The locals say there are only three types of people who step into Aokigahara: hikers, people with morbid curiosity, or people who are planning on taking their own lives.

The area has earned the nickname of "the suicide forest" and sits at the base of Mt. Fuji in Japan.

As you approach the forest, you'll see a few telltale signs that this place isn't exactly normal: abandoned cars litter the parking lots, park rangers urge visitors to leave, discarded clothes can be spotted all over the place and there are even signs encouraging visitors to stay positive and think about the goodness in their lives.

The forest is famous worldwide as one of the creepiest settings on the planet and the most popular place for Japanese people to commit suicide.

Suicide is a big issue in the Asian nation, being the number one cause of death of men aged from 20 to 44. Teenage suicides are also increasing and elderly folks are also known to take their own lives with shocking regularity in Japan.

And many of those who do decide to end it all will surely consider Aokigahara as their final resting place.

Statistics show that over 100 bodies are found in the forest each year, making it the second most popular suicide location, just after San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge.

Japanese culture means that suicide is actually considered quite an honorable way for people to bow out of life in difficult times. We only have to look back in history to the times of the samurai or kamikaze soldiers to see the Japanese attitude to taking one's own life.

"The Japanese do not feel that suicide is something bad, and it becomes part of aesthetics and part of accepted behaviour," explains Masao Miyamoto, a psychiatrist and author.

Japan Times

The sign in the photo reads: "Your life is a precious gift from your parents. Think about them and the rest of your family. You don't have to suffer alone." There's also a phone number for a suicide hotline at the bottom, and free-to-use phones are scattered around the walkways, encouraging people to talk to someone before going ahead with whatever they might be planning.

The very first suicide recorded in Aokigahara was a Buddhist monk who allowed himself to starve to death to purify his body and soul. Other monks followed in his footsteps, and the legend of the suicide forest began to grow.

The area is also said to be haunted by the souls of those who have died there and is a popular location for tourists and ghost-hunters. Some have even said that certain families take their elderly relatives out to the forest and leave them to perish, lost and alone.

With a reputation like that, it's not hard to see why Aokigahara is regarded as one of the creepiest places on Earth!