We’re all of us haunted and hauntingChuck Palahniuk
When it comes to visiting haunted houses, I’m on the fence. I love places with a spooky history and if I had to read only thrillers for the rest of my life I would be extremely happy.
I’m also the person who has to watch scary movies with the lights on and tell my cats to please not make creepy noises in the middle of the night just for the fun of it…because I’ll stay awake all night wondering how I’ll be murdered by a ghost.
My inner history nerd and adventurer LOVES researching and reading about spooky and haunted places, especially all over the world. If you’re into the darker side of travel destinations this post is for you. Happy Halloween friends!
Poveglia Island, Venice, Italy
During the 14th century, the Bubonic Plague swept much of Europe. Anyone thought to be infected with the plague was sent to the island to die. When Venice was hit with the plague a few centuries later, men, women, and children were sent to the island to be quarantined.
The bodies of the dead were burned on giant pyres and the soil is said to be at least 50% ash from human remains. Some sources say an asylum operated on the island in the 1800s where experiments were undertaken on its patients. Today, the island is uninhabited and locals avoid the area at all costs.
Čachtice Castle, Slovakia
Home to the most prolific female serial killer of all time, Elizabeth Báthory, this site is just bound to be haunted. Over 600 young women were supposedly tortured and murdered in the castle and the Countess Dracula as she is sometimes called reportedly bathed in their blood to retain her youth. She even ordered some of her servants to be buried alive, among other cruel actions.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, U.S.
Built in 1829, this prison has a long and sordid past. It was the first prison to introduce solitary confinement. They would spend their entire sentence alone as a form of rehab and each time they left their cells they were forced to wear a hood over their heads. This approach drove many inmates to insanity.
In 1913, this method was scrapped and became a regular prison and even held Al Capone! Paranormal activity has been reported since the 1940’s with shadowy figures, evil cackling from cell block 12, disembodied voices, and eerie footsteps being common occurrences.
Island of Dolls, Mexico
Located near Mexico City, this island began it’s haunted history in the 1920’s when a little girl drowned. Locals believed her spirit was trapped on the island and many refused to go near it at night. One man moved to the island in the 1950’s and immediately heard the voice of a little girl.
He began bringing dolls to the island to appease her, but it was never enough. The man spoke of his fears of the dolls never being enough for the girl and thought she wanted him to join her in death. That same day the man was found dead in the same spot where the girl had died. Coincidence? Maybe. Creepy? Yes. Today the island is covered in dolls in various states of decay.
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Also known as suicide forest, it is nestled near the base of Mt. Fuji. With over 100 suicides each year, this forest is known for being both haunted and tragic. The trees grow so closely together that much of the forest remains in shadow throughout the day.
The forest possesses ties to eerie folklore stating that in feudal times, when food was scarce, some families would take an elderly relative and leave them in the forest to die. Many believe the forest is haunted by their spirits who are (rightfully) angry at being left to die.
Castle of Good Hope, South Africa
This castle was built by the Dutch East India Company in the 1600’s. The first reporting of paranormal activity began in 1915 with a sighting of a man on the ramparts. Over the next few decades he would be seen several times.
The building is also supposed to be haunted by a former governor who was cursed by several men who he sentenced to hang as well as the Lady in Grey. While she used to roam the halls crying and screaming, she has not been seen since the body of a woman was recovered during recent excavations.
The haunting doesn’t stop there. In the 1700’s, a man was found hanging from the bell tower. After his death, the tower was sealed off, but that hasn’t stop the bell from tolling every so often with no apparent cause.
As one of the most famous events in history, Salem just had to be on this list. This small town in Massachusetts was the location of the famous witch trials where 19 women and men were hanged and 1 man was pressed to death. The Lyceum Bar and the Howard Street Cemetery are among the most haunted spots in town.
The Ancient Ram Inn, Wooten-Under-Edge, UK
Built in 1145, this inn has quite the history and has become known as the most haunted house in the British Isles, maybe even the whole world. Over 5,000 years ago, the spot on which this inn was built was home to a pagan burial ground.
Tales of devil worship, child sacrifice, and evil spirits are supposedly behind these hauntings. Many visitors report running frightened from their rooms in the middle of the night after waking up to feelings of being touched or pulled, disembodied voices, and just a feeling of evil.
The owner himself said he woke up feeling as though his arm was being pulled and was subsequently dragged across his room. Since that dreadful first night, he has found evidence of devil worship and/or ritual sacrifice including broken daggers and two skeletons of children underneath the staircase.
Old Changi Hospital, Changi, Singapore
Built in 1935 as part of the old Changi Military Base, this hospital has a brutal and haunting past. During the Japanese occupation, the Japanese Secret Police used the hospital as a prison and torture camp. After the end of WWII, the building returned to operating as a hospital and remained that way until 1997. It’s stood abandoned and decaying ever since. Between the sightings of men and women wandering the halls, children in the old children’s ward, and bloody Japanese soldiers roaming the grounds, it’s safe to say this is one haunted building.