From cannibalistic natives to cursed villas, we count ten disturbing stories from mysterious islands!
10 – Tiburon Island,
- Tiburon Island, the largest in Mexico, is a scorching wasteland of treasure, deadly wildlife and lethal cannibals called the Seri.
- In 1905, Tom Grindell brought a three-person team to the island to prospect. They expected to be home within a month, but never returned.
- Tom’s brother, Edward, followed to find out what had happened and learned that some Americans had been killed on the island. All that was left of them were their hands, strapped to long stakes in the centre of dance rings. This frightened him because the Seri were known to tie their captives to stakes or driftwood and eat them a piece at a time, relishing their victims’ slow deaths.
- Edward Grindell found his brother’s dead mule, rifle and some of his books, but determined that the hands belonged to someone else. Tom’s remains – a pile of bones – were uncovered two years later. They were identifiable only by nearby handwritten documents.
- Fifty years later, the Seri renounced their cannibalistic ways when the Mexican government threatened action if any more travellers went missing. When asked about their cannibalism, a member of the Seri said that they ‘liked the flavour [of humans] better than most game’.
9 – Gruinard Island,
- In 1942, the British government wanted to get in on this whole biochemical warfare fad, so began experimenting with anthrax on a small island north of the Scottish coast.
- Gruinard Island’s small community had long ago vacated, making it the perfect testing grounds. Rather than evolving into some new monster breed, the test sheep they’d brought in died brutally.
- The original owner of Gruinard Island eventually requested his land back, but it was deemed uninhabitable by the Ministry of Supply. The area had not been properly quarantined as the government hadn’t even warned mainland residents about what they were doing. Innocent civilians had stood clapping and cheering at the experiments being conducted a hundred metres up the coastline.
- It wasn’t long before anthrax-infected human corpses began washing up on the Scottish mainland, infecting other animals. The island was cleansed with water and formaldehyde, but it was never liveable again and is now a nuclear waste dump.
8 – Isola La Gaiola,
- Isola La Gaiola is a beautiful Italian island famed for its ancient ruins. Once a symbol of wealth, the island is now deserted because of a string of unfortunate incidents that plagued its former owners.
- Talk of the island’s curse began in the 1920s, when the owner of a newly built villa was found murdered, with his corpse concealed, mob hit-style, in a rolled-up carpet. His wife – a strong swimmer – apparently drowned in the gentle Gulf seas soon after.
- The island was then purchased by a wealthy German who died of a mysterious heart attack during his stay. The next owner went insane and took his own life, as did the son of the next owner.
- The succeeding heir to the Fiat Empire died of an extremely rare type of cancer on the island while another owner was suddenly bankrupted after a string of unexpected financial setback. Finally, J. Paul Getty’s grandson was kidnapped shortly after purchasing the island.
- The island’s last owner was jailed on fraud charges and the decaying villa has been abandoned ever since.
7 – The Barbados Chase Vault,
- Barbados is a crown jewel in the Caribbean Islands, but holds a disturbing secret involving the Chase family tomb.
- In 1808, the deceased body of baby Mary Chase was placed in a metal coffin in the family vault. Four years later, more tragedy arose with the death of Colonel Chase and the suicide of his daughter, Dorcas Chase.
- When two pallbearers carried the Colonel’s coffin into the crypt, they noticed that baby Mary’s coffin had moved and now stood upright in a corner. Thinking someone had broken in, they returned it to its rightful place and made sure the tomb was securely locked.
- When the crypt was reopened, mourners shockingly discovered none of the coffins were in their original places. Stories spread of terrifying noises coming from the crypt and a few family horses mysteriously drowned. The crypt was reopened later to reveal the coffins had been violently thrown about.
- To solve the mystery, the governing Lord Combermere poured sand over the floor to reveal the culprit’s footprints. When the crypt was next reopened, the coffins had again moved but the sand was undisturbed.
- People have since speculated that floodwater might have risen up through the limestone floor, moving the coffins as the water receded. It’s an interesting theory, but not as plausible as ghosts.
6 – Solovki Prison Monks,
- In the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Centuries, the monastery and settlements on Solovki were inhabited by peaceful monks. However, during Ivan the Terrible’s reign, the island was slowly converted into a prison colony and Soviet gulag.
- People were exiled to the island for treason, petty theft, blasphemy or for being vagabonds and were detained in former monastery buildings. The monks still living on the island were forced to work as prison wardens.
- In 1923, massive military executions began, with more than 2,000 killed in 1937 alone. Prisoners describe horrific conditions like guards dragging up the dead using sea hooks while prisoners fought to keep them for food. Conditions were unbearable, the monk guards became sadistic, and the work was menial, pointless and back-breaking. It’s a far cry from its origins as a peaceful monastery.