- Understand I'm speaking from an animist context
There is no such thing as a "soulless" place. All "things" have some degree of animate nature. One of the best ways I'd ever had it described to me is to say that we are all things are part of a common cloth. The table is a wrinkle, the lamp is too, cats are bigger wrinkles, and we are bigger still; each ripple in the fabric discrete, but none the less a part of the same cloth.
There are simply places you don't resonate with. The spirit of that area may not particularly like what you're bringing for any number of reasons. It doesn't make you a bad person or anything, just some people you're not going to like for less than logical reasons and, likewise, some locales aren't going to be very compatible with you. It's possible there's even a malevolence to the place.
Pre-Christian Germanic peoples saw these spirits as something like the fauna of the natural world. They had varying degrees of sentience ranging from almost none, to spirits that were far above the comprehension of men, and everything in between.
A wolf might chase you because it's hungry. It might do it simply because it's bored. The notion that animals only kill for food is a myth. Some do it for fun. Likewise, a land wight may be similarly lacking in higher faculties but have instinctual kindness or malevolence, or even simple indifference.
As a rule, I urge you to regard places that feel like this with respect more so than fear. If there's anything to fear, there won't be any ambiguity about it. Real life isn't a movie, that shit is blunt if you encounter it. Pass through quietly, disturb as little as possible, thank the land for giving you safe passage.
In time, spirits can be reasoned with or groomed to an extent, if you extend the basic courtesies any living thing requires to live a safe, fulfilled life.