Killer Cave When death is involved, people get scared and narrate numerous tales and myths about the cause of death. In Kermanshah, a dark cave called “Pirav Cave” is said to swallow humans, and it stands as one of the most terrifying tourist spots in Iran for professional cavers. Pirav Cave is the largest vertical cave in the world, also known as the “Everest of Caves.” This dark, cold, deep, and challenging cave has earned the title “Killer Cave” due to claiming the lives of five cavers. It is said that the bodies of two of these cavers still reside within this 700-meter-deep cave, adding to the fear and dread of visiting it. Touring the Pirav Cave is extremely dangerous for ordinary people and even novice climbers and is generally not recommended.
Mysteries Beneath Iran's Sky: Age-old Legends and Natural Wonders
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Twelve kilometers before reaching Nowshahr, in the north of Chalender village and the Molla Kola region, amidst a dense forest, lies the swamp known as ‘Mamrez’ or ‘Spirits.’ It’s one of the scariest places in Iran. What adds to the eeriness of this lake are the dead, dry trees and a mist that often covers the lake’s surface. But why is this lake called the “Spirits Marshland”? It’s a pristine area where rarely any sound is heard. Yet, sometimes, the echo of a bird, the rustling of a branch, or a small animal’s movement is enough to instill fear. It feels like you are a horror movie character emerging from a magical forest. This marshland has been nationally registered.
In the southeasternmost point of Iran, in the city of Chabahar and the village of Tis, lies a 2300-year-old town famous for its strange and eerie cemetery. Unlike other cemeteries, few visit the graves of their loved ones here, and this silence only amplifies the eeriness. Large gravestones and dug graves have led the Baluch people to claim that these graves aren’t for humans. Some believe they belong to the genies. They think that the genies mourn and chant for their deceased at night. Others believe those who made these graves wanted to protect the dead from animals and treat them respectfully.
The Desert of Death in Iran, Iran’s Bermuda Triangle, and the scariest point in Iran are all titles given to the Gen Dune. This area, known as the Bermuda Triangle of Mexico, where any living creature that enters is swallowed up, is located in the southwestern and western desert plains near Semnan. Locals believe evil spirits and demons rule this land filled with salt marshes and sand hills. They think anyone in the Gen Dune is swallowed and never returns. However, in recent years, many groups have visited this region and returned safely.
We head towards the province of Kerman, to the city of Sirjan, where we journey to a mysterious garden without any sign of greenery. At first glance, this garden might seem exciting and surprising, but as you walk among the dry trees, whose fruits are made of stone, a sense of dread fills your heart. This stone garden is called “Dervish Khan’s Garden,” it was built by a farmer named “Dervish Khan Esfandiar Pour.” Around 40 years ago, after his farm dried up, he lost his mental stability and, in protest, replanted his now-dried trees elsewhere, hanging stones he had collected from nearby mountains as their fruits.
There’s a tale that Dervish Khan was inspired to build this garden from a dream. The story goes that he dreamt of making this garden one night, and the next day, while herding his sheep in the desert, he saw a meteorite fall from the sky. He took it home and used it to create his garden. Dervish Khan did not stop at stones; for a while, he also hung the heads of sheep that wolves had killed on the trees but stopped this practice due to public outcry. Exhaust pipes, worn-out gears, punctured tires, oil pitchers, tin cans, broken mirrors, cooling float, broken hookah stems, and many other discarded items were also hung on the trees.
It is said that after Dervish Khan’s death, one of the trees fell, and several men from nearby villages struggled to rehang the stones and stabilize the tree. The question arises: How was this older man able to move the trees and rocks in the last years of his life? Today, this stone garden is considered one of the tourist attractions in Sirjan.
You must have heard the name “Kal-e Jenni,” an astonishing valley in the heart of the hot Tabas desert. Kal-e Jenni is a vast region created during the Sassanid era due to water flow and floods. Kal-e Jenni, which means “Valley of the Jinn,” was considered a haunted and terrifying place among the ancient people due to its walls and various tunnels. Various stories are told about it. Some even said one should not travel to this valley alone as there’s no return. But these days, travelers aren’t interested in listening to these tales!
On the southern coast of Qeshm, we arrive at the village of Berkeh Khalf. Heading on a dirt road north of this village, a vast area is filled with layered sedimentary mountains. Time, wind, and storms have sculpted this region’s columns, corridors, and intricate hollows. The blue sky above dramatically appears as you pass through its deep halls. Add in the wind, and everything combines to create an otherworldly atmosphere. Locals call this the Valley of the Fallen Star, believing a star fell from the sky about two million years ago, shaping the rocks and sands into these bizarre formations.
In the city of Gonabad, there exists a qanat called “Qanat-e Ghasebeh” from which many legends pour. According to one legend, this qanat was constructed by order of “Bahman,” one of the ancient kings of Iran, as an atonement for a significant sin. Based on the famous story “The Twelve Faces” from Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh, the construction of this qanat dates back to before the reign of King Khusrow. Aside from these tales and mythological stories, archaeological research suggests that this qanat dates back to the Achaemenid era.
When death is involved, people get scared and narrate numerous tales and myths about the cause of death. In Kermanshah, a dark cave called “Pirav Cave” is said to swallow humans, and it stands as one of the most terrifying tourist spots in Iran for professional cavers. Pirav Cave is the largest vertical cave in the world, also known as the “Everest of Caves.” This dark, cold, deep, and challenging cave has earned the title “Killer Cave” due to claiming the lives of five cavers. It is said that the bodies of two of these cavers still reside within this 700-meter-deep cave, adding to the fear and dread of visiting it. Touring the Pirav Cave is extremely dangerous for ordinary people and even novice climbers and is generally not recommended.