In Part 2 of our series, we look at more fictional places that you would never want to visit. Today, sprawling cities, parks gone wrong, and pretty worlds that hide dark secrets. More can be found in The Most Terrifying Places in Fiction Part 1.
Gotham City (Batman)
Yes, this was included on my list of Coolest Cities to Live, but that’s if you’re a super hero or insane criminal. If you’re a regular Gotham citizen, you’re screwed. No matter what time of day you leave your home, you have a high likelihood of being kidnapped, shot, or stabbed by a common or super criminal. Even if you’re upper class, it’s likely that your high rise penthouse will be invaded or blown up at some point. Sure, Batman will try to save you, but he’s only human. Even if you’re never personally threatened, some form of city-wide terrorism can happen any day. You should probably leave. But don’t go to Bludhaven, you’ll get a living nuclear bomb dropped on you.
Isla Nublar/Isla Sorna (Jurassic Park)
If these parks worked, they would be pretty cool places to live. But, nature finds a way. And what it finds a way to do is eat you. Even the most secure high voltage fences will fail and your automated SUV will die. If the t-rex doesn’t bite you in half, the velociraptors will slice your guts open. Corrupt business men and soldiers of fortune tend to visit as well. So they might kill you if the dinosaurs don’t. Even the nice brahiosauruses might not see you and squish you. Don’t visit, don’t try to go and capture a pet, and don’t go paragliding nearby! You’ll die!
Basin City (Sin City)
A place so rough, the alleys are littered with dead bodies. Even the roughest cities in America have nothing on Sin City. Almost every single police officer is corrupt. Various mobs run almost every business. Psychopaths and serial killers can be found around every corner. The heroes are simply those who have some sense of honor and fight back against those worse than them. It’s always raining or snowing, unless it’s daytime and the sun is scorching everything in sight. I don’t think any tourist has ever crossed Sin City’s borders. They’d more than likely be robbed or killed as soon as they came in.
The ultimate example of human ideology, ambition, and technology run rampant, the underwater city of Rapture was meant to be a shining example of capitalism free of government and religion. But intolerance, greed, and the conflict of ideologies led to the breakdown of Rapture through civil war and the destruction of those within it. Imagine being locked in a rusting, abandoned city located under miles of crushing water. The only company you have is giant monsters in the form of Big Daddies, creepy Little Sisters, psychotic Splicers, and mentally scarred humans looking to manipulate your every move.
Wonderland (Alice in Wonderland)
Being in Wonderland must be what it’s like to be schizophrenic. Or at least tripping out on meth at every moment of the day. Nothing is governed by logic, everyone is out to get you, and narratives branch off into wild tangents with warning. Why would anyone want to live in Wonderland? Should you not experience a Lovecraftian mental breakdown from the terrors beyond comprehension that you see, you’ll be constantly on the run from those who would like to separate your head from your shoulders. If you manage to make it out, your mind will have been shattered into tiny fragments by your experiences. Don’t chase the white rabbit. You don’t want to go down that hole. That reminds me, Wonderland may not even exist in the story. Alice may have just been really, really high.
Oz (The Wizard of Oz)
I don’t know why anyone would want to live in Oz. I don’t think that even Dorothy was itching to stay there. You get there via tornado that more than likely destroyed everything you own and killed your loved ones. Once there, you have to face flying monkeys, melting witches, singing munchkins. It’s enough to make you curl up into the fetal position and stay there forever. All of your companions seem to have crippling mental or emotional problems, so they’re not much use to you. And if you ever get back home, don’t tell your surviving family members about your experience. They’ll think you’re crazy and lock you up in a 1930s mental hospital. And they LOVE lobotomies in 1930s mental hospitals.
Neverland (Peter Pan)
A land where no one ages and there is no responsibility is the communism of fictional places. It seems great on paper (or in a Disney film) but once you put it in the real world, it becomes a nightmare. Why? Human nature. Put one person in Neverland who is selfish, greedy, or violent and it is no longer a place of children’s dreams. And just imagine if you come to Neverland at the wrong age. Puberty forever! Combine that with a bunch of lost kids who look to you to be their parent and a man-eating crocodile with a taste for hands. You’ll lose your mind before you leave. Unless you join Captain Hook’s crew. Neverland would be pretty fun then.
Coruscant (Star Wars)
An entire planet that is one giant city? It may seem cool in short visits for having pointless conversations with the Galactic Senate that take hours, slowly ruining a franchise, but living there would be nightmarish. Every single inch is covered in skyscrapers that stretch for thousands of stories. Only the most rich and powerful live at the top in the sun, the rest of the population must live down amidst the constant traffic. And don’t go down too many levels, you may wind up in Level 1313 and come face to face with scum and villainy the likes of which you’ve never seen. In any case, you’ll either wind up street pizza from a nasty fall off a 10-mile high building or get knifed in some neon-infused dive bar while snorting death sticks. Mustafar would probably be more enjoyable.
That’s it for this series! If I left any out, let me know. To see a list of the Coolest Places in Fiction, click here.