I Don't Like the Sound of That Place

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

Agent: We have places your family can hide in peace and security: Cape Fear, Terror Lake, New Horrorfield, Screamville --
Homer: (enthusiastically) Ooh, Ice Creamville!
Agent: Er, no, Screamville.
Homer: (scared) Aah!

The Simpsons, "Cape Feare"

Some cities have cute names. Some weird names. And some have no name at all.

And then there are these places. They have names like 'Doomville', 'New Evilsberg', 'Murder Plains', and 'Hell's Bathroom, New Jersey'. It doesn't matter if it's one of the nicest towns you've ever seen, if it's named Death City, it's one of these places.

Note: if the place has a bad reputation, but the name itself is not scary (like Camp Crystal Lake or Sunnydale), it does not count. These are places that tell you right up front: this is not a nice place.

Related to Doomy Dooms of Doom. The location counterpart to Names to Run Away From Really Fast. The inverted version of this trope would be Super Fun Happy Thing of Doom, except in that trope, the thing must be actually bad.

You probably won't want to visit places with names like these:

Anime and Manga

Flonne: It's exactly like Sardia said! "Go through the Forest of Evil, crawl along the Cliffs of Despair, and cross the Bridge of the Damned."

Upamon: It's the Forbidden Valley of No Return!
Kari: Why do bad guys always name things like that?
TK: It's in their job description! It's right after really stinky breath!
Cody: Even if this place was called "The Valley of Duckies and Bunnies", with a control spire there, there's trouble.

    • ("Duckies and bunnies" proceeds to become a minor Running Gag in the episode.)
  • One Piece has Punk Hazard.
  • "Hinamizawa" ("Bird-Watching Town") is a fairly innocuous name in Japanese for a small town. However, it used to be known as "Onigafuchi", which translates roughly as "Demon's Abyss".
  • Naruto--
    • The Forest of Death.
    • The Valley of The End, or Kirigakure (aka the Village Hidden in The Mist), which, during Yagura's reign as Mizukage, came to be known (unofficially) as Chigiri no Sato (or the Village of the Bloody Mist).
  • Claw's hideout Dead River from Kimba the White Lion.

Comic Books

  • Batman: Crime Alley. Also Blüdhaven.
    • Crime Alley was only given that name after all the... crime... that happened there. It was originally called the much tamer "Park Row".
    • Gotham itself would count as this a bit, though at least it was founded a couple hundred years before the 'gothic' genre became a class of stylized horror story.
    • "Arkham" has been a word that has suggested madness even before Arkham Asylum first appeared (in Batman #258, October 1974) having been the name of a city that appeared in at least three of H. P. Lovecraft's stories.
  • Superman: One Metropolis neighborhood's name on city maps is Hob's Bay, but the locals call it something else: Suicide Slum.
    • It's where the more successful versions of Lex Luthor hail from. Other origin stories include Smallville and Overlord, Jr..
    • Metropolis also has Suicide Swamp on the outskirts of town. Those people do not know a thing about marketing.
  • Sin City, although its actual name is Basin City.
  • Daredevil and Hell's Kitchen. That said, Hell's Kitchen is a real neighborhood in New York. (It has become considerably safer and more upscale in the decades since Daredevil was first launched. But the Marvel Universe cares not.)
  • Fantastic Four: Doomstadt, capital city of Latveria. Dr. Doom named several other towns in Latveria after himself as well.
  • Joe McCarthy Elementary, future Alma Mater of Amelia and her friends in Amelia Rules!. The school motto is: "Weeding out the wrong element since 1952".
  • Slaughter Swamp, birthplace of Solomon Grundy in The DCU.
  • The Ms. Tree story "The Devil's Punchbowl" involves the investigation of a murder at a geological feature known as 'the Devil's Punchbowl'. (There are actually several places in the real world bearing this name.)

Fan Works

Films -- Animation

Jake: So, which way you taking? Suicide Trail, Nightmare Canyon, or the shortcut, Satan's Ridge?
Bernard: S-S-Suicide Trail?
Jake: Good choice! More snakes, but less quicksand. And once you pass Bloodworm Creek you're scot free. That is until Dead Dingo Cross.

    • Jake is messing with Bernard. He wants his girl. That said, some of this information could be correct. Australia is scary.
    • The primary setting of the original Rescuers film is named "Devil's Bayou."
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: the entire path to the T. rex nest, named by a Crazy Survivalist. At one point he's asked:

Crash: Why is it called the "Gorge of Death"?
Buck: We tried calling it "The Big Smelly Crack" but people kept giggling.

Films -- Live Action

Driscoll: Why would [the crew] be spooked? What's [the island] called?
Denham: Alright, it has a local name, but I'm warning you Jack, it doesn't sound good.

    • After the reveal:

Driscoll: What's wrong with this place?
Denham There's nothing officially wrong with it... Because, technically, it hasn't been discovered yet.

  • In Jurassic Park, the island chain Isla Sorna is part of (Isla Nublar is not part of the same chain) is called Las Cinco Muertes, or The Five Deaths. Apparently the name comes from some local legend, and all five islands are named after a form of torture or execution. Isla Nublar, the island from the original book/film on the other hand means Cloudy Island.
  • Pirates of the Caribbean--

"You know, for all that pirates are clever clogs, we are an unimaginative lot when it comes to naming things."

    • Isla Cruces - from the (medieval) Latin cruciare, meaning "to torture".
      • Possibly reading a bit too much into it. "Cruces" is Spanish for "crosses" (or "intersections", depending on the gender of the pronoun, though "Isla Cruces" is grammatically incorrect either way. It's also the second person singular form of the verb "cruzar", to cross). And naming things after Catholic objects of veneration is something of an hispanohablante linguistic hobby.
  • Star Wars has the Death Star, in orbit around the prison planet Despayre.
  • The title town from Darkness Falls. Nope, nothing bad ever happens there. Honest.
  • Lampshaded in Without a Paddle when Seth Green's character asks why all the places that they have to travel to have Satanic names.
  • In Batman Forever, Riddler builds his base on Claw Island. The Agony Booth's recap of the movie finds it "convenient", saying "subsequent supervillains will have to make do with building their bases on Gumdrop Island, or Fluffy Bunny Atoll."
  • Monty Python and the Holy Grail: "Seek you the Bridge of Death!"
    • Where, if you get a question wrong, "you are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril."
    • The Castle of Aaaarrrggh may or may not be an example.
    • Castle Anthrax.
      • But...that's a very nice place...
        • No no no, its really very perilous.
  • The first Spy Kids film had a city called San Diablo (literally, "Saint Devil").
  • Cutthroat Island.
  • In the Scooby-Doo live-action film, Shaggy and Scooby are unwilling to visit Spooky Island. In fact, they have a whole list of "forbidden" place names - including "scary", "haunted", "forbidden" or "hydroclonic"
  • The Princess Bride has the Cliffs of Insanity, the Fire Swamp and the Zoo of Death.
  • In one of the Three Stooges shorts, Gents Without Cents (1944) the boys are acting out a skit for dockworkers. Curly is given a suicide mission to deliver a message. His directions are, "Now, you go through Skeleton Pass, over Murder Meadow, to Massacre Junction. Then you follow the trail to Poison Creek, around Funeral Mountain, and head directly for Dead Man's Gulch."
  • Played with in the prequel Tremors movie, in which Perfection, Nevada is still known by its older name of Rejection. Locals kick themselves over that, because nobody seems to want to move there.
  • The Scorpion King. There's a reason they call it "The Valley of the Dead".
  • Shadow Woods Apartments from Blood Rage.
  • A sign seen in Terror at Tenkiller mentions a town named Gore.
  • Hell Township in Santa's Slay.
  • Bitter Lake. A place where everyone talks interminably with badly puppeteered mouths, up until they get their sorry carcass assassinated.
  • Cape Fear. Which is a real place, by the way.
  • Aliens - LV-426 is cheerily named Acheron. When you name places after rivers in Hell, they can't be good.
  • Sufferton from Seed.
  • The horror movie Jennifer's Body takes place in the town of Devil's Kettle, Minnesota.


  • The Lord of the Rings: Mount Doom.
    • Mordor itself, as it's suggestive of the Latin "mors", which means death, and is a bit too close to the related word "murder" for comfort. In-story, the name still qualifies: it means "Black Country", in reference to its wasted state and perpetual shadow. Most of the foregoing also applies to Moria (the Black Chasm), which the Dwarves call by a different name (Khazad-Dûm, "the Dwarf-delving").
    • Other places with ominous Quenya or Sindarin names include Dol Guldur (the hill of dark magic) and Minas Morgul (the tower of black magic).
    • The Dead Marshes.
    • Mordor gains a bit of Narm after reading one parody in which, when Sam and Frodo are worried about getting through the main gate, Gollum explains that there are "more doors." The heroes find it easy to enter, as there are too many doors to keep them all guarded. Now just try to avoid thinking about that next time you hear it.
    • Also Cirith Ungol and assorted places. Frodo and Sam may be excused, because many location names are only told to the reader and not the protagonists. But it still adds some amusement to the chapter when you translate the elvish location names - and realize that they are trying to reach the Pass Of The Huge Evil Monster Spider, climb the Stairs To The Pass Of The Huge Evil Monster Spider and finally enter the Cave Of The Huge Evil Monster Spider - and then slowly begin to wonder if that pass is really as unguarded as they thought...
    • As The New Yorker noted in its review of The Movie of The Two Towers, such a name definitely makes things easier when asking for directions.
  • The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien also has a variety of locations which can be translated variously as the Grinding Ice, the Gasping Dust, the Hill of Slain, the Mountains of Horror, and the Valley of Dreadful Death.
  • Shadowmarch from the eponymous novel by Tad Williams.
  • Played with in the Discworld book Carpe Jugulum, which has in Überwald a very lovely tourist spot called Dontgonearthe Castle (Don't Go Near The Castle), which also has various other signs like "Last Chance Not to Go Near the Castle".
    • Nanny Ogg has a set of rules about places like Dontgonearthe Castle, which are basically a series of instructions that go "having ignored the previous instruction, don't perform the next step in your inevitable demise," up until you've met your inevitable demise, when it's "having been bitten by the vampire, don't come crying to me."
  • The Blasted Heath from the The Colour Out of Space by HP Lovecraft.
  • In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the eponymous island's name is Skeleton Island.
    • Not exactly Canon, but in The Pyrates, George Macdonald Frazer suggests that the Dead Man's Chest on which fifteen men were once marooned was in fact a sand bar that resembled the torso of a floating corpse poking out of the water.
  • Small mining town Desperation in eponymous Stephen King novel. Good for one's health, original sculptures, charming residents - fun for the whole family!
  • The Honor Harrington series gives us Camp Charon, on the planet Hades, which is in the Cerberus System, which just shows that the People's Republic of Haven is really subtle about naming its prisons.
  • Deltora Quest has loads. Dread Mountain, the Maze of the Beast, the Isle of the Dead, the City of the Rats, the Shadowlands... no wonder Lief freaked out upon seeing where his quest would lead him.
  • Red Harvest, by Dashiell Hammett, is set in the industrial town of Personville, which is almost always called Poisonville by its inhabitants.
  • The eponymous "Schlachthof-fünf" from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, the address of a Dresden POW camp during World War II. It's somewhat subverted by the fact that the prison camp is, through a clerical error, remarkably well supplied, and is one of the few safe places when the Allies bomb the city.
  • In the Shannara series, the Warlock Lord live in Skull Mountain, in the centre of Skull Kingdom.
  • The Three Investigators seem to keep ending up at places like this: Terror Castle, Skeleton Island, Phantom Lake, Monster Mountain, Death Trap Mine, Shark Reef, Wrecker's Rock...
  • House Bolton in A Song of Ice and Fire, reluctant bannermen to House Stark, have their primary seat at a lovely little place called the Dreadfort. As their banner is that of a flayed man, one can imagine the sorts of things that historically took place there - and still do.
    • Other ominous names in Westeros: The Haunted Forest, Hellholt, Shipbreaker Bay.
    • In Essos, a ruined city used as the equivalent of a leper colony is called The Sorrows, and a particularly dangerous stretch of land is known as the Demon Road.
    • Sometimes this is played with: the grim sounding Winterfell is the home of some of the story's biggest protagonists.
  • Doc Savage: Fear Cay
  • The island of Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears) in the Young Bond novel Hurricane Gold.
  • Cthulhu Mythos stories love these names: The Devil's Hop-yard, the blasted heath, Stregoicavar ("Witch-Town").
  • Several feature in the titles of the Joanna Brady mysteries by JA Jance: Skeleton Canyon, Rattlesnake Crossing, Outlaw Mountain, Devil's Claw. Why does anyone live in Cochise County?
  • Arthurian romances are full of castles that fit this trope. E.g. Perlesvaus, where one of the major bad guys hangs out in Castle Mortal; the Livre d' Artus has a Castle of Death; the Prose Tristan a Castle of Tears, which Malory calls the Doleful City; in Yvain, there's a Castle of the Most Ill Adventure; Malory has a Castle Perilous as well, not to mention Dolorous Guard. None of them sound like ideal holiday destinations.
  • The Wheel of Time has important events take place in Shadow's Waiting, the Blight, the Mountains of Dhoom and the Aiel Waste. Less plot-important locations include Kinslayer's Dagger (a small mountain range) and the Sea of Storms.
  • The Darke Halls in Septimus Heap.
  • Flamingo Feather by Laurens van der Post includes an area known as the Forest of Duk-aduk-duk. Which sounds pretty silly to English speakers, until it's explained that the name refers to the sound of your heart pounding in terror because it's such a spooky place. Oh, and to get to this forest, you have to pass through the Dead Land, named because it's so heavily infested by tsetse flies carrying sleeping sickness.
  • Pretty much any location in Bored of the Rings, starting with "The Sty" and going downhill from there.

Live-Action TV

  • A parody: Garth Marenghi's Darkplace.
  • Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Though Sunnydale doesn't count, the name it originally had does: Boca del Infierno or the Mouth of Hell. The Tales of the Slayers comic "The Glittering World" shows that Mayor Wilkins renamed it purposefully (also considering "Sunny Valley" and "Happydale").
  • In Doctor Who, the scenic and picturesque Death Zone on Gallifrey.
    • In "The Impossible Planet", the titular rock is somehow safely orbiting a black hole despite being far too close for comfort. The folklore of the nearest civilisation refers to the black hole as a mighty demon and the planet as "the Bitter Pill".
  • Eerie, Indiana is probably worth mentioning.
  • The challenge one week on The Gruen Transfer was to come up with an ad to promote tourism to the Canadian town of Asbestos.
  • Wild Boys: "What part of 'Dead Man's Drop' do you not understand?"
  • Power Rangers Mystic Force:

Imperious: Welcome to the Dimension of Wandering Souls!
Daggeron: With a name like that, how could I stay away?


Newspaper Comics

Recorded and Stand up Comedy

Tabletop Games

  • Dungeons & Dragons
    • A lot of modules, such as the old good Tomb of Horrors
    • Many place-names in Ravenloft are this trope as well, albeit sometimes camoflauged via Bilingual Bonus.
    • Elder Evils give Atropus, The World Born Dead; an asteroid dead-god thing-place.
    • Eberron has Cyre, or: The Mournland. It's every bit as nasty as it sounds, and then some.
    • 4e The Shadowfell, a plane filled with these. Just a few are Gloomwrought, the City of Midnight, Moil, the City That Waits, and The Shadowdark (Underdark of the Shadowfell).
      • The ludicrousness of these names was parodied by a certain Penny Arcade strip which posited that beneath the Shadowdark is the "Darkbad"—and past that, one encounters "Shadow Shadow Bo Badow," "Double Hell," and finally "Scarytown". Which isn't so bad, depending on when you go.
  • Most names cribbed from Inferno probably count (they're used in Planescape a lot). Dis, Malebolge, etc. Carceri and The Abyss probably counts as well, and did I mention the lovely town of Ribcage?
  • The infamous Chasm of DEATHDEATHDEATH.
  • Warhammer Fantasy has Death Mountain, Troll Country, Blackfire Pass, the Forest of Shadows, the Blighted Isle, the Badlands, the Spiteful Peaks and many more. None of which are good places to be. Some regions, such as Naggaroth, land of the dark elves, are full of places like this.
  • Warhammer 40,000 has an entire planet named "Armageddon". It was mentioned that the name has become a byword for destruction, so its name might translate to Armageddon in later times, not actually being that. Also, the planet got that name after 3 major wars there (named the First, Second and Third Battles for Armageddon), implying it was fairly peaceful for the many millenia humans had lived there up to that.
    • Another planet was named "Murder". As expected, the environment and wildlife devastated the expedition forces.
    • And another planet is named "Krieg" - which is German for "War".
    • The current[when?] Imperial Guard codex tells of a nightmarish world known as Birmingham. *shudder*
    • And of course, there is the Eye of Terror.
  • Infernum is set in a place called "The Pit". Because it's a giant (2400 miles deep) crater. It's divided into Circles of Hell called Emptiness, Tempest, Tears, Toil, Slaughter, Industry, Delight, Malebolge and Pandemonium. Obviously, none of these places are good to visit. Individual locations include the likes of Mayhem (center of the arms trade on Slaughter) and the Cathedral of Cracked Bones (where wounded demons are kept suspended in a state of eternal pain until either they convert to the Church of the Morningstar or are bought by somebody).
  • Exalted has shadowlands, already a foreboding sounding name, which are places where Creation and the Underworld touch. These invariably have frightening sounding names. Given Exalted's tendency for long, flowery titles, you wind up with places like the Isle of Shadows, the Font of Mourning, the Bayou of Endless Regret, and the Fields of Woe, among others.
  • Jo, a sometime narrator from Deadlands:, Hell On Earth, lampshades this trope, wondering why no-one caught on to the fact that places with nasties always have names like “Hell’s Canyon” or “the Devil’s Backbone” or the “Forest of Death”, and comments that "If you get to name something, call it the “Happy Place.” Or the “Peaceful Forest Where There Are No Freakin’ Monsters!”"
  • Pick a Lone Wolf book. Any Lone Wolf book. On the off chance that the trope doesn't appear in the title (The Chasm of Doom, The Kingdoms of Terror, Castle Death, The Jungle of Horrors and more), then it'll still most likely be present in the book somewhere.

Video Games

  • Pokémon Colosseum: Citadark Isle.
    • Also, Pyrite Town. Pyrite as in "Fool's Gold", for all the riches you will part with if you don't watch your back for hoods. One of the few good things to come out of that city happens to be ONBS.
    • Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has Turnback Cave & Sendoff Spring that appropriately lead you into a dark, heavily fogged labyrinth. Its even Lampshaded in the guidebook.
  • Half-Life: Ravenholm, though not nearly as foreboding as most examples.
  • San Heironymo Peninsula, from Portable Ops. It means "Peninsula of the Dead", according to Campbell.
    • This is either a nickname or an in-character Did Not Do the Research -- "San Heironymo" is simply Spanish for "Saint Jerome".
  • Mordavia from Quest for Glory IV. Guess what sorts of inhabitants you might meet there.
  • Monstro Town from Super Mario RPG is actually a pretty nice place.
  • RuneScape has quite a few of these.
    • Daemonheim, or "Demon halls". The fact that it is a massive cursed dungeon with Occult floors and Warped floors doesn't help.
    • The Wilderness in general. Packed with places like Graveyard of Shadows, Demonic Ruins, plus a couple of Chaos Temples.
  • Skull Island and Blood Island from The Curse of Monkey Island. Of course, Skull Island looks like something distinctly different from a skull.
  • The PC Adventure Game Shadow Of The Comet takes place in Innsmouth Illsmouth, just a small New England town that is absolutely not a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's stories, why ever would you think such a thing?
  • Silent Hill, which is just about the creepiest name for a sleepy little tourist town ever.
  • The Legend of Zelda: Death Mountain, the Shadow Temple, the Lost Woods, Forsaken Fortress... and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
  • Ecco the Dolphin: Planet Vortex, Dark Water.
  • Skies of Arcadia: The Dark Rift, the Maw of Tartas.
  • World of Warcraft: Hellfire Peninsula, Dragonblight, Plaguelands.
    • There's also Bloodmyst Isle, Duskwood, Deadwind Pass, the Swamp of Sorrows, the Blasted Lands, Shadowmoon Valley and probably a few others, and that's not even counting instances or sub-zones.
      • A lot of these places were renamed to reflect what they became. The Plaguelands were simply part of Lordaeron, the Blasted Lands used to be the Black Morass (admittedly its original name is hardly friendlier) and Bloodmyst Isle used to be called Silvergale.
    • Lampshaded in the second manga series: "The Blade's Edge Mountains... the Hellfire Citadel... is there no place in Outland that speaks of peace?" (the answer is "very few")
  • In MySims Kingdom, when you first go to Spookane, Buddy is scared of going there, but Lyndsay is sure it's just a name...
    • MOTHER 1 has a town called Spookane as well.
  • Romancing SaGa has the Isle of Evil, where Mad Scientist Ewei lives.
  • Cap au Diable from City of Villains.
    • Also, the ghost-infested Fort Hades.
    • And in City of Heroes, the literal ghost town Dark Astoria.
  • Guild Wars: Hell's Precipice, Dunes of Despair, and the Desolation. On top of those are the realms of a couple of gods: the Fissure of Woe (Balthazar) and the Realm of Torment (Abaddon's prison).
  • Both The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and EverQuest have "The Lake of Ill-Omen".
    • Basically everywhere in A Link to the Past's Dark World has a name like this: Swamp of Evil, Skeleton Forest (Skull Woods), Village of Outcasts (Thieves), Palace of Darkness, Misery Mire...
  • As it does everything else, Final Fantasy loves these. They're not even reserved for final dungeons, either:
    • Final Fantasy I: The Temple of Fiends (which is both the first and final dungeon).
    • Final Fantasy II: Pandaemonium (also appears in Final Fantasy IX).
    • Final Fantasy VI: Fanatics' Tower (part of the World of Ruin.)
    • Final Fantasy VIII: Lunatic Pandora.
    • Final Fantasy XII: Necrohol (city of the dead) of Nabudis, Nabreaus Deadlands, Mosphoran Highwaste... And individual sections within these regions have their own ominous names of doom. A sampling: Subterra: Abyssal (Pharos at Ridorana), The Lost Way (Tchita Uplands), and, best of all for creepiness, a hidden and unmapped area called The Fog Mutters (Nabreus Deadlands).
      • Final Fantasy Tactics, set in the same world, has the Necrohol of Mullonde. In the PSX version, it was Murond Death City. The map of the final battle? Graveyard of Airships.
    • Final Fantasy XIII: Hanging Edge, The Vile Peaks, Orphan's Cradle. Individual zones within also have ominous names, for example: A Silent Maelstrom and A City No Longer (Lake Bresha), Wrack And Ruin and Devastated Dreams (Vile Peaks), and Maw Of The Abyss and Deep In The Dark (Mah'habara)
  • Dwarf Fortress provides many examples, thanks to its randomly generated names. Boatmurdered is the most (in)famous, and among the most grand. Another LP happened to be "Headshoots". Such names are most commonly seen in evil lands and goblin fortresses. Sometimes they're just fine, sometimes they're not.
  • La-Mulana has the Chamber of Extinction, which isn't quite the formidable challenge its name implies. (The Chamber of Birth is arguably worse.)
  • Kingdom Hearts has The End of the World - both a place and an event. Chain of Memories takes place entirely within Castle Oblivion. Kingdom Hearts II ups the ante with The World That Never Was, which itself has subsections like The Hall of Empty Melodies, Brink of Despair, and the Altar of Naught.
  • Several stages from Mario games qualify. Lethal Lava Land, Deep Dark Galaxy, Hell Prominence Melty Molten Galaxy, Big Boo's Haunt, Dreadnaught Galaxy...
    • Dark Land in Super Mario Bros 3 says it fairly clearly, even without you knowing it's hell incarnate. Or maybe Bowser in the Dark World/Fire Sea.
    • And Mario Party. Bowser's levels have some mighty dangerous sounding names: Bowser's Warped Orbit, Infernal Tower, Bowser Nightmare, Bowser's Enchanted Inferno,
  • Inverted big time in Mother 3, with the Big Bad's giant lightning generator, the Tower of Love and Peace.
    • But played straight with the tower's REAL name (Thunder Tower).
  • Fallout 3 has the delightful Murder Pass. Just past the souvenir shop!
    • New Vegas has the Devil's Throat. (Which is based off a real place in the Mojave desert!)
  • Diablo 2 is full of these. The very first wilderness you enter is called Blood Moor, which contains a cave called The Den of Evil. In Kurast, there's the Flayer Dungeon, the Spider Forest, and the Durance of Hate. In Hell, you have the Plains of Despair, the City of Torment, and so on.
  • In Planescape: Torment, the final few levels of the game are set in the Fortress of Regrets, which is located on the Negative Material Plane. In keeping with the setting, the name is literal: the place is actually built from the regrets of all the Nameless One's past incarnations. And it is, of course, a quintessential Evil Tower of Ominousness.
    • And that's after visiting such places as Curst, the Pillar of Skulls, and the Hive.
  • Blue Dragon: Devour Village.
  • Not quite a full blown level, but anything named after KAOS in Donkey Kong Country 3. KAOS Kore and Kastle KAOS are bad, but KAOS Karnage takes the cake for 'scary level name'.
  • In the Wario Land series, possibly Hotel Horror and Horror Manor.
  • Breath of Fire III has the Desert of Death.
  • Tibia has the Dark Cathedral, Demona, the Pits of Inferno and the Plains of Havoc.
  • One spawn point in Skate 2 is called the Murderhorn. It is one of the best places to "die", just behind the Hideki Tower spawn point.
  • In Dragon Age the deepest, darkest part of the Deep Roads is called the Dead Trenches. With reason.
    • In Dragon Age II, Anders references Awakening with the Blackmarsh and Varric wonders why you would ever even consider going to such a place. The two then go on to talk about better places to go to but then realize that adding 'marsh' to the end of anything really makes it seem like a place to avoid. The Flowermarsh, the Kittenmarsh...
    • More explicitly discussed is "The Bone Pit." Hawke can immediately say that the mine owner's first mistake was calling it that, though he assures you that it's just what the miners call it.
  • Etrian Odyssey Cyclopean Haunt. A nearly impassable labyrinth full of scary monsters and with a hell of a final boss in the end.
  • The Ultima series has its share:
  • Touhou: The Muenzuka, or The Mound of The Nameless, the final battle site of Phantasmagoria of Flower View. Even Cirno shudders!
  • Baol Dungeon in Mabinogi could count as baol is Gaelic for "Danger". For a plus, it lives up to its name as its one of the hardest dungeons in the game.
  • Episode 3 of Doom is pretty much nothing but these: "Hell Keep," "Slough of Despair," "Pandemonium," "House of Pain", "Unholy Cathedral," "Mt. Erebus",[1] "Gate To Limbo", and "Dis".
  • Future Cop LAPD has the delightfully named Hell's Gate Prison. A classic maximum security prison, with the only ground routes essentially being killzones and firing lanes protected by multiple turrets with overlapping arcs of fire and elevated positions for guards, ultimately designed to make a mass-escape from within the facility absolutely suicidal.
  • The Catacomb 3-D is full of these. The titular Catacombs of Despair contain such levels as The Garden of Tears, The Demon's Inferno, The Town of Morbidity, The Garden of Forgotten Souls, The Lost City of the Damned, Hall of the Wretched Pox, The Chamber of the Evil Eye, The Chamber of the Invisible Horror and so on. Meanwhile, the levels contain areas named The Corridors of Death, The Way to Certain Peril, The Insufferable Ways of Pain, The Chamber of Ultimate Doom...
  • In the Dungeon Keeper series, the game world starts out with very nice and cheerful names, such as Eversmile, Water Dream Fall, and Flower Hat. It becomes less pretty after the Big Bad (you) are through with it, and the new names reflect this trope straight: Brana Hawk, Wither's Tread, and Fire Wall, respectively. Your assistant then praises you for all the horrible things that have taken root, such as cannibalism, anthrax, and a "healthy disrespect for life."
  • Legend of Mana has The Bone Fortress, which is constructed of bones. The Lucemia dungeon (skeletal remains of a titanic wyrm) has a section named Avenue of Deterioration.
  • Parodied in .hack series with Bewildering Fool's Hiding Place.
    • And played straight with the area keywords for the showdown with Skeith: Chosen Hopeless Nothingness.
  • Heavy Weapon has its stages named after real-world counterparts of either war-torn places or areas that were controlled by Soviet Russia. Two of them are "Antagonistan" (Afghanistan) and "Killingrad" (Stalingrad).
  • The land of Lordran in Dark Souls has the Undead Burg, Blighttown, Demon Ruins, Lost Izalith, The Abyss, Tomb of Giants, etc. Apparently, they're big on honesty in advertising.
  • The grottoes of Dragon Quest IX have names generated more-or-less randomly, based on their general difficulty. The Clay Tunnel of Joy doesn't sound very menacing, but the Diamond Void of Ruin isn't so inviting.
  • In Morrowind, Sixth House bases often have rooms, corridors and halls with ominous names like "Soul Rattle", "Black Heart" etc.
  • In Chrono Trigger, Crono and his friends visit Death's Peak, the Mountain of Woe, and the Black Omen.

Web Comics

Redcloak: Please tell me it's actually filled with cute fuzzy bunnies, and they just named it that to be ironic.

    • Most of the nations on the Western Continent qualify: Dictatoria, Cruelvania, East and West Despotonia, The Empire of Blood, The Empire of Sweat etc.
  • Parodied in Footloose, where heroes seek out places named like this, because even though they're usually just as dangerous as the name implies, the Theory of Narrative Causality tends to favor the heroes more strongly.

Web Original

Hugh Brooks: Who names a town Bloody Springs... and then lives there?

Redem:That would put it somewhere in the Valley of Tears, near the Waterfall of Forever, in the old tombs in the Fields of Dreams.
Keira Knightley: This planet has a lot of nice names to say you’re all so Grimdark.
Evil MrP: Well, the Tears are those shed after the six million men of General Elasticus were burned as heretics by accident in the battle there due to a communications error, leading to it being lost…the Forever is the thousands of years that valley was fought over in endless bitter wars…the Dreams are those of the Lord High Insurgent Pieter von Killemall and his sadly never-realised plan to carve this entire planet into a huge truncheon to hit the Logic Gods in the face with and bless it through the mass sacrifice of its entire population…

  • The protagonist of Peasant's Quest has a souvenir tee-shirt from Scalding Lake. This place is, apparently, a tourist destination for peasants.
  • In the web short "The House That Drips Blood On Alex", the titular character played by Tommy Wiseau should have known better than to buy a house on Blood Street.
  • In Reflets d'Acide, the "quest" is an incursion into the Chaotic Lands, to various places with friendly names such as the Cave of the Flayed Herpes.
  • Played with in one of the many articles written by The Onion. It was about a town named Murder Heights that was trying to rebrand itself.

Western Animation

Judge: I sentence you to a lifetime of horror on Monster Island! [[[GASP]]] Don't worry, it's just a name.
Lisa: (being chased by monsters) He said it was just a name!
Guy: What he meant is that Monster Island is actually a peninsula!

    • And then there's the Murderhorn, the insurmountable highest peak in Springfield.
    • And there's Foreboding Widow's Peak.

Carl: Hey, I heard we're goin' to Ape Island.
Lenny: Yeah, to capture a giant ape.
Carl: I wish we were going to Candy Apple Island.
Charlie: Candy Apple Island? What do they got there?
Carl: Apes. But they ain't so big.

    • When Marge joins the police force, Chief Wiggum informs her that, as a new officer, her beat will consist of Bumtown and Junkieville.
    • Double-Subverted when Troy McClure is featured in a promotional video for the Meat Council:

Troy: Come on Jimmy, let's take a peek at the killing floor.
Jimmy: Ohhh!
Troy: Don't let the name throw you Jimmy. It's not really a floor, it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.

    • "I should have got off at Crackton..."
  • Futurama: "The Forbidden Zone is just a name, like the Death Zone, or the Zone of No Return. All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror!" (Ironically, the trip was actually going great until it turned out the alien emperor wanted out of Fry's stomach.)
    • Also the Planet Express crew had a bad experience on Cannibalon. Bender enjoyed the food, though.
    • A few of Farnsworth's missions qualify, such as Sicily 8, the Mob planet (not helped by the fact that they were delivering subpoenas) and Ebola 9, the Virus Planet.
    • Subverted in the following exchange:

Leela: According to this, the fountain is located within the darkest, most ancient region of space, just past Teddy Bear Junction.
Prof. Farnsworth: Teddy Bear Junction. The worse scum hole in the universe.

    • Double Subverted in "Bender's Game" with the Cave of Hopelessness. It was named after its founder, Reginald Hopelessness... the first man to be eaten alive by the Tunneling Horror.
    • That quote at the top of the page... there is a vile and dangerous liquid used in RNA extraction that's called Trizol. Most probably a coincidence, though, as the name of the planet "Trisol" is far more clearly related to the fact that it has three suns.
  • Camp Wannaweep in Kim Possible.
  • Loonatics Unleashed: Who in their right mind would want to holiday on an island named 'Apocalypso'?
  • Abysus from Generator Rex.
  • South Park has the appropriately named "Hell's Pass Hospital." No, seriously.
  • Avatar: The Last Airbender:
    • Arguably the entire Fire Nation. Within that, we have the Boiling Rock.
    • The Serpent's Pass, which should give you an idea what kind of critters you should watch out for.
    • Lake Laogai, named after the labor camps of communist China.
  • Storm Hawks gives us Terra Cyclonia, Terra Gruesomus, the Black Gorge, and the ever-popular Wastelands.
  • Earthworm Jim, trying to track down Psycrow, reads the Idiot's Guide To Hideously Dangerous Places; featuring entries on The Pit Of Unimaginable Fear, The Cavern Of Flesh Ripping Weasels, and Detroit. He turns out to be at The Boulevard of Acute Discomfort.
  • My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic has Ghastly Gorge - home to jagged rocks, huge thorned plants and giant eel-things that try to eat anything that passes by. Also Tartarus apparently exists in Equestria. Any place that shares a name with the ancient Greek underworld can't be very nice.
  • Played for Laughs in the Animaniacs episode "Spellbound" where Pinky and the Brain come across a signpost:

Brain: The signpost will guide us, Pinky! Let's see, Glade of Woe, no... Chasm of Despair, no... Pit of Barbecue... hmm... Perhaps later.

Real Life

  • Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. There's a hospital on that street.
  • There's also the Hell Gate at the beginning of the Long Island Sound. With the accompanying Hell Gate bridge, cheerfully painted red.
  • In Real Life, Asians consider that place names with "dark" overtones are bad luck, and avoid using them. No Asian would have named a town Tombstone or a location Death Valley.
    • On that note: Tombstone and Death Valley.
    • Though some characters do share the "dark" meaning, and sometimes misunderstood by other Asians speaking different languages. One of the examples is Yam O in Hong Kong. While Yam does mean "dark" in Cantonese (and Mandarin, in that matter), it also means "North of the hill and south of water", which is the original meaning of the place name. It does not help that when Disney decided to build a Disneyland nearby, and the government decided to change part of Yam O's name to Yan Ou (a.k.a. Sunny Bay). Disneyfication taken to a new level.
    • Because Four Is Death, it's far from uncommon for Asians (especially older or more-traditional ones) to change the street number or telephone number of premises they occupy to exclude the number four, much as many Western buildings omit the 13th floor because Thirteen Is Unlucky.
  • From The Bible: Golgotha, the Place of the Skull.
    • For that matter, Gehenna. It was essentially a giant trash pit. It is also often used as a synonym for Hell. Indeed, its cognate in Arabic, Jahannam, is the Arabic word for Hell.
    • Worse, the reason that Gehenna got its infernal reputation (and the reason it was used for burning garbage) is that area was used as the "sacred" site of a very short-lived cult of Moloch during a time when the Jewish population caved in to foreign invaders and began worshiping other gods. Moloch demanded the sacrifice of children, which is a massive crime in the Judeo-Christian ethic. Once the zealots had shown the cultists the door (or the sword), they figured the place was so tainted by the acts done there that the only thing that could be done was turn it into a garbage dump for Jerusalem.
  • Hell, California, Hell, Michigan, Hell, Norway, Helvete, Norway, and Hell, Grand Cayman. Also, not quite as scary, but still bad: Colon, Michigan.
    • Hell, Norway only counts for anglophones, though. Even better was the local railway goods depot, Hell Godsexpedition
    • Hells Canyon, carved by the waters of the Snake River, lying below the Seven Devils Mountains. Tell me that's not ominous.
    • Similarly, Colón, Cuba, which happens to be located in the province of Matanzas, "Slaughters". However, Morón, also in Cuba, does mean the same thing as in English.
  • London (England, not Ontario) has a few of these. Shoot Up Hill (in Kilburn, which itself almost qualifies) and Reaper's Close (in Camden).
    • Also Crouch End, a name which Stephen King found so creepy that he wrote a Lovecraftian short story with that title.
  • Cherepovets, a Russian city. Its name means "(city) of the skulls". The historical reason for such a name choice is that the city was actually built on an old pagan shrine.
    • Incidentally, it's the birthplace of Vassiliy Vereshchagin, a famous Russian painter, who painted the previous picture in this article (called "The Apotheosis of War" [1]).
  • South Murderkill, Delaware.
  • Pile-of-Bones, Saskatchewan. Renamed (to Regina) and made the capital of the province. Also: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo-Jump. Which is an interesting case of a creepy name that's also Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
  • More "I'm Rather Suspicious About The Name Of That Place", but in Newfoundland there's Dildo, Placentia, Come-By-Chance, and so many more that there's a song about it. "Historians are still debating whether Newfoundland was discovered by Leif Ericson or Sigmund Freud."—Dave Broadfoot
  • The name of Shaka Zulu's capital roughly translates to "Place of Slaughter".
  • Chickamauga. Site of a bloody American Civil War battle. The name is often said to translate as "River of Death," which seems rather prophetic.
  • There are two villages in England named Upper and Lower Slaughter. They're actually ridiculously picturesque and quaint little places.
  • Pee Pee Creek, in southern Ohio. Not too scary, unless you need to drink from it.
  • There are Swedish cities and towns with a location at least unofficially known as Galgbacken (Gibbet Slope) or Galgberget (Gibbet Hill). Public executions ended in the mid 19th century, but the names live on.
    • Uppsala, Sweden, has the officially named Rackarberget (Torturer's Hill or Hangman's Hill).
  • Kholat Syakhl. Have fun reading that article.
    • To clarify: Kholat Syakhl means Mountain of the Dead. Nine Soviet hikers died under odd circumstances there. The Other Wiki has this to say: "the chronology ... remains unclear due to the lack of survivors."
  • Devil's Tower, the Badlands, and the Black Hills in the Northwest United States.
  • Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NY.
  • Cape Fear, North Carolina. Also, Kill Devil Hills, Transylvania, Boiling Springs, Black Mountain, Seven Devils and Batcave. Though the last one mostly sounds awesome.
  • The two moons of Mars are named Phobos and Deimos, a.k.a. Fear and Terror. To be fair, those were the helpers of Mars, the Roman god of war.
    • Inverted with the planet Venus, however. Despite being named after the Roman goddess of beauty, the planet is actually the most hostile in our own Solar System! Maybe not so inappropriate?
  • In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mount Tripyramid has a secondary peak named "The Fool Killer."
  • Fresh Kills, Staten Island, New York. Home to one of the worlds largest (closed) garbage dumps, with mounds taller than the Statue of Liberty. The name is entirely incidental, though, as it's Dutch- kills means creek.
  • In a bit of astronomer wit, the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia, Goddesses of strife and discord, and lawlessness respectively. Bonus points since Eris was at first nicknamed Xena, played by Lucy Lawless.
  • Teufelsberg (Devil's Hill), Berlin, Germany. An artificial hill made of WW 2 debris built upon the ruins of a Nazi military college. And a nice place for hiking, kite flying and skiing.
  • The "Boca del Infierno" name from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not at all implausible as a colonial name in California, which has no shortage of placenames like "Monte Del Diablo" (Devil's Mountain, or Mt. Diablo as its now called).
    • There is in fact a 1,970 foot deep mine shaft in Guanajuato, Mexico called "Boca del Infierno," as well as a channel in Salinas, Puerto Rico that also shares the name.
  • Mounts Erebus and, I kid you not, Terror in Antarctica. Not sure why Erebus is a bad name? It's the ancient Greek god of darkness and shadows, the son of Chaos. Actually named after the explorer's ships, not any particularly dark or terrifying qualities the mountains may or may not have had.
    • The name might be somewhat appropriate. The worst peace time disaster in New Zealand's history occurred when Air New Zealand Flight 901 plowed into Mount Erebus under white out conditions, killing all 257 people on board.
    • That said, both are not places you want to stay for long. Erebus likes to throw out rocks at a nice fraction of the speed of sound.
    • There's also Cape Disappointment on South Georgia. Captain Cook thought he had discovered Antarctica... until the ship rounded the cape.
    • There's also a Cape Disappointment in Washington state, so named because fur trader John Meares just missed discovering the Columbia River because he turned around just north of the Cape.
  • Cyclone, Indiana. No doubt the weather's lovely.
  • Gorge of Despair, California.
  • One of the districts of Prague is called Hrdlořezy ("Cutthroats").
    • Other names in the Czech Republic include Jedovary ("Poisonmakers"), Měcholupy ("Pouch-stealers"), Všetaty ("All thieves"), Mrchojedy ("Carcass-eaters") ... There's also a number of places called Peklo ("Hell").
  • Fucking, Austria.
    • It's pronounced "Fook-ing" and the entire town is eternally pissed because everybody keeps stealing their signs!
    • It doesn't stop them from making ale ("helles" in German) called Fucking Hell.
  • Death Valley, California. The temperatures reach well over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, water is all but nonexistent except in the cacti which have prickly if not poisonous spines, there are venomous rattlesnakes that make their home there, and you can die from heat exhaustion or dehydration in minutes without the aforementioned nonexistent water. And to make the extremes worse when the sun finally goes down the temperatures take a drastic drop at that point it's safe to wander around due to the lower temps but the sudden temperature change can be shocking to visitors. Did I mention that once in it's VERY easy to get lost?
  • From Australia
    • Mount Hopeless, South Australia. Yeah.
    • Mount Buggery, Victoria.
    • Mount Disappointment, also Victoria
    • Lake Disappointment, Western Australia. Named by the explorer Frank Hann who expected a fresh water lake but found salt.
    • Slaughter Falls in Brisbane, Australia. Named after a person, actually.
    • Dismal Swamp.
  • Lichfield, UK. Translated to ME: Corpse field
  • A rather famous landmark in Nebraska was once referred to by the natives as "Elk Penis". Oregon Trailers naturally decided to be a bit more discreet about it.
    • Apparently not the same explorers who named the Grand Tetons.
  • Bahía Inútil (Useless Bay), Isla Desolación (Desolation Island), Golfo de Penas (Gulf of Grief), Seno de la Última Esperanza (Last Hope Fjord), Faro del Fin del Mundo (End of the World's Lighthouse) and my personal favourite, Puerto Hambre (Port Famine), are all real places of the Patagonia (both Argentinean and Chilean). And they have this names not out of fancy or tradition, they were named out of 100% pure refined Spaniard despair. Puerto Hambre story in particular is Nightmare Fuel.
    • While Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire, literally) sounds like a suitable name like, for example, Hell, it actually was named out of some mysterious fires Magallanes saw in his expedition, which were presumably made by the Shelknam people. But hey, tell that to a bunch of half crazy half starved scurvy freezing Spaniards crossing one of the most hellish and laberynthic straits in the world, at night, seeing strange lights on the shore while one of them starts to mumble that they defied God's will and reached the End Of The World, i.e., Hell, and those fires you see are the Army of Darkness kindling the fire to make some nice and crispy Conquistador BBQ...
      • Tierra del Fuego it is still called El Fin del Mundo. Because it is.
    • Not that bad names are exclussive of Patagonia. Salar del Hombre Muerto (Dead Man Salt Desert), Catamarca, Argentina. Yeah, guess why they gave it that name.
    • Argentina is in love with this trope: let me introduce you to Salsipuedes ("Get out if you can"), Córdoba province. Doubtful sense of humour, at best.
    • And of course, La Garganta del Diablo (the devil's throat). Although that one is literally pretty awesome.
    • Al ver verás ("At seeing, you will see"), Buenos Aires, is of a more subtle variety. The name is so ambiguous, it can be either a good or sinister omen, depending on your mood... and on what you actually find there. Eldritch Abominations? Neverending Happiness?. Go ahead, boy, and you will see... But there is some kind of warning there...? Hey, when just the sign of the place starts to play mind games with you, you should know this can't be any good.
    • La Matanza (The Slaughter). It also has a reputation for being the most dangerous Partido in the Greater Buenos Aires.
  • Most Evil Empires even in Real Life seem to prefer fancy and nice sounding names for slave camps and torture prisions. An exception would be the Nazis, who named their Annihilation Camps[2] exactly for what they were. The closest thing to Hell ever seen on earth.
  • The town Reet in Belgium. In Dutch (the language spoken in the region of Reet), the town's name means arse (and more specifically, the smelly part of it).
  • Malignant Cove, Nova Scotia. Even though the name was changed to Milburn in 1915, the area is still known by its previous name.
  • Boring, Oregon. You have been warned.
    • Isn't that more of a Name To Just Keep Driving Through?
  • Slaughter, Washington. Biggest motel? The "Slaughter House". Town renamed to Auburn, later on.
    • There's also Thrasher's Corner in Bothell.
    • And Cape Disappointment.
  • The province of Quebec has, or has had (and the overwhelming majority are "has"): three Devil's Bay (fr "Baie du Diable" or "Baie au Diable"), one Devil's Dam, six Devil's Cape, two Devil's Road, two Devil's Channel, ten Devil's Falls, two Devil's Height, one Devil's Creek, one Devil's Fountain (a natural gas source), five Devil's Island, twenty-five Devil's Lake, one Devil's Pond, three Devil's Mountain/Mt Devil, one Devil's Bridge, seven Devil's Rapids, one Devil's Ravine, four Devil's River, five Devil's Brook, three Devil's Hole (a rapid, a cavern and a ravine) and one Devil's valley. To these one must add two "Evil Bays" (La Malbaie and Mal-bay near Percé), one Lake Lucifer, one Lucifer's Rapid, six Hell Lake, two Hell Cape, one Hell river, two Hell Brooks, three Gates-of-Hell lakes, one Gate-of-Hell mountains, four Gates of Hell brooks (and in total 33 bridges, rapids, brooks, falls, notches and others that all found their way to having "Gates of Hell" in their name). Among others.
  • Cut and Shoot, Texas. Cut and Shoot was named after a 1912 community confrontation that almost led to violence, the circumstances of which are debated. Whatever the circumstances were, a small boy at the scene reportedly declared "I'm going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute!" This statement was eventually adopted as the town's name.
  • There's a lovely family beach on Lake Superior in Michigan. The name? Misery Bay.
  • Komoka, a town in northern Ontario. Komoka translates as "Quiet place of the dead".
    • ...i.e., a cemetery?
  • Singapore's Sentosa Island was formerly known as "Pulau Blakang Mati", literally translated as "Island Behind Death". This has been interpreted as "Island Beyond Death" by some.
    • And then there's "Pulau Hantu", which is quite simply "Ghost Island".
  • Skullbone, Tennessee. Apparently so named because it was the meeting place of the local 19th-century Fight Club.
  • The part of the East River in New York City called Hell Gate.
  • Apparently around 1230 CE there was an English street named Gropecuntelane. Some sort of red-light district perhaps?
  • The Hindu Kush Mountains means Hindu Killer. At one time slave caravans full of captive Hindus would traverse these mountains. A sizable portion of the captives didn't make it as was common in the trade.
  • The Dead Sea Between Jordan and Israel
  • Hadhramaut in Yemen. The name means "death has come". But it's not a Death World, and a lot of people of Arabic descent in South-East Asia can trace their ancestry there.
  • A Subversion of the Asian rule above is Mount Osore in Japan, literally "Mount Fear". It lives up to its name: the place is far from anywhere, and it looks like Death World, volcanic activity and all.
  • There was once a place in Morocco known as Tazmamart. If that sounds scary to you, it should: it was the world's worst political prison in a time when the Gulag still existed.
  • The Heart Attack Grill, a restaurant in Chandler, Arizona.
  • Mexico City has the Barranca del Muerto (Dead Man's Gully) district, for the record: It's subway station symbol are vultures swooping down.
  • The Hague (Netherlands) has a district called Monster.
  • In Finland, Lapin Helvetti (Hell of Lapland) in the municipality of Kolari. The place itself is an extremely beautiful deep caldera lake, but resembles the pits of Hell.
    • Kolari itself has meant orignally "colliery", but in colloquial Finnish means today "car crash".
  • Town of Varkaus in Finland. The word means "theft". The name is not due to criminal activity, but that a stream "steals" the water off a nearby lake.
  • Municipality of Sodankylä in Finland. The name means "war village".
  • Town of Outokumpu in Finland. Literally "weird mound" - the hill glowed in the dark. It was found to be one of the richest copper ore deposits in Europe.
  • After the battle of Minden in 1759, the village of Tonhausen ("clay-housing"), which is situated on the battlefield, was slightly renamed to Totenhausen ("housing of the dead").
  • Downplayed. Around the Great Lakes there are at least two places called The Great Carrying Place. Less scary sounding than some of the examples given? Well yeah. But that is the place where the river takes a turn and you have to get out and carry your canoes and cargo overland for several days. On your own backs. Doesn't sound scary but it sounds like a lot of hard work. A really hard lot of work. And if there is a war going on at the time (as there often was back in the eighteenth century), it was a good place to be ambushed, so ramp up the scary part of it.
  • There's a nice stretch of plain that stretches all the way up to North Dakota and stretches all the way down to Louisiana and Texas, now people live in those areas but the most common weather phenomena there are tornados, whirling vortexes of death that pick anything and everything up and then hurl them and woe to those who meet a flying piece of wood at around 300MPH. The name of this place? Tornado Alley. People there are hardy but I wouldn't want to live there.
  • One town in South Florida was named after a natural bay found by Spanish explorers... and due to the shape of said bay, it received the rather unflattering name of Boca Raton ("mouth of a rat"). Despite its unsavory name, it's a rather high income town overall.
  • Latvia brings to you, English-speakers, the town and river Ogre. It is pronounced differently, tough.
    • Along the same lines is a mountain in the Swiss Bernese Oberland known as the Eiger - the Ogre. Its North Wall is renowned for its deadliness.
  • Sodom, Vermont. Better watch your behind.
  • In Oman, there's Wadi Ghul - "Demon Canyon". For extra creepiness, it contains a village also named Ghul, part of which is ancient and abandoned.
  • Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, in Russian it is the same word that is used for Ivan the Terrible nickname. Both English and Russian languages had changed over the time, so "Grozny" isn't usualy translated as "Terrible" nowdays. It's more like "Menacing", or, more literally, "Thundering". Still fits here.
  • Karmanitsky Pereulok (lit: Pickpocket Lane) in Moscow. Grokholsky Pereulok, also from Moscow, fits unintentionally because it sounds similar to the Russian slang word for murder.
  • The Taklamakan Desert. There's some dispute about the meaning of the name, but none of them are pleasant. Some say it means "Abandoned place" or "Place of ruins", while others say "Point of no return" or "Go in and you won't come out". Its nickname is "The Desert of Death". All of which are accurate.
  • "L'Ile du Diable" (The Devil's Island) in French Guiana. It harboured a penal colony.
  • Along the road from Kuwait to Iraq is the Highway of Death called so because of the pounding the retreating Iraqi Army got in the first Gulf War. One could follow it looking from above by tracing the wrecked vehicles and of course the wrecked people within.
  • The waters off Guadalcanal are immortalized as Ironbottom Sound because of all the Allied and Japanese ships that lay at the bottom. In the US Navy silence is observed when a ship cruises over.

  1. Erebus was a Greek god, son of the god Chaos, and represented the personification of darkness.
  2. in German, Vernichtungslagern, Exactly What It Says on the Tin