Life after death, ghosts, and spirits are the subject of much debate and furor the world over. But what remains undeniable is the presence of houses that are supposedly haunted all over the globe. Here are 10 of the most haunted places of the world.
10. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, Scotland
The Edinburgh Castle of Scotland is one of the United Kingdom’s most haunted sites. The castle was built on the site that had witnessed much war and bloodshed even before a fortress was erected here in the 12th century. It came to be the center of many surprise attacks, executions, and political drama between the Scots, British, and Germans. The castle is now believed to play host to a number of ghosts and spirits including that of a piper who was sent to explore the underground tunnels, a headless drummer, and other such apparitions. It is also close to Mary Kings Close, an underground settlement where victims of the Black Plague were left to die.
9. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
In India, the Bhanghar Fort built in the Alwar district of Rajasthan state is believed to be one of the most haunted ruins. So much so that the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) does not allow visitors to stay in the fort after sundown. The fort was built in 1573 and is believed to be haunted by the spirit of a wizard who died of unrequited love for the princess of the kingdom. The entire kingdom is believed to have perished due to the wizard’s curse. Lack of electricity and modern amenities adds to the eerie mystique of the fort.
8. The Castle of Goede Hoop, Cape Town
The Castle of Goede Hoop (Good Hope) is one of South Africa’s most haunted buildings according to the locals. It is one of the oldest colonial buildings in the country and was home to some of the harshest colonial governors of the past. The castle also contains a dungeon which served as a prison and torture chamber for convicts. Visitors and administrators report several ghost activities including sounds of running feet, ringing bells, and screams. Lights are turned on and off without human interference. The ghost of Lady Anne Barnard, a British governor’s wife is also said to haunt the castle.
7. Aokigahara, Japan
If you thought that a forest at the foot of Mount Fuji in Japan, and one that is called the Sea of Trees, is an unlikely spot for paranormal activities, think again. Aokigahara Forest is also called Suicide Forest and is one of the most haunted places in Japan. Japanese mythology associates the forest with demonic activity. Demons or not, it is undeniable that these forests attracted people who committed suicide in hundreds each year till about 1988. In fact, the locals and government officials undertake yearly drives to clean the forest of dead bodies. Numerous ghost sightings in these forests have made it one of the most fearsome places in the country.
6. The Princess Theater, Melbourne, Australia
Constructed during the 1854 Gold rush period, the Princess Theatre of Melbourne is perhaps the best-known of the city’s East End Theatre District. In fact, the building is listed in the Victorian Heritage Register. Apart from this, however, the Princess Theater has made a name for itself as the country’s most haunted building. On 3 March 1888, Frederick Federici, the baritone suffered from a fatal heart attack while sinking from the stage through a trapdoor. He died immediately but the rest of the crew saw him on stage while taking the bow. His ghost has been sighted in photographs and pictures of the theater on various occasions. For many years, the theater had a tradition of leaving a dress circle seat empty for Federici on the opening night of every new show.
5. La isla de la Muñecas, Mexico
South of Mexico City is the La isla de la Muñecas or the Island of Dolls – an island where thousands of mutilated and creepy dolls hang from trees. Don Julian Santana moved to the island with an intention of turning a recluse about 100 years ago. Soon he came to be troubled by the spirit of a little girl who drowned in one of the canals in the island. To please her Don Julian brought thousands of dolls over the 50 years that he lived there but the spirit would not rest till he mysteriously died on the island, reports say. Visitors hear sobs, cries, and screams here and claim that the eyes of the dolls follow them.
4. Huguang Huiguan Opera House, Beijing, China
The Huguang Huiguan Opera House was built in the ancient city of Beijing in China in 1807. The building stands on what used to be a graveyard and a haunted burial site. Following World War II, a rich philanthropist built a shelter for the homeless here, enraging the spirits of those who lay buried. The ghost sightings started when the building served as the Provincial Headquarters of Guangdong and Hunan. The courtyard of the building seems to be the center of spirit activity and loud screams are often heard emanating from it. It is said that the spirit is heard scolding if one throws a stone into the courtyard.
3. White House, Washington DC, USA
Surprised to see this on the list? The official residence of the President of the USA is also one of the most haunted buildings in the country. Being the center of political drama the pull of the White House extends not only to mere mortals but to those who have moved on as well, or so it seems. Abraham Lincoln’s ghost is a regular, it seems. Frequent sightings of Lincoln’s spirit, apart from those of Abigail Adams, Harry Truman, and Andrew Jackson have been reported by the first families, the staff, and visitors of the White House.
2. Château de Châteaubriant, Brittany, France
The Château de Châteaubriant is a Renaissance period castle which was renovated many times over. This castle in Brittany is home to one of the most bizarre ghost sightings in the world. The ghost of Françoise de Foix, wife of Jean de Laval-Châteaubriant, the Governor of Brittany during the times of King Francis I, is believed to haunt the chateau. Françoise was also the king’s mistress and her jealous husband murdered her in her bed chamber. She died on October 16, 1537. Each year on October 16, a ghostly procession of knights and monks follow the couple’s spirits and makes its way through the château at midnight.
1. Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, USA
Counted among the most haunted buildings of the U.S., the Eastern State Penitentiary was built in 1829. The prison not only kept prisoners away from society and the outside world but also kept them from all human contact by implementing solitary confinement for each of its inmates. The guards at the prison also devised inhuman and sickening forms of punishment for the inmates who misbehaved. Lack of human contact and fear had driven many prisoners crazy. The spirits of these prisoners are believed to haunt the Eastern State Penitentiary building which is now a museum. Even visitors to the museum report ghost sightings and mournful cries emanating from empty cells.