"I do not wish to stain this sacred place with your blood. If you are determined to have this confrontation, why don't we settle this outside?"A place that has religious significance. It could be the site of a church or temple, a graveyard, a Holy City, or any other place. There are rules you must follow, taboos you must not break, or the locals will object, if not the one that place was dedicated to. After all, Holy Is Not Safe. If someone is Seeking Sanctuary, this is the place they'll go. If this place actively repels or harms evil forces, then it is a Place of Protection because Holy Burns Evil. Sister Trope to Truce Zone. Indian Burial Ground is a subtrope. The inversion is Unholy Ground.
— Prince Maximilian von Regingrave, Valkyria Chronicles
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- Played with in one arc. John makes a deal with a bunch of demons to get a little girl's soul back. The summoning takes place in an old church, so they're trapped in the circle. Which is when John brings in the other party to the deal, an Aztec death god who, having been around for longer than Christianity, has no problem with the holy nature of the church, and starts eating the demons.
- He also once sets up an ambush by waiting for chasing demons to reveal that they're standing on the grounds of an old church that was later turned into an insane asylum.
- In the film Alice's Restaurant (and the Real Life situation which inspired it) Alice's restaurant is in a former church, and it has to be deconsecrated before Alice can set up shop.
- Maverick. Invoked by Brett Maverick when a bunch of Indians show up. Maverick communicates to them in their own language but makes it sound like they're angry because his party trespassed on sacred ground. He makes up the Indian Bravery Test as an excuse to go with them, which you pass by not making a sound as both your hands are chopped off.
- The immortals of Highlander have a rule against fighting on holy ground. Even the Kurgan respects it - by Highlander II even alien overlords respect it. It doesn't seem to matter which religion it's holy to, which raises odd questions: suppose a religion considers the entire world holy?
- In Warlock, the eponymous villain is burned by contact with consecrated ground.
- In Sleepy Hollow the Headless Horseman cannot cross the fence into the church. When he tries throwing a weapon, it lands on the ground and dissolves. He needs more creative means of getting his victim.
- In Hocus Pocus the witches may not touch hallowed ground, most notably including graveyards, lest they turn to stone. However, nothing stops them from flying just above the ground on broomsticks and snatching their prey.
- From The Malloreon, there is a place called Korim, where Torak argued with UL. It is described as one of the holiest places on earth.
- The Cave, found in The Belgariad, wherein the Gods resided while they were making the world. While in the Cave, Garion is able to resurrect a stillborn colt.
- From The Tamuli, there is a concern that an Elene-style church has been consecrated (it hasn't).
- The Bible: Book of Exodus:
- Moses sees a burning bush, which tells him to remove his shoes, because he is standing on Holy Ground.
- Prior to the attack on Jericho, Joshua is visited by the Captain of the Lord's Host, and told to remove his shoes because he is standing on holy ground.
- In Around the World in 80 Days, Passepartout gets in trouble for wearing shoes into a Hindu temple.
- This comes up from time to time in the Deryni works. A selection:
- In Deryni Rising, Morgan and Kelson remove their swords in the small chapel adjoining Duncan's study. "The tradition of coming into the House of God unarmed was an old and strong one."
- When Charissa literally throws down a gauntlet to interrupt Kelson's coronation in St. George's Cathedral, Kelson asks her, "What would you in the House of the Lord?"
- Morgan and Duncan are excommunicated after the events at St. Torin's shrine near Dhassa. Specifically, they are charged with killing men on sacred ground and profaning the place by using Deryni magic there, as well as getting the blame for starting the fire that burned the wooden structure to the ground. Never mind that the place was used to set a trap for Morgan in the first place...
- In The Dresden Files, the church of Saint Mary of the Angels is one of the few remaining true holy grounds in the world, meaning that it is mostly impervious to all dark magic and anti-human supernatural forces. Except Fallen Angels and their hosts, they can enter just fine, but the Fallen don't like to enter (see My God, What Have I Done? for more).
- In The Hollows, Rachel and her pixie and vampire roommates live in a church that is on holy ground. It has twice been blasphemed by the presence of an extremely powerful demon and needed a priest to come re-consecrate it.
- Quest for the Fallen Star has the Holy Land, where hatred cannot exist and wounds are minor irritants easily brushed away.
- In Warrior Cats, the Moonstone, and later, Moonpool, are sacred places for the cats to communicate with their ancestors. New leaders are given nine lives there, each new warrior must make the trip there once, and that's where the medicine cats receive omens twice a moon.
- Played within the Doctor Who episode "Father's Day". The Clock Roaches can't get into a church, not directly because it's holy, but because its status as a holy structure has kept it in place for a very long time and therefore it's exceptionally "solid" to them.
- Game of Thrones. In "A Golden Crown", Daenerys and her brother Viserys travel with the Dothraki to Vaes Dothrak, their holy city in which it is forbidden to draw swords or shed blood. Having no respect for the Dothraki ways, Viserys exploits the fact that they will not violate their own rules, drawing a sword and making demands. It doesn't save him. They simply break his arms and kill him by pouring molten gold on his head. They never drew a sword nor shed any of his blood.
- One of the few rules of the Game in Highlander is that Immortals cannot fight on holy ground. What will happen if they violate this rule is left vague. In any case, it does lead to holy ground being one of the few places that they can go to get away from the Game.
- The last time an Immortal violated that rule was in the Temple of Isis in Pompeii. In August of 79 AD.
- The rule only prevents Immortals from fighting. Regular humans can still kill them there, as Darius found out first-hand.
- In the Supernatural episode "All Hell Breaks Loose, Part Two" (S02, Ep22), 5 pioneer churches are used to make a Devil's Trap, preventing demons from being able to reach the Hell Gate in the center.
- In Angel Wolfram & Hart's people found the best place to build their first building was going to be on holy ground. They had to turn it into Unholy Ground by desecrating it with the blood of a serial killer.
- Played With in Demon: The Fallen. The Fallen (a.k.a. demons) can walk upon holy ground (such as old churches)—but only if their Torment is low. Otherwise, stepping onto a holy ground kills their host bodies quickly and efficiently.
- Dungeons & Dragons have a number of spells for creating holy or unholy ground, such as Hallow. Generally these give Field Power Bonuses to any creatures that share the ground's alignment.
- Holy Terra, Shrine Worlds, and some Space Marine recruitment worlds in Warhammer 40,000 are entire planets devoted to this trope.
- Averted in the Reincarnation games. One takes place in a church, and the demon tells you that there's no problem being in a church, he just doesn't like it. Then again, you are chasing a Pedophile Priest...
- In the first Mass Effect, Wrex tells Shepherd of how his father, Jarrod, called him to a Crush, a meeting between rival Krogan clans, at the Hollows, as close to sacred ground as Krogans get. Weapons and fighting are not allowed. Of course, it's a trap, and a fight breaks out, ending with Wrex killing Jarrod. This results in Wrex becoming severely disillusioned with his own people, so he leaves Tuchanka and spends the next several centuries wandering the galaxy as a mercenary.
- Scourge forces in World of Warcraft apparently lost the Battle of Light's Hope Chapel because of they fought on sacred ground.
- Done in Valkyria Chronicles as Prince Maximilian von Regingrave didn't want to kill off Gallian militiamen present in the ruins of a Valkyrian temple, which is considered to be holy grounds.
- Falcon's Ache in Arcanum is sacred to the elves, and anyone who sheds blood on the ground will have their life taken by the spirits that live there. This becomes important in a quest when you have to drive away some lumberjacks that want to claim the site as a timber yard; you can't hurt them, but you can goad them into attacking you and let the spirits kill them, so long as you don't fight back.
- Meta-example in Urban Dead. There's a longstanding agreement between the human and zombie players that cemeteries are considered sacred ground, that survivors will regularly try to revive zombies there, and zombies are expected to not perform any hostilities.
- In Final Fantasy X, the ruins of Zanarkand are considered holy ground by the Yevon clergy. It serves as the end of a summoner's pilgrimage to acquire the Final Summoning with which to defeat Sin. Turns out the city's leader, Yu Yevon, was the one who MADE Sin in the first place.
- In The Elder Scrolls series, Giants have sites set aside strictly as the final resting place for their dead. They typically do not live near these locations and do not guard them. Giants who feel that they are nearing the end of their lives will travel to these sites to die. If a Giant dies elsewhere, other Giants will carry his body to one of these sites.
- In Stellaris, so-called Gaia worlds are planets that are so accommodating to life-forms that any race in the galaxy can settle them without difficulty, regardless of what climates they're accustomed to. This means you'll want to snap them up as soon as you find them, but if such worlds happen to have a name already, and an automated fleet standing guard over them, you may want to reconsider - these are a religious Fallen Empire's sacred planets, and ignoring their warnings and settling such worlds is an easy way to Awaken them.
- Ciel, an agent of The Church in Tsukihime, is able to consecrate certain areas, turning them into Hallowed Grounds. She does it, for instance, at her home, allowing Shiki to easily fend off Demonic Possession while he stays there.
- In the Fate series, the church in Fuyuki City is considered this, being used as a neutral site for Masters to meet.
- Temples, churches, Vatican City, many graveyards, the Ganges River...
- Interestingly done in Shinto, where the temple complex and area around it (signified with the iconic red gates) is the Holy Ground, and various items such as ropes and paper are placed to mark it as such. The idea is that the area beyond the temple's reach is in some measure corrupted and thus a division has to be made. But this also works in reverse, so if the temple gets corrupted and it becomes Unholy Ground, the same barrier protections will seal the evil inside so it does not influence the outside world.