"I take a look at the maps, and sure enough, this outpost is stuck out in the middle of nowhere, smack in the Smooth Points of Pride. "Boatmurdered" they call it, a name which doesn't bode well for much of fucking anything."Some cities have cute names. Some weird names. And some have no name at all. And then there are these places. They have names like "Doomville"; "New Evilsberg"; "Murder Plains"; "Hell's Bathroom"; "New Jersey". It doesn't matter if it's one of the nicest towns you've ever seen, if it's named Death City (or alternatively Necropolis if you want to get creative), it's one of these places. Note: if the place has a bad reputation, but the name itself is not scary (like Camp Crystal Lake or Sunnydale), it does not count. These are places that tell you right up front: this is not a nice place. Related to Doomy Dooms of Doom. The location counterpart to Names to Run Away from Really Fast. The inverted version of this trope would be Super-Fun Happy Thing of Doom, except in that trope, the thing must be actually bad.
— StarkRavingMad, Boatmurdered
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Anime & Manga
- Dragon Ball: One of the arenas in Urunai Baba's tournament is "The Devil's Cesspool". The name proves to be very apt; It's just a narrow bridge suspended over a pool of acid, making a challenging fight even moreso. The chamber gets its name from the fact that bridge is designed to look like the tongues of a pair of giant demons... sitting on toilet seats.
- Mahou Sensei Negima! has the "Gravekeeper's Palace". Naturally, it's The Very Definitely Final Dungeon of the previous generation, and the current group is currently headed there as well.
- In Makai Senki Disgaea, Episode 6:
Flonne: It's exactly like Sardia said! "Go through the Forest of Evil, crawl along the Cliffs of Despair, and cross the Bridge of the Damned."
- Death City, Nevada, in Soul Eater, so named because it is the home of... well, The Grim Reaper.
- Digimon Adventure 02 has a location in the Digital World called Death Valley. The English dub, due to either Never Say "Die" reasons or the name being taken by a valley in California already (or both), changes it to an even more ominous name. It then hangs a lampshade on it, and proceeds to turn Cody's joking un-threatening alternate name into a Running Gag:
Upamon: It's the Forbidden Valley of No Return!
Kari: Why do bad guys always name things like that?
TK: It's in their job description! It's right after really stinky breath!
Cody: Even if this place was called "The Valley of Duckies and Bunnies", with a control spire there, there's trouble.
- One Piece has Punk Hazard. It used to be a peaceful, normal land, until an incident years before turned it into a poisonous wasteland, and Akainu and Aokiji's battle further turned it into Hailfire Peaks.
- Higurashi: When They Cry: "Hinamizawa" ("Bird-Watching Town") is a fairly innocuous name in Japanese for a small town. However, it used to be known as "Onigafuchi", which translates roughly as "Demon's Abyss".
- The Forest of Death.
- The Valley of The End, or Kirigakure (aka the Village Hidden in The Mist), which, during Yagura's reign as Mizukage, came to be known (unofficially) as Chigiri no Sato (or the Village of the Bloody Mist).
- Claw's hideout Dead River from Kimba the White Lion.
- JoJo's Bizarre Adventure:
- Steel Ball Run has the Devil's Palm.
- In the first part of the manga, Ogre Street is a fictional London Rookery inhabited mostly by criminals, including Speedwagon. Jojo goes there to find a cure for his father's poisoning.
- In Yu-Gi-Oh! GX, Dark World. Not only are most of the natives there very unfriendly to humans, but this is where Judai's Superpowered Evil Side took hold.
- While not immediately obvious in translation, the town of Kurozu-cho in Uzumaki has a name that means either "Closed Town" or "Black Vortex Town" depending on the reading. In this case, the fact that the town apparently underwent a similar event to that depicted in the book a few hundred years ago suggests that the creepiness of the name is unlikely to be unintentional.
- Eddie Izzard mentioned this during a piece about the genre blindness of people in horror movies. "Let's go camping in the Forest of Death and Blood!" (around 7:40)
- Crime Alley was only given that name after all the... crime... that happened there. It was originally called the much tamer "Park Row".
- Also Blüdhaven.
- Gotham itself would count as this a bit, though at least it was founded a couple hundred years before the "gothic" genre became a class of stylized horror story. Gotham City is actually one of the now-archaic names for part of what is now New York City. It was a pretty well-known alternate term when Batman comics were first published, but it has drifted out of common use since. Though depending on how you feel about New York it might still qualify.
- And even the first meaning of the name qualified in a way, as it came from a legend of a village where people acted crazy in order to avoid paying taxes and got the name Gotham as in Goat-ham. So Gotham is named after a land of insane people.
- Arkham Asylum, if you know your H.P. Lovecraft. Even Gotham City's "normal" prison has the rather ominous name of Blackgate Penitentiary.
- One Metropolis neighborhood's name on city maps is Hob's Bay, but the locals call it something else: Suicide Slum. Given that 'Hob' is a mediaeval name for the Devil (as mentioned in Quatermass and the Pit) even the official name gives pause for thought. However, 'Hob' is also a mediaeval diminutive for 'Robert', and was reasonably commonplace right through to the 17th Century. It's where the more successful versions of Lex Luthor hail from. Other origin stories include Smallville and Overlord Jr.
- Metropolis also has Suicide Swamp on the outskirts of town. Those people do not know a thing about marketing.
- Sin City, although its actual name is Basin City.
- Daredevil and Hell's Kitchen. That said, Hell's Kitchen is a real neighborhood in New York. (It has become considerably safer and more upscale in the decades since Daredevil was first launched. But the Marvel Universe cares not.)
- Fantastic Four: Doomstadt, capital city of Latveria. Doctor Doom named several other towns in Latveria after himself as well.
- Joe McCarthy Elementary, future Alma Mater of Amelia and her friends in Amelia Rules!. The school motto is: "Weeding out the wrong element since 1952".
- Slaughter Swamp, birthplace of Solomon Grundy in The DCU.
- The Ms. Tree story "The Devil's Punchbowl" involves the investigation of a murder at a geological feature known as 'the Devil's Punchbowl'. (There are actually several places in the real world bearing this name.)
- New Gods: Apokolips. It's a place ruled by Darkseid; need we say more?
- In Adventures in the Rifle Brigade, Lt. "Doubtful" Milk's write-up notes him as the sole survivor of engagements on Hell Island, Slaughter River, Carnage Ridge, and Abandon-All-Hope-Ye-Who-Enter-Here Alley.
- Judge Dredd:
- Deadworld, but only after the omnicidal Dark Judges who destroyed it renamed it in their own image — before that it was just an Alternate Dimension of Earth. Filled with mountains of corpses of their victims, the only inhabitants left on the planet are the four undead Judges and the tormented souls of the dead.
- Death and his cohorts also briefly turned Mega City One itself into a "Necropolis" by transforming the city into a nightmarish slaughterhouse that made the Cursed Earth (an irradiated wasteland) look welcoming by comparison.
- Harley Quinn and Her Gang of Harleys: Harley Sinn has her secret hideout on the Island of Horrible Death. Presumably she named the place herself.
- The eponymous once-nice neighbourhood from the short story, The Monster of Dread End
- In Calvin and Hobbes, there are several of these which Calvin names himself including Grim Reaper Gorge or Mount Maim. He does this so he can feel cool while sledding down them.
- In an early strip, Jason goes sledding at huge hill called "Kamikaze Ridge", saying that his classmates discovered it near the reservoir. (Presumably, they gave it that name.) The place is mentioned whenever it's winter and he wants to tempt fate.
- One of the Horrible Camping Trips that Roger took the family too was at a place called "Skeeter Falls". (Apparently, Roger was too dumb to realize what the name meant.
- The Death Zone, the Dark Tower, and the Doom Satellite from Calvin and Hobbes: The Series.
- Opening Dangerous Gates has a town called Mortem. Lucy points out the foreboding name. Even more foreboding when Gajeel reveals that back when he was in Phantom Lord, he lost several comrades to that town.
- Genocide City in the Pokémon fanfic Brave New World. Nobody actually ends up going there, but it's implied that it's worse than Treasure Town, a Wretched Hive that is literally built on top of a portal to hell. The name also serves as a reference to a famously cut level from Sonic the Hedgehog 2.
Films — Animation
- The Rescuers:
- Most of the action takes place in a swamp called Devil's Bayou.
- In the sequel, The Rescuers Down Under, the duo's guide Jake invokes this to mess with Bernard, as he has a crush on Bianca.
Jake: So, which way you taking? Suicide Trail through Nightmare Canyon, or the shortcut, Satan's Ridge?
Bernard: S-S-Suicide Trail?
Jake: Good choice! More snakes, but less quicksand. And once you pass Bloodworm Creek you're scot-free. That is, until Dead Dingo Pass.
- In another scene, McLeach demands a tied-up Cody tell him where the giant eagle he's befriended is located, wondering aloud if she's nested at places like Satan's Ridge, Nightmare Canyon, and Croc Falls. For emphasis, he's got Cody placed in front of a map, and throws a knife at every location he names. We actually get to see Croc Falls in the climax. And yes, the name is accurate.
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: the entire path to the T. rex nest, named by a Crazy Survivalist. At one point he's asked:
Crash: Why is it called the "Gorge of Death"?
Buck: We tried calling it "The Big Smelly Crack" but people kept giggling.
Films — Live-Action
- In King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Arthur must go to the Badlands before he will fully be able to command Excalibur.
- Skull Island in Peter Jackson's King Kong (2005). Denham lampshades this trope:
Driscoll: Why would [the crew] be spooked? What's [the island] called?
Denham: Alright, it has a local name, but I'm warning you Jack, it doesn't sound good.
[after the reveal]
Driscoll: What's wrong with this place?
Denham There's nothing officially wrong with it... Because, technically, it hasn't been discovered yet.
- As the name implies, Monster Island of the Godzilla Franchise houses all of Earth's gigantic monsters.
- In Jurassic Park, the island chain Isla Sorna is part of (Isla Nublar is not part of the same chain) is called Las Cinco Muertes, or The Five Deaths. Apparently the name comes from some local legend, and all five islands are named after a form of torture or execution. Isla Nublar, the island from the original book/film, on the other hand, means Cloudy Island.
- Pirates of the Caribbean:
- Isla de Muerta from the first film, (grammatically incorrect) Spanish for "Island of Death".
- Also Shipwreck Island from the third film. Home to Shipwreck Cove. Inside which you find the town of Shipwreck.
Jack Sparrow: You know, for all that pirates are clever clogs, we are an unimaginative lot when it comes to naming things.
- Isla Cruces — from the (medieval) Latin cruciare, meaning "to torture". "Cruces" is also Spanish for "crosses" (or "intersections", depending on the gender of the pronoun). It's also the second person singular form of the verb "cruzar", to cross. And naming things after Catholic objects of veneration is something of an hispanohablante linguistic hobby.
- The Princess Bride has the Cliffs of Insanity. Ironically, the sea bordering it to one side (with its Shrieking Eels) and the Fire Swamp bordering it to the other (with its Rodents of Unusual Size) are more dangerous.
- The Star Wars universe has a few.
- The Original Trilogy gave us the Death Star, which, although mobile, was large enough to classify as a location of its own. The Star Wars novel Death Star has the Death Star in orbit around the prison planet Despayre.
- The Force Awakens gives us Starkiller Base, which is an even worse place to be than the Death Star.
- The title town from Darkness Falls. Nope, nothing bad ever happens there. Honest.
- Lampshaded in Without a Paddle when Seth Green's character asks why all the places that they have to travel to have Satanic names.
- In Batman Forever, Riddler builds his base on Claw Island. The Agony Booth's recap of the movie finds it "convenient", saying "subsequent supervillains will have to make do with building their bases on Gumdrop Island, or Fluffy Bunny Atoll."
- Monty Python and the Holy Grail:
- "Seek you the Bridge of Death!"
- Where, if you get a question wrong, "you are cast into the Gorge of Eternal Peril."
- The Castle of Aaaarrrggh may or may not be an example.
- Castle Anthrax.
- The first Spy Kids film had a city called San Diablo (literally, "Saint Devil").
- Averted in Dr. No, where the diabolical doctor's base from which he aims to upset the balance of terror between the USA and the USSR through missile toppling is called... Crab Key.
- Cutthroat Island.
- In Scooby-Doo, Shaggy and Scooby are unwilling to visit Spooky Island. In fact, they have a whole list of "forbidden" place names - including "scary", "haunted", "forbidden" or "hydroclonic"
- In one of The Three Stooges shorts, Gents Without Cents (1944) the boys are acting out a skit for dockworkers. Curly is given a suicide mission to deliver a message. His directions are, "Now, you go through Skeleton Pass, over Murder Meadow, to Massacre Junction. Then you follow the trail to Poison Creek, around Funeral Mountain, and head directly for Dead Man's Gulch."
- Played with in the prequel movie Tremors 4: The Legend Begins, in which Perfection, Nevada is still known by its older name of Rejection. Locals kick themselves over that, because nobody seems to want to move there.
- The Scorpion King. There's a reason they call it "The Valley of the Dead".
- Shadow Woods Apartments from Blood Rage.
- A sign seen in Terror at Tenkiller mentions a town named Gore.
- Hell Township in Santa's Slay.
- Bitter Lake. A place where everyone talks interminably with badly puppeteered mouths, up until they get their sorry carcass assassinated.
- Cape Fear. Which is a real place, by the way.
- Alien franchise:
- Sufferton from Seed.
- Stalker has a dark and scary tunnel nicknamed The Meat Grinder. We're never told how it got this nickname, which makes the sequence where Writer creeps through it quite terrifying.
- Subverted - at least at first - with the Bog of Eternal Stench in Labyrinth Sarah at first doubts it's as bad as Hoggle claims asking if all it does is smell, although he tells her, "Believe me, that's enough!" (Of course, that's not all it does. Not only does it have an unearthly stench, it curses whoever touches its waters with the same stench, which never goes away. And while the viewers do have to take his word for it, poor Sarah finds out just how vile it smells for herself when she sees the place firsthand.)
- In The Wizard Corey tells his brother they are in Goblin Valley. "Great. I mean, I mean, I mean... it couldn't be Happy Valley or Wonderful Valley. Goblin Valley. Why not, Axe Murderer's Valley?"
- In the Hudson Brothers' comedy Hysterical, author Frederic Lansing goes on a retreat to the charming seaside village of Hellview, Oregon.
- Breakheart Pass
- Pick a Lone Wolf book. Any Lone Wolf book. On the off-chance that the trope doesn't appear in the title (The Chasm of Doom, The Kingdoms of Terror, Castle Death, The Jungle of Horrors and more), then it'll still most likely be present in the book somewhere — the Darklands, the Doomlands of Naaros, the Hellswamp...
- Ditto for the Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Just a few examples: the Desert of Skulls, Blood River, Plain of Bones, Mountains of Grief, Port Blacksand, Nightshriek Jungle....
- Defied in 'The Grapple' of Timeline-191, where the Adolf Eichmann expy, Jefferson Pinkard, convinces Ferdinand Koenig that for the purposes of carrying out their Holocaust expy on black people, a camp named "Camp Devastation" or "Camp Destruction" would actually be counter-productive towards their efforts.
- The Lord of the Rings:
- Mount Doom.
- Mordor itself, as it's suggestive of the Latin "mors", which means death, and is a bit too close to the related word "murder" for comfort. In-story, the name still qualifies: it means "Black Country", in reference to its wasted state and perpetual shadow. It's more literal than that: Tolkien's academic specialty was Old English, and he had a fondness for just lifting parts of its vocabulary for his legendarium — "Ent" means giant, for instance, and "Orthanc" is Old English for "craft". "Mordor" quite literally means Murder.
- Most of the foregoing also applies to Moria (the Black Chasm), which the Dwarves call by a different name (Khazad-Dûm, "the Dwarf-delving").
- Other places with ominous Quenya or Sindarin names include Dol Guldur (the hill of dark magic) and Minas Morgul (the tower of black magic).
- The Dead Marshes.
- Also Cirith Ungol and assorted places. Frodo and Sam may be excused, because many location names are only told to the reader and not the protagonists. But it still adds some amusement to the chapter when you translate the elven location names — and realize that they are trying to reach the "Pass of the Huge Evil Monster Spider", climb the "Stairs to the Pass of the Huge Evil Monster Spider" and finally enter the "Cave of the Huge Evil Monster Spider" — and then slowly begin to wonder if that pass is really as unguarded as they thought... Especially since it is established that Frodo, at least, speaks reasonably good Sindarin.
- As The New Yorker noted in its review of The Movie of The Two Towers, such a name definitely makes things easier when asking for directions.
- Inverted in children's Lord of the Rings parody Muddle Earth, with "Harmless Hill".
[after watching a harmless stiltmouse getting eaten by a flower]
Joe: I thought you said the hill was harmless!
Veronica: Oh, the hill's harmless enough, it's the killer daisies you've got to watch out for...
- The Silmarillion by J. R. R. Tolkien also has a variety of locations which can be translated variously as the Grinding Ice, the Gasping Dust, the Hill of Slain, the Mountains of Horror, and the Valley of Dreadful Death. Yes, pretty much par for the course when the author is a dedicated philologist.
- The eponymous location of Shadowmarch by Tad Williams.
- Played with in the book Carpe Jugulum, which has in Überwald a very lovely tourist spot called Dontgonearthe Castle, which also has various other signs like "Last Chance Not to Go Near the Castle". This is, however, a brilliant bit of reverse-psychology marketing by the castle's owner (a vampire), who named it knowing full well that any adventurer worth their salt would of course investigate the castle to find out why he shouldn't go near it.
- Nanny Ogg has a set of rules about places like Dontgonearthe Castle, which are basically a series of instructions that go "having ignored the previous instruction, don't perform the next step in your inevitable demise," up until you've met your inevitable demise, when it's "having been bitten by the vampire, don't come crying to me."
- The Blasted Heath from the The Colour Out of Space by H.P. Lovecraft.
- In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the eponymous island's name is Skeleton Island.
- Not exactly Canon, but in The Pyrates, George Macdonald Frazer suggests that the Dead Man's Chest on which fifteen men were once marooned was in fact a sand bar that resembled the torso of a floating corpse poking out of the water.
- Small mining town Desperation in the eponymous Stephen King novel. Good for one's health, original sculptures, charming residents — fun for the whole family!
- The Honor Harrington series gives us Camp Charon, on the planet Hades, which is in the Cerberus System, which just shows that the People's Republic of Haven is really subtle about naming its prisons.
- Deltora Quest has loads. The Forests of Silence, the Lake of Tears, the City of Rats, the Shifting Sands, Dread Mountain, the Maze of the Beast, the Valley of the Lost, the Shadowlands… no wonder Lief freaked out upon seeing where his quest would lead him. The sequel series add more, including Dragon's Nest, Shadowgate, and the Isle Of The Dead.
- Red Harvest, by Dashiell Hammett, is set in the industrial town of Personville, which is almost always called Poisonville by its inhabitants and visitors.
- The eponymous "Schlachthof-fünf" from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, the address of a Dresden POW Camp during World War II. It's somewhat subverted by the fact that the prison camp is, through a clerical error, remarkably well supplied, and is one of the few safe places when the Allies bomb the city.
- In the Shannara series, the Warlock Lord live in Skull Mountain, in the centre of Skull Kingdom.
- The Three Investigators seem to keep ending up at places like this: Terror Castle, Skeleton Island, Phantom Lake, Monster Mountain, Death Trap Mine, Shark Reef, Wrecker's Rock...
- A Song of Ice and Fire: Cartographers in this series are often blunt and to the point. So, on your own head be it if you thought "Cape Wrath" in the Stormlands was just being metaphorical, so neglected to pack your waterproofs.
- House Bolton, reluctant bannermen to House Stark, have their primary seat at a lovely little place called the Dreadfort. As their banner is that of a flayed man, one can imagine the sorts of things that historically took place there — and still do.
- The Haunted Forest may not be literally haunted, but the countless tales told in Westeros of the monsters, barbarians and worse that live there more than explain its name and reputation.
- The mystical city of Asshai is on the Ash River, itself in the Shadowlands. It's even less cheery than it sounds, as no children can be born there and phosphorescent, inedible plants and very questionable fish are about the only things that can thrive there without knowledge of magics. Yeah.
- Other ominous names in Westeros and Essos include the Hellholt (not a bad place itself, but the deserts around it are unbearable), Shipbreaker Bay, the Gulf of Grief, and Slaver’s Bay.
- In Essos, a ruined city used as the equivalent of a leper colony is called the Sorrows, and a particularly dangerous stretch of land passing very close to the feared ruins of Valyria is known as the Demon Road.
- Sometimes this is played with: the grim-sounding Winterfell is the home of some of the story's most heroic characters. It is somewhat fitting, however, in that region it's located in is, well, extremely wintry.
- The waters around the ruins of the Valyrian Freehold, which have been a volcanic wasteland ever since the Doom came to Valyria, are called the Smoking Sea, and are filled with volcanoes.
- The furthest south of Sothoryos, where the merely very inhospitable jungles of the north give way to impassable rainforests full of all sorts of hostile monsters, amply deserve their nickname of the Green Hell.
- The island of Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears) in the Young Bond novel Hurricane Gold, which is a hideout for criminals.
- Cthulhu Mythos stories love these names: The Devil's Hop-yard, the blasted heath, Stregoicavar ("Witch-Town").
- Several feature in the titles of the Joanna Brady mysteries by JA Jance: Skeleton Canyon, Rattlesnake Crossing, Outlaw Mountain, Devil's Claw. Why does anyone live in Cochise County?
- Arthurian romances are full of castles that fit this trope. E.g. Perlesvaus, where one of the major bad guys hangs out in Castle Mortal; the Livre d' Artus has a Castle of Death; the Prose Tristan a Castle of Tears, which Malory calls the Doleful City; in Yvain, there's a Castle of the Most Ill Adventure; Malory has a Castle Perilous as well, not to mention Dolorous Guard. None of them sound like ideal holiday destinations. On the other hand if one is a Knight Errant looking for trouble they sound like just the place to go.
- The Wheel of Time has important events take place in Shadow's Waiting, the Blight, the Mountains of Dhoom and the Aiel Waste. Less plot-important locations include Kinslayer's Dagger (a small mountain range) and the Sea of Storms.
- The Darke Halls in Septimus Heap.
- Ciaphas Cain Hero of the Imperium wonders why anybody wants to explore a space-hulk called Spawn of Damnation. He also wonders who names these things and why they can't pick something a little more cheerful.
- Galaxy of Fear has planets called D'Vouran and Necropolis. A character points out that "Necropolis" means "City of the Dead", but no one seems to notice D'Vouran or connect it with the "We Live to Serve You" sign they find there.
- Hell, an Outlaw Town that was the setting for two novels by J.T. Edson: Hell in the Palo Duro and Go Back to Hell.
- Heralds of Valdemar: The Forest of Sorrows in Valdemar.
- How to Train Your Dragon: Come to the Barbaric Archipelago! Visit such beautiful locales as Hysteria, Villainy, Fort Sinister, The Dungeons Of The Danger-Brutes, Glum and Grim, The Frozen Isle Of Nowhere, Silence, Swallow: The Swallowing Sands, Berserk: The Woods That Howled, Bloodspilt Bay, The Uglithug Slavelands, Prison Darkheart, Grimbeard's Despair, The Murderous Mountains, Hero's End... Averted with some of the more nice-sounding locations, such as The Peaceable Country or The Island Of Quiet-Life.
- Memories of Empire by Django Wexler has the Doomwood and Godsdoom.
- Fear Street
- Invoked in Coruscant Nights regarding a lovely part of the Coruscant underlevels known as the Blackpit Slums.
Den Dhur: And that's a bad name. Bad names usually mean bad places, and bad places are not places we want to be.
- Subverted in Circle of Magic. The four kids are not happy about being sent to a place called Discipline Cottage after they've been kicked out of the regular dorms for various reasons Turns out that "discipline" here just means "study, instruction" rather than punishment.
- The Reynard Cycle: The Gate of Tears, an artificial sea channel that has become the lair of a sea monster that is over two hundred years old. Even the Calvarians are scared of it.
- In Steven Saylor's mystery Raiders of the Nile (set in ancient Egypt), the hero, Gordianus the Finder, stays at The Inn of the Hungry Crocodile. (The Hungry Crocodile is what the proprietor calls himself, because, as he says, he is always hungry for money. Not reassuring.)
- The bulk of Heart of Steel takes place on a volcanic island in the middle of the South Pacific called Shark Reef Isle. Turns out the sharks aren't the only dangers...
- The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Deliberately invoked by the heroes, upon discovering an island with a spring that turns anything that touches its water into solid gold. They immediately recognize the danger of such a place (especially since there's a "statue" of a person at the bottom of said spring), and Caspian decides to name the place "Deathwater Island" to discourage any visitors. ("Goldwater Island" was also suggested, but while accurate and descriptive it was thought that name would attract more people to the place.)
- Angel: The Groosalugg was summoned from "the Scum Pits of Ur."
- Game of Thrones:
- Dragonstone, Slaver's Bay, the Red Waste, the Garden of Bones, and the House of the Undying. The Night's Watch has a tradition of this with names like Castle Black, the Shadow Tower, the Nightfort, and Eastwatch-by-the-Sea.
- The Dreadfort is House Bolton's castle. Season Four's title sequence finally shows the Bolton seat on its clockwork map: a fairly standard and architecturally unimpressive stronghold compared to some of the other pieces in Westeros or Essos, but a very scary location on the map. The Dreadfort is jarringly gritty brown with its flesh-pink paint fading, damaged by scratch marks and stained with dried blood, enclosed by spiked battlements, sharp triangular merlons, and towers shaped like meat tenderizers, and its centerpiece displays what looks like a tanned piece of flayed skin with the Bolton sigil painted on it, being stretched over a miniature torture rack by the rotating gears of the map.
- A parody: Garth Marenghis Darkplace.
- Buffy the Vampire Slayer: Though Sunnydale doesn't count, the name it originally had does: Boca del Infierno or the Mouth of Hell (it's built on a Hellmouth). The Tales of the Slayers comic "The Glittering World" shows that Mayor Wilkins renamed it purposefully (also considering "Sunny Valley" and "Happydale").
- In Doctor Who, the scenic and picturesque Death Zone on Gallifrey.
- Back in the Hartnell era, there was a string of planets with improbably appropriate names (a desert planet named Aridius, etc.). Among these was a prison planet full of violent felons called Desperus.
- In "The Impossible Planet", the titular rock is somehow safely orbiting a black hole despite being far too close for comfort. The folklore of the nearest civilisation refers to the black hole as a mighty demon and the planet as "the Bitter Pill".
- The planet Midnight. "What could possibly go wrong?"
- The quaint village of Devil's End in "The Daemons".
- In "The Dominators", the planet Dulcis is home to the Island of Death.
- Eerie Indiana is probably worth mentioning.
- The challenge one week on The Gruen Transfer was to come up with an ad to promote tourism to the Canadian town of Asbestos.
- Wild Boys: "What part of 'Dead Man's Drop' do you not understand?"
- Power Rangers Mystic Force:
- Farscape has "Tormented Space", a region plagued by electromagnetic anomalies that make it dangerous for Leviathans. The planets are generally less civilized and the people are... not very nice.
- One episode has an area known as the Perilous Lands.
- There's also The Valley of the Fallen Kings and The Dark Tower.
- Home Improvement has Jill trying to stop Randy from sled-racing a local bully, while Tim is trying to convince her let him do it:
Tim: There's nothing wrong with two kids having a nice race down Dead Man's Curve.
Jill: Down what!?
Tim: Fred Man's Curve!
- Played with in Star Trek regarding the Klingon penal colony Rura Penthe, which doesn't immediately sound scarynote . Its nickname, however, is "The Aliens' Graveyard," which is definitely scary. Note that that refers to "aliens" from the Klingons' perspective...
- The Demon-class planets featured on Star Trek: Voyager.
- The town of Purgatory (and Purgatory Mine) in the Frontier Circus episode "Patriarch of Purgatory".
- Our Lady of Perpetual Suffering Hospital from Scream Queens (2015), later renamed the C.U.R.E. Institute. Our introduction to the place is a doctor who works there straight-up murdering a patient because treating the guy would mean he couldn't go to the Halloween party.
- Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton. Like a lot of Coulton's stuff, the song itself is relaxing and folksy.
- Nox Arcana gives us three examples. Blackthorn Asylum and Darklore Manor, however the most obvious example is Castle Of Nightmares.
- Dead Man's Curve by Jan and Dean.
- "Bridge of Death" and "House of Death" by Manowar.
- mothy's series the Evillious Chronicles, has country names based on the names of demons- Levianta, Elphegort, Lucifenia, and so on... and when some of them decide to create a single state, they name it... United States of Evillious.
- Played with in one of the many articles written by The Onion. It was about a town named Murder Heights that was trying to rebrand itself.
- Most of the Hazards in White Water count, such as Insanity Falls and Disaster Drop.
- Paragon has the "Valley of Demons" and the "Beast's Lair."
- The "Arkham Asylum" playfield of Necronomicon includes Hangman Hill and Salem's Road.
- Golden Logres has the Castle Perilous, where the three Evil Knights reside.
- Many an aspiring pro wrestler were stretched out in Stu Hart's Dungeon.
- NWA Quebec's wrestling school, Onyx and LuFisto's Torture Chamber.
- Angelina Love initially declined an offer to participate in Pro Wrestling Syndicate all women's offshoot "BLOW", though Annie Social didn't see why it was any worse than TNA and Love did end up wrestling (jobbing) on a few BLOW shows(making her what Jennifer Blake dubbed a BLOW jobber)
- The Shadowfell, a plane in Dungeons & Dragons, is filled with these. Just a few are Gloomwrought, the City of Midnight; Moil, the City that Waits; and the Shadowdark (the Underdark of the Shadowfell).
- The ludicrousness of these names was parodied by a certain Penny Arcade strip which posited that beneath the Shadowdark is the "Darkbad" — and past that, one encounters "Shadow Shadow Bo Badow," "Double Hell," and finally "Scarytown". Which isn't so bad, depending on when you go.
- Many place-names in Ravenloft are this trope as well, albeit sometimes camoflauged via Bilingual Bonus.
- The entire setting is officially referred to as the "Demiplane of Dread". Doesn't get a whole lot more blatant then that.
- Elder Evils give Atropus, The World Born Dead; an entire planet that is actually a stillborn, undead deity.
- Eberron has Cyre, or: The Mournland. It's every bit as nasty as it sounds, and then some.
- Almost all of the layers of the "Infinite Layers of the Abyss" are named according to this trope, like "That Hellhole," "Skin-Shredder," "Death's Reward," "Soulfreeze," "The Sixth Pyre," often referring to the most noticeable of unpleasant features, such as how the primary inhabitants of "Slugbed" are demonic slugs and snails. Those layers with names that aren't immediately fearsome-sounding will still refer to some hazard, like how the name "The Forgotten Land" refers to how every sentient being, demons included, develops incurable magical amnesia. And those layers that have pleasant-sounding names are invariably extremely deadly.
- In the Planescape campaign, the Outlands has sixteen towns situated around the rim called Gate Towns, each one with a gate to one of the other Outer Planes. Each one has a Meaningful Name that has something to do with the place their gate leads to, and as you might expect, the towns with gates leading to the Lower Planes have rather unpleasant names, like Torch, Plague-Mort, and Hopeless (as you might expect, these towns are not nice places to live).
- Of course, plenty of actual dungeons qualify. One well-known example is the Temple of Elemental Evil, a horrible place with a notorious reputation both in-universe and out.
- Most names cribbed from Inferno probably count (they're used in Planescape a lot). Dis, Malebolge, etc. Carceri and The Abyss probably counts as well, and the lovely town of Ribcage?
- Dungeons & Dragons' infamous Chasm of DEATHDEATHDEATH.
- Warhammer Fantasy has Death Mountain, Troll Country, Blackfire Pass, the Forest of Shadows, the Blighted Isle, the Badlands, the Spiteful Peaks and many more. None of which are good places to be. Some regions, such as Naggaroth, land of the dark elves, are full of places like this.
- Warhammer 40,000:
- A planet named "Armageddon". Even without being part of a war-game named Warhammer, visiting it sounds like a bad idea. It was mentioned that the name has become a byword for destruction, so its name might translate to Armageddon in later times, not actually being that. Also, the planet got that name after three major wars there (named the First, Second and Third Battles for Armageddon), implying it was fairly peaceful for the many millennia humans had lived there up to that.
- Another planet was named "Murder". As expected, the environment and wildlife devastated the expedition forces.
- And another planet is named "Krieg" — which is German for "War".
- The current Imperial Guard codex tells of a nightmarish world known as Birmingham. (*shudder*)
- And of course, the interstellar Mordor known as the Eye of Terror.
- Subverted by the Fang, a hollowed out mountain revered by the citzens of the Imperium as, despite its name, it is home of one of the original Astartes Legions who are now known as the heroic Space Wolves Chapter of Space Marines.
- Infernum is set in a place called "The Pit". Because it's a giant (2400 miles deep) crater. It's divided into Circles of Hell called Emptiness, Tempest, Tears, Toil, Slaughter, Industry, Delight, Malebolge and Pandemonium. Obviously, none of these places are good to visit. Individual locations include the likes of Mayhem (center of the arms trade on Slaughter) and the Cathedral of Cracked Bones (where wounded demons are kept suspended in a state of eternal pain until either they convert to the Church of the Morningstar or are bought by somebody).
- Exalted has shadowlands, already a foreboding sounding name, which are places where Creation and the Underworld touch. These invariably have frightening sounding names. Given Exalted's tendency for long, flowery titles, you wind up with places like the Isle of Shadows, the Font of Mourning, the Bayou of Endless Regret, and the Fields of Woe, among others.
- One of the Deathlords has established a nation of his own in the West. Its name? The Skullstone Archipelago, which is centered on the shadowland of Darkmist Isle. Remarkably, he's a Villain with Good Publicity known locally as the Silver Prince.
- Also Malfeas, aka "Hell", who is both a Place and a Person To Run Away From Really Fast.
- Jo, a sometime narrator from Deadlands:, Hell On Earth, lampshades this trope, wondering why no-one caught on to the fact that places with nasties always have names like “Hell’s Canyon” or “the Devil’s Backbone” or the “Forest of Death”, and comments that "If you get to name something, call it the “Happy Place.” Or the “Peaceful Forest Where There Are No Freakin’ Monsters!”"
- A Touch Of Evil, which can be roughly described as Tim Burton's Sleepy Hollow: The Board Game is set in a colonial New England town called Shadowbrook.
- Pokémon Colosseum has Pyrite Town. Pyrite as in "Fool's Gold", for all the riches you will part with if you don't watch your back for hoods. One of the few good things to come out of that city happens to be ONBS.
- Citadark Isle from Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness.
- Pokémon Diamond and Pearl has Turnback Cave and Sendoff Spring that appropriately lead you into a dark, heavily fogged labyrinth. Its even lampshaded in the guidebook.
- There's also the dark, sinister dimension where Giratina lives, which Cynthia names the Torn World, or Distortion World in the American version.
- Fittingly enough, the Platinum version of Turnback Cave contains a portal to the Distortion world.
- Half-Life: Ravenholm, though not nearly as foreboding as most examples.
- San Heironymo Peninsula, from Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops. It means "Peninsula of the Dead", according to Campbell. This is either a nickname or an in-character made a mistake — "San Heironymo" is simply Spanish for "Saint Jerome".
- Mordavia from Quest for Glory IV. Guess what sorts of inhabitants you might meet there.
- Super Mario Bros. Several stages qualify.
- Lethal Lava Land, Deep Dark Galaxy, Melty Molten Galaxy, Big Boo's Haunt, Dreadnaught Galaxy... Dark Land in Super Mario Bros. 3 says it fairly clearly, even without you knowing it's hell incarnate. Or maybe Bowser in the Dark World/Fire Sea.
- Mario Party. Bowser's levels have some mighty dangerous sounding names: Bowser's Warped Orbit, Infernal Tower, Bowser Nightmare, Bowser's Enchanted Inferno...
- Averted in Super Mario RPG — Monstro Town is actually a pretty nice place.
- Rogueport in Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door is a straight example though. As it's Paper Mario, this gets lampshaded relatively quickly. Twilight Town isn't so bad most of the time, but the Creepy Steeple in the woods outside it is a straight example.
- RuneScape has quite a few of these.
- Daemonheim, or "Demon halls". The fact that it is a massive cursed dungeon with Occult floors and Warped floors doesn't help.
- The Wilderness in general. Packed with places like Graveyard of Shadows, Demonic Ruins, plus a couple of Chaos Temples.
- Skull Island and Blood Island from The Curse of Monkey Island. Of course, Skull Island looks like something distinctly different from a skull.
- The PC Adventure Game Shadow of the Comet takes place in
InnsmouthIllsmouth, just a small New England town that is absolutely not a reference to H.P. Lovecraft's stories, why ever would you think such a thing?
- Silent Hill, which is just about the creepiest name for a sleepy little tourist town ever. Not to mention The Devil's Pit in Silent Hill: Downpour.
- Legend of Grimrock: Mount Grimrock, it and its deep dungeon, with its skeleton soldiers and its giant spiders.
- Ecco the Dolphin: Planet Vortex, Dark Water.
- Skies of Arcadia: The Dark Rift, the Maw of Tartas.
- World of Warcraft: Hellfire Peninsula, Dragonblight, Plaguelands.
- There's also Bloodmyst Isle, Duskwood, Deadwind Pass, the Swamp of Sorrows, the Blasted Lands, Shadowmoon Valley and probably a few others, and that's not even counting instances or sub-zones.
- A lot of these places were renamed to reflect what they became. The Plaguelands were simply part of Lordaeron, the Blasted Lands used to be the Black Morass (admittedly its original name is hardly friendlier), Bloodmyst Isle used to be called Silvergale, and Deadwind Pass, well... someone managed to kill that part of the planet and render it nigh-uninhabitable.
- Lampshaded in the second manga series: "The Blade's Edge Mountains... the Hellfire Citadel... is there no place in Outland that speaks of peace?" (The answer is "very few")
- There's also Bloodmyst Isle, Duskwood, Deadwind Pass, the Swamp of Sorrows, the Blasted Lands, Shadowmoon Valley and probably a few others, and that's not even counting instances or sub-zones.
- In MySims Kingdom, when you first go to Spookane, Buddy is scared of going there, but Lyndsay is sure it's just a name... MOTHER has a town called Spookane as well.
- Romancing SaGa has the Isle of Evil, where Mad Scientist Ewei lives.
- Cap au Diable from City of Villains.
- Also, the ghost-infested Fort Hades.
- And in City of Heroes, the literal ghost town Dark Astoria.
- Guild Wars: Hell's Precipice, Dunes of Despair, and the Desolation. On top of those are the realms of a couple of gods: the Fissure of Woe (Balthazar) and the Realm of Torment (Abaddon's prison).
- The Legend of Zelda: Death Mountain, the Shadow Temple, the Lost Woods, Forsaken Fortress... and that's just the tip of the iceberg. Curiously, Death Mountain is rarely considered an evil place in the Zelda series. While it is certainly dangerous to most people due to the fact that it's a perpetually-active volcano, the native Goron people are very friendly and tourism and trade with them are usually going quite strongly, and the wildlife isn't particularly more dangerous than in other locations. It's only in the original game that it has any negative connotations, due to being where Ganon made his home.
- Both The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past and EverQuest have "The Lake of Ill-Omen".
- Basically everywhere in A Link to the Past's Dark World has a name like this: Swamp of Evil (Misery Mire), Plains of Ruin, Skeleton Forest (Skull Woods), Village of Outcasts (Thieves' Town), Palace of Darkness...
- As it does everything else, Final Fantasy loves these. They're not even reserved for final dungeons, either:
"Plants that attack people... I guess they don't call it Evil Forest for nothin'."
- Final Fantasy I: The Temple of Fiends (which is both the first and final dungeon).
- Final Fantasy II: Pandaemonium (also appears in Final Fantasy IX).
- Final Fantasy VI: Fanatics' Tower (part of the World of Ruin.)
- Final Fantasy VIII: Lunatic Pandora, Island Closest to Heaven, and Island Closest to Hell. (Don't think "Island Closest to Heaven" sounds bad? Think about the last thing you have to do to get to Heaven.)
- Final Fantasy IX: Evil Forest. Lampshaded:
- Final Fantasy XI: Abyssea is a post-apocalyptic parallel universe of Vana'diel. Although it turns out that it's more like Vana'diel is the alternate version of Abyssea.
- Final Fantasy XII: Necrohol (city of the dead) of Nabudis, Nabreaus Deadlands, Mosphoran Highwaste... And individual sections within these regions have their own ominous names of doom. A sampling: Subterra: Abyssal (Pharos at Ridorana), The Lost Way (Tchita Uplands), and, best of all for creepiness, a hidden and unmapped area called The Fog Mutters (Nabreus Deadlands).
- Final Fantasy XIII: Hanging Edge, The Vile Peaks, Orphan's Cradle. Individual zones within also have ominous names, for example: A Silent Maelstrom and A City No Longer (Lake Bresha), Wrack And Ruin and Devastated Dreams (Vile Peaks), and Maw Of The Abyss and Deep In The Dark (Mah'habara)
- Dwarf Fortress provides many examples, thanks to its randomly generated names. Boatmurdered is the most (in)famous, and among the most grand, but such names are most commonly seen in evil lands and goblin fortresses. Sometimes they're just fine, sometimes they're not. The fortress of Battlefailed was set between the Plains of Ooze and the Blueness of Malodors.
- La-Mulana has the Chamber of Extinction, which isn't quite the formidable challenge its name implies. (The Chamber of Birth is arguably worse.)
- Kingdom Hearts I has The End of the World - both a place and an event. Chain of Memories takes place entirely within Castle Oblivion. Kingdom Hearts II ups the ante with The World That Never Was, which itself has subsections like The Hall of Empty Melodies, Brink of Despair, and the Altar of Naught. Honorable goes to Proof of Existence, which isn't ominous sounding by itself until you remember the true nature of the antagonists as undead/non-existent beings. What is Proof of Existence then, you ask? A graveyard. Sure, it works as a connecting room to each Organization member's quarters, but still.
- There's also the recurring world Hollow Bastion. Lampshaded by Merlin in II when he asks how the place got its name, right before Sora and Co. find out the world's real name: Radiant Garden.
- Inverted big time in MOTHER 3, with the Big Bad's giant lightning generator, the Tower of Love and Peace. But played straight with the tower's REAL name (Thunder Tower).
- Fallout 3 has the delightful "Murder Pass". Just past the souvenir shop! Another one specific to Fallout fans is "Deathclaw Sanctuary".
- Fallout: New Vegas has the Devil's Throat. (Which is based off a real place in the Mojave desert!)
- Fallout 4 has the Glowing Sea. The "Glowing" refers to the intense radiation resulting from the atom bomb that leveled Boston and will kill you in a few minutes without protective clothing or liberal doses of Rad-X and Radaway.
- Diablo II is full of these. The very first wilderness you enter is called Blood Moor, which contains a cave called The Den of Evil. In Kurast, there's the Flayer Dungeon, the Spider Forest, and the Durance of Hate. In Hell, you have the Plains of Despair, the City of Torment, and so on.
- In Planescape: Torment, the final few levels of the game are set in the Fortress of Regrets, which is located on the Negative Material Plane. In keeping with the setting, the name is literal: the place is actually built from the regrets of all the Nameless One's past incarnations. And it is, of course, a quintessential Evil Tower of Ominousness. And that's after visiting such places as Curst, the Pillar of Skulls, and the Hive. And after discovering that the city's inhabitants usually refer to Sigil as "the Cage."
- Blue Dragon: Devour Village.
- Not quite a full blown level, but anything named after KAOS in Donkey Kong Country 3. KAOS Kore and Kastle KAOS are bad, but KAOS Karnage takes the cake for 'scary level name'.
- In the Wario Land series, possibly Hotel Horror and Horror Manor.
- Breath of Fire III has the Desert of Death.
- Tibia has the Dark Cathedral, Demona, the Pits of Inferno and the Plains of Havoc.
- One spawn point in Skate 2 is called the Murderhorn. It is one of the best places to "die", just behind the Hideki Tower spawn point.
- Dragon Age:
- In Dragon Age: Origins the deepest, darkest part of the Deep Roads is called the Dead Trenches. With reason.
- In Dragon Age II, Anders references Awakening with the Blackmarsh and Varric wonders why you would ever even consider going to such a place. The two then go on to talk about better places to go to but then realize that adding 'marsh' to the end of anything really makes it seem like a place to avoid. The Flowermarsh, the Kittenmarsh...
- More explicitly discussed is "The Bone Pit." Hawke can immediately say that the mine owner's first mistake was calling it that, though he assures you that it's just what the miners call it.
- Etrian Odyssey Cyclopean Haunt. A nearly impassable labyrinth full of scary monsters and with a hell of a final boss in the end.
- The Ultima series has its share:
- Exodus lives in Castle Death, on the Isle of Fire. The very floors of Castle Death, and the grass of the lawn, try to stop you.
- The Codex of Infinite Wisdom can be found at the bottom of The Great, Stygian Abyss in Ultima IV. For that matter, six of the dungeons bear the names of the inverse of virtuous character traits: Deceit, Despise, Destard, Shame, Wrong and Covetous.
- Ultima V has the same six dungeons as the fourth installment, but closes down the Abyss in favour of the Dungeon Doom. Also has The Underworld. Oddly enough, the fortress where the three Shadowlords live is fairly innocuously named as Stonegate.
- Touhou: The Muenzuka, or The Mound of The Nameless, the final battle site of Phantasmagoria of Flower View. Even Cirno shudders!
- Scarlet Devil Mansion.
- The Hell of Blazing Flames is a former hot naraka of Buddhist hell. As of Subterranean Animism, the hell may have been completely reactivated, and part of it upgraded into a nuclear reactor that opens up to Gensokyo directly in Hisoutensoku.
- Baol Dungeon in Mabinogi could count as baol is Gaelic for "Danger". For a plus, it lives up to its name as its one of the hardest dungeons in the game.
- Episode 3 of Doom is pretty much nothing but these: "Hell Keep," "Slough of Despair," "Pandemonium," "House of Pain", "Unholy Cathedral," "Mt. Erebus"note , "Gate To Limbo", and "Dis".
- Future Cop: L.A.P.D. has the delightfully named Hell's Gate Prison. A classic maximum security prison, with the only ground routes essentially being killzones and firing lanes protected by multiple turrets with overlapping arcs of fire and elevated positions for guards, ultimately designed to make a mass-escape from within the facility absolutely suicidal.
- The Catacomb Fantasy Trilogy is full of these. The titular Catacombs of Despair contain such levels as The Garden of Tears, The Demon's Inferno, The Town of Morbidity, The Garden of Forgotten Souls, The Lost City of the Damned, Hall of the Wretched Pox, The Chamber of the Evil Eye, The Chamber of the Invisible Horror and so on. Meanwhile, the levels contain areas named The Corridors of Death, The Way to Certain Peril, The Insufferable Ways of Pain, The Chamber of Ultimate Doom...
- In the Dungeon Keeper series, the game world starts out with very nice and cheerful names, such as Eversmile, Water Dream Fall, and Flower Hat. It becomes less pretty after the Big Bad (you) are through with it, and the new names reflect this trope straight: Brana Hawk, Wither's Tread, and Fire Wall, respectively. Your assistant then praises you for all the horrible things that have taken root, such as cannibalism, anthrax, and a "healthy disrespect for life."
- Legend of Mana has The Bone Fortress, which is constructed of bones. The Lucemia dungeon (skeletal remains of a titanic wyrm) has a section named Avenue of Deterioration.
- Parodied in the .hack series with Bewildering Fool's Hiding Place. And played straight with the area keywords for the showdown with Skeith: Chosen Hopeless Nothingness.
- Heavy Weapon has its stages named after real-world counterparts of either war-torn places or areas that were controlled by Soviet Russia. Two of them are "Antagonistan" (Afghanistan) and "Killingrad" (Stalingrad).
- The land of Lordran in Dark Souls has the Undead Burg, Blighttown, Demon Ruins, Lost Izalith, The Abyss, Tomb of Giants, etc. Apparently, they're big on honesty in advertising.
- The grottoes of Dragon Quest IX have names generated more-or-less randomly, based on their general difficulty. The Clay Tunnel of Joy doesn't sound very menacing, but the Diamond Void of Ruin isn't so inviting.
- The Elder Scrolls
- Many of the planes of Oblivion, realms of the Daedric Princes, have names like this. These include Mehrunes Dagon's "Deadlands", Molag Bal's "Coldharbour", Malacath's "Ashpit", Namira's "Scuttling Void" etc.
- In Morrowind, Sixth House bases often have rooms, corridors and halls with ominous names like "Soul Rattle", "Black Heart" etc.
- You get the chance to visit the aforementioned Deadlands during the main quest and it very much lives up to its billing.
- Subverted with the Inn of Ill Omen, which is just an ordinary inn... Which is then played straight in the basement where a man is murdered by you.
- Done to death in Skyrim. A short sampling: Frostflow Abyss, Sightless Pit, Hag's End, Bleak Falls Barrow, Blackreach, Benkongerike (means 'Kingdom of Bones'), Snapleg Cave, Bloated Man's Grotto, and Stillborn Cave. It shouldn't come as too much of a surprise when you remember that Skyrim is a Grim Up North land where almost Everything Is Trying to Kill You and these places were named by the Nords, a Proud Warrior Race of Horny Vikings.
- In Chrono Trigger, Crono and his friends visit Death's Peak, the Mountain of Woe, and the Black Omen.
- The protagonist of Peasant's Quest has a souvenir tee-shirt from Scalding Lake. This place is, apparently, a tourist destination for peasants.
- Okage has the Escapeless Abyss. Unfortunately, that's not an ironic name.
- Subverted in Pirate 101 with the Isle of Doom, it's name only comes from it's discoverer Von Doom. It's actually a pleasant place, provided you avoid the carnivorous bees and plants and the frogmen with poisonous skin.
- Dishonored has the supercontinent Pandyssia. That's "pan" as in Pandaemonium and "dys" as in dystopia. The name means something like "all that is bad," which rather succinctly reflects the attitude the Empire of Isles has to the place. Not without reason, either. It's Darkest Africa taken Up to 11, a Death World where Everything Is Trying to Kill You from the smallest rat to the largest predator (and even the smallest rats aren't actually very small). Almost everyone who goes there dies, or goes mad and then dies.
- Team Fortress 2: Most of the maps have names appropriate for where hat-obsessed mercenaries kill one another on a constant basis (Badwater Basin, Double Cross, Offblast, etc.)
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. The administrators just had to name the prison "Butcher Bay" to make its nature abundantly clear.
- Shay's story in Broken Age sees him visiting systems like "Danger System 5", and "Prima Doom".
Shay: Danger System 5, I know of only four more dangerous places in the galaxy!
- A Super Mario Bros X Thing: Prelude to the Stupid has murder death place zone. It's aptly named, much to the chagrin of its creator.
- Wildstar has Malgrave, the Southern and Western Grimvault, and the home of the current Big Bad, Blighthaven. They are even less inviting than they sound. And they're adjacent to each other.
- If your region's Delegate and/or Founder in NationStates is sufficently annoyed with you, they can eject you to the "Rejected Realms". Subverted since Gameplay Derailment has turned it into a nicer place than most of the regions you're likely to get kicked out of.
- In Tales of Symphonia, there's a town called Ruin (changed slightly in the English version to Luin to make it a little less obvious) that has the nickname "The Village of Hope." Yeah, how'd that work out for you, guys?
- Disc 2 of The Legend of Dragoon has The Valley of Corrupted Gravity, a place with guards that won't let you in without permission from the King of Fletz. Yeah, it's that bad.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was originally going to have a level called "Genocide City", but it was ultimately cut from the final version.
- The Death Egg, from Sonic the Hedgehog 2 and Sonic 3 & Knuckles, is a massive space station that Eggman hopes to use to conquer the earth.
- The first Manhunt takes place in the fictional Carcer City in United States. "Carcer" means "prison" in Latin, as in "incarceration".
- The deadzones in Unturned are as frightening and dangerous as the name indicates. Everything in those places means "nope": the trees are dead and the soil is a dull grey, vibrant warning signs dot the outer perimeter, there ade indications of chemical spills like old barrels and such, the game puts an icon of a skull in your HUD whenever you're inside one, every single zombie is a walking Action Bomb of radioactive sludge, Megas very frequently spawn there, and the air itself is toxic, eating through filters in a matter of minutes. And woe betide thee if you stumble into a deadzone without a gas mask in your face, because your immunity will plummet down to zero like a mortar shell within seconds if you don't turn around and leave right that moment. The only saving grace of these damned places is that they're Difficult, but Awesome to explore, as the best items in the game spawn in them.
- Medal of Honor: Vanguard has the mission 'Predators' take place in a town in the Netherlands called 'Grave', which is a real town.
- Played straight in the Irregular Webcomic! parody of said name, "Khazad-Doomy Dooms of Doom".
- The town of E-ville, which appears in a book-exclusive side-story in Sluggy Freelance.
- Parodied in this Penny Arcade strip.
- The Order of the Stick:
- The Perilous Path of Crushing Doom.
Redcloak: Please tell me it's actually filled with cute fuzzy bunnies, and they just named it that to be ironic.
- Most of the nations on the Western Continent qualify: Dictatoria, Cruelvania, East and West Despotonia, The Empire of Blood, etc.
- The Perilous Path of Crushing Doom.
- Parodied in Footloose, where heroes seek out places named like this, because even though they're usually just as dangerous as the name implies, the Theory of Narrative Causality tends to favor the heroes more strongly.
- Hellmurder Island from Homestuck. That isn't its official name (it has no name) but it just isn't a nice place to live. Also The Land of Wrath and Angels.
- Nodwick: When Nodwick is stuck in a Bad Future run by the God of Evil Baphuma'al (a Name to Run Away From in his own right), he studies a map of the Big Bad's Black Citadel... involving locations such as the Grand Hall of Pain, the Blood of the Innocent Causeway and the Hall of Evisceration. Promptly lampshaded in this exchange:
Nodwick: Who named all of these places, anyway?
Future Artax: Who do you think? A worse question would be why.
- The main city of The Sanity Circus is indeed called Sanity. Given that it has demons loose on the streets, shapeshifting is not uncommon and there is an unseen infestation of fear-eating Eldritch Abominations underway, that name is like a sort of Suspiciously Specific Denial.
- Competing page quote, from The Dead Girl:
Hugh Brooks: Who names a town Bloody Springs... and then lives there?
- Ichor Falls.
- Inversion in AH.com: The Series:
Redem: That would put it somewhere in the Valley of Tears, near the Waterfall of Forever, in the old tombs in the Fields of Dreams.
Keira Knightley: This planet has a lot of nice names to say you're all so Grim Dark.
Evil MrP: Well, the Tears are those shed after the six million men of General Elasticus were burned as heretics by accident in the battle there due to a communications error, leading to it being lost... the Forever is the thousands of years that valley was fought over in endless bitter wars... the Dreams are those of the Lord High Insurgent Pieter von Killemall and his sadly never-realised plan to carve this entire planet into a huge truncheon to hit the Logic Gods in the face with and bless it through the mass sacrifice of its entire population....
- In the web short The House That Drips Blood On Alex, the titular character played by Tommy Wiseau should have known better than to buy a house on Blood Street.
- In Reflets d'Acide, the "quest" is an incursion into the Chaotic Lands, to various places with friendly names such as the Cave of the Flayed Herpes.
- The Sick Land
- Orion's Arm has a few of these. A couple of major examples are the Hypercorruption Expanse, which is a battleground between the Metasoft Version Tree and a powerful hypertech blight, and the Solipsistic Panvirtuality, which regards foreign bionts as grime to be scoured away.
- The Simpsons:
- "Cape Feare":
Agent: We have places your family can hide in peace and security: Cape Fear, Terror Lake, New Horrorfield, Screamville —
Homer: [enthusiastically] Ooh, Ice Creamville!
Agent: Er, no, Screamville.
Homer: [scared] Aah!
- During Lisa's Imagine Spot:
- And then there's the Murderhorn, the insurmountable highest peak in Springfield.
- And there's Foreboding Widow's Peak.
- During their parody of King Kong we get this conversation.
Carl: Hey, I heard we're goin' to Ape Island.
Lenny: Yeah, to capture a giant ape.
Carl: I wish we were going to Candy Apple Island.
Charlie: Candy Apple Island? What do they got there?
Carl: Apes. But they're not so big.
- When Marge joins the police force, Chief Wiggum informs her that, as a new officer, her beat will consist of Bumtown and Junkieville.
- Double-Subverted when Troy McClure is featured in a promotional video for the Meat Council:
Troy: Come on Jimmy, let's take a peek at the killing floor.
Troy: Don't let the name throw you, Jimmy. It's not really a floor, it's more of a steel grating that allows material to sluice through so it can be collected and exported.
- "I should have got off at Crackton..."
- When Dr. Colossus is released in "Who Shot Mr. Burns (Part 2)":
Wiggum: Okay, Colossus, you're free to go, but stay away from Death Mountain.
Colossus [sadly] But all my stuff is there...
- A mild example is Spittle County, "Birthplace of the Loogie" and home to various unpleasant rural stereotypes.
- "Cape Feare":
- From "My Three Sons:"
Leela: Uh, Professor, are we even allowed in the Forbidden Zone?
Farnsworth: Why, of course! It's just a name, like the Death Zone, or the Zone of No Return. All the zones have names like that in the Galaxy of Terror!
- Ironically, the mission would have gone great, if the Emperor hadn't survived Fry drinking him.
- Also the Planet Express crew had a bad experience on Cannibalon. Bender enjoyed the food, though.
- A few of Farnsworth's missions qualify, such as Sicily 8, the Mob planet (not helped by the fact that they were delivering subpoenas; one of them gave Fry the kiss of death, but Fry was suspicious about the real reason, saying later he thought the guy was gay) and Ebola 9, the Virus Planet.
- Subverted in the following exchange:
Leela: According to this, the fountain is located within the darkest, most ancient region of space, just past Teddy Bear Junction.
Prof. Farnsworth: Teddy Bear Junction. The worse scum hole in the universe.
- A Double Subversion in "Bender's Game" with the Cave of Hopelessness. It was named after its founder, Reginald Hopelessness... the first man to be eaten alive by the Tunnelling Horror.
- From "My Three Sons:"
- The Roman Catholic Church in South Park is called the Bleeding Eyes of Jesus. It's actually a good fit for the amount of (dis)respect that the show gives the church.
- There's also the appropriately named Hell's Pass Hospital.
- Camp Wannaweep in Kim Possible.
- Loonatics Unleashed: Who in their right mind would want to holiday on an island named 'Apocalypso'?
- Abysus from Generator Rex.
- Avatar: The Last Airbender:
- Arguably the entire Fire Nation. Within that, we have the Boiling Rock.
- The Serpent's Pass, which should give you an idea what kind of critters you should watch out for.
- Lake Laogai, named after the labor camps of communist China.
- Si Wong Desert doesn't sound too bad, until you learn that "Si Wong" means "death" or "to die" in Chinese.
- Storm Hawks gives us Terra Cyclonia, Terra Gruesomus, the Black Gorge, and the ever-popular Wastelands.
- Earthworm Jim, trying to track down Psycrow, reads the Idiot's Guide To Hideously Dangerous Places; featuring entries on The Pit Of Unimaginable Fear, The Cavern Of Flesh Ripping Weasels, and Detroit. He turns out to be at The Boulevard of Acute Discomfort.
- My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic:
- Ghastly Gorge — home to jagged rocks, huge thorned plants and giant eel-things that try to eat anything that passes by.
- The prosaically named Scariest Cave in Equestria, apparently home to some rather horrifying monsters we don't actually see on-screen.
- Also Tartarus apparently exists in Equestria. Any place that shares a name with the ancient Greek underworld can't be very nice.
- In Adventure Time, there's the Scary Dark Forest, the Sea of Sure Death, the Badlands, and the Desert of Doom.
- Who Killed Who? is set in a spooky manor on the "Gruesome Gables".
- Spliced is set on Keepaway Island.
- Rocket Power has a dangerous mountain board course called "Bruised Man's Curve."
- Lampshaded in the Animaniacs episode "Spell-Bound" (which was, incidentally, the first half-hour episode starring Pinky and the Brain extensively). While travelling through the Enchanted Forest to the Murky Mountain, the pair comes across a signpost pointing to the "Glade of Woe", the "Chasm of Despair" and the "Pit of Barbecue". (In regards to the last one, the Brain says, "Perhaps later.")
- Star vs. the Forces of Evil.
- "Isolation Point" from "The Other Exchange Student". The Diaz family thinks it's a great place to have a picnic!
- "Diaz Family Vacation" features a Mewni landmark known as the Forest of Certain Death.
- The Dream Stone has the Black Mountains of Viltheed which, while not directly corresponding to anything in real life, still sounds pretty ominous and serves as the homeland for the evil Zordrak and his nightmare legions. Between Viltheed and the Land of Dreams likes the Sea of Destruction (eternally lashed by storms and violent waves), with the Isle of Catastrophe (the junkyard of all Urpgor's failed invasion machines from expeditions that died in the Sea) halfway between the two lands.
- The Backyardigans episode "Save the Day" features Pablo, Tyrone and Uniqua as harbor patrollers, making sure nobody wanders into places with dangerous-sounding names (i.e; Shark Bite Bay, Catastrophe Cove, etc.) A Running Gag in the episode is them "rescuing" Tasha from these places, who wanders into them hoping to catch a whopper.
- Kholat Syakhl means Mountain of the Dead. This is where nine experienced and professional hikers mysteriously died on a cold night in 1959. They had slashed their way out of the safety of their tent with a knife and fled, some only partially clothed and all without shoes, into the cold night. They were all found close to the camp but in different directions, with one of them having a blunt trauma comparable to the force of a car crash and another without tongue and eyes. In the Mansi language where the name comes from, though, it has no sinister connotations—it merely means the mountain is barren ("dead") and not suitable for hunting/foraging. Much more terrifying is the Mansi name of Mount Otorten, the place the unfortunate expedition was trying to get to. The translation? "Don’t go There". note
- Roaring Forties, Furious Fifties and Shrieking Sixties. Not I Love the Exties, but the latitudes where the westerlies are the prevailing winds. Originally named after the latitudes in the Southern Hemisphere (where there are few landmasses to slow them down), but they do exist in North as well. While they are the fastest route for circumnavigating the globe, they are also dangerous - the wind speeds can easily exceed 40 knots on fair weather and the likelihood to crashing into an iceberg increases exponentially the farther south you sail.
- Back in the Age Of Sail, sailors who rounded the Horn had a saying: "Below 40° S, there is no Law. Below 50° S, there is no God." To this day, even the most well-seasoned mariners regard the Southern Ocean with a certain awe, for very good reasons that would curl your hair.
- One of the most infamous spots in the Southern oceans, a bit before the aforementioned Furious Fifties, is known as Golfo de Penas, which translates to "Gulf of Sorrows". It's the only way through if you wish to continue further up or down the continent, and it's known for giving sailors hell, and for grounding even huge shipping vessels for weeks or months until conditions actually improve.
- Psycho Path in Minnesota does not mollify its name with its looks - it's a dark, rural path, literally surrounded by an overgrown forest.
- Some feel that the very shape of Broomrape Lane in Arizona actually manages to evoke certain vague and unpleasant connotations.
- Shades of Death Road in Northwestern New Jersey seems to have a lonely remote wood cabin as the only place of human residence nearby. It's supposedly available, if you're interested. It's a fairly normal road for the first few miles, including several sod farms and houses. It's only when you get deeper into the woods, and out near Ghost Lake, that the spookiness takes over.
- While the name of the small and remote Truth or Consequences in New Mexico might be interpreted in several ways (it actually came from a forgotten US TV show), the fact that for decades it had apparently been the chosen place of a particularly vicious serial killer certainly does not help the less grim interpretations.
- It's also the "hometown" of Mick Foley personality Cactus Jack.
- The exact story behind the name of Cannibal Road in California is supposedly currently unknown. While it could obviously be due to a simple case of missing records, neither does it seem to be known if anyone actually ever went there to ask for the story and returned.
- Look-wise, Bucket of Blood Street fortunately does not live up to its name.
- Gun Hill Road in the Bronx. There's a hospital on that street.
- Bad Route Road in Montana, just off Interstate 94
- There's also the Hell Gate at the beginning of the Long Island Sound. With the accompanying Hell Gate bridge, cheerfully painted red.
- In Real Life, Asians consider that place names with "dark" overtones are bad luck, and avoid using them. No Asian would have named a town Tombstone or a location Death Valley.
- On that note: Tombstone and Death Valley.
- Though some characters do share the "dark" meaning, and sometimes misunderstood by other Asians speaking different languages. One of the examples is Yam O in Hong Kong. While Yam does mean "dark" in Cantonese (and Mandarin, in that matter), it also means "North of the hill and south of water", which is the original meaning of the place name. It does not help that when Disney decided to build a Disneyland nearby, and the government decided to change part of Yam O's name to Yan Ou (a.k.a. Sunny Bay). Disneyfication taken to a new level.
- Tiu Keng Leng. It means "Hanging (neck) Ridge".
- The Suicide Forest in Japan certainly follows this trope.
- Because Four Is Death, it's far from uncommon for Asians (especially older or more-traditional ones) to change the street number or telephone number of premises they occupy to exclude the number four, much as many Western buildings omit the 13th floor because 13 Is Unlucky.
- Norway has got a neighborhood of sorts named Slemdal, which means "Mean Valley", which causes children that don't live there to think that everyone living there is mean, really mean.
- Real Life / The Bible: Golgotha, the Place of the Skull.
- Or, to use the Latinized translation "Calvary", which means the same thing.
- The Kálvária square/park in Budapest is in a bit of a ghetto, fitting the theme nicely.
- For that matter, Gehenna. It was essentially a giant trash pit. It is also often used as a synonym for Hell. Indeed, its cognate in Arabic, Jahannam, is the Arabic word for Hell.
- Worse, the reason that Gehenna got its infernal reputation (and the reason it was used for burning garbage) is that area was used as the "sacred" site of a very short-lived cult of Moloch during a time when the Jewish population caved in to foreign invaders and began worshipping other gods. Moloch demanded the sacrifice of children, which is a massive crime in the Jewish ethic. Once the zealots had shown the cultists the door (or the sword), they figured the place was so tainted by the acts done there that the only thing that could be done was turn it into a garbage dump for Jerusalem.
- Most translations of the Bible use the term "the dark valley" or something to this effect in the well known and much quoted Psalm 23. The King James Bibles calls it "The Valley of Shadow and Death".
- The road leading to Golgotha was no slouch either - Via Dolorosa, or "Road of Suffering".
- Or, to use the Latinized translation "Calvary", which means the same thing.
- Hell, California, Hell, Michigan, Hell, Norway, Helvete, Norway, and Hell, Grand Cayman. Also, not quite as scary, but still bad: Colon, Michigan.
- In January, 2014, the one in Michigan actually froze over.
- Hell, Norway only counts for anglophones, though. Even better was the local railway goods depot, Hell Godsexpedition
- Hells Canyon, carved by the waters of the Snake River, lying below the Seven Devils Mountains. Tell me that's not ominous.
- In Lübeck, Germany, there is a street called Hölle ("hell") in the neighborhood of the cathedral. Nearby is another street called Fegefeuer ("purgatory") and another called Paradies.
- Hell's Kitchen, Manhattan, NY.
- There's a crater named Hell in the Moon. However its name, funnily enough, comes from the astronomer and priest Maximilian Hell.
- Similarly, Colón, Cuba, (Colón being the Spanish name of the guy known as Columbus in English) which happens to be located in the province of Matanzas, "Slaughters". However, Morón, also in Cuba, does mean the same thing as in English.
- Let's not forget Hel in Poland. While the name itself is unrelated to hell, the town is connected with neighbouring settlements by a bus line number 666. Some believe this is some sort of intentional pun by local transit authority (a bus to Hel(l) indeed). Another play on town's name occured during then-US President's George W. Bush visit, when protestors were displaying "Bush, go to Hel(l)!" banners. Otherwise it is a popular holiday place among Poles and a former naval base.
- The IATA code for Helsinki airport is HEL. Flight AY 666 is a regular route flight by Finnair from Copenhagen to Helsinki.
- London (England, not Ontario) has a few of these. Shoot Up Hill (in Kilburn, which itself almost qualifies) and Reaper's Close (in Camden).
- Also Crouch End, a name which Stephen King found so creepy that he wrote a Lovecraftian short story with that title.
- Cherepovets, a Russian city. Its name means "(city) of the skulls". The historical reason for such a name choice is that the city was actually built on an old pagan shrine.
- Incidentally, it's the birthplace of Vassiliy Vereshchagin, a famous Russian painter, who painted the previous picture in this article (called "The Apotheosis of War" ◊).
- South Murderkill, Delaware.
- More fully, South Murderkill Hundred, which only seems to imply the number of people who were murderkilled there.
- George Washington visited a Lenape village known as "Murdering Town" in 1753. Unsurprisingly, he was almost shot there.
- Pile-of-Bones, Saskatchewan. Renamed (to Regina) and made the capital of the province. Also: Head-Smashed-In Buffalo-Jump. Which is an interesting case of a creepy name that's also Exactly What It Says on the Tin.
- More like "I'm Rather Suspicious About The Name Of That Place", but in Newfoundland there's Hate Bay, Grosswater Beach, Killbride, and so many more that The Arrogant Worms wrote a song about it.
Dave Broadfoot:Historians are still debating whether Newfoundland was discovered by Leif Ericson or Sigmund Freud.''
- The name of Shaka Zulu's capital roughly translates to "Place of Slaughter".
- Chickamauga. Site of a bloody Civil War battle. The name is often said to translate as "River of Death," which seems rather prophetic.
- The Gettysburg battlefield features a spectacular jumble of huge ancient boulders. Locals had been calling it Devil's Den long before 1863 battle fought there.
- Teufelsberg (Devil's Hill) in Berlin. An artificial hill made of WW2 debris built upon the ruins of a Nazi military college. And a nice place for hiking, kite flying and skiing.
- An area of Lower Saxony near Bremen is called Teufelsmoor ("Devil's Moor"); in Hamburg you can take a ferry on the Elbe to a pleasant place called Teufelsbrück ("Devil's Bridge"); the monument to the battle of Hemmingstedt (1500), in which the peasants of Dithmarschen (an area on the west coast of Schleswig-Holstein) defeated the army of King John I of Denmark, is located on a hill called Dusenddüwelswarf. The Low German name translates into High German as Tausendteufelswarft and into English as "Artifical Dwelling Hill of the Thousand Devils".
- There are two villages in England named Upper and Lower Slaughter. They're actually ridiculously picturesque and quaint little places.
- Pee Pee Creek, in southern Ohio. Not too scary, unless you need to drink from it.
- There are Swedish cities and towns with a location at least unofficially known as Galgbacken (Gibbet Slope) or Galgberget (Gibbet Hill). Public executions ended in the mid 19th century, but the names live on.
- Uppsala, Sweden, has the officially named Rackarberget (Torturer's Hill or Hangman's Hill).
- Such places also exist in other countries, for instance there are many German towns with a Galgenberg (Gallow's Hill).
- There's also Pungpinan (literally "Scrotum Pain") in southern Stockholm. (The name actually comes from the name of an old inn, known for its high prices that punished traveller's purses... Over the years, though, the word "pung" has come to mean a different kind of pouch.)
- Devil's Tower, the Badlands, and the Black Hills in the Northwest United States.
- Cape Fear, North Carolina. Also, Kill Devil Hills, Transylvania, Boiling Springs, Black Mountain, Seven Devils and Batcave. Though the last one mostly sounds awesome.
- The two moons of Mars are named Phobos and Deimos, a.k.a. Fear and Panic. To be fair, those were the sons of Ares, the Greek equivalent of Mars, the Roman god of war.
- Inverted with the planet Venus, however. Despite being named after the Roman goddess of love and beauty, the planet is actually the most hostile in our own Solar System, and the closest place we've ever found to Hell! Maybe not so inappropriate?
- In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mount Tripyramid has a secondary peak named "The Fool Killer."
- Fresh Kills, Staten Island, New York. Home to one of the worlds largest (closed) garbage dumps, with mounds taller than the Statue of Liberty. The name is entirely incidental, though, as it's Dutch- kills means creek.
- There's also the Kill van Kull between Staten Island and New Jersey.
- In a bit of astronomer wit, the dwarf planet Eris and its moon Dysnomia, Goddesses of strife and discord, and lawlessness respectively. Bonus points since Eris was at first nicknamed Xena, played by Lucy Lawless.
- The "Boca del Infierno" name from Buffy the Vampire Slayer is not at all implausible as a colonial name in California, which has no shortage of placenames like "Monte Del Diablo" (Devil's Mountain, or Mt. Diablo as its now called).
- There is in fact a 1,970 foot deep mine shaft in Guanajuato, Mexico called "Boca del Infierno," as well as a channel in Salinas, Puerto Rico that also shares the name.
- Mounts Erebus and Terror in Antarctica. Not sure why Erebus is a bad name? It's the ancient Greek god of darkness and shadows, the son of Chaos. Actually named after the explorer's ships, not any particularly dark or terrifying qualities the mountains may or may not have had.
- The name might be somewhat appropriate. The worst peace time disaster in New Zealand's history occurred when Air New Zealand Flight 901 plowed into Mount Erebus under white out conditions, killing all 257 people on board.
- That said, both are not places you want to stay for long. Erebus likes to throw out rocks at a nice fraction of the speed of sound.
- Erebus is one of the only places in the world you can find a real-life permanent lake of lava. The glow is visible from space.
- There's also Cape Disappointment on South Georgia. Captain Cook thought he had discovered Antarctica... until the ship rounded the cape.
- There's also a Cape Disappointment in Washington state, so named because fur trader John Meares just missed discovering the Columbia River because he turned around just north of the Cape.
- Vorkuta, Russia, is Nenets for "place is full of bears."
- Cyclone, Indiana. No doubt the weather's lovely.
- Gorge of Despair, California.
- One of the districts of Prague is called Hrdlořezy ("Cutthroats").
- Other names in the Czech Republic include Jedovary ("Poisonmakers"), Měcholupy ("Pouch-stealers"), Všetaty ("All thieves"), Mrchojedy ("Carcass-eaters") ... There's also a number of places called Peklo ("Hell").
- Similarly, Karmanitsky Alley in Moscow is one letter away from meaning "Pickpockets' Alley".
- Fucking, Austria.
- It's pronounced "Fook-ing" and the entire town is eternally pissed because everybody keeps stealing their signs!
- It doesn't stop them from making ale ("helles" in German) called Fucking Hell.
- The district "Wixhausen" of the German city Darmstadt. It translates to Fap-town (while "Darmstadt" translates to intestinal city).
- Just because the place wasn't discussed in detail: Death Valley. The temperatures reach well over one hundred degrees Fahrenheit, water is all but nonexistent except in the cacti which have prickly if not poisonous spines, there are venomous rattlesnakes that make their home there, and you can die from heat exhaustion or dehydration in minutes without the aforementioned nonexistent water. And to make the extremes worse when the sun finally goes down the temperatures take a drastic drop at that point it's safe to wander around due to the lower temps but the sudden temperature change can be shocking to visitors. Once in it's very easy to get lost.
- From Australia
- Mount Hopeless, South Australia. Yeah.
- Mount Buggery, Victoria.
- Mount Disappointment, also Victoria
- Lake Disappointment, Western Australia. Named by the explorer Frank Hann who expected a fresh water lake but found salt. The local Indigenous believe that cannibalistic spirits live under the lake.
- Slaughter Falls in Brisbane, Australia. Named after a person, actually.
- Dismal Swamp.
- Cape Tribulation
- On the southeast coast, Mount Agony.
- Cannibal Creek in Victoria. The town later changed its name to Garfield but the actual creek still bears that name.
- Lichfield, UK. Translated to ME: Corpse field
- Or left as is to ME: Lich field
- A rather famous landmark in Nebraska was once referred to by the natives as "Elk Penis". Oregon Trailers naturally decided to be a bit more discreet about it.
- Apparently not the same explorers who named the Grand Tetons.
- Bahía Inútil (Useless Bay), Isla Desolación (Desolation Island), Golfo de Penas (Gulf of Grief), Seno de la Última Esperanza (Last Hope Fjord), Faro del Fin del Mundo (End of the World's Lighthouse) and my personal favourite, Puerto Hambre (Port Famine), are all real places of the Patagonia (both Argentinean and Chilean). And they have this names not out of fancy or tradition, they were named out of 100% pure refined Spaniard despair.
- While Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire, literally) sounds like a suitable name like, for example, Hell, it actually was named out of some mysterious fires Magallanes saw in his expedition, which were presumably made by the Shelknam people. But hey, tell that to a bunch of half crazy half starved scurvy freezing Spaniards crossing one of the most hellish and labyrinthic straits in the world, at night, seeing strange lights on the shore while one of them starts to mumble that they defied God's will and reached the End Of The World, i.e., Hell, and those fires you see are the Army of Darkness kindling the fire to make some nice and crispy Conquistador BBQ...
- Tierra del Fuego it is still called El Fin del Mundo. Because it is.
- Not that bad names are exclusive to Patagonia. Salar del Hombre Muerto (Dead Man Salt Desert), Catamarca, Argentina. Yeah, guess why they gave it that name.
- Argentina is in love with this trope: let me introduce you to Salsipuedes ("Get out if you can"), Córdoba province. Doubtful sense of humour, at best.
- And of course, La Garganta del Diablo (the devil's throat). Although that one is literally pretty awesome.
- Al ver verás ("At seeing, you will see"), Buenos Aires, is of a more subtle variety. The name is so ambiguous, it can be either a good or sinister omen, depending on your mood... and on what you actually find there. Eldritch Abominations? Neverending Happiness?. Go ahead, boy, and you will see... But there is some kind of warning there...? Hey, when just the sign of the place starts to play mind games with you, you should know this can't be any good.
- La Matanza (The Slaughter). It also has a reputation for being the most dangerous Partido in the Greater Buenos Aires.
- While Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire, literally) sounds like a suitable name like, for example, Hell, it actually was named out of some mysterious fires Magallanes saw in his expedition, which were presumably made by the Shelknam people. But hey, tell that to a bunch of half crazy half starved scurvy freezing Spaniards crossing one of the most hellish and labyrinthic straits in the world, at night, seeing strange lights on the shore while one of them starts to mumble that they defied God's will and reached the End Of The World, i.e., Hell, and those fires you see are the Army of Darkness kindling the fire to make some nice and crispy Conquistador BBQ...
- Spain itself has the scenic Costa da Morte (Coast of Death) and Finisterre (Land's End, or End of the Earth) in the northwestern region of Galicia. Some locations with picturesque names include the mountain pass of Despeñaperros (Throw the Dog Down the Cliff).
- Portugal has the Boca do Inferno (Mouth of Hell) and Mata dos Medos (Forest of Fears). The first one is named after all the suicides that happened there, while the latter is nearly always filled with Ominous Fog.
- Most Evil Empires even in Real Life seem to prefer fancy and nice sounding names for slave camps and torture prisons. An exception would be the Nazis, who named their Annihilation Campsnote exactly for what they were. The closest thing to Hell ever seen on earth.
- The town Reet in Belgium. In Dutch (the language spoken in the region of Reet), the town's name means arse (and more specifically, the smelly part of it).
- Malignant Cove, Nova Scotia. Even though the name was changed to Milburn in 1915, the area is still known by its previous name.
- Boring, Oregon, which is sister cities with Dull, Scotland and Bland, New South Wales, Australia.
- Aren't those more Names To Just Keep Driving Through?
- Malheur (Bad Luck) Lake , and the surrounding Malheur Wildlife Refuge and Malheur County, in Oregon.
- Slaughter, Washington. Biggest motel? The "Slaughter House". Town renamed to Auburn, later on.
- There's also Thrasher's Corner in Bothell.
- The province of Quebec has, or has had (and the overwhelming majority are "has"): three Devil's Bay (fr "Baie du Diable" or "Baie au Diable"), one Devil's Dam, six Devil's Cape, two Devil's Road, two Devil's Channel, ten Devil's Falls, two Devil's Height, one Devil's Creek, one Devil's Fountain (a natural gas source), five Devil's Island, twenty-five Devil's Lake, one Devil's Pond, three Devil's Mountain/Mt Devil, one Devil's Bridge, seven Devil's Rapids, one Devil's Ravine, four Devil's River, five Devil's Brook, three Devil's Hole (a rapid, a cavern and a ravine) and one Devil's valley. To these one must add two "Evil Bays" (La Malbaie and Mal-bay near Percé), one Lake Lucifer, one Lucifer's Rapid, six Hell Lake, two Hell Cape, one Hell river, two Hell Brooks, three Gates-of-Hell lakes, one Gate-of-Hell mountains, four Gates of Hell brooks (and in total 33 bridges, rapids, brooks, falls, notches and others that all found their way to having "Gates of Hell" in their name). Among others.
- If those weren't scary enough, one town retains the name of what was, for a long time, its chief export, a material now banned for being a known carcinogen. Welcome to Asbestos!
- Cut and Shoot, Texas. Cut and Shoot was named after a 1912 community confrontation that almost led to violence, the circumstances of which are debated. Whatever the circumstances were, a small boy at the scene reportedly declared "I'm going to cut around the corner and shoot through the bushes in a minute!" This statement was eventually adopted as the town's name.
- There's a lovely family beach on Lake Superior in Michigan. The name? Misery Bay.
- Komoka, a town in northern Ontario. Komoka translates as "Quiet place of the dead".
- ...i.e., a cemetery?
- Singapore's Sentosa Island was formerly known as "Pulau Blakang Mati", literally translated as "Island Behind Death". This has been interpreted as "Island Beyond Death" by some.
- And then there's "Pulau Hantu", which is quite simply "Ghost Island".
- Similar to above, Mayotte. It's a French rendering of the Arabic "Maut", which literally means..."Death".
- There's a reason for that, though. For a small island, abundant coral reefs surround the island and for many years people had to risk their life just to cross over there. The other islands of the archipelago it is part of, for some reason, aren't surrounded by those reefs.
- It's also subverted in reality. Once you get past the coral reefs, the island is a real nice place with lots of inviting beaches and forests, making for a nice resort. It's also probably the most prosperous of the Comorian archipelago (which it is part of); other islands are too unstable for them to actually develop their potentials.
- However, one can also interpret its literal name if one accounts that, every year since The '90s, thousands of people have tried to migrate from other islands to Mayotte in search for a better life. Some that have survived find that they have to live in secret for the rest of their life, while most others drowned before they could (the seas separating Mayotte from the others is often dubbed "The Largest Cemetery in the World"). So it's still "Death"...for the people of the other Comorian islands.
- Skullbone, Tennessee. Apparently so named because it was the meeting place of the local 19th-century Fight Club.
- The part of the East River in New York City called Hell Gate.
- Apparently around 1230 CE there was an English street named Gropecuntelane. Some sort of red-light district perhaps?
- The Hindu Kush Mountains means Hindu Killer. At one time slave caravans full of captive Hindus would traverse these mountains. A sizable portion of the captives didn't make it as was common in the trade.
- The Dead Sea Between Jordan and Israel
- Hadhramaut in Yemen. The name means "death has come". But it's not a Death World, and a lot of people of Arabic descent in South-East Asia can trace their ancestry there. On the other hand, one notable person of Hadhramauti descent is a certain Osama bin Laden…You may have heard of him...
- A subversion of the Asian rule above is Mount Osore in Japan, literally "Mount Fear". It lives up to its name: the place is far from anywhere, and it looks like Death World, volcanic activity and all.
- There was once a place in Morocco known as Tazmamart. If that sounds scary to you, it should: it was the world's worst political prison in a time when the Gulag still existed.
- The Heart Attack Grill, a restaurant in Chandler, Arizona.
- Mexico City has an avenue called Barranca del Muerto (Dead Man's Gully), the place got that name because there was a gorge there and during The Mexican Revolution, the revolutionaries dropped corpses on the spot. Folklore has it that the dead roam the area. And for the record: Its subway station symbol shows vultures swooping down.
- The Hague (Netherlands) has a district called Monster.
- Note, that in Dutch it just means "sample". The etymology of this specific district's name is unclear, but it seems to come from "monasterium", Latin for "monastery" or "cloister".
- In Finland, Lapin Helvetti (Hell of Lapland) in the municipality of Kolari. The place itself is an extremely beautiful deep caldera lake, but resembles the pits of Hell.
- Kolari itself has meant orignally "colliery", but in colloquial Finnish means today "car crash".
- Town of Varkaus in Finland. The word means "theft". The name is not due to criminal activity, but that a stream "steals" the water off a nearby lake.
- Municipality of Sodankylä in Finland. The name means "war village".
- Nearby river Sotajoki. The name means "war river"
- Town of Outokumpu in Finland. Literally "weird mound" - the hill glowed in the dark. It was found to be one of the richest copper ore deposits in Europe.
- Municipality of Leppävirta in Finland. Literally "alder river", but leppä can also mean "blood" in Savonian dialect: therefore "blood river".
- Any place with suffix -vaara in Finland. The name implies "steep hill" in Karelian dialect, but in standard Finnish it denotes "danger".
- Municipality of Kyyjärvi in Finland. Literally "viper lake".
- Likewise, islands Hailuoto (Shark Isle) and Raippaluoto (Scourge Isle) at Baltic.
- Islands of Kaparen (Privateer), Rövaren (Pirate) and Rövargrundet (Pirate Shoals) in Espoo archipelago, Finland. The islands look like perfect lurking places for seaborne outlaws.
- Village of Myrkky in the municipality of Karijoki in Finland. The village name is "Poison" in English, and municipality "Craggy River". Ouch.
- After the battle of Minden in 1759, the village of Tonhausen ("clay-housing"), which is situated on the battlefield, was slightly renamed to Totenhausen ("housing of the dead").
- There's a nice stretch of plain that stretches all the way up to North Dakota and stretches all the way down to Louisiana and Texas, now people live in those areas but the most common weather phenomena there are tornados, whirling vortexes of death that pick anything and everything up and then hurl them and woe to those who meet a flying piece of wood at around 300MPH. The name of this place? Tornado Alley.
- One town in South Florida was named after a natural bay found by Spanish explorers... and due to the shape of said bay, it received the rather unflattering name of Boca Raton ("mouth of a rat"). Despite its unsavory name, it's a rather high income town overall.
- Latvia brings to you, English-speakers, the town and river Ogre. It is pronounced differently, though.
- Along the same lines is a mountain in the Swiss Bernese Oberland known as the Eiger - the Ogre. Its North Wall is renowned for its deadliness.
- Sodom, Vermont. Better watch your behind.
- In Oman, there's Wadi Ghul - "Demon Canyon". For extra creepiness, it contains a village also named Ghul, part of which is ancient and abandoned.
- Iwo Jima, or in modern Japanese, Iōto. Not only because of the WWII battle, but the name itself means "Sulfur Island", and the landscape indeed is somewhere between Fire and Brimstone Hell and Mordor.
- Grozny, the capital of Chechnya, in Russian it is the same word that is used for Ivan "the Terrible"'s nickname. Both English and Russian languages had changed over the time, so "Grozny" isn't usually translated as "Terrible" nowadays. It's more like "Menacing", or, more literally, "Thundering". Still fits here.
- Karmanitsky Pereulok (lit: Pickpocket Lane) in Moscow. Grokholsky Pereulok, also from Moscow, fits unintentionally because it sounds similar to the Russian slang word for murder.
- The Taklamakan Desert. There's some dispute about the meaning of the name, but none of them are pleasant. Some say it means "Abandoned place" or "Place of ruins", while others say "Point of no return" or "Go in and you won't come out". Its nickname is "The Desert of Death". All of which are accurate.
- "L'Ile du Diable" (The Devil's Island) in French Guiana. It harboured a penal colony.
- The village of Saighton (pronounced Satan) in Chester, England. Who would call a village that? Is the local church called the Church of Saighton? Does it contain Lucifer Road, Beelzebub Square? Mephistopheles Avenue? Might as well!
- A result of a misunderstanding rather than an actual name, when making a military map in Romania, one of the locals was asked by the non Romanian speaking map-makers to identify the names of every single geographic landmark in the region so he can put the names on the map. The local identified several slopes (all called Poala X - or Slope X) but failed to remember one and dropped a "pula calului" (horse cock). The expression made it on the map.
- Deliberately invoked by the "One Way Inn" in Erie, Pennsylvania. There's a sign on the building near its name that says "No Way Out".
- The Black Country, UK, which lived up to its name during the Industrial Revolution.
- The infamous Tuol Sleng former prison in Cambodia. The name translates out to "Strychnine Hill." Granted, this was originally from the trees that grew in the area that were poisonous because of naturally-occurring strychnine, but grimly apropos due to the atrocities committed within.
- Fleshmarket Close in Edinburgh. Bonus points in that it is a) a very thin, dirty, and creepy alleyway, b) the site of several real-life muggings, rapes, and even a murder, and c) not somewhere you want to have to walk down at night.
- In Vancouver, Canada, Blood Alley Square used to be the slaughterhouse district. It's now a rather quiet residential street and home to numerous small businesses.
- In Iceland several volcanic formations bear ominous names.
- In 1875 an explosion crater by the volcanic site Askja formed. The crater soonish filled with water, hot and sulphurous. This lake is called Víti, meaning Hell.
- Surtsey, the island that formed off of the south coast in the sixties, is named for the fire gigant Surtr, from the Norse Mythology. Surtr will lead the fire giants against the Gods at Ragnarök, and the fires that follow him will scorch the entire realm of men.
- There is a hamlet in England called Nasty.
- The Dark Divide, a wilderness area in Washington State that is perhaps unsurprisingly associated with Bigfoot sightings.
- Massachusetts has a Misery Island, Doleful Pond, Purgatory Chasm State Park, and Satans Kingdom Wildlife Management Area.
- Big Bear, California is home to a small street called Starvation Flats. No word on how exactly it got the name in the middle of a lush forest.
- "Big Bear" itself qualifies.
- Fort Matanzas, St. Augustine, Florida. Matanzas as mentioned previously means slaughters. So you have Fort Slaughters and in St. Augustine you have Matanzas High School otherwise known as Slaughters High School. The reason the fort is named Fort Matanzas is that in 1756 when Florida was still under Spanish control a ship of frenchmen due to a hurricane crashed where the fort now stands. They were hoping for Fort Caroline to the north of Jacksonville. Hernando Menendez de Aviles the governor of St. Augustine found the frenchmen and ordered them all killed. Thus Fort Matanzas was born.
- Ironbottom Sound by Guadalcanal. Because of all the iron ships that got sent to the bottom in some of the nastiest naval battles ever fought.
- The Japanese name for Guadalcanal itself was "Starvation Island."
- Stalingrad: Even if you didn't know, what sort of things would you expect from a city Josef Stalin named after himself?
- In Saxony there are two valleys called Mordgrund ("murder bottom"), one in the outskirts of Dresden, the other near Gottleuba.
- A tributary to the Rhine in Alsace (an area of France where German is spoken) is called the Moder. Which means "putrefaction", "decomposition" or "decay" in German.
- Hamburg in the middle ages had a street called Brodlosentwiete ("way of the breadless") or Blodlose Twiete ("bloodless waynote "). Sounds harmless, doesn't it? But according to folk legend the name was given to the street because it was the only street not to run with blood when pagan Slavs burned down the town at the time of bishop St. Ansgar (801-865).
- Newfoundland has a few. Grosswater Beach, Placentia, Hate Bay, Cow Head, Kilbride ... The Arrogant Worms sing about it here.
- Isola Mal di Ventre in Sardinia, meaning "Stomach Ache Island". Ouch. It's actually a mistranslation from its Sardinian name, which itself means "Bad Winds Island"... still quite unwelcoming, although the island is actually quite lovely.
- Black Forest or Schwarzwald, Germany, it is actually a nice place and a popular tourist spot, it got the name because of its extremely dense tree canopy which blocked much of sunlight from reaching the ground.
- McBurney Park in Kingston Ontario is a clean and well-maintained city park. However, locals frequently refer to it as "Skeleton Park" because it was a cemetery until 1865. When a new cemetery was opened elsewhere, some of the bodies were not relocated, and workmen digging in the area have frequently unearthed old skeletons. The park is also said to be haunted.
- In a rare triple example, The Skeleton Coast AKA "the land God made in anger" AKA The Gates of Hell. All three names either directly or indirectly refer to the region's inhospitable environment.
- Accident, Maryland.
- Plenty of features along mountain and hiking trails that tend to have "Devil" or "Hell" in the name. "Hell's Half Acre" is a popular one that describes a number of natural landmarks.
- Northern Minnesota is home to Devil's Kettle - a feature in a waterfall which causes half of the river flowing over it to disappear. The eastern half of the river flows over an edge, through a two-step waterfall, and down into a pond fifty feet below. The western half of the flow, however, drops ten feet into a "pothole," then vanishes completely. Every attempt to trace the path of this half of the river has failed.