The Scariest Places on Earth

  We all know one or two places that are said to be haunted1. They might be an old house that no one lives in or a dark cemetery2. It could even be a famous building or a classroom in your school. However, when it comes to the scariest places in the world, two names keep appearing—the Catacombs3 of Paris and New Orleans, Louisiana. Both have long histories and are favorite places for ghost hunters and people who love mysteries4.

  Long ago in Paris, almost all large churches had their own cemeteries inside the city. After years of war, disease, and death, the cemeteries became too crowded and caused health problems. The government tried to fix them with laws, but it didn't work. Finally, a police officer's idea was put into action in 1786, and the cemeteries were emptied. The bones were moved to the quarries5 that stretch for miles under Paris. Over the years, the quarries have become known as the Catacombs. This is because of the piles of bones and the murders6 that took place inside.

  Today, visitors can tour the Catacombs. Many have had strange experiences, such as having their hands or clothing grabbed or seeing dark shadows in rooms. Every year, some tours end early because of unexplained7 events that happen during them.

The Scariest Places on Earth

  多年來,紐奧良一直被視為是美國境內鬧鬼鬧得最兇的城市。事實上,這也是許多觀光客到那裡一遊的唯一原因。這座城市最知名的恐怖地點就是那些墳墓蓋在地上的諸多墓園。聖路易斯第一墓園可能是世上最常鬧鬼的地方之一。旅行團領隊時常會看到人和動物的鬼魂在裡頭四處遊蕩。這裡也是好幾位名人身後的埋葬之處。這些人包括紐奧良的第一位非裔美籍市長恩內斯‧莫瑞爾,以及巫毒女王瑪莉‧拉薇。

  另一個熱門景點當屬Voodoo Cemetery Gates of Guinee(編按:Guinee在巫毒教中表『陰間』之意)。路易斯安那巫毒教是一種結合了非洲信仰和天主教的宗教。這些大門據說是通往陰間的入口。只有某些特殊的巫毒教團體才知曉其所在位置。人們搜尋這些大門是因為他們想跟亡者交談。然而,任何試圖找尋大門的人都冒著被帶入陰間的風險。談論大門也被當作是件觸霉頭的事。因此,若您身在紐奧良市,可千萬別問起關於大門的事。

  這世上有許多無法解釋的事物,但這不代表這些事情有什麼好畏懼。許多鬼故事也許駭人聽聞,但其中很多都是編造來娛樂人們的罷了。

《Building Your Vocabulary》
1. scary a. 恐怖的,可怕的
Becky loves watching scary movies.
蓓琪很愛看恐怖電影。
2. crowded a. 擁擠的,擠滿人或物的
The crowded bus is full of commuters.
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