The mystery of the unknown has always seduced mankind. The sheer bewilderment of sights uncanny, sounds unknown and experiences unaccountable have always, though evoking fear and horror, have, since time immemorial, drawn humanity to its enigmatic allure. The secrets of the other world, the question of life after death and the ultimate fate of the spirit hereafter has kept the entire machinery of the supernatural well-oiled.Be it religion, science or the product of any abstract introspection of mind, the question of what, how and whom pertaining to anything unfamiliar, especially the events after death, has remained deeply mysterious.
Nevertheless, overtime, as mankind began to experience strange happenings and unexplained phenomenon, the places associated with such events or better to say, with violent occurrences, unnatural deaths and sites of tortures and execution began to be called haunted, spooky or terrifying.
These places, without doubt, evoke a sense of fright, apprehension and anxiety but humankind’s unrelenting curiosity, implacable desire to raise the curtain off this unsolved riddle and unwavering wish to experience and connect with the mythical has kept these places fairly popular amongst the tourist community. In this article, we introduce 15 most haunted places in the world and most bizarre stories associated with them. Get ready to engross yourself in the magical allure of these haunted spots and experience the thrill that goes with their most incredible tales.
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
The fort has been frequently featured in the list of top Most Haunted Places in the World since a long time. It is unmistakably on the list of ghost hunters from around the globe, who come looking for their own fodder of scary tales from the country. Nevertheless, everybody has their own individual experiences to tell. The fort was built in 1573, in Alwar district in Rajasthan. According to the legend associated with the site, the local wizard was in love with the princess of Bhangarh who did not like him and spurned his advances. Determined to possess her, he turned to witchcraft and black magic and tried to woo her with a bowl of magic potion.
She in turn, understood the trick and threw the bowl against a massive boulder, which was disturbed enough with the collision. It came rolling right in front of the path of the wizard, who cursed the town that it would be destroyed, before being crushed under it. Later the town was invaded and its inhabitants, including the princess were killed and those who were left behind, abandoned the place. Since then, it is believed that spirits of those who were killed haunt the fort. Visitors and locals tell of their strange and supernatural experiences, from hearing cries to bizarre phenomenon, which makes the place very spooky.
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
The story of Aokigahara can arguably scare the hell out of you. Located at the base of Mt. Fugi, this forest is globally infamous as the Suicide Forest of Japan. Every year, a record number of people venture inside the forest to commit suicide behind the foliage and vines of the jungle, so much so that the police has to carry out an annual sweep to remove the bodies. The number of these cases are not revealed. The place has acquire such a notoriety for those killing themselves that police has actually put in the signboards such as “Think about your family” or “Please consult the police before you decide to die” to discourage people against such acts.
Nevertheless, overtime the people have started to believe that the forest is haunted by the ghosts of those who died and this assumption has persisted, perhaps on some factual basis. There is another legend to this belief which is that during a famine in ancient Japan, people took refuge in this forest, but ultimately died of starvation and spirits of those people still roam about. Whatever be the reality behind this, in all aspects, Aokigahara is one of the scariest places on Earth.
High-gate Cemetery, North London, England
High-gate cemetery has the infamous reputation of being one of the spookiest places in the world. The cemetery was opened in 1839 and quickly became famous as the final resting place of country’s eminent and influential like the Karl Marx. It retained this popularity till the Second World War, after which it was abandoned. Beautiful graves and wonderful masonry over the stones soon became capped with grass and foliage as the cemetery went into a period of neglect and ruin. Soon a number of spooky stories and haunted incidents came to be associated with the graveyard.
People were reported telling incidents of sighting a 7-foot tall blood-sucking vampire, who crawls up the walls, while others described sighting an old woman with reddened, inflamed eyes. A huge restoration project in the 80’s curtailed the number of such reports but nevertheless, the ghost sightings and creepy encounters have since lingered on.
Island of Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico
The scene across the island itself is one of spookiest and scariest that can scare out your wits, what to say of the legend associated with it. The story goes that a small girl died on this artificial island from drowning and man named Julian Barrera, who moved in here in 1950’s was haunted by the spirit of this girl. In order to appease her soul, he began to hang around the island, old dolls, which he brought here after collecting them. It is reported that Julian had told his nephew that ghost of the girl wants him to be her playmate in the life hereafter after which the body of Julian was found in a canal in 2001, at the same place where the girl had drowned. It has been reported by the visitors to the island that they have felt eyes of the dolls following them. Some even say that they have heard the sounds of laugher and giggles. Can it get anything scarier?
St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida, United States
St. Augustine Lighthouse is the very first such a structure in the state of Florida and was constructed in the year 1874. It is still an active lighthouse and is now used a museum for educational and sightseeing purposes. Yet visitors recount a number of spooky and frightening experiences that seems to have no explanation.
Some people have noticed the presence of a burning cigar, which has been accounted to belong to the caretaker of the building, who died on the job. Others recall to have seen the ghosts of two girls who died from an accident during the construction, while some tell a strange kind of pull downstairs by a girl, who’s dressed in blue velvet and explained to be one of the two girls who died.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
The iconic castle and one of the most important tourist spots in Scotland, the Edinburgh Castle too has its share of creepy and uncanny stories that makes it enter the list of Most Haunted Places in the World. The castle was built around 12th century AD and though it still stands today as a handsome and beautiful structure, it hides within it, secrets, which are read in history books. The castle, though a royal building, has a history of cruel and gruesome tales of murders and torture and it is widely believed that spirits of those helpless victims still roam about in its numerous dark dungeons, vaults and corners.
Some of the ghosts that people have reportedly seen or sensed is that of Phantom Piper, who while searching one of the castle’s tunnels, disappeared without a trace and no sign whatsoever has been found of him, yet. Visitors and guards who stay at the castle, tell to have heard the sound of pipes being played through the tunnels, even today. Another famous ghost that is related to the castle is that of the headless Drummer, whose sighting was reported in the 16th century, when the palace was attacked. It has not been seen since, but visitors still hear the sounds of drums through the palace’s darkest corners.
Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa
The castle of good hope is one of the largest and oldest of the South Africa’s colonial buildings. It was built in 16th century near the seaside by the Dutch East India Company as a stopover for the replenishment of the ships. It was also once the seat of the imperial governors of the area.
The castle is haunted, as has been corroborated and confirmed by many people visiting the site and there have been numerous ghost sightings and weird incidences that invokes fright and horror. In 1915, a strange, two meter tall figure was seen on the battlements of the castle that disappeared without a trace. Again, in 1947, the same figure was seen leaping over the walls. Many people have heard the sounds of footsteps between the spans of Leerdam and Oranje bastions where another semi-luminous figure has been sighted. It is believed that it is the same figure who rings the bells of the castle as hundreds of years ago a man was reported to have committed suicide near the bell.
People also tell about a large black hound that haunts the acropolis and seems to leap over the visitors and disappearing at the last moment. There have been incidences of unexplained switching on and off of lights in Buren bastion, while sounds of a man and woman arguing has been heard near the guard room. It is also considered that ghost of governor Pieter Gysbert van Noodt also haunts the castle. All these incidences and encounters make Castle of Good Hope, quite a creepy and frightening place.
Chateau de Brissac, Maine-et-Loire, France
The castle is one of the tallest forts in France and was built originally by Counts of Anjou in the 11th century. However, it was rebuilt in early 16th century by Charles II, who was the Duke of Brissac. The castle, though beautiful and serene was ravaged by an unfortunate double murder, somewhere in the 15th century. Since then, it has become a subject of haunted incidents and rendezvous with a mysterious Green Lady, who moves about the castle in her green dress.
Apart from the already frightening apparition, the scariest part is her face which looks like a corpse and has gaping holes in place of her eyes and nose. There even have been cases of people hearing her painful moans throughout the corners of the castle.
Old Changi Hospital, Changi, Singapore
The building was an old structure of Changi Hospital, which is located in Changi in Singapore. Back in 1935, it was used as a military base. However, during the Japanese occupation of Singapore, the complex structure began to be used as a prison and torture camp by the infamous Kempeitai, which was the Japanese Secret Police. But as the World War II ended, the building again started to be used as a Hospital by the independent Singapore and remained such till 1997, after which it was abandoned and the hospital shifted to another building.
However, the building now seems to be haunted as many unfamiliar and strange phenomena and ghost sightings have been reported. Apparitions of bloodied Japanese soldiers, people, who were tortured and executed here as well as the patients who died in it many wards have been seen roaming the compound. There is a ghost of an old man drifting across the corridors been sighted as well as a woman, who walks about the rooms. The ghosts of children and their cries have also been reported by some people to haunt the children’s wards. Very frightful and spooky indeed.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Louisville, United States
Originally a double-storied building that was raised in 1910, Waverly Hills Sanatorium in Kentucky was re-constructed during 1926. During the height of tuberculosis wave, that was especially virulent during the mid-20th century, it served as a tuberculosis hospital. However, almost 63,000 patients died while getting treated inside the premises. This happened, as it is believed due to wrong procedures that were followed and unethical experimental practices on patients that led to their untimely and unfortunate deaths.
Over the years, the place has built quite a reputation as a haunted spot as more and more reports of ghost sightings began to appear. The building was subjected to numerous studies and scientific analysis and appeared on a number of television shows on ghosts. Some findings reported to have sighted the ghost of a tiny boy who was later identified as Tim. Moreover other spooky experiences such as fleeting shadows, sounds of screams and footsteps, full body ghost figures and strange voices have been noted as well.
The Tower of London, London, England
One of the most famous and important icons of the UK, the Tower of London has not remained free of its stake in horror stories and supernatural experiences as has been reported, told and encountered by the people coming in its influence. Regarded to be one of the most haunted places in UK, the history of the Tower of London spans up to 900 years of execution and torture. Thus, paranormal activity is almost a certain thing that could be expected. In addition to a number of spirits that have been seen or felt here, the most famous is the apparition of Anne Boleyn, who was the wife of King Henry VIII. Anne was beheaded in the year 1536 and it has been reported that her headless body is seen walking through the Tower’s corridors, close to the place of her execution.
Ghosts of other people, like that of Lady Jane Grey was also sighted by a guardsman in 1957. However, the most baffling experience remains that of the appearance of two children, whose apparitions have been observed in almost all the rooms and they have often been seen holding each other’s hands with a somber look on their faces. As their story goes, they were allegedly murdered by their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester as they disappeared without a trace. The apparent exhumation of two skeletons from beneath the staircase in White Tower, however furnishes more credibility to the story.
The Forbidden City, Beijing, China
The Forbidden City is one of the scariest places in China and has been listed here as one of the most haunted in the world. The city was the palace site of the Chinese imperial royal family from the Ming dynasty to the Qing dynasty. Its history spanning for nearly 600 years, the palace has witnessed some of the most gruesome and cruel instances of torture and murder involving court politics, rivalries, jealously and power.
It is said that too many people died unnecessarily leading to restless spirits and spooky events which have often been witnessed here by visitors, workers and guards. For instance, people have sighted strange occurrences, unearthly animals moving about at night and many have seen a crying woman in white. Moreover, many people reported to have seen women in waiting and palace eunuchs moving about and some have even heard ghostly music being played.
Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada
The Banff Springs Hotel, located in Alberta, Canada was constructed by the Canadian Pacific Railways as a luxurious stopover for the train passengers. However, its picturesque surroundings notwithstanding, it is one the most haunted places in Canada. Strange and frightening sights have been reported from the hotel, including that of a bride who fell from the staircase in panic, breaking her neck, when her dress caught fire.
Another tale which can literally petrify you is that of the family of the room number 873 that was murdered. Although the door leading to the room has since been bricked, many people have reported seeing the family members in the hallway, outside the room. Another similar vision is that of the bellman Sam Macaulay, who worked here in the decades of 60’s and 70’s. It has been told that Sam likes to help the guests with their luggage and directions to the room and when you try to talk to him or tip him, he disappears.
Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, England
The Ancient Ram Inn can be called to be one of the most haunted houses in the whole British Isles. So many scary tales including that of evil spirits, devil worship and child sacrifices are associated with the structure that it is not surprising why it finds mention amongst the 15 most haunted places in the world. Many explanations have been suggested to describe its perceived paranormal activities including its location on the ley lines or it being a site of an ancient Pagan Burial ground or performance of supernatural rituals within its premises.
During the time, when it was used as a lodgings, guests would flee in the middle of the night, often experiencing strange phenomenon or sighting unfamiliar apparitions or the being pulled, touched or hearing uncanny, mysterious voices. The house, most astonishingly, is an occupied property and the current owner has often reported to have experienced spooky episodes, including being dragged out of his bed, across the room. He also found two child skeletons, beneath his staircase which is one of the most frightful incident in itself.
Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh, Scotland
The site is a complex underground network of street and residences and was once a flourishing trade area, where the city’s tradesmen use to work as well as live. However, in 1645, Mary King’s close was afflicted with deadly plague, after which it was abandoned. Those people, who remained affected with the disease stayed back, apparently in isolation. However, since the 17th century, the place has increasingly been associated with strange, paranormal happenings.
People who have been staying here ever since have reported to see weird figures, disembodied body parts and vivid nightmares. Sounds of scratches, footsteps even the throwing of stones have been revealed. Inhabitants often have told to see the ghost of a woman in black dress and figure of a girl who is named Annie. The close is now a famous tourist spot, even running daily trips to the site making people learn about its history and legends connected with it. However, The Close persists to remain one of the scariest sites in the entire Scotland.
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