Interested in all things spooky and paranormal? Whether you’re a die-hard believer or an open-minded sceptic, there are hundreds of reportedly haunted sites across the world that are sure to leave the hairs on the back of your neck standing on end. From sites in Mexico and Australia through to haunted buildings across Europe and North America, check out our picks of the top haunted places in the world!
Monte Cristo Homestead, Australia
Built in 1884, Monte Cristo Homestead is thought to be the most haunted house in Australia. Restored to the high Victorian style, the homestead holds an unfortunate history of murder and supposedly accidental deaths, with chilling tales of a mentally disabled man being held in chains for decades also associated with the property. Situated in Junee, in southwest New South Wales, visitors to the historic double story manor house have reported hearing footsteps and disembodied sounds, feeling hands on their shoulders and seeing strange lights.
Tower of London, England
Initially constructed as a royal residence in the 11th century, the Tower of London was used as a prison from the 12th century through to the 1950s, housing inmates accused of treason. Gaining a reputation for torture during the Tudor period, it comes as no surprise that the spirits of men, women, children, and even former queen Anne Boleyn are said to linger throughout the complex. From unsettling physical happenings through to the sighting of spectral apparitions, the Tower, located on the banks of the Thames, certainly experiences more than its fair share of the paranormal.
Ancient Ram Inn, England
Built in 1145 on the intersection of 2 ley lines (one of which runs all the way to Stonehenge) and on top of a Pagan burial ground, the Ancient Ram Inn, located in Wotton-under-Edge, is slated as one of the most haunted buildings in England. With evidence of devil worship and sacrifices, hidden skeletal remains and numerous ghostly apparitions, the inn has earned a reputation as a building abundant in malevolent spirit energy. A number of ghostly figures have reportedly been encountered by visitors, including the inn’s previous owners, a monk and even a Roman centurion on horseback.
La Isla de las Muñecas, Mexico
After witnessing the drowning of a young girl and finding what may have been her doll floating in nearby waters, Don Julian Santana Barrera set out on what would become a lifelong quest to appease her spirit. Collecting hundreds of dolls over the years as an offering to the girl, Don Julian decorated the trees of the small island he lived on with their weathered bodies until his death in 2001. Supposedly haunted, the eerie island known as La Isla de las Muñecas continues to be decorated with dolls offered by visiting tourists.
The Stanley Hotel, United States of America
Serving as the inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in Stephen King’s The Shining, the 140 room Stanley Hotel is renowned as one of America’s most haunted hotels and one of it’s most active paranormal sites. Opened in 1909, the hotel, bordered by the breathtaking scenery of the Rocky Mountain National Park, is reportedly haunted by an eclectic group of characters, including its original owners, Freelan O. Stanley and Flora Stanley, the spirit of a housekeeper who folds clothes and makes beds around sleeping guests, and lively children who once occupied the 4th floor. Just an hour’s drive from Denver, the hotel offers 90 minute night ghost tours and even has its own resident psychic, Madame Vera.
Catacombes de Paris, France
A byproduct of limestone quarrying in the 13th century, Paris’ extensive underground tunnel system, known as the Catacombes de Paris, was embraced as a solution to overcrowding in the city’s cemeteries in the late 18th century. From 1786 to 1860, skeletal remains were transported from the city’s cemeteries into the quarry spaces, located 20 metres below ground, and stacked in ornate arrangements. It is thought that the remains of over 6 million people reside within the tunnels, with some of the oldest dating to the Merovingian era, over 1,200 years ago.
Banff Springs Hotel, Canada
Opened in 1888 as a luxury escape situated within Canada’s scenic wilderness, Banff Springs Hotel has experienced plenty of paranormal happenings throughout its 128 years of operation. Set within the Banff National Park, the hotel is said to play host to several iconic spectral residents, including Sam the bellman and an unfortunate bride. Sam, an elderly Scottish bellman who passed away in the mid 1970s, continues to help guests with their bags and opens and closes elevator doors for his own amusement, while the bride, who supposedly fell down a curved staircase and caught fire from open flame torches, has been sighted dancing in the ballroom with her dress well alight. In addition to its ghostly residents, mystery surrounds the real reason why the hotel’s room 873 has been plastered over and hidden from the public.
Mary King’s Close, Scotland
A warren of underground streets and spaces, Mary King’s Close is an area of Edinburgh that was constructed during the 17th century and then subsequently built over during the city’s 19th century modernisation. Devastated by the bubonic plague, the area is said to be haunted by victims of the ‘Black Death’, the close’s last resident and a number of other figures. Visitors to the site have encountered ghostly apparitions, heard the sounds of lively gatherings and even scratching from the inside of a chimney where a child chimney sweep is said to have died.
Akershus Fortress, Norway
Having been besieged by enemies, ravaged by plague and famine, occupied by the Nazis during World War Two and used as a prison for a time, it’s easy to understand why Akershus Fortress, dating back to the late 13th century, experiences some supernatural occurrences. Visitors to the medieval castle have reportedly heard screams, the rattling of chains and whispering in corridors, seen ghostly figures, and even felt as though someone was breathing on their neck as they crossed the fortress’ drawbridge. Once a defensive stronghold for the city of Oslo, the fortress is now widely regarded as one of Norway’s most haunted buildings.