Tourists Beware — Here are 13 of the Most Haunted Places on Earth
Are You Brave Enough to Spend the Night — Or Simply Visit?
Many places throughout the world claim to be “the most haunted,” but how does one measure such a claim? Is it the number of active spirits, or the level of activity they produce? Or is it more about the number of visitors who have had paranormal experiences or even physical attacks in these locations?
We’ll leave you to be the judge as we discuss 13 of the scariest places on Earth. From kind spirits to active poltergeists and even rumored demonic activity, these places may offer the best chance to experience something paranormal.
The Sallie House — Kansas, United States
Tony and Debra Pickman moved into their new house in December of 1992, having no idea they were in for years of paranormal terror. Touted as one of the most haunted homes in America, the Sallie house — named after the spirit of the girl who haunts the home — is popular among paranormal investigators.
The house is believed to have several spirits and even demonic forces active within its walls. The haunting started small with pets behaving oddly, cold spots and flickering lights. This quickly escalated to objects moving on their own and physical attacks that forced the Pickmans to leave their home.
Debra Pickman states very clearly on the Sallie House website that she strongly advises against going into the house as the negative entities are a safety hazard for individuals and paranormal teams. It’s been reported that visitors have had to deal with long-lasting, negative effects of being near the house.
If you’re feeling bold, there are several outlets that sell tickets to explore the house. Some tours even offer a hands-on experience inside the Sallie House as participants have the opportunity to examine the house alongside professional paranormal investigators. This investigation is designed for beginners and it is encouraged that all visitors bring a camera.
All participants must be 18 years or older and will be required to sign a waiver upon arrival.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Banff Springs Hotel — Alberta, Canada
Built over 125 years ago in Alberta, Canada, the Banff Springs Hotel is a gorgeous stone structure tucked into the Rocky Mountains. Don’t be fooled by the beautiful landscape and the hotel’s enchanting appearance; it’s said to be one of the most haunted places in Canada.
When booking your stay, we recommend avoiding room 873. Although it’s been permanently closed off, it’s said that the family who was brutally murdered in the room still roam the halls.
During your stay you may come across the friendly bellman, Sam Macauley, who helps guests to their rooms. Despite having died in 1976, he still takes the time to unlock the doors and turn on lights for visitors. If you try to tip him or speak to him though, he may vanish before your eyes.
Perhaps the most notorious of the hotel’s spirits is that of the ghost bride. Her death was a tragic accident on the main stairs of the hotel. It’s said that her dress caught fire — panicking, she ran down the stairs, tripped over her gown and fell to the bottom of the steps where she died instantly. She is still seen on the grand staircase and dancing in the hotel’s ballrooms.
Photo Credit: OMG Facts
The Ancient Ram Inn — Gloucestershire, England
Not all haunted buildings have a clear story for what brought on the paranormal activity, but this isn’t the case with the Ancient Ram Inn. Claimed to be the most haunted B&B in the British Isles, it’s rumored that devil worship, sacrifices, a pagan burial ground and evil spirits are the cause of the haunting.
Once a former priests’ residence before becoming a bed and breakfast, the Ancient Ram Inn is the oldest building in the village of Wotton-under-Edge. Built in 1145 the cottage has always had an eerie feel. The current owner, Caroline Humphries, said she would sleep in a caravan outside as a child because she was so afraid of the house.
Her father was pulled from his bed during his first night in the home and now will not go anywhere in the house without his bible. After years of seeing guests run from the house in the middle of the night or cry out in terror after witnessing flying furniture or full-bodied apparitions of a little girl, the family has given up hope of selling the place.
The Inn’s heavy atmosphere, demonic entities and several active spirits, makes it a place of nightmares. But if you’re looking to experience intense paranormal activity, it may be worth the trip.
Photo Credit: Real Mary King's Close
Mary King’s Close — Edinburgh, Scotland
Once a thriving underground market of streets and homes, Mary King’s Close holds a rich history with many tales. The guided tours offer a unique and haunting look at over 400 years of history.
Among the horrific conditions in the close, many of the inhabitants were exposed to the outbreak of the Bubonic Plague, or “The Black Death,” which is likely the reason for many of the deaths that transpired there. Such is the case for 10-year-old Annie who still haunts the streets, occasionally interacting with tourists who leave toys and treats for her.
The underground excursion may not be for everyone, but it’s a unique look into Scotland’s past. And who can deny the thrill of possibly encountering something paranormal?
Of course there’s no shortage of haunted tales in Scotland. A handful of Scottish castle stays have their own ghosts that you can meet for yourself by spending the night.
Photo Credit: Wikipedia
Hellfire Club — County Dublin, Ireland
Described as one of the most terrifying places on Earth, The Hellfire Club was built on top of a sacred tomb under the guise of being a hunting lodge. Once acquired by members of the Hellfire Club, it was used for their meetings at which the first toast was drunk in honor of the devil himself. The Club quickly became known for their excessive drinking and “wild debauchery.”
The site is home to many ghosts and urban lore claims that the Hellfire Club is still used by satanists and devil-worshipers to this day. Tourists may witness the hiss of a black cat that is said to be a demon or malevolent spirit, among other paranormal activity.
Exploring the Hellfire Club is only for brave adults but there are many companies who offer guided visits from walking to bus tours.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Château de Brissac — Maine-et-Loire, France
Originally built during the 11th century, the Château de Brissac is the tallest castle in France. The structure was rebuilt in 1502 by Charles II, the Duke of Brissac, to serve as a fort.
The castle’s resident ghost is the “la Dame Verte” or the Green Lady. Stories say that she was an unfaithful wife who was murdered by her husband. Her spirit is often sighted roaming the halls and heard wailing in the early hours of the morning.
The Green Lady has given many visitors quite a scare, not only because they’ve seen a ghost, but also because her appearance is said to be quite horrific. Those who catch a glimpse of her face say there are gaping holes where her eyes and nose should be, similar to that of a decaying corpse.
Photo Credit: YouTube
Poveglia Island — Venice, Italy
The small island between Venice and Lido in Northern Italy is empty and completely abandoned. The population on Poveglia Island began to decrease naturally, but after the outbreak of the Bubonic Plague the island became a quarantine colony with many individuals sent there to die.
It is rumored that part of the island was used as an asylum in the 1930s where a doctor who performed vile experiments on the patients eventually committed suicide by jumping off the bell tower. Although the tower has since been removed, locals occasionally still hear the bell gong.
As a result of its horrific and questionable past, the ghosts of hundreds of plague and asylum victims are said to haunt the island. People who are brave enough to visit the island report an oppressive feeling. Dark shadows and even possessions have been reported.
Locals and fishermen stay clear of the island and, unsurprisingly, it isn’t a popular locale with Italy’s tourism board. Poveglia Island is officially closed to the public, but if you’re brave enough — and search hard enough — you may be able to find a way onto the island.
But you didn’t hear it from us.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
The Haunted Vicarage — Borgvattnet, Sweden
One of Sweden’s most haunted locations, the vicarage was built in 1876 as a home for holy men.
Hauntings were first reported over 50 years later when a priest witnessed laundry being torn from the line. Since then, every new resident or guest has experienced paranormal activity such as disembodied screams, objects being moved and shadow people.
The vicarage is currently a restaurant and cafe in Northern Sweden. It also serves as a bed and breakfast for those brave enough to attempt to stay the night. Though we wouldn’t advise it after reports of a woman waking up to see three old women staring at her.
If you do make it through the night however, you will be rewarded with a certificate to prove that you made it.
Photo Credit: Flickr
Old Changi Hospital — Changi, Singapore
The Old Changi Hospital, as its name suggests, was once a bustling hospital in Changi, Singapore, originally built as part of a military base. During World War II, the building was occupied by the Japanese Secret Police and used as a prison. At the end of the war, it was returned to a hospital until the late 1990s.
The building has since been abandoned and left to fall apart, although it is rumored that not all of its occupants have moved on.
Loud bangs and screams have been reported in addition to sightings of many spirits said to still wander the halls. Men, women, children and even wounded Japanese soldiers have been seen within the walls of the old, derelict hospital.
Photo Credit: Getty Images
Bhangarh Fort — India
In 1573, Raja Bhagwant Singh built the fort for his son, Madho Singh. The story goes that a tantrik priest who was versed in black magic fell in love with Raja’s granddaughter, Princess Ratnavati. The priest tried to cast a love spell to make the princess fall in love with him, but she discovered his plan and smashed the love potion on a large boulder.
The boulder consequently rolled and killed the priest, but not before he cursed the princess, her family and the entire village.
The spirits of the princess and the priest are reportedly still roaming the grounds of the fort, waiting for the curse to be broken. It is also due to this curse that nothing within the fort can be rebuilt — anyone who tries to build within the walls will quickly fail.
To this day Bhangarh Fort stands in ruin as the buildings continue to crumble away. It is still open to visitors and tourists, though, who are interested in learning more about the fort and the history of the village.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Castle of Good Hope — Cape Town, South Africa
Don’t be fooled by the cheerful name, the Castle of Good Hope has seen its share of paranormal activity. A bell that rings on its own, a ghost dog that vanishes in front of visitors, and the lady in grey who had been seen running through the castle crying and holding her face. The spirit of the lady in grey has not been seen, however, since the body of a woman was discovered during excavations.
One of the most notorious paranormal stories associated with the Castle of Good Hope is that of Pieter Gysbert van Noodt, the former governor. He is said to have been cursed by a prisoner after not attending an execution; the governor was found dead later that day with a terrified look on his face.
There are guided tours available for those who want to know more about the castle’s history. For those who are more interested in experiencing the paranormal, you have the option to explore the castle on your own.
Photo Credit: Flickr
Monte Cristo Homestead — New South Wales, Australia
The Monte Cristo homestead has had a run of bad luck since its construction in 1885. The Crawley family owned and resided in the house for over 60 years, during which time they witnessed many deaths on the property. In addition to the death of a maid and a stable boy, there was a young child who is said to have died after being dropped down the stairs.
The homestead’s tragic reputation didn’t end with the Crawley family. The house was taken over by a group of caretakers after the original family left in 1948. One of the caretakers was found murdered in the caretaker’s cottage.
For tourists who are interested in more than the history, the homestead offers ghost tours on Saturdays. This includes a two-and-half-hour tour through the Monte Cristo homestead as well as meals and accommodations as you’ll be staying overnight. For those who make it through until morning, there is a small gift as a reward.
Photo Credit: Wikimedia
Island of the Dolls — Xochimilco, Mexico
The Isla de las Munecas, or Island of the Dolls, is a small island between the Xochimilco canals about 28 kilometers south of Mexico City. The island earned its name from its rather tragic past.
Don Julian Santana Barrera, the caretaker and only resident of the island, found a young girl who drowned in the canals. A doll was found floating further down the canal that likely belonged to the young girl. Don Julian pulled the doll from the water and hung it up as a way of showing respect for the girl’s spirit.
Don Julian soon found himself haunted and tormented by the spirit. Seemingly driven by an unexplained force, he spent 50 years collecting dolls to display around the island before his own tragic drowning in the canal, in the same spot where the girl had died.
Stories say that the dolls on the island are inhabited by the girl’s spirit. The dolls can be seen moving their head or arms, some even blink. Some reports say that the dolls can be heard whispering to each other and luring boats in the canal to come to the island.
Though it was never intended as a tourist destination, you can find a small boat that will be willing you to take you. Directions and average pricing for the boats are available on the Isla de las Munecas official website. Be sure to watch the time though, as you don’t want to be stranded on the island after dark.