The planet can be a frightening environment, from haunted houses in Australia to paranormal jails in America and even scary South African castles. For even the most cynical travelers, a trip to these eerie destinations would make a believer. So we’ve got you covered whether you’re a paranormal buff or just after something fun to add to your itinerary. The most haunted places in the world for adventurous travelers to visit are here. Only don’t lose your torch.
Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia
People have been telling ghost tales about Port Arthur in Tasmania for decades, with many saying it is Australia’s most haunted location. After all, during its 45 years as a penal colony, over 1,000 people have died here. Children in windows, a mother feeding her son, and even a ghostly dog are several mysterious sightings. With the Isle of the Dead being a highly popular destination, there are many spooky night and daytime ghost tours around Port Arthur. About 1000 convicts, military and civil officers, women and children are also buried in the tiny island cemetery.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, US
This grim 142-year-old jail has a dreadful history of suicide, insanity, sickness, murder, and torture. It is considered one of the most haunted locations in America, reported as a center of supernatural activity by the thousands of paranormal investigators who visit each year. Since closing in 1971, tourists, workers, guards and inmates have had ghostly accounts. In cell block 12, echoing voices and cackling can be heard; dark figures in cell block six are said to dart around the walls, and cell block four is notorious for ghostly faces. A silhouette of a guard in one of the towers was recorded by many. As well as several reports of footsteps, whispers and wails. If you dare, take a tour.
Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada
If you want to stay at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, many apparitions await. Formerly one of the great railway hotels in Canada, it is now said to be one of the country’s most Haunted Places. With visitors claiming visions of former bellman Sam Macauley, some ghosts may be friendlier than others. In the 1960s and ’70s, Macauley worked at the hotel and still helps visitors today to get to their rooms. But if you want to tip him or build a chat, he’ll vanish. Other spirits involve a bride dancing from the back of her dress in the ballroom with flames blazing. After her dress caught fire, she broke her neck and fell down the stairs, causing her to panic. But a family sometimes seen in the hallway outside room 873 is probably the most frightening. This room had been bricked up after the murder of the boys.
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
Bhangarh Fort, known as the ‘House of Ghosts’, is now an archaeological site. However, as locals believe that anyone who enters this ghastly place at night will vanish forever, it closes between sunset and sunrise. The ruins of this 17th-century castle haunt a wizard called Singhia and the object of his unrequited love, Princess Ratnavati. The magical murder tale says that Singhia was making an oil that he thought would make him love the princess. The potion transformed into a rock instead, which the princess threw away. The boulder crushed the magician, but not before he doomed the inhabitants of the palace to death with a curse without hope of rebirth. You can take a tour of the ruins, just make sure it’s during the day.
Poveglia Island, Venice, Italy
This island has a past that is especially one of Haunted Places. The charming island of Poveglia was not only a quarantine zone for people suffering from the plague, but it was also an insane asylum. In order to experiment on patients, a doctor at the 1922 asylum reportedly carried out crude lobotomies. He hurled himself away from the hospital tower, claiming to have been driven insane by ghosts. It is also possible to hear cries and voices throughout the island and inside the houses. Vistors also experience brief, dark shadow visions. Some claim that as soon as they walk on the island, they sense an evil draconian presence. Locals won’t visit Poveglia Island as they are scared they will be cursed, and fisherman even refuse to fish the area for fear they will drag up human remains.
St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida, United States
Saint Augustine Lighthouse, the oldest brick building in the region, is the source of many chilling tales and paranormal incidents. A still operating lighthouse and maritime museum; eerie lights, sounds and inexplicable things have been recorded by tourists, staff and even those who live close by. Cigars are also smelled by staff and visitors, a hobby of the first keeper of the lighthouse, Peter Rasmussen. It is said that another keeper, who fell to his death painting the tower, is seen looking out from the top of the building, although it is also possible to hear the laughter of two girls who drowned in the 1800s. In addition, workers also record doors that open themselves, chains that travel inexplicably, and music boxes that turn on and off on their own. There are regular evening tours and moonlight tours available.
Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales, Australia
Monte Cristo Homestead in New South Wales, one of Australia’s most Haunted Places, revels in its incredibly traumatic history. It fits as a B&B, but with all the ghosts haunting the homestead, we will not recommend it to the faint-hearted. This include a young boy who fell down the stairs, a maid who fell from the balcony, and a stable boy who was burnt to death. None, though, is as chilling as the caretaker’s son’s ghost. 40 years later, he was found curled up beside his mother, who had been locked up. Ghost tours start every Saturday from 6 pm, but you can choose an overnight stay as well.
Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England
Many have seen one of the most famous hauntings in all of Great Britain, the enigmatic “Brown Lady.” A 1936 photograph supposedly demonstrated her existence in Raynham Tower, which is also known as the haunted hall. For over 100 years, this picture, as well as countless eye-witnesses, have cemented Raynham Hall’s spooky status. The most common hypothesis, although no one knows exactly who the Brown Lady is, is that she is the spirit of Lady Dorothy Walpole, the sister of Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain. After accusing her of adultery, her husband, Charles Townshend, was recognized as a cruel and horrible man and locked Lady Dorothy inside her room. After Lady Dorothy’s funeral in 1725, many still believed she was being held against her will, dying years later in a dark room inside Raychem Hall.
Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-under-Edge, England
The 12th-century Ancient Ram Inn is one of the world’s most Haunted Places, not just in England. It is one of the oldest inns still standing, with over 20 spirits living there. The current owner/occupant of the Ancient Ram Inn claims he was seized and pulled from his room by a demonic force. He also found the bodies of children below the staircase with daggers within their skeletons. Some claim that in one of the rooms the spirit of a witch burned at the stake in the 1500s still lives. Known as ‘The Witches Bed,’ it is popular with visitors, a place many guests refuse to stay, as opposed to ‘The Bishop’s Inn,’ People who spend the night in a room sometimes go out in the middle of the night crying.
Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa
The late night shift is referred to by soldiers posted at the gates of Cape Town Castle as the “ghost shift.” It is one of most Haunted Places in the world. In fact, they even walk all the way around the grounds of the castle rather than venture inside at night or in the early morning hours. For over 150 years, the castle grounds have seen gruesome punishments, torture and executions. The ghosts include a soldier who over 300 years ago hanged himself in the house. People recorded hearing unexplainable footsteps followed by a legless floating human figure. Other tales speak of a woman wearing a long grey robe, and another woman sometimes seen in the ballroom attending parties. Guards have also reported hearing screams for help coming from the dungeons and torture chambers.