mansion. In the daytime, it's a normal abandoned castle, albeit an exceptionally large one. At night, the exteriors seemingly extend endlessly in all directions, and gravity doesn't always point downwards. Once inside, rooms suddenly change topography (sometimes when Sonic and the others are in it), things pop in and out from impossible places, there seems to be a physical upside-down version of the mansion underneath the normal one, dumbwaiter tracks twist and contort while zooming off at high speeds, Eggman's robots pop up out of thin air (presumably intentionally), and what is supposed to be a well is full of weird vaguely water-like texture in all directions with a few small brick platforms suspended in it.
  • Monster Girl Quest Paradox:
    • The Tartarus are seven enormous craters scattered all over the world, following the Great Disaster. Their interiors contain strange combinations of other places like buildings and forests, populated by the powerful and twisted Apoptosis monsters. They also contain advanced machines, far beyond anything else in the setting.
    • Hades is a strange floating landmass, implied to be the afterlife, where Reaper resides. It contains representations of every boss encountered in the game, which can be refought here. Luka can access it when he dies (and it allows him to come back to life) or through a strange door in Ilias Temple. However, his party members cannot enter it, or even perceive him going through said door. If he accesses it via the door, then he will be accompanied by representations of his party members that are based on his memories (according to Reaper).


Web Comics[edit | hide]

  • Ravenfell in Overlord of Ravenfell is a sentient fortress made of black crystal, created through mysterious means. Beneath it is a magically shifting maze full of traps and monsters.
  • Homestuck:
    • The Furthest Ring, a Place Beyond Time which is the home of the Horrorterrors, the Green Sun (a star with the mass of two universes, which breaks several laws of physics), and the afterlife (which exists as a series of dream bubbles). Time and space behave in incomprehensible ways in the Furthest Ring, and both become less reliable the longer you stay (or the further you go). For example, when Dave and Rose try to fly out to the Green Sun, they end up arriving in the distant past.
    • Dream bubbles themselves may count, as within them the conventional laws of time and space don't apply, as one can warp from memory to memory, effectively traveling forward and back in time and anywhere in space. Locations can even converge in such a way that they're a mis-match of memories of the various dreamers/dead people. For example, in one there was a mixture between Jade's island, Kanaya's home, a ruin Aradia was exploring, and some other elements.
  • Sluggy Freelance has plenty. The alternative dimensions vary from almost identical to the "normal" one to as bizarre as you like. One example: The Never is a hellish world where spirits become solid and living creatures become even more so than usual. Other Eldritch Locations can be found without even travelling between dimensions. Each dimension is surrounded by Timeless Space, where time is only carried by objects and creatures and will eventually run out for each of them, freezing it in place. The two Tomes of Eldritch Lore Book of E-Ville and Wayang Kulit each contain or give access into a different kind of symbolic nightmarish world that builds itself around the thoughts of an entering character.
  • The Palm Tree Ghost's realm is turning out to be more and more this way in Our Little Adventure.


Web Original[edit | hide]

  • Many SCPs are Eldritch Locations. Some of them also qualify as Eldritch Abominations since they are alive.
    • There's also the "Red Sea Object", which takes people into an alternate universe where "a god-like being of unknown origin" instigated a massive holy war hundreds of years ago, with apocalyptic results, and now giant, immortal Uncanny Valley monsters roam the land, absorbing anyone who catches their attention.
  • Homestar Runner has Sweet Puttin' Cakes, a miniature golf course "every bit as messed up as the cartoon on which it's based." Residents of Free Country, USA find themselves inexplicably teleported there simply by desiring to play miniature golf. The first hole is the "worm"hole, the 18th hole has par infinity, and the only way to leave is to will yourself back to reality. When Strong Bad returns, he remarks that his mouth "tastes like backwards."
    • We could go ahead and classify the Sweet Cuppin' Cakes world (which is apparently a real location) as an Eldritch Location. Just think of the inhabitants! A Strong Bad with a keyboard head, a black-and-white-talking wheelchair, a talking worm in a hole that appears to be able to warp from place to place. There's also the fact that characters can come from nowhere and that everything appears to be able to utilize hammerspace.
  • Cold Storage
    • Much of the whole facility, really. Especially the brig, with that growing dark pit and half of its gravity reversed.
  • Brian's house in Marble Hornets became this. It doesn't fully follow the laws of reality and it is connected to burnt-out industrial looking building that is laden with Nightmare Fuel.
  • Sarah Waite's (yes, the last name is meaningful) dorm room at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. It's even called the Lovecraft Room.
  • Nyx Crossing, a mysterious area that centers around a section of railroad track. According to the natives, "There is no distance," and there is a mysterious monster that stalks the characters.
  • The Fear Mythos gives us the Empty City: a possibly living city located in an alternate dimension. The city is huge, changes every time you turn a corner, and is completely devoid of all souls.
  • In The Dionaea House, the titular "dionaea house".
  • Parodied in Chip Cheezum's Let's Play of 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand with the "Fiddy Zone", a glitch where background textures fail to load during a Counter Kill, leaving Fiddy and his opponent in a void covered by film grain.
  • Wherever the hell it is that the Happy Tree Friends universe takes place in. MY GOODNESS.
  • in Demon Thesis, the four main characters attend a small liberal arts college in Canada, when a manipulative entity from another dimension begins altering reality. Only afterward do the main characters learn that their school was originally founded by an occultist who knew that the location was a place where our dimension was unusually close to and could interact with other dimensions. Said occultist intended the university to inform about the dangers of this and form a line of defense against threats, but over time the school transformed into a fairly normal university and most occult/supernatural elements have been discarded.


Western Animation[edit | hide]

  • The Spirit World in Avatar: The Last Airbender.
  • The Ghost Zone in Danny Phantom which serves as an "opposite" dimension to Earth. Home to ghosts, it's a massive world where its sky is a swirl of eerie green and black. Surrounding the majority of the GZ are (usually small) floating lands—it's rare to find giant land masses since ghosts don't really need to walk—and multiple floating doors that lead to various ghostly realms, all unique, surreal, and different based on how it fits the ghostly inhabitants.
  • Although it's much more light-hearted than most, Wacky Land in Tiny Toon Adventures probably qualifies.
    • The original Wacky Land, however, featured in at least one Looney Toon short and its color remake, varies from merely inexplicable to subtly menacing in its bizarreness.
  • The Web in Re Boot. Dark and organic looking in comparison to The Net's bright technological look.
  • The Real Ghostbusters made regular use of these. From the Bogeyman's home dimension to a sneak peek at the end of the world to a ghostly pirate TV station, the series enjoyed dropping the Ghostbusters in places where physics didn't work right and the architect expected the residents to be capable of phasing through walls.
  • Springfield in The Simpsons could very well count at this point. One look at the Separate Simpsons Geography Thing page should tell you all you need to know.
  • My Little Pony Friendship Is Magic plays with this via the Everfree Forest. While home to an assortment of beastly critters—like manticores, sea serpents and cockatrices—the ponies also regard it as horrific and unnatural because everything there takes care of itself. The plants grow on their own, the animals don't need to be looked after, the weather runs without help...it's surreal!
  • Superjail is full of these, especially within Superjail itself, but the Time Court and Time Jail in "Time Police" take the cake. Considering it's a place where all living beings from all corners of the universe and time work or are tried and imprisoned, this is to be expected.
  • A Family Guy skit shows Peter going into the 'beyond' section of 'Bed, Bath, and Beyond' which is a black void filled with various floating formulas and the like...and the coffee mugs he was looking for.
  • A room with a moose. A dimension of pure dookie.
  • The Nightosphere in Adventure Time, home loads of creepy demons and is essentially Hell.


Real Life[edit | hide]

  • The page quote from Zauriel, above, well describes the surface of the sun. The innards of a star, the depths of a gas giant and the vacuum of deep space all feature mechanical properties that are incomprehensibly alien in comparison to the natural laws as we know them. Small and frail is the magical bubble in which we live and thrive.
    • We can do better than that: Black holes! Also, Calabi-Yau space, the universe before the Big Bang, and pretty much anything beyond the universe. And the inside of an atom. Actually, the modern understanding of physics pretty much requires a lot of drugs to understand.
      • Some of these have since put to contest - for example, the quantum physics as we know it doesn't allow an absolute singularity to form, even though General Relativity does, which may mean that no "true" black holes exist, whereas other theories challenge the idea of the Big Bang as the start of the Universe - it has already been all but disproved in the form it's being taught in schoolbooks, but the event's exact nature still eludes the scientists, and there are multiple conflicting theories without enough evidence to pick one over the others.
  • The Internet. Think about it: it manages to serve as a place, the Voice of the Legion, and an intoxicant without actually existing in the physical way most things in the universe do, it has its own laws of physics (most of which are too complex for an average person to understand) and social norms, mere exposure to it alters human behavior, it's constantly growing, changing, and altering itself, and if you tried to comprehend all of it, your brain would die screaming.
    • In that case, I'm just going to go ahead and say that Disneyworld counts as well.
  • Singularities in general are this in whatever system they might manifest in. Simply, a "singularity" is an instance in a system where the normal rules of the system are inapplicable.
  • Planets with high gravity or atmospheric pressure can make for some extremely odd locations. There is one exoplanet for example that the scientists believe to be covered in boiling hot ice due to such conditions.
  • The Universe itself, if you think about it hard enough. All of those things exist within it, everything makes sense if you understand it but if you don't, it makes none whatsoever; and even that which is understandable is mostly mind-boggling. And think about the fact that in the vast, deep, huge expanse, there is only one, tiny, infinitesimally small space upon which we can exist. And even on that tiny spec, there is only a small bit ('cause remember the Earth is mostly ocean and we can't go in that, barely) that we can exist in. So a tiny, tiny spot in the infinitely large Universe. Yeah, go ahead and say the Universe doesn't count.
  • The Ocean, especially way deep down in the trenches. Creatures born without what we would see as vital to living, pillars of sulfur belch toxic superheated smoke, the pressure so intense even thick steel can be crushed easily; and that's just scraping the surface of what's down there. Supposedly, there's more undiscovered species down there than there are extinct species.
  • Gravity hills. Technically, they're optical illusions, but to the unenlightened, they might as well be these.
  1. though most viewers will be distracted by the fact that both of them are naked and she is sitting on top of him, straddling his waist during the entire dialogue...and their crotches appear to be physically merged with no sign of their...ehm, private parts
  2. This is because the evil Powers That Be have occupied the Dark Tower and are trying to destroy it from within.