We all love a good scare, some of us more than others. Whether you’re just a little bit curious about the paranormal, or a full on ghost hunter, these 9 supposedly haunted hotspots won’t disappoint!
Despite it’s ordinary appearance, Whaley House is supposedly the most haunted home in America. Built in 1857, this Greek Revival style residence is now a museum and historic landmark in California, and in the past has housed the county court house, San Diego’s first commercial theatre, a ballroom and a school. Before all this however, it was home to the Whaley family and their general store.
Thomas Whaley bought the land and built the house on it, despite knowing it was a prominent site for hangings. The first ghostly happenings began shortly after the family moved in, with loud, heavy footsteps heard moving about the house. Thomas came to the conclusion the unexplained sounds were from the spirit of Yankee Jim, who he had attended the execution of on the same spot a few years earlier. He supposedly still bangs about the place on a daily basis.
Many visitors have also reported the ghost of Thomas Whaley himself, with many seeing him on the upper landing. One woman said he was “clad in a frock coat and pantaloons, the face turned away from her, so she could not make it out. Suddenly it faded away.” Other common spectres include sightings of his wife Anna Whaley in the downstairs garden, their daughter Violet who committed suicide in 1885, and a little girl in the dining room, who is believed to have been a playmate of the Whaley children who accidentally broke her neck on a low-hanging clothesline in the backyard.
Want to experience your own Whaley apparition? Well the Whaley Family Museum offers both day time and night time tours, including specialist halloween and ghosthunting events.
Berry Pomeroy Castle
Berry Pomeroy Castle can be found near the village of the same name, in an isolated part of South Devon. A tudor mansion within the walls of an earlier castle, it said to be home to multiple spirits, with the most famous being the White Lady and the Blue Lady.
No one has wanted to live in the house since a fire ravaged the building in the 18th century, with many blaming its dark and colourful history. The spirit known as the White Lady is said to haunt the dungeons, and those who claim to have seen her report feelings of depression, fear and evil. She is thought to be the ghost of Lady Margaret Pomeroy, the younger and prettier sister of Lady Eleanor Pomeroy, who imprisoned her in the dungeons due to jealously over a love rival. Margaret stayed there for two decades, before her sister eventually allowed her to slowly starve to death. This picture below from the 19th century is believed to have caught the White Lady on film.
The second well-known apparation at Berry Pomeroy Castle is the Blue Lady. Myth has it she is the daughter of an early Norman Lord, who after an incestuous relationship with her father gave birth to a baby. It is said she hated the child so much she strangled it to death, and now her troubled spirit can find no rest. Some claim to have seen her apparition ring its hands in anguish, while others say they have heard the murdered infant crying throughout the castle.
Modern paranormal investigations into the castle report shadows, photographic failure and paranormal sounds. Visitors who have taken a memento home, such as a small stone or other piece of the building tend to quickly return it, as the feeling of foreboding follows them home. Want to see the place for yourself? It’s now an English heritage site and is open from 10:00aam to 6:00pm, seven days a week.
Also known as ‘The Suicide Forest’, Aokigahara is 35 sq km of trees that lie at the northwest base of Mount Fuji in Japan. The forest is so thick, that even at high noon it is still possible to find sections caked in total darkness. The second most popular place for suicides after California’s Golden Gate Bridge, almost 100 people wander into the Aokigahara every year, never to be seen again.
With so many people hanging themselves from the trees, the area is littered with homemade nooses, and corpses just stay there for years and rot away, meaning the forest is scattered with human bones. However, Aokigahara Forest is said to also be haunted by the souls of people abandoned in the area by their families, in times when food was scarce.
Even more spooky, Japanese spiritualists believe that the high number of deaths in the forest have permeated the soil and trees, creating paranormal activity that prevents visitors from leaving. The creepy atmosphere isn’t helped by the fact Aokigahara is mostly devoid of wildlife, meaning it’s eerily quiet, and to top it off compasses, cellphones and GPS systems are regularly rendered useless by deposits of magnetic iron in Mount Fuji’s volcanic soil.
But Aokigahara is free to enter, if you’re brave enough…
Lizzie Borden House B&B
Ever wanted to spend the night in a famous murder site? Well, you can! The Lizzie Borden House Bed and Breakfast in Massachusetts is where the legendary murder took place, and you can even stay in the rooms where the bodies of Lizzie’s father and step-mother were found.
On the slim chance you don’t know the story, 32-year-old Lizzie Borden was accused of murdering Andrew and Abby Borden with a handheld hatchet. In the run up to the deaths there had been tensions in the family over property and inheritance, and Lizzie’s suspicious step-mother even claimed someone had tried to poison the family a few days earlier. Although Lizzie was acquitted due to a lack of evidence, it is still widely believed she was the murderer.
The house is in perfect condition, and to stay it costs between $200 to $250 a night.
Missouri State Penitentiary
Although it only closed down a decade ago, the Missouri State Penitentiary has a notorious history. It originally opened in 1836, and has the notorious history as a holding centre for death row inmates. You can go on a history tour of the prison’s dark past, including visits to the gas chambers where prisoners were executed. However, you have to sign a waiver in case you hurt yourself as the building is now falling apart.
Now a museum in Hesse, Germany, the Babenhausen Barracks is a hotspot for ghostly phemonenon. Formerly the home of the 41st Field Artillery Brigade, German soldiers have been seen wandering around in World War II style uniform, lights regularly turn on and off by themselves and German commands are heard shouted during the night.
Perhaps the creepiest occurance is the mystery of the woman on the telephone. Soldiers who have visited the museum and picked up the telephone have heard a woman talking backwards, but it is unclear if she is speaking in German or English.
Edinburgh is supposedly the most haunted city in all of Europe, an impressive feat considering some of the other locations on this list. Therefore, the only conclusion is that Edinburgh Castle must be extra haunted, and paranormal activity is often reported there.
The historic fortress has previously been home to royalty, but since the 16th century has primarily been used as military barracks. Involved in many famous conflicts throughout history, it is believed to have been the most besieged place in Britain and one of the most attacked in the world. The dungeons in particular are home to many supernatural sightings, where visitors report seeing the ghosts of former prisoners.
The castle is connected to a hidden underworld of tunnels, which were only discovered a few hundred years ago. When they were first found, a piper was sent to explore the tunnels. As he walked through he played his bagpipes, so those above could track his progess. As legend goes, the music abruptly stopped, and when the group went down to check he was nowhere to be found. Several rescue parties were sent, but the piper was never seen again. Myth has it that he enderlessly wanders around the same route he vanished from, and his music can still be heard around the castle and on the streets above the tunnels.
Other famous sightings include a drummer that only appears before the castle is attacked, coloured orbs that frequent the dungeons, and the spirit of Lady Janet, who was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake in 1537.
Waverly Hills Sanitorium
Intially built in 1910 to house Tuberculosis patients, Waverley Hill Sanitorium closed down in 1961 after the antibiotic drug streptomycin lowered rates of the disease. It was reopened in 1962 as the Woodhaven Geriatric Centre, a hospital for elderly patients suffering from dementia and the severely mentally handicapped.
Woodhaven was shut down in 1982 due to alleged patient neglect, as the hospital was overcrowded and understaffed. Since then various deveopers have attempted to turn it into a prison, apartments and a religious arts and worship centre, but to no avail. The hospital now belongs to Tina and Charles Mattingly, who since 2001 have been returning the property to its former glory. They hold a haunted house attraction every year on Halloween to help raise funds for the restoration.
Bachelors Grove Cemetary
Established in 1840, Bachelor’s Grove Cemetary is situated in a small, abandoned town in Illinois, a suburb of Chicago that is well-known for its ghostly sightings.
Although it only has 82 plots, many left unused, the area was rumoured to be a notorious dumping ground for the Chicago mob in the 20s and 30s. According to legend, the lagoon at the back of the cemetary became the ideal place for crime families to chuck the bodies of snitches, hitmen and the like.
Still, Bachelor’s Grove is most famous for its ‘White Lady’, one of the most well-known ghost photographs ever captured. Also referred to as the Madonna of Bachelors Grove, she is supposedly the spirit of a woman buried next to her deceased child. She is rumoured to wander the graveyard at night during a full moon, holding a baby in her arms.
The cemetary is open from 6:00am to 8:00pm CDT, so late night visits are off. But you can brave Bachelors Grove during the day if you fancy it.
Which eerie establishment or haunted horror from our list would you dare to visit?