As Halloween is quickly approaching us, I thought it would be great to share some stories about haunted places around the world. There is more than just a haunted house or a haunted hotel. These creepy places also include a haunted castle, a haunted island, and other spooky places.
Banchory Lodge, Aberdeenshire
Written by Jodie Dewberry from Alajode. Follow Jodie on Youtube here.
Before we even arrived at Banchory Lodge, a few waiters, guides and other locals we’d met during our trip to Aberdeenshire had given us a sense that it wasn’t going to be an ordinary hotel. It is described as “quirky,” “unusual,” and “truly unique,” but it wasn’t until we got there that we found out it is also haunted. More specifically, one particular room was known to be haunted – room 21, the room that I was staying in.
Banchory Lodge is a converted manor house with a boutique hotel feel. From the moment you enter, quirky human-like animal prints line the walls. Every room is decorated in its own unique way – and in all colors – and each has its share of quirky paintings and props. It’s not one of the creepiest places on earth, but if unlike me, you find staying in a haunted house thrilling, ask if you can stay in room 21. The room sits inside the eastern tower of the building and is supposedly where all the ghost sightings have taken place.
The staff wouldn’t tell me why it was haunted, which only made it even eerier. Aside from randomly falling over twice (something I never do!), a few weird lights, and waking up at 1 am in an inexplicable pool of sweat despite feeling cold. I don’t have much paranormal activity to report on. But who knows what you might find…
Bedugul Ghost Resort, Bali
Written by Breanna Smith from Chalkie and the Chippy. Follow her on Instagram here.
The Ghost Resort in Northern Bali isn’t always on every traveler’s must-do list. However, as the resort is in the foothills of the Bali mountains, the scenery is like nothing else you will see on the island and a great escape from the humid climate near the coast.
The Bedugul Taman Hotel is an abandoned 5-Star resort in Bedugul. In the 1990s, Tommy Suharto, who was the son of the Indonesian president at the time, was building the million-dollar hotel illegally, without a license, and ran-off with the peoples’ money.
There are several stories as to why the hotel is haunted. One theory is that the hotel is haunted by spirits of the laborers who died there during its construction. As no ceremony was held, the Balinese people believe that the spirits of those who died still haunt the hotel today. Another theory is that in 2002, Tommy Suharto was sent to prison for assassinating his lawyer responsible for this case, the construction ceased, and the hotel has been abandoned ever since.
The main reason why you won’t find this on any Bali tour is that no Balinese driver will want to take you or guide you around. The Balinese people are very spiritual and have strong traditions and beliefs about the passing of the dead. However, some drivers will drop you off and wait outside, but will not enter the premises. Although no one is technically allowed on the premises, there are men at the entrance who have dubbed themselves as “guards.” Anyone who visits the resort will need to pay them 10,000 IDR to enter. (10,000 IDR is less than 1 Euro/USD/CAD)
The Bedugul Taman Hotel looks like it was very near completion. But after 20 years, the hotel is now covered in vines, moss, and greenery making it a photographers’ dream. Besides the eerie hallways, collapsed staircases, and leaky roofs, the resort offers impressive views of the Bali mountains from the many terraces and the rooftop. It is a unique experience for anyone’s Bali holiday. Read more about the resort here.
Port Arthur Historic Site, Australia
Port Arthur Historic Site is the scene of one of the first settlements in Australia by the British in 1830 where convicts lived and worked and were poorly treated. Over 1000 people died during its time as a penal settlement. There have been ghost stories documented since 1870 with many people adding their experiences of paranormal activity since that time.
It’s considered one of the most haunted places in Australia.
In more recent times, the bad experiences at this site continued. It was the location where what was at the time the biggest shooting spree by a lone gunman took place in 1996.
Stories in this haunted area range from seeing a lady in blue believed to be the wife of an accountant who died during childbirth to seeing a little girl at the bottom of the stairs of the Commandant’s Cottage who died from a fall.
The site definitely has heavy air. Even as someone who doesn’t believe in ghosts, I have to wonder when I walk around Port Arthur. If they are anywhere, they are here!
There are evening ghost tours of the site as well as a “Paranormal Investigation Experience” where you’ll use paranormal testing equipment to hunt down activity!
The Presidio, San Francisco
Written by Jenn and Ed Coleman from Coleman Concierge. Follow them on Instagram here.
The Presidio in San Francisco is one of those places you’d expect to be full of ghosts. For two hundred and twenty years, the Presidio and its 800 historical buildings stood guard over the mouth of the San Francisco Bay. But where on this 1500-acre former Military post are the haunting hotspots?
During the third season of Ghost Hunters, film crews recorded a woman in black walking through the Officers’ Club. Was it a shadow or apparition? Viewers disagree, but there are still more ghosts rumored to be at the Presidio. The spirit of Richard Bunch is rumored to haunt the stockade, where a guard killed him with a short-range shotgun blast on October 11, 1968. The batteries overlooking Golden Gate Bridge are said to attract some of the 1,600 souls who jumped from Golden Gate Bridge, especially at night when the fog rolls in. Some claim to have seen Sarah Bowman, aka “Great Western,” roaming the grounds of San Francisco National Cemetery. She is identified by her great height, flowing red hair, and her two favorite pistols at her side.
Whether you choose to believe it or not, visiting the Presidio should be part of your San Francisco walking tour. If nothing else, for the views of the Golden Gate Bridge alone.
Written by Rahma Khan from The Sane Adventurer.
Experiencing the first ever paranormal encounter of life on the very first night in a new country is certainly not the kind of adventure anyone expects. Well, that is exactly what happened to me on my first night in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Located in the vibrant and touristy neighborhood of Rustaveli Avenue, the hostel I booked gave me some weird eerie feelings the moment I reached there.
High ceilings with tall doors leading to the rooms and an old giant piano in the hall, the hostel looked exactly like the set of an old English horror movie.
Tired from a long trip, it didn’t take me long to fall asleep in the twin room I was sharing with my friend. I was suddenly awoken at 3 am, and I felt like I was being pressed against the bed. Still not completely awake, I brushed it off and turned back again to sleep. While I was still trying to get back in my deep sleep, in the next few moments, I saw something or perhaps someone sitting at the edge of my bed that suddenly disappeared as I panicked and got up from the bed!
I woke up my friend and explained the whole incident to him, which he initially didn’t take seriously but seeing my sweating and shivering with fear turned on the lights and made me go back to bed. The moment we both got back into bed, there was a strong bang on the wooden cupboard. This time we both heard it, so we were sure that I wasn’t hallucinating. The next few minutes flew so fast, and all I remember is standing on the stairs outside the hostel.
We waited there till sunrise, and as soon as the sun was out, there were some people in the hostel awake, and we could hear the traffic outside, we picked some courage to go back to the room and packed our bags as fast as we could and checked out from the hostel.
It was the scariest night of my life.
National Film and Sound Archive Building, Canberra
Sometimes Canberra, the capital of Australia, is referred to as a ghost town by other residents of the country, to denote its quieter pace and lesser population in a rather dismissive way. But if the experiences of many who have worked or visited the National Film and Sound Archive building near the city center are anything to judge by, it seems the label is quite apt.
There are dozens of tales of mystery and paranormal events that have occurred in the building, reputed to be the most haunted building in Australia, observed by many over a period of decades. In fact, there’s a story for just about every room in the building.
The building is a working building, and many of the stories come from the staff who have worked there or who have visited. Many have attested to the noisy poltergeist who inhabits an upstairs sound room, and many others have seen a woman appear in the library. A previous worker described giving a presentation to a primary school group when suddenly the children began giggling and pointing under the stage. When questioned what was funny, they replied a little girl was visible through the grate poking faces at them.
The building itself has a fascinating history. Originally designed as the entrance to a planned zoo, it instead became the Institute of Anatomy, housing a collection of odd and macabre objects including human skeletons, mutant animals, and mummified bodies. It was also used for the dissection and study of corpses and once housed a morgue.
There are too many tales to tell here, but regular ghost tours are held for those brave enough to discover more.
Larnach Castle, Dunedin
Written by Nadine Maffre from Le Long Weekend. Follow Nadine on Facebook here.
Rumors of ghost sightings and paranormal activity have long been associated with Dunedin’s Larnach Castle. From dramatic and mysterious movements to the faintest of whispers – many visitors have left this impressive property feeling a little uneasy about what lurks unseen between its walls. Growing up near one of New Zealand’s oldest and grandest houses, I visited Larnach Castle often as a child. And although I never personally witnessed any untoward activity, my brother, who worked at the castle’s upscale restaurant, came back from his shift with many a spooky tale to tell – of floating objects and other unexplainable events.
But whether you believe in ghosts or not, the history behind the castle is haunting in itself. After commissioning the mansion in 1871, William Larnach’s daughter, first wife, and second wife all died at the property before William took his own life in 1898. In the following years, the house was used as an insane asylum, a solder’s hospital, and a retreat for nuns. It was then bought by Margaret and Barry Barker who restored it to its former glory. These days, along with its fabulous gardens, it’s one of New Zealand’s key attractions. It also makes a stunning venue for weddings and events. Or, if you dare, you can book a night in the castle’s hotel.
Written by Frank & Vera from Frank about Croatia. Follow them on Facebook here.
Lokrum is a small island off the coast of Dubrovnik, a popular swimming and excursion place for locals and tourists alike. However, besides its lush botanical gardens, cliff jumping opportunities, crystal clear Adriatic Sea, and roaming-free peacocks, Lokrum is infamous for the Lokrum curse.
The legend says that the Benedictines cursed all future private owners of the island. The Benedictines used the island for almost 800 years, from 1023 until 1798. Then, in 1798, due to the lack of money, city fathers decided to evict the Benedictines from the island, and sell it to Dubrovnik gentry.
On their last night on the island, after serving the mass, the monks turned lighted candles upside down, dripping the wax as they walked around the island and murmuring curses. The only way to break a curse is to collect all the wax from the island.
Since then, all the people who owned the island ended up with a tragic and mysterious death. The list includes the three parliament members who approved the sale and a lot of Habsburg Monarchs and their families.
Franz Joseph’s brother, Maximilian, who spent lots of time on Lokrum with his wife Charlotte, was tortured, and eventually killed in Mexico while his wife Charlotte hardly survived a shipwreck near Lokrum.
The King Ludwig II of Bavaria, shortly after spending his holidays on the island, was declared insane and evicted from the throne by his cabinet of ministers. Not long after that, he was found dead in Lake Starnberg.
The next owner was Rudolf, the only son of empress Elisabeth. He spent his honeymoon on the island only to kill his lover and himself a few years later when he was only 31.
The emperor Franz Ferdinand planned to spend the summer holidays on Lokrum. He decided to stop in Sarajevo on the way there. He was killed in Sarajevo, and his death marked the start of the first world war.
The island was sold back to the state in 1919, and since then it‘s been open to the public, for everybody to enjoy its beauty. This seems to keep the curse quiet. However, people from Dubrovnik deeply believe that in order to avoid the curse, you shouldn’t take anything from the island: not a stone, not a leaf, not a drop of the sea.
Hotel Cisigiu – Bucharest, Romania
Written by Stephanie Craig from Sofia Adventures. Follow Stephanie on Facebook here.
Bucharest, Romania’s hip capital, is a great place to start an adventure in Romania. However, you don’t have to take a day trip from Bucharest to one of the country’s castles to begin to explore its spookier side. You can start as soon as you arrive by checking into the haunted Hotel Cismigiu.
The hotel has a long history. It was built at the beginning of the twentieth century, and it began as one of the poshest hotels in Bucharest. However, it was bombed during World War II, and it wouldn’t recover its reputation until the twenty-first century. After the fall of Communism, the hotel was used as student housing. By this point, it was in almost complete disrepair, and it was a notoriously dark and dangerous place for students to live.
One night, a young woman who lived in the building fell down one of the elevator shafts. Dying slowly, it is rumored that her shrieks could be heard for hours throughout the hotel. Romanians believe that this woman still haunts the Hotel Cismigiu. This haunted tale was even immortalized in a song by a French band, documenting her pain and the bleakness that the hotel symbolized to the people in the city at the time.
Of course, if you visit today, you can investigate this sad and spooky tale for yourself, but you will be staying in much nicer digs than the students of the nineties did. The hotel underwent a complete renovation in 2012, returning to its original glamorous roots.
Maid’s Head Hotel, Norwich
Written by Dagney McKinney, Cultura Obscura. Follow Dagney on Facebook here.
The Maid’s Head Hotel is considered to be one of the most haunted places in Norwich. It’s also a rather important building, given that it dates back to the 13th century. It has hosted numerous royals, most famously Queen Elizabeth I, Prince Edward and Catherine of Aragon.
The name itself is a bit ominous, Maid’s Head Hotel, and in fact, one of the two ghosts who haunt the hotel is that of a former maid. She is often referred to as The Grey Maid due to her grey maid’s uniform – one no longer used at the hotel.
Many guests have reported seeing her throughout the hotel, cleaning – though she mostly appears in the hotel bar. Sightings of the maid describe her as being in her mid to late 60s. She is a benign ghost, merely going about her daily schedule as if she still works at the hotel.
The second ghost at the Maid’s Head Hotel is believed to be that of a former mayor of Norwich. Unlike the maid, he is said to be rather unpleasant and grumpy. Most guests who have reported run-ins with the ghost say that he wanders around the hotel courtyard shaking his head and muttering to himself.
Of course, I don’t think any of this is helped by the hotel’s location in Tombland. Although, Tombland is actually old English for open space.
The Marshall House, Savannah
The Marshall House was completed in 1851 and is easily one of the most unique structures along with Savannah’s popular shopping hub, known as Broughton Street. The hotel stands out with its cheery red brick façade, bright green shutters, and welcoming second-story veranda that extends the entire length of the building.
Despite the cheery frontage, the building has a dark history. It’s considered one of the most haunted hotels in Savannah, and many of its ghostly tales tie back to its colorful past.
In 1864, during General Sherman’s Civil War occupation of Savannah, the building was converted into a makeshift Union Army hospital. During that time, patients were tended to on the fourth floor of the building. That upper level was selected to lessen the chance that street-level passers-by would overhear the patient’s screams as body parts were being amputated.
When the building underwent renovations in the late 1990s, construction workers were surprised to discover amputated body parts hidden beneath the floorboards. Their work was put on hold, the area marked as a crime scene, and the bones sent away for examination. Tests later revealed the bones dated to the Civil War era.
That’s not the only time The Marshall House served double-duty as a hospital. When the city was stricken by multiple devastating Yellow Fever epidemics, the hotel again converted to a makeshift infirmary to help those suffering from the horrific disease. There’s no telling how many died on the premises during that time.
Modern-day guests have reported seeing a figure in a blue military-style overcoat with only one arm, a woman dressed in white, amputee soldiers roaming aimlessly throughout the building, and various other unexplained spirits. They’ve also reported strange noises, similar to that of marbles rolling around on the floor accompanied by the sound of children’s laughter. The faucets have been known to turn on by themselves. Finally, and perhaps most unsettling, guests sometimes report catching a whiff of something that smells similar to rotten flesh. Room 414 is considered the most actively haunted room.
Despite the scary stories (or perhaps because of them!), The Marshall House is consistently listed as one of the top hotels in Savannah.
Written by Ankurman Handique from Wandering Minimalist.
Bhangarh, a ghost village, situated in the Alwar district of Rajasthan state of India. This place is known to be haunted among the locals. The Archaeological Survey of India, a government organization, does not allow visiting the site after the sunsets.
Bhangarh is famous for its historical ruins, Hindu temples of Gopinath, Shiv (Someshwar), Hanuman, Ganesh, Vishal Devta, Lavina Devi, and Keshav Rai. One such attraction is Bhangarh Fort which was built by a local ruler Bhagwant Das for his younger son Madho Singh. The fort is located 235 kilometers (146 mi) from Delhi and 88.2 kilometers from Jaipur International Airport.
There are many folklores among locals; one such is there was a magician who was in love with the local princess who lived in the fort. But, he was forbidden to fall in love with her. Out of his despair, he cast a dark spell on the palace which caused its doom. Locals have many incidents that
prove the presence of ghosts in Bhangarh. Though Bhangarh is said to be one of the haunted places in India, it is still an excellent place to see the ruins of Mughal empires.
I like hearing about haunted places, but I don’t think I want to stay in a haunted hotel or any haunted place for that matter. Where do you think are the most haunted places in the world? Have you ever stayed in any scary places or have a haunted house story to share? Share your account in the comments below.