Stories of haunted places have captured the imagination of curious minds worldwide for centuries. These disturbing destinations are often shrouded in mystery and fear, from shadowy castles to eerie forests. If you're looking for an adventure on the spooky side, here's a collection of some of the most haunted places around the world. From ghost-filled hotels to abandoned asylums, these locations are sure to creep you out.
The small island of Poveglia earned the nickname "Island of Ghosts" because of its dark and twisted past. First, it operated as a fortress and sanctuary for society's exiles in 421 CE. Then it became a quarantine station for victims of the bubonic plague. Povelgia has also housed an asylum and a senior center. The suffering and deaths on the island led to Poveglia's reputation as one of the world's most haunted sites. Today, visitors are forbidden. Yet that doesn't stop many tourists from trekking there, hopeful for a glimpse of the tragic island.
Bhangarh is an old fort in the Indian state of Rajasthan. Tales of its haunting and paranormal activity have shrouded the fortress in mystery for centuries. Legend claims a hermit's curse led to the destruction of the fort. There are many ruined buildings and structures, which add to its spooky atmosphere. Stories of unrequited love for Princess Ratnavati and a thwarted magic spell are another part of the lore. Tourists have reported strange noises, ghost sightings, and other unexplained phenomena. The Indian government currently forbids nighttime visits.
Aokigahara Forest, also known as Suicide Forest or the Sea of Trees, sits at the base of Mount Fuji in Japan. Many visitors describe the dense foliage and sinister silence as otherwordly. Sadly, Aokigahara Forest may have one of the highest incidences of suicides worldwide. Some say the yurei (ghosts) haunt the forest, driving its abnormally high suicide rate.
This French castle was the site of a double murder in the 15th century when Jacques de Breze killed his wife, Charlotte, and her lover in a rage. The tragic events spurred the Legend of the Green Lady. Many people claim Charlotte's ghost haunts the chateau, appearing as a green figure at night while her loud moans echo through her former home.
Beijing's forbidden city has sparked numerous ghost tales, but the weeping woman in white is the most well-known. This location housed an imperial palace for 600 years and was the site of many executions and a few murders. It currently operates as a museum and a top destination for global ghost hunters.
Local lore says a bride who died in an accident on her wedding day haunts the grounds. There are also tales of a former bellman and an unearthly family roaming the halls. Some guests say they've heard mysterious music from a ballroom in the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel. The hotel even sealed room 873 permanently due to years of terrifying ghostly reports.
This old "asylum" in Victoria is noted for the deaths of about 13,000 patients and the brutal treatment of many more. That storied past has blurred the lines separating the living and the dead. Today's guests frequently speak of frightening occurrences. Some common ghostly experiences at Aradale include otherworldly sightings and unusual noises, including cries for help. Even more scary are the physical reactions some visitors have, like nausea, vertigo, and overpowering grief.
The Tower of London's dark history dates to 1066. Many executions occurred at the Tower, including those of three English queens: Anne Boleyn, Catherine Howard, and Lady Jane Grey. Those tragic events may have left their mark, resulting in numerous ghost sightings. One famous example is Anne Boleyn, who haunts the grounds without her head. Other spooky figures include Margaret Pole and two murdered princes who roam Tower Green.
An old priest reported the first hauntings at the Old Vicarage in 1927. Visitors have since then described hearing strange noises, seeing apparitions, and feeling an eerie presence. The most famous story is about a grey lady who appears only at night. There are also tales of a room where three ladies sit and weep. Today, many people claim the Old Vicarage is the most haunted place in Sweden.
Spooky reports at the Castle abound, from a tall ethereal figure jumping over battlements to eerie footsteps and ghostly bells. There are also stories of the ghost of a black dog roaming the grounds. In addition, lights flicker, and hazy apparitions appear and disappear. These are just a few of the many stories about the haunting of the Castle of Good Hope.
The dimly lit miles of underground tunnels of the Parisian Catacombs of France are an obvious site for hauntings. Bones and skulls line the walls, as the tunnels became the final resting place for millions of miners and other Parisians. The government moved the remains from several cemeteries into the tunnels during the 17th century. As a result, today's visitors often say they feel the presence of those souls.
In existence since the Iron Age, Edinburgh Castle is now notable as a place of supernatural activity. There are many reports of strange noises and sightings of peculiar figures. The ghosts of prisoners from centuries past and the spirits of those who died defending the castle during wartime may haunt the grounds. Sightings of a headless drummer and a ghost dog are two of the more widespread tales.
Lawang Sewu, or "Thousand Doors" in Javanese, was once the head office of the Dutch East Indies Railway Co. But it's now known for its haunted reputation. The Japanese military may have tortured and killed prisoners there during World War II. That dark history sparked tales of hauntings throughout the building. Visitors report strange noises and unexplained sightings. The building's labyrinth-like structure has 600 huge windows and many doors, which give it an eerie feel, making it popular among ghost hunters.
The site of the Ancient Ram Inn in Wooten-under-Edge, positioned on ley lines and a pagan burial ground, may give off great spiritual energy. The building itself has served many purposes since its construction in 1145. It's been a pub, an inn, and the home of a priest. The stories of hauntings, tortured spirits, evil presences, and otherworldly experiences are plentiful for this old and notorious site.
Isla de la Munecas is shrouded in mystery and fear. This creepy island in the canals of Xochimilco is home to hundreds of dolls. Oddly, they're all hanging from trees and scattered around the island. It's said the spirit of a girl who died there many years ago possesses the discarded playthings. Locals believe that Don Julian Santana Barrera, the former inhabitant of the island, hung these dolls as offerings to appease her spirit. Visitors often report hearing strange noises from the dolls and feeling overwhelming dread during their island visits.