Suicide is a complex and emotional subject. The most common reasons why people contemplate taking such drastic measures involve depression or other mental issues; financial problems, terminal illnesses or disability, and a host of other reasons. However, that doesn’t explain why certain locations around the world seem to somehow become suicide hot spots, drawing a cluster of people on an annual basis. Could it be their heights? Or maybe their iconic status? We really don’t know. But what we do know is that these popular landmarks for some reason or another are suicide hot spots and many people decide to end their lives, on them. What’s your opinion on these 25 popular landmarks that are creepy suicide hot spots?
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Van Stadens Bridge
The Van Stadens Bridge, a concrete arch bridge over the Van Stadens River in the Eastern Cape of South Africa, is probably the most popular suicide magnet in the country. During 2013 the local authorities decided to erect a barrier that runs along the full length of the 198-meter bridge on both sides in an effort to stop jumpers from leaping from the 140-meter-high bridge from which nearly ninety people have jumped to their deaths in the past four decades alone.
Acropolis of Athens
When you hear about the Acropolis of Athens, words such as democracy, philosophy, and classic architecture come to mind first, but apparently the cradle of Western civilization is not just a significant cultural and historical attraction but a suicide destination as well. It might sound unbelievable but many locals and foreigners have jumped off the sacred rock of Athens throughout the years, with the most famous and tragic case being that of Mary Weber, a German governess at the palace of King George I of Greece, who fell in love with a Greek army surgeon named Mihalis Mimikos in the late nineteenth century.
This love story ended tragically with Mary Weber jumping from the Acropolis to her death after her father had prohibited her from marrying the love of her life.
The Humber Bridge is one of the most popular suicide spots in all of Europe and definitely one of the most infamous in the UK. There are many sad suicide stories to tell about this place but undoubtedly one of the most depressing is the one about a mother who killed herself and her twelve-year-old son with Fragile X Syndrome in April 2006, which then became a big headline all over the country.
Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge
The Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge іs а road bridge іn Luxembourg City, іn southern Luxembourg. Despite its beauty and magnificent construction, the Grand Duchess Charlotte Bridge became known for the suicides that have taken place there. More thаn 100 people hаve ended theіr lives by jumping off the bridge since іt opened іn 1966 and for that reason in 1993 the local government decided tо erect а Plexiglas safety barrier tо prevent more suicides frоm happening.
Along the coast of Raouché, one of the most beautiful areas of Beirut, Lebanon, there is the famous natural landmark widely known as Pigeons’ Rock, which attracts many tourists yearly. Other than for their rare natural beauty, the two big rock formations, which stand like huge sentinels, became a notorious suicide destination for locals during the ‘40s.
Eduardo Villena Rey Bridge
In the very religious country of Peru where suicide is still a major taboo, the Eduardo Villena Rey Bridge, located in the capital, Lima, had to be covered with large windows due to the high suicide rates. People believe that the street under the bridge is haunted by the souls of those who committed suicide and for that reason many local citizens avoid passing by there.
Back in August 2006 the local authorities of Otago, New Zealand, decided to close the road that leads to the gorgeous landmark known as Lawyers Head for public construction purposes. Before the closure, Lawyers Head was the spot where thirteen suicides had occurred in a period of less than a decade.
Even though the number might sound small compared to other places, if you take into account New Zealand’s tiny population of about four million, then one can perfectly understand how Lawyers Head is statistically a suicide magnet.
Sunshine Skyway Bridge
The Sunshine Skyway Bridge that crosses Tampa Bay is thought to be haunted by ghost investigators, locals, and travelers alike due to the many accidents that have occurred there. In addition to the accidents, many individuals have killed themselves by jumping from the highest span of the bridge. Tragically, since the opening of the new bridge in 1987, well over 200 people have committed suicide at the location and an estimated fifty others have tried but survived.
Türisalu Pank is a cliff in a small city of Estonia. The cliff is part of the Baltic Klint and has a respectable height of about 100 feet. Sadly, Türisalu cliff is one of those places whose only claim to fame is the negative reputation of being one of the most well-known suicide spots in all Eastern Europe.
The Erskine Bridge is one of Scotland’s most infamous suicide locations and it is estimated that at least fifteen people jump from the bridge to their deaths every year. This macabre phenomenon has led to the Samaritans charity placing signs on each path leading to the bridge and also in four public telephone boxes that are situated on the twin footpaths running adjacent to the roadway on each side of the river.
New York City’s Skyscrapers
According to a recent study conducted by the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the percentage of suicides by jumping from New York City’s skyscrapers is by far higher than that of any other American city. To get an idea how big the problem is, keep in mind that of the 473 people who committed suicide in New York City in 2008, nearly sixty of them did so by jumping from skyscrapers.
West Gate Bridge
Many police reports and statistics have shown in recent years that the West Gate Bridge in Melbourne is one of the most “suicidal” places in Australia. Seventy-four percent of those who jump from the bridge are male, with an average age of thirty-three, while more than seventy percent of them suffered from mental illness. Another interesting statistic is that of all those who have jumped off the bridge, thirty-one percent fell onto the nearby land and died instantly.
The Corinth Canal
One of the most impressive engineering marvels in the world, the Canal of Corinth is also one of the most visited suicide spots in Greece. Unfortunately, the historic Canal of Corinth has been the ideal attraction for locals and tourists who want to commit suicide for the past few decades and according to local police reports, people from more than fifteen countries have committed suicide there over the years.
Prince Edward Viaduct
The Prince Edward Viaduct System, better known as the Bloor Viaduct, is the name of a truss arch bridge system in Toronto, Canada, that has become known for the many suicides that have happened there. Eventually, after numerous successful and failed attempts the city’s mayor decided to raise a barrier to prevent further suicide attempts from the Viaduct, but a disappointing 2010 study showed that the overall rates of suicide by jumping for Toronto have not changed since its construction.
Among the Czech Republic’s many beautiful landmarks the Nusle Bridge is a concrete viaduct in Prague that spans the Nusle Valley but unfortunately doesn’t have the best reputation and for a good reason. Sadly, the beautiful bridge is nowadays more famous as a suicide jumping point than anything else. Tо prevent further suicides, in 1997 the city erected tall chain-link fence railings along the sidewalks. Ten years later and after many more suicides, the fencing wаs topped off wіth three feet оf polished metal tо mаke іt impossible for someone tо climb up and over.
Colorado Street Bridge
When the beautiful bridge along Colorado Street over the Arroyo Seco River bed was built in Pasadena back in 1912, the builders probably never imagined that a few years later it would acquire the nickname “Suicide Bridge.” Even though the famous bridge has a very romantic and old-charm appearance from a distance, it has seen a couple hundred people commit suicide throughout the years. The first recorded suicide was on November 16, 1919, while nearly fifty suicides occurred during the Great Depression from 1933 to 1937.
It is widely estimated that nearly twenty-five successful suicides take place in Beachy Head every year, a fact that makes the location one of the most infamous suicide spots in all England. To get an idea of how big an issue the whole thing is, keep in mind that the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team conducts regular day and evening patrols of the area in attempts to locate and stop potential jumpers.
Arguably the most visited construction in the world, the Eiffel Tower has become synonymous with one of the world’s most visited cities, Paris. Believe it or not and despite the Eiffel Tower receiving so many happy tourists every year, it has the highest number of suicides for any French touristic attraction and if you just google suicide + Eiffel Tower you won’t believe how many people pick the iconic construction from which to end their lives.
The Gap is an ocean cliff on the South Head peninsula in eastern Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, and unfortunately the hottest suicide spot in the country. For over a century, the cliffs of South Head have been a “special” place for people who want to end their lives and it is estimated that about fifty people from all over Australia commit suicide at The Gap every year.
One of the most famous train stations in the world is unfortunately one of the most likely places for someone to witness a suicide. It’s readily accessible from almost everywhere in London, and has some of the fastest and heaviest trains in the UK. People jump in front of oncoming trains on a weekly basis. The most popular suicide station is King’s Cross St.Pancras, while 145 people have jumped from the Northern Line between 2001 and 2011.
On February 11, 1933, a twenty-one-year-old Japanese student threw herself into the volcanic crater of Mount Mihara on the Japanese island of Izu Oshima. See, back in the ‘30s the prude Japanese society would never accept her love affair with another woman so she decided to end the torture she experienced. During the same year almost a thousand more people would jump into the crater and until 1935 an additional 350 suicides took place there.
The Mount Mihara suicide “trend” finally started decreasing at the end of WWII after the local government enhanced security to prevent suicides while a new law was put into effect that made it a criminal offense for anyone who purchased a one-way ticket to the island.
According to one of the most respected historians of the Falls, Paul Gromosiak, there have been over 2,780 known suicides between 1856 and 1995, while the suicide rate there has increased in the past twenty years. Many psychologists have tried to analyze and interpret the macabre phenomenon from a scientific point of view but no clear answer has been found.
There are many theories suggesting that many suicide victims are looking for a terribly “romantic” way to highlight their most desperate act.
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco is seventy-six years old and is an architectural marvel that marries strength and grace. The bridge is also the world’s premier venue for suicide and arguably the most famous one thanks to film and pop culture. On average, a person jumps to his or her death from it every two weeks.
They call it the suicide forest of Japan and how could they not? Even though the estimates vary it is believed that each year the authorities remove as many as 100 bodies found hanging in the country’s suicide hotspot while others can lie undiscovered for years.
Aokigahara is also considered the most haunted place in Japan, where the unsettled ghosts known as yurei howl their suffering into the winds. However, all the scary stories about the forest being haunted and filled with evil energy don’t stop those who desire to end their lives.
Nanjing Yangtze River Bridge
When the impressive construction was completed in 1969 it was hailed as a major engineering feat in the People’s Republic of China and no one could ever imagine that one day it would become one of the world’s most popular suicide locations. According to the official data and reports, since 1969 over 2,000 people have committed suicide at the bridge in Nanjing, capital of the eastern Jiangsu Province, a fact that makes the bridge the most deadly suicide destination in the world.