There’s nothing sadder than a person wanting to take their own life, but unfortunately around 16 in every 100,000 people in the United States do it a year. A large percentage of those people choose to take the easy way out in the comfort of their own home, but here’s a list of venues that people go to in order to stick to the ‘tried and tested’.
Many people visit this famous spot in Ontario / New York to end their lives with a splash, but not always successfully. Kirk Jones from Michigan hurled himself off Horseshoe Falls in October 2003. He survived the 16-story fall without a single broken bone – just cuts and bruises. I guess it just wasn’t his time.
This 1,214 feet bridge in California is renowned for people leaping to their death into the canyon below. So far, 2008 has seen four desperate suiciders jump off, prompting an urgent call from The Glendon Association for a barrier charge and more security personnel, so that suicide isn’t such an easy option. A spokesperson said, “When you put time between a suicidal person and their suicide attempt, they can likely stay alive.”
This town near the Welsh capital, Cardiff, has hit the news frequently in recent years, due to a huge surge in young suicides. In the space of a year, 23 people aged 15-30 killed themselves in various ways. Many of them were found to have some connection to the next suicide. British media have campaigned to raise awareness on suicide, and advertising for the Samaritans and other support groups has been increased as a result.
This four mile strip in Nevada is notorious for bright lights, gambling and … suicide. Dozens of desperate visitors a year come and check themselves into a hotel, then take their own lives – and no one really knows why. The most common theory is that away from friends, family and familiar surroundings, people with a death wish feel they won’t back out at the last minute, and can spent their final hours in debauchery – drinking and gambling in a place where it’s acceptable.
This small town in Wakayama is renowned for attracting those that see no other way out. The cliff top, which overlooks a staggering rocky drop to the rough seas below, is so common a place for deaths, that a sign has been put up saying “Wait a minute. A dead flower will never bloom.”
This town in South Dakota averages between 15-25 suicides of mainly Native American teenagers and young people a year. The Wiconi Wakan Health and Healing Center has since been established to council and comfort those affected, including those that have considered suicide, to stop the decade-long trend.
Beachy Head, located in Hastings, East Sussex, is the highest chalk cliff in Britain, at a height of 162 meters. An estimated 20 people a year throw themselves off the peak onto the rocks and sea below, either on foot or by car. Large efforts have been made to reduce the deaths, including the Beachy Head Chaplaincy Team doing regular patrols, the Coastguards on high alert, and a special phone box direct to the Samaritans on site.
The Gap is Sydney’s equivalent to USA’s Golden Gate Bridge and has also been the location of several murders. It’s an ocean cliff in New South Wales, which overlooks an often stormy sea. On average, 50 people a year jump to their deaths here, including Charmaine Dragun, a popular newsreader at the time. Security cameras, telephones and higher fences have snow been installed to cut the rate.
This forest, also known as The Sea of Trees, lies at the base of Mount Fuji. It is the second most popular suicide spot in the world, owing, some say, to the novel “Black Forest”, in which the lovers commit suicide in the forest at the end. In 2002, 78 bodies were found within the forest, replacing the previous record of 73 in 1998, and figures are still rising.
This San Franciscan landmark got its first jumper just ten weeks after it opened in 1937. Since then, it’s achieved notoriety as one of the world’s top suicide spots in the world, and by far the most popular in the USA – averaging at one every two weeks. Jumpers, who hit the water at approximately 86 miles per hour, either die on impact or shock or hypothermia in the water. Below 30 have ever survived the jump, often suffering broken bones or severe internal injuries as a result.
Editor’s Note: This list is not to encourage the idea of suicide. If you are thinking about taking your life, please get help and you can start with this phone number at the suicide prevention hotline – 1-800-273-TALK.