What makes something look evil?
Humans are very strange and imperfect creatures. Quite why certain inanimate things look "evil", "creepy" or "spooky" is hard to pin down.
But some studies have actually been conducted on just this subject. A group of psychologists in a 2013 study set out to try to find out what makes us feel uneasy around "creepy" things.
Their study, while preliminary, did yield some interesting insights.
“[Creepy is] about the uncertainty of threat. You’re feeling uneasy because you think there might be something to worry about here, but the signals are not clear enough to warrant your doing some sort of desperate, life-saving kind of thing,” explained Frank McAndrew, professor of psychology at Knox College in Illinois.
This apparently deep-seated psychological trait of our species is probably a hangover from our more "wild" past. In most cases being "creeped out" by something is simply a defense mechanism to prepare us for a potential threat - - like spider bites, etc.
After all its better to think you saw a tiger in that long grass and be wrong than not see anything and end up dead.
When it comes to things like buildings, our brain's ability to "see" something that isn't there (technically called pareidolia) is part and parcel of this evolutionary crafted instinct. But, as in the case of evil-looking buildings, this instinct can provide us with some morbid amusement.
What are the stories behind some of the world's most evil-looking buildings?
Here we've gathered 7 examples of some of the world's most evil-looking buildings. As it turns out, the fact they look evil belies some very interesting stories behind their conception.
Sadly, this list is far from exhaustive and is in no particular order.
1. The Pyramid in North Dakota looks like a supervillain's lair
If we've learned anything from computer games, this building houses a mega-difficult boss. Either that or it some kind of grounded evil spaceship.
But the reality of the building is actually quite interesting. It was built as an early form of missile defense for the area. Commissioned and built under the Stanley R, Mickelson Safeguard Program, the North Dakota Pyramid was built as a Russian intercontinental ballistic missile countermeasure.
"Built at a cost of six billion dollars in Nekoma, North Dakota, the site was a massive complex of missile silos, a giant pyramid-shaped radar system, and dozens of launching silos for surface-to-air missiles tipped with thermonuclear warheads. It included a PAR “backscatter radar” site, designed to follow missiles being fired from Russia, which it would shoot down over Canada." - Atlas Obscura.
2. This old German castle is very spooky indeed
This incredibly evil-looking building would make the perfect setting for a vampire movie. But the reality of the building's history is quite interesting.
This evil-looking building is the Eltz Castle in Wierschem, Germany. It was built during the middle ages and is located in the hills above the Moselle River.
Amazingly the castle is still owned by the same family that built it back in the 12th Century. It is in near perfect condition and, unlike many castles from this period, was never destroyed.
The castle is a perfect example of German Romanesque and Baroque and dominates the area. It is a truly stunning piece of architecture.
3. This Japanese tower looks a little too evil for our liking
This tower in Sapporo, Japan certainly fits the bill as one evil-looking piece of real estate. With a little imagination, you could imagine Sauron taking up residence today.
The building is actually the Centennial Memorial Tower in Sapporo, Japan.
It was built in the 1970s as part of the Hokkaido Centennial Project. The building was intended to act as a symbol of future accomplishments.
It is around 100 meters tall and is a very prominent local (evil) landmark.
The tower is free to visit but you cannot access the interior as the building is now effectively a derelict. It can be found in the Nopporo Forest in Japan and is about 5 minutes walk from the Hokkaido Historical Museum.
4. This must be one of the evilest buildings in the world
The main office for Turkey's Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (Tarım ve Orman Bakanlığı) in Ankara, Turkey really is a very evil looking building. Given the rather benign and noble cause of its occupants, the building's design couldn't really be less appropriate.
Resembling something akin to an evil henchman's helmet, It looks even more sinister at night. What was the architect thinking?
5. The "Hitler House" in Swansea, Wales, UK is evil incarnate
Locally known as the "Hitler House", this small end-terrace in South Wales' city of Swansea must be one of the most evil-looking buildings in the world. Built in the early-20th Century, the building has been modified over time to unintentionally resemble one of the world's most evil minds.
If you can't see what all the fuss is about, we'd draw your attention to the slanting roof and door lintel. They have a very passing similarity to Hitler's signature haircut and infamous mustache.
This is, of course, a local joke, but you can't deny the striking resemblance. Serendipity (for our purposes) can be a cruel mistress at times.
6. This old temple in Cambodia must house some ancient evil!
This amazing 800-year-old temple in Cambodia simply oozes evil. Today called Ta Prohm, this temple can be found in Angkor in the Siem Reap Province of Cambodia.
It was built in the wonderful Bayon style at some point between the 12th and 13th Centuries. It was originally called Rajavihara and is located roughly 1km east of Angkor Thom in East Baray.
The temple was originally founded as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and is largely intact today. As you can see it is highly photogenic and its beautiful jungle surroundings make it a very popular tourist destination.
7. We might need some tow cables and harpoons for this one
And last, but by no means least, this rather familiar-looking evil-building. Looking like an Imperial AT-AT on guard duty, this structure forms part of the Kentucky Dam between Livingston and Marshall County.
The dam is a substantial hydroelectric dam that forms the lowermost of nine dams operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority. It was built between the late 1930s and was completed just before the end of WW2.
It was commissioned as part of President Roosevelt's "New Deal" and was officially listed on the National Register of Historic places in 2017.