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), 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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".
- 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.
- Claw's hideout Dead River from Kimba the White Lion.
- 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."
- 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).
- 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.
- Death City, Nevada, in Soul Eater, so named because it is the home of... well, The Grim Reaper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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)
- 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.
- 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".
- 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, the nearby city under Nightwing's protection where Tim Drake moved after his father's murder.
- 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.
- 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.
- The Further Adventures of Indiana Jones: The story in #3 is titled "The Devil's Cradle", after a rock formation where Indy gets mixed up in all kids of strange goings-on, and is almost killed multiple times.
- Slaughter Swamp, birthplace of Solomon Grundy in Green Lantern in The DCU.
- 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.
- 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.
- The eponymous once-nice neighbourhood from the short story, The Monster of Dread End
- The Ms. Tree story "The Devil's Punchbowl" involves the investigation of a murder at a geological feature known as 'the Devil's Punchbowl', which is rumored to be a hangout for Satanists. (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?
- Sin City, although its actual name is Basin City.
- Soulsearchers and Company is based in the unpromisingly named Fear City.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pokémon Reset Bloodlines has the Drowning Woods. Decades ago, it was populated by evil Ghost-type Pokémon who took pleasure in terrifying and even killing any unfortunate traveler that passed through their domain. Elite Four Agatha, whose younger brother was killed in there, took it upon herself to catch all of them to clear the forest and make sure they wouldn't hurt anybody.
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs: the entire path to the T. rex nest which goes through the "Jungle of Misery", the "Chasm of Death", and the "Plates of Woe", all named by a Crazy Survivalist. At one point he's asked:
Eddie: So why they call it the "Chasm of Death"?
Buck: We tried calling it the "Big Smelly Crack". But, uh, that just made everybody giggle.
- 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.
- Alien franchise:
- In Back to the Future Part II, Marty is happy that he finds out he lives in the Hilldale housing development in Hill Valley, the "Address of Success!", in his time. Unfortunately, when he is there in 2015, the sign has been graffitied to the "Address of SucKeRs!".
- 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."
- Bitter Lake. A place where everyone talks interminably with badly puppeteered mouths, up until they get their sorry carcass assassinated.
- Shadow Woods Apartments from Blood Rage.
- Breakheart Pass. On hearing that the train has to travel through the pass to reach Fort Humbolt, one of the characters remarks that it does not sound like a good omen.
- The Burning: The canoe trip that the older kids are taking goes to place called Devil's Creek.
- The Butchers: Granted it is a museum devoted to Serial Killers, but was 'The Death Factory' really the best choice of name?
- Cape Fear. Which is a real place, by the way.
- From another movie based on an Ian Fleming novel, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang has Vulgaria, a Childless Dystopia where the rulers literally banned kids.
- Cutthroat Island.
- The title town from Darkness Falls. Nope, nothing bad ever happens there. Honest.
- In The Deserter, the Apaches are holed in a stronghold in a virtually unassailable mountain range called "The Devil's Backbone".
- 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.
- As the name implies, Monster Island of the Godzilla franchise houses all of Earth's gigantic monsters.
- Horrific: Crypt of the Undead takes place in a funeral home that is built on top of the remains of Blood Prison.
- In the Hudson Brothers' comedy Hysterical, author Frederic Lansing goes on a retreat to the charming seaside village of Hellview, Oregon.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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.
- Mystery Road opens with a girl's corpse being found at the ominously named Massacre Creek.
- 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 a 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.
- Hell Township in Santa's Slay.
- 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".
- The Scorpion King. There's a reason they call it "The Valley of the Dead".
- Sufferton from Seed.
- Spy Kids has a city called San Diablo (literally, "Saint Devil").
- 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.
- 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.
- Solo establishes that the Kessel Run goes through the Maelstrom, an Asteroid Thicket hidden in dark Space Clouds. There's also a gravity well known as The Maw.
Lando Calrissian: [L3-37] says we're approaching The Maw.
Tobias Beckett: That doesn't sound like something we wanna be approaching.
- A sign seen in Terror At Tenkiller mentions a town named Gore.
- 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.
- 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 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?"
- As with the Lone Wolf books below, so too Fighting Fantasy gamebooks. Just a few examples: the Desert of Skulls, Blood River, Plain of Bones, Mountains of Grief, Port Blacksand, Nightshriek Jungle....
- 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, the Plane of Darkness...
- 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 Chronicles of Narnia: 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.)
- Circleverse: 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 Blasted Heath from The Colour Out of Space by H. P. Lovecraft.
- "Slaughter Towen" is a worse place than it sounds, since "Towen" is an old druid word for the ritual site for bloody sacrifice. Stephen King's short story "Crouch End" names "Slaughter Towen" as part of a Dark World alternate dimension London. The short story "Crouch End" is a Cosmic Horror Story within the Cthulhu Mythos.
- Cthulhu Mythos stories love these names: The Devil's Hop-yard, the blasted heath, Stregoicavar ("Witch-Town").
- 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.
- Small mining town Desperation in the eponymous Stephen King novel. Good for one's health, original sculptures, charming residents — fun for the whole family!
- 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."
- Doc Savage: Fear Cay takes place largely on the eponymous island. As well as housing a Fountain of Youth, here is also a terror on the island that can turn a man into a skeleton in minutes.
- The Dresden Files: Dresden's Chicago has "Undertown," where you can find awful goblins, ghouls, and other, less savory creatures. Even humans....
- There's also the island in Lake Michigan named Demonreach. Demonreach is actually quite a nice place if (and only if) the genius loci of the place likes you.
- Fear Street
- 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...
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. note 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.
- Memories of Empire by Django Wexler has the Doomwood and Godsdoom.
- 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 Neverending Story has the Swamp of Sadness, whose "aura" of despair drives everybody to apathy and even suicide, and Spook City, inhabited by ghosts, vampires, witches, demons and the like.
- The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson has a few, including: "The Country of Wailing", "The Place Where the Silent Ones Kill", "The Headland From Which Strange Things Peer"...
- In Paradyzja by Janusz Zajdel, the titular space station orbits a planet named Tartar (Tartarus). It was named that before it was deemed a place where the very weather is trying to kill you, though.
- The Pyrates:
- Octopus Island, which is home to man-eating octopods. (Why? What were you expecting?)
- Not exactly Canon, but 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.
- 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.)
- 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 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. (Note that "Calvarian" is itself kind of a scary name, as calvaria means "skulls" in Latin.)
- The Darke Halls in Septimus Heap.
- The eponymous location of Shadowmarch by Tad Williams.
- In Shadow of the Conqueror, Tellos has a region called the Shadowlands, so named simply due to being shrouded in Tellos's actual shadow due to the universe's Wrap Around effect. It's not stated to actually harbor anything dangerous, though.
- In the Shannara series, the Warlock Lord live in Skull Mountain, in the centre of Skull Kingdom.
- Several feature in the titles of the Sheriff Joanna Brady mysteries by J.A. Jance: Skeleton Canyon, Rattlesnake Crossing, Outlaw Mountain, Devil's Claw. Why does anyone live in Cochise County?
- 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 "Schlachthof-fünf" from Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five, the address of a Dresden P.O.W. 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. Also, the name of the prison was not intended to be ominous or threatening, just descriptive; the building was originally constructed as a literal slaughterhouse (as in, a place that took live animals in at one end and sent meat out the other end).
- Solomon Kane: In "Rattle of Bones", it should perhaps come as no surprise that the Cleft Skull Tavern turns out to be an Inn of No Return.
- 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 both decent waterproofs and windbreaks.
- 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 easily imagine the sorts of things that historically took place there — and, upon occasion, 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 found on the banks of the salubriously sounding "Ash River", which is itself found in... the Shadowlands. This lot is 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 without knowledge of magics. Yeah; not dark and magical/irradiated/whatever at all, then.
- Other ominous names in Westeros and Essos include the Hellholt (not a bad place in itself, but the deserts and geysers around it are unbearably hot — the family who founded the place and the people who still live there are considered a quite a lot bonkers even by the standards of heat-adapted Dorne), Shipbreaker Bay (guess why it's called that), the Gulf of Grief (ditto), and Slavers Bay (whose primary pillar of the economy is... guess).
- In Essos, a ruined city used as the equivalent of a leper colony is now called "the Sorrows", and a particularly dangerous stretch of the otherwise typical Valyrian road network that passes very close to what are now the feared volcanic ruins of Valyria is known as "the Demon Road". It was a wonder of the world. Once.
- 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".
- Star Wars Legends:
- 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.
- 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.
- Tales of the Bounty Hunters: The people on Jubilar are apparently very morbid due to their frequent wars, with a city named "Dying Slowly" (later just "Death") that has a suburb called Executioner's Row.
- Invoked in Coruscant Nights regarding a lovely part of the Coruscant underlevels known as the Blackpit Slums.
- 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...
- 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.
- In Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, the eponymous island's name is Skeleton Island.
- Warhammer 40,000: 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.
- 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.
- Xandri Corelel's homeworld is called Wraith because of the thick clouds that surround the planet.
- The island of Lagrimas Negras (Black Tears) in the Young Bond novel Hurricane Gold, which is a hideout for criminals.
- Angel: The Groosalugg was summoned from "the Scum Pits of Ur".
- 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").
- Dollhouse: Neuropolis (formerly Phoenix), the capital of the Rossum Corporation's post-apocalyptic empire in "Epitaph 2". Basically, Mind Rape Central.
- Doctor Who:
- In the Hartnell era, there was a string of planets with improbably appropriate names (a desert planet named Aridus, etc.). Among these was a prison planet full of violent felons called Desperus.
- In "The Dominators", the planet Dulcis is home to the Island of Death.
- The quaint village of Devil's End in "The Dæmons".
- The scenic and picturesque Death Zone on Gallifrey.
- 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 Ghost Monument" is set on the planet Desolation: a name that as Graham points out does not inspire positive thinking.
- "The Battle of Ranskoor Av Kolos": Ranskoor Av Kolos translates as "Disintegrator of Souls".
Graham: Oh, lovely, another cheery one.
- Eerie, Indiana is probably worth mentioning.
- 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.
- The town of Purgatory (and Purgatory Mine) in the Frontier Circus episode "Patriarch of Purgatory".
- 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.
- The challenge one week on The Gruen Transfer was to come up with an ad to promote tourism to the Canadian town of Asbestos.
- 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 for laughs in House of Fools with the shop where Beef bought his useless plastic frying pan. Clearly the name "Crusty Ken's Kitchen Shithouse" didn't ring any alarm bells.
Danielle: Dynamite, at the Black Rock, in the Dark Territory.
Hurley: Well, that's three great reasons to go, right there.
- One episode has an area known as the Perilous Lands.
- There's also the Valley of the Fallen Kings and the Dark Tower.
- Power Rangers Mystic Force:
- 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.
- 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.
- Wild Boys: "What part of 'Dead Man's Drop' do you not understand?"
- The Cog Is Dead's song "Burn It Down" has a factory named "The Killing Floor".
- Skullcrusher Mountain by Jonathan Coulton. Like a lot of Coulton's stuff, the song itself is relaxing and folksy.
- 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.
- Nox Arcana gives us three examples. Blackthorn Asylum and Darklore Manor, however the most obvious example is Castle Of Nightmares.
- 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.
- Golden Logres has the Castle Perilous, where the three Evil Knights reside.
- The "Arkham Asylum" playfield of Necronomicon includes Hangman Hill and Salem's Road.
- Paragon has the "Valley of Demons" and the "Beast's Lair."
- Most of the Hazards in White Water count, such as Insanity Falls and Disaster Drop.
- 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)
- Spoofed by The D Generation in The Satanic Sketches:
"Look! It's the Cave of No Return!"
"Yes, I've been here before."
- BattleTech has a few of these scattered around the Inner Sphere, including Necromo, No Return, Misery, Alamagordo, Hell's Paradise, Desolate Plains, Perdido, Perdition, Bad News, and Dustball. But the straightest application of this trope was Dunkelwalderdunklefluessenschattenweltnote , in the Draconis Combine. The world lived up to its name, being the closest thing the game universe had to a Death World.
- 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 Hells Canyon or the Devils 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!"
- 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.
- 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.
- Infernum is set in a place called "The Pit", 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).
- 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?
- 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.
- 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.
- Hell, there's a (now-ruined) city called Mordheim. Mordheim. That's "Murder-House" in German. Would you ever visit a city called that!?
- 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 citizens 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.
- Blue Dragon: Devour Village.
- Breath of Fire III has the Desert of Death.
- 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!
- 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...
- The Chronicles of Riddick: Escape from Butcher Bay. The administrators just had to name the prison "Butcher Bay" to make its nature abundantly clear.
- In Chrono Trigger, Crono and his friends visit Death's Peak, the Mountain of Woe, and the Black Omen.
- Cap au Diable from City of Villains.
- Also, the ghost-infested Fort Hades.
- And in City of Heroes, the literal ghost town Dark Astoria.
- Skull Island and Blood Island from The Curse of Monkey Island. Of course, Skull Island looks like something distinctly different from a skull.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 Eleven, a Death World with Everything 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.
- 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'.
- 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".
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- Ecco the Dolphin: Planet Vortex, Dark Water.
- 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 with almost Everything Trying to Kill You and these places were named by the Nords, a Proud Warrior Race of Horny Vikings.
- Etrian Odyssey Cyclopean Haunt. A nearly impassable labyrinth full of scary monsters and with a hell of a final boss in the end.
- 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!)
- The Lonesome Road DLC has a location in the Divide called "Cave of the Abaddon". Abaddon is the name of an angel in the Bible associated with destruction and locust plagues.
- 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.
- 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 X-2: The Den of Woe. No surprises, entering the place drives you insane. And thats if you dont get possessed by the evil spirit that was sealed there.
- 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 Subterra).
- 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.
- 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).
- Half-Life: Ravenholm, though not nearly as foreboding as most examples.
- 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).
- Kingdom Hearts, being made by the same guys as Final Fantasy above, is not shy about this trope.
- The most recurring world in the series (counting cutscene appearances) is called 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. Hollow Bastion is just the name of the castle.
- Kingdom Hearts has The End of the World. Yes, that is a level name, not an event. Kingdom Hearts III has the similarly named The Final World.
- 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 mention 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.
- Even mundane areas in the World That Never Was get ominous monikers. The break room is called the Grey Area. An elevator goes by Crooked Ascension.
- Almost every installment at least mentions the Realm of Darkness, which is exactly what it sounds like and includes such location names as Forest of Thorns, Depths of Darkness, Valley of the Dark, and the Dark Margin. It also goes by the name Dark World and is usually only possible to enter and exit by using a Corridor of Darkness. Basically, you may want to bring a flashlight.
- Birth by Sleep introduces the Keyblade Graveyard. When it's visited in the climax of Kingdom Hearts III, Xehanort forms a sub-location called the Skein of Severance.
- 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.
- Legend of Grimrock: Mount Grimrock, it and its deep dungeon, with its skeleton soldiers and its giant spiders.
- 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.
- 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...
- 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.
- The first Manhunt takes place in the fictional Carcer City in United States. "Carcer" means "prison" in Latin, as in "incarceration".
- Medal of Honor: Vanguard has the mission 'Predators' take place in a town in the Netherlands called 'Grave', which is a real town.
- 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".
- 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).
- La-Mulana has the Chamber of Extinction, which isn't quite the formidable challenge its name implies. (The Chamber of Birth is arguably worse.)
- 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.
- Mystery Science Theater 3000 Presents "Detective" lampshades this: taking a wrong turn at one point leads you to "the so called 'Murderers Lounge'. Unfortunatly, there ARE murderers here, and when you check around, they get angry." Cue instant game over.
Crow: But it's nice to know that this city has establishments that cater exclusively to criminals.
- If your region's Delegate and/or Founder in NationStates is sufficiently 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.
- Okage: Shadow King has the Escapeless Abyss. Unfortunately, that's not an ironic name.
- The protagonist of Peasant's Quest has a souvenir tee-shirt from Scalding Lake. This place is, apparently, a tourist destination for peasants.
- In Pillars of Eternity II: Deadfire, an island called "Ori o Koīki" brings up a question of translation. There's two ways to translate "Koīki" from Huana — it can refer to either a corpse or a pungent-smelling fruit, akin to a durian, considered a delicacy in the Deadfire. Queen Onekaza II insists on the second translation when asked about it after sending the player to investigate the island. Unfortunately, the "Ori" still means "cursed land". Ori o Koīki is either the "cursed land of corpses" or "cursed land of fruit trees"; the latter is less ominous than the former, but not by much.
- 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.
- 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."
- 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.
- Mordavia from Quest for Glory IV. Guess what sorts of inhabitants you might meet there.
- Romancing SaGa has the Isle of Evil, where Mad Scientist Ewei lives.
- Dead Man's Well from Romancing SaGa 3 located in Moses. According to the townsfolk, when the 4 devils used to rule the land, the sick and the elderly were thrown down the well until it became a mass grave.
- 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.
- The Dark Souls inspired Salt and Sanctuary likewise has a host of miserable sounding places. "The Festering Banquet," "The Mire of Stench," "The Red Hall of Cages," "The Crypt of Dead Gods," "The Blackest Vault," and so on. The Village of Smiles sounds like a reprieve from that bleakness. It isn't; you soon find out all those smiles are of the Glasgow sort.
- The Gallery of the Dead from Shadow Hearts Covenant. Located beneath Moscow, the place is a hybrid between catacombs, prison cells, and a storm sewer.
- 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.
- 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.
- Skies of Arcadia: The Dark Rift, the Maw of Tartas.
- Sonic the Hedgehog 2 was originally going to have a level called "Genocide City", but it was ultimately cut from the final version. Word Of God is that the game's creators wanted to give the place a name that "sounded dangerous", and overshot; Cyber City was considered as a possible alternate name before the level was dropped.
- The deep, dark trenches full of Ampeels, Blighters, Crabsquids and even a Ghost Leviathan leading down to the Lost River are called the Blood Kelp Zone.
- In early development, the zone marking the edge of the map was called "The Void" or the "Dead Zone"note , before being renamed to the much less terrifying "Crater Edge" during final release.
- Super Mario Bros. Several stages qualify.
- Lethal Lava Land, Deep Dark Galaxy, Melty Molten Galaxy, Big Boo's Haunt, Dreadnought 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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.)
- Tibia has the Dark Cathedral, Demona, the Pits of Inferno and the Plains of Havoc.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- In the Wario Land series, possibly Hotel Horror and Horror Manor.
- 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.
- 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.
- Blood Stain has its protagonist realize she's living at "01 Fatal Accident St., Godknowswhere" after she tries to get an address for her sister to send her stuff.
- Bumrape Island. The title says it all, really.
- 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.
- Played straight in the Irregular Webcomic! parody of said name, "Khazad-Doomy Dooms of Doom".
- 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 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.
- In the Start of Darkness prequel book, there is Helldeathdoomfire Volcano, where Xykon's former master lived and trained his disciples.
- The Perilous Path of Crushing Doom.
- Parodied in this Penny Arcade strip.
- 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.
- The town of E-ville, which appears in a book-exclusive side-story in Sluggy Freelance.
- 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....
- Ichor Falls.
- 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.
- Once Grif and Simmons are reassigned in Red vs. Blue, the former makes sure to ask about the new location: "Does it at least have a better name than Danger Canyon?" And the name of the place does qualify, Blood Gulch. The source material has a few more of those, such as Damnation, Burial Mounds, Epitaph and Death Island.
- The Sick Land
- Boatmurdered, "... a name which doesn't bode well for much of fucking anything." The name turns out to be partially appropriate: At no point do any boats play a role in the story...
- 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 Adventure Time, there's the Scary Dark Forest, the Sea of Sure Death, the Badlands, and the Desert of Doom.
- 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.")
- 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.
- 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.
- The Crumpets has the "Do Not Disturb Room", the bedroom of Ma and Pa.
- In The Dragon Prince, Rayla asks Callum and Ezra to please tell her the Cursed Caldera is named after famous explorer Sir Phineas Cursed. It's not, the name is because it's full of monsters. Subverted in that the monsters are illusionary.
- The Dreamstone 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.
- 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.
- 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) 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:"
- Gawayn has 'Nevercross Bridge': guarded by a pair of beavers who will turn to stone anyone who cannot ask them a question they cannot answer.
- Abysus from Generator Rex.
- Jimmy Two-Shoes is set in the town of Miseryville. Better yet, it's implied to be located in Hell (and would have explicitly been if it weren't for Executive Meddling).
- Kick Buttowski: Suburban Daredevil has Mt. Hurtsmore where the Mellowbrook Drift race takes place.
- Camp Wannaweep in Kim Possible.
- Loonatics Unleashed: Who in their right mind would want to holiday on an island named 'Apocalypso'?
- 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.
- Tartarus, a prison for dangerous monsters that shares a name with the ancient Greek underworld.
- The Peaks or Peril, on the other hand, are actually not that bad. Okay, so the Kirin who live there have a teensy little problem with literally bursting into flame when they get angry, but otherwise it's just a fairly normal mountain area.
- Rocket Power has a dangerous mountain board course called "Bruised Man's Curve".
- In She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, the evil Horde's headquarters are called the Fright Zone, which should probably have clued Adora in to the nature of the Horde...
- 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":
- 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.
- Spliced is set on Keepaway Island.
- 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.
- Storm Hawks gives us Terra Cyclonia, Terra Gruesomus, the Black Gorge, and the ever-popular Wastelands.
- Who Killed Who? is set in a spooky manor on the "Gruesome Gables".