Five of the most Terrifying places in Books

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Original Photo by Leonardo Yip on Unsplash

Reading, especially fantasy, is a great form of escapism.  You can drop your real-life worries and visit a myriad of amazing and magical worlds filled with incredible people, fantastical creatures and awe-inspiring spells and magic. But, just like real life, there are places you probably don’t want to go. The following are a list of places that I definitely don’t want to go to on my holidays (or any other time for that matter):

This isn’t an exhaustive list – I don’t even read horror, after all – but from books I have read, I would be pretty scared to visit these places.


Mordor (Middle Earth)


Pretty much nothing about Mordor is pleasant. It isn’t called The Black Land for no reason. Covered in volcanic ash and with air that is poisonous, this land is not somewhere for the fainthearted. Even getting in is a monumental challenge as it is practically surrounded by jagged, nigh-on impenetrable mountains with the only real road in guarded by a huge, black iron gate manned by untold legions of orcs and trolls. Alternatively, you could sneak in the back door through a series of pitch black, cramped tunnels guarded by a monstrous spider. Oh yay!

Did I mention that an immortal, ever-watching dark lord with the power to enslave the entire world is watching over the lands and guards them pretty jealously? Oh, and he has nine utterly loyal lieutenants who basically ride mini-dragons and can’t be killed by any mortal man (pretty big loop-hole actually, Mr Tolkien). So yeah, I won’t be going there.

The Wood (Uprooted)


Imagine all the dark and negative stereotypes you can for woods in fairy tales and fantasy? Got those in your head? Ok, ramp them up by ten. Yes, the woods are literally watching you.

Don’t forget that it is sentient, highly intelligent and absolutely hates humans. Inhaling pollen blown from the Wood on the wind is enough to send you crazy, send you into a spiral of grotesque mutations and/or allow it to control your mind.

Wait, why did the people in Uprooted decide to build a whole string of villages next to this place again? I’ll never know!

The Dreadfort (Westeros)


A medieval castle wouldn’t naturally seem as scary as some of the other places on this list, but you forget who owns this place: the Boltons. For those who don’t know, the Boltons are a particularly nasty bunch, even by the standards of Westeros – which takes some doing! Their family sigil isn’t a flayed man for no reason, after all.

The Boltons we meet in the A Song of Ice and Fire certainly live up to their family’s reputation, especially Ramsey who is particularly imaginative and inventive with his tortures. I really don’t want to go into anymore detail, but anyone who has read the books (or even watched the show) will know that Ramsey and Roose Bolton are not people to mess with if you value your life or sanity.

Azkaban (The Wizarding World)


Harry Potter isn’t that dark, right? Well, okay. In general, it isnlt super dark or scary. But this place… This place is actually pretty horrifying.

A sentence to Azkaban is practically a death sentence with your time spent there filled with constant misery and despair. This is due to the presence of the Dementors as the prison’s guardians. These guys (I don’t know their gender) will literally feed on your soul and suck all the positive energy and memories out of you, leaving you with nothing but your worst memories and an overwhelming sense of hopelessness that drives you insane. Only the most strong-willed wizards seem to be able to survive here for any substantial period of time, with it being recorded that many prefer to starve themselves to death than exist here. And I thought these were children’s books!?!?

Guerdon (The Gutter Prayer)


I haven’t actually finished The Gutter Prayer yet (it’s been a busy month!) but this place definitely deserves its place on this list. The city of Guerdon is very grim-dark and seems to be crawling with a whole variety of horrific creatures, from undercity of flesh-eating ghouls that inhabit the miles of caves below the city to my personal ‘favourites’: The Crawling Ones. If you have ever played the Thief games, then the setting of that is quite similar to Guerdon. It’s the closest I can get with its half-magic-half-science, over-crowded and corrupt city feel. And, I love it, but would never feel safe going there!


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So, there you have it, five terrifying places from books. What do you think of my list? Where would you add?




7 thoughts on “Five of the most Terrifying places in Books

  1. Diana @ Thoughts on Papyrus

    Great list! I particularly agree on Azkaban. That place should be terrifying. Part of me wants Rowling to write a spin-off involving solely Azkaban – to describe daily routines of prisoners, etc. It should be quite different from a normal prison, I think, because people there can do magic (and some without wands).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! And yes, a Azkaban story would be amazing. Perhaps about how it became a prison. I think it was originally the home of a dark wizard, but could be wrong.


  2. And where did Frodo and Sam go, but simply walking into Mordor. Love them! I’m not into Harry so don’t know anything about that terrible place in his story but what a neat picture! The hopelessness reminds me of Frodo and the Ring and his terrible ordeal.

    Namarie, God bless, Anne Marie 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Five Fictional Places I would Love to Visit – Book Reviews | Jack's Bedtime Reading

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