45 Unsettling Photos Of Liminal Spaces That Feel Like Alternate RealitiesBy Arvyn B
Have you ever felt yourself feeling strange or a little off because of your surroundings? We don’t mean that hair-raising feeling of being in a cemetery or a haunted house. We mean that feeling of being somewhere that seems familiar…for the wrong reasons. This sort of location is called a “liminal space,” and is a place where you feel a sense of déjà vu, even though you’ve never been there before. And this topic has everyone on the internet united in feeling weird! You feel like you’re not quite there. They inspire a sense of leaving and arriving. Words don’t help describe this feeling, so we’ll let our pictures do the talking. Here are just some of the liminal spaces we found that are guaranteed to get your skin crawling!
The Infinity Pool
Most of us would think of a pool as a place to chill. It is somewhere where you can let your troubles float away. That is not the feeling that we get from this infinity pool. Not even close. More like Pennywise would be lurking somewhere.
This infinity pool looks dangerous. It looks like the kind of place that you might enter but never return. Who knows what manner of freakiness is hiding around the corner? Count us out for taking a dip in this water.
Bridge to Hell
We can imagine that when this bridge was built, it probably looked like a romantic spot. Taking a walk out onto the sea must have been such a sweet idea. But now? There is certainly nothing cute about this rusted trap.
The rust on the bridge’s frame gives this spot such a creepy feeling. It doesn’t feel like a romantic stroll along the beach. Instead, it feels like a walk straight into hell! We wouldn’t recommend going here on a date.
Going to a conference is enough to make a lot of people feel nervous. Making a speech and delivering it to a room full of people is a pretty terrifying thought! However, this venue feels like the wrong kind of nerve-wracking and leans towards the scary.
The carpet and walls make this stairway look like a scene from The Shining! There are also the creepy shadows at the end of the corridor that make it look quite unsettling. As they say, all work and no play…
In case you didn’t know, a hexagon is a six-sided shape. Normally, this would not make us feel unsettled. But there’s something about this oddly-shaped room that gives us the shivers, and not the good kind. It might be because of the darkness.
Still, we can imagine that this room could be redecorated into a pretty neat pad! A lick of paint here, a few more light bulbs there, and you could have an awesome games room. It’s not for us in its current state, though!
If we have learned one thing so far, it is that darkness can make a place look even more threatening than usual. But we reckon that this tunnel would look just as scary in the daytime. Just peep the ceiling!
If you didn’t notice, the ceiling is full of cracks and looks like it might fall at any minute. There is also very little graffiti on the walls, which is unusual for a place like this. We are feeling pretty unnerved.
Usually, snow can make a place look rather magical and wonderful. Waking up on a winter’s day to see a fresh blanket of snow outside your window is a real treat, for sure! We hope we don’t run into this scene, though.
The way the snow has covered only the top and bottom of this phone box makes it looks quite odd. Luck had it that it “just happened” to balance a huge amount of snow. Either that or a certain Time Lord has decided to visit!
Lost in the snow
Continuing with the wintry theme, this picture has lots of spookiness to it. At first glance, it might look quite magical – after all, who doesn’t like Christmas?! But there is something certainly very strange going on in this snap…
Where is everybody?! There is no sign that anyone is actually alive in this ghost town – not even one single footprint in the snow. Okay, they may be hiding inside because of the cold, but that doesn’t make it any less eerie.
Follow the light
This picture is a big no-no! Having all the lights on one side of the path makes this look utterly terrifying. We are not sure what the design process was for this, but we are not a fan of it. Please balance it out.
This whole path looks like a trap from a video game. We can imagine a final boss waiting at the end of the path or something mysterious crawling up from the sides. Get us out of here! Where’s the car?!
One thing common with liminal spaces is that they tend to be normal spots that look a little off. This supermarket is a perfect example of what we mean. There’s something strange about the lighting and lack of stands or big signs.
The products also look too organized and neat. And for a good reason! This is actually a photo of a fake supermarket built in a factory. It is used to help the company when testing their products. That’s a lucky escape!
Doing laundry is such a chore. It feels like it never ends! However, we would rather take our chances doing laundry in the comfort of our home than wherever this photo was taken. It looks like it was taken on Mars, right?
Obviously, that is not true. A dust storm was raging outside at the time of this photo, so the sky and everything outside look really orange. Still, the brightness of the outside really contrasts with the paleness of the inside. It so gives us apocalypse vibes.
Oh, this corridor of terrors. Where to even begin? There is poor overhead lighting which makes it hard to tell what time of day it is. The shininess of the floors makes them look like they just flooded in some storm.
The shadows from the lights seem to fall directly onto the doorways, making them look sinister and spooky. Can you imagine going for an exam in one of these rooms? No amount of studying could prepare you for this. You’d walk in and hear “would you like to play a game?” from the darkness.
If someone said the words “pink desert,” you might think it would be a really beautiful and calming place. Perhaps a holiday destination. Not here, friends! The way the light is falling on the sand gives it an interesting color.
It’s the complete opposite of relaxing. The phone lines on the side seem to stretch on for eternity. Similarly, without any sign of life, the picture gives us quite intimidating vibes. We would not be shocked to see a UFO somewhere.
Red on Red
Most of the pictures so far have been accidentally disturbing, often because of the lighting or simply because of age. This one is a little different, as the group of architects called Marte Marte made it look this way on purpose.
They designed this place, called “Dramatic Exhibition Hall.” It certainly is aptly named! It looks more like a villain’s secret lair than anything else. You would not catch us here unless the party was really amazing and the food was to die for.
Just round the side…
What is it with places designing rooms and corridors with such weird lighting?! You could easily think that this picture was taken underwater because of how blue it is. But this is completely above the ground, we promise you that.
Just what is hiding around the corner?! It could be anything crawling up from the depths, from a killer clown to a giant spider. Maybe even our old math professor! Okay, maybe not, but we are sure that it cannot be anything good.
The Forbidden Forest
It’s a fact – almost all forests look absolutely terrifying at night. There is something unsettling about the darkness of the trees and the branches that look like they could grab you at any second. However, this forest is the scariest.
The user who took this photo was luckily in their car when they were passing through this suspicious place. Just imagine if they were walking or riding a bicycle! This place looks like it could be the perfect spot for witches or other supernaturals.
Anyone afraid of heights should look away now. The white fog covers almost every part of this picture, which gives it a real mysterious, horror movie vibe. You can only just barely see the stairlift and wires in the middle.
If everything were not covered in fog, then it probably would not look so strange. But the fact that you can’t see where the stairlift is heading makes us feel apprehensive. We think we would rather stay inside the resort instead of hitting the slopes.
This picture has sound. We’ve all experienced this one time or another – being stuck inside the car on a rainy evening. You can almost hear the wipers washing away the rain and the splash of the other cars passing by.
At let’s not forget that there is a traffic jam! This one might not look as unwelcoming as the others, but the fact we’ve all got this memory is what makes it so unusual. Let’s hope everyone got home okay.
Only the walls can hear you
Just imagine walking down this corridor by yourself at night. You can’t hear anything else but the hum of the lights above and your footsteps on the ground. It is enough to make anyone turn around and choose a different path!
The stairs in the distance and the lighting give this place a real dreamlike quality. Or should that be a “nightmare-like” quality? We can imagine running down this corridor and feeling like we are actually going nowhere. Or maybe being chased.
Aquarium All Alone
Another key feature of liminal spaces is the lack of people. Most of these wouldn’t look so odd if they were full of people. Take this aquarium restaurant, for example. It would look much friendlier with some families in it.
As it stands, everyone seems to have packed up and gone home – including the sea creatures! You can just make out some fish near the front. But it looks like there could be a giant monster hiding in the back…
This is not fake
If you look at this picture, you would probably assume at first that this is just a picture that has been taped to the wall. After all, the sun’s brightness makes it look like someone has been messing with the contrast.
Even the buildings seem like a computer has created them. However, we assure you that this image is totally real! Most of us would love to have a gorgeous view outside. We would prefer a view that doesn’t look like we woke up in Squid Game.
An airport is the perfect liminal space. After all, they are seen as transitional places – and where is more transitional than an airport? People are coming and going from airports all the time, on every single day of the year.
Unfortunately, we do not think that any flights were leaving from this one. There is just too much fog blanketing the entire scene! It is pretty bizarre how fog can completely transform a normal scene into something cryptic and strange.
Swimming with sharks
Honestly, we think we’d probably prefer swimming with sharks to visiting this mysterious place. What on earth is that green thing in the middle?! It looks like it’s waiting for someone to feed it. And humans are on the menu!
Indoor pools, in general, look ghoulish when they are empty of happy, splashing kids. Sure, there are no bugs indoors, but there’s the feeling of uncertainty and uneasiness that you have to deal with. We’ll take the bugs any day.
The Smile Room
We can’t describe how much NOPE there is in this picture. The peeling walls and faded paint are enough to make our skin crawl. Add “The Smile Room” text at the top, and you’ve got a recipe for a nightmare!
It’s possible that it did not look this ominous when it was first built. After all, the bright colors make it seem like a place that was meant for children. Now it’s a scene straight out of a serial killer documentary.
Outside or inside?
With this picture, you’ve got a choice to make. Looking through the square window, it looks like the end of the world is happening outside. But inside, this building seems to be haunted by some angry spirits. Where should you go?
Honestly, we’re not sure which option to take. They both seem equally terrible. Do we have a third choice? The user who took this photo said that they were inside an apartment building in Eastern Europe. It doesn’t make it any less chilling.
The Shining Part 2
Just what is it with hotels and making them look like they are straight outta classic horror films?! It is unclear what is seeping across the floor, but it’s pretty dark and disgusting. Let’s hope it’s not the red room…
Even without the mysterious liquid on the floor, this photo would be spooky on its own. It has all the hallmarks of a liminal space. Strange lighting? Check. Odd shadows? Check. Dated walls and floors? Check. Sense of doom? Double check.
The user of this photo said that he was visiting his grandma when he decided to take a picture of her basement. Normally, you wouldn’t think there is anything strange about that. But take a look at this spine-tingling image.
The old posters, the retro television, the bicycle in the corner… it looks like a time capsule that has been unearthed from the 1980s. The minimalistic vibes seem more creepy than classy, and it feels like Grandma might be hiding something dark.
Water, water everywhere
You might have mistaken this as a photo from Baz Luhrman’s hit Titanic movie, but you would be wrong. This is a picture of a subway system after a huge storm struck the area and the water caused intense flooding.
Be prepared to be soaked! We can’t imagine ever being so desperate to wade through all of these torrents of water like this. There is also the feeling that something threatening would be hiding around the corner, just waiting for the first of many victims to come their way.
A lot is going on in this picture that makes it a liminal space. You have got the use of fluorescent colors on the walls, as well as the EMERGENCY sign. There is also the biohazard symbol on the door.
Let’s not forget the sign pointing at 7th Cage! Luckily for us, this whole set is just part of EVANGELION: WORLD. This is an interactive anime exhibition near Mount Fuji in Japan. It was certainly a bit of info that we were grateful to hear.
Take your turn
No, this is not a picture from Silent Hill. And it is also not from Resident Evil, either! It is a crosswalk in the middle of nowhere, where the darkness seems to hide strange creatures on each of the four corners.
We cannot even imagine waiting here for the lights to change. It must have felt like sheer torture! It is a little strange that all the lights are showing red as there are no cars nearby for them to stop.
Blue on Blue
Another thing that we have learned is that the color blue evokes a sinister vibe. It almost doesn’t matter what shade it is or how bright. Any kind of blue with a dash of shadows transforms a scene into something from our worst night terrors.
It looks like this photo was taken at a laundromat. There is certainly something horrifying about having to do laundry repeatedly, week after week. If you think about it, laundry is the real-life version of gremlins. Or are we too wrapped up in these terrifying images?
Waiting for Godot
Liminal spaces are defined as being places where people change from one thing to something different or go on a journey. So, a railway station like the one in this picture is a perfect example of this feeling of change.
Guessing by the houses on the left of the picture, we think this photograph was probably taken somewhere in the United Kingdom. Wherever it was, this bench looks like it’s seen some things. Part of us wants to know, and part of us is happy not to.
One of the greatest effects of the pandemic in 2020 is that it forced everyone to stay at home for a long time to try and stop the disease from spreading. This meant that usually busy places were suddenly empty.
This photo looks like it’s something from a dystopian, end-of-the-world movie. There’s something so weird about seeing a usually packed place look so empty of life. Thankfully, most of us are starting to come back to a sense of normality.
Usually, signs are meant to help reassure you and feel a little safer in a scary situation. But this sign seems to be designed to do the exact opposite! We have a lot of questions about it. Number one – what?!
What on earth is a déjà vu area? Why should we inform workers if things feel familiar? And what could it be that we see? Thankfully, this picture is just a type of street art to promote another exhibit. Phew.
Not So Oval Office
At first, it might not be too clear where this picture was taken. Without the iconic pictures, tables, and decorations, it looks like just any old room. Well, it’s actually a photograph of the empty Oval Office in the White House!
The room looks quite dull without the usual furnishings, and it feels odd to know that some of the most important world decisions were made here. Seeing it stark and bare like this renders it unrecognizable and makes us feel unsure about everything.
The tagline said for the movie Alien was, “in space, no one can hear you scream.” That is the exact vibe that we get from this snap! This picture is of the International Space Station at night – utterly terrifying!
Who knew that something dedicated to science could actually look so scary? Knowing that it was taken far away from the ground makes it seem even more spooky. Bonus fact: there’s no “night” in space as there is no “day” either.
Here’s another strange bridge picture that’ll have you asking questions. It probably looked quite pretty when this structure was built, and the glass walls helped it look futuristic. That’s certainly not the case now, as it looks far from beautiful.
There’s a lot of dust on the side and plenty of leaves on the floor. This dates the thing to be about 40 years old. The way the tunnel curves at the front makes you question where you’re actually going.
Windows, is that you?
Anyone who had a Windows computer in the early 2000s might get a flashback from this picture. It looks like Bliss, the default wallpaper! Of course, it is not this iconic photo, but it does look very similar. But wait a minute…
That strange hole in the middle! The deep blackness of it in the middle of the brilliant colors seriously gives us the shivers. The whole scene has a quality to it that makes it look familiar but also unfamiliar too.
Hey! Who turned out the lights?
The user of this photo uploaded it to the internet after forgetting that they had it. Honestly, we are not sure that we could forget an image that looks as frightening as this one. Someone should turn the rest of the lights on!
This picture also looks like another video game snap. We can imagine a fight starting as soon as you open those doors. Either that or a horde of monsters will come streaming through, reminiscent of Five Nights at Freddy’s. It’s a pretty eerie image!
Most hotels are built so that each room looks the mirror image of the one next to it. This helps the owners to cut down on costs and keep things looking familiar. But perhaps that is a little too familiar!
It looks like a scene from a movie, where the hero chooses between the left or right door. One of them leads to eternal happiness, and one of them is eternal suffering. How do you know which one to choose?
Where’s the water?
What’s scarier than a pool at night with no people? An empty pool at night with no people! The lack of water in this makes the pool look like a deathtrap. The sheer amount of darkness doesn’t help matters at all.
This picture is the definition of a “cursed image” and makes us never want to go swimming again. If you look hard enough at the back, you might find yourself seeing some weird faces. It’s a big no-no from us!
Hallway of Horror
It’s difficult to describe this picture as anything but spine-chilling and menacing. We are not even sure it would look like a nice place even when it was first built. The darkness at the end looks like it’s getting closer…
Get us out of here! Seriously – there is no way we would take one step further down there. Who knows who or what could be waiting at the end? We would need to take a huge flashlight with us.
This picture seems like it could be a work of art by M. C. Escher instead of a real place – but we assure you that it’s totally real. The layout is pretty confusing but it reminds us of our local movie theaters.
We have the feeling that you might walk up one flight of stairs and find yourself walking down another. The geometric flooring and design of the walls also look strangely familiar, like a dream. That makes it a liminal space for sure!
The Yellow Brick Road
The Wizard of Oz is a beloved classic movie that usually leaves us feeling good. This picture has the exact opposite effect on us. Without seeing any of the familiar characters, it looks like a picture from Grimms’ Fairy Tales.
The yellow brick road is instead something that looks too bright to be normal, and the trees seem to be hiding plenty of secrets. We’re not surprised that it took Dorothy so long – we’d hate to go this way, too.
This picture certainly puts the “night” in “nightclub”! This is a reminder for all of you to check your light bulbs to make sure they’re working. It is not enjoyable for everyone and just leaves most of us feeling utterly creeped out.
It’s also not clear if these steps are leading up or leading down. Also, it would not be a liminal space with the over-use of blue! We think that someone needs to hire a designer to improve this strange spot.
There’s a story hiding somewhere in this picture. And it all starts with the random lawn chair that is sitting out in the mud! We can’t imagine that someone sits there to admire the view, but if they did, we’re imagining they’re a sinister character.
So why on earth put it out here?! Something tells us that only bad things will happen if you sit in that chair, so we definitely don’t recommend doing it. Keep yourself away, and watch out for anything in the woods!