20 Horrifyingly Haunted Places Around the World

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Bucket List Worthy  

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There’s something enjoyable about scaring yourself half to death (once a year that is). And whether you’re in Scotland, Sweden or Semarang, there’s probably a spooky haunted destination nearby. These 20 terrifying places are some of the most haunted in the world, and a visit to any one of them is guaranteed to send a shiver up your spine.

1. The Monte Cristo Homestead — Australia

Photo credit: island Home
Photo credit: island Home

With a reputation as the most haunted place in all of Australia, the Monte Cristo Homestead in New South Wales is undeniably spooky. A number of tragic events have occurred on the homestead since it was built in 1855, including the death of a maid, a young child and a stable boy. A murder in the caretaker’s cottage in the mid-1900s added even more spook.

2. The Tower of London — England

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The Tower of London was constructed in 1078 and is known well for the executions and torture that took place within its walls. King Henry VIII’s wife Anne Boleyn is one of the most famous spirits to reside there, but two young princes and a number of other apparitions are said to roam the grounds as well. Many argue that the Tower of London is the most haunted building in the United Kingdom.

3. Banff Springs Hotel — Canada

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The Banff Springs Hotel presents itself as a luxury stopover in the heart of Banff National Park, but its 125 years of hospitality have resulted in some spooky residents. A bride who fell down the stairs and broke her neck is said to dance in the ballroom, and a family has been seen outside of room 873 where they were murdered. Perhaps the spookiest of all is former bellman Sam Macauley who may help you to your room and open the door.

4. Château de Châteaubriant — France

Photo credit: chateaubriant_actu
Photo credit: chateaubriant_actu

Hauntings at the Château de Châteaubriant date all the way back to the 16th century when King Francis’ mistress mysteriously vanished on Oct. 16, 1537. It’s rumored that her husband poisoned her when he found out about the affair. Françoise’ ghost is said to walk the halls on the day of her death every year.

5. Borgvattnet — Sweden

Photo credit: Lars Engström
Photo credit: Lars Engström

Borgvattnet, also known as the Haunted Vicarage, is a tiny village in northern Sweden known for its numerous haunted houses. Chaplain Nils Hedlund spotted the first ghost in 1927 when he went upstairs to gather his laundry and saw it being taken off the line by something unseen. Sightings of female apparitions occur to this day, and scare-seeking guests can stay overnight in one of the Vicarage’s haunted guest houses.

6. Eastern State Penitentiary — United States

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This former Philadelphia prison was the first to enforce solitary confinement, and the harsh seclusion was said to turn a number of inmates insane. Solitary confinement, known as the “Pennsylvania System,” is no longer enforced, but some of the prisoners are said to remain in ghostly form. Dark figures in cell 6, evil sounds in cell 12, distant talking, slamming cell doors and numerous other unexplainable events have been reported at the penitentiary. The Eastern State Penitentiary is no longer used as a prison, but guests can take tours of the creepy compound.

7. Manila Film Center — Philippines

Photo credit: By Ramon FVelasquez
Photo credit: Ramon F Velasquez

A tragic construction accident buried roughly 170 workers at the Manila Film Center in 1981. It is said that some of the bodies remain buried in the cement, and multiple spirits still roam the site. In the late 1990s, the “Spirit Questors” were sent in to appease the spirits of the ghostly construction workers, and while it’s said that many have left, reports claim that others still reside there.

8. Lawang Sewu — Indonesia

Photo credit: siska maria eviline
Photo credit: siska maria eviline

Lawang Sewu is regarded as the most haunted spot in all of Indonesia. The basement was used as a prison run by the Japanese in World War II, and later (when the building was taken over by the Dutch), a number of Indonesian soldiers were killed in the Battle of Semarang. Headless soldiers and prisoners reportedly walk the grounds of Lawang Sewu, and a Dutch woman who committed suicide on-site is said to still reside.

9. Wicklow Gaol — Ireland

Photo credit: nz_willowherb
Photo credit: nz_willowherb

You’ll be able to tell that Wicklow Gaol is haunted upon first sight. This ghostly prison has long been known in Ireland as the “Gates of Hell.” The prisoners who died at Wicklow Gaol of mistreatment, starvation and punishment are said to still roam the grounds. Reports of apparitions pushing, touching and pulling the hair of visitors are common, and a young schoolgirl is said to tug on the clothing of visitors in the schoolroom.

10. Sallie House — United States

Photo credit: Valissa
Photo credit: Valissa

The Sallie House in the small town of Atchison, Kan. is regarded as one of the most haunted sites in the United States. This modest 19th century brick house is haunted by a young female resident named Sallie. Tony and Debra Pickman lived in the house from 1992 to 1994 and experienced a number of spooky and dangerous events like melted candles, burnt finger marks, pictures turned upside down and bloody scratches from a child’s hands.

11. Citadel Hill (Fort George) — Canada

Photo credit: Sarah Kerr
Photo credit: Sarah Kerr

Arguably the most haunted place in Canada, Fort George’s Citadel Hill has been home to hundreds of ghost sitings over roughly 300 years. A number of apparitions are said to walk the grounds, including a soldier in uniform, a man in a red cloak and an old woman who shows herself in the Citadel’s mirrors. Voices, knocks, bangs and even a little girl grabbing visitors hands are often experienced on the site’s ghost tours.

12. Poveglia Island — Italy

Photo credit: tedlum
Photo credit: tedlum

Poveglia Island, located between Venice and Lido, was inhabited long ago by mainlanders seeking refuge from invaders. But the population dwindled over time, and the island was left abandoned in the 1300s. Poveglia Island was later used as a quarantine colony for Bubonic Plague sufferers, and a number of Venetians were sent their to die. The same happened in 1630 when “Black Death” spread through Venice, and the island was reportedly used as an insane asylum in the 1800s. Ghosts of patients and victims are said to haunt the island and dark shadows, screams and voices are common experiences of those who dare to visit.

13. Edinburgh Castle — Scotland

Photo credit: Craig Cormack
Photo credit: Craig Cormack

The Edinburgh Castle is an iconic haunted location that sits overlooking what is said to be the most haunted city on Earth — Edinburgh. The creepy castle is now a tourist destination where scare-seekers have spotted the apparitions of a headless drummer boy, an elderly man in an apron and a piper. Visitors also report sightings of shadowy figures, sudden temperature drops, unexplained mists and the feeling of being touched or pulled by unexplained forces.

14. Isla de las Munecas — Mexico

Photo credit: Esparta Palma
Photo credit: Esparta Palma

Isla de las Munecas, or “Island of the Dolls,” is an island on Lake Teshuilo in Xochimilco, Mexico. The story goes that three little girls were playing in the waters in the 1920s when one mistakenly drowned. Locals believe the girl’s spirit remains and a former resident of the island, Julian Santan Barrera, claimed the little girl spoke to him and explained her death. Julian began buying dolls for the girl to play with, but he explained to his nephew that it was becoming difficult to appease the little girl’s wants. Julian’s nephew later found him laying face down in the same spot the girl had drowned. The dolls remain on the island, and tourists claim to feel the presence of Julian as well as the little girl.

15. Akershus Fortress — Norway

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The Akershus Fortress in Oslo served as a prison in the 18th and 19th centuries where a number of prisoners died during their stay. Nazi’s later took over the fortress and used it for a number of executions during World War II. The castle’s grim history has lead it to be known as the most haunted building in Norway with several ghosts and a demon dog named Malcanisen who guards the grounds. The legend says that anyone who is approached by Malcanisen will die within the next three months.

16. Mary King’s Close — Scotland

Photo credit: Andrew
Photo credit: Andrew

It’s no secret that the world’s most haunted city, Edinburgh, is home to more than one of the world’s most haunted sights. Mary King’s Close is an underground system of paths and homes where the city’s tradesmen once worked and lived. When the plague broke out in the 1600s, the Close was abandoned except for the infected who were forced to stay there in isolation. It is said that the sufferers still reside there, and visitors have reported hearing sounds of scratching, footsteps and people talking.

17. Old Changi Hospital — Singapore

Photo credit: Nir Sinay
Photo credit: Nir Sinay

This former hospital in the town of Changi, Singapore, is often regarded as the country’s most haunted building. The former hospital was occupied by Japan in World War II and used as a torture camp and prison. When the war ended it was used again as a hospital until 1997. The building now stands disintegrating in Changi and is said to be haunted by Japanese soldiers, tortured people and patients that died in the hospital. Reports of bloody soldiers and small children from the children’s ward are especially chilling.

18. Iulia Hasdeu Castle — Romania

Photo credit: Constantin Barbu
Photo credit: Constantin Barbu

Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu had the Iulia Hasdeu Castle built in Campina after the death of his 19-year-old daughter Iulia. Bogdan dedicated his life to reconnecting with the spirit of his daughter and created a room in the castle solely for spiritual practices. It is said that Iulia now walks the halls and garden of the castle and plays the piano at night.

19. Rolling Hills Asylum — United States

Photo credit: Jennifer Kirkland
Photo credit: Jennifer Kirkland

The Rolling Hills Asylum in Bethany, N.Y., opened in 1827 as a place for the handicapped, insane, paupers, widows, vagrants and even murders to come for assistance. In the 1990s it was turned into a set of shops and an antique mall in which the vendors started noticing spooky occurrences. Mysterious voices, doors opening and shutting, screams, dark shadows and a number of other unexplained occurrences have been reported.

20. The Ancient Ram Inn — England

Photo credit: Yercombe
Photo credit: Yercombe

Gloucestershire, England is known for its famous (and haunted) Ancient Ram Inn. The inn is claimed to be the most haunted location in all of the British Isles and possible the entire world. Stories of devil worship, evil spirits and child sacrifices in this building date all the way back to the 12th century. It is said that the building was constructed on an ancient Pagan burial ground that existed roughly 5,000 years ago, and multiple visitors of the inn, as well as its current owner, have experienced attacks, apparition sightings and distinctly evil hauntings.

About the Author: Courtney McCaffrey

Courtney McCaffrey is a freelance writer and editor based in Wilmington, N.C. In addition to writing, she lives for travel - seeing new places, learning new cultures and surfing new waves.

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