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Eldritch Location
Apartments for rent: Reasonable rates, in walking distance of the local school district, teeming with restless souls of the Damned. Inquire without.

"We're talking about a higher order of reality... The world they come from, the world I come from, has... more of everything. I don't think you understand yet; the light of Heaven would slash open your corneas. The music of Heaven would puncture your eardrums and drive you insane. The air of heaven would burst your lungs and boil your blood. Only spirit can bear Heaven's touch."
Zauriel, JLA

In fiction-land, some places just don't agree with the laws of physics, geography, and the way we understand the world.

Eldritch Locations take many forms: Lost Worlds, Wonderlands ("Wonder" is not always a good thing) Strange Planets, Incomprehensible Voids, the insides of Eldritch Abominations, Alternate Universes, ordinary-looking buildings... basically, wherever the author decides could use some weirdness.

These are usually depicted as bad places, but not always. The ones that aren't are usually sources of Surreal Humor.

If this place is a planet or country, then it will often feature an Alien Sky, as well as Mix-and-Match Critters or Star Fish Aliens by the herd. Expect all geometries to be alien or sinister. However, like any self-respecting Cosmic Horror Story, you can bet this is only a small part of its fundamental strangeness.

If it even exists in the same dimension as our Insignificant Little Blue Planet, chances are it's either outside the world entirely (and often accessible only by a Cool Gate), or located in a strange, unknown corner of the Earth. It may have never been seen by man before. If so, expect at least one character, upon seeing it, to widen his eyes and gasp: "What is this place?!"

The Big Bad may set up A Very Definitely Final Dungeon or an Amazing Technicolor Battlefield here.

Compare World of Chaos, Lost World, Dark World, Dream Land.

See also Genius Loci, Garden of Evil, Ominous Floating Castle, World Tree, Hyperspace Is a Scary Place, Bigger on the Inside, Year Inside, Hour Outside.

Some common settings, such as the Sugar Bowl, can fall right into this trope if you think about them enough.


Examples

    open/close all folders 

    Anime & Manga 
  • The surface of Hellstar Remina. Not surprising, since Remina itself is an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Also by Junji Ito, Amigara Fault from...well...The Enigma of Amigara Fault. There are holes shaped like people in the rock surface. The holes bewitch people into climbing in, then they change shape as the people go through, warping the people hideously.
  • The Manor in Noir: Said to be be "between France and Spain" (Protip: It's not Andorra), but Kirika gets there by walking from Paris. Its entirely normal (for rural areas in western European countries) landscape�it has fields of grapes and is covered with Roman ruins�manages to come across as profoundly unsettling even in bright sunlight. The main building seems to be bigger on the inside and is set over an active volcano.
  • Hell's Gate in Darker Than Black is full of Not of This Earth weirdness, the geography constantly shifts, Reality Is Out to Lunch, and, generally, there are very good reasons the scientists studying it have mostly abandoned manned missions in favor of sending in robots. As an added bonus, its appearance in the middle of Tokyo was accompanied by an Alien Sky covering the entire Earth and people suddenly becoming superpowered sociopaths. Said "sending in robots" consists of sending in a robot with a camera and having a full room of people watch the video stream and write down everything they see, because even through the video, everyone sees something different.
  • The Abyss from Pandora Hearts is a time-warping dimension that appears as a cross between a broken toy box and hell. Apparently, it used to be a paradise of golden light.
  • Digimon Adventure 02:
    • The Dark Ocean, a place populated by something that is either an Eldritch Abomination that can take the form of a Digimon and are suspiciously called the Digi-Deep Ones and serve a master that is suspiciously similar to Cthulhu, Digimons whose designs are heavily influenced by the Cthulhu Mythos (Named Dragomon in the card game but not in the show), or Cthulhu and his minions making a Lawyer-Friendly Cameo. It was stated that The Dark Ocean is a separate Dimension from the other two established dimensions.
    • Wherever the Hell it was Etemon ended up in after his first defeat in Digimon Adventure.
    • The world where the kids get sent to because Oikawa screwed up the card order
    • What happens to the Digital World after the Dark Masters are defeated
  • Digimon Tamers:
    • The inside of the D-Reaper's mass bubble when it invades Earth. It goes from a giant bunch of melted buildings and electronics and a few sidewalks to a liquid-like gooey landscape of pure pink and red evil all around. Not only that, but the digital world certainly qualifies when the D-Reaper has taken over and turned everything into a rather disturbing, apocalyptic-looking war zone.
    • And the world created by Mephistomon in Battle of Adventurers. It was ruined city with random vehicles suspended in the sky, everything was a shade of red, you could float around, and while it appeared submerged in liquid you breathe and talk normally.
  • Heaven and Hell in Ah! My Goddess both use and avert this concept. On the one hand, both are realms that exist in twelve-dimensions, far more than the normal humans of Earth can ever hope to perceive. However, due to their complete inability to perceive what they are not perceiving, the sheer alien quality of the two realms is completely lost on humans.
  • The End of Evangelion has the Sea of LCL, "a place with no AT-Field, where individual forms do not exist; an ambiguous world where you cannot tell where you end and others begin; a world where you exist everywhere and yet you exist nowhere, all at once". Its freaky nature is perfectly illustrated by the scene where Rei pulls out her hands out of Shinji's chest with absolutely no signs of injury on him. It's not a Dream World in that the place only exists in the shared reality between Rei, Kaworu and Shinji. The Sea of LCL is actually Primordial Earth after Rei had returned every living being in existence back to its most basic form. All Souls are now one with Rei and/or Kaworu, the Mother and Father respectively of every living being on Earth. So in said Reality of Rei, Kaworu, and Shinji it was basically the Entire World at the moment. Or maybe it was all concepts of Reality, depending on your interpretation of what the bloody hell was going on.
  • The Distortion World in the manga and anime adaptions of Pokmon is this to the core, due to not having the limitations that the video game versions has. Most notable is the random gravity for different areas, and, of course, Giratina.
  • The so called 'closed spaces' in Haruhi Suzumiya can be considered a form of this.
  • Fullmetal Alchemist:
    • The entire country of Amestris is a subtle version of this. The Xingese characters notice that alchemy in Amestris has something distinctly off about it, and a creepy vibe seems to ooze from the ground and tickle their chi-sense. This is because Amestrian alchemy, which draws tectonic energy from the earth, is being suppressed by a massive system of pipes and underground tunnels. Amestrian alchemy can be completely disabled by Father at will, making him theoretically invincible. The whole system is derailed by a countermeasure based on Xingese alkahestry devised by Scar's brother before the series even started. Once Scar puts the plan into effect Amestrian alchemy becomes much more powerful than before.
    • In addition, there's the inside of the Gate, ("It's awful!") and the inside of Gluttony's stomach, which is a failed Gate somewhere "between reality and the real Gate".
  • Hell in Hell Girl is this, and it is deliberately designed for personalized Mind Rape.
  • The Witches' labyrinths in Puella Magi Madoka Magica
  • The Red Night in Eleven Eyes.
  • Hueco Mundo and the precipice world in Bleach
  • The Book of Eibon (manga only) and inside Asura's sphere (anime only) also the Nakatsukasa mindscape at first in Soul Eater
  • Some dreamscapes in Yumekui Merry
  • Tsukuyomi and the Living Corpse Reincarnation realm; some genjutsu from Naruto are also capable of projecting this type of location.
  • Tokimi's realm in Tenchi Muyo!. It's a floating temple-like thing in the middle of nowhere in the universe. outside it's got a twisted planet thing with a Space Whale. Her presence fills the room, but she is not there. And that's only in the third dimension. Each dimension up is so much more complex that a being from a lower dimension cannot comprehend, and there is a lot of them.
  • The whole point of the Nausica of the Valley of the Wind movie is that the Sea of Decay / Toxic Jungle is not this, unlike most characters think, and that it actually functions as a natural "cleanup" facility that filters all toxins from the world and creates a pure, healthy environment underneath that even supports regular vegetation.
  • The titular Psyren is Earth in the future with a membrane that disables all electronics, filters out sunlight, and saturates the atmosphere with psychic energy, awakening latent powers in the inhabitants and Drifters. The membrane is a fragment of an Eldritch Abomination named Quat Nevas, who devours the life force and PSI from planets after cultivating it this way.
  • YuYu Hakusho has the Demon World and the inside of the creature Itsuki summoned up to eat Kuwabara, Kurama,and Hiei. Come to think of it, almost anywhere other than Earth or the Spirit World count as this.
  • The town of Kurzu-cho in Uzumaki becomes this over the course of the story as the curse of the spiral takes over. Roads leading out of town take travellers back in again, roads and houses begin to line up into a spiral shape, and beneath the lake lies a twisted underworld that's even stranger.
  • Whenever the God Hand show up in Berserk they either pull people into their world (which is either a creepy landscape or something from an Escher painting) or start distorting our world until it resembles theirs.

    Art 

    Comic Books 
  • In The DCU, Heaven, of all places.
    • The city of Vanity from the short-lived Aztek series was implied to be one as well. It was a Wretched Hive that was worse than Gotham, full of a strange psychic malaise that turned two Captain Patriotic heroes into Nineties Anti-Heroes. It was implied that the town founders were all mad and used principles of sacred geometry to make the city utterly bent.
    • Arkham Asylum. The place gets destroyed regularly, yet somehow always magically comes back and it has a tendency to drive people completely batshit insane just by being there. When you remember these facts one kind of has to wonder why the city of Gotham thinks sending already insane supervillans there will make them better.
    • The madness of the asylum and its inhabitants has been implied to warp space and time.
    • The 90s Doom Patrol had a benign one in the form of Danny the Street. Luckily, he was a good guy.
  • In the Marvel Universe , The Thanos Imperative introduced an entire freaking parallel universe as an Eldritch Location. It all began when somehow, somebody killed death and allowed Life to grow unrestrained. Now the entire universe is under the influence of Elder Gods and, using the Fault that has opened up in the MU, they are now intent on corrupting the rest of reality.
    Quasar: I'm Protector Of The Universe. But how am I supposed to protect it from another universe? Planets, stars, whole galaxies that want to crush us all. I asked what's the worst that could happen. This is my answer.
  • Johnny the Homicidal Maniac:
  • The Dead Universe that appears across stories in The Transformers IDW exists as an alternate reality that seeks spread into the regular universe. Although its true nature is not clearly known, it has been confirmed to be sentient and that any living thing that enters returns as a regenerating zombie that can only survive in the normal universe for limited periods of time.
  • Shade, the Changing Man: The Area of Madness and the larger Area it is part of appears anywhere from vaguely surreal to incomprehensibly psychedelic, filled with creatures hostile to life, limb, and/or sensibilities, and more could be generated simply by entering the Area. Shade can create more localized versions around himself, but his apartment in the crack in the sidewalk of Times Square was the largest and most stable.
  • The Dreaming as it appears in the Sandman series qualifies since it explicitly disregards natural laws in favour of those crafted by Morpheus. In fact, each of the realms of the Endless (along with Hell) can be called an Eldritch Location by itself.

    Fanfiction 

    Film 
  • In Labyrinth, Sarah's final showdown with Jareth occurs in a place that was designed by M.C. Escher.
  • Tiny in comparison to most examples, but the titular sauna in AJ Annila's Surreal Horror indie Sauna is a piece of Sinister Geometry that defies all definition, and has a habit of swallowing people whole, or sending them out...different. A common theory makes it the gate to Hell.
  • The apartment building in Ghostbusters certainly applies, given what it was designed for. The dimension one of the refrigerators opens onto counts as well.
  • Inception, because, well, it's All Just a Dream.
  • In Event Horizon, the dimension that the gravity drive took the titular ship into is summed up as "Hell", but from what's hinted, Hell is pretty fuckin' warm and fuzzy compared to what actually lies beyond the portal.
  • If you think about it, Toontown in Who Framed Roger Rabbit is an Eldritch Location in its context. All that stuff may be normal in cartoons, but in the middle of the real world it's bizarre to say the least. Alien Geometries? You bet. For example, the building you're in becomes higher than all the surrounding ones if you're in danger of falling from it and look down, simply because it's a trick used by animators to make it look more like the perspective is from really high up.
  • The Overlook Hotel in The Shining is... bizzare to say the least.
  • The Hypercube in Cube 2: Hypercube is the theoretical construct of a tesseract made reality by constructing some sort of pocket dimension. The laws of physics are bent around in the place, making the entire thing an inescapable death trap.
  • The room in 1408. As Samuel L. Jackson's character insists, there are no ghosts, it's just "an evil fucking room". Yes, the Eldritch Location is itself the Eldritch Abomination.
  • In Bram Stoker's Dracula, normal laws of physics don't quite seem to apply in Castle Dracula, most notably seen when Harker opens a perfume bottle that starts dripping upwards into the ceiling. For extra creep factor, the castle itself vaguely resembles a ghoulish figure crouched on a cracked throne.
  • Yellow Submarine - The Beatles' Liverpool abode is a grim little wharfside hovel on the outside - inside it's a cavernous palace with endless corridors that open into scenes from King Kong, Magritte paintings, and the like, while various outsize objects, inanimate and otherwise, run in and out of doors when no one's looking. The places they visit on their journey are similarly extradimensional.
  • The hospital in Grave Encounters. The trapped ghost-hunting team manages to bust open the front door, only to reveal another hallway. Same for an emergency exit. Later, a staircase promising rooftop access instead leads to a blank wall, and underground tunnels that should have had turn-offs for traversing between buildings instead turns into a single, Endless Corridor. Until the end, anyway.
  • The Mayflower department store in Mirrors has become this thanks to Demonic Possession and being an otherworldly prison for the ghosts of those who have died there. While the store itself doesn't have any strange geometry (though being burned out it is quite creepy), The Maze of tunnels beneath it is rather unsettling and the Demonic Possession allows for many strange visions, images, and effects throughout it, including some very disturbing All Just a Dream/That Was Not A Dream sequences.
  • Pacific Rim: The home dimension of the Precursors, where the Kaiju are sent from. It's spiral-y, mostly organic, with weird lights everywhere and gravity working weirdly, and it has a sun that looks like an eyeball. Or even worse, may BE an eyeball...
  • The island from Byzantium.
  • The dark skies in Altitude. After hours of flying around and descending with no ground or any other landmark features in sight and no radio contact with anyone, it becomes clear that the characters have entered some alternate dimension filled with endless sky and housing giant alien terrors flying around looking for prey.
  • "Saturn" in Beetlejuice.

    Literature 
  • In The First Law Trilogy The House of the Maker qualifies. A massive, mysterious structure that nobody has been in for thousands of years that completely defies physics, such as the ability to ascend floors without the use of stairs or any other means.
  • The world described in the incomprehensible Codex Seraphinianus.
  • H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.
    • R'lyeh, the abode of Great Cthulhu, as described in The Call of Cthulhu.
    • Lovecraft's writings have several of these in addition to R'lyeh. These include the subterranean N'knai, the planet Yuggoth with its black towers and rivers of pitch, and the Outer Void that exists beyond our four-dimensional space and is the dwelling place of the Outer Gods. The Dreamlands may also count, as it's apparently a separate plane of existence that shares a connection with our world.
    • The Plateau of Leng, that may exist somewhere in the Himalayas, in Antarctica, or in the Dreamlands, or possibly in all these places.
    • Wherever (or whatever) it was that could be seen from Erich Zahn's balcony, and drove him to compose such music. Probably extends somewhat to the entire street, given the narrator's later incapacity to locate it.
  • The lost city of Carcosa, "where black stars hang in the heavens; where the shadows of men's thoughts lengthen in the afternoon, when the twin suns sink into the lake of Hali. . ." From Robert Chambers's The King in Yellow, which he borrowed from Ambrose Bierce's "An Inhabitant of Carcosa". Later used by Lovecraft and his successor, August Derleth.
  • In the Incarnations of Immortality series, the raw, unmade substance from which Clotho spins thread is deep within one of these. Trees start to become geometric abstractions, and she walks on a path which goes upside down, and pretty much everything breaks down as she reaches the area from which she must collect the raw material from which to spin her threads.
  • The Dark Tower
  • More King: From a Buick 8 theorizes that the eponymous car is a portal to such a place. Possibly subverted, as the... things that come out of the car seem to find humans just as horrible and terrifying as we find them.
    • The room in 1408. Both the short story and the movie are insistent that there's no ghosts.
    • The standing stones on Ackermann's field in N. And similar to that, the field, home of the ancient stone in Stephen King and Joe Hill's In the Tall Grass.
    • His forays into the Cthulhu mythos has Crouch End, which is perfectly normal if you overlook the multiple portals to a version of London filled with Creepy Children and monsters, and street signs bearing names from Lovecraft's work.
  • As mentioned above: Giant country and The Land of Dreams in The BFG. They're somewhere on Earth, but they've never been seen by man before the events of the book, no one had even suspected they may exist, and not even the BFG, who lives in the land of Giants, knows where it is. (He gets there by homing instinct.)
  • The Dresden Files:
    • The Nevernever. In size, it is to Australia what Earth is to the Rhode islandnote , and the laws of physics just don't work the way they do in our world. In fact they almost never do. What goes beyond that is the dimensions between entrances isn't 1 to 1. There is a portal in Chicago that leads to a trail. Following the trail, one can get a person to Edinburgh, Scotland in a 30 minute walk. Even just moving a few feet in one direction can change where you enter into. Open a portal in a cemetery or shady area and expect a place with negative attributes, but move away from that to the nice home close by and you could find a venerable paradise. And that said, just because the place looks like a nice visit, Light Is Not Good may apply. The region Harry Dresden's apartment connects to is a beautiful garden with a giant killer centipede that if cut in half, now one has two centipede monsters to fight.
    • Demonreach, introduced in Small Favor, is a less alien but no less powerful site. Aside from being the source of a massive dark energy ley line, it is also self-aware and does not show up on any maps because ships disappear around it and aircraft navigation goes out close to it. In Cold Days it is revealed to be a prison for Eldritch Abominations with skinwalkers being only in Minimum Security. And Harry's connection to the place sensed in Small Favor was the possibility where he become the Warden of the entire island, with the power to free everything inside on a whim.
  • Brian Lumley's Necroscope novels have the vampire world which is home to a White Hole that plunged half the planet into and towered eternal night, and the Mbius Continuum.
  • In Graham McNeill's Warhammer 40,000 Ultramarines novel Dead Sky Black Sun, Uriel and Pasanius find that a Chaos-warped Afterlife Express has carried them into the Eye of Terror. Hideous, impossible landscapes haunted by monsters and holding many dead bodies, with tunnels that can drive people to murder and suicide, and a city of Alien Geometries with strange light creatures and impossible to trace routes, pollutants that come to life as Living Shadows and an Evil Tower of Ominousness. In fact, this sort of thing is common in Warpspace, Another Dimension which spaceships use for all interstellar travel. Also, there's a few regions where Warpspace and real space overlap, the largest one being the Eye of Terror.
  • In Dan Abnett's Eisenhorn series, there is a similar place; the Alien Geometries is taken to its describable extreme (for instance, there are triangles that clearly have more than 360 degrees internally) and every little thing is another impossibility made possible. Most of those who enter lose their minds in a short while.
  • The realm of the Aelfinn and the Eelfinn in The Wheel of Time is a pocket dimension full of bizarre Alien Geometry.
  • Faction Paradox:
  • Most Simon R. Green novels feature at least one of these, if not more.
  • Algernon Blackwood's "The Willows" takes place in such a setting. A possibly sentient setting, no less.
  • Discworld:
    • Death's Domain is definitely this. While it appears normal at first glance, the house is much Bigger on the Inside than it appears, there are a wide variety of shades of black, a peculiar blue glow appears on the horizon, the mountains can never be reached, time does not pass for mortals, and peculiar and unsettling shadows appear.
      • And in The Light Fantastic, when Rincewind and Twoflower pay Death a visit, they use a picture-taking imp to take a picture. The imp sees what is really there, is confused at the location ("Where ARE we? Three bloody years at F8 if you ask me.") When they look at the picture later, it is extremely unsettling and was NOT remotely what the visitors saw.
      • Death's boss, Azrael potentially qualifies as an eldritch location in and of himself
      • Time's glass house and the Tooth Fairy's castle also count as this. The Tooth Fairy's castle is surprisingly creepy, even the portions not influenced by the Tooth Fairy's previous job as the first Boogeyman. Justified because the Tooth Fairy is the protector of the teeth to ensure no one uses the teeth to control the children.
      • On the subject of Time. The monastery of Oi Dong probably also counts, as time functions differently there.
    • Lancre contains a few places like this, including the portal to the elves' world from Lords And Ladies and the "gnarly" ground in Carpe Jugulum.
    • Unseen University, especially the library, which, in addition to being bigger on the inside than on the outside (quite possibly to the degree of being significantly larger than the entire rest of the planet including Great A'tuin) also, among other things, has corridors that lead off to other points in time.
      Rule 3 of the Library: Do not meddle with the nature of causality.
      • The whole university in general is so magically charged that it randomly causes weird phenomena like animals spontaneously becoming sapient. Also, most of the rooms are larger inside than out (although not as much as the library)
    • Inverted in the Science of Discworld books, where the mundane physics of the Roundworld universe — i.e. our own — seem like this trope to the wizards, who are used to things running on narrativium rather than rules.
  • The setting of Full Tilt is superficially an Amusement Park of Doom, but the "rides" expand into mini-worlds, ranging from a burned-out slum to a mock-up of ancient Egypt to an asteroid field made of Pintos that explode when touched. According to throwaway dialogue from its creator, it's less "real" than our own world, but it will become more real as more and more people are drawn into it, and all other worlds will become mere shadows.
  • A very confined one, whose rooms are organized by variety of weirdness (time-based, outer-spacey, etc): the Department of Mysteries in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It exists for the purpose of studying how magic "really" works.
  • The Duat in The Kane Chronicles. It's the expansion pack version of the Underworld from the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series by the same author (and canonically in the same universe). There are the shallower regions where we find the Halls of Maat, the center of Order in the universe and stronghold of the Egyptian Gods. And, presumably, the region controlled by the Olympians for their underworld and imprisoning the odd Eldritch Abomination. But then there are the deep reaches of the Duat, where there are vast gulfs even the gods fear to tread and Apophis lurks. This corresponds to the reaches where the Olympians tossed the remains of Kronos.
  • In Dean Koontz's Seize the Night, military scientists have found a way into some kine of parallel universe of red skies and black, fungus-like trees. The protagonists initially believed the scientists had been building a time machine to the future. Actually, they may have opened a doorway to Hell - so to speak. One of the characters later postulates that our ideas of Heaven and Hell may have come from genuine mystics who were able to glimpse alternate dimensions, some incredibly alien to our own.
    "That's not the future. That's... sideways."
  • Everywhere in the Dr. Seuss books, especially "Oh, the Places You'll Go!"
  • The Chronicles of Narnia has several. The Dark Island from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is the only truly frightening one, though—more pleasant or neutral ones include Bism and the Wood Between the Worlds.
  • The land of the elves from the SERRAted Edge series, at least those parts not formed by a sufficiently strong will into some definite state. As with all travels into the realms of the Elves in this series, it is EXTREMELY hazardous to enter an unformed region without adequate (usually magical) assistance, and anything one can imagine (and many things one would rather not) may be found there. Entering with an unfamiliar Elf is actually MORE dangerous, because an untrained mortal is effectively incapable of distinguishing the Seelie (relatively benign) Elves from the Unseelie (Always Chaotic Evil) Elves until it's FAR too late.
  • The Darke Halls in Septimus Heap are described as this, having the power of driving people to madness.
  • A Song of Ice and Fire has the House of the Undying, home of the Warlocks of Qarth. It only appears once, but as soon as she starts walks through it, Daenerys realises that the path she's taking should be impossible due to the positions of the building's outside walls. This is in addition to the various visions and illusions she sees while inside. It's unclear whether there is anything special about the building itself, or if it's simply the power of the its inhabitants that causes these effects, or what the intentions or morality of the Warlocks/the House/the Undying really are, since the Undying give Dany cryptic visions and prophecies and then try to eat her, but certain hallucinations she receives seem to be trying to draw her to some different eventuality from this, and the warlock is furious that she set fire to the place as she tried to escape.
    • The series also has the Ruins of Old Valyria. Valyria was The Empire of its day, a Magocracy that discovered dragons and used them to conquer much of the known world before the (thus far unexplained) Doom destroyed the heart of the empire in a single day. Now the coast of Valyria is known as "The Smoking Shore", which according to legend is haunted, (or worse) and any ships or explorers who try to visit it tend to vanish. The only exception to that thus far is Euron Greyjoy, a cunning and sadistic Pirate who practices Black Magic, (in a series where magic is usually extremely rare and limited) and returned from Valyria with numerous artifacts, some of which are hinted to be powerful magic.
  • The Perry Rhodan setting has seen its share of these. A prominent example used as the backdrop for basically an entire arc was the Land in the Deep ("Tiefenland" in the original German) — an artificial construct built into the void between the universes, a light-year across but with a nigh unsurmountable ceiling only a couple thousand and change meters above its surface, populated by all manners of weird lifeforms whose ancestors were usually recruited from all over the universe millions of years ago... And then the subtle influence of the Deep eventually proved hostile to lifeforms from "above", with the results of overexposure resulting in anything from death (often via petrification) to corruption into antagonistic "grey life". By the time the protagonists Atlan and Jen Salik finally ended up there, things had already gone much as one might expect.
  • Robert Holdstock's Rhyhope Wood saga, starting with Mythago Wood. The titular wood is Bigger on the Inside, stretching far back into the mists of pre-literate human history and mythology. It's also something of a Genius Loci, with ways to prevent those how don't understand it well from penetrating beyond the outer fringes.
  • The titular City in The Doomed City, also by the Strugatsky Brothers, qualifies as well.
  • Glen Cook's Black Company novels feature the Plain of Fear. The Plain is a vast wasteland that is home to wind-whales, flying mantas, walking trees, talking stones (called "menhir"), coral reefs (despite being a desert), and "change storms" that temporarily distort reality. In the third book, it is revealed that the strange denizens can leave the Plain if they so desire, though most of the world doesn't know that. It's also revealed that the Plain is the way it is because "Old Father Tree," the giant tree at the Plain's geographical center, is actually a Physical God summoned from Another Dimension thousands of years ago to serve as the can for a now-forgotten Big Bad. The oddities of the Plain are actually pieces of Old Father Tree's home world seeping into the Company's reality.
  • Most of Wayside School is just an Academy of Adventure and not this trope. Its nineteenth story, however, is a classroom that does not exist run by a teacher no one has heard of whose students do the same mind-numbingly repetitive task over and over again forever, and those unfortunate souls who wind up there eventually find that after a while they lose all memory of the world outside the nineteenth story. One character even sincerely speculates that it may be hell.
  • The titular body of water in Hugh Walpole's short story "The Tarn". It is oddly sentient, in a nonhuman way.
  • In Animorphs' The Andalite Chronicles, Elfangor, Loren and Visser Three get hold of the Time Matrix, a time machine, at the same time and each simultaneously tries to use it to take them back to their home planets. The result is a horrifying mishmash of their memories of all three.
  • Several in The Power of Five.
    • Lesser Malling and the surrounding countryside.
    • Whatever dimension is on the other side of the Gates.
    • Hong Kong is turned into one over the course of Necropolis
    • Anywhere that the influence of the Old Ones is particularly strong begins to smell awful and naturally repel people.
    • The enormous hidden ice palace in Antartica that the King Of The Old Ones makes its base in after being summoned in Evil Star.
    • The Nazca Desert. Yes, the whole thing.
  • Hinted at in 2666 by Roberto Bolao. All of the characters notice that something's... off about Santa Teresa, a fictionalized version of Ciudad Juarez, where some 3000 women have disappeared or been murdered since the 1990s. And then there's the mysterious nature of the book's title, which is hinted at in other Bolao works as well. As one reviewer put it:
    There is something secret, horrible, and cosmic afoot, centered around Santa Teresa (and possibly culminating in the mystical year of the book's title, a date that is referred to in passing in Amulet as well). We can at most glimpse it, in those uncanny moments when the world seems wrong.[1]
  • In Those That Wake, the tower is only visible to the protagonists and opens up into many different building across the city. There's also an endless looping forest.
  • Shadesmar in The Stormlight Archive. A parallel realm of reality built up entirely of tiny black glass beads, which represent the ideas of various things. (One bead, for instance, is everything that people know about a certain stick in the wilderness, plus everything the stick knows about itself and the relevant portions of what humans think about sticks in general.) Oh, and land here is sea there, and vice-versa.
  • William Hope Hodgson's The House on the Borderland is a portal into vast abysses of time and space. Additionally, the surrounding countryside is infested with things from Beneath the Earth.
    • Hodgson's Night Land is a portrait of a sunless earth inhabited by ghosts, phenomena and monsters closing in on the Great Redoubt, the last city of humans, now a Dying Race. There are guy in the Redoubt whose job description is to peer into the Night Land from the pyramid's top and write down any changes, occurrences or notable events. Maps can be found at www.thenightland.co.uk.
  • Zones in Arkady and Boris Strugatsky's Roadside Picnic are areas afflicted maybe by the passage of aliens. Magic physics, acausal occurrences, strange (and monetizable) objects and sudden death can be found therein. Rumour has it that the Zone near Harmond, Canada contains a Wish Granter. Used by Andrei Tarkowski as the basis for the movie Stalker. No special effects were used; weird foam and snow are actual carcinogenic chemicals unloaded from industry around Tallin. This actually gave Tarkowski and several other people, as well as the dog, terminal cancer.
  • Bellona in Samuel R. Delany's Dhalgren. Bellona is a city located in the American Midwest, isolated from the rest of the world by some unknown space/time glitch. You can still get to it on foot. It is now inhabited mostly by gangs of various couleurs and civilians unsure about leaving for good.
  • In Charles' Stross The Atrocity Archives, a portal to another universe is opened in which Heinrich Himmler and the Ahnenerbe SS managed to make a deal (via mass human sacrifices, natch) with Eldritch Abomination s (the Ice Giants) to win WWII. Guess what happened next in that universe. While you can admire Hitler's portrait chiseled onto the moon's surface by giant hands, it just so happens that alter-earth is now frozen to near absolute zero while the universe itself has redshifted into collapse mode and has just a few hours left to go. And something wants to get back through the portal to our side. This is bad!
  • Carlos Castaneda continually pumps too much Peyotl with his Yaqui-Indian friend and starts to see the whole world as an Eldritch Place, then writes books about it. Dreamtime!
  • Stanislaw Lem's Solaris is a planet with an ocean not made of water that is alive and can manipulate the orbit of the planet (so that it stays in a stable orbit around its two suns) and reach into the minds of the research expedition to bring to life their inner daemons. Luckily for the protagonist, this turns out to be his late girlfriend. Which he drove to suicide.
  • The Kavach Building in 14 by Peter Clines SEEMS innocuous enough. It's not. It has a door into SPACE for starters.

    Live Action TV 
  • Angel:
    • The location of the Senior Partners of euphemistically known as the "Home Office."
      • Eventually subverted. When Angel demands to be taken there, it's revealed that Earth is the home office.
    • The "White Room" which is the location of the Conduit.
  • Star Trek:
    • The Q Continuum, home of the (supposedly) omnipotent and omniscient species known as the Q (and also sometimes used as a name for the species itself). When we saw it on-screen in two Voyager episodes, it appeared first as a gas station on a desert highway and then as a battlefield from the American Civil War (when the Q were fighting their own civil war). This was probably done due to the show's budget constraints, and was justified by explaining that the Continuum cannot be perceived by a humanoid as it truly exists, and thus it will appear as an analogue from the viewer's culture. In one TNG novel, the android Lt. Commander Data is taken to the Continuum and forced to perceive it in its true form. This causes him to shut down as the result of the sensory overload.
    • Another Star Trek example is the Next Generation episode "Remember Me," in which an experiment with warp bubbles goes wrong and sucks Dr. Crusher into some kind of parallel dimension shaped by the thoughts she was having at the moment she was trapped. It appears to be a replica of the Enterprise, except all the other crew members start vanishing one by one and no one except Crusher remembers they existed. Then it gets even worse. Dr. Crusher activates a view screen and sees a "warp energy field" encasing the ship. After establishing that there is no penetrating the field, she asks the computer to define the universe. It replies, "THE UNIVERSE IS A SPHEROID REGION 705 METERS IN DIAMETER". The computer says that there is nothing outside of the ship.
    • Just before asking that question, Dr. Crusher asked the computer the diameter of the energy field surrounding the ship was. The computer replied that it was 715 meters in diameter. That is not a typo; the field had shrunk 10 meters between questions, and continued to shrink throughout the episode.
    • Crusher spends most of the episode thinking she's going insane, and with everyone around her apparently certain she is (until they disappear, that is). The turning point occurs when, after exhaustive tests show nothing wrong with her brain, it finally occurs to her: "If there's nothing wrong with me, maybe there's something wrong with the universe."
    • From Star Trek: Voyager, there's Fluidic Space. Its an extradimensional realm where there are no stars or planets or anything else of mass. Everything is just a organic soup there. The only life form that has ever been encountered there is the equally eldritch Species 8472, which the Borg consider the apex of biological life.
    • Another episode has Voyager trapped in a phenomenon called "chaotic space," which is inhabited by aliens that can't be seen directly and can only communicate with certain people via hallucinations.
    • And at one point, they become trapped in a stellar phenomena known only as "The Void", a weird fold in space without so much as a micron of matter inside. Ships drawn in survive by raiding other ships.
    • Season 3 of Star Trek: Enterprise takes place in the Delphic Expanse, a region infamous for unexplainable anomalies and even large areas that aren't entirely in this universe. This is revealed to be the work of aliens from another realm who are altering the galaxy to suit them; once they're defeated, the Expanse turns into normal space.
  • The Black Lodge from Twin Peaks. A world where people speak backwards, time works... differently, and cream corn is used as a form of currency. The lodge itself is really just a series of identical rooms with red curtains and a zig-zag patterned floor. Or it could be that it is just the same room repeated over and over.
  • Heaven in Supernatural. Every heaven is basically just the best moment of your life over and over again.
  • Einstein's Realm in Farscape. Reachable only by wormhole, it acts as a meeting ground between the representative of the True Ancients and anyone knowledgeable enough to be dangerous to them: it's basically an iceberg floating in an ocean of wormholes beneath a pitch-black sky. Due to Einstein's influence, physics tend to behave quite strangely here, and Crichton often ends up speaking to long-dead individuals from his past and tumbling into Unrealized Realities.
  • Doctor Who is FULL of these. The TARDIS is one in living, alleged ship form. The Doctor has visited some quite notable ones, like The Impossible Planet (prison of a being that claims to be the ultimate source of evil in the universe), and Zeta Minor (visited during The Planet of Evil) where strange beings lurked and tried to prevent catastrophe caused by removing material from the place. The Doctor also visited to near the end of the universe (finding desperate humans trying to flee from vampire-like Future Kind), and even the extrauniversal E-Space, multiple parallel universes, and once simply PARKING OUTSIDE REALITY. Humanity found a way to build a space station that would continue to exist after the end of the universe. Not in the next universe, or the Void, in a by then non-existant universe. It worked. Perhaps the most Eldritch of all Eldritch Locations was House, a sentient asteroid living in a pocket dimension that fed on TARDISes.
  • The Valley of the Fallen Kings in Merlin. The first time we see it, it's revealed that the Crystal Cave, the source of all magic, is hidden in the valley. And is also a very good example of Good Is Not Nice, as it's perfectly willing to subject Merlin to Mind Rape and a chain of Self-Fulfilling Prophecies to teach him a lesson. Arthur constantly says that the Valley is harmless unless you're superstitious, but even he and the Knights avoid it if they possibly can.
    • The Dark Tower, very much so. In addition to the stories young knights are apparently told to scare them away from it, it is surrounded by an impenetrable forest that, in addition to being nigh impenetrable, reverses directions so you can only get out if you have help. It also looks rather terrifying and Queen Mab gives Merlin some rather disturbing advice:
      Queen Mab: You must beware, Emrys. The Tower is not a real place. It is the heart's rest, the mind's deepest fear, the stillness in the hummingbird's eye.
      • And this was before we knew what it did to the people that the High Priestesses brought inside: it tortured them until the screams could be heard from twenty leagues away and then bound their spirit, leaving their body an empty vessel for another's will to inhabit. The process is nightmare-inducing, and we get to see it all from Gwen, the victim's perspective.
  • The League of Gentlemen: Welcome to Royston Vasey, you'll never leave.
  • Kamen Rider Gaim: The Helheim Forest. And it's entering our world.
  • Played for laughs in the The Young Ones. The student's house looks like a normal council house, but it is in fact filled with sentient furniture, a teapot with a genie in it, a TV that spits out characters, and a wardrobe that leads to Narnia. The four complain that nothing ever happens.

    Mythology/Religion 
  • Celtic Mythology had a place called the Otherworld that was the really weird home to the faeries and all sorts of mythical creatures.
  • Almost any concept of The Afterlife. The Judeo-Christian Heaven and Hell. They're not physical places, and no living being can see them. No one knows where they're located; Heaven is said to be somewhere above us, and Hell somewhere within the Earth, but it can't be specified. The Fluffy Cloud Heaven, situated in the sky with no gravity or means of support, definitely counts.
    • The kingdom of Hades of Greek Mythology, which was thought to be accessible by the Real Life River Acheron in Greece. Explorations therein have yet to show anything more interesting than fish. Not even zombie fish.
    • Older Than Dirt: The Duat in Egyptian Mythology, which was believed to be simultaneously below the earth, behind both the west and east horizons, and above/inside the sky.
    • Inuit Mythology has the Adlivun, said to lay under the sea and the earth, but only accessible through the Moon.
  • God's throne in Heaven is directly above everywhere on Earth. This is an obvious physical impossibility... except that God is beyond physics. Hell, being Heaven's inversion, likely has a similar explanationnote . God himself takes it a step further: he is described as omni-present, meaning that He can occupy all of space all at once and is just as present on Earth as he is in Heaven; the entire universe is an Eldritch Location for God Himself.
  • The "hollow" inside of the Earth.
  • Norse Mythology has the Ginnungagap, Mspellsheimr to the "South" of that, Niflheimr to the "North", and pretty much any of the other Nine Worlds that isn't Migarr (Midguard).

    Pinball 
  • Golden Logres has Dolorus Gard (The Castle of Sorrow) on the "Land's End" table, which is cursed by a monster in the catacombs.

     Roleplay 
  • The Torn World from Dino Attack RPG, a mysterious, empty void where bricks go after they've been torn out of the Constructopedia. The dimension vaguely resembles space, but despite this, one can breathe reasonably well and there is gravity present (anyone who can't get a hold of a brick is likely to fall forever into nothingness). Also for some reason, no matter what kind of bricks are taken, they always break up into 1x1 pieces.
    • To a lesser extent, the Maelstrom Temple, which has a tendency to change its inner structure whenever your back is turned (making it very hard for one to find their way out), and it can create illusions to mess with your head.
  • Kakariko from it was destroyed by Bongo Bongo, covered with a thick miasma, and had almost everyone that lived there turned into an undead monster in Realms of Hyrule.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Dungeons & Dragons has the Far Realm, but really, most of the planes qualify, doing stuff like having distance travelled depend on the amount of good deeds you do, or matter being shaped by thought. Every other plane has some kind of mythology-based logic to it (Ethereal and Astral transport mimics the real-world mythology for movement in Out Of Body experiences, the Heaven and Hell planes are exactly what they sound like, etc.). The only identifiable trait of the Far Realm is that none of it is identifiable, or even quantifiable in any way, shape or form. Simply entering it causes unavoidable Mind Screw to outright Mind Rape. Characters may sprout eyes on their palms (but not really), relive a hundred lifetimes in which their parents were Far Realm wights, or backwards speaking begin... Altogether unsurprising, as the Far Realm is based on the works and mythos of H.P. Lovecraft. The Far Realm represents the edge of reality, where the reality that mortal minds can grasp transforms into something... different.
  • The D&D settings of Ravenloft, Planescape, and (by way of Art Major Astrophysics) Spelljammer each qualify as an Eldritch Location by their very nature.
  • Terra Incognitae in Scion are all the mysterious islands and lost worlds described in mythology. You can't get to them unless you yourself are mythological (i.e., have a Legend score).
    • In addition, there are Touchstones, the archetypal locations humanity has given meaning to (the Great Henge, the Colossus, the Dark Woods, etc.), which can be accessed through their mundane analogues; the Underworlds and Overworlds of the various pantheons, which operate by the rules the Gods set; and the Greater Titans, living embodiments of a particular element such as Light, Water, Sky, Chaos, Time, etc. Again, you need to be mythological to get to these places, and in some cases you need to be of a certain Legend score or above to enter.
  • Bardos in Genius The Transgression are places that were once thought or believed to exist, then proved not to, or were hoped to exist but never came to pass. You can still travel to them if you know where to go (or stumble into them). They range from the Martian Empire and Tsoska to the Hollow Earth (recently taken over by Nazi mad scientists) and The Grid.
  • Changeling: The Lost gives up a couple of examples.
    • First is the Hedge, the mysterious otherspace between Earth and Faerie. Not only does it seem to map roughly to Earth in size, but it could technically be considered four-dimensional, as there's always going to be a direction that's just "towards Faerie."
    • Faerie (Arcadia, Alfheim, et al.) itself is another example. A place formed purely of the magic of dreamstuff, where reality only exists because everything in it has agreed to exist and interact. This is completely disregarding the fact that many of the Realms in Arcadia are The True Fae themselves.
  • Pretty much everywhere outside of Illusion in Kult. Weird geoscapes are the least of your worries. Gaia is the primal world where even the earth can get hungry and swallow people, Metropolis is a city filled with lunatics and Inferno is a classic hell.
  • The Mad City of Don't Rest Your Head is pretty much made of this trope.
  • Exalted:
    • The Wyld, in which reality as we know it pretty much stops working. Divided into the Bordermarches, the closest regions to normal reality, which are only mildly weird, the Middlemarches, where the laws of physics cease to be reliable and movement and distance are based more around narrative conventions than concrete measurements, the Deep Wyld, where reality is officially Out To Lunch, and the Pure Chaos, which isn't so much a location as it is the unshaped, incoherent chaos outside of the universe.
    • And then there are the Shadowlands, sites of past atrocities and mass murder where the border between Creation and the Underworld is just a bit thinner. Regaining Essence is hampered (unless you're a creature of the Underworld, in which case it picks up by comparison), ghosts can get around more easily, and improperly buried bodies tend to rise as zombies.
    • Several of the Primordials/Yozis are this as well. Things like the local geography, physical laws, and even time flow are often at the whims of the Titan that is the world. The most notable are Malfeas (the Demon King/City whose body acts as the prison of his fellows, and consists of multiple layers that constantly change shape and correspondence, and all inexplicably have the green sun of Hell right above them), Cecylene (the Endless Desert who is accessible from every layer of Malfeas and always takes exactly five days to cross) and Autochthon (who needed to deliberately modify his world body to make it habitable; the deeper parts of it show the reason for this).
    • There are even a few places in Creation that work like this. One is the Well of Udr, overseen by the Dowager of the Irreverent Vulgate in Unrent Veils. It's a nexus of all possible dimensions where the strata of potential worlds collide and crash against one another, occasionally disgorging impossibilities. It's very tricky to get anywhere within its vicinity and hold onto your marbles, let alone stare into it. It's from here that the Dowager retrieved the Great Contagion.
    • The Elemental Poles, too, each of which is an unending font of elemental power. The trees at the Elemental Pole of Wood are infinitely tall.
  • The Umbra from the Old World of Darkness folds in itself any sort of alternative reality and other states of being. And one has to step sideways to reach it. Sideways to reality as a whole. Furthermore, different places in the Umbra have their own laws, and the further one gets from Earth, the weirder and more hostile the worlds become, until the Deep Umbra is reached. Things are just plain wrong there. And very, very inhospitable for almost any type of earth-like life.
    • And then there's the Black Spiral, located in Malfeas (the Shenti of the Wyrm). Depending on which game in the cobbled together setting you happen to be operating in, the Black Spiral is either in the Deep Umbra, the Dark Dreaming, the center of the Maelstrom, or is either a convergence or a place that has doorways to all three. Put simply, it's Hell, but of course it's not that simple and entire books have been dedicated to describing, expanding, contradicting and redefining what the Black Spiral actually is. Werewolf: The Apocalypse describes it as the tormented mind of the Wyrm itself. There are even allusions that it is the dessicated husk of ancient Malfeas from Exalted. It breaks, reshapes and fundamentally corrupts anyone unlucky enough to find themselves there, and we're talking mentally, physically and spiritually, all at once. It is the home, seat of power, dying body and prison of the Wyrm, the primordial force of entropy in the setting's universe. One tribe of werewolves are called the Black Spiral Dancers. Guess what they do for an initiation rite?
  • The Shadow Realm of the New World of Darkness is more a Dark World. But if you go deep enough, you get to the parts of the Shadow Realm taken over by lords among the Spirits, and then the rules disappear.
  • Warhammer 40,000.
    • Aside from the mentions in the literature section above, everything in the Eye of Terror ends up this way, as well as the Maelstrom (basically a mini Eye of Terror that doesn't even have the decency of an explanation of how it started). Any place a Warp Rift is opened starts to slowly turn into one of these, and if the rift is left unchecked it can end up turning the entire planet into a Daemon World. And that's just what happens when a tiny fraction of the Warp leaks into the real world...
    • The Dark City of Commorragh, home of the Dark Eldar, is also an example, being an enormous collection of realms located inside the Webway (a network of warded tunnels in the Warp), linked together with portals. It's basically Escher on crack and populated entirely by sadistic murder-elves. To make matters worse, in some parts the wards that separate the Webway from the Warp have become weakened, leading to things like districts where shadows come to life and things from outside reality lurk.
    • Necron tomb worlds are examples of non-Warp related eldritch locations. The Necrons' mastery over science allows them to create spaces that follow a higher order of geometry than we're used to, resulting in things like buildings that are bigger on the inside.
  • Magic: The Gathering has locations associated with its resident Eldritch Abominations, the Eldrazi; in particular, a combination of solitude and proximity to the Eye of Ugin, which sealed the Eldrazi within the plane Zendikar, cost the planeswalker Sarkhan Vol his sanity.
  • In Nephilim, Selenim are capable of creating Realms, pocket universes that exist according to their will, which turn out like this trope.
  • The entirety of the JAGS Wonderland setting.
  • Arkham Horror allows the players to visit the locations from H.P. Lovecraft's mythos, like the Plateau Of Leng, Yuggoth, and R'lyeh.
  • In Dragonstar there is a large region of space outside Imperial space known as the Dark Zone. Few who venture into it ever return, but the few who do speak of darkness and terror. It's also the setting's counterpart to the Far Realm in that it's the home of mind flayers (their original home, it is speculated) and other aberrations.

    Tropes 
  • The Sugar Bowl is a strange form of this. It may be depicted as a genuinely nice place, or as it was in the article. However, there's no denying that a place with licorice trees and structurally sound buildings of candy would belong here.
  • The Clown Car Base also fits this trope in a way, especially when the trope is lampshaded, revealing it to be not just a perspective oddity, but a genuine physically disproportionate building.
  • Many Lost Worlds are this in a nutshell.
  • A Dark World can function as an Eldritch Location when it's explicitly evil or "wrong", but a few morality neutral Dark Places are natural "night side" reality counterparts to our own.
  • A Place Beyond Time is this by its very nature.
  • An Eldritch Starship can easily be an Eldritch Location with a hyperdrive.

    Video Games 
  • Persona 3 has Tartarus (pictured above), an ever-changing tower that only exists during the Dark Hour, and acts as a pathway from the world of Death and the Collective Unconsciousness from which humanity's Shadows can manifest. FES adds the Abyss of Time as its inverted twin.
  • Persona 4 has rather the creepy TV World, which once again, is the Collective Unconsciousness being forced to manifest via the "mind" of mass media. Subverted in the True Ending, where lifting the final veil of deceit from mankind's heart turns the Collective Unconsciousness itself into the Ghibli Hills.
  • Bacterian, the Big Bad of the Gradius series qualifies: He is a Genius Loci Hive Mind that uses psychic powers to control his fleets. Every time he's defeated, the pieces of him regenerate to form new Bacterians. Gofer, Venom, Zelos, and some other large Bacterians also qualify.
  • The Pfhor ship of Marathon seems to be mostly organic, with green liquid all over the place. The gravity is low, too. The creepy music doesn't help either. Marathon's game engine actually encourages non-Euclidean level design because of the way it implements overpasses. Several levels have passageways that pass through each other as an intentional Mind Screw, and some third-party mapmakers have taken it to a very confusing extreme.
  • Silent Hill features a weird variation of this trope through the eponymous town. Though its exact nature is very much up for debate, it appears to be abandoned and shrouded in fog, day and night come randomly, and a nightmarish "otherworld" version of the town lurks beneath the surface and can overtake you at any moment. The otherworld draws its form from people's minds, sometimes the protagonists and sometimes another character entirely; quite a few epileptic forests have grown from trying to explain it all.
  • MOTHER
    • In MOTHER: Cognitive Dissonance, you are sent into one of these by Niiue to distract Giygas, where everything is red, there's chaotic forces of PSI, and the alien himself waiting in the center of it all with the Devil's Machine.
    • In EarthBound, once the Devil's Machine is turned off, it's implied that Giygas might just be huge and dimension-warping enough to be not just an Eldritch Abomination, but one of these in his own right. And before that, Ness and Jeff get to visit Moonside, which also qualifies.
  • The Legend of Zelda:
    • The various incarnations of the Lost Woods in the Zelda games: they either turn off your minimap, making navigation extremely difficult, or in Oracle of Seasons, one place is even completely off the map, not to mention the place where Like-Likes fall from the sky. In Ocarina of Time it's implied that anyone who isn't of The Fair Folk would tend to become hopelessly lost, eventually turning into skeletal imps doomed to haunt the forest forever.
    • The Legend of Zelda: Spirit Tracks has the final area, the Dark Realm. Accessed through a dark portal that can only be found with a magic compass, it basically looks like Van Gogh's Starry Night in a black hole. Beneath the train tracks is some kind of strange, smoky/watery "ground" that gives way to a completely different landscape right beneath it.
    • The setting of The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask is a pseudo alternate dimension called Termina, with several oddities (like the physics of Stone Tower Temple, as well as the Surreal Horror elements involving the Moon and the distinct regions) that violate many logics. The fact that the game's titular villain is a reality warping, psychopathic Eldritch Abomination contributes to this as well.
      • The final battle inside the moon counts as well as you are essentially fighting Majora in its own mind. Even before that the fact that there is an infinite medow with a tree inside the moon is a bit of a give away
  • The inner sections of the Pyxis (A.K.A the Box) from Clive Barker's Jericho.
  • Chzo is both this and an Eldritch Abomination, a pain elemental who satiates himself with tortured victims trapped inside his labyrinthine corridors for all eternity.
  • The interaction of Hyperspace and Pathspace in Immortal Defense produces one of these. From Pathspace, Hyperspace looks like a twisty path across a 2D plane, and from Hyperspace, Pathspace is the home of vindictive demigods who rain psychic death upon unwary travelers. The protagonist is one of these demigods.
  • Dwarf Fortress:
    • The Adamantine Spire, a.k.a. the Adamantine Space Elevator. The weirdest part is that even when other people tried to recreate it using the same worldgen seed, it didn't show up. Current theories are that it's due to interference from old save data.
    • Fridge Horror: Considering what adamantine veins like the spire usually contain, it looks like whatever counts as Heaven in the Dorf 'verse is in for some serious Fun.
    • Some of the more convoluted succession forts such as Battlefailed become this. Battlefields had the temporally locked dwarves in the arena, Headshoots had the room outside of space, ect.
  • The Distortion World from Pokmon Platinum falls under this. Floating masses of land in a giant vortex, giant plants that sprout randomly out of nowhere, disappearing platforms, and waterfalls that float up are just a few features to be found. Not to mention that the only thing living in there is the Eldritch Abomination known as Giratina. Not to mention the immense Gravity Screw of the Distortion World. The waterfall isn't the only thing that goes the wrong way there; the Distortion World is the only place in the whole main series where you navigate by jumping onto those floating platforms and walking sideways.It's also impossible to ride your bike there.
  • The Dark Rift from Skies of Arcadia.
  • Castlevania:
    • It's an Eldritch Location and houses several Eldritch Abominations to boot. The discrepancy that crops up between the games is lampshaded and handwaved with a comment that the castle is "a creature of chaos." The castle can take many shapes and forms, picking and choosing when and if it wants to follow the laws of physics.
    • In Castlevania: Symphony of the Night), the whole castle has an inverted duplicate revealed halfway through. You and the monsters fall towards and walk around on the ceiling. All the furniture is still on the floor. It is never explained why a second castle just appears out of the clouds, nor why it's upside down. And then there's the two mirrored split castles in Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance, which are somehow both the extension of Maxim's will.
    • Dracula's demon castle continues to follow tradition in the Lords of Shadow subseries, with that twist that an entire city gets built onto the ruins at one point. While being on top of the castle usually isn't a problem, it does mean that someone can occasionally walk right outside of their office and wind up right in the seat of Dracula's power.
  • Both final levels of Kingdom Hearts 1 and 2. The one from the first game, appropriately titled The End Of The World, is basically the remains of any and every world destroyed by The Heartless, and the one from the second game, The World That Never Was is a dark city overrun by Heartless overlooked by the warped castle that is the headquarters of Organization XIII, and its moon is apparently "the heart of reality itself." In fact, the concept of the worlds makes them Eldritch Locations: They are apparently separated by barriers, but are described as sharing the same skies. Birth by Sleep Final Mix has a deeper look at the Realm of Darkness, where the Heartless originate from. The new Secret Ending also shows that not all worlds are destroyed when consumed by the darkness...
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey has the Schwarzwelt. It is effectively a void over Antarctica where demons appear, overwriting Earth with their own reality. The Investigation Team's mission is to analyze and nullify the Schwarzwelt before it can consume the entire world. The game over screen shows what happens if your character dies...it ain't pretty. The fun part is that the UN sent cameras into the Schwarzwelt during the planning stages...and nobody believed the results (one of them was a shopping mall). Turns out they were all accurate (but you don't want to eat the food in the shopping mall...).
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne mostly takes place within the Vortex World, a chaotic, demon infested realm that the Earth reverts to when it comes time for a new world order to be decided. Naturally, it's up to you to shape it as you see fit. For bonus points, it's a truly literal form of Tokyo Is the Center of the Universe.
  • And in Shin Megami Tensei IV, we have the final dungeons for Law and Chaos, respectively: Purgatorium and Lucifer Palace. The Monochrome Forest also counts, as well as the various Demon Domains littered around Tokyo.
  • Xen, the "border-world" from Half-Life.
  • Everytime you fly through Bydo Dimension in R-Type, especially the Mind Screw territory of the final stages of Delta and, well, Final. To put in specific terms, the Bydo Dimension in Delta, which is depicted in the picture above, looks like a twisted version of our world with babies encased in crystals, upside-down buildings, huge strands of DNA, and a weird forest of Bydo Trees. The Bydo Dimension in Final is an abyss full of fluid inhabited by eyeballs and the creature implied to be the real source of the Bydo. The Bydo Tree forest bit also appears in Final as a hidden stage. There is also a stage in Final that takes place in a weird dimension where there is only the player, a slug Bydo named Nomemayer, and particles of light that can turn anything and anyone into a Bydo. And there's Anti-Space, a dimension created by some Bydo guys named Gridlock.
  • On the final floor of D/Generation, what once looked like an ordinary office building (albeit with hyperactive security measures) suddenly turns into a bizarre surreal nightmare thanks to the title entity. There's also a headless guy.
  • Dragon Age:
    • The Fade, the place people (except dwarves) go when they dream, full of spirits and demons and doubling as Heaven, Hell and everything in between. Characters are trapped in their own "mini-Hells" (reflecting their own lives), the sky is full of floating mountains (heavily implied to be other, infinitely large hells) and the Black City is visible wherever you go.
    • And in the DLC Witch Hunt, Morrigan implies that beyond the Fade there are places that are even stranger where she's keeping her Demon Baby safe from her evil mom.
    • Amgarrak Thaig, the titular location of Golems of Amgarrak is definitely one, protected from the outside by a maze of shifting mist and having Lyrium Wells that were designed to phase-shift people into alternate versions of the Thaig in order to better safeguard its secrets.
    • The sequel has Kirkwall. Yes, that's right: the main setting. It's subtle, though; you can go through the whole game just thinking the whole place is a Crapsack City-State, but certain notes you find indicate that not only is the Veil unnaturally thin over the entire area, entire neighborhoods are constructed in the shapes of blood magic sigils, there are likely lakes of blood beneath the streets that still haven't dried, but demons are actively drawn to the place like flies to the point where they occasionally hunt non-mages because there's too much competition. And that's before you factor in Corypheus' corrupting presence from his Grey Warden Prison in the nearby Vimmark Mountains. It - or very nearby - is actually where the magisters entered the Black City (sacrificing hundreds of slaves in a blood ritual in the process) and were transformed, like Corypheus, into darkspawn, causing the Blights.
    • The Primeval Thaig is definitely one, built by prehistoric Dwarves that worshipped a pantheon of deities, constructed using magic thus giving it some degree of Alien Geometry, posessing a unique form of Red Lyrium running throughout the structure itself and inhabited by creatures like the Profane that Varric claims were supposed to be myth. It was also the location where Hawke and company first encountered the Lyrium Idol.
    • In an older BioWare example, the Spirit World of Jade Empire is similarly weird.
  • Homeworld: Cataclysm's Beast is said to come from "Outside".
  • The NES game The Magic of Scheherazade has the Eldritch Abomination Goragora trapped in ancient times in the "Dark World" (not to be confused with a Dark World), and the villain threatening to release it once more. He eventually learns the hard way that Evil Is Not a Toy, and begs the heroes to enter the Dark World and keep it from escaping. Beyond the gate and past the Point of No Return, the Very Definitely Final Dungeon looks like a starswept black abyss with walls and columns made out of transparent bubbles.
  • In Final Fantasy II, the Jade Passage and Pandaemonium.
  • In Final Fantasy IX:
    • Terra, a parasitic other planet, actually inserted itself into Gaia long ago and is feeding off the planet from the inside. Creepy.
    • Another present in the same game is Memoria, a world formed from the collective memory of the entire planet.
  • Final Fantasy V has the Cleft of Dimensions, which is a patchwork of areas earlier swallowed up in The Void and home to many Eldritch Abominations including the game's two Nintendo Hard Bonus Bosses. The Updated Re-release added the Sealed Temple, home to even more Bonus Bosses, including the Eldritch Abomination who created The Void.
  • Final Fantasy XI has a few that qualify, and they all tend to follow the "islands floating in nothingness" style:
    • The Promyvion areas appear to be corrupted, shadowy versions of other existing areas, topped off with haunting music and freakish looking monsters.
    • The Walk of Echoes is an area of disconnected structures floating in nothingness. It pretty much exists outside of time, and Atomos himself can be seen in the sky at all times.
    • And also the recently added Provenance areas, which are described as being the place where the source of all life comes from.
  • The inside of Sin in Final Fantasy X.
  • In Xenogears, Deus, already an Eldritch Abomination, becomes an enormous Eldritch Location in its own right.
  • The Dead Sea from Chrono Cross. It's the site of a massive Time Crash, where the canceled Bad Future from Chrono Trigger tried to reassert itself over Chronopolis. Waves of water, forever frozen in time, wash over the wreckage of the city, and at the heart is the Tower of Geddon, a conglomeration of locations from said canceled timeline haphazardly mashed together. Much later, you also go to the Darkness Beyond Time, where cancelled timelines are sent and where the Time Devourer lurks.
  • Its prequel Chrono Trigger already had the End of Time, the place where all possible time lines meet. As far as eldritch locations go, it's actually fairly harmless. The Updated Re-release added a few more such as the Dimensional Vortexes, areas where time and space are essentially broken. The Darkness Beyond Time also makes an appearance.
  • In Wild ARMs 2, the Encroaching Parallel Universe "Kuiper Belt" is one of the most terrifying examples yet.
  • In the original Phantasy Star series, the very Algol star system it takes place in is an enormous lock for a dreadful Sealed Evil in a Can. And the lock isn't exactly completely intact.
  • The titular planet in Albion looks like some alien world with primitive civilizations at first. Until it is revealed that it operates under completely different laws the Earth does. The fact that it's actually a sentient (benevolent) being, has something to do with it.
  • The tunnels under Pathways Into Darkness's pyramid are actually the nightmares of a catatonic Eldritch Abomination made real.
  • Several places in the Warcraft universe qualify.
    • Chief among them is Outland. It was formed when the planet Draenor was torn apart by multiple interdimensional gateways being opened on the surface. It's now a continent with several different ecosystems, some of which are healthy and normal, or at least, as normal as the rest of this universe. However, the continent is surrounded by, rather than an ocean, an edge, and if you walk off it you fall into nothingness. It also has an Alien Sky, which is sunless but otherwise mysteriously normal in some zones, but looks like energy cascading through space in other places. In several places there are Floating Islands, some of which have water perpetually falling off them with no source. Other examples in the Warcraft universe:
    • The Maelstrom. A eternal whirlpool full of unstable energies surrounded by an eternal hurricane that was formed when the Well of Eternity was destroyed. The black dragon Deathwing used it as a portal back to Azeroth, almost causing the world to blow up. The constant attention of several powerful shamans is required to keep the world from falling apart through it.
    • Deepholm. It can be reached by flying into the Maelstrom. It is the home of earth elementals and other creatures native to the elemental plane, so it's not supposed to be comfortable to flesh-and-blood creatures like playable races. It is a massive cave with a rock-based ecosystem and rock pillars that float in the air. Most of the elemental planes are odd like this, but with another element in the place of rock.
    • Karazhan is a large black tower in the mostly empty Deadwind Pass. It was once home to Medivh, The Last Guardian, and sits atop a point where every ley line (think veins, but instead of blood it's magic) in the entire world intersects. Time itself gets lost within Karazhan, allowing visions of past, future and other worlds to pop in and out unexpectedly. One of Medivh's theories is that the Deadwind Pass was formed because someone would eventually build a tower there, rather than the tower being built where the Pass was. Also, there is an inverted Karazhan under the main one, and the main one exists in at least two parallel universes at once. Not to mentioned the odder features inside and around the tower...
  • The World of Mammon in Quest 64. The environment drastically changes with each transition, doors never lead to the same place twice, the sky is always the wrong the color, and the music is creepy as heck. The inhabitants are just as unnerving: among them are Living Statues that have more than a passing resemblance to the Weeping Angels. Of course, the entire place is the prison/domain of a demonic Eldritch Abomination.
  • Minecraft has a couple of these:
    • The Nether is a deliberate example. Once you finish the mining tech tree and craft a diamond pickaxe, you can build an obsidian Hell Gate and enter a skyless world filled with steep cliffs, lava lakes, and giant jellyfish that spit fireballs at you while flying out of reach of your arrows. Not only will your compass spin around aimlessly, so will your watch. However, any distance traveled inside the Nether is multiplied by eight once you return to the normal world, so it can be used to travel long distances relatively quickly, once you finish digging tunnels and building bridges.
    • The End, a single barren island floating in an infinite void. It's home to the Endermen, and can only be accessed by portals deep in underground ruins... and can only be exited by defeating the Ender Dragon.
    • An unintentional version of this is the Far Lands. In the pre-release versions of Minecraft, travelling roughly 12 million meters in any one direction makes the game generate areas like this, in addition to huge amounts of lag and "stuttery" movement. Travel even farther, and around 32 million meters, physics and lighting just stop working altogether. The Far Lands were acknowledged by the creators, who planned to keep them in the game, but changes to the way terrain is generated effectively removed them before release.
  • The Breach starts off on an ordinary spaceship, but towards the end things start to shift into a mountainous region filled with yellow mist and glowing glyphs.
  • Mass Effect 2 has the derelict Reaper, which can still indoctrinate despite being dead for 37 million years, a not-so-derelict Collector vessel and finally the Collector Base, an immense space station located in the accretion disc at the heart of the galaxy, which serves as The Very Definitely Final Dungeon. The vessel is even creepier than the base itself since in the latter, you are almost continuously under attack, while in the former, about the first two thirds of the mission consist of exploration without enemy contact - which, in this environment, only makes it worse.
  • The Subspace of "Subspace Emissary" in Super Smash Bros. Brawl is this coupled with Amazing Technicolor Battlefield. And it only gets weirder when the parts of the regular world that were dragged into the Subspace are assembled into the Great Maze.
  • The Legend of Spyro has Convexity, a gateway between the main world and the Dark Realms, occupied by the Dark Master. It's the location of the final boss battle, featuring floating platforms and strange whale-like creatures with tentacles.
  • El Shaddai: Ascension of the Metatron has the Tower, where the majority of the game takes place. Each floor of the tower is ruled by a fallen angel and is essentially its own pocket universe where that angel and its followers live. Locations range from a burned-out wasteland to a cutesy cartoon-like world of colorful blocks and balloons to a futuristic Tron-like cityscape (complete with cycle combat!) to an underwater world. There's also the Darkness, a location that corrupts everything that falls into it and is where the souls of the angels' followers end up instead of Heaven.
  • The Neath from Fallen London. It is very difficult to die there because it's downstream of Hell. Finding one's way around it can be literally maddening. An unnerving number of the places you visit are probably alive. You might accidentally walk into someone else's memories. People there keep tigers as pets, make wine out of mushrooms, and play a boyish game based upon stabbing other people.
  • The entire world of Limbo. It's dark (as in pitch-black save for the rare spot of light), silent, and literally everything is after your blood. Or your brains.
  • S.T.A.L.K.E.R. is set in the Zone of Exclusion surrounding the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant after its infamous meltdown. Referred to simply as "the Zone", said location has become a place when only the most heavily-armed and foolhardy ever set foot due to massive amounts of both leftover nuclear radiation and incredibly weird shit. You've got your standard video game hazards, but the Zone in S.T.A.L.K.E.R. doesn't really need any of that to kill you. Aside from all the "normal" stuff - wild dogs, mutants, bandits, military troops, radiation pockets, and hostile factions - you have Anomalies. Getting too close to what looks like a patch of empty air can reduce you to bloody chunks. That lightning-looking ball hovering over the ground can electrocute you. That patch of air that looks like it's shimmering in the sun can burn you alive in seconds. And those are just the obvious hazards. At one point, you encounter an endlessly looping room. At another, you find a lake that is also a hill, and that lake flows several yards into the air. If you're caught improperly sheltered during a blowout, you'll find it's even more bizarre and even more dangerous than ever. Briefly. Lastly, the Artifacts, your main source of income for the game, are solely found around these areas.
  • Mortal Kombat:
    • The Netherrealm, which is home to the demonic Oni and is generally about the most depressing place you can be. Of course, it is the MK universe's equivalent of Hell.
    • There's also the Chaosrealm, where, as the name would imply, nothing makes any sense whatsoever. The prevailing theme of the realm and all of its inhabitants is that they adamantly refuse to conform to any set of rules (especially the laws of physics). It is even implied at one point in Deception's Konquest mode that natives of other realms who stay there long enough will inevitably be driven insane as their mind struggles to make sense of the place.
  • BlazBlue:
    • The Boundary can be classified as this - a nexus for all timelines, and so chock-full of nastiness and mindrape that mere entry can destroy you in some shape or form. Precisely eight beings are known to have traveled through the Boundary, either for Time Travel or some other reason.
    • Ragna the Bloodedge: Involuntarily dumped into the Cauldron at Kagutsuchi by Nu-13. Loses his Azure Grimoire, memories and function in his right arm and eye in the process, emerges 100 years in the past and eventually becomes Bloodedge.
    • Nu-13: Tosses herself into the Cauldron at Kagutsuchi together with Ragna after impaling them both with her Calamity Sword. Becomes the Black Beast by merging with Ragna's Azure Grimoire, emerges 100 years in the past to wreak havoc upon the world.
    • Lotte Carmine: Willfully entered the Boundary For Science! Goes insane due to exposure to forbidden knowledge, loses his body soon thereafter and becomes Arakune.
    • Litchi Faye-Ling: Momentarily enters the Boundary to gain the knowledge and power to save Lotte above. Gains telekinesis and the ability to tap into the power of the Boundrary, but is slowly developing memory loss symptoms and is in danger of turning into another Arakune.
    • Hakumen/Jin Kisaragi: Jumps into the Cauldron after Ragna and Nu-13. Goes back 100 years in time, succumbs to injuries sustained prior to dive, but otherwise emerges unharmed - all mental damages relate to transfer to the Susano'o Unit shortly thereafter. Also engages Yuuki Terumi in a duel as a diversion so Jubei and Claudius Alucard can banish Terumi to the Boundary, in the process sealing away Hakumen as well. Emerges 90 years later at 20% power, but has remained physically and mentally sound due to sheer force of will.
    • Yuuki Terumi: Banished to the Boundary during engagement with Hakumen. Effects on mental state indeterminate due to prior batshit insanity.
    • Relius Clover: Enters the Cauldron for reasons unknown. Emerges 80 years later, physically unharmed; memories are jumbled during transfer, but are quickly reset to pre-jump state.
    • Makoto Nanaya: Loses her consciousness in proximity to Cauldron at Ibukido due to Prime Field Device activity and emerges in the Wheel of Fortune timeline. Travels back to Continuum Shift timeline with aid of Rachel Alucard. Zero physical and mental degradation in both transfers.
  • BlazBlue's predecessor, Guilty Gear, has the Backyard, a parallel world teeming with information which also serves as the source of magical energy for the world. Entry for most people into the Backyard is dangerous: without "tuning" to the Backyard's frequency, they risk being destroyed by the information inside it.
  • Historia in Radiant Historia, as well as Granorg's Royal Hall. Its final boss Apocrypha also looks something like this, albeit shrunk.
  • The Elder Scrolls:
    • The universe. The planets are not actually planets but the planes of the gods appearing as such due to mortals being unable to comprehend it, the twin moons Masser and Secunda are the representation of Lorkhan's rotting divinity, and the nebulae are "un-stars". The stars themselves, including the sun, are actually holes in reality created when the Aedra fled Mundus. However, it should be kept in mind that this information is given primarily through in-universe sources - which, in the TES franchise, are deliberately vague and often give contradicting information, just like sources for many now discredited beliefs in the real world (this realistic depiction of lore, which is not presented as a fact which the player knows, but as a subjective in-universe belief of characters, is characteristic of the franchise). The "true nature" of the TES universe could very much be as "normal"/conventional as our real universe is, or it could be something else entirely.
    • The many planes of Oblivion would also count. The Oblivion planes are the Planets, but each planet is also the physical form of the Daedra Prince associated with it.
    • In the Skyrim DLC Dragonborn, you get to venture into the realm of Hermaeus Mora, Apocrypha, via his Tome of Eldritch Lore called the Black Books. Reading one causes you to be ensnared by a tentacle that formed from letters which float off the pages, pulling you inside. The realm itself is a place Cthulhu would find comfy. All the walls are made of books, the water is slime and sprouts tentacles to attack you if you get too close, there are invisible monsters roaming the halls and sea mutants in the slime, certain areas have darkness that can kill you, and the architecture isn't necessarily static. But if you brave these horrors, the Black Books will grant you amazing powers.
  • Astral Chaos in the Soul Series is a timeless alternate dimension from which the Soul Swords originate, and is filled with lost souls and an Eldritch Abomination or two.
  • The Labyrinth of Deceit in Kid Icarus: Uprising is a maze full of fake walls, holographic asteroid belts, gravity inversion switches, and disappearing paths. And even when you're not caught up in an illusion, the walls, ceilings, and floors are decorated... odd. And did we mention it's found inside a Space Rift?
    • And then Chapter 21 has the Chaos Vortex, which is basically the Labyrinth of Deceit taken Up to Eleven. It contains replicas of every enemy from all four factions, living shadows that attack, eye-shaped portals that spring up out of nowhere, pieces of buildings that randomly move about, floating islands. It's just weird.
  • Hang Castle in Sonic Heroes, but especially its interior, Mystic Mansion. In the daytime, it's a normal abandoned castle, albeit an exceptionally large one. At night, the exteriors seemingly extend endlessly in all directions, and gravity doesn't always point downwards. Once inside, rooms suddenly change topography (sometimes when Sonic and the others are in it), things pop in and out from impossible places, there seems to be a physical upside-down version of the mansion underneath the normal one, dumbwaiter tracks twist and contort while zooming off at high speeds, Eggman's robots pop up out of thin air (presumably intentionally), and what is supposed to be a well is full of weird vaguely water-like texture in all directions with a few small brick platforms suspended in it.
  • The Tomb Raider series has had a few of these, but two that stand out are the Atlantean Temple in the first game and Anniversary, and Tomb Raider II's Floating Islands level. In the first example, the deeper into the complex you go, the more organic the architecture gets, until the walls are made of pulsing muscles. The Floating Islands are...well, Exactly What It Says on the Tin, a series of floating islands inside of a Chinese tomb.
  • The Secret World features quite a few of these:
    • One of the more benevolent examples arrives in the form of Agartha, a hollow Earth filled with branching trees, giant robotic caretakers, and a lot of bees; it's actually a divine biocomputer and font of magic in the setting, though it also functions as a confusing Portal Network usable only by those touched by Agartha's bees - given that it "precipitates a messy discord" in the flesh of the uninitiated.
    • On the other side of the ethical spectrum, places severely impacted by The Filth begin to leak through reality, turning into starry portals to distant and lifeless space. One of the worst examples of these is "The Breach," an excavation site in Transylvania that's been converted into a massive wellspring of the Filth by the Orochi Group and the Vampire Army; for the player, it's also a doorway to the Filth-infected Gaia Engines.
    • The City of the Sun God. Built by Pharaoh Akhenaten as an act of devotion to the Aten, it's built on another Filth wellspring, and the results have turned into into a gathering point for just about any malevolent force in the area; the portal to Hell open in one corner of the valley doesn't help- but it's not the most eldritch thing in the area. The centerpiece of the alley is the Black Pyramid, Akehnaten's resting place: thanks to a combination of arcane magic and the Filth's reality-warping influence, massive chambers and hallways fit inside despite clearly being too large for the structure; one of these rooms is a literally bottomless pit - above which, the dormant Akhenaten slumbers.
    • The world of the Gaia Engines. A semi-metaphysical landscape of black-sanded beaches under a midnight sky, dotted with massive cuboid shapes of an unknown material - the Gaia Engines. These things literally keep the world running- though Freddy Beaumont implies they can be used for "other things." For good measure, there's also a prison for the monstrous things that produce the Filth kept not too far away from the engines- and it's up to you to either reinforce the prison or help the inmates escape.
    • In the recent update "The Vanishing of Tyler Freeborn," the Mist surrounding Solomon Island is revealed to be hiding one of these- specifically a twisted recreation of Solomon itself under a perpetual midnight sky, inhabited only by Filth-infected versions of the locals.
  • Star Wars: The Old Republic has the Voss Nightmare Lands, filled with barren soil, twisted trees, mutated wildlife, and a pervasive corruption field that reduces the weak of mind (read: everyone but the player characters) into violent psychopaths or blubbering vegetables. As an added bonus, there are no less than 5 quests available to deal with Eldritch Abominations.
  • The Thief series contains a few of these, notably Constantine's mansion, the Old Quarter and the Lost City in the first game, and Shalebridge Cradle in the third.
  • The level Matter Splatter Galaxy in Super Mario Galaxy, due to the unusual physics of the solid objects and grounds that only appear when a particular field of matter gets close enough. The green-colored background of the level is even more surreal.
  • Compared to the rest of the Dream Land, Dream's Deep from Mario & Luigi: Dream Team counts. While most of the other dream locations are more-or-less surreal versions of the area Luigi sleeps in, this place is implied to take on the appearance of the sleeper's subconcious. In this case, it's a large purple space with floating neon Luigi faces and holograms, with quotes representing his thoughts flying around. There are places where going off on one end of the screen takes you to another location of another, and even how this works doesn't have to be constant. On the first visit, (the dreamed version of) Luigi goes missing until the boss fight, yet if you leave before said boss, he's back and claims that he was right behind Mario the entire time. And finally, the only "natural" inhabitants are Dark Blocks, which are animated in actual 3D in contrast to game's "pseudo 3D" sprites seen in the normal battle mode.
  • In Far Cry 3, it's implied that there is something subtly but fundamentally wrong with the Rook Islands. The extremely hostile animal life, the gradual madness that consumes anyone who goes into the jungle, the strange and mystical relics, the drugs giving accurate prophetic visions, the ink demon, and so on. It's not obvious, but the islands are doing things to the people who spend time there. However, due to the game's Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane nature, it's left unanswered whether there is actually something wrong with the place, or if it's just the player character losing his mind to drugs and trauma.
  • Kerbal Space Program has Jool, which at first just looks like a green Jupiter. And then you get anywhere remotely close to it, and physics start getting more than a little odd, and only get nastier as your ship gets close, culminating in it spontaneously exploding while you're still several hundred miles from the surface. And then your poor astronauts fall in, and their limbs flail in impossible ways before they simply die. And that's the best case scenario; there's the occasional tale of ships that survive entry getting flung out of the galaxy at FTL speeds. Of course, it's not actually meant to be that way - it's just glitchy as hell - but the fans have latched on to the first interpretation to match with a certain Good Bad Bug being blamed on an Eldritch Abomination.
  • Dishonored has the aptly named Void, which consists of a series of islands floating in space, depicting fragments of real world buildings and characters frozen in time. It's the home of the Outsider, who will quite effortlessly and arbitrarily drag people there to mess with them or grant them magical powers or both, and it seems to bend to his whims.
  • You've got your Shadow Lairs in Spiral Knights, but after the boss(es) are defeated, your team is whisked away to a frighteningly empty monochrome (especially compared to the colorful gameworld) tunnel called the Unknown Passage. Some really creepy ambience plays in the background as you prepare for a wave of enemies, and when they arrive, you'll fight The Swarm.
  • The Edgewood Home for Lost Children in Our Darker Purpose. Inanimate objects come to often-malevolent life, the architecture shifts unpredictably, and the plants are twisted if not actively vicious. It's hinted that the lands outside the gate are even worse.
  • The Metroid Prime series features a few planets that are more than a little twisted because of phazon exposure.
    • Aether was split into two when it got hit by a Phazon meteor (which, in Prime 3, is revealed to be a Leviathan from planet Phaaze): the light world had some catastrophic global changes, such as plains becoming barren or a woodland jungle flooding but the serious issue was the creation of Dark Aether which has an atmosphere so toxic it kills any non native in seconds (eating through almost any sheilding), truly sinister landscapes and the locals are always chaotic evil and really don't like light.
    • Phaaze, the Phazon planet, by virtue of being a sentient being that is trying to spread and corrupt other planets. It also has some very organic looking natural structures.
  • Rift features the Planes of Water and Death. The first of these 2 Planes the Plane of Death appeared in the raid: Endless Eclipse and was not only a combination of bones and flesh yet most bizzarely the sky has an sun in an eclipse surrounded by Eldricth symbols. The Plane of Water is going to make it's debut in an upcoming expansion.
  • The Crystal Caverns in Dark Souls. It's a huge cave that is home to bizarre monsters and invisible platforms. The sheer wrongness of the place seems to reflect the madness of the being who made the cave his sanctuary, Seath the Scaleless.
  • The Forest of Einnashe in Nasuverse, first mentioned in Tsukihime. It's a forest that act like a vampire, up to sucking every hapless persons and animals that come upon it. And yes, it can move and hunt cities on its own. Good thing it's only shown itself every 50 years.
  • The Sunless Sea will be this. Once the game is completed (it's currently in early access), the sea will move and shift not just boats but entire islands, meaning that maps are useless in the long term and the only way to discover your surroundings is to explore them and hope you don't get eaten...

    Web Comics 
  • Ravenfell in Overlord of Ravenfell is a sentient fortress made of black crystal, created through mysterious means. Beneath it is a magically shifting maze full of traps and monsters.
  • Homestuck:
    • The Furthest Ring, a Place Beyond Time which is the home of the Horrorterrors, the Green Sun (a star with the mass of two universes, which breaks several laws of physics), and the afterlife (which exists as a series of Dream Bubbles). Time and space behave in incomprehensible ways in the Furthest Ring, and both become less reliable the longer you stay (or the further you go). For example, when Dave and Rose try to fly out to the Green Sun, they end up arriving in the distant past.
    • Dream Bubbles themselves may count, as within them the conventional laws of time and space don't apply, as one can warp from memory to memory, effectively traveling forward and back in time and anywhere in space. Locations can even converge in such a way that they're a mis-match of memories of the various dreamers/dead people. For example, in one there was a mixture between Jade's island, Kanaya's home, a ruin Aradia was exploring, and some other elements.
  • Sluggy Freelance has plenty. The alternative dimensions vary from almost identical to the "normal" one to as bizarre as you like. One example: The Never is a hellish world where spirits become solid and living creatures become even more so than usual. Other Eldritch Locations can be found without even travelling between dimensions. Each dimension is surrounded by Timeless Space, where time is only carried by objects and creatures and will eventually run out for each of them, freezing it in place. The two Tomes of Eldritch Lore Book of E-Ville and Wayang Kulit each contain or give access into a different kind of symbolic nightmarish world that builds itself around the thoughts of an entering character.
  • The Palm Tree Ghost's realm is turning out to be more and more this way in Our Little Adventure.
  • Tales of the Questor has the Unseleighe castle of Princeling Dolan in Tir Na Nogh. Simply navigating the halls can make you arf your cookies.

    Web Original 
  • Many SCPs are Eldritch Locations. Some of them also qualify as Eldritch Abominations since they are alive. There's also the "Red Sea Object", which takes people into an alternate universe where "a god-like being of unknown origin" instigated a massive holy war hundreds of years ago, with apocalyptic results, and now giant, immortal Uncanny Valley monsters roam the land, absorbing anyone who catches their attention.
  • Homestar Runner:
    • Sweet Puttin' Cakes, a miniature golf course "every bit as messed up as the cartoon on which it's based." Residents of Free Country, USA find themselves inexplicably teleported there simply by desiring to play miniature golf. The first hole is the "worm"hole, the 18th hole has par infinity, and the only way to leave is to will yourself back to reality. When Strong Bad returns, he remarks that his mouth "tastes like backwards."
    • We could go ahead and classify the Sweet Cuppin' Cakes world (which is apparently a real location) as an Eldritch Location. Just think of the inhabitants! A Strong Bad with a keyboard head, a black-and-white-talking wheelchair, a talking worm in a hole that appears to be able to warp from place to place. There's also the fact that characters can come from nowhere and that everything appears to be able to utilize hammerspace.
  • Ruby Quest:
    • Cold Storage.
    • Much of the whole facility, really. Especially the brig, with that growing dark pit and half of its gravity reversed.
  • Brian's house in Marble Hornets became this, thanks to a certain someone. It doesn't fully follow the laws of reality and is connected to a burnt-out, industrial-looking building that is laden with even more horror.
  • Sarah Waite's (yes, the last name is meaningful) dorm room at Whateley Academy in the Whateley Universe. It's even called the Lovecraft Room.
  • Nyx Crossing, a mysterious area that centers around a section of railroad track. According to the natives, "There is no distance," and there is a mysterious monster that stalks the characters.
  • The Noisy Tenant Creepypasta mythos is very much set in this this, given that in the core premise is that people suddenly wake up, out of nowhere, in the titular building, an endless place where space and time, if the ending to Dr. Phage's Hospital is any indication doesn't work the same as in our reality and where there's been no exit shown in-setting.
    • The place itself can be described as what would happen if Silent Hill were designed by Sid & Marty Krofft Productions , with whimsical inhabitants (An anthropomorphic hamburger chef made of rotting meat and a man-sized bacteriopage doctor with glasses and a bow-tie being the most prominent) who do horrible; horrible things to the people stuck in their realms...
    • And, as a bonus, the creator has said that it's not anything as banal as another planet or another dimension, but rather something humankind has no context whatsoever for. He compared trying to explain the reason why it exists to explaining to a Pilgrim the concept of a YouTube Poop without explaining computers, videos or electricity.
  • The Fear Mythos has the Empty City: a possibly living city located in an alternate dimension. The city is huge, changes every time you turn a corner, and is completely devoid of all souls.
  • In The Dionaea House, the titular "dionaea house".
  • Parodied in Chip Cheezum's Let's Play of 50 Cent: Blood on the Sand with the "Fiddy Zone", a glitch where background textures fail to load during a Counter Kill, leaving Fiddy and his opponent in a void covered by film grain.
  • Wherever the hell it is that the Happy Tree Friends universe takes place in. MY GOODNESS.
  • in Demon Thesis, the four main characters attend a small liberal arts college in Canada, when a manipulative entity from another dimension begins altering reality. Only afterward do the main characters learn that their school was originally founded by an occultist who knew that the location was a place where our dimension was unusually close to and could interact with other dimensions. Said occultist intended the university to inform about the dangers of this and form a line of defense against threats, but over time the school transformed into a fairly normal university and most occult/supernatural elements have been discarded.
  • College Saga has the Cursed Structure (i.e. Babson College's Fountain of Flags). As long as it exists, mankind will continue eating vegetables.
  • Prominently featured in The Tomb War from The Wanderers Library.
  • The Sick Land is an eldritch location and subject of an Apocalyptic Log.
  • Welcome to Night Vale, where everything paranormal is true.
  • The Fineum Cuniculum from The Worldbuild Project probably qualifies. No one knows how it got there? Check. Mysterious engraving all down the walls of a three kilometer tunnel? Check. People randomly disappearing? Check.

    Western Animation 

    Real Life 
  • The page quote from Zauriel, above, well describes the surface of the sun. The innards of a star, the depths of a gas giant and the vacuum of deep space all feature mechanical properties that are incomprehensibly alien in comparison to the natural laws as we know them. Small and frail is the magical bubble in which we live and thrive.
    • We can do better than that: Black holes! Also, Calabi-Yau space, the universe before the Big Bang, and pretty much anything beyond the universe. And the inside of an atom. Actually, the modern understanding of physics pretty much requires a lot of drugs to understand.
    • Some of these have since put to contest - for example, the quantum physics as we know it doesn't allow an absolute singularity to form, even though General Relativity does, which may mean that no "true" black holes exist, whereas other theories challenge the idea of the Big Bang as the start of the Universe - it has already been all but disproved in the form it's being taught in schoolbooks, but the event's exact nature still eludes the scientists, and there are multiple conflicting theories without enough evidence to pick one over the others.
    • Understanding the singularity that was the entire universe could require a higher level of math than we have so far. Considering that the physics at the literal instant after the expansion began were so much different than what's in the universe now, it's not hard to conceive that.
    • Black holes aside, neutron stars also qualify. They are so far removed from our everyday life that they are basically incomprehensible to the human mind. Their surface is so smooth that a mirror is a mountain range in comparison, and so dense and hard that a diamond is like the vacuum of outer space in comparison. The surface gravity is so strong that it very visibly bends light, and any matter will get crushed into it so hard that even its constituent particles will break and fuse into neutrons. The whole star has a mass of tens of suns and can rotate even at over a thousand revolutions per second. Because of this incomprehensibly rapid rotation speed, the star is actually a spheroid instead of a pure sphere, regardless of its density: That's how fast it rotates. And when the rotation slows down over time due to loss of energy, an unstoppable force (gravity) will acting on an immovable object (the surface of the star)... When the rotation speed has slowed down enough, the surface will give way and the entire star will restructure as a slightly less elongated spheroid... an event that's so immensely powerful that it emits an incredible amount of energy to outer space as a big flash.
  • Singularities in general are this in whatever system they might manifest in. Simply, a "singularity" is an instance in a system where the normal rules of the system are inapplicable.
  • Planets with high gravity or atmospheric pressure can make for some extremely odd locations. There is one exoplanet for example that the scientists believe to be covered in boiling hot ice due to such conditions.
  • The Universe itself, if you think about it hard enough. All of those things exist within it, everything makes sense if you understand it but if you don't, it makes none whatsoever; and even that which is understandable is mostly mind-boggling. And think about the fact that in the vast, deep, huge expanse, there is only one, tiny, infinitesimally small space upon which we can exist. And even on that tiny spec, there is only a small bit ('cause remember the Earth is mostly ocean and we can't go in that, barely) that we can exist in. So a tiny, tiny spot in the infinitely large Universe. Yeah, go ahead and say the Universe doesn't count. Hell, anything outside the Universe... if it exists. Since there is no evidence so far that anything exists outside the Universe, we can only assume it would be this.
  • The Ocean, especially way deep down in the trenches. Creatures born without what we would see as vital to living, pillars of sulfur belch toxic superheated smoke, the pressure so intense even thick steel can be crushed easily; and that's just scraping the surface of what's down there. Supposedly, there's more undiscovered species down there than there are extinct species.
    • Probably the crowning example of just how weird the deep oceans get; brine lakes. They are, for all intents and purposes, lakes under the ocean, complete with a shoreline. Even more mind screw-y, the density of the brine lake's surface means that any submarine that visits it can "float" on top of the denser brine lake surface. While already underwater. Yeah, that's right, scientists found Goo Lagoon!
  • Gravity hills. Technically, they're optical illusions, but to the unenlightened, they might as well be these.
    • An indoor version of this in the Ames Room. There is also spatial distortion where people appear to grow or shrink in size (but only when seen through a peephole in a specific location: observing the scene from inside the room would ruin the illusion).
  • A somewhat more benign example of this is the Winchester Mystery House. On the outside, it appears to be a rather opulent, though ultimately average Victorian-style mansion. An aerial view reveals an elaborate and expansive building designed as a maze. Inside is no less crazy. Staircases that go nowhere, doors in the ceiling and in the floors that also don't go anywhere, a second story door that leads right out to the side of the house, many non-functioning bathrooms behind expensive solid wood doors. Nobody is quite sure why the owner, Sarah Winchester, had the maze-like manor constructed and theories range from attempts at appeasing angry spirits to Sarah being just plain bonkers. On top of that, the home has a reputation as being haunted.
  • Various "Mystery Spot" tourist attractions and funhouses use quirks of architecture and perspective to simulate this trope.
  • Conceptualizing how the world appears to animals with radically-different Bizarre Alien Senses — echolocation, electroreception, vibratory sense, etc — can reveal how different even an ordinary room must seem to them.
    • Any species that can perceive radio signals as sound or sight would be driven blind or deaf immediately, if not completely insane.


Dream LandMetaphysical PlaceFighting Down Memory Lane
Crop CirclesGeometry TropesFearful Symmetry
Don't Go in the WoodsIndex of Gothic Horror TropesEvil Tower of Ominousness
Eldritch AbominationLovecraftian TropesHorrifying Hero
Eldritch AbominationThese Are Things Man Was Not Meant to KnowPoke in the Third Eye
Elevator TropesSettingsEnclosed Space
Eldritch AbominationCosmic Horror StoryGo Mad from the Revelation
Easier Than EasyImageSource/Video GamesHarder Than Hard
Dystopia Justifies the MeansYou Would Not Want to Live in DexForbidden Zone

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