Exploring the world is one of the best experiences you can have. There are so many countries to choose from and so many places with fun things to do. But, if sitting on beaches and indulging in decadent food is too slow paced for you, then you can embark on an adventure of weirdness. While there are a plethora of creepy places to visit inside the United States, weirdness isn’t limited to one country in particular. Though, the number of haunted castles certainly does increase when you cross the Atlantic. So, whether your adventures take you outside of the United States or not, numerous cities carry legends and folklore that scare off some tourists and rein in the adventurous breed of travelers.
Some of these legends of haunted castles, fortresses, houses, forests, and more are just that—legend. Some of them, though, do ring with truth. It’s highly recommended that you take at least one friend with you or perhaps consult a priest before you visit some of these places. Regardless, you’re going to need a rock solid sense of bravery because even if you are not a believer in the supernatural, these places give off a creepy vibe that makes the hair on the back of your neck stick out worse than the latest Saw movie.
25 Outside: The Haunted Vicarage in Borgvattnet, Sweden
Located in Jamtland County in Northern Sweden, the Haunted Vicarage is known for the strange instances that occur within its walls. From rocking chairs that won’t stop moving to scream to shadowy figures and more, the place is haunted. Even though it used to be a house for priests and vicars, it was the priests themselves that first noticed the hauntings nearly 40 years after its opening. In 1980, the supernatural occurrences drew the attention of priest Tore Forslund, who thought he could purge the spirits from the vicarage. Despite his attempts, it does not seem that he was successful. The rumors haven’t stopped the house from becoming both an inn and a restaurant.
24 Outside: Tao Dan Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
During the day, this park is a beautiful paradise full of colorful vegetation spread across 24 acres. When the sun sets, however, the energy of the place shifts. According to locals, a young man haunts the park. Supposedly, he was murdered during an attack and wanders the park to this day searching for his love. While the park is adamant that there was no such murder that occurred in the park itself, there was a murder back in 1989 when a young man riding his motorcycle was murdered and the bike was stolen. Perhaps the stories of the wandering ghost aren’t true and are nothing more than a ploy to attract tourists, but there is always a chance that the stories are true.
23 Outside: The Catacombs in Paris, France
When Paris’ cemeteries became overflowing with the dead, the catacombs relieved the overfilled graveyards. Starting in the French Revolution, those who perished would be buried directly in the catacombs. There are over 200 miles of tunnels filled ceiling to floor with bones. The public can’t explore all of those miles because the tunnels haven’t been mapped yet and some of it is uncharted. Whether or not you believe in spirits and ghosts remaining on earth after their death, the millions of people buried underground for all to see if a weird and creepy sight. For Halloween, there are official tours of the catacombs.
22 Outside: Chateau de Brissac in France
This stony castle in France has a reputation for hosting a number of restless spirits. Early in the castle’s long history, the 11th-century owner of the castle supposedly murdered his wife—half-sister to King Louis XI—and her lover. As far as murders go, it’s not particularly unique for a jealous husband to commit acts of extreme violence. However, it is not common for the murdered victims to continue to exist, roaming the drafty hallways in the middle of the night. Now, the wife, Charlotte de Breze, is known as the Green Lady. It is said that the spirit of the man she cheated with has since moved on, but the Green Lady still haunts the castle today. The current dukes of the castle have come to love the resident ghost, though she still frightens visitors.
21 Outside: Beau-Sejour Palace in Portugal
One of the most haunted areas of Portugal, the Beau-Sejour Palace came into existence in the 19th century and is located in the civil parish of Sao Domingos de Benfica outside of Lisbon. The palace is home to the spirit of the Baron of Gloria. The Baron prefers the corridors and gardens. Those who work at the Palace have seen some rather suspicious activity. Objects will move without anyone or anything touching them. Windows and doors will open or shut of their own volition. Those who visit the garden sometimes hear bells ringing in the garden despite there being no such bells.
20 Outside: Chateau Miranda in Belgium
This European Chateau is located on the outskirts of a village and was designed by British architect Edward Milner in 1866. In World War II, the palace was temporarily home to German troops and a brief battle. From 1950, the National Railway Company of Belgium acquired the palace for mentally ill children and became known as “Home de Noisey.” The castle is since been vandalized and torn to pieces. While the skeletons of its architecture are still beautiful, most of the interior of the castle has been destroyed or ruined. The owners of the chateau are determined to demolish the castle and start from the beginning. While there are no rumors of lurking spirits, the interior of the castle itself is haunting enough.
19 Outside: Port Arthur in Australia
Port Arthur is a violent hotspot for tragedy. In 1996, a mass shooting occurred, taking the lives of 35 innocent people and wounding 23 more. That’s not all, though. People travel to the port just for their ghost tour. Those who visit the port frequently spot Reverend George, who perished in 1870. Since the historical outpost in Tasmania was home to convicts, there are several spirits who had been imprisoned as well. John Gould, for example, is a more sinister ghost. Visitors have claimed to feel someone watching them, and most of the time it’s Gould, who leers at guests. And those are just to name a few.
18 Outside: Casa Loma in Toronto, Canada
Finished in 1914, Casa Loma is a mansion with winding corridors and secret passageways. While the house is prepped for Halloween and in full spooky mode, there are legends about the house being haunted. Most commonly seen is a spirit known as the White Lady. It’s thought that she used to be a maid at the house in the 1900s. Since many people were falling ill with influenza during that time, it would be no shocker if that had been the death of her. Others have seen a young boy in the second-floor window from the gardens. Some have seen Lady Mary and Sir Henry Pellatt, who orchestrated the building of Casa Loma.
17 Outside: Wolfsegg Castle in Germany
Originally, the Wolfsegg Castle was meant to be a haven for travelers. However, the folklore exposes the castle’s darker side. Rumors of this Bavarian castle’s haunting lead all the way back to the 1500s. Ulrich von Laaber paid two local farmers to murder his wife, Klara, on suspicion of her having an affair. Shortly after her death, Ulrich and his sons died very suddenly. There are caves nearby this castle where people often report hearing strange noises and unexplainable things happen to those who explore the caves. The castle itself is beautiful and well worth a visit, whether or not you believe in such lore.
16 Outside: Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge, England
A quaint, unique Inn dates back to the 12th century and is one of the oldest inns. Supposedly, it was once a pagan burial ground, and may even have been the location for child sacrifices and devil worship. The ancient inn claims to house nearly 20 spirits inside its walls. Some of these spirits have terrified guests to the point of jumping out windows in fear. Guests have reported being pushed by an invisible force. Three of the most famous ghosts that reside there include a young girl who was killed, a high priestess, and an incubus (male sex demon).
15 Outside: Bhangarh Fort in India
It might be a fortress in the middle of the desert, but its stonework and the hillside behind it makes a beautiful stop. Lots of myths and rumors revolve around the Bhangarh Fort. Built way back in 1573 A.D. for Madho Singh, the Kachwaha ruler of Amber’s younger son. According to local legend, princess Ratnavati was beloved by all and thought to be intensely beautiful. A priest fluent in dark magic fell in love with the idea of the princess and attempted to cast a spell on her through a bottle of perfume that she was buying in the market. The princess’ older brother smashed the bottle, which turned into a boulder and crushed the priest to death. Before he could die, however, he cursed the princess, her family, and the entire area. Supposedly, it’s the curse that doesn’t allow anyone to be reborn, so ghosts are to be the only habitats of the fort and nearby villages.
14 Outside: Poveglia in Italy
Perhaps the most haunted area of Italy, the island of Poveglia floats between Venice and Lido. It’s where those infected with the Bubonic Plague were sent to die—mostly to keep them away from those who were still healthy. Bodies were burned in bulk. In the 1920s, the island became home to a mental hospital. One doctor who was supposed to be helping such people only used those committed to the hospital as guinea pigs. His experiments were both horrific and inhumane. Plenty of tortured souls remain on the island, and when the doctor met his death by falling from the bell tower, it’s unclear whether he fell, jumped, or was pushed by angry spirits. Whether or not you believe in spirits, the island’s history of death is both weird and creepy.
13 Outside: Hoia Baciu Forest in Cluj-Napoca, Romania
The Hoia Baciu Forest is famous for being the most arguably haunted forest in the world. Some who visit the forest claim to feel inexplicably anxious, and some report feeling as if they are being watched the entire time they traverse through the trees. In 1968, there was a supposed photograph of a UFO taken in the forest. Locals don’t tend to explore the depths of the forest, but those who do report strange physical symptoms such as headaches, burns, and nausea. Some claim that there are guardian angels living in the forest that can only be captured on film but not seen with the naked eye.
12 Outside: Doll Island in Mexico
When Julian Santana Barrera moved to Xochimilco, Mexico to live alone, he had no idea what he would find. After stumbling upon the body of a young girl and her doll, he hung from a tree and begun to experience unexplainable activity. Disembodied footsteps and the anguished wails of a woman are only the starts. To appease the young girl, he continued to hang dolls from the trees for half a decade. The island is now open to the public, and people who visit have seen some strange things. Barrera passed 17 years ago, and visitors claim to hear voices and feel as if the dolls are watching them wherever they go.
11 Outside: Zvikov Castle in Czech Republic
The castle is old—like, 1st century BCE old. The tower was the first construction during the Marcomanni rule and was incorporated with the rest of the castle several centuries later. There is no shortage of spooky and weird stories surrounding this castle. To start, there were stories about Zvikovsky Rarasek, who was essentially a trickster according to Slavic lore, until 1597. There are rumors of strange paranormal activity here including monsters such as fire hounds. In Czech culture, they are a common myth and said to guard the castle and a hidden tunnel, their faces adorned with burning eyes. The creepiest legend by far, though, is the rumor that anyone who sleeps in the tunnel overnight will perish within a year.
10 Inside: Monroe Allison House in Metamora, Indiana
Locals have nicknamed this dilapidated, rotten house has been nicknamed the gingerbread house. It does look like something one might stumble upon in a fairytale. Now, the vegetation has overtaken the wooden structure and added some character to the already unusual architecture. Monroe Allison constructed the nine-room house in 1870. Allison worked construction up the river and would float any extra supplies down the river so that he could later use it to build onto the house. Locals claim Allison built the cupola and widow’s walk on the roof towards the end of construction so that he could sit in the sun and ease his arthritis. The house is still furnished and decorated, but beware the rotting wood when you visit.
9 Inside: Wreckage of the S.S. Garden City in Crockett, California
Built in 1879, the steamboat was over 200-feet long and carried passengers and their automobiles to San Francisco. In its hay day, the steamboat’s wooden deck was a beautiful testament to the powerful ship. Thanks to a fire in 1983, that destroyed most of the boat and caught a ferry terminal ablaze, all that’s left of the steamboat is the boiler and paddlewheel hub. Now, it’s anchored in the Eckley Pier within the Carquinez Strait. It was completely abandoned in 1970, and the Southern Pacific Ferry Terminal is not much more than a decomposing set of pilings sticking out of the water.
8 Inside: The Alaskan Hotel in Juneau, Alaska
Built-in 1913 by the McCloskey brothers and Jules B. Caro, it’s Juneau’s oldest hotel that’s still operating. Ghost stories about the hotel exist in abundance. Room 219 is one in particular that guests are constantly being asked to relocate from. The ghost residing in that room reportedly taunts guests and is something of a tormented soul. In Room 218, visitors have witnessed a female ghost sitting on their bed, touching them, or even lurking behind them in a mirror. Perhaps the most famous ghost story is the spirit of a miner’s wife who stayed at the hotel while her husband worked. When he didn’t return, she had little choice to support herself financially, so she turned to prostitution. When he finally did return—much to her surprise—he murdered her.
7 Inside: Yuma Territorial Prison in Yuma, Arizona
This old prison is the home of some very horrific treatment of prisoners. For instance, there’s a Dark Room in which prisoners were tortured with snakes and scorpions in true desert fashion. There’s a cemetery out back where prisoners who perished reside. One man, in particular, named John Ryan, hung himself and is rumored to haunt the prison to this day. There are even said to be prankster ghosts of children who poke and pinch the prison’s visitors. Her fingers are said to be icy cold, and she targets those who wear bright colors like red. Staff also confirms strange occurrences that no one can explain such as objects relocating, lights switching on and off, and coins flying up into the air before landing back in the cash register.
6 Inside: Heaven’s Gate in Rancho Santa Fe, California
Back in 1997, a cult named Heaven’s Gate resided in Rancho Santa Fe. All 39 members drank poisoned Kool-Aid on purpose. The intention was for the Hale Bopp comet passing the Earth to capture their souls, sweeping them into heaven. The bodies were found adorned in black sweatpants and shirts, Nike footwear, and faces concealed by purple cloth. Members also had exactly $5.75 in their pockets. Supposedly this was to cover the toll on the comet. While the mansion that this mass suicide took place in was demolished, there is an exhibit featuring the event at the San Diego Sheriff’s Museum.
5 Inside: Fort Abraham Lincoln in Bismarck-Mandan, North Dakota
The fort has a rich history from Native American settlements to a United States military post in 1872. Now, the fort becomes a popular Halloween attraction during the weekends of October. However, that being said, there is one section of the fort in particular that gives people the creeps. The Custer House is so haunted that those who work at the fort refuse to go in after the sun has set. Reportedly, disembodied voices and footsteps can be heard after dark, and some have even seen disappearing figures. It is said that Mr. and Mrs. Custer, who the house used to belong to, linger in their house. Mrs. Custer has been spotted wearing a mourning gown.
4 Inside: Waipio Valley on the Big Island, Hawaii
Hawaii is a beautiful island with a complex history. Legend has it that ancient warrior ghosts march across the island with a slew of weapons. These spirits, known as night marchers, are destined to roam the islands in search of a battle for eternity. While they can be found all over the islands of Hawaii, there are specific spots that they are most likely to be spotted. One of which is the northern shore in Waipio Valley, where the battle cries from the restless spirits echo loudly. Those who visit the valley during the night should remain vigilant and careful so as not to disturb or upset the already volatile spirits.
3 Inside: Denver International Airport in Denver, Colorado
The airport’s history has been odd since before it was officially open to the public in 1995. The construction was nearly $2 billion over budget, and there are numerous suspicious things about the airport. If the demonic horse statue at the entrance of the airport isn’t enough, there are murals that dictate the apocalypse, creepy gargoyles, and rumors about a secret Freemasons hideout. One rumor speculates that budget was so eschewed because there are underground tunnels that will serve as a residence for important government officials in case of nuclear fallout. On the third day of the airport’s debut, the luggage operations and trams weren’t functioning, so passengers were rerouted through the tunnels. They found intricate, fine art that cost the airport a small fortune—which seems suspicious since they have since been closed off to the public and the art isn’t visible to an ordinary person.
2 Inside: South Manitou Island in Leland, Michigan
According to lore, South Manitou Island is a creepy place just off of the Leelanau Peninsula. Supposedly, a ship full of passengers ill with cholera stopped at the island. Sailors buried the sick people—while some of them were still alive. As if the island needed more reasons to be creepy, the island boasts two cemeteries, a spooky forest, and a shipwreck. Visitors have also reported hearing voices emanating from the cedar filled the forest. The wrecked SS Francisco Morazan is known to spark curiosity in adventurous souls, one of which was a little boy who lost his life while exploring the wreckage.
1 Inside: The Bell Witch cave in Adams, Tennessee
While it might be a legend that kids use to scare each other at sleepovers for nearly two centuries, there is some truth to the tale. In 1817, farmer John Bell moved into a Tennessee farmhouse in Robertson County. Within a short period of time, the family began experiencing paranormal activity including the sound of someone being chocked, violent knocking on walls, rattling chains, and the voice of a ghost whom would later become known as the Bell Witch. A cave on his property is particularly haunted and those who visit have reported a number of odd occurrences: pinching, taunting, pulling hair, pushing, and being weighed down by an invisible force.
References: www.thrillist.com, www.to-hawaii.com, www.parkrec.nd.gov, www.hauntedplaces.org,www.azcentral.com