Veijo Rönkkönen Sculpture Garden, Parikkala, Finland
To call this place creepy doesn’t quite do it justice. Located in the sprawling grounds of the former home of the late artist Veijo Rönkkönen, in South-East Finland, not far from the Russian border, are almost 500 figures, created using concrete.
Their eyes are sunken, their expressions blank and their bodies skeletal. Some bear ghoulish grins that unnerve the unprepared. Others have mouths that are filled with human teeth. Their poses are unsettling (in one setting, some 200 can be found in various yoga positions), whilst those that emerge from the surrounding trees can often catch visitors unawares.
It’s a strange and eerie place, with the sound effects that drift from the forest doing little to lighten the mood. Rönkkönen, who lived here for 50 years until his death in 2010, was a recluse and did little to encourage visitors. Today, the unwelcoming mood endures, with suspicious eyes everywhere and those exploring the hidden corners always being watched.
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