Top 5 Most Terrifying Places In Literature

There are other worlds than these–and thankfully
for us, horror fiction and the wider world of literature seems to have quite the knack
for creating some of the most unfathomably terrifying realms of pure nightmare fuel,
for us to sweat over and hope that we never, ever, accidentally wake up in these strange
new lands. There’s nothing quite like turning the pages
of horror fiction, as our poor, unassuming narrators tread their way through ancient
and terrifying lands, tip-toeing around slumbering abominations and wondering why in the hell
they ever thought that this was a good idea in the first place. After all, as Bilbo Baggins himself told us–it’s
a dangerous business, going out of your door. Hello horror fans–what’s going on, and
once again welcome back to the scariest channel on YouTube–Top 5 Scary Videos. As per usual, I’ll be your horror host Jack
Finch–as today, we curiously take a look at the Top 5 Most Terrifying Places In Literature. Roll the clip. For the curious amongst you, that clip was
from 1997’s Event Horizon–an awesome movie, filled to the brim with more existential hell-dimensions
of eternal torture and pain than what you may have first expected. After all, hell is only a word–the reality,
is much, much worse. It leads us to an important point though,
because many of the nightmare realms that have sealed their fate in literature are a
portrayal of the stereotypical view of the Abrahamic Hell. Fire and brimstone–you know the drill. And whilst some of them *are* much more terrifying
than others, and yes–have found their way on to this list: we have to give an honorable
mention to all of the mythological realms that came before. Hades, Hel with a single L, the Egyptian Underworld. You get the picture. Kicking off at Number 5 — The Labyrinth Because when we’re talking about Hell and
the Underworld–Clive Barker’s interpretation of demons to some, angels to others–is a
completely different kettle of fish, where all manners of body horrors and dimensional
demonic entities find themselves an equally terrifying house and home, which is aptly
named Hell, or the more structurally appropriate, The Labyrinth. First penned in Barker’s Novella 1986, The
Hellbound Heart–and later expanded upon in The Scarlet Gospels, as well as the film and
graphic novel series that followed–in Barker’s world, his demonic cenobites reside eternally
in an unholy and evil realm of limitless pain, or pleasure–if you’re into that kind of
thing. In its natural state, Hell takes on the form
of the Dark, Winding Labyrinth most commonly visualised in the graphic series–but it also
has the power to take on any shape or state, depending upon the amassed pleasures and pains
of the souls that are contained within it. Now, because of that–it has widely been speculated–and
somewhat confirmed by Barker, that this is definitely not the Abrahamic Version of Hell–but
instead, an extra dimension. In essence, The Labyrinth is some form of
permeable realm–that can be perceived as Heaven, or Hell–by whomever is trapped there. It’s led some to believe that The Labyrinth
itself represents the true nature of the human mind, and all of the infinite possibilities
that reside within the cracks of reality. And you know, that’s also not really accounting
for the fact that it’s ruled over by the eternal evil–Leviathan, a creature of ancient
Chaos that perpetually levitates at the geographical centre of The Labyrinth–watching over his
Hellish Kingdom, raising towering, sky-blotting monoliths to glorify his dominion over the
Cenobites and mankind. I mean, for the most part–despite being one
of the most hellish depictions of Hell itself, you can’t deny that Barker created an incredibly
interesting landscape for horror fiction. Coming in at Number 4 – Dante’s Inferno Because if we’re talking about Hell–then
finally, we can mention the resounding work of classic literature, the 14th-century epic
poem that made up the first part of Dante’s Divine Comedy, one of the most important works
in the whole of canonical literature, and the allegorical progenitor of pretty much
every Hellish realm ever written after that. Also, this particular point goes out to the
steadfast dedication of our Top 5 Scary Viewer, Spencer Beard–although we can’t do an entire
Top 5 List of Dante’s Punishments, we can definitely condense them into one. So yeah, there we have it. Now, as many of you will already know–Dante’s
depiction of Hell is the archetype that laid the foundation for the vast majority of horror
fiction, although it may not be as apparent as you may think. In the poem, that begins on the evening of
Maundy Thursday, the narrator–Dante himself, finds himself lost in a dark, dark wood–and
after being nearly ravaged to death by three beasts, a leopard, a lion and a wolf–he’s
rescued by the ghost of the Roman poet, Virgil–who leads him through the gates of the Underworld–to
begin a journey of the very fabric of the Abrahmic Religion. And of course–what better place to begin
than with Hell. In Dante’s Inferno, Hell is depicted as
nine concentric circles of eternal pain and torment, located deep within the bowels of
the earth. These consist of Limbo, Lust, Gluttony, Greed,
Wrath, Heresy, Violence, Fraud and Treachery–each of them dedicated to facilitating astutely
specific and horrifying torments to bind any hateful soul for eternal punishment. Perhaps the worst of these is the Malebolge,
the 8th Circle of Hell that consists of the Ten Bolgias, a series of deep ditches where
fraudsters, grifters and thieves alike are dismembered and disemboweled, over and over,
for eternity by a host of demons. Yeah, it’s a pretty nasty place. Next up at Number 3 – Arrakis Because talking about nasty and equally inhospitable
places–Frank Herbert’s fascinating and terrifying desert planet of Arrakis, that
makes up the homeworld of his fantastic sci-fi epic novel, Dune–is perhaps it’s own version
of hell for those not willing to adapt to the relentless trials and torments that lurk
deep within it. For those of you that haven’t read Frank
Herbert’s Dune saga–please, please do. Although, they are pretty lengthy books, so
I’ll forgive you if you choose to watch David Lynch’s 1984 film instead, because
they’re both great. The fact of the matter is though, when it
comes to Arrakis, there’s a lot to get through, so I’ll try and condense things as much
as possible. As laid out in the Dune Saga, the planet of
Arrakis is a Desert Wasteland, battered eternally by scorching heat and a dry, arid climate
where pretty much nothing can live or grow, save for a few hardy species of mice–oh,
and yeah, of course–a population of giant freakin sand worms that live deep within the
planet’s surface–erupting out of the desert wastelands to destroy anything and everything
whenever they feel like it. You might be thinking, well, why would anyone
ever want to go to Arrakis then? And well, that’s because the planet itself
is the most valuable planet in the cosmos–and at the beginning of the saga, it is the only
place in the Dune-iverse that produces Spice, an incredibly powerful resource that powers
space-flight. And whoever controls the Spice, controls the
destiny of mankind–and thus begins the eternal struggle and chaotic political espionage that
is Frank Herbert’s Dune saga. Because although we’ve somewhat touched
on the geographical horrors that lie within Arrakis, we haven’t even gotten close to
how damn violent and dangerous living on this planet would be if you somehow found yourself
as a character in the novel. Especially if your last name is Atreides,
and your first name just so happens to be Paul. Yeah, sometimes it doesn’t matter what material
terrors are lurking within a fictional world, because if you fill it with enough villains,
assassins and bloodthirsty berserkers–it kind of writes itself. Swinging in at Number 2 – Commorragh And truth be told, we couldn’t really do
this list without somewhere mentioning the Grim Darkness of the Warhammer 40K Universe–and
although there are more nightmarish worlds and dimensions of pure chaos that make up
that fictional realm–perhaps the most terrifying of them all, is the Dark City of Commorragh–the
vile, obscene and impossibility evil home of the Dark Eldar. In the Warhammer Universe, the city itself
is said to be impossible for any outsiders to find–and it is widely believed to be hidden
deep within the inter-dimensional labyrinth of the Webway, a corrupted version–spreading
out across the cosmic chaos like a virus. Because of that, Commorragh is a city of impossible
creation–linked together by shimmering dimensional shortcuts, portals that are scattered throughout
the galaxy–sometimes lightyears apart, but bound together by the Chaos of the Dark Eldar’s
corruption. I mean, Commorragh is such an evil place–that
even the shadows that slink through the city have a habit of consuming it’s inhabitants. Not like it matters, either–as Commorragh’s
population is estimated to be more than most star systems, and is considered to be bigger
than even Mankind’s largest Hive Cities combined. And it’s also important to note, that that
population–is comprised of some of the most evil, treacherous and violent individuals
in the entire Warhammer Universe. Trillions of them. All condensed into one, sprawling, viral city. Truth be told, Commorragh puts to shame pretty
much every other den of evil in fiction. Mordor can move over, forget about Azkaban
or any of its ilk. In fact, when Ben Kenobi told Luke Skywalker
that he wouldn’t find a more wretched hive of scum and villainy than Mos Eisley–he obviously
had never visited Commorragh. And finally, coming in at our Number 1 spot
— The Dreamlands Because, of course–we cannot talk of terrifying
places in literature, without paying homage to Lovecraft’s most complete, and horrifying
dimensions–The Dreamlands. The fact of the matter is, we could probably
make an entire list out of Lovecraft’s bizzare and terror inducing alien planets–but it’s
in the extradimensional impossibility of the landscape that he described in his Dream Cycle,
where the horror that we all share lies. Because what could be more terrifying than
a realm that we could all potentially access, in theory anyway. First noted in his 1918 short story, Polaris–and
as described in perhaps his most complete novella, The Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath,
Lovecraft went on to fully flesh out the Dreamlands in a series of short stories written between
1918 and 1932–portraying entire cities of moon-beasts and man-eating spiders, vast plateaus
of Satyr Men that worship toad priests–and castles of ancient design perched upon mountains
of black rock. The thing is, like with many of Lovecraft’s
cosmic horror–it comes with the magnitude of not knowing where this land begins and
where it ends. The Dreamlands could be infinite, and as Randolph
Carter discovered in the Dream Quest of Unknown Kadath, the terrifying extent to this place
is limited only by the human imagination. Oh, and also–not only that, but of course–nowhere
is safe from the Outer God’s–not even human consciousness, because the Crawling Chaos
himself, Nyarlathotep holds dominion over the Dreamlands, slowly pulling the strings
and puppeteering his way across the realm, corrupting dreamers and lost souls alike,
as well as the unfortunate races that populate it’s bizarre and impossible landscape. Essentially, the Dreamlands is Lewis Carrol’s
Wonderland–except instead of slipping through a looking glass, or falling down a rabbit’s
warren–you could accidentally find yourself in this place during a bad dream, and then
become addicted to the mysteries and infinite curiosity of its design–and before your know
it, you’re a dream junkie–searching for Kadath like Randolph Carter. Yeah. If you couldn’t tell, this place is messed
up. Well, there we have it horror fans–our list
for the Top 5 Most Terrifying Places In Literature. What did you guys think? Do you agree? Disagree? Or do you have any more to add of your own? Let us know your thoughts down in the comment
section below. Before we depart from today’s video though,
let’s first take a quick look at some of your more resounding remarks from over the
past few days. Soulmaiden deSade says– Okay Jack, if you were going to be eaten by
a zombie, who would be the one you’d want to be eaten by? — Absolutely great question. I’m assuming this is any zombified person
from history, right? Oh wow. This is a tough one. Okay. Come on, it’d be pretty great to be eaten
by Zombie Shakespeare, right? Although, Zombie Boudicca is a pretty close
contender. That’d be insane. Yeah. Either or. Well, on that note–unfortunately that’s
all we’ve got time for in today’s video–cheers for sticking around all the way until the
end. If you were a fan of this video, or just Top
5 Scary Videos in general, then please be a dear and hit that thumbs up button, as well
as that subscribe bell, and I’ll be seeing you in the next one.

100 Replies to “Top 5 Most Terrifying Places In Literature

  1. Just Because We're Going Through Some Difficult Times Doesn't Mean You Guys have to! Here's a Brand New Video To Keep Top 5 Scary Alive!

  2. jack I have to comment that in reality, leviathan isn't a creature of chaos but views its world as that of order and humans the plage of chaos. Just thought I would say.

  3. you know what place was surprisingly far scarier than I thought it would be? The Infinity Train and the crazy desert-like world the train inhabits from the new show Infinity Train. You should put that in a part two.

  4. Spice wasn't used to power ships, it was a drug that had serious and thousands of applications – made people live much longer, gave them supernatural abilities, and even changes them into more than human.

    The spacing guild used it to navigate through space, it allowed them to calculate exactly through space travel. Without the spice, they become blind, unable to navigate space.

    Generally without spice, civilization as a whole ends cause everyone is addicted to it.

    Arrakis is considered a hellish place because it is worse than the Emperor's prison planet. Another thing that made it horrible was when the Harkonnen ruled it cause they brutalized the people of the planet.

  5. Lovecraft's dream lands is accessed by taking hallucinogens, true story! AND people ARE drawn back over and over just like you said.

  6. Since I have bizarre, very lucid dreams and nightmares and in-betweens, I thought the Dreamlands was kind of fun.

  7. As a longtime fan of H.P Lovecraft and some of his disciples like Brian Lumley who wrote extensively about The Dreamlands, I’m surprised and more than a little bemused as to why they made this list at all let alone topped it. My impression of the Dreamlands is a place that whilst exotic and strange is neither good nor evil but as varied as the people who’s dreams create it.

  8. Hello Jack, why not creating a movie with a human-friendly kaiju (Pontus) alongside the Psionikes! Progenitors of the Jedi & other supernatural forces! Against the leaders of those realms.

  9. I'd also include the Congo jungle depicted in Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness", or the post cataclysmic setting of Cormac McCarthy's "The Road".

  10. I have my own story and there is pretty good horror in my story well depends on witch spots you're talking about because I have a good few planes basically like in Howard DND has how they have the planes but I have a 2 of a few good ones that are just really horrifying and they're literally fucked up

  11. wow. So pedestrian. I let the word Literature suck me in. I was expecting something along the lines of The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson

  12. Glad to see Warhammer 40K getting a little love(hate). It's hard to compare anything from that outside it, because the whole universe is ridiculously over powered. It's awesome though

  13. For your pick from the Dune series, I think Salusa Secundus would’ve been a more fitting choice. On Arrakis, the Fremen thrive and everyone else steuggles to survive. On Salusa Secundus, nobody thrives.

  14. The jaunt space from Stephen King's 'The Jaunt' takes the taco for nightmarish hellscape that I would literally rather have my nuts cut off and fed to me in front of my family than visit.

  15. I would like to add (or at least honorably mention) Edward Lee's rendition of hell, The Necropolis / Mephistopolis. It's detailed in the "Infernal" series, "City Infernal" "Infernal Angel" "House Infernal" and two spin offs (sort of) "Lucifer's Lottery" and "Infernally Yours." Granted it is based off the Abrahamic version of Hell but Edward Lee puts one wild spin on it with his shock horror / smut writing style. The descriptions of the Mephistopolis are insane and the nightmare fuel that comes from them could have a video all their own

  16. I'm more a Warhammer Fantasy girl and don't know much about 40K but Commorragh more scary then the Warp/The Realm of Chaos itself? ? i don't think so.

  17. I'm more a Warhammer Fantasy girl and don't know much about 40K but Commorragh more scary then the Warp/The Realm of Chaos itself? ? i don't think so.

  18. The Night Land from William Hope Hodgson should be in the list instead of planet Arrakis which I think is fascinating but not really terrifying. And I love Dune.

  19. Scariest place from literature that I would never want to be in would have to be Earth controlled by AM in "I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream"

  20. Love that you used the album cover art for Sulphur Aeon's gateway to the antisphere during the lovecraft segment. 🤘🤘

  21. This isn't literature. The basement in Cormac McCarthy's  The Road or the jungle in Conrad's Heart Of Darkness are two truly horrifying places in literature.

  22. I'd rather be eaten by zombie Gordon Ramsay. Why? Because he'd be too busy screaming about my flesh being too raw to actually eat me.

  23. You know the most interesting aspect of the concept of a potentially infinite multiverse is the prospect that any or even all these places could actually exist. It's all just patterns of energy all taking shape by some means, either natural or by the design of some conscious entity, which inevitably means that all patterns are possible and even inevitable. It doesn't even matter if they are based on naturally occurring energies or just programs in a computer, the individuals inside each reality can't know the difference. That in itself is kinda scary to think about.

  24. Scariest place for me would definitely have to be Airstrip 1. Because it's so potentially real that it scares me, no love, no remorse, no sorrow, no emotion whatsoever and the ever looming presence of the Thought Police. It's not a matter of "If" but "when" they get you that always scared me.

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