Some people are skeptics, while others avidly believe in all things paranormal. Whether it's Halloween time or just another ordinary day, there are places around the world that claim to be haunted and full of dark history. From eerie UFO sightings in Transylvania to ghostly encounters in historic castles and even a cursed island, these destinations are not for the faint-hearted. Brace yourself for a fright because we've compiled a list of the most haunted places that will send shivers down your spine.
The Eerie Legend Behind the Island Of Dolls, Mexico
La Isla de las Muñecas, known as the Island of the Dolls, boasts the world's largest collection of haunted dolls. However, the true haunting figure in this tale was its solitary inhabitant, Don Julian Santana Barrera. Legend has it that in 1950, a child tragically drowned near the island, and Don Julián Santana attempted to rescue her but couldn't save her life. Isolated on the island, Barrera hung a doll from a tree, hoping to appease the spirit of the deceased girl.
Apparently, one doll wasn't enough, and he kept hanging more and more dolls in hopes of pleasing the girl's spirit.
The Lady That Lingers Around Lake Placid in New York
Lake Placid in New York City may seem peaceful, but beneath the surface lies a tragic mystery. In 1933, Mabel Smith Douglass rowed out onto the lake and never returned. Her body was never found, and the case remained unsolved for decades until a group of divers discovered her corpse in 1963. Preserved by the icy water, an anchor was found tied to her neck. Though her body was found, her soul never left.
To this day, locals believe that her ghost haunts a certain area of the lake. People claim to see her or hear her around the lake.
The Haunted Remains of Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania
Once a bustling prison filled with hardened criminals, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania now stands abandoned and decrepit. Its imposing stone walls and cells evoke feelings of darkness, reminiscent of the twisted souls who once called it home and the scary things that happened behind closed doors. This location has become a popular destination for those seeking a thrill, as the prison is said to be haunted by the ghosts of its tormented past.
Legend has it that even today, spirits still linger in its corridors. Many have reported unsettling experiences, from a forceful grip that immobilizes them to ghostly apparitions that beckon from the shadows.
Murder Scene Turned Bed and Breakfast at the Borden House In Massachusetts
A home with a harrowing past, The Borden House in Massachusetts stands witness to one of America's most unsolved murder cases. It was in 1892 that the gruesome killings of Andrew and Abby Borden shocked the town. Even today, the property has gained infamy for being Lizzie Borden's family home and the crime scene of her father and stepmother. The eerie part is no one ever knew who murdered them; it remains unknown to this day.
The house was turned into a bed and breakfast, and visitors claim seeing and hearing demonic things around the house. Most people request to stay precisely in the room where the murders happened.
Ghosts Run the Grounds at the Winchester Mystery House in California
Nestled in California, the Winchester Hotel might look like your average luxurious hotel, but its past paints a different story. Formerly owned by Sarah Winchester, it gained notoriety for being the most haunted place on earth. Following her death, the estate became a tourist attraction. While some are skeptical about its haunted status, the mansion is home to countless rumors, with visitors and staff sharing spooky encounters with a mustached man dubbed "Clyde," tinkering with the Ballroom's fireplace.
The most famous story, though, is the tale of Sarah being haunted by the spirits of those killed by the Winchester rifle. Well, that's no coincidence, considering she was the widow of the firearms director William Wirt Winchester.
Scotland's Edinburgh Castle Is Riddled With Paranormal Activity
The grand Edinburgh Castle has witnessed centuries of turmoil and death. As a hub of royal residences, military operations, and a gruesome prison, it has been stained with blood and a dark past. From haunted graveyards and eerie underground cities to spectral prisoners lurking in the shadows, this place has everything for ghost hunters. As one of the world's most haunted cities, Edinburgh's Castle remains a hotspot for paranormal activities.
If Halloween is your favorite holiday or ghost-hunting is what you do in your free time, this is the ultimate haunted place to add to your bucket list.
You Can Hear Ghostly Voices in England's Ancient Ram Inn
For a truly immersive haunted experience, look no further than the Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-Under-Edge, England. This historic inn is renowned as one of the creepiest spots in the country, even drawing the attention of paranormal researchers from shows like Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures. Built in 1145, the inn sits on an ancient Pagan burial ground and is said to be home to various spirits, including a witch who sought refuge here.
Stories also tell the spirits of ritualistically murdered children linger here, and visitors hear voices. If this sounds disturbing, wait till you read about the other places.
Poveglia Island: A Mysterious, Off-Limits Place With a Dark Past
Positioned between Venice and Lido, Poveglia Island conceals a shroud of chilling stories and secrets. Once a dreaded mental institution where crude lobotomies were performed, it also doubled for over a century as a quarantine for contagious diseases. This tiny island is strictly off-limits to visitors, which adds to its scary and mysterious reputation. Only in very rare cases do photographers, writers, and TV producers get permission to explore it.
Although it's hard to gain access to this haunted island, if you can manage it, it's worth a visit. It's definitely at the top of the list of creepiest places around the world.
New Jersey's Most Haunted House, Brighton's Asylum
Brighton Asylum, located in New Jersey, USA, was once a facility for people with mental health issues in the 1940s. It consisted of old warehouses, mainly used to house violent patients who needed isolation for safety reasons so they wouldn't harm people or staff. But the tactics used there, and incidents that occurred are so dark most people don't like talking about it. If you must know, you'll just have to book a trip there.
After being closed to the public for 59 years, it reopened in 2011, not as a treatment center but as a spooky haunted attraction.
Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania Haunted by Over 50,000 Souls
The Gettysburg Battlefield, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, stands as a grim testament to one of North America's most harrowing conflicts, the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War. This site witnessed one of history's bloodiest encounters, with an estimated casualty count exceeding 50,000 souls. As you stroll through these historic grounds, an undeniable sense of fear envelopes you as the stories of this tragic past come to life. But it doesn't stop there.
Some believe that the tormented spirits of those who suffered there still wander the grounds, and you can hear their voices.
Ghostly Legends Aboard the Queen Mary Docked in California
In Long Beach, California, when it comes to maritime specters, The Queen Mary stands out as an enduring example. This historic ocean liner has found new life as a hotel, but its haunted reputation remains firmly intact. Launched in 1934 by Queen Mary herself and retired in 1967, tales of ghostly encounters began circulating shortly after her last voyage. Over the years, reports of more than 150 ghosts have made The Queen Mary their eternal home.
Frequent sightings have led many to believe in the ship's haunted legacy, with visitors sharing chilling experiences such as sudden drops in temperature in eerie locations like the second-class pool, haunted staterooms, the mysterious shaft alley, and adjacent bathrooms.
Unearth the Disturbing Story of Jack the Ripper in London's East End
In 1888, the chilling saga of terror commenced on the dimly lit streets of Whitechapel, London, as an innocent woman met a gruesome fate in Bucks Row. What followed was a series of macabre murders that continue to send shivers down the spines of those who dare to remember. This gruesome chapter in history paints a vivid picture of fog-draped alleyways, gas lamps casting eerie glows, and the relentless pursuit of a phantom killer.
Known as Jack the Ripper, this unidentified English serial killer haunted the Whitechapel district, taking the lives of at least five women. But if you so dare, you can walk the path he once did.
South Dakota's Sica Hollow State Park Is Not for the Faint of Heart
From its eerie name to its blood-like waters, Sica Hollow State Park exudes an uncanny aura that will pique the curiosity of adventurous souls. "Sica," which means bad or evil in Dakota, encapsulates the strange beauty that lingers within the park's terrain. Its striking landscape sure does provide a picturesque background for campers and hikers to enjoy, but be prepared to encounter ghost stories that have been passed down through generations.
If you're willing to explore and embrace the spooky charm of this hidden gem, Sica Hollow State Park is a must-visit destination that's guaranteed to thrill.
Ohio State Reformatory Filled With Aggressive Spirits
The Ohio State Reformatory, made famous by its appearance in "The Shawshank Redemption," bears a dark history. Shut down due to reports of inhumane conditions and over 200 deaths within its walls; it now draws visitors during the Halloween season. Special events hosted by celebrities, renowned ghost hunters, and historians add to its allure. The tormented spirits of mistreated inmates refuse to rest as unseen forces push and punch visitors and tour guides.
Witnesses reported encountering slamming cell doors and dark apparitions. But how can it get much worse than being punched by a demonic figure?
The Dark Secrets of Corvin Castle, Romania
For those searching for a hauntingly captivating Gothic-Renaissance castle, look no further than Romania's Corvin Castle in Hunedoara. This sprawling fortress, one of Europe's largest, boasts a place among the Seven Wonders of Romania. With its towers and countless windows, the castle emanates an aura of dark enchantment. Corvin Castle is steeped in legends of prisoners being imprisoned for years and treated horribly. People assume their souls wander throughout the castle.
If you feel like paying a visit to this creepy castle, then you can walk the same grounds that are full of tortured souls and experience them for yourself.
The Tower of London Where Ghosts Roam
Situated on the north bank of the Thames River, the Tower of London is famous for its eerie vibes. This ancient place has worn many hats over the years – it's been a palace, a fortress, and a prison. Some brave night workers even say they've seen ghostly figures of nobles like Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, Anne Boleyn, and Margaret Pole. Clearly, the Tower's old stone walls have seen it all – betrayals, murders, and executions.
It's no surprise that it's considered one of the most haunted places in all of Britain. Whether or not the ghost stories are true, there's no denying the countless stories of people killed here.
Transylvania, Romania's Cursed Hoia Baciu Forest
Located near Transylvania, Romania, the Hoia Baciu Forest has gained a spooky reputation filled with ghost stories, strange happenings, and even tales of alien encounters. This eerie place even offers guided night tours for the curious. Who would want to wander in a scary forest anyway? Well, apparently, a ton of people! Just so they can witness the bizarre oval-shaped area where nothing seems to grow, earning it the nickname "Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania."
Some believe the forest is haunted by the spirits of soldiers who once fought in nearby battles, leading to eerie sightings and strange sounds.
The Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan
The mystery surrounding the Gates of Hell in Turkmenistan only adds to its otherworldly aura. While its exact beginnings remain uncertain, with records either missing or off-limits, there are various theories about how the flaming pit came to be. Some local experts contend that it collapsed in the 1960s, but the fire wasn't set until the 1980s as a measure against poisonous gases coming from the area. Either way, it's a disturbing mystery yet to be unlocked.
If you want to get in the Halloween spirit and crave a visit to a place otherworldly and like no other, this is the destination for you.
Corwin House Stands as a Reminder of The Salem Witch Trials
The Corwin House is a chilling reminder of that dark history in Salem, Massachusetts, where infamous witch trials unfolded. Once owned by the judge who sentenced over 200 people, leading to nearly 20 executions, this house exudes a dark and scary vibe. Today, it's a historical museum and a hotspot for those seeking ghostly encounters and paranormal experiences. Although no witches lived here, the Witch House is a magnet for spirits due to its connection to Salem's haunting past.
People have reported ghostly sightings, and Judge John Hawthorne's restless spirit is believed to wander the path between the Witch House and his grave in a nearby cemetery.
Colorado's Stanley Hotel That Inspired Stephen King
Nestled in the remote mountains of Colorado, the legendary Stanley Hotel has captivated horror enthusiasts around the world. This iconic hotel is renowned for its past, architecture, and, of course, paranormal activities. People admit to hearing voices screaming and a male figure wandering around. Perhaps what made it so popular is the role it played in inspiring Stephen King's timeless classic, The Shining. If you're craving a visit to somewhere paranormal, this is the place.
People have even reported having their hair played with, but nothing was there when they turned around and saw a cowboy figure hanging from the ceiling.
Beijing's Forbidden City Has a Spooky Past
Once an imperial palace for 500 years, Beijing's Forbidden City now serves as the Palace Museum and holds UNESCO World Heritage status. But why is this museum associated with ghostly tales? Built during the Ming Dynasty, its name "Forbidden" comes from strict rules against commoners entering. In a time when death was common for disobedience, the palace saw its share of dark deeds. Jealousy ran rampant, and people often murdered each other to gain favor with the Emperor.
With so much death haunting a place like this, it only makes sense that visitors have reported seeing ghosts of women crying and strange figures running around.
Burg Wolfsegg, Germany's Creepy Isolated Castle
In the quiet town of Wolfsegg, Germany, there's a castle that has a mysterious and eerie reputation. This castle, known as Burg Wolfsegg, is over 800 years old and sits high on a hill. It's said to be haunted by a ghostly figure known as the "White Woman," who locals claim can scare away anyone who comes near. Legend has it that the ghost is the wife of the man who built the castle.
Allegedly, she was having an affair, and the husband found it and had her killed in the castle. People claim to see her wandering the halls and hanging out in her old bedroom.
Norway's Haunted Akershus Castle
Located in Oslo, Norway, Akershus Castle is a captivating medieval fortress renowned for its eerie and dark aesthetic. This intriguing stronghold has gained a reputation for being haunted, making it a must-visit for those fascinated by the supernatural. Built in the late 13th century, the castle served as a protective bastion for Oslo, defending against both external and internal threats holding significant historical importance for Norway. But it's also notorious for its ghostly legends.
Visitors have recounted encounters such as phantom footsteps, mysterious voices, and strange odors.
The Haunting Catacombs of Paris
While Paris boasts of its art and grandeur, there is a sinister underground realm lurking beneath its beauty. The catacombs of Paris, a vast burial chamber for the remains of six million people, offer an eerie experience quite different from what most people imagine when they visit the City of Love. Its labyrinthine paths can leave visitors lost and disoriented, but for those who are brave, this is an adventure worth taking on.
An ominous sign greets guests, warning them to turn back as they are about to enter the "empire of death."
Australia's Dark History at Port Arthur
Port Arthur, a former settlement where prisoners were sent to exile in Australia, is infamous for its dark and tragic past. More than a thousand lives were lost during that time, leaving behind a haunting legacy that some believe still lingers today. Ghost stories have been associated with Port Arthur since the 1870s, and many have reported experiencing paranormal activity over the years. Despite its haunting reputation, the place remained a tourist spot.
Despite being a popular spot for ghost tours, the site was forced to close for six weeks after a horrific mass shooting claimed 35 innocent lives.
The Ghosts of Fairmont Banff Springs, Canada's Luxury Hotel
As Halloween approaches, those who prefer to avoid city ghouls and goblins may seek refuge in Canada's Fairmont Banff Springs hotel, nestled in the serene hills. However, beware because this hotel is actually said to be filled with ghosts—notably the Ghost Bride, a legend dating back to the 1920s. Guests and staff have reported sightings of a veiled figure on the stairs and the same bride dancing in the ballroom.
While many are skeptical about the ghostly legends, there are undoubtedly other spine-chilling tales that remain undiscovered.
A Hike Meant for Risk-Takers in Mount Hua Shan, China
Are you brave enough to tackle the most terrifying hiking spot in the world? Mount Hua Shan, located in Shaanxi province, China, is not for the faint of heart. With a total of 100 fatalities recorded on the hike, it's no wonder that many consider this location a creepy place to visit. The path to the top is filled with narrow paths and steep cliffs, adding an eerie feeling of danger.
The trail takes you on a spooky adventure that will make you question if you're really alone on the mountain.
West Virginia's Mental Asylum
Popular media portrays mental asylums as dark, twisted places with a horrid past. However, the mental asylum in West Virginia had a different, more pressing issue - overcapacity. Built to accommodate 250 people, the facility was stretched beyond its limits, housing over 2500 patients. That means the facility was overrun with patients who needed severe help, with no supervision or enough staff to attend to anyone. It became a place where people ran around wild.
Today, the asylum stands as a tourist spot, offering visitors a glimpse into the lives of people who struggled to survive in this place.
The Haunting Shadows of England's Raynham Hall
Raynham Hall, nestled in Norfolk, England, may seem unassuming from the outside, with its bright and lavish architecture. Yet, within its walls, a sinister presence lingers. The legend of the "Brown Lady" has captivated minds for generations, with tales of a shadowy figure draped in a brown dress gliding through its halls. The intrigue deepened when photographers from Country Life magazine captured her ethereal image, proving the spooky tale to be true.
It's even become one of the UK's most famous ghost tales. If you thought it would stop here, you're wrong. Plenty more destinations shrouded in centuries-old darkness remain to explore on this list.
The Sallie House in Kansas Unveil a Troubling Story
Tucked away in the heart of Kansas lies the mysterious Sallie House, a dwelling forever linked to the restless spirit that bears its name. This historic residence, constructed in Atchison during the mid-1800s, holds a sorrowful story that refuses to fade. The tale unfolds with the haunting of young Sallie, her life cruelly cut short during a hasty appendectomy, a procedure started before pain relief took hold. Many believe her soul is stuck inside the house.
Previous owners even claimed to hear voices, see burning candles, and scary things flying around the home.
Michigan's Marquette Harbor Lighthouse Is Home to a Ghostly Little Girl
In Michigan, the Marquette Harbor Lighthouse stands tall with a disturbing story that captivates all who visit. Local tales speak of a girl, forever peering into the distance from within the lighthouse. Legend has it she was abandoned by her parents, leaving behind an enduring mystery of what really happened there. Most lighthouse keepers quit their posts after only a few months, spooked out by the encounters. But if you're curious to see the haunting for yourself, this is the place to visit.
She mainly reveals herself to women and children, although people could never figure out why.
The Ghostly Charm of Hotel Del Coronado, California
Built in 1888, the Hotel Del Coronado still stands tall as one of the few Victorian-era beach resorts in America. Despite years of elegance and luxury, it couldn't escape the clutches of a chilling ghost story. Kate Morgan checked into the hotel alone in 1892 and, five days later, was found dead with a gunshot wound to the head. Since then, guests have reported paranormal activities in her room and around the hotel, including eerie breezes and flickering electronics.
Whether it's the ghostly charm or the ocean view, Hotel Del Coronado continues to capture hearts and could be the perfect getaway for a haunted destination.
The Old Talbott Tavern in Kentucky Is Full of Paranormal Activity
The Old Talbott Tavern is a remarkable building that stands proudly as the oldest in Kentucky. Its longevity is not the only impressive aspect, however. For years, tales of its ghostly guests have haunted visitors and locals alike. Guests have mysteriously vanished and have left their mark in the rooms now named after them. The infamous Jesse James is said to haunt the tavern, along with a lady in white and other spirits appearing as orbs of light or unexplainable movements of objects.
With a reputation for sinister secrets and paranormal activity, The Old Talbott Tavern is not for the faint of heart.
Toni Jo Henry's Ghost Haunts Calcasieu Courthouse in Louisiana
The Calcasieu Courthouse has been home to many horrific incidents, and one story that continues to linger is that of Toni Jo Henry's. Known to haunt the property, Toni was the only woman ever executed in Louisiana's electric chair. She helped her husband escape from prison and was involved in robbing and killing Joseph P. Calloway. Visitors have reported the smell of burnt hair, lights flickering, and unexplainable electrical malfunctions.
The courthouse continues to terrify those who enter its halls as they hear ghostly voices and screams echo from the stair landing. Could you handle walking around this haunted place?
The Armour-Stiner House in New York, Where Beauty Meets Mystery
Nestled in New York's countryside is a striking house with a unique octagonal shape and vibrant hues. Known as the Armour-Stiner House, it stands out as one of the world's most visually exceptional residences, boasting an entirely domed structure. However, with such beauty comes spookiness, as this home has a ghost story attached. It's rumored to be haunted by a friendly "lady in white" who loved the boy next door.
They died tragically on the way to elope. It's said she haunts the house, and you might encounter her if you go on a tour here.
Casa Loma, Toronto's Haunted Castle
Casa Loma, located in Toronto, Canada, offers a captivating glimpse into the world of Gothic architecture. Surrounded by elegant Edwardian, Tudor, and Georgian homes, this hilltop castle lends its name to the charming town. While it's a popular tourist destination and a favored spot for film and television productions, Casa Loma holds a mysterious secret. Despite no recorded deaths on the premises, unexplained phenomena persist. So, what truly lurks there?
Visitors and staff have reported eerie experiences, such as disembodied voices, phantom footsteps, and doors that seem to move on their own.
The Ghostly Tales of The Driskill in Texas
Step into the oldest operating hotel in Austin, Texas, and you may encounter more than just a warm welcome. The Driskill Hotel, constructed in 1886, is infamous for its supernatural guests. Ghost hunters rejoice because this Romanesque-style building is home to many specters, from the founder, Col. Jesse Driskill, to a young boy who tragically fell down the stairs. The hotel's eerie reputation is so renowned that it even has its own Spotify playlist.
Be warned, Google "ghost" and "Driskill," and you may need a therapist. The only question is, are you brave enough to spend a night?
History and Legend Collide at the St. Augustine Lighthouse in Florida
The St. Augustine Lighthouse is a unique travel destination for history buffs and paranormal enthusiasts alike. With its rich history dating back to the 1870s, it has also been a hub for ghost stories and legends. The lighthouse offers ghost tours and themed events to its visitors. Some of the ghost sightings can be attributed to the lighthouse keepers and workers who lived and died there—especially the haunting story of one ghost in particular.
The most popular apparition is known as "The Man," often seen wearing a blue jacket and cap. Whether it's the smell of cigars or the tall shadowy figure, you'll be stopped in your tracks when you encounter him.
Mysterious Happenings at Rhode Island's Providence City Hall
The imposing Providence City Hall has stood as the heart of the municipal government in Rhode Island for over a century. But could it also be home to otherworldly inhabitants? There have been countless reports of eerie happenings within its walls, from inexplicable footsteps to ghostly cigar smoke. Rumors abound of men dying during its construction, adding fuel to the haunted tales. Workers have whispered of a mysterious figure with an Abe Lincoln hat and a chilly presence that permeates the building.
Is there truly something paranormal lurking within these walls? If you're brave enough to visit, you can see for yourself.
Otherwordly Encounters at Cheyenne Depot Museum, Wyoming
The Cheyenne Depot Museum stands as a haunting tribute to the countless souls lost in the Union Pacific rail yard that surrounds it. Despite operating as a museum since 1993, rumors of ghostly apparitions persist. The architecture boasts a stunning influence of Richardsonian Romanesque, yet the spirits that are said to wander the halls are not of this world. If you're a fan of history and paranormal activity, the Cheyenne Depot Museum is an experience you won't forget.
Visitors have reported hearing the laughter of children, seeing a man and his dog, and even feeling the unseen force of a scratching entity.