Hellhole (n): A place of unremitting suffering and torment. An evil place devoid of hope.
7. The Black Hole of Calcutta
In 1756, the East India Company owned Calcutta and was building up their private army. The Nawab of Bengal saw this as a threat to his rule (because it was). He ordered the private army out of his land but the company, being much like Blackwater, ignored the order.
The Nawab attacked and defeated company troops. The 146 defeated mercenaries were locked into a 14x18 foot room overnight. According to one survivor, 123 of those prisoners died that night from the heat, crowding, and trampling. Historians dispute if this ever really happened.
6. Devil's Island
The penal colony wasn't closed until 1952 and is now a popular tourist destination.
5. Guantanamo Bay
And there is the utter hopelessness because Congress is determined that the remaining prisoners will never be allowed to leave.
There was a saying in Soviet Russia that Lubyanka prison was the tallest building in the world. That even from its deepest dungeons you could see Siberia.
Lubyanka was headquarters to the KGB and before that to the NKVD and the Cheka. It was where political prisoners were first imprisoned and tortured before they were sent to disappear into the Siberian Gulag. During the lives of Felix Dzerzhinsky and Joe Stalin no place in the whole of the Soviet Union was more terrifying that the entrance to Lubyanka.
The South found itself having to house tens of thousands of captured Yankees.
In Andersonville the prisoners were forbidden to build shelters. Their drinking water was also their sewer. A daily meal would consist of rancid grain and a couple ounces of beans. During the summer of 1864 prisoners were dying at a rate of over 100 a day. In all, a third of the camp's population, some 13,000 men, died of disease and starvation in just 14 months.
2. Choeung Ek
Choeunk Ek was one of the many Cambodian "killing fields."
Upon gaining power the Khmer Rouge drove 2.5 million people out of the cities and onto collective farms. Having an education was an act of treason. Even wearing glasses was punishable by death as the Khmer Rouge strove to build an agrarian paradise unpolluted by intelligence. In all, over two million people, about a quarter of the country's population, died either at the hands of the Khmer Rouge or by starvation and disease.
Beyond the systematic mass murder were other horrors. There were the bizarre and hideous medical experiments of Josef Mengele and August Hirt's Jewish skeleton collection. In all of human history no place on earth has been a more unremitting place of pure evil than Auschwitz.