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The Spookiest Places in the World

places in the haunted house

Some of the most popular tourist spots in the world are also the most haunted. Turns out, people just love a good spook. From the Door to Hell to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone, these places are sure to make you uneasy with their creepy vibes. Banging noises, mysterious screams and apparitions are just a few of the scary possibilities at famous sites like the Amityville house and the Island of the Dolls.

When it comes to a list of the spookiest places in the world, you can count on these sites to keep you up at night.

Aokigahara Forest – Yamanashi, Japan

Known as the “Sea of Trees,” Aokigahara Forest looks charming in appearance with lush, green trees. Its beauty attracts tourists and hikers, but, unfortunately, many visitors get lost in the thick forest and can’t call for help because their cell phones don’t work in the forest. GPS systems and compasses also malfunction inside all the trees.

places in the haunted house

Some locals think these devices stop working due to the magnetic iron in the forest’s soil. Others believe that it’s the work of demons, according to Japanese mythology. To make matters worse, the chilling forest is also famously called “Suicide Forest,” due to almost 100 people a year walking into the forest, never to return.

Island of the Dolls – Xochimilco, Mexico

Xochimilco is home to one of the creepiest islands in the world: Isla de las Munecas or Island of the Dolls. Hundreds of dolls are scattered across the island, hanging on trees and tied to the walls of buildings. The only way to access the island is by boat — if you can convince the captain to take you.

places in the haunted house

According to visitors, the dolls wiggle their hands, whisper to one another and call rowers to the island. Does anyone actually live there? No one occupies the island today, but it was once home to a now-deceased man named Julian Santa Barrera. After finding a drowned girl in a nearby canal, Barrera began dangling dolls everywhere until his death. Some locals say Barrera did this to ward off evil spirits.

Hill of Crosses – Šiauliai, Lithuania

The haunting Hill of Crosses is actually a pilgrimage site that has existed since the 14th century. The hill’s exact origin remains a mystery, but throughout its history, the Hill of Crosses has created a lot of controversy. In the 1940s, locals kept adding crosses to the site to honor rebels who died for Lithuanian independence. The Soviet Union, who occupied Lithuania at the time, didn’t like that, so the Soviets destroyed the site three times.

places in the haunted house

Despite the challenges, the locals continued to rebuild it. Today, the Hill of Crosses is a tourist hotspot for catching sight of roaming ghosts and hearing eerie noises.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Tuol Sleng has an extremely disturbing past. Once a high school, the site was transformed into a high-security prison by the Khmer Rouge. Almost 20,000 prisoners occupied Tuol Sleng, and it became a torture and execution center that claimed an estimated 18,133 lives.

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Today, it serves as a museum with thousands of photographs of the victims. Some torture rooms remained untouched after the Khmer Rouge were run out the city. Locals say the ghosts of those who didn’t make it out of the prison alive wander the halls and rooms.

Akodessawa Fetish Market – Togo, Africa

If you’re interested in practicing black magic, you can find everything you need at a street market in West Africa known as Akodessewa Fetish Market. It’s the world’s largest voodoo market that sells different types of animal remains. As a result, a foul stench lingers in the air, adding to the creepy atmosphere.

places in the haunted house

The animal sacrifices are popular for local medical treatments. Patients who can’t afford care at a hospital or pharmacy visit the Akodessewa Fetish Market to buy medicine and speak to a local healer. Hoping to treat everything from the flu to curses, patients take home unique items like talismans, charms and elephant feet.

Miyake-jima, Japan

Imagine how difficult it would be if you had to wear a gas mask your entire life. That’s exactly what life is like for residents on the island of Miyake-jima. Their lives depend on frequently wearing gas masks because they occupy an active volcano.

places in the haunted house

Over Miyake-jima’s history, the island evacuated several times when Mount Oyama erupted. Now, a constant flow of poisonous gas releases from the volcano, prompting officials to require locals to carry gas masks at all times. When the levels of toxic gases in the air jump up, alarms blare throughout Miyake-jima to warn residents to put on their masks. Daring visitors can access the island by ferry or plane.

Screaming Tunnel – Ontario, Canada

In the northwest corner of Niagara Falls lies a tunnel with a haunting legend. Locals say a young girl hid in the tunnel to escape a nearby fire but then perished within its walls. Other versions of the legend say she was trying to flee from her abusive father.

places in the haunted house

Now, the tube is called “The Screaming Tunnel.” Legend has it that when visitors walk into the tunnel with a match, the ghost of the girl comes out and fills the passageway with her screams. Would you dare to walk through the tunnel on a pitch black night?

Monte Cristo – New South Wales, Australia

Claimed to be “Australia’s most haunted house,” the Monte Cristo looks like a charming Victorian home on the outside. But on the inside, it’s a different story. Visitors have reported plenty of paranormal activity, including phantom noises, poltergeists and weird orbs. Even better, the Monte Cristo also comes with apparitions.

places in the haunted house

It all started after Elizabeth Crawley’s husband passed away in 1910. She lived in isolation until her own death, and her ghost is said to haunt the grounds, creating cold spots. The Monte Cristo also has a history of mysterious, tragic accidents, which resulted in two other ghosts: a woman wearing a dress and a stable boy wandering the bedrooms.

Edinburgh Castle – Edinburgh, Scotland

Sudden drops in temperature and something unseen pulling on your clothes are common occurrences at Edinburgh Castle, which makes this destination a bone-chilling adventure. Edinburgh Castle has a dark and tragic past. Since the second century AD, it has been the site of 23 surprise attacks and numerous executions.

places in the haunted house

Residents believe Edinburgh Castle is haunted by Duke Alexander Stewart of Albany, Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis and a piper. A faint echo of unexplained music travels through the halls and corridors, and a night visit will definitely give you goosebumps.

Tower of London – London, England

One of the must-visit attractions in London is the Tower of London, an impressive medieval structure built in 1078. Over its 1,000-year history, the Tower of London served as a site of executions, torture and murder. Consequently, many ghosts wander the attraction, and a few are really famous.

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Henry VIII sentenced his wife, Anne Boleyn, to death after she gave birth to a stillborn son. Her ghostly figure is known to haunt the Church of St. Peter ad Vincula in the Tower. Two young princes are also said to wander the site, giggling in their nightgowns. The pair mysteriously disappeared after their uncle, King Richard III, took the throne. Other reported spirits include Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey and Margaret Pole.

Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, CO

The Stanley Hotel is notorious for spooking Stephen King into writing The Shining . At the hotel, lights turn on and off, and doors open and close by themselves. The sounds of laughter and footsteps can be heard when no one else is around. Unexplained shadows, drafts and chills pop up out of nowhere.

places in the haunted house

Some guests say the supernatural activities are caused by the eternal spirits of the Stanley Hotel. One notable ghost is Elizabeth Wilson, the former chief housekeeper and the presence in room 217. If visitors hear the tune of a piano coming from the empty ballroom, it’s the ghost of Flora Stanley, who passed away in 1939.

The Door to Hell – Derweze, Turkmenistan

In the middle of the Karakum Desert, sits a burning hole called the “Door to Hell.” The pit wasn’t always on fire. The area was a regular field until 1971, when Soviet engineers began drilling the site for oil. Shortly after, they accidentally ran into a natural gas pocket, and the field collapsed into an underground cavern.

places in the haunted house

The engineers thought it was best to set the pit on fire to burn off the dangerous methane gas. They assumed the gas would burn out within a few weeks, but the crater has burned for more than 40 years.

Christ of the Abyss – San Fruttuoso, Italy

If you’re diving in the Mediterranean Sea, near Grenada or in the waters around Key Largo, Florida, you may get startled by an 8-foot statue of Jesus. Christ of the Abyss is an underwater statue collection of Jesus created by sculptor Guido Galletti. He spread his sculptures around different ocean floors.

places in the haunted house

The giant deity with his hands and head raised in the depths of the ocean gives off a spooky vibe that is made even scarier with the growing algae and corrosion.

The Christ of the Abyss in Italy began disintegrating so badly that they had to remove and clean the statue multiple times. If you want a haunting dive, Christ of the Abyss is just what you need.

Chernobyl Exclusion Zone – Pripyat, Ukraine

The most devastating nuclear explosions in history took place in Pripyat. The 1986 Chernobyl disaster caused almost 200,000 casualties, and the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone is still radioactive today. However, that doesn’t stop photographers and tourists from wanting to see it.

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Everything remains in the same place from when residents fled during evacuation. Classrooms still hold crumbling books and decaying dolls, and abandoned gas masks are littered throughout the city. Pripyat’s amusement park is a famous spot that reminds people of the catastrophic nuclear accident.

Gomantong Caves – Sabah, Malaysia

Malaysia’s Gomantong Caves are a complex cave system with limestone walls that stand as high as 300 feet in some sections. The caves are popular tourist attractions, although visitors get creeped out (and grossed out) by the wildlife living there.

places in the haunted house

The Gomantong Caves are home to massive populations of bats and cockroaches. In fact, more than a million bats live in the cave. Can you even imagine how much bat poop accumulates? Guests slip on the bat waste while navigating through the millions of cockroaches crawling everywhere. Yikes!

Centralia, PA

Centralia, Pennsylvania, was the inspiration for Silent Hill , the horrifying video game and movie. Once a busy town with successful coal mines, Centralia slowly started to shrivel up and die after the mines mysteriously caught fire in 1962, and the town couldn’t put the fire out.

places in the haunted house

Locals began to increasingly worry about the underground inferno when a gas station owner reported high gasoline temperatures in his tank. They also grew concerned when a child fell into a 150-foot-deep sinkhole that released a poisonous level of carbon monoxide. Now, Centralia is a ghost town , and experts estimate the fire could continue to burn for more than 250 years.

Bhangarh Fort – Rundh Bhangarh, India

Located 200 miles from Delhi, the abandoned Bhangarh Fort sits in the middle of a desert. The empty fortress looks like a normal ancient ruin, drawing many visitors to the site while the sun is out. However, at night, it’s a whole different story.

places in the haunted house

The spookiness of the place comes alive at night. No one is allowed to visit Bhangarh Fort after sunset, primarily because it’s reportedly one of the most haunted places on the planet. According to local legend, a sorcerer cursed the fortress after a princess rejected him.

The Queen Mary – Long Beach, CA

The elegant Queen Mary served as a popular passenger ship, sailing on the North Atlantic Ocean between 1936 and 1967. However, after years of service, the Queen Mary was forced to retire in 1967 due to age and decreased profits. The ship docked permanently in Long Beach, California, and eventually converted into a hotel and tourist attraction.

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Staff and visitors claim the hauntings began during her stay in Long Beach. Mysterious knocks on the door when no one was around became common, and bathroom lights started turning on and off by themselves. Locals claim she is haunted by the ghosts of people who passed away on board.

Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, LA

Built in 1796, the Myrtles Plantation is one of America’s most haunted homes. First, the plantation is supposedly built over a Native American burial ground in St. Francisville, Louisiana. Second, other common tales label Myrtles Plantation as the site of abuse, revenge and tragic deaths.

places in the haunted house

Locals report seeing many apparitions in the historic home and on the grounds. More than 12 different ghosts allegedly call Myrtles Plantation home. One of the most famous spirits is a former slave named Chloe, who spent her last moments alive at the house. The ghost of a young Native American woman has also been reported.

Winchester Mystery House – San Jose, CA

The Winchester Mystery House may have the creepiest design on Earth. It includes staircases that lead to nowhere, windows overlooking other rooms and doors that open onto 10-foot drops or brick walls. Bizarre, right? Interestingly, the house wasn’t always this weird.

places in the haunted house

It was a typical mansion until Sarah Winchester’s husband and son both died. Her husband was the treasurer of the Winchester Repeating Arms Company. She believed the ghosts haunting the property were the victims of her husband’s guns. In response, Winchester created a dizzying labyrinth within the house to confuse the ghosts. Now, the giant mystery house is a famous tourist attraction.

Corvin Castle – Transylvania, Romania

As one of the largest castles in Europe and one of the Seven Wonders of Romania, Corvin Castle is a fairytale castle many tourists enjoy visiting. Legend claims the historic Transylvanian castle is also the site where the cruel and bloodthirsty ruler, Vlad the Impaler, was imprisoned.

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As most people know, Vlad was also known as Dracula and inspired the famous vampire legend. Many legends feature Corvin Castle, including a story of two prisoners getting stuck in a well, becoming eternally trapped on the property, even in the afterlife. As a result of these legends, countless paranormal sightings have occurred at Corvin Castle.

Hanging Coffins – Sagada, Philippines

Sagada, Philippines, is home to one of the most unique burial rituals in the world. Instead of putting coffins in the ground, the Sagada locals dangle hundreds of coffins in caves and along the rock faces of cliffs. It has been a common practice for more than 2,000 years.

places in the haunted house

The placement of the coffins has to do with status and the belief that the spirits would achieve a higher nature in the afterlife. The Hanging Coffins of Sagada are difficult to reach, and many visitors say that others should respect the burial tradition and view the site from afar.

Catacombs of Priscilla – Rome, Italy

In the 19th century, archaeologists hoped to find hidden treasures like beautiful monuments and frescoes in Rome’s Santa Priscilla Catacombs. Unfortunately, they discovered the catacombs were destroyed, and legend claims the tombs were devastated because ghosts haunted the cursed cemetery. According to the archaeologists, some of their crew encountered angry spirits, who pushed their carriage into a nearby river.

places in the haunted house

Santa Priscilla Catacombs also stirred up controversy when experts realized the frescoes showed what may have been female priests leading a mass, an occurrence that would scandalize and alter Catholic history. As a result, it’s believed that the Catholic Church vandalized the catacombs to cover up the shocking event in the 17th century.

Nagoro, Japan

Nagoro, Japan, has a shrinking aging and young population, causing the village to dwindle over time. Former resident and artist Ayano Tsukimi took matters into her own hands by returning to Nagoro and bringing the town back to life in the most unexpected way.

places in the haunted house

Tsukimi created 350-life size dolls and placed them all around town, including schools, gyms, benches and outside shops. Some visitors find the dolls unsettling and creepy, but the toys are there to stay and are the new unofficial citizens of the village. Only 30 real humans live in Nagoro.

North Yungas Road – La Paz, Bolivia

A 2,000-foot drop could certainly take a fear of heights to a new extreme. That’s exactly what happens when visitors fall down the cliffs at North Yungas Road in La Paz, Bolivia. Nicknamed “Death Road,” this destination claims 200 to 300 lives a year.

places in the haunted house

Driving on North Yungas Road is particularly dangerous because the narrow path is only 10 feet wide, which makes it difficult for two cars going opposite directions to share the road. The lack of guardrails and limited visibility in rain and fog also add to the road’s dangerous reputation. Currently, it has become a hotspot for wild mountain bikers instead of drivers.

Alcatraz – San Francisco, CA

Off the shore of San Francisco, California, sits the former military and federal prison called Alcatraz. From 1934 to 1963, the notorious facility was home to many infamous prisoners, including mobster Al Capone, Bumpy Johnson and George “Machine Gun” Kelly.

places in the haunted house

Former prisoners, guards and visitors have reported paranormal activity at Alcatraz. Large, mysterious shadows appear out of nowhere. Figures of past inmates wander the cells and halls. Clinking metal sounds, screams and cries are heard when no one else is around. If haunted prisons are your thing, then Alcatraz is definitely a must-visit destination.

The Amityville House – Long Island, NY

Located in Long Island, New York, the Amityville house is where Ronald DeFeo, Jr., took the lives of his family members in 1974. About a year after the tragic incident, the Lutz family moved into the home and enjoyed a great beginning — for a few days.

places in the haunted house

Things quickly took a dramatic turn for the worst. The Lutz family reported banging noises, unexplained footsteps, foul odors, green goo oozing from the walls and eyes looking in from outside the windows. It was so bad that the family left the house after only 28 days of living there. Many people didn’t believe their story, but when they took lie detector tests, they all passed.

Gettysburg Battlefield – Gettysburg, PA

Gettysburg Battlefield is known as the most haunted place in the world. During the Civil War, the Battle of Gettysburg went on for three days and became the bloodiest battle in U.S. history. More than 50,000 Americans lost their lives, and thousands of other soldiers were wounded or went missing.

places in the haunted house

Many lives ended violently on the Gettysburg Battlefield, so it’s no surprise that it’s now a paranormal hotspot. Angry, dark spirits wander the fields and nearby homes. Some locals say the restless spirits are searching for their weapons and comrades. Do these ghosts know the battle is over?

Lawang Sewu – Semarang, Indonesia

During World War II, Japan invaded Semarang, Indonesia, and took over a building owned by the first railway company in the Dutch East Indies, calling it Lawang Sewu. In Japanese, Lawang Sewu means “thousand doors.” They turned the building into a prison, and the basement was used for executions.

places in the haunted house

As a result, many ghost stories involve Lawang Sewu. Tourists have reported seeing ghosts and ghouls. The most famous is a Dutch woman who died in the building. Another reported entity at Lawang Sewu is the kuntilanak, a vampiric ghost in Indonesian and Malay mythology.

Manchac Swamp – Laplace, LA

Most bayous are infested with snakes and gators swimming in murky waters, but one swamp in Louisiana has a unique aspect that makes it unsettling. Located near New Orleans, Manchac Swamp is the spookiest swamp thanks to a curse and a strange, lurking beast.

places in the haunted house

Legend says a voodoo priestess cursed the swamp and her neighbors. Then, she died and took the entire village with her in the deadly 1915 New Orleans hurricane. Now, her ghostly voice haunts the swamp. Another entity at Manchac Swamp is the rougarou, a bloodthirsty, werewolf-like creature. Are you afraid of the swamp yet?


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The 32 Most Beautiful Haunted Destinations Around the World

By Mitchell Gilburne and Hannah Huber

The 32 Most Beautiful Haunted Destinations Around the World

There is a whimsical elegance to places that have experienced lifetimes of occupants, as if hiding a secret that only the ghosts can relay, and in these eerie destinations, they just might clue you in. Behind their opulent facades hides a skeleton—or two. The creek of a floorboard or the flicker of a light is just the beginning of the frightening tales these locations have to tell. From the pair of "suicide brides" who took their lives in the same room decades apart to the headless apparition of a famous royal, the dark histories behind these places are as spooky as they are beautiful. Take a tour of these stunning houses, ocean liners, restaurants, and hotels to see why visitors never want to leave—even after death.

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Casa Loma, Toronto

Businessman Henry Pellatt’s Gothic Revival castle was completed in 1914, and includes secret passages and storage areas. There have been rumors of ghosts on the property for years, and the estate is now decked out as a haunted house during the Halloween season.

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Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas

The historic Romanesque landmark, which was opened in 1886 by cattle baron Jesse Driskill, has hosted many big-name celebrities and politicians throughout the years. It also has a well-known history of paranormal activity following the deaths of several guests, including the “suicide brides,” two honeymooning women who took their own lives in the same room 20 years apart.

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One if by Land, Two if by Sea, New York City

This West Village restaurant is consistently rated as one of the most romantic in New York and is set in the onetime carriage house of Aaron Burr. The eatery is reportedly haunted by upwards of 20 ghosts, including Burr and his daughter, Theodosia.

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Kehoe House, Savannah, Georgia

Set on Savannah’s Columbia Square, the Queen Anne brick mansion was completed in May of 1892 for William and Anne Kehoe and their ten children, a few of which died in the house. The building was converted into a bed-and-breakfast in 1992 and guests have reported hearing the sounds of children playing.

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Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Nestled at the head of Edinburgh’s Old Town, this 12th-century fortress was, for many years, an active military base. If its stone walls could talk, they would tell grim tales, including that of a piper who entered the castle’s tunnels never to be seen—or heard from—again. To this day, visitors report music echoing through the fort’s empty chambers.

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Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

Following the death of her husband, rifle magnate William Wirt Winchester, Sarah Winchester commissioned a Victorian labyrinth designed to repel the vengeful spirits of the lives taken by her husband’s guns. The sprawling Queen Anne–style mansion—comprising four stories, 160 rooms, 10,000 window panes, and 47 stairways—is appointed with curious elements, such as staircases leading directly into the ceiling and windows that open onto secret passages.

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Poveglia Island, Venice, Italy

A short gondola ride from the romantic canals of Venice, Poveglia Island holds the decaying remains of an early-20th-century insane asylum. Originally a quarantine zone for those suffering from the bubonic plague, Poveglia reportedly played host to brutal medical experiments. The asylum closed when a doctor flung himself from the institution’s highest tower.

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Château de Brissac, Brissac-Quincé, France

The tallest building in the Loire Valley, Château de Brissac is perhaps best known as the site of the grisly murder of Charlotte of France. Legend has it that Charlotte, the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, was killed by her husband after he discovered her adulterous behavior. The Green Lady, named for the color of the dress in which she met her end, is said to haunt the castle’s tower.

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Bhangarh Fort, India

Less than 200 miles outside of Delhi, the lush ruins of Bhangarh Fort make for a curious juxtaposition against the desert landscape of Rajasthan. To this day the oasis remains largely uninhabited due to an alleged curse cast by a disgruntled sorcerer after his advances were rebuffed by a local princess.

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Hay House, Macon, Georgia

Sometimes called the Palace of the South, the mid-19th-century Johnston-Felton-Hay House was commissioned by businessman William Butler Johnston. Inspired by Johnston’s travels, the property was constructed in the Italian Renaissance Revival style and boasted contemporary amenities, unique at the time, such as hot and cold running water, central heat, and a speaker tube. Visitors to the house, which is now open to the public, have reported lingering spirits on the third floor.

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Ennis House, Los Feliz, California

Built from 27,000 perforated concrete blocks, Ennis House is the largest and last remaining of Frank Lloyd Wright’s “textile block” homes. Its idiosyncratic aesthetic has attracted filmmakers for decades, most notably inspiring environments in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner (1982) and the 1959 film House on Haunted Hill. Though no actual hauntings have been reported, observers are quick to note how the home’s warm courtyards and airy hallways take on a silent, mausoleum-like quality after the sun sets.

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The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Calgary, Alberta

A stalwart of Canada’s historic railway hotels, the Fairmont Banff Springs has been associated with the paranormal since its construction in 1888. One notable tale includes an unfortunate bride-to-be who immolated herself when descending the candlelit stairs in full wedding attire. The Ghost Bride of the Fairmont Banff Springs, as she has since been dubbed, can supposedly still be found in the hotel’s ballroom eternally waiting for her first dance.

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Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England

Completed in 1637, Raynham Hall is considered one of the most splendid English country homes of its time. The estate has garnered an infamous reputation thanks to the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. Believed to be the spirit of the adulterous Lady Dorothy Walpole, the Brown Lady caused an uproar when a photograph purporting to have captured her essence was published in the December 1936 edition of Country Life magazine.

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St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida

The St. Augustine lighthouse—the first in Florida—earned a dark place in Civil War history when its light was removed to disrupt Union shipping. Visitors report encounters with the friendly spirit of Union artillery-officer-cum-lightkeeper William A. Harn.

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The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

This neo-Georgian mountain hideaway is best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. Its staff claims it is only visited by “happy ghosts” and that nearly every room has a unique ghost story, like that of the maid from Room 217 who is known to pack away guests’ clothing when they aren’t looking.

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The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

After sailing the Atlantic for more than 30 years, the RMS Queen Mary dropped a permanent anchor in Long Beach, California in 1967. The decommissioned ocean liner, resplendent with gilded Art Deco finishings, is still accepting reservations—just don’t expect to get too far. With more than 50 deaths recorded aboard the ship during her charter as a luxury liner, tales abound of the *Queen Mary’*s haunting.

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Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-under-Edge, England

England’s Ancient Ram Inn boasts more spirits than an average pub’s liquor rack. Built on the site of what is believed to have been a 12th-century pagan burial ground, the inn reports hauntings by at least 20 otherworldly visitors. With ghostly children, a high priestess, and even an incubus (Google is your friend, but don’t say you weren’t warned) wandering the halls, guests have reportedly leapt from the windows in a frenzy to escape.

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Amityville Horror House, New York

Ronald Defeo Jr. shot six members of his family on November 13, 1974, in what is now known as the Amityville Horror House, but the haunting of 112 Ocean Avenue was relatively unknown until the Lutz family bought the house in 1975. The Lutzes reported extreme paranormal activity from the moment they moved in, including uncovering the creepily hidden Red Room, doors slamming by themselves, and mysterious voices demanding a priest blessing the home to “get out!” The family lasted 26 days in the house before moving out.

a collection of worndown wooden buildings

Bodie State Historic Park, California

What was once a bustling mining town is now a desolate wasteland speckled with beautiful buildings kept on life support by the National Parks team. Simply traipsing through the abandoned town is enough to set your hair on end. Those who have ventured into the town have reported seeing phantom miners and even hearing mining noises in the long-retired shafts.

a stone fortress building with a spire overlooking a town

Akershus Fortress, Norway

Akershus Fortress was built in the late 1290s as the ultimate defense against foreign attacks and was instrumental in the Seven Years' War. The sprawling fortress is now used for some royal functions and can be toured by the public; however, locals say its war-torn past has yet to leave, noting that some have seen the ghosts of soldiers roaming the halls.

military men marching in front of a yellow government building

Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

Built by the Dutch East India Company in the mid-1600s, the bastion-style fort is now a historical monument in Cape Town and a local hotbed for paranormal activity. The castle is said to contain the ghost of violent ruler Governor van Noodt, who supposedly died of a heart attack while ordering a hanging. The common tale is that one of the men doomed for the noose cursed the governor before being executed, sealing his soul to the castle forever.

a litup large brick hotel

The Cavalier, Virginia Beach, Virginia

In June of 1929, Adolph Coors, founder of Coors Beer, excused himself from the table mid-breakfast and proceeded to his sixth-floor room, where he jumped from the window to his death. In a hotel as old as the Cavalier, there are more than a few skeletons in its past; however, the death of Mr. Coors is the most well-known—and the most haunting. A couple who held their wedding at the Cavalier claimed that the apparition of Mr. Coors is present in their wedding photos. Other guests report ghostly activity on the sixth floor. Since the Cavalier’s $80 million renovation was completed, there has reportedly been less activity, but the only way to know for sure is to book a room on the sixth floor and find out for yourself.

a crumbling stone castle in the green countryside

Leap Castle, Ireland

The bloody legend of Leap Castle dates back to its construction in the late 13th century. Having been inhabited by several destructive Irish clans throughout history, many violent deaths have taken place within these storied walls, trapping the victims' souls for eternity. One of the most disturbing aspects of the castle’s construction is the hidden oubliette, which held the bodies of nearly 150 people and was not discovered until the 1920s. The Red Lady seen holding a dagger is the most commonly sighted ghost on the grounds.

trees in a freest hung with baby dolls

Isla de las Muñecas (Island of the Dolls), Mexico

The story of Isla de las Muñecas begins when its sole resident and caretaker, Don Julian Santana Barrera, found a lifeless young girl, who had apparently died from drowning, and a floating doll in the water as he was walking the island. Julian took the doll and strung it high in a tree to pay homage to the girl’s spirit. Over the years, more dolls were placed on the trees throughout the island. Julian, and some visitors, claim that the dolls are possessed by the spirits of girls who passed too soon, reporting that the dolls would move independently and even speak to passersby.

a three story wood shingle house

Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.” The haunting nursery rhyme originated with the 1892 murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. Their New England–style house blends beautifully into the lovely background of Massachusetts, nearly disguising the atrocities that took place inside. The home is now a museum and bed and breakfast for those brave enough to stay overnight. Electricity surges, shadowy figures, and floors creaking overhead when no one is in the house have been reported by guests and the proprietor.

a long pathway leading to a gothic castle

Corvin Castle, Romania

Corvin Castle is most famous for being home to Vlad III, better known as Vlad the Impaler, whose despicable acts of blood thirsty torture inspired Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula . The awe-inspiring Renaissance Gothic–style castle is said to be haunted by the spirits of the lives taken within these castle walls. Several paranormal fanatics and documentarians have investigated the estate hoping to find if the story of Dracula is truly a myth.

a brick townhouse

Merchant’s House Museum, New York

Built in 1832, this quaint townhouse is a shining example of late-Federal architecture and one of the first landmarked buildings in New York. The Greek Revival interiors have remained relatively the same since the Tredwell family’s occupancy, which lasted nearly 100 years. Gertrude was the last Tredwell to reside in the home and died in the upstairs bedroom at the age of 93. Staff and visitors alike have reported that Gertrude’s spirit remains in the home causing mischief.

an ornate palace building in a shade of beige

Palacio de Linares, Madrid, Spain

Formerly the home of Marquis and Marchioness of Linares, this exquisite palace was built for Don José Murga and his wife, Raimunda Osorio. Hidden beneath its opulent exterior are trapped doors, disappearing staircases, and the ghost of Don José and Raimunda’s daughter. Allegedly, a young girl is heard singing in the palace from time to time when there are no more visitors in the building.

an old Main Street sallon facade with a yellow pickup in front

The Red Onion Saloon, Skagway, Alaska

Located in the gold mining town of Skagway, the Red Onion Saloon was originally a saloon on the ground floor and a brothel on the second level when it opened in 1898. The classic saloon is a testament to the town's origins and a local favorite. Today, the building operates as a restaurant and offers tours of what was the brothel upstairs, although many of the restaurant’s staff say that one of the working ladies never left. The ghost of a woman known as Lydia shows herself rather frequently to patrons and staff alike.

an underground tunnel piled high with skeletons

Paris Catacombs, France

The 500 miles of winding catacombs that sit just underfoot of any Paris street have been a destination for paranormal curiosity since their creation in 1786. The underground maze of bones was parlayed into a deathly art exhibit which can be toured by ticket holders. Interest in the catacombs was reignited recently when a camcorder was found along one of the passageways containing a disturbing tape taken by an unknown explore as he becomes disoriented with his surroundings. The tape ends with the man screaming and running from an unknown entity, dropping his camera and only source of light, never to be seen again.

an aerial view of sprawling castle grounds in the countryside

Ruthin Castle, Wales

Beneath the red sandstone façade of this gorgeous medieval castle lies a gruesome history that, supposedly, still haunts the estate today. The Grey Lady is the most active ghost that haunts the premises. This mysterious woman is said to be Lady Grey, wife of Reginald de Grey, who was put to death for murdering a peasant girl who she suspected to he having an affair with her husband.

a fortified castle on the banks of a river

Tower of London, England

Though the former fortress is flooded with tourists on a daily basis, the 900-year-old Tower of London is still one of the bloodiest places in Europe. Built by William the Conqueror in 1070, the sprawling fortress is most famously known for the number of royal deaths that have occurred there, including that of Anne Boleyn, whose headless apparition is said to haunt the hallowed halls of the tower.

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43 Most Haunted Places in the World, from Japanese Castles to Underwater Graveyards

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43 Most Haunted Places in the World from Japanese Castles to Underwater Graveyards

Nothing beats a good ghost story, and our planet is chock full of them: UFO sightings in Transylvania, murders on luxury cruise ships, and spirits wandering the halls of British castles. No matter where you’re traveling, you’re sure to find some sort of haunted landmark , as well as a ghost tour to go along with it.

But even if you're not a fan of paranormal activities, some of the spookiest locations are still worth your time, whether for their beautiful architecture, jaw-dropping locations, or fascinating histories. Here are the 43 most haunted places in the world you’ll want to visit any time of the year—not just on October 31.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

HoiaBaciu Forest Romania

Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania

From the moment a military technician captured a photograph of a “UFO” hovering over the forest in 1968, Hoia-Baciu has gained paranormal notoriety around the world, with some believing it to be a portal that causes visitors to disappear. Those who have passed through the forest without being zapped into another realm have reported rashes, nausea, and feelings of anxiety, according to The Independent . Known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania,” the spooky curved trees that populate the forest just add to the eerie atmosphere.

The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel ’s stately Georgian architecture and world-renowned whiskey bar have lured travelers to Estes Park since opening in 1909, but the hotel reached new levels of fame after inspiring Stephen King to create The Shining ’s fictional Overlook Hotel . That eerie association aside, many other ghost sightings and some mysterious piano music have been connected to the hotel, and the Stanley Hotel leans into its reputation with nightly ghost tours and psychic consultations from the in-house Madame Vera .

Chuuk Lagoon Micronesia

Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

What’s even scarier than a haunted graveyard? Probably a haunted graveyard that sits 50 feet underwater. Micronesia’s Chuuk Lagoon (formerly Truk Lagoon) served as a fortified base for the Japanese Navy during WWII, and it was attacked by American forces during a three-day air strike in 1944. Dozens of warships, planes, tanks, and railroad cars sank to the bottom of the lagoon, where they remain today in what is known as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon.” The ship graveyard is immensely popular with scuba divers, with PADI dubbing it “one of the best wreck diving destinations on the planet.” Underwater explorers can swim up close to the wartime vessels, which are littered with weapons, gas masks, and, according to some superstitious divers, a few waterlogged ghosts.

St. Georges Church Czech Republic

St. George’s Church, Czech Republic

Originally built in 1352, St. George’s Church (about 125 miles east of Prague) boasts quite a history. The building was nearly destroyed by fires many times over the centuries, and its roof partially collapsed during a funeral service in 1968. After that event, the congregation became convinced the church was haunted and refused to enter; as a result, the building was stripped by robbers and fell prey to vandalism. That all changed in 2012, when an art student at the University of West Bohemia had an idea to lure visitors back to the church: a collection of 30 ghost sculptures sitting in the pews with their heads bowed. Today, tourists have flocked to the “Ghost Church” (which opens to the public every Saturday afternoon) to snap photos and even sit among the unmoving specters while praying.

Edinburgh Castle Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

One of the biggest attractions in Scotland’s capital city is also considered to be one of its most haunted . With sections dating back more than 900 years, the historic fortress’s ancient dungeons have led visitors to report sightings of colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War and French prisoners from the Seven Years War—and even the ghost of a dog wandering the castle’s dog cemetery.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary took solitary confinement to new levels when it was built in 1829. Prisoners lived alone, exercised alone, and ate alone; when an inmate left his cell, a guard would cover his head with a hood so he couldn’t see or be seen. The prison had to abandon its solitary system due to overcrowding in 1913, although the forms of punishment did not get any less severe (chaining an inmate’s tongue to his wrists is one example) before it closed for good in 1970. The site now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, both for its museum and Halloween celebrations . Reported paranormal happenings have included disembodied laughter, shadowy figures, and pacing footsteps.

Isla de las Munecas Mexico

Isla de las Munecas, Mexico

Despite its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well-preserved examples of Aztec life, the neighborhood of Xochimilco has reached a certain amount of internet fame for its Island of the Dolls. Hidden among the region’s many canals, the site is famous for the hundreds of dolls—and doll parts—hanging from trees and scattered among the grass. While it might look more like a horror movie set, the chinampa (akin to an artificial island) used to be the residence of a now-deceased man named Julian Santa Barrera. After finding a dead girl’s body in a nearby canal, Barrera collected and displayed the toys in the hopes of warding off evil spirits, reports National Geographic . Daring souls can hire their own boat and view the island safely from the water.

Al Madam United Arab Emirates

Al Madam, United Arab Emirates

There is something eerily beautiful about ghost towns , and Al Madam is no exception. Located in about 40 miles southeast of Dubai, the village was most likely built in the 1970s and deserted shortly after—a fact that local legend attributes to djinn (shape-shifting spirits) scaring people straight out of town. No one knows whether or not the spirits have lingered, but Al Madam still has a sort of haunted quality to it: dunes encroaching on the two rows of houses and a mosque, sand falling through broken windows like waves, and a seemingly endless sea of ochre desert stretching out in every direction.

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St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is visited by more than 216,000 people annually, but it’s just as well-known for its otherworldly guests. Several tragic events that occurred at the now-historic site have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity . The ghost of a lighthouse keeper who fell to his death while painting the tower has been spotted watching over the grounds. And ever since the horrific death of three young girls, who drowned when the cart they were playing in broke and fell into the ocean, visitors have claimed to hear the sounds of children playing in and around the lighthouse.

Gunnuhver Iceland

Gunnuhver, Iceland

If you already thought Iceland had an otherworldly quality to it, just wait until you hear the story behind Gunnuhver, the country’s largest geothermal mud pool. The area is named after Gunna , a woman who lived on this slice of the Reykjanes Peninsula some 400 years ago. After dying of starvation, her spirit came back home to violently murder her former landlord and his wife. The local townspeople called upon a priest to take care of their little ghost problem, which he solved by casting Gunna into a boiling hot mud pool. While no other supernatural murders have occurred since then, some visitors claim to catch glimpses of Gunna’s ghostly figure through the billowing mist of the pools from time to time.

Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah Georgia

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

The entire city of Savannah is pretty much one giant ghost story, with mysterious stories shrouding everything from public parks to breweries. But few city spots evoke quite as much reverence as Bonaventure Cemetery, overflowing with moody Spanish moss and time-worn Victorian monuments. There are many notable figures buried here, like singer Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken, but it’s the grave of Gracie Watson that dark tourists should flock to. Having died at just six years old, her grave is marked by a life-size marble statue with her hand resting on a tree stump, symbolizing her life cut short. Many visitors place toys at her grave, and some have reported seeing the ghost of Gracie near the site. Other spooky accounts of the cemetery include inexplicable sounds, like crying babies and barking dogs, and—creepiest of all—statues suddenly smiling as people approach them.

The Forbidden City Beijing China

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

No trip to Beijing is complete without a visit to the Forbidden City , China’s former imperial palace that now serves as a museum. But you might not know that the popular tourist destination has quite the reputation among supernatural enthusiasts. During its 600-year tenure as a palace, the complex had its fair share of murders, whether from jealous concubines poisoning one another or executions performed at the emperor’s behest. Needless to say, there have been many reports of strange phenomena since the palace opened to the public in the 1940s. The most common story involves a woman dressed in white (as most good ghost stories do) strolling around the grounds and sobbing.

Leap Castle Ireland

Leap Castle, Ireland

Built at some point between the 13th and late 15th century, this Irish castle has seen more gruesome deaths than a Game of Thrones wedding. As legend has it, during a struggle for power within the O’Carroll clan (which had a fondness for poisoning dinner guests), one member plunged a sword into his brother—a priest—as he was holding mass in the castle’s chapel. The room is now called “The Bloody Chapel,” and the priest is said to haunt the church at night. The horror doesn’t end there—at least not according to the macabre history outlined on Leap Castle’s website . During renovations in the early 1900s, workmen found a secret dungeon in the Bloody Chapel with so many human skeletons, they filled three cartloads when hauled away. The dungeon was designed so that prisoners would fall through a trap door, have their lungs punctured by wooden spikes on the ground, and die a slow, horrific death within earshot of the sinister clan members above.

Oriental Theater Chicago

Oriental Theater, Chicago

Ghosts are said to haunt the Oriental Theater (formerly the Iroquois Theater) in the Loop area of downtown Chicago, where almost 600 people perished after a fire famously broke out in 1903 . Even though the theater was completely rebuilt and rebranded, spirits of the dead remained: Apparitions have been seen in “Death Alley,” the street behind the theater where bodies were stacked after the disaster (and a common stop on many a Chicago ghost tour ).

Poveglia Island Venice

Poveglia Island, Venice

Less than half a mile from the canals of Venice , Poveglia Island has served as a quarantine zone for bubonic plague victims, storage space for Napoleon’s weapons, and the site of an early 20th-century insane asylum. The asylum played host to horrific medical experiments, reports The Travel Channel , and finally closed for good when a doctor threw himself off the institution’s bell tower. Locals still claim to hear echoing chimes from the island—even though the bell was removed decades ago. It’s illegal to visit Poveglia today, but you can see the island and decaying hospital safely from the beaches of nearby Lido.

Castle of Good Hope South Africa

Castle of Good Hope, South Africa

A sprawling building near the shoreline of Table Bay in Cape Town, the Castle of Good Hope dates back to 1666, making it the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Originally built by the Dutch East India Company as a replenishment station for ships, the site also served as a military fortress and prison during the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902. Today, you can tour the fort’s many rooms and buildings (including the gruesome torture chamber), but you might want to prepare yourself for a ghost sighting. Back in the 1700s, Governor Pieter van Noodt condemned several men to be hanged to death; one of the men cursed the governor from the gallows, and van Noodt died of a heart attack later that day. According to the Castle of Good Hope’s official website , his ghost has been haunting the battlements ever since.

RMS Queen Mary Long Beach California

RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

Aside from a brief stint as a warship in World War II, the RMS Queen Mary served as a luxury ocean liner from 1936 to 1967. During that time, it was the site of at least one murder—a sailor being crushed to death by a door in the engine room—and children drowning in the pool. The city of Long Beach purchased the ship in 1967 and turned it into a hotel, and it still serves that purpose today—although the reported ghosts of the deceased passengers get to stay for free. (For an extra dose of spine-tingling experiences, try and visit the ship’s engine room, considered by many to be a “hotbed” of paranormal activity.)

Larnach Castle New Zealand

Larnach Castle, New Zealand

The extravagant house was built between 1871 and 1887 to serve as the residence of William Larnach, a prominent New Zealand politician. Most notable is a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, which Larnach had built as a 21st birthday present for his favorite daughter Kate, who later died of typhoid at age 26 and is said to still haunt the ballroom. Don’t chalk those taps on your shoulder and whispers in your ear as all up to imagination: The building has been visited by paranormal investigators and featured on Ghost Hunters International .

Whaley House San Diego

Whaley House, San Diego

Thomas Whaley built this family estate in 1857, on the former site of San Diego ’s first public gallows. Shortly after he moved in, he reported hearing the heavy footsteps of “Yankee” Jim Robinson, a drifter and thief who was hanged on the site four years before the house was built. Whaley’s family history ended up being filled with tragic deaths and suicides—many of which occurred inside the home itself. According to the Whaley House Museum , some of the family members still haunt the landmark, running up the stairs and turning lights on and off.

La Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires

La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

You don’t have to be religious to be moved by La Recoleta Cemetery , which features thousands of statues, fairytale grottoes, and intricate tombstones, as well as the remains of Argentina’s most iconic figure—Eva Perón. The stone walkways and labyrinth of mausoleums are as beautiful as they are eerie, and Recoleta has a couple of haunted legends of its own. One of the most famous stories involves David Alleno, a former grave-digger and caretaker who worked at the cemetery for 30 years before killing himself. Today, people report hearing Alleno’s keys jangling as his ghost walks the pathways at dawn.

Haunted Places in the World Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol, Northern Ireland

Crumlin Road Gaol, a Victorian-era prison in Belfast, is said to be one of the most haunted sites in Northern Ireland. Often referred to as Europe’s Alcatraz, the jail contained some 25,000 inmates (men, women, and children) during its 150 years of operation, publicly hung many prisoners, and buried their bodies within the prison walls. The institution officially shut its doors in 1996, but the ghosts of deceased inmates are said to still roam the iron walkways today. If this sounds like the sort of place you want to spend time in, you’re in luck—Crumlin Road Gaol offers daily tours , live concerts, and reasonably priced meals at its in-house (in-prison?) restaurant. It even serves as a venue for conferences and, believe it or not, weddings. 

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Canada

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada

Built in 1888 to encourage tourism and sell train tickets, this chateau-style hotel sits pretty by the Rocky Mountains in Canada’s Banff National Park. But it gets a tad more Gothic once you get inside—and we aren’t talking about the architecture. The Calgary Herald has reported several resident ghosts, including a bride who supposedly fell down the stone staircase during her wedding. But there’s a less tragic spirit, too: Sam the bellman, who worked at the hotel until 1975 and claimed he’d come back to haunt the joint. His spirit supposedly pulls shifts to help people with their bags before disappearing.

Singapore Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa, Singapore

Haw Par Villa is a 1930s theme park located in Singapore—and it’s basically the polar opposite of Disneyland. Its colorful entrance of Chinese arches seems innocuous enough, but then you actually step inside and see that the park is covered with more than 1,000 statues, each stranger than the last. Lovers of all things macabre should head straight to the underworld-themed Ten Courts of Hell, a series of dioramas that portray severe modes of punishment as a way to teach young children about morality. While detailed depictions of dismemberment are scary enough, Time Out Singapore reports that “the wax statues depicting condemned souls are said to come to life at night, filling the infamous Ten Courts of Hell exhibit with tortured screams.” Bring your kids!

Myrtles Plantation Louisiana

Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, Myrtles Plantation is considered to be one of America’s most haunted sites. The house is rumored to be on top of an Indian burial ground and is home to at least 12 different spirits. Legends and ghost stories abound, including the tale of a former slave named Chloe, who had her ear chopped off after she was caught eavesdropping. She got her revenge by poisoning a birthday cake and killing two of the plantation owner’s daughters, but then she was hung by her fellow slaves. Chloe now reportedly wanders around the plantation, wearing a turban to conceal her severed ear.

Bhangarh Fort India

Bhangarh Fort, India

Located just 100 miles southwest of Delhi, the lush ruins of Bhangarh Fort make for a curious juxtaposition against the desert landscape of Rajasthan . To this day, the oasis remains largely uninhabited due to an alleged curse cast by a disgruntled sorcerer after his advances were rebuffed by a local princess. If you prefer your trips to skew more spiritual than haunted, Traveler ’s former editor-at-large Hanya Yanagihara suggests saluting the sun during a session of pre-dusk yoga at the site.

Tower of London England

Tower of London, England

Built by William the Conqueror in 1066, this uncompromising fortress has served many functions. But it’s best known for its bloody history as a prison and execution site: Henry VIII famously ordered the execution of two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, here. It’s also where two young princes were imprisoned after the death of their father, King Edward IV; they disappeared shortly after in 1483, and their remains weren't found until 1647. Unsurprisingly, ghost stories of the Tower’s victims—and ghost tours through Historic Royal Palaces —abound.

Catacombs of Paris France

Catacombs of Paris, France

After a prolonged bout of heavy rain flooded and unearthed the overcrowded Les Innocents cemetery in the spring of 1780, a wave of rotting corpses tumbled onto the property next door. According to Smithsonian Mag , this horrifying event started a 12-year project to move bodies from Paris’s cemeteries down into the city’s former limestone quarries, eventually packing the underground tunnels with some 6 million bodies. Today, about a mile of the subterranean labyrinth is open to visitors , who can take tours of the tunnels and artfully arranged displays of bones.

Aokigahara Forest Japan

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

This seemingly serene forest at the foot of Mount Fuji has a tormented past. Colloquially known as “Suicide Forest,” Aokigahara has been the site of 500 reported suicides since the 1950s, reports the BBC . Some blame this trend on the forest’s association with demons in Japanese mythology. Others point towards large underground deposits of iron, which interfere with compasses and make it easy to get lost. In fact, many hikers will mark their path with tape or string to make it easier to find their way back out again.

Xunantunich Belize

Xunantunich, Belize

Deep in the jungles of Belize , less than a mile from the Guatemala border, Xunantunich is an ancient Mayan ruin that has sat abandoned for the past millennium. An earthquake caused the original civilization to crumble, but the complex was rediscovered by explorers in the 1890s. Since then, Xunantunich has served as an important archaeological site, under-the-radar tourist attraction, and hotbed of ghostly sightings . The ancient city is said to be haunted by one female ghost: a black-haired lady with red, glowing eyes. She was first spotted by one of the earliest research teams in 1893 and has been seen near El Castillo (the tallest building in the complex) many times since then. No one knows exactly who the so-called “Stone Lady” is, but many speculate that she may have been a human sacrifice whose death ritual was performed on the top of the El Castillo pyramid.

Borgvattnet Haunted Vicarage Ragunda Sweden

Borgvattnet Haunted Vicarage, Sweden

Originally built in 1876, weird happenings have been noted in this parsonage since the 1960s. The gray wooden structure now serves as a bed and breakfast in a rural area in northern Sweden with snowmobiling, fishing, and...not a lot else. Guests at Borgvattnet have claimed to hear footsteps, music, and the sound of three crying ladies coming from the inn—and the proprietors will reward you with a certificate that says you stayed through the night.

Himeji Castle Japan

Himeji Castle, Japan

Himeji Castle dates to 1333 and is regarded as one of the greatest remaining examples of Japanese castle architecture. It also has some rather eerie folklore associated with it—most notably the story of Okiku, a one-time palace servant who was falsely accused of losing valuable dishes. She was killed and thrown into the well in the castle. Her ghost now haunts the castle at night, counting dishes in a mournful tone; she reaches nine before shrieking and returning to the well.

Ponte Sisto Rome

Ponte Sisto, Rome

In a city as ancient as Rome , practically every brick in every building has a story that goes along with it. In some cases, those stories are downright creepy. One such tale surrounds the Ponte Sisto, a romantic bridge spanning the Tiber near Rome’s city center. Local legend has it that if you visit the bridge at sunrise, you’ll see a charging carriage helmed by the ghost of Olimpia Maidalchini, Pope Innocent X’s advisor (hence her nickname, the “female pope”). The spectral occurrence is said to be Olimpia’s attempt to flee the city with the church’s gold, just as she allegedly did after Pope Innocent X’s death in 1655. While the Ponte Sisto is closed to pedestrian traffic, you can visit the bridge as part of Dark Rome’s daily “ Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends of Rome Night Walking Tour .”

Port Arthur Tasmania

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur began as a penal colony in 1833, housing British convicts until it was abandoned in 1877. During those decades, the island—touted as “inescapable”—focused on correcting the inmates’ morality, using methods like solitary confinement and mandatory church services. The settlement has been a destination for curious tourists since the time of its abandonment, and it was officially preserved as a historical site in 1979. Today, you’ll find what The New York Times describes as “an impressive apparatus for remembering, complete with a ferry, interactive exhibit for children and well-trained guides.” Ghost tours are available of the ruins and open-air museum, as well as the nearby “Isle of the Dead,” an island housing the bodies of deceased convicts in unmarked graves.

Teatro Tapia

Teatro Tapia, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is known for its natural beauty and rich history, the latter of which lends itself quite well to eerie experiences. One of the most famous spooky sites on the island is Teatro Tapia, a San Juan theater known for its plays, concerts, and paranormal activity. According to urban myth, an actress who fell to her death while performing at the theater returned to haunt the venue. Some visitors have claimed to see her ghost wandering the theater grounds, while others have reported mysterious footsteps, doors swinging open and shut, and an unseen choir of voices coming from the stage. Teatro Tapia still holds frequent ballet and music performances, so purchase a ticket to see some local acts—and maybe a local ghost while you're at it.

Ancient Ram Inn England

Ancient Ram Inn, England

Built in 1145, Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge has played many roles over the centuries: a priest’s residence, housing for masons and slaves, an inn, and a public house. It also happens to be one seriously haunted spot. Architectural Digest writes: “With ghostly children, a high priestess, and even an incubus (Google it, but don’t say you weren’t warned) wandering the halls, guests have reportedly leapt from the windows in a frenzy to escape.”

Parador de Jan Spain

Parador de Jaén, Spain

Located in an 18th-century Arab fortress overlooking the Andalusian landscape, Parador de Jaén has a few spooky stories hiding behind its imposing walls. According to the hotel’s website, a guest in Room 22 was rudely awakened one night by the sounds of a woman crying and someone knocking on the door. A team of paranormal investigators was called in to check everything out in the 1980s, and they concluded that the room was, in fact, haunted by the spirit of a young woman who had died of heartbreak in the fortress several centuries ago. The room has been quiet since the investigation, but that's not the only ghost story ‘round these parts. The hotel is also said to be haunted by the spirit of “Terrible Lizard,” the nickname of a prisoner who died of hunger while locked up in the fortress.

Lawang Sewu Indonesia

Lawang Sewu, Indonesia

Constructed in the early 20th century by Dutch colonialists, Lawang Sewu (or “Thousand Doors”) served as the head office for the Dutch East Indian Railway Company before the Japanese turned it into a detention camp during WWII. During the war, many harsh interrogations, tortures, and violent executions occurred within the building’s walls—all of which contribute to its current status as one of Indonesia’s most haunted landmarks, says the country’s Ministry of Tourism . Tourists are free to visit the abandoned site today, perhaps to confirm whether the many circulating ghost stories tied to Lawang Sewu have any truth to them.

Dock Street Theatre Charleston

Dock Street Theatre, Charleston

Renovated in 2010, Charleston ’s Dock Street Theatre is a beautiful downtown venue, hosting plays and concerts throughout the year. But the site has quite a tumultuous history. Aside from a fire burning down the original theater in 1740, the building suffered damage from an earthquake in 1886 and fell into abandon during the early 20th century. To make matters even more spooky, a woman named Nettie Dickerson was supposedly struck by lightning while standing on the balcony in the mid-1800s, and her ghost is said to glide along the theater’s second floor.

Canberra Australia

Old Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Much like Savannah, the entire city of Canberra seems to be a paranormal hot spot—especially when it comes to the buildings in the Parliamentary Triangle. Hotel Kurrajong, a four-star hotel with some serious A-list ghosts roaming its halls, is thought to house the ghost of former Prime Minister Ben Chifley, who died on the night of June 13, 1951, after suffering a heart attack in room 214. His gray-suited ghost is known to appear in that same room from time to time, writes The Canberra Times . And then there’s the Old Parliament House itself, where security guards and cleaning staff have reported hearing their names whispered in the night.

Carl Beck House Canada

Carl Beck House, Canada

Built by lumber magnate Carl Beck in the late 1800s, this house in Penetanguishene is known as one of the most haunted houses in Ontario. According to legend, Beck and his family lived in the house together; after his wife passed away, the eldest daughter, Mary, was put in charge of raising the younger children. Years later, when Carl died, he inexplicably left Mary $1 in his will. Today, an angry, female ghost—presumably Mary—is said to appear in the upstairs windows. (You’d probably haunt the house too if your dad gave you a $1 inheritance. #TeamMary.) For any travelers curious about Victorian architecture with a side of paranormality, you can actually rent the Carl Beck House on Airbnb, starting at $119 per night .

Lord Milner Hotel South Africa

Lord Milner Hotel, South Africa

South Africa might be most famous for its game reserves , but it has its fair share of charming—and haunted—hotels. One such place is the Lord Milner Hotel , located on the edge of the remote Great Karoo in Matjiesfontein Village. The town served as command headquarters during the South African War at the turn of the 20th century, as well as the site of subsequent (and controversial) war crimes hearings. Given the village’s intense history, it probably comes as little shock that the Lord Milner Hotel has a bit of paranormal activity going on. According to the hotel , there are some ghostly guests who never seemed to check out, including “Lucy,” a negligee-wearing specter who makes noises behind closed doors from time to time.

Burg Eltz Germany

Burg Eltz, Germany

Burg Eltz dates back to 1157, so you better believe the list of myths surrounding the castle is quite long. The most compelling tale is that of a young countess named Agnes, who was betrothed to a fellow noble but called off the engagement after she met him. (According to legend, he sucked.) The scorned nobleman laid siege to the castle and Agnes perished after taking up arms to defend her castle. Her mournful spirit can still be sensed today, most strongly in her former bedroom with her pierced armor and battle axe on display.

Eden Brown Estate Nevis

Eden Brown Estate, Nevis

Often overshadowed by neighboring St. Kitts, Nevis has just as much to offer travelers—in fact, it offers even more for the more morbidly inclined. Case in point: the Eden Brown Estate, a former plantation that now lies in ruins. The estate was originally owned by a wealthy businessman who intended to give the property to his daughter as a wedding present. However, a mysterious duel between the groom and the best man left both men dead on the day of the wedding, and the daughter remained unmarried and alone for the rest of her life. Today, many visitors say they have seen the reclusive woman’s spirit roaming throughout the grounds.

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Team Wanderlust | 26 October 2022

The 20 most haunted places in the world.

From a ghostly castle in France to a paranormal pub in Britain, these haunted destinations are guaranteed to spook even the most sceptical of travellers...

1. Château de Brissac, Maine-et-Loire, France

The Castle of Brissac, a renaissance castle rebuilt in the 15th century by one of the ministers to King Charles VII (Shutterstock)

The Castle of Brissac, a renaissance castle rebuilt in the 15th century by one of the ministers to King Charles VII (Shutterstock)

The site:  Dubbed as the ‘Giant of the Loire Valley’ this is the highest castle in France boasting seven floors, 204 rooms, numerous portrait galleries, and a private opera house which seats 200 people. It was a fortress built by the Counts of Anjou in the 11th Century and King Louis XIII dropped by in 1620.

The ghosts:  The most active is La Dame Verte, (Green Lady), who was apparently the illegitimate child of King Charles VII and was later murdered by her husband in the château in the 15th century after he caught her having an affair.  She is often seen in the tower room of the chapel, wearing her green dress, with gaping holes where her eyes and nose should be. When not startling guests by her appearance she can be heard moaning around the castle.

Current situation: The château is a popular hotel that hosts special events such as a Christmas market and tastings of the well-regarded wines, produced from its own vineyards. Guests who are brave enough to stay overnight enjoy rooms lavishly decorated with period furniture.

Learn more about Château de Brissac

2. Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales, Australia

The site:  A late Victorian mansion, with intricate cast iron lattice work, built by wealthy landowner Christopher William Crawley in 1876. Reputedly Australia’s most haunted house.

The ghosts: Take your pick. There’s the young child who was dropped down the stairs, the maid who fell from the balcony or the stable boy who burned to death. The most active, however, is the ghost of the son of the caretaker who was found curled up next to the dead body of his mother and chained up for 40 years.

Current situation: The house currently operates as a B&B, offering dinner followed by a ghost tour where you can learn all about its gruesome past. Those who dare can spend the night in the haunted homestead.

Learn more about Monte Cristo Homestead

3. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India

Tourists visiting the ruined fortress in the ancient city of Bhangarh. This palace is said to be cursed and entry during night is prohibited (Dreamstime)

Tourists visiting the ruined fortress in the ancient city of Bhangarh. This palace is said to be cursed and entry during night is prohibited (Dreamstime)

The site: The ruins of a fort city built in the 17th century, Bhangarh Fort consists of fort walls, bazars, havelis, royal palaces, and numerous temples, with three grand storeys you can explore. But do not be fooled by the beauty of these ruins as they are ranked as the most haunted fort in India.

The ghosts: A wizard called Singhia and a princess called Ratnavati who spurned his advances. Legend has it that the enchanted oil he hoped would make her love him turned into a boulder when she threw it away – and it crushed him. But not before he cursed the palace, condemning the inhabitants to death, without any hope of rebirth. Another story suggests a local ascetic cursed the fort because its shadow overpowered his property. And apparently, if anyone attempts to build a roof for the fort, it will collapse.

Current situation: Bhangarh Fort is now an archaeological site, known as the ‘House of Ghosts’. It is possible to hire a guide who can show you around the site and give you the details of its eerie past. Be sure to visit in daylight as the fort is closed between sunset and sunrise, with locals convinced that anyone who spends the night amongst the ruins will never be seen again. 

Learn more about  Bhangarh Fort

4. Myrtles Plantation, USA

Myrtle's Plantation has been called 'one of the most terrifying places in America' (Shutterstock)

Myrtle's Plantation has been called 'one of the most terrifying places in America' (Shutterstock)

The Site: Situated in the small town of St. Francisville, north-west of New Orleans is the mansion of Myrtles Plantation, boarded by a 125-foot veranda. The stained-glass front door leads into a grand foyer displaying a huge French crystal chandelier.

The ghosts: With 10 people being murdered in the mansion itself, it’s no surprise there have been so many reported ghost sightings, the most famous of which is Chloe, who had her ear cut off by her lover. She wears a green turban, peering intently at visitors while they’re in bed and has even appeared in a photograph. A more recent photo also shows another young girl, known as ‘Ghost Girl’ peering through the window of the house. More eerie sightings include a child bouncing on the beds, a soldier, a voodoo priestess and the ghost of a previous owner who was shot in the chest has been heard staggering up the stairs where he died.

Current situation: Despite being known as the most haunted house in America, the plantation is now a pretty Bed and breakfast offering 12 accommodations. Ghost tours are run from the site and you can choose between daily tours or the spookier and more popular evening tours. And soon a new restaurant on site will bring fresh, local food to visitors.

Learn more about Myrtle's Plantation

5. Dragsholm Slot, Denmark

Dragsholm Slot is a haunted hotel in Denmark (Shutterstock)

Dragsholm Slot is a haunted hotel in Denmark (Shutterstock)

The site: Dragsholm Slot, or Dragsholm Castle, was originally built in 1215, making it one of the oldest castles in Denmark and reportedly the most haunted castle in all of Europe. In the 16th and 17th century parts of it were used to house prisoners of noble or ecclesiastical rank, and in 1694 it was rebuilt in a Baroque style.

The ghosts: The castle is thought to be home to at least 100 ghosts including the Earl of Bothwell, the husband of Mary Queen of Scotts who died as a prisoner in the castle. You may also see the White Lady wandering the halls, who’s skeleton was found encased in a wall by builders in 1930.

Current situation:  The castle has been transformed into a luxurious hotel with lavish rooms and a Michelin-rated restaurant serving locally sourced food. The hotel offers their own guided tour explaining the history of the building but for a truly terrifying experience, book a ghost tour including a two-night stay, a tour highlighting the spooky occupants and dinner at the gourmet restaurant.

Learn more about Dragsholm Slot

6. Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, England

The Ancient Ram Inn in Gloucestershire (Shutterstock)

The Ancient Ram Inn in Gloucestershire (Shutterstock)

The site: Built in 1145, the inn was used by priests who kept slaves and workers in there to help build the St. Mary’s Church. Located in Wotton-under-edge, it is situated on two ley lines, places believed to have spiritual energy from Stonehenge. It has also been reported that it was the scene of a child sacrifice and devil worshipping.

The ghosts:  It is widely believed that the redirecting of water on the Ancient Ram property caused a portal for dark energy to open up, meaning many ghosts haunt the inn. The ‘Witch’s Room’ is said to be haunted by a woman burnt at the stake in the 1500s as she was accused of being a witch. A high priestess has been spotted sitting on a bed, a centurion on horseback has been seen walking through the walls, the agonising screams of a girl heard, a monk in the most haunted room and even a succubus is said to slip into the beds of visitors.

Current situation: Despite being well known as one of the most haunted places in the world, featuring on TV programs such as ‘Most Haunted’ and ‘Ghost Adventures’, the inn has changed hands several times in the recent past, making the owners difficult to track down. However, many paranormal events are hosted at the inn.

Learn more about Ancient Ram Inn

7. Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

An overview of the De Kat Balcony within the Castle of Good Hope which is South Africa's oldest structure (Dreamstime)

An overview of the De Kat Balcony within the Castle of Good Hope which is South Africa's oldest structure (Dreamstime)

The site: Built in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company, the Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest building.

The ghosts: The first ghost was spotted in 1915 when the apparition of a tall gentleman was seen jumping off the side of one of the castle walls, and then walking between the bastions Leerdam and Oranje. Another famous ghost, the Lady in Grey, was often seen running through the castle holding her face and crying hysterically, but has not been seen since a woman’s body was found during excavations.

Other unexplained events include the bell in the bell tower ringing of its own accord and the ghost of a black dog that pounces on unsuspecting visitors, then simply vanishes into thin air. 

Current situation: Arguably one of the world’s best preserved 17th century buildings, the castle is now a popular tourist attraction with three prestigious museums, a memorial to Krotoa the leader of the Khoi nation and an opportunity to learn more of the hidden history surrounding the castle on a guided tour. You can also eat in the restaurant in the front courtyard and watch the Key Ceremony and cannon firing.

Learn more about the Castle of Good Hope

8. Hell Fire Club, Montpelier Hill, Ireland

The ruin of former hunting lodge Hell Fire Club, atop Montpelier Hill in Dublin, Ireland (Shutterstock)

The ruin of former hunting lodge Hell Fire Club, atop Montpelier Hill in Dublin, Ireland (Shutterstock)

The site: The Hell Fire Club was a hunting lodge, built in 1925 for William Connolly, an Irish parliamentary speaker. The stones of the buildings are from ancient passage tombs, said to have angered the Devil, which first associated the site with the supernatural.

The lodge reportedly became a gathering place for a small group of Dublin elites who met for debauchery and devil worship. Its ruins sit atop the summit of Montpelier Hill in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains.

The ghosts: Tales of animal sacrifice, black masses, cloven-hoofed men and murder are linked to the structure. The most popular tale tells of a visit by a satanic creature, in the form of a man, who was only discovered when one of the players dropped a card and on picking it up, noticed the guest had cloven feet.

On his discovery, the creature disappeared in a ball of flames. There are stories about a big black cat, the size of a dog who took on a priest and haunts the lodge. The most regular ghostly visitor is a young lady, believed to have been placed in a barrel, set on fire and rolled down the hill for fun.

Current situation: The Hell fire club is a popular stopping point on a walking trail through the Dublin Hills. Ghost tours of the site are also available, with extra tours running for the week of Halloween.

Learn more about the Hell Fire Club  or watch the story of the Hell Fire Club

9. Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada

View of the Banff Springs Hotel building in Canada’s Rocky Mountains (Dreamstime)

View of the Banff Springs Hotel building in Canada’s Rocky Mountains (Dreamstime)

The Site: Styled after a Scottish baronial castle, The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta Canada, is one of Canada’s great railway hotels and reportedly one of the most haunted buildings in the country.

The ghosts: There's a bride who fell down the staircase breaking her neck after panicking when her dress caught fire. She is often seen in the ballroom dancing, with the flames coming from the back of her dress. A family were murdered in room 873. The door to this room has since been bricked up, but the family can still be seen in the hallway outside the room.

And former bellman, Sam Macauley who served at the hotel during the '60s and '70s still likes helping guests up to their rooms, dressed in his '60s uniform. If you try to tip him or make conversation, he disappears.

Current situation: Now part of the Fairmont chain of luxury hotels, the Banff Springs, also known as ‘The Castle in the Rockies’ still remains a landmark in the town of Banff, Alberta and remains a popular year-round resort.

Learn more about Banff Springs Hotel

10. Poveglia Island, Italy

Is Poveglia Island the scariest in the world? Well, we wouldn't be too surprised if it was... (Shutterstock)

Is Poveglia Island the scariest in the world? Well, we wouldn't be too surprised if it was... (Shutterstock)

The site: In the Venice Lagoon between Venice and Lido, this small island was a place where mainlanders fled to seek refuge from invaders. In the 14th century Venetians infected by the Bubonic plague were sent here to die – and, when they died, they were burned on giant pyres. The site was also used as a mental asylum during the 1800s where patients were experimented on and tortured.

The ghosts: Ask a local and they will tell you the island is full of ghosts and cursed with unhealthy spirits. Voices and screams are often heard, and visitors have reported seeing dark, fleeting shadows. Many visitors say they begin to feel an oppressive evil feeling as soon as they step on the island.

Current situation: Despite nearly being auctioned off to an entrepreneur, the island remains totally abandoned and off bounds to most visitors. Even if you were allowed to go to the island, you’d be hard to find someone willing to take you as many locals won’t step foot on Poveglia for fear of being cursed and fisherman refuse to fish in the area, worried they’ll drag up human remains.

Watch the story of Poveglia Island here

11. The Separate Prison, Port Arthur, Australia

The haunted corridors of the Separate Prison (Shutterstock)

The haunted corridors of the Separate Prison (Shutterstock)

The site:  Until the late 1800s, the Separate Prison in Tasmania's secluded Port Arthur housed some of Britain's toughest criminals. Taking inspiration from the works of British writer Jeremy Bentham, this panopticon-style prison block thrived on completely isolating prisoners to a torturous degree.

The Separate Prison operated a ‘silent system’, where prisoners were hooded, placed in solitary confinement and forbidden to speak to anyone.  Conditions were so unbearable that countless inmates would murder their fellow prisoners. They'd rather face the death penalty than spend another minute there. 

The ghosts: Hundreds of hooded inmates are said to wander the halls at night, a handful of the thousand people buried in the unmarked burial ground.  

Current situation: Port Arthur is a now a historic site museum open to the public. There are (chilling) nightly ghost tours if you’re feeling brave. 

Learn more about the Separate Prison

12. La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires, Argentina

A tomb in Cementerio de la Recoleta (Shutterstock)

A tomb in Cementerio de la Recoleta (Shutterstock)

The site: Located in the Recoleta neighbourhood of Buenos Aires, the Cementerio de la Recoleta is regarded as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world. First built in 1822, it is full of ornately-designed tombs, elaborate sculptures and mature shady trees. Buenos Aires’ best and brightest are buried here, including actress Eva Perón, the former First Lady of Argentina.

The ghosts: There are reportedly multiple spirits wandering the grid-like aisles of Recoleta. One of the most famous stories is of Rufina Cambaceres, a wealthy 19-year-old woman, the daughter of a beloved Argentine author.

Urban legend states that heavy rain postponed her burial. When the groundskeeper returned to the tomb to lay her to rest once the weather cleared, he found Rufina's coffin lid ajar, with scratch marks on the inside. The legend goes that she had been buried alive, and woke in her coffin after suffering a case of 'catalepsy'.

If you hear a jangling noise in the breeze, they may be the ghostly keys of David Alleno, a gravedigger who worked at the cemetery for 30 years. He killed himself at the cemetery, allegedly after his tomb was completed, and was buried on site. 

Current situation: While still a functioning graveyard, Cementerio de la Recoleta remains a popular destination for locals and tourist alike. Pick up a map at the entrance to help you negotiate your way around the 6,400 graves.

Learn more about Cementerio de la Recoleta

13. Jazirat Al Hamra, United Arab Emirates

An abandoned building in Jazirat al Hamra (Shutterstock)

An abandoned building in Jazirat al Hamra (Shutterstock)

The site: Once a flourishing pearl fishing village, Jazirat Al Hamra near Ras Al Kaimah was completely abandoned in the 1960s. Some say it was because of tribal conflicts, whole others blame the changing tides. The most popular theory is that the residents were driven away by ghosts.

The ghosts: Local legend has it that the ruins are haunted by malicious djinns who wander the dirt roads of the town disguised as animals. Visitors regularly hear strange noises and spot apparitions amongst the mud-coral houses.  

Current situation: The ruins are regularly used as a film set by Hollywood directors, such as Michael Bay.  Each year, residents of nearby towns and cities gather to have a party in the town. 

Learn more about Jazirat Al Hamra

14. The Langham Hotel, London, England

The Langham Hotel on Regent Street (Shutterstock)

The Langham Hotel on Regent Street (Shutterstock)

The site: The 153-year-old Langham Hotel has long been a staple of the high life in London. Literary legends Oscar Wilde and Mark Twain stayed here. And the luxury accommodation provides the setting for a famous Sherlock story,  A Scandal In Belgravia, by Arthur Conan Doyle . 

The ghosts: As befits one of London’s finest five star hotels, the ghosts that haunt the corridors here are a cut above, too. Reports have suggested that there are at least five ghosts in the 500-room establishment, with room number 333 rumoured to be the most haunted of all.

Given the size of the hotel and its lengthy history, you could potentially run into any number of spirits. However, your haunting encounter could potentially be with one of the Langham's most esteemed ghostly guests, such as Napoleon III, the first president of France, or a German nobleman, who was said to kill himself in the hotel. 

Current situation: Re-branded as the Langham Hilton in 1991 after a £100 million refurbishment, the hotel remains one of London’s most iconic hotels.  

Learn more or book your stay in the Langham Hotel

15. Teatro Tapia, San Juan, Puerto Rico

Teatro Tapia (Creative Commons: Bjoertvedt)

Teatro Tapia (Creative Commons: Bjoertvedt)

The site:  First built in 1824, the Italian-style horseshoe-shaped opera house in San Jua, Puerto Rico has been the centre of the city's cultural life for over 100 years. Don't let its supernatural connection put you off. It's worth a visit for its unique design alone.

The ghosts: The stalls here are said to be haunted by the spirit of an actress who fell to her death during a performance. She returned to haunt the venue from beyond the grave and can still be heard, at times, singing from the stage.  There have even been reports of doors slamming shut backstage. 

Current situation: Teatro Tapia, in addition to its fame as one of Puerto Rico's most haunted sites, hosts a full calendar of more earthly events including frequent ballet and opera performances.  

Learn more about Teatro Tapia

16. Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India

Ferries jostling in front of the Taj Mahal Palace (Shutterstock)

Ferries jostling in front of the Taj Mahal Palace (Shutterstock)

The site: Arguably the grandest hotel in Mumbai, if not India, the 560-room Taj Mahal Palace has been the place to wine, dine and sleep since the days of the Raj. It has put the tragedy of the 2008 terrorist attacks behind it, to take centre stage in the city again.  

The ghosts: One of the hotel’s architects, W. A. Chambers, threw himself from the fifth floor balcony. Apparently, he was distressed when he returned from a trip abroad to discover that the hotel's design had gone in a completely different direction in his absence. In a tragic twist of fate, his ghost is said to wander the halls and the Old Wing of the hotel.  

Current situation: Still one of India’s most glamorous hotels, rooms start from £200.

Learn more about the  Taj Mahal Palace

17. Carl Beck House, Ontario, Canada

Carl Beck House (Airbnb)

Carl Beck House (Airbnb)

The site: This large, picturesque county house was built by Canadian lumber magnate, Carl Beck. After his wife died, his eldest daughter Mary took over as head of the household. Despite raising her younger siblings, she was left only a single dollar in her father’s will. The rest of the estate was divided amongst the siblings that she’d given up her life to care for.

The ghosts:  Guests staying at Carl Beck House have reported seeing a suited-up man being chased by a very angry woman wearing a dark-coloured blouse and skirt. No prizes for guessing who they are.

Current situation:  You can spend the night Carl Beck House on Airbnb, with prices starting from $98 a night.  If you're unafraid of a thrill, that is. The house frequently lands on lists of the most haunted Airbnb properties you can stay in.

Learn more about or book your stay at Carl Beck House

18. Chaonei Church, Beijing, China

The ruins of Chaonei Church (Creative Common: Daniel Case)

The ruins of Chaonei Church (Creative Common: Daniel Case)

The site:  Chaonei 81, commonly known as Chaonei Church, was first built in 1910, not as a church but as the North China Union Language School to teach Mandarin Chinese to missionaries from the West.

From the 1930s, the Chaoyangmen neighborhood of Beijing's most imposing house served as a Catholic church, until the communist government took control of the building in the 1950s. Truth be told, there's still a bit of dispute as to the building's true origins.

The ghosts: One grisly tale about Chaonei Church's origins suggests it was the home for a Chinese National Party official in 1949. That story didn't end so well. 

So, depending on your luck, you’ll either come across the government official's mistress, who killed herself there after their break up, or a group of three drunk construction workers who broke into the building and were never seen again.   Eerily, the temperature of the house is said to be much colder than the rest of Beijing, even during the summer.

Current situation:  The house is still abandoned, though. It's considered the most haunted place in Beijing, and is left undisturbed by the city's wider population, wary of the ghostly householders. Unless, of course, there's an opportunity to film a movie there...

19. Kellie’s Castle, Batu Gajah, Malaysia

Kellie's Castle in Batu Gajah, Malaysia (Shutterstock)

Kellie's Castle in Batu Gajah, Malaysia (Shutterstock)

Site: This unfinished mansion, built in a Moorish revival and Indo-Saracenic style, was started by a Scottish planter named William Kellie-Smith. It was meant to be a as be a gift to his wife, but sadly he died of pneumonia in Lisbon, Portugal, where he was visiting to purchase a lift for the property. 

Neither his wife nor his children could bear to return to the property, and other family didn't wish to return to Malaysia, so  it was left to decay and become derelict. 

Ghosts:  Photographers visiting the area for its nature and wildlife have claimed to see ghostly figures standing by the window frames. The man himself, Mr Kellie-Smith, despite dying in Portugal, is still said to haunt the second-floor hallway, no doubt disappointed his grand vision was never completed.  

Current situation: Kellie's Castle still stands to this day, and you can embark on a private tour to fully explore the building and its history. Tours are available daily from Kuala Lumpur, which is two hours away.

Learn more about Kellie's Castle

20. Casa de la Poesia, Bogotá, Colombia

Casa de Poesía Silva, Bogotá, Colombia (Poesía Silva)

Casa de Poesía Silva, Bogotá, Colombia (Poesía Silva)

The site: Located in the Candelaria neighbourhood of Bogotá,   Casa de la Poesia was the home of the great Modernist poet José Asunción Silva.  He was known to be quite morbid, and lived through several personal tragedies, including the death of his beloved sister, Elvira.

He also lost his many of finest works - handwritten manuscripts - during a shipwreck.  José died in the house in 1896, at the young age of 30.   In 1995, it was declared a Colombian national monument for its historic significance.

The ghosts: Se ñ or Silva himself is said to still haunt his house. Visitors frequently report hearing the poet muttering under his breath from other rooms.  

Current situation: Casa de Poesía Silva  remains a listed national monument in Colombia. Visitors and locals alike can see the house during one of its regular poetry readings or literary workshops.  

Learn more about  Casa de Poesía Silva

Discover more of the world's spooky stuff:

A complete guide to day of the dead, the most haunted places in the uk, 8 of the scariest insects on the planet, related articles, looking for inspiration.

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35 Most Haunted Places in the World

Consider this your ultimate spooky travel guide.

places in the haunted house

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

places in the haunted house

Getty Images / Lonely Planet Images

While some haunted houses may seem a little hokey — filled with actors dressed as ghouls, goblins, and mad scientists — many places around the world have well-earned reputations for being actually haunted.

Some of these spots are shrouded in mystery, with creepy legends about them passed down through the centuries. Others are much newer, but they are still haunted by their tragic pasts. Each one has an interesting backstory and is known for ghostly sightings or other spine-tingling experiences.

Ghost hunters across the globe are always trying to catch a glimpse of a spirit, hear mysterious voices coming from an empty room, or feel a chill while investigating a creepy corridor. Luckily, there are numerous reportedly haunted places that are open for public tours or even overnight stays. No matter where you are in the world, there's probably a haunted house or haunted hotel nearby that's just waiting for you to visit.

Plenty of places in the United States — from the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose to the historic battlefields of Gettysburg — can send a chill up your spine. Outside the country, ghosts, strange sounds and lights, and bizarre UFO experiences have been reported throughout Europe and as far away as Australia and China. Here's a look at 35 of the most haunted places in the world.

Raynham Hall in Norfolk, United Kingdom

Chris Radburn / PA Images /Getty Images; The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

This English country home may be gorgeous, but it also has a dark past. The mysterious "Brown Lady" who haunts its halls is rumored to be Lady Dorothy Walpole, who was trapped in an unhappy marriage and later found solace in the arms of a fellow British aristocrat. Stories say it was either her enraged husband or the scorned wife of her lover who locked her in her room at Raynham Hall, where she eventually died in 1726. Her ghost, nicknamed so for the color of her dress, was reportedly captured on film in the December 1936 edition of Country Life . Guests can visit the home on any of its " Open Days " throughout the year.

Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India

NurPhoto / Getty Images

This long-abandoned fortress , in a valley roughly 30 miles northeast of Jaipur, is considered one of the most haunted places in India. According to one story, a tantric priest fell in love with Ratnavati, a beautiful princess who lived at the fort. After Ratnavati spurned his advances, the priest cast a spell that prevented everyone in the fort and the surrounding village from being reborn. Another story tells of a sadhu, or holy man, ordering Ratnavati’s grandfather to build the fort without casting shadows over the sadhu’s own house (spoiler alert: Ratnavati’s stepbrother ignored the warning and built a towering addition; the entire town was soon destroyed). These two curses, as the legend goes, doomed the ghosts of the princess and her fellow villagers to wander the now-desolate settlement for eternity. Today, guests can still visit the fort's impressive ruins, though the entire area is closed to the public between sunset and sunrise – perhaps to give the ghosts some space.

Poveglia in Venice, Italy

Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images

A half mile offshore from the Lido, the beautiful island of Poveglia was once a quarantine zone for people suffering from the plague, and it was used as a psychiatric hospital in the early 20th century. Paranormal investigators claim the ghosts of the former patients have made this spot their eternal stomping ground. The island is officially closed to the public, though ferries and charter boats will occasionally take passengers on pre-approved visits.

The Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge, United Kingdom

This 12th-century hostelry , located on the western edge of the Cotswolds, is one of the oldest in the Western world. It was built atop what is believed to have been an ancient pagan burial ground, and it's supposedly haunted by more than 20 spirits, including several children and a monk. Fearless travelers can book a ghost tour at the inn in hopes of experiencing the specters firsthand.

Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia

Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

British colonialists founded Tasmania's Port Arthur as a penal colony in 1830. After arriving from the United Kingdom, the settlement’s prisoners endured solitary confinement, hard labor, and both physical and psychological abuse. More than 1,000 of them died before operations ceased in 1877. We imagine any tortured soul would find it hard to rest after all that, and visitors to the site have reported everything from empty rocking chairs moving on their own to ghosts dressed in 19th-century clothing suddenly appearing in windows.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

This beautiful ocean liner, launched by Cunard White Star in 1936, spent more than 30 years in service before permanently docking in Long Beach and becoming a hotel and tourist attraction. Ever since then, visitors and staff alike have reported seeing countless ghosts on the ship . These include The Lady in White, often spotted clad in a pale evening gown and dancing by herself in the lobby bar; William Eric Stark, an officer who died on board from an accidental poisoning and has been seen roaming the promenade deck; and Leonard Horsborough, a cook who died at sea on the Queen Mary’s final voyage and is said to now haunt the hotel’s kitchen.

Burg Wolfsegg in Wolfsegg, Germany

This 800-year-old Bavarian fortress has its own Lady in White. In life, she was married to the lord of the castle, whose military duties often kept him away from home for long stretches. Upon learning of an affair between his wife and one of his soldiers, the jealous husband killed them both. Now the woman's ghost, so the story goes, spends eternity climbing Burg Wolfsegg’s stairs and wandering its hallways. The castle is typically open on weekends and public holidays from May to early October.

The Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts

Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

The 1892 murders of businessman Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abigail, in this unassuming home made headlines across the country. Andrew’s daughter Lizzie was accused of killing her father and stepmother, but she was eventually acquitted in the much-publicized trial that followed. Since then, guests have reported all sorts of strange sightings in the house, now a bed-and-breakfast. Ghost tours and overnight stays are available for intrepid travelers who want to experience the notorious residence for themselves.

Casa Loma in Toronto, Ontario

For decades, both guests and staff at this Gothic Revival castle have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange voices, footsteps, and closing doors around the property. The "Lady in White" is thought to be the ghost of a maid who dies of influenza in the early 20th century, while the spirit of Casa Loma's original owners, Sir Henry Pellatt and his wife Lady Mary, are rumored to still haunt the grounds. Tour the home and gardens during the day or visit in October for its annual Legends of Horror events, when guests can wander a trail through some of the castle's creepiest tunnels.

Château de Brissac in Brissac-Quincé, France

Getty Images / Hemis.fr RM

This 17th-century Loire Valley castle incorporates two towers from the medieval castle — once occupied by Jacques de Brézé, the Duke of Bressac — that it replaced. According to legend, after de Brézé caught his wife, Charlotte, and one of his huntsmen en flagrant délit in the south tower, he killed them both on the spot. Some visitors have claimed to have seen Charlotte’s ghost, nicknamed The Green Lady for the color of her dress, roaming the halls. Visit the château and try to spot her yourself. Honestly, though, the stunning architecture alone is worth the trip.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

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Not only is this popular Rocky Mountain destination famous for inspiring Stephen King's classic horror novel "The Shining," it also has its own spooky past. Allegedly, staff members have encountered ghosts such as the maid from Room 217, who is known to pack away guests' clothing when they aren't looking. The hotel offers a variety of accommodations and ghost tours of the property if you're feeling brave enough. It also makes a great base if you want to visit nearby Rocky Mountain National Park .

Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff, Alberta

This postcard-perfect chateau , open since 1888, has long been associated with paranormal activity. One of the most well-known stories is of the "Ghost Bride," the spirit of a woman who died during her wedding at the hotel. She is sometimes seen still dressed in her white gown and waltzing alone in the Cascade Ballroom. Another is of Sam the Bellman, a cantankerous old porter at the hotel who threatened to come back and haunt the place after he died. He apparently kept his word, as numerous guests have told of a silent bellhop who brought their bags to their rooms before disappearing without a trace.

St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida

This red-white-and-black beacon has guided mariners through St. Augustine Inlet since 1874. It’s also drawn a host of seaside specters. Employees have attributed a clanging bucket and randomly opened windows to the Shadow Figure, whom many visitors insist they’ve seen peering down at them over the interior railings. And the ghost of a former keeper reveals his presence with the aroma of burning cherry tobacco – despite the lighthouse's no-smoking rule. During the day, climb the spiral staircase to the widows walk for beautiful views of Anastasia Island, the Matanzas River, and the Atlantic Ocean— or  take a ghost tour  at night, if you dare.

One If by Land, Two If by Sea in New York City

The owners of this legendary Greenwich Village establishment claim that it occupies a former carriage house once owned by Aaron Burr — yes, the same Aaron Burr who infamously shot Alexander Hamilton — and that his ghost still haunts the place. In reality, the two-story brick structure was built as a private residence in 1834 (while the disgraced ex-VP was hiding across the Hudson from his creditors). Still, One if by Land is consistently ranked among New York's most romantic restaurants. Given Burr’s well-documented penchant for living the high life, it’s only natural he’d frequent the gorgeous candlelit dining room here in the afterlife.

The Tower of London in the United Kingdom

The Tower of London complex became the final resting place for many people of historical significance. The site of imprisonment and executions more than 900 years, it's known especially for its ghostly sightings of English royalty. Anne Bolelyn, the second wife of Henry VII, was beheaded in 1536 on the Tower Green. Her ghost is said to haunt the space today. Lady Arbella Stuart, imprisoned for following her heart rather than the rules, starved herself to death in 1615 inside the Queen's House. Several visitors have reported seeing her apparition there.

Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, South Carolina

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Originally built as the Planters Hotel in 1809 and converted to a theater in 1935, this famous playhouse in the city's French Quarter continues to host performances, despite the horror lurking within its walls: Patrons have claimed to see ghosts up in the rafters, as well as on the stage. Its most well-known apparitions include Nettie, a former sex worker who plied her trade at the hotel and can be seen still wearing her red dress (stories say she was struck by lightning during a storm in the 19th century), and Junius Booth, the father of the man who shot Abraham Lincoln, who once stayed at the Planters Hotel with his acting troupe.

Tao Dan Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The gorgeous gardens of Tao Dan Park may look lush and relaxing during the day, but some say the space takes on an entirely different feel at night. That's when, according to urban legend, the ghost of a young man who was killed in an attack still wanders the park, looking for his lost love.

The Old Vicarage in Borgvattnet, Sweden

This former home for Lutheran vicars is considered one of Sweden’s most haunted houses. Over the years, residents and visitors have reported oddities like unexplained footsteps and music, apparitions of a woman dressed all in gray, and a rocking chair that seemed to move without any earthly assistance. The Old Vicarage currently operates as a cafe and an inn, so brave souls can stop for a bite or spend the night.

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

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Three years after rifle magnate William Wirt Winchester died in 1881, his widow, Sarah, moved into an eight-room farmhouse on the still-rural outskirts of San Jose. She spent the next 38 years expanding the modest structure into this dizzying 160-room labyrinth, which has 10,000 windows, 13 bathrooms, six kitchens, and 47 stairways – some of which lead to nowhere. Rumors swirled that Winchester built the maze-like mansion to evade the vengeful spirits of those killed by her husband's guns. Others suggested the ghosts themselves directed the construction during seances that Winchester conducted. Is the home haunted today? Take the Walk With Spirits tour and decide for yourself.

The Driskill in Austin, Texas

Many big-name celebrities have stayed at this popular downtown Austin hotel since it opened in 1886. So, apparently, have more than a few phantoms. One of the most notorious tales involves two women, each jilted at the altar, who took their own lives in room 525 – several decades apart. Founder Jesse Driskill's ghost is sometimes spotted roaming the grounds, smoking his cigar. Some guests claim to have also seen the ghost of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who went on a first date with his future wife here in 1934 and frequented the hotel throughout his life.

Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Norway

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This medieval castle once served as a defensive stronghold for the city of Oslo, and it is rumored to be the most haunted place in all of Norway. The most well-known supernatural sightings include a demon dog that's said to guard the gates to the castle, and the spirit of a woman with no facial features. It's free to visit , so ghost-hunting travelers will definitely want to check it out.

Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa

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The Dutch East India Company built this pentagonal fortress in the late 17th century to protect its burgeoning Cape Colony, and the British later used part of it as a prison with a torture chamber. Several ghosts reportedly wander the grounds, including that of a tall man walking along and falling from the ramparts, and that of Lady Anne Barnard, who once entertained important visitors to the fort. Another curiosity: The bell in the bell tower sometimes rings all by itself, despite being blocked off by bricks hundreds of years ago. Visitors can tour the fort and learn more about South African history in the Cape Heritage Museum .

The Paris Catacombs in France

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The Paris Catacombs are truly spooky, with the remains of more than six million people located throughout the vast system of underground tunnels. While you can tour some of the tunnels today, be warned, as they're not for the faint of heart. And don't even think of venturing down there after midnight. According to urban legend, that's when strange voices (supposedly belonging to those who are buried there) will try to convince you to wander deeper and deeper within the tunnels until you get lost.

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

This 12th-century fortress has seen a lot of action over the years. Many different eerie experiences have been reported, including unexplained music echoing through the halls. Many believe it comes from the ghost of a piper who died in the castle while investigating a series of tunnels that had been discovered — they were later resealed, but his tunes can still be heard on quiet nights. A ghostly drummer has also been spotted along the battlements and was known to appear prior to an attack.

The Forbidden City in Beijing

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You may not necessarily think of the Forbidden City as haunted, but ghost hunters know better. Though crowded with visitors during the day, the ancient complex closes every evening – and that's when things get interesting. More than a few night watchmen have reported the apparition of a woman dressed in white, sobbing as she wanders the grounds. Others claimed to have cornered a woman dressed in black and ordered her to turn around, only to see an intruder with no face. Still not convinced? Take a tour and ask your guide why the thresholds are all so high. (Spoiler alert: Ghosts can't jump.)

Hoia-Baciu Forest in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Many aficionados of the paranormal consider this spot – with its eerily crooked trees and a barren patch of land rumored to be a portal to another dimension – the most haunted forest in the world. Visitors often report intense feelings of anxiety and an overwhelming sense of being watched while traveling among the trees. Some of the most commonly reported supernatural occurrences here include unexplained apparitions, photographs showing faces that were not visible to the photographers when the pictures were taken, and UFO sightings.

Kehoe House in Savannah, Georgia

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This Renaissance Revival mansion was completed in 1892 for William and Anne Kehoe, who lived there with their 10 children. In 1930 it became a funeral parlor. The house was eventually turned into a bed-and-breakfast, and guests have noted mysterious sounds of little ones playing, among other creepy occurrences. Ghost-chasing guests visiting the notoriously haunted city of Savannah should feel right at home here.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

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More than 7,000 soldiers lost their lives here during the Civil War's deadliest engagement, and their tortured spirits are said to still wander the town. Many visitors to the hallowed battlefield have reported seeing phantom soldiers – some on horseback, others marching in formation. Downtown, some people have reported hearing and seeing the ghosts of children in the building that once housed the National Soldiers' Orphans Homestead. And the spirit of Jennie Wade, the Battle of Gettysburg's only civilian death, is said to still haunt the home where a stray bullet took her life.

Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Romania

If you're a fan of vampire lore, you're probably familiar with Vlad the Impaler, who famously inspired the title character in Bram Stoker's "Dracula." In real life, the bloodthirsty ruler was kept prisoner at Corvin Castle (also called Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle). Other prisoners included a monk bricked into one of the walls as punishment for spying. His ghost is thought to haunt the castle to this day. So too are the spirits of three prisoners promised freedom if they dug a well and found water. They did, but they were never freed. You'll just have to plan a visit to see whether the legends are true.

Lawang Sewu in Semarang, Indonesia

This former railway headquarters and World War II-era prison is believed to be the most haunted place in Indonesia. Apparitions that have been reported here include the ghost of a Dutch woman, various headless spirits, and a kuntilanak (a female vampiric ghost of Malaysian and Indonesian mythology). Visitors can check out the historic building on their own or take a haunted heritage tour to see whether they can spot any phantoms themselves.

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

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While Recoleta Cemetery may be best known as the final resting place of former Argentine first lady Eva Perón, the labyrinthine necropolis is also famous for the stories of its many ghostly residents. One popular tale is that of a woman in white who chats up single men near the corner of the cemetery and gets them to fall in love with her. To their surprise, the men later learn that the mystery woman has been dead since 1925 and is actually entombed near the cemetery's entrance.

Teatro Tapia in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Courtesy of Visit Puerto Rico

Open since 1832, Teatro Tapia (officially Teatro Alejandro Tapia y Rivera) is almost as famous for its hauntings as it is for its performances. Audience members have reported hearing strange voices and footsteps coming from empty rooms, and the building itself is said to be haunted by two specific ghosts. One is the spirit of a woman who dresses in red and still attends shows (keep an eye out if you're seated in Box 105). The other is that of an actress who tragically fell to her death during a performance; she has reportedly been spotted on stage before disappearing into thin air.

Old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia

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It turns out that Australia's legislature used to convene in one of the country's most haunted buildings. Security guards have reported doors that opened by themselves, the sound of a woman screaming, a specific spot that always smelled of cigar smoke, and an apparition so terrifying it scared several of them into abandoning their posts (one even quit on the spot). Though ghost tours no longer operate here, you can still visit the Museum of Australian Democracy to at least get a peek inside during daytime hours.

Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan

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This 17th-century fortress consists of of 83 buildings and a maze-like floor plan designed to confuse invading enemies. The tiles on its roof are decorated with images of Onigawaras, meant to keep evil spirits away. Despite that, the castle is said to be haunted by, among other ghostly creatures , a young servant woman named Okiku. According to local lore, she was accused of losing one of her master's 10 porcelain plates, all part of a plan to trick her into becoming his mistress — when she refused, he pushed her down the well. Okiku still haunts it, returning every so often to count her plates and wail whenever she reaches missing plate number 10. If this story sounds familiar, that's because it inspired the film "The Ring."

The Cuban Club in Tampa, Florida

Courtesy of The Cuban Club

A popular venue for weddings and cultural events since it opened in 1918, the Cuban Club is also reputedly home to about 300 ghosts, including a playwright said to haunt the theater, a young boy seen in the basement (where the pool he drowned in once stood), and a young woman who was pushed from the ballroom's third-floor balcony after she refused to dance with someone. Take a ghost tour of the venue to learn more — if you dare.

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27 of the Most Haunted Places in America That Horror Fans Need to Visit

Trust us—these aren't for the faint of heart.

preview for 10 Haunting Facts About Halloween

Grab your friends and plan a road trip to the most haunted hotels in America , along with ghost-filled homes, eerie prisons, and other scariest places across the country. A ghost tour can be an unforgettable outing, say at the Emlen Physick Estate in Cape May, New Jersey, which allegedly boasts a handful of mysterious presences. Or take a self-guided adventure through the Waverly Hills Sanatorium, a former tuberculosis hospital in Louisville, Kentucky. You may even recognize a few supernaturally surged spots from popular literature or films: Fans of The Shining can get a taste of the inspiration behind the Stephen King book-turned-movie with an overnight stay at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. And perhaps most notable of all (although sadly not open to the public), you can still snap a few photos of the actual Amityville Horror House in New York. From New Orleans to California and everywhere in between, each ghoulish locale will serve up spooks like you've never seen before.

White House in Washington, D.C.

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That's right: One of the most famous places in the entire country is also haunted! The sightings are numerous and have been experienced by everyone from Winston Churchill (who reportedly stumbled into the ghost of Lincoln one night) to Ronald Reagan. There's even a Demon Cat in the basement whose sighting foretells a national disaster.

Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina

haunted biltmore estate in north carolina

Built in the 1800s by George Washington Vanderbilt II, the grand home didn't see its first paranormal activity until after Vanderbilt's passing, when his heirs decided to open the home to the public. The voice of Vanderbilt's wife is just one spooky encounter visitors report. The hidden doors and passageways only add to the effect!


Pittock Mansion in Portland, Oregon

most haunted places pittock mansion

At the cusp of the Portland's industrialization, pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock built their dream home—and, some would argue, never left. The historic site functions as a museum today, but instances of a moving portrait and wafts of roses (Georgiana's favorite flowers) have all been reported .

St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida

most haunted places st augustine lighthouse

There's no shortage of eerie instances running amok at the St. Augustine Lighthouse —so much so that Ghost Hunters even paid the spot a visit. Past lighthouse keepers, as well as two sisters who died on the premises, still apparently roam the structure . Staff members have also allegedly reported finding doors mysteriously unlocked after returning in the morning.

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum in Weston, West Virginia

most haunted places trans allegheny lunatic asylum

Also appearing on Ghost Hunters , this asylum opened its doors to mentally ill patients in the mid-1800s and officially shut down in 1994. But that hasn't stopped its bevy of apparitions and sounds (presumably from deceased patients) from spooking 21st-century visitors.

Kehoe House in Savannah, Georgia

most haunted places kehoe house

You're never strapped for the supernatural in Savannah, which has been deemed one of the country's most haunted cities. Exhibit A: The Kehoe House , formerly home to the 12-person Kehoe family and the Goette Funeral Home. While unconfirmed, there are also beliefs that two of the Kehoe children died within the mansion, adding more fuel to the paranormal fire.

R.M.S. Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

most haunted places rms queen mary

You'll need your sea legs and a bit of bravery to board this haunted vessel, which coincidentally ran its last voyage on Halloween 1967. Now permanently docked in Long Beach, California, the R.M.S. Queen Mary is believed to host spirits of deceased crew and passengers from its former 31-year tenure at sea. Book a "Haunted Encounter" tour to potentially encounter the alleged "lady in white" and even various children.

Crescent Hotel in Eureka Springs, Arkansas

most haunted places crescent hotel

Claiming ownership in the 1930s, Norman Baker posed as a doctor and rebranded the Crescent Hotel into a faux cancer hospital. Fast forward to present day, when several ghosts , including "Dr." Baker himself and a patient known as Theodora, have interacted with guests at the rightfully deemed America's Most Haunted Hotel . Staff has also noted an instance of visitors becoming faint during tours at the exact same spot—directly above the old morgue.

LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana

most haunted places lalaurie mansion

Named for its master, Madame Marie Delphine LaLaurie (who even inspired a character on American Horror Story: Coven ), this French Quarter fixture gets referred to by locals simply as the "Haunted House." The mansion earned its moniker after a fire broke out in 1834, which exposed a part of the home where seven enslaved people had been bound in chains and starved. Moans from these people are still said to resonate within the home, which is now privately owned. While you won't be able to step inside and see for your yourself, you can make a pit stop through a New Orleans Ghost Tour .

'Iolani Palace in Honolulu, Hawaii

most haunted places iolani palace

Before Hawaii became an American territory, King Kalākaua built this modern fortress in 1882, where he lived with his wife, Queen Kapiʻolani, and sister, Queen Liliʻuokalani, who took over the throne after his death. Now functioning as a public museum, 'Iolani Palace still holds ties to its past royal residents. Security guards claim to see Queen Lili‘uokalani's ghost roaming the grounds in the early mornings, along with hearing one of the property's pianos unexpectedly playing.

Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast in Fall River, Massachusetts

most haunted places lizzie borden bed and brekfast

This isn't your standard New England B&B. The haunted home was the site of two violent murders in 1892: Lizzie Borden's father and stepmother. Many place the blame on Lizzie herself, who was tried and later acquitted for the case. Brave souls can book an overnight stay in the same room where Abby Borden passed away, or go ghost hunting through one of the site's Paranormal Nights .

Amityville Horror House in Amityville, New York

most haunted places amityville horror house

You've probably seen your fair share of Amityville scares on the big screen , but the real-life home that's since inspired a handful of films is almost as creepy as the Hollywood portrayals. The site marks the spot where Ronald DeFeo shot and killed his parents and siblings in 1974, and the next family to call the place "home" only lasted a mere 28 days before moving out. You can guess why. After new ownership and an address change to ward off hoards of visitors, the house is currently off limits to the public, but you can still head to Ocean Avenue to see the facade for yourself.

The Ohio State Reformatory in Mansfield, Ohio

haunted places in ohio - ohio state reformatory

Both movie buffs and ghost hunters will want to pay a visit to the Ohio State Reformatory . The former prison, which is where The Shawshank Redemption was filmed, is rumored to be haunted by former inmates, its past superintendent and his wife, and the previous farm boss and his family who were murdered outside the building. Visitors can tour this 132-year-old Mansfield, Ohio , institution year-round.

The Grove in Jefferson, Texas

most haunted places in texas - the grover jefferson texas

This Jefferson, Texas , landmark, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, is said to be haunted by several spirits including a Lady in White. Though no one knows exactly what went on at the Grove , several former homeowners, neighbors, and locals have shared tales of scary sightings. Tours are available throughout the year, but reservations are required.

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

haunted places in pa - eastern state penitentiary

Before it was a tourist attraction, the Eastern State Penitentiary was a prison known for its severe punishments and famous inmates like Alphonse “Scarface” Capone. The 197-year-old Philadelphia landmark is open to the public for daytime tours, Halloween attractions, and even private paranormal investigations on special nights from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m.

Grove Park Inn in Asheville, North Carolina

haunted places in nc - grove park inn ashveille north carolina

Over the years, both staffers and visitors have become acquainted with the Pink Lady, a guest that's taken up residence in the Asheville, North Carolina 's Grove Park Inn . The phantom supposedly haunts room 545, lingers throughout the hotel, and likes to play harmless pranks on those who work and stay there. Check it out for yourself by booking a stay .

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

haunted places in california - winchester mystery house

The former home of Sarah Winchester—the late rifle heiress who inspired the 2018 movie starring Helen Mirren—the enormous Winchester Mystery House is said to host friendly spirits, including one nicknamed the “wheelbarrow ghost.” While no one can prove a connection to paranormal activity, it’s one heck of a dark and spooky mansion with more than 160 rooms, a door that leads to nowhere, and more quirky features.

The Whitney Restaurant in Detroit, Michigan

haunted places in michigan - whitney restaurant

Stop by the Whitney Restaurant in Detroit, Michigan , for dinner or a drink at its Ghost Bar, and you may find yourself in the company of the original homeowner, David Whitney, or his wife, Flora, whose spirits supposedly lurk around the building. But don’t worry: The phantoms that tend to drop in seem to be friendly, according to employees.

Bara-Hack Settlement in Pomfret, Connecticut

haunted places in ct - bara hack settlement

Once a village of Welsh settlers, this set of ruins in Pomfret, Connecticut , is now nicknamed the Village of Ghostly Voices for its infamous paranormal activity, which includes rumors of bizarre sounds and visits from creepy creatures. Though it was once a tourist attraction for ghost hunters and teens looking for thrills, it’s now currently closed to the public.

The Don CeSar Hotel in St. Petersburg, Florida

haunted places in florida - don cesar hotel

This pretty pink palace in St. Petersburg, Florida , was originally created as a way for its founder to remember his lost love. Now it's also home to his ghost, according to staffers who have claimed to see and experience some crazy phenomenons there. The Don CeSar Hotel 's fifth floor, which is where the founder once lived, is said to be especially filled with unusual activity. Find out if the rumors are true by stopping by or booking a seaside stay.

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The 22 Most Haunted Places in the World

Below you’ll find a list of 22 of the scariest places on earth, some of which you will most likely of heard of and some of which you may have not. What is for sure, though, is that you’ll probably want to read some of these creepy stories with the lights on!

Although our speciality here at Haunted Rooms is the UK’s most haunted hotels , we’re fascinated by any haunted place , and there are lots of them about. So, we have decided to put together what we think are the most haunted places in the world. See our sister site for the most haunted places in America .

Here are the most haunted places in the world!

1. Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania, United States

Haunted Eastern State Penitentiary

Built in 1829, Eastern State Penitentiary is a former prison in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It’s known for being the very first prison of its kind to introduce solitary confinement, or what they used to call the Pennsylvania System.

Prisoners were sent to solitary during this time as a form of rehabilitation. They would be completely isolated, living alone, eating alone, and even exercising alone in their yards. Whenever an inmate left his cell, a black hood would be placed over his head to assure he remained in confinement.

Due to the Eastern States’ harsh approach, many prisoners were driven to insanity, and as a result, the Pennsylvania System was scrapped in 1913. From then until 1970, it was used as a regular prison and held the likes of Al Capone and the bank robber Willie Sutton.

Reports of the paranormal have been going on since the 1940s, but ever since the stone prison was abandoned in 1971, paranormal experiences have seemingly increased.

Reports include:

  • Shadowy figures that seem to quickly turn away when approached
  • a dark figure that is occasionally seen in the guard tower
  • an evil cackling is heard coming from cell block 12
  • shadowy figures have been seen sliding down walls in cellblock 6
  • ghostly faces have been witnessed in cellblock 4
  • and strange sounds such as disembodied footsteps, distant talking, and banging of cell doors have also been heard.

Visit Eastern State for more info

2. Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky, United States

Haunted Waverly Hills

Waverly Hills was originally a two-story wooden building that was opened in 1910. However, the building you see today was constructed in 1926. It served as a tuberculosis hospital throughout the early to mid 20th century, when the disease was at its worst. It is believed that as many as 63,000 patients died there.

The death toll and the supposed mistreatment and questionable experimental procedures on patients are all recipes that may be behind one of the most haunted buildings in the whole of the US.

The Waverly Hills Sanatorium has built quite a reputation over the years as more and more people are allowed to investigate the premises. This has thrown up some incredible evidence over the years.

It has featured on shows such as Ghost Adventures, Ghost Hunters (TAPS), and our very own Most Haunted. TAPS captured a figure on their thermal imaging camera that seemed to be walking across the hall. The figure was about 3ft tall, and they later found out that the ghost of a young boy named Tim had been spotted there before.

There are vast amounts of varying reports, including full-bodied apparitions, fleeting shadows, screams from empty rooms, footsteps, sudden cold spots, and disembodied voices, among many others.

Learn more about Waverly Hills Sanatorium

3. Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales, Australia

Haunted Monte Cristo Homestead

The historic Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, New South Wales, is regarded as the most haunted location in Australia. Its reputation stems from several tragic events that have occurred there since it was built in 1885.

From its construction up to 1948, the Crawley family owned and resided in the property. During this time, the family witnessed many deaths, including the tragic death of a young child who was dropped down the stairs. A maid to the family is believed to have fallen from the balcony, and a stable boy burned to death on the property.

A mentally ill man named Harold (the son of a caretaker) was chained up in the caretaker’s cottage for 40 years. He was found curled up next to the body of his dead mother and sent to a mental institute, where he died shortly after.

The tragedy doesn’t end with the Crawley’s. After the house was left in 1948, it was taken over by a group of caretakers, one of whom was murdered in the caretaker’s cottage.

Learn more about the Monte Cristo Homestead

4. Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

Haunted Castle of Good Hope

The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa, was built in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company. It’s the country’s oldest colonial building, originally serving as a replenishment station for ships passing the treacherous waters of the Cape.

The first reported paranormal occurrence was when the apparition of a tall gentleman was seen in 1915 on one of the castles’ ramparts.

The man wasn’t seen again until 1947, when he was seen regularly over two weeks. He would be seen jumping off the side of one of the castle walls and walking between the bastions Leerdam and Oranje.

One of the most popular stories associated with the Castle involves the former governor Pieter Gysbert van Noodt. He died on 23 April 1728, the same day he had sentenced seven soldiers to death after they were caught attempting to desert the military.

It’s believed one of the soldiers placed a curse on him and demanded he come to watch the execution, which he didn’t. Later that day, Van Noodt was found dead, slumped over his desk with a look of terror on his face.

Another famous haunting is the Lady in Grey. She has been witnessed running through the castle, holding her face and crying hysterically. However, since a woman’s body was found during recent excavations, her ghost hasn’t been reported.

Sometime in the 1700s, a soldier was found hanging from the bell rope in the bell tower, which overlooks the entrance to the castle. After his death, the bell tower was sealed off. However, the bell has been known to strike off its own accord to this day.

There’s also the ghost of a black dog who has been known to pounce on unsuspecting visitors, then vanish into thin air.

Learn more about the Castle of Good Hope

5. The Tower of London, London, England

The Haunted Tower Of London

With a history of torture and execution going back over 900 years, the Tower of London is regarded by many as one of the most haunted places in the UK . It was originally built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and has served a significant role in the history of England ever since.

There have been many reports of the paranormal at the Tower of London over the years. The most famous of all the ghosts that live within its walls is Anne Boleyn’s ghost , the wife of King Henry VIII. She was beheaded in 1536, and her headless body has been seen walking the Tower’s corridors and often near the spot of her demise.

Other full-bodied apparitions have also been seen, including Lady Jane Grey, spotted by a guardsman in 1957. In the White Tower, the White Lady has been seen, often standing at the window, where she once stood waving to her children on the other side of the building.

Perhaps the most spine chilling of all reports includes the mysterious appearance of two children. They have been witnessed throughout the rooms of the castle. They’re often seen in their nightgowns, holding hands and with a look of terror on their faces.

It is believed these are two former Princes who were sent to the Tower after they were deemed illegitimate by Parliament. They vanished one day, and it was assumed that they were murdered by order of their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. Two small skeletons were exhumed beneath a staircase in the White Tower.

Learn more about the ghosts of the Tower of London

Related pages: The Most Haunted Places in London | The 8 Most Haunted Pubs in London | The 5 Most Haunted Hotels in London

6. Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, England

Haunted Ancient Ram Inn

The Inn was built on the intersection of 2 ley lines, which many people believe is a conductor for spiritual activity. In addition, an ancient Pagan burial ground is said to have resided in the property over 5,000 years ago.

During its time as bed and breakfast, people would often flee in the middle of the night, often seeing full-bodied apparitions in their rooms, the feeling of being touched/pulled, disembodied voices, and the just the general sense of evil.

John, the previous owner (now deceased) of the Ram Inn, reported that on his first night in the house in 1968, he felt a presence grab his arm before being dragged out of bed and across the room!

John had since found evidence of devil worship and ritual sacrifice. He found two child skeletons underneath the staircase, as well as broken daggers. Owners and visitors continue to experience hauntings and attacks to this day.

> Join a Ghost Hunt at the Ancient Ram Inn <

Related pages: The most haunted places in Gloucestershire

7. Fort George Citadel, Nova Scotia, Canada

Halifax Citadel Clock Fort George

Labelled as Canada’s most haunted historic site, the Halifax Citadel has received hundreds of reports of ghost sightings over the years. Situated at the summit of Citadel Hill in Halifax, Nova Scotia, this star-shaped fort is almost 300 years old, with the original foundations being built in 1749 and reconstructed in 1856.

Staff and visitors have reported several apparitions walking the grounds here. One particular visitor witnessed a soldier in uniform walk into one of the rooms in the old prison area and vanish. This is a common theme, with many reports centred around apparitions.

Other ghostly figures that have been witnessed include an older man, a woman, a man in a red cloak, and an older lady who has been known to show herself in mirrors.

A little girl is said to follow the groups taking part in the ghost tours, with group members often experiencing her holding their hands. Other reports include disembodied voices, unexplained bangs, and knocks, mists captured on film and with the naked eye.

The feeling of being watched is a common complaint, as is the sudden feeling of nausea, sudden gusts of wind in closed-off rooms,  furniture moving, doors banging, and on occasion, people have been pushed by an unseen force.

Learn more about the Fort George Citadel

8. Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada

Haunted Banff Springs Hotel

The Banff Springs hotel in Alberta, Canada, was built over 125 years ago by the Canadian Pacific Railway as a luxury stop-off point for train travellers. Don’t let its picturesque surroundings fool you though, as it’s rumoured to be one of the most haunted in the country.

Terrifying reports include sighting a bride who fell down the staircase, breaking her neck after panicking when her dress caught fire. Her apparition has been seen on the stairs and in the ballroom dancing, with many reporting the flames from the back of her dress.

The main story that locals tell is that of the family that was murdered in room 873. The door to this room has since been bricked up, but the family that lost their lives in this room are still seen to this day, often in the hallway outside the room.

Perhaps the most popular of all the reports is the former bellman, Sam Macauley. He served at the hotel during the ’60s and ’70s and is still seen today. He likes to help guests up to their rooms, dressed in his 60’s uniform, often turning on lights and opening locked doors. If you try and make conversation or tip Sam, he vanishes.

Learn more about the haunted Banff Springs Hotel

9. Château de Brissac, Maine-et-Loire, France

Haunted Château de Brissac

Originally built in the 11th century as a castle by the Counts of Anjou, Château de Brissac was rebuilt in 1502 by Charles II, Duke of Brissac, who gave it its name. This noble castle is the tallest in France, and it exudes old-world charm, but one of its past residents has shocked more than one visitor.

A double murder in the 15th century within the castle walls has resulted in one of the more famous ghosts of the Château de Brissac, that of the la Dame Verte, or “Green Lady”.

The current residents (the current Duke of Brissac and his family) have become accustomed to her roaming the rooms, but she has scared many guests.

She is often seen in the tower room of the chapel, wearing her green dress. What’s terrifying, however, is her face. If she looks at you, you’ll see that her face has gaping holes where her eyes and nose should be, resembling what a corpse would look like.

As well as her sighting, her moans are also often heard throughout the castle in the early hours.

Learn more about Château de Brissac

10. Borgvattnet Prästgård, Sweden

Haunted Borgvattnet Vicarage

Borgvattnet is a small village in Jämtland County, Northern Sweden. It’s renowned for having one of the most haunted houses in Sweden, The Old Vicarage, built in 1876.

The first ghost ever documented at the vicarage came in 1927, when the chaplain Nils Hedlund resided.  He reported many strange happenings, including one particular encounter with something paranormal. He was on his way up to the attic to gather his laundry when he witnessed his laundry being torn down from the line by an unseen force.

Rudolf Tangden, a priest who lived at the vicarage during the 1930s, saw an older woman dressed in grey appear in a room. He followed her as she walked away, but she vanished in front of his eyes. In the 1940’s Tangden’s successor, Otto Lindgren, and his wife said they had several paranormal experiences, including unexplained sounds and moving objects.

On one occasion, a woman staying in the guestroom was awoken in the middle of the night to see three older women sitting staring at her. She quickly turned on the light, and they were still there. However, they now appeared blurry.

In 1945 the chaplain, Erick Lindgren, moved into the vicarage, and he began a journal recounting many of his own experiences in the house. He reported being thrown out of his chair regularly by an unseen force.

The current building is serving as a restaurant/cafe, as well as a guest house. If you dare to stay the entire night, you’ll receive an overnight-stay certificate to prove it!

Learn more about Borgvattnet Prästgård

11. Babenhausen Barracks, Hesse, Germany

Babenhausen Barracks Kaserne Gate

Now a museum, the ghost of World War II German soldiers have been seen in uniform. Lights are known to turn on and off by themselves, and voices are heard in the basement. German commands are often heard being shouted out in the middle of the night, and disembodied footsteps are a common experience.

Soldiers who have visited the museum and picked up a telephone have reported hearing a woman talking backwards, and it’s not clear whether it’s in English or German.

In the town of Babenhausen, a with was allegedly burned at the stake sometime in the 19th century. Her ghost is said to have seduced and killed several German soldiers.

12. Lawang Sewu, Semarang, Indonesia

Haunted Lawang Sewu

Lawang Sewu (meaning “Thousand Doors”) was Built in 1917 by the Dutch East Indian Railway Company. During World War II, the Japanese occupied Indonesia, and Japanese forces took over Lawang Sewu.

When the Dutch retook Semarang in October 1945 at the battle of Semarang, Dutch soldiers used the tunnel underneath A building to sneak into the city. A struggle ensued, and numerous Indonesian soldiers were killed and five employees. The basement of the B building was used as a prison, where many people were treated harshly, with many of them being executed.

Lawang Sewu is believed to be the most haunted place in Indonesia, with many tourists visiting the beautiful building to hopefully catch a glimpse of the paranormal.

Among the many ghosts that have been reported here, the most popular and often sighted spirit is the Dutch woman. She had committed suicide there and was captured on film during a TV program.

Headless spirits are known to wander its corridors and grounds, and the basement in B building is believed to be haunted by a kuntilanak .

13. Poveglia Island, Venice, Italy

Haunted Poveglia Island

In the Venice Lagoon between Venice and Lido sits the tiny island of Poveglia. Inhabited since 421, when mainlanders fled to seek refuge from the invaders, Poveglia’s population began to dwindle centuries later, and by the 14th century, the island was abandoned entirely.

As with many small islands in Europe during the Bubonic Plague outbreak in the 14th century, the island became a quarantine colony. Many Venetians were sent here to die, their dead infected bodies being burned on giant pyres. This was also the case in 1630 when the Black Death swept through Venice.

The site was used as a mental asylum during the 1800s. However, many sources state that this simply is not the case.

Stories persist of the ill-treatment and experimental procedures carried out in the building. In 1930 a doctor was believed to have committed suicide, jumping to his death from the bell tower.  From the mid-20th century up until 1975, when it was closed, Poveglia hospital was used as a senior centre.

Today the whole island is abandoned, and it’s believed that many locals dare not step foot on the island for fear of being cursed. Fisherman also refuses to fish in the area for fear of dragging up human remains.

The ghosts of the patients and victims of the disease are said to haunt the island and its buildings. Voices and screams are often heard, with EVP’s often captured. Dark, fleeting shadows are often witnessed, and possessions have been reported.

Ghost Adventures very own Zak Bagans was possessed during the crew’s visit a few years ago when he suddenly became over-run by rage. As soon as people step foot on the island, they begin to feel an oppressive evil feeling, often departing in absolute terror.

14. Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico

Haunted Island of the Dolls

Located on Lake Teshuilo in Xochimilco nr Mexico City, the island La Isla de la Munecas (The Island of the Dolls) is undoubtedly one of the strangest haunted locations on our list. In the 1950s, Julian Santan Barrera moved to the island (despite being married to a young family).

Julian was unaware of the area’s dark history when he moved there to become a hermit. Legend says three young girls were playing near the water in the 1920s when one of the girls fell in and drowned in the murky waters.

Locals believed that the young girls’ spirit had been unable to leave the island ever since her death. It soon grew quite a reputation as a haunted place, and locals wouldn’t go near it at night for fear of what they may see.

Julian claimed that a little girl began speaking to him as soon as he moved on the island. The girl told Julian how she had died and was trapped on the island. He began to get the dolls for this little girl, often selling off fruit and vegetables that he had grown on the island to buy old dolls for her to play with.

Julian later told his nephew that it was becoming more difficult to appease the young girl’s thirst for these dolls, with him seemingly worried that she wanted him to join her in her watery grave. The same day he had this discussion, his nephew returned to the island when he found his uncle face down in the canal. His body was in the same spot where the little girl had drowned seventy years before.

Today, tourists to the island often speak of the doll’s eyes following them. Others have also reported that the mutilated dolls whisper to them, especially at night. Julian’s ghost is also said to remain on the island, as well as the young girls’.

Learn more about the Island of the Dolls

15. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland

haunted Edinburgh Castle

The site on which Edinburgh Castle sits has a history dating back to the Iron Age. Situated overlooking what many people believe to be the most haunted city on Earth, Edinburgh Castle has been the site of torture and many bloody battles during its time.

All recipes for many a haunted location and a perfect concoction for one of Scotland’s most haunted places .

Visitors and staff of this new tourist destination have experienced many things over the years. The most common is the feeling of being touched and pulled, as well as the sighting of apparitions.

Spirits that have been witnessed include an older man wearing an apron, a headless drummer boy, and a piper who mysteriously lost his life after getting lost in the tunnels below the castle.

Other experiences include shadowy figures, strange lights, sudden drops in temperature, unexplained mists, strange sounds, the feeling of being watched, and sudden intense feelings of dread, sadness, and despair.

Learn more about the haunted Edinburgh Castle

Related pages: The 5 Most Haunted Places in Edinburgh | The Most Haunted Hotels in Edinburgh | The 6 Most Haunted Pubs in Edinburgh

16. Akershus Fortress, Oslo, Norway

Haunted Akershus Fortress

Built around 1300, Akershus Fortress (aka Akershus Castle) is a medieval castle that served as a defensive stronghold for the city of Oslo. It has served as a prison during the late 18th-19th centuries, with many prisoners dying during their imprisonment. Nazi’s also occupied the castle during World War II, carrying out many executions on the site.

Akershus Castle is the most haunted place in Norway, with many ghosts to speak of. With its vast history, it’s of little surprise. The most popular of all is the demon dog named Malcanisen, which guards the gates to the castle. Legend says that anyone approached by Malcanisen is sentenced to a horrible death sometime in the following three months.

The ghost of a woman named Mantelgeisten is often seen within the castle, walking back towards her chamber. She appears wearing a long robe from the darkness and has no facial features.

Learn more about Akershus Fortress

17. Old Changi Hospital, Changi, Singapore

Old Changi Hospital

The Old Changi Hospital is a former hospital in Changi, Singapore. It was built in 1935 as part of the old Changi military base. During the occupation of the Japanese, the compound was used by the notorious Kempeitai (the Japenese Secret Police) as a prison and torture camp.

After World War II, the building was again a hospital and remained so until 1997, when the Changi General Hospital replaced it. It has stood derelict and decaying ever since.

The building is now haunted by its past, with Japanese soldiers, people that were executed, and the patients that died here. Apparitions of an older man have been seen walking down the corridors, and a woman has been seen walking through the rooms.

The spirits of children are known to haunt the old children’s ward, and the ghosts of bloodied Japanese soldiers have also been seen. Loud bangs and unexplained screams are also common occurrences.

18. St Augustine Lighthouse, Florida, USA

Haunted St Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine lighthouse (built in 1974) is an active lighthouse and museum in St. Augustine, Florida. The lighthouse and surrounding buildings are reportedly haunted.

The apparitions of two girls have been reported on several occasions by both visitors and staff. The girls are believed to be the daughters of Hezekiah Pittee, who was in charge of the construction of the lighthouse in the 1870s. His two daughters died during its construction in a tragic accident on the site. Both of them have been seen on the tower catwalk.

The apparition of a woman has also been witnessed, standing on the stairway of the lighthouse or walking on the grounds outside the buildings. Her voice has been heard on several occasions, often crying out for help.

There have also been various reports of disembodied conversations, shadows, and the sound of footsteps coming up the lighthouse steps.

The ghost of a man has also been seen in the lighthouse basement, believed to be that of Civil War hero and former lighthouse keeper William A. Harn.

Due to the overwhelming number of reports coming from the location, the TAPS crew investigated and found several pieces of evidence, including a video of what appears to be a woman looking over the railing on the lighthouse staircase. They also captured shadow figures and an EVP of a woman crying out for help!

Due to their success in capturing paranormal evidence, TAPS coined it “the Mona Lisa of paranormal sites”.

Learn more about the haunted St. Augustine Lighthouse

19. The Queen Mary Hotel, Long Beach, California, USA

Haunted Queen Mary Hotel

The Queen Mary Hotel is a former ocean liner that sailed primarily in the North Atlantic during the 1930s to 1960s. Since the 1970s, the liner has been run as a hotel in Long Beach, California.

It’s regarded as one of the most haunted hotels in America, and with the vast array of experiences that have been reported there, it’s hard to argue. The ship has so many haunted areas that it’s hard to know where to start when explaining them.

The most popular reports seem to be from the First Class Swimming Pool. Two women drowned here during the 1930s and 1960s. Their ghosts have been seen on numerous occasions in this area.

The figure of a woman in white has been seen in the Queen’s Salon. There have been sightings of a gentleman in a formal 1930’s suit in the First Class suites. The ghosts of two children have been seen and heard near the storage room, and the spirit of a young woman has been seen walking through the Tourist Class Swimming Pool.

In cabin B340, there have also been a lot of paranormal reports. However, this isn’t available for rent any longer. Whether this is to do with the experiences reported there or for very different reasons is unknown.

20. Mary King's Close, Edinburgh, Scotland

Mary Kings Close Edinburgh

Mary King’s Close is an underground warren of streets and dwellings. It was once a thriving trade area where Edinburgh’s tradesmen lived and worked. However, in 1645 the close was believed to have been abandoned after an outbreak of the plague. Those that were infected stayed behind in isolation. The location is now a popular tourist destination, running daily tours to people interested in learning about the history and the legends associated with the close.

Since the 17th century, there have been reports of paranormal goings-on in the close, and it’s now regarded as one of the most haunted places in Scotland . The Coltheart family who lived there in 1685 were the first ones to report something paranormal. Soon after they moved in after the plague outbreak, they began to see ghostly figures and were left terrified after seeing phantom disembodied limbs and experiencing very vivid nightmares.

Today, staff and visitors have reported seeing the ghost of a ‘worried woman’, a woman in black, and a little girl named Annie. The spirit of Annie has been known to interact with people who leave her gifts in one of the rooms.

Other reports include sounds, such as scratching, the sounds of a party or tavern, and footsteps that seem to follow you around. Stones have also been thrown, and intense EVP’s are often captured throughout the area, particularly in Mr Chesney’s house.

Learn more about the ghosts of Mary King’s Close .

21. The White House, Washington D.C., USA

The Haunted White House

Perhaps the world’s most famous residence, the home, and office of the President of the United States. It has been the official residence of every President since 1800 when John Adams first moved into the house.

With the vast amount of history and historical figures that have graced its rooms, it’s no wonder that the White House has a tale or two of hauntings. It’s considered to be the most haunted house in America.

Past presidents, their families, and foreign dignitaries have all attested to the paranormal goings-on at the White House.

On one particular visit, the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom. He had just finished bathing and walked back into the suite, where he saw Lincoln standing by the fireplace. He refused to sleep in that room again after that.

Other people that have said they have seen the ghost of Abraham Lincoln include President’s Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, and Dwight Eisenhower; First Ladies Jacquie Kennedy and Ladybird Johnson; and presidential children Susan Ford and Maureen Reagan. Maureen and her husband witnessed Lincoln standing by the same fireplace where Churchill had once seen him.

Reportedly Queen Wilhemina of the Netherlands was staying in the Rose Room when she heard a knock on the door in the middle of the night. When she answered, she was confronted by the ghost of Abraham Lincoln, standing in the hallway.

President Andrew Jackson is believed to haunt the Rose Room, with numerous White House employees reportedly hearing his hearty laughter or him in a fit of rage, swearing violently.

The ghost of Abigail Adams (wife of John Adams) has been seen floating through the East Room. This is the room where she used to hang her laundry. Several eyewitnesses, including staff and visitors, have seen her seemingly floating across the room with her arms outstretched as if carrying a laundry basket.

Various other spectres have also been seen, including past employees, Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Tyler; First Lady Dolley Madison; a British soldier; and Anne Surratt. Sudden cold spots, disembodied footsteps, voices, knocks, and screams have also been reported at the seemingly very haunted 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

22. Aradale Lunatic Asylum, Australia

Haunted Aradale Lunatic Asylum, Australia

Having been built in 1876 due to Victoria’s growing population of so-called “lunatics”, the Arradale Asylum had been a place of torment, with over 13,000 patients believed to have tragically died there.

Much like other asylum’s of the time period, gruesome method were applied to “treat”, those suffering. Particularly barbaric treatments such as electroshock therapy, and labotomies were carried out in the building, with often deathly consequences.

Given that such horrific acts were conducted here, it’s little wonder that the spirits of those lost souls are condemned to haunt this eerie complex to this day. Harrowing calls for help can be heard coming from empty cells, and the terrifying apparitions of past patients are often seen throughout. People visiting the location have been forced to leave due to the overwhelming sensation of sadness, and extreme nausea.

If you’re in South western Victoria, then a trip to the Arradale Lunatic Asylum should be on your bucket list. Tours start at $22 for adults, and are offered daily.

View more info on Arradale Lunatic Asylum

Still not quenched your paranormal hunger? We’ve compiled a list of the best 12 ghost books right here.

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Los Angeles Haunted Hayride at the Griffith Park Old Zoo

13 haunted places in Los Angeles

From ghost sightings to strange noises, check out these 13 haunted places in L.A. for some real scares

Michael Juliano

Call us old-fashioned, but we like our haunted places in L.A. authentic. We’re not talking about manufactured scares at haunted houses ; we searched the spookiest nabes for horror hot spots—and consulted our friends over at Ghost Hunters of Urban Los Angeles (GHOULA). Founder Richard Carradine has been collecting tales of L.A. haunted spots for years, and used to host monthly Spirits with Spirits mixers (at some of the city’s spookiest venues and on ghost tours ) that’ve since morphed into a podcast.

Ready to scare yourself silly? Here’s your handy guide to the 13 most haunted places in L.A., including a Hollywood theater, a notorious Downtown hotel and a Long Beach oceanliner where ghosts of the past still rattle a few chains. 

An email you’ll actually love

13 real haunted places in L.A.

Pasadena’s “Suicide Bridge”

Pasadena’s “Suicide Bridge”

The haunting and hauntingly beautiful Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena was completed in 1913, claimed its first suicide in 1919 and has sadly been the backdrop to a string of untimely deaths ever since. And Carradine has heard ghost stories aplenty. “People have seen a man leaping off a rail, but when they go to help, no one’s there. There’s also a woman seen crossing the bridge, cars swerving to miss her, but then she vanishes.” Carradine’s even had his own spooky brush with the bridge. “It was nighttime, and I was walking with a friend in the tunnel underneath the bridge,” he recalls. “There’s a series of six lights illuminating the path, and as we passed the first light, it went out. The second light went out as we passed. Each light went out as we passed by. By the time we got to the end, it was just total darkness behind us.”

You’re not alone. If you need someone to talk to, dial 988 for the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline.

Hollywood Roosevelt

Hollywood Roosevelt

  • Boutique hotels

Legend has it that the ghost of Marilyn Monroe still haunts her old stomping grounds. “There was a famous mirror in the lobby where people would take pictures and claim they could see Marilyn’s reflection above them,” Carradine says of the full-length mirror that once hung in Monroe’s poolside suite, and then in the lobby where it has since been removed (kill-joys!). On the ninth floor, you can hear the late actor Montgomery Clift—who lived in suite 928 for three months while filming From Here to Eternity —practicing on his trumpet. “Guests have asked the hotel staff to tell the person in the next room to stop playing in the middle of the night,” Carradine says. “But the room was actually vacant.” What’s more? Lights and faucets are known to turn on and off on their own and the switchboard gets calls from vacant rooms.

The Comedy Store

The Comedy Store

  • Comedy clubs
  • West Hollywood

Before this popular Sunset Strip comedy club appeared on the scene in 1972, it was Ciro’s restaurant, one of Hollywood’s hippest clubs during the 1940s and ’50s. Its owners had a close affiliation with the mob and the building still has peepholes in the upper walls of the main room that once allowed mobsters to see who was coming and going. Mickey “The King of the Sunset Strip” Cohen used the club as his base of operations. “West Hollywood was a gangster-run place with gun fights in the streets,” says Carradine. “The basement of the club was where they would take care of problem people. There is still a hole in the stairway that fits a gun, to shoot anyone going up or downstairs.” Carradine says employees have claimed to hear voices, cries and even snarls coming from the basement. “After years of denying the ghost stories, the Comedy Store is now embracing its past and even started tours of the haunted basement,” he adds.

The Hollywood Sign

The Hollywood Sign

  • Sightseeing

Back when it was the Hollywoodland sign, this icon to celluloid fantasy also served as a beacon to suicidal Angelenos—most notably Broadway stage actress Peg Entwistle. Trouble just seemed to follow Entwistle. Raised by her actor father, she lost both her mother and stepmother early in life and had a series of broken personal relationships. As an actress, Entwistle enjoyed critical reviews, and even shared the stage with Humphrey Bogart, but she was forever cast in the role of comedic ingénue and could only snag small film roles.

On September 18, 1932, a hiker found the blond, blue-eyed actress’ crumpled body in a ravine below the Hollywoodland sign. Police surmised that she climbed a workman’s ladder to the top of the 45-foot letter “H” and jumped to her death. Visitors to the area say they still see the actress haunting the sign, and sometimes pick up the scent of her gardenia perfume.

Griffith Park

  • Griffith Park
  • Things to do

What, you don’t know about the sad tale of Doña Petrenilla? It’s a ghost story that’s been oft-told by writer Michael Imlay and the good folks at Creepy LA , but it bears seasonal repeating. In the late 1800s, wealthy land owner Don Antonio Feliz died suddenly from small pox. As legend has it, when his beloved 17-year-old niece Doña was cheated out of her uncle’s will, she put a nasty curse on the land and its owners. Since then, untimely deaths and ill omens have befallen the land’s deed holders, including Griffith J. Griffith, its last owner, who donated 3,105 acres to the city before going to prison for shooting and maiming his wife. True believers say they’ve seen young Doña in a white dress on horseback haunting the trails. “A couple of park rangers have told me that they’ve seen ghosts and things in the park,” says Griffith Park security officer Thomas Davey. “There are definitely stories. But I’ve been here for four-and-a-half years and haven’t seen anything myself.”

Pantages Theatre

Pantages Theatre

When charmed businessman Howard Hughes owned the infamous Pantages Theatre, he built a door that connected his office directly to one of the theater balconies, where he would go to think in the dark. Hughes’s ghost is a notorious workaholic, and is said to be seen in his former office on the second floor.

“During the restoration in 2000, people said they saw a man stepping off the balcony, walking along the scaffolding, and standing over a worker to inspect his work. When the guy turned to ask the man what he wanted, the figure vanished,” says Carradine. Seems like Hughes is still looking after his theater.

The Pantages is also host to a female presence who died during a show in 1932. “During a cast recording once, microphones were set up in the theater and they heard someone singing in the mic when no one was on stage.” Some say the woman who died was an aspiring singer who’s living out her unrealized dreams of performing at the Pantages.

The Culver Studios

The Culver Studios

  • Historic buildings and sites
  • Culver City

The studio complex where such legendary Tinseltown films as Gone with the Wind and Raging Bull were filmed was built in 1918 by silent movie pioneer Thomas Ince. Ince died in 1924, after falling ill on newspaper mogul William Randolph Hearst’s yacht during a star-studded cruise and dinner, celebrating Ince’s 42nd birthday. While the official cause of death was listed as heart failure, legend has it that Ince was actually shot and killed by a jealous Hearst, who was supposedly aiming at (and missed) Charlie Chaplin, who had eyes for Hearst’s mistress Marion Davies. Some say Ince’s ghost still shows up for work at his beloved former studio, and can be seen and heard walking through walls and criticizing management.

The Del Monte Speakeasy

The Del Monte Speakeasy

  • Cocktail bars

This basement bar below the Townhouse restaurant in Venice was a true speakeasy during Prohibition. Back in the day, the speakeasy kept the hooch flowing via underground tunnels, which are now used as utility corridors. Some say former proprietor Frank Bennett, who owned the bar from 1972 until his passing in 2003, still haunts his favorite corner booth, across from the bar. “Venice was a real crazy place historically, in terms of alcohol and bars, especially during Prohibition,” Carradine says of the area. “This bar is a weird anomaly, it’s one of the oldest bars in L.A. with one of the newest ghosts,” he says about Bennett, who still watches over his beloved underground watering hole.


  • Restaurants

This gorgeous Japanese restaurant at the top of Sycamore Avenue in Hollywood features sweeping views of the L.A. cityscape—the perfect vantage point for resting souls. Pull up a barstool next to the phantom of a former bartender who has been spotted around the bar. The restaurant also serves as the perfect backdrop for events and weddings, if you don’t mind a little company in the bridal suite. “There have been sounds of a crying bride; and a woman in white has been seen up there,” Carradine says. Legend has it that the ashes of former property owner, Thomas O. Glover, are buried in the inner garden courtyard and that he still watches over his property. Rumors abound about silhouettes of a man and woman seen strolling the family-owned property and the unexplainable sounds of crashing plates (and you thought that was just a clumsy waiter).

The Silent Movie Theatre

The Silent Movie Theatre

  • Movie theaters
  • Independent
  • Fairfax District

The Silent Movie Theatre (formerly home to Cinefamily, now Brain Dead Studios) has a complicated history worthy of a blockbuster drama. The original owner, John Hampton, started the theater in 1942, showing his personal film collection at a time when most studios were destroying old silent prints. Hampton used toxic chemicals in his bathtub above the theater to preserve his films—unwittingly exposing himself to toxins that hastened his demise in 1990 from cancer. Hampton’s mentee Lawrence Austin took over the theater. But one night in 1997, while visitors were watching a film, Austin was shot to death in the lobby by a hitman. The whole thing turned out to be a murder-for-hire conspiracy hatched by Austin’s lover and theater projectionist James Van Sickle, who later claimed that Austin signed the theater over to him in a hand-written will. Police weren’t buying it. Van Sickle and the hitman are currently serving life in jail. “We had a woman come to our Spirits with Spirits event who was actually there that night when the shooting happened,” says Carradine. “She saw his body lying there and hasn’t been back since.” Austin’s ghost is said to still haunt the lobby; and Hampton’s ghost can be heard roaming the second floor, where he once lived.

Queen Mary

Sure, they used to milk the spook factor for all it’s worth every Halloween during Dark Harbor  (and now at Shaqtoberfest ), but the Queen Mary in Long Beach is certifiably haunted according to the countless visitors who claimed to hear voices and rattling chains during tours and overnight stays. The Queen Mary certainly has a past that’s ripe for modern-day hauntings. She started life as a luxury liner, setting forth on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, in 1937, and hosting everyone from Bob Hope to Winston Churchill. But when WWII began, the Queen Mary was drafted into service as a ferry ship, carrying thousands of troops into battle areas. The fancy lady was stripped of her chic facade, painted a camo grey and dubbed the “Grey Ghost.” After years of service in war, and at her majesty’s whim, the Queen Mary was eventually sold to a tour operator and sent to retirement in Long Beach, where she’s been a floating hotel and event spot since 1967. According to the late psychic and ghost hunter, Peter James, who led tours around the Queen Mary, almost all areas of the ship including the second class pool deck and engine room 13 are known to be haunted.

Cobb Estate/Haunted Forest

Cobb Estate/Haunted Forest

Avid hikers will recognize this spot as the Sam Merrill trailhead, “a quiet refuge from people and wild life forever”—so reads the dedication on the cobblestone gate of the Cobb Estate. But to ghost hunters, it’s the Haunted Forest.

The sparse forest didn’t seem so haunted until the 1950s, when the Marx Brothers purchased the land and temporarily saved the dilapidated mansion from destruction—in the process turning it into a favorite haunt for squatters and ne’er-do-wells.

Today, you’re more likely to find curious teens at night wandering around what’s left of the house’s foundation; though ghost sightings are non-specific, many report ghostly noises on the surviving staircase and the feeling that they’re being watched in the dimly lit forest.

Cecil Hotel

Cecil Hotel

  • Downtown Historic Core

Though it’s had the odd ghost sighting or two, the Cecil Hotel’s history is haunted by real-life boogeymen. The hotel saw murders in the ’20s and ’30s, suicides out of upper-floor windows in the ’60s and the residence of serial killers Richard Ramirez (the Night Stalker) and Jack Unterweger. Most infamously, the naked body of tourist Elisa Lam was found in a rooftop water tank; surveillance video showed Lam acting oddly in the elevator.   It was enough to inspire an entire season of American Horror Story and a  true crime documentary series , but apparently not enough to shut down the hotel; it was rebranded to Stay on Main and has since become an affordable housing complex.

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