Our second river island on this list is equally horrific, equally creepy but different in one key way—you can visit there. Ok, there are other differences. It wasn’t diseased prisoners found on this island; it was a centre for English slave traders, not criminals. It’s located in Sierra Leone, not England. And it was often raided by pirates like Barti Ddu (Black Bart in English) and the French during their many wars with Britain.
Bunce Island was the main processing point for slaves bound for the British colonies Georgia and South Carolina, used to work the rice plantations there. The once powerful ‘slave castle’ on the island survived many raids from Portuguese and Creole Luso-African raiders and pirates through the eighteenth century but couldn’t survive against one powerful foe—the abolition of slavery. By 1840, over 30 years since the abolition of slavery in Britain, the place was abandoned. A tragic air pollutes this place today, with funding set aside to renovate the island as a tourist destination. Perhaps it should be left to nature—history has been recorded, perhaps the ghosts of the past should be laid to rest.