Are you one of those people who think nothing scares them? Can’t wait to venture out into the dark of the night and brave some ghosts? Excited by the paranormal? Well well, dear daredevil, I dare you to visit these places and not feel a chill run down your spine.
1. Dominican Hill, Baguio City, Philippines – The building has a spooky feeling even in the pictures that people take. It is said that the ghosts of the people who died during the war still haunt this place. It is rightly said that hope is the most powerful thing we have and thus the patients who died at this ruined hospital despite having the hope to live are heard banging doors, clattering dishes, breaking windows and screaming in pain here throughout the night.
2. Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales, Australia – This house, rather, death house has quite a long history of tragedy attached to it. It was originally built in 1885 and owned by the Crawleys till the year of 1948. Over this time when they resided in this home, they underwent many tragedies that still leave a hanging terror in the air in that area. It is the most haunted place in Australia and currently unoccupied. The story starts with the dropping of a young child down the stairs, goes on to the incident of a maid falling from the balcony and a stable boy who burned to death on the property. It doesn’t end here, the son of a caretaker, a mentally ill man named Harold, was found chained up in the caretaker’s cottage after 40 years. He was found curled up besides the body of his dead mother and taken to a mental institute where he passed away shortly after. Hang on, there’s still more, the house was left by the Crawleys in 1948 and taken over by a group of caretakers, one of whom was again murdered in the caretakers’ cottage.
3. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India – If you’re not spooked out yet, head over to India’s land of sand, Rajashtan and visit the Bhangarh Fort built in 1573, which is currently in ruins. The story goes that there was once a wizard here who fell in love with the princess and he tried to woo her with his black magic rather than the usual courting. When the princess figured out the play and things went awry, she threw the bowl filled with a potion against a large boulder. I’m not saying it’s true, but apparently, the boulder started rolling and rolled towards the wizard, crushing him to death. But, not before he cursed the entire town saying that it would be entirely destroyed and never be inhabited again. Truly enough, it was soon invaded and everyone was killed, including the princess. Those who managed to survive abandoned the place. The official rules state that nobody is allowed to remain in the area after dark but hey, what’s the point then?
4. Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, New England – Built in 1145, this is believed to be the most haunted house in all of British Isles and even one of the most haunted houses in the world. Tales of child sacrifices, evil spirits and devil worship are what surround this house’s terror-inducing atmosphere. It is said that the house is built on what used to be an ancient Pagan burial ground and at this point, two ley lines cross, which is considered to be a bad omen. Full-bodied apparitions have been reported here, along with the feeling of being touched by something/someone in the dark and just a general overwhelming feeling of evil around.
The Inn is currently owned by John who has often faced haunting and attacks and continues to experience unexplained presences until date. Evidence of devil worship and sacrificial rituals has been found here, including the skeletons of two children and many broken daggers.
5. Banffs Spring Hotel, Alberta, Canada – This hotel was built over 125 years ago by the Candian Pacific Railway to serve as a luxury stop off point for train travellers. Though its picturesque surroundings and countryside scenery have fooled many, don’t let it get to you. It is one of the most haunted places in the country. A bride once fell down the staircase after her dress caught fire and she panicked, causing her to fall, break her neck and die. Her apparition is often seen on this staircase and in the ballroom where she is seen dancing, some reports even include the dancing bride’s dress to be on fire. The core story though is that of the family that was murdered in room 873. Although the room has been shut off ever since, the ghosts of the family members are seen in the hallway.
Another interesting story here is about the former bellman, Sam Macauley, who is sometimes seen helping guests while dressed in his 60s uniform. He switches on lights and opens locked doors for guests and the second you try to make conversation or tip him, he disappears. I don’t know about you, but I definitely want to run into Sam someday!
6. Aokigahara Forest, Japan – If you’ve ever been to this place, someone ought to give you a medal! Japan’s famous (or infamous) suicide forest lies at the base of Mount Fuji. So many people have ventured into the forest to kill themselves at night in its dense shrubbery and vines that the police do annual sweeps to clear away the bodies. Shuddered a little, did you? The numbers are no longer publicized out of the fear that it might actually result in encouragement of suicide and cause more daredevils to visit the place.
In the year 2004, the last publicized figure, 108 people committed suicide there. Signs around the forest read “your life is a precious gift to your parents” and other reassuring things so as to persuade the visitors to reconsider. It is believed that in ancient Japan, the families who couldn’t feed themselves were abandoned to Aokigahara where they eventually died. Those ghosts, along with those of the ones who committed suicide there are believed to haunt the place.
7. Iulia Hasdeu Castle, Romania – This place was built by Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu in Campina after his daughter 19 year old passed away. He then went mad in his grief and dedicated the rest of his life and the castle to here. He became a spiritualism practitioner hoping to reconnect with her spirit and designed a room in the castle solely for the purposes of these daily exercises. The walls are entirely black and the ghost of Iulia still haunts the castle, often seen walking through the expansive courtyard, holding daisies in her hand, as if it is nothing out of the ordinary. Also, did I mention she still plays the piano each night? Quite trained, she’s become by now!
8. Island of Dolls, Xochimilko, Mexico – On Lake Teshuilo in Xochimilko, lies the island La Isla de la Munecas (The Island of the Dolls), one of the strangest places known to mankind. In the 1950s, a main named Julian Santan Barrera moved here to get away from the hustle bustle of society with his family. Poor lad was unaware of the dark history of the place and had no qualms about living there until he was too roped in to get out.
The tale goes that around the 1920s, three young girls were playing near the water when one of them fell inside and drowned instantly in its murky waters. Locals say that since her death, the spirits of these 3 girls were unable to leave the island and soon the place grew in reputation in terms of being haunted. Locals wouldn’t go near it in the night time for fear of what they might see.
Julian, clueless about these things, moved to the island. He reported that as soon as he moved here, a little girl started to speak to him, telling him about how she had fallen into the water and died on the island. Selling fruits and vegetables, he began to gift the little girl dolls to play with and soon her demand for them grew. One day, he told his nephew how her demands were becoming more and more impossible for him to fulfil and how she wished for him to join her on the island in her murky watery grave. The same evening, when his nephew returned, he found Julian’s body face down in the exact sport where the little girl had drowned 70 years ago.
Currently, there are dolls all around the island and tourists often feel like the eyes of these dolls follow them while some even say these mutilated dolls whisper to them, especially as the night approaches. Julian’s ghost is also often spotted around the island by those who visit.
9. Raynham Hall, Norfolk, United Kingdom – Of course the Tower of London is known for its many apparitions but Raynham Hall has just as much of an interesting and twisted story behind it. The ghost that is seen here is that of the Brown Lady, called so because she is seen wearing a brown brocade dress. It is thought to be the spirit of Lady Dorothy Walpole, sister of Robert Walpole, who was the first Prime minister of Great Britain. The rumour goes that she had an affair with a local lord who went by the name of Lord Wharton and when her husband, Charles Townshend found out about it, he locked her in their home- Raynham Hall. Another story claims that it was not Charles, but in fact Wharton’s wife who arranged this entrapment. Either way, Dorothy remained locked up till her death and then her soul was finally free to haunt the castle. Which of course, she does till date. Maybe the pictures taken of her were just a smudge on the lens, maybe not. If you happen to spot her, don’t forget to ask about the weather!
10. St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida – Built in 1974, this active lighthouse, museum in Florida has no twisted war stories or cruel incidents behind it; yet it is surrounded with an eerie feeling of mishap.
There are three apparitions seen here most frequently. The first of these is the apparition of the two daughters of the man who was in charge of the construction of this place. The girls died during the construction, on the site in a tragic accident around the 1870s. The second is that of a woman standing on the stairway of the lighthouse and walking on the grounds outside. Her screams crying out for help have been heard as well on several occasions. The third is that of a man who is believed to be the former keeper of the lighthouse and a Civil War hero, William A Harn.
Often, half-audible conversations, screams, and footsteps are heard at the lighthouse and in the surrounding buildings. Captured paranormal evidence has been found at his place; so do not forget your camera when you visit!
There are many who believe in ghosts, there are many who don’t. Whatever side you fall on, these places are still definitely worth an adrenaline rush. And as for me, I’m definitely not sleeping alone tonight.