Iran is a remarkable country in the Middle East. One of the oldest civilizations, dating back to 7000 BC, it is home to astonishing ancient sites, traditional architecture and natural wonders that carve into the landscape of the former Persian Empire. Tourists have marveled at known attractions for decades, however what about the sites that go unspoken? Only those who dare travel to these 5 most mysterious places in Iran for a fright.

Yeri Cemetery Ardabil

Yeri Cemetry, Ardabil Iran

Yeri City, 65 km from Ardabil, is an archaeological site that is comprised of military fortresses, a temple and Qosha tappeh. The main temple in the city of Yeri rose from the earth, built with over 300 stones, ranging from 35 to 250 cm. The stones eerily depict human forms with no mouth. The citizens of this ancient city carved their faces onto the stones, placing them in the prayer house as a totem. Yeri was out of the scope of the government, so little is known about this lost ancient civilization.

Location: Ardabil, Iran

Rig Jenn Seman

Rig Jenn Desert, Semnan Iran

Located in the west and southwest of Dasht-e Kavir, is the desert of Rig-e Jenn that covers over 38000 square km. The desert is comprised of steep sand dunes on the eastern side and gentle slopes on the west, caused by the winds that gust from west to east. This tumultuous land is impossible to travel to and believed to be cursed. No one has dared to drive into the heart of this mysterious land, fearing they will be swallowed whole by evil spirits or suffocate in a sinking pit of mud.

Location: Semnan Province, Iran

Rocky Garden, Kerman

Rocky Garden, Kerman Iran

If you are heading to the deserts of Kerman, this 30-mile detour to Bagh-e Sangi or the Garden of Stones, is well worth the distance. Hundreds of barren trees, with stones small and large hanging from the trees, just exist in the middle of nowhere. The look is outlandish and the story is even more interesting. Created by a hearing-impaired and mute landowner, Darvish Khan Esfandiyarpour, hung stones from the dying limbs as a silent protest against land reform.

Location: Sirjan, Kerman Iran

Star Valley, Qeshm

Star Valley Qeshm Iran
Star Valley Qeshm Iran

In Qeshm Island, Star Valley is the product of a star plunging to earth, carving unearthly contours into the landscape of the valley, or so the story goes. Scientific investigations conclude that this marvel may in fact, have been formed by a cosmic force, however it is more likely that water and wind caused it. Regardless, at night the sky is beaming with stars as far as the eye can see, justifying the name “Valley of Stars”.

Location: Qeshm, Iran

Scream Forest, Sarborj Mashhad

Sarborj Screaming Forest, Mashhad Iran

Sarbarj is a village in the Torqabehi district of Mashhad which hosts a terrifying phenomenon. During the day the forest is evergreen and calm, however as the evening falls a chilling scream can be heard deep within the woods. Some blame the branches of locusts, but others say that the forest is tormented. Many stay rather than run, to experience the forest that screams.

Location: Sarborj, Mashhad, Iran


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