Gruesome murders, insane asylums, massive wars, quarantine zones– all of the human suffering in the world at least makes for great ghost stories. Hauntings happen everywhere, these are just a few of the most note-worthy. Visit them if you dare.
Prague, Czech Republic
Ghosts roam the streets of Prague. A headless Templar Knight reportedly walks about at night, holding his own head in one hand. Then there’s the demons trying to escape Prague’s “gates of hell.” On Houska Castle’s grounds is a building supposedly constructed to cover a hole full of demons. Whether or not there are demons, some ghoulish stuff likely happened at the castle. It’s rumored it was the site of Nazi occult experiments during WWII.
Vampire craze has mostly fizzled out, but Sighisoara is worth a visit for the colorful history of one occupant who was the inspiration for Dracula. Vlad the Impaler, the vicious Prince of Wallachia was infamous in the 1400s for his violence and cruelty. He killed a lot of people and reportedly impaled them on the grounds of his estate. He would then have lunch outside. Surrounded by impaled bodies. He was definitely a little off.
Today, you can visit his childhood home which has, of course, a torture museum. If you’re truly brave, you’ll climb the haunted steps at night to the Holy Trinity Church.
New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans has ghost stories galore. There’s Madame LaLaurie, an alleged serial killer who tortured and murdered her household slaves. You can visit her mansion today. There are also the calls of ghosts in Jackson Square and in the middle of the city is Charity Hospital, an abandoned hospital that closed after Hurricane Katrina. There are currently no plans for its future.
Poveglia Island, Venice, Italy
Venice is home to “the most haunted place in the world.” That’s a pretty hefty title, but the history of Poveglia Island probably deserves it. The island was used to quarantine plague victims in the 1900s. Then an asylum was built on the island. The head doctor allegedly experimented with crude lobotomies. He later jumped to his death because, as the story goes, he was driven mad by ghosts.
Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-under-Edge, England
This cute little inn might have been built over a pagan burial ground. Built in the 12th century, it is one of the oldest buildings of its kind in the western world. Apparently, it is haunted by more than 20 spirits, including children and pagans.
Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts
In 1892, Lizzie Borden allegedly murdered her father and stepmother with a hatchet in this house. She was acquitted and today, the house is a bed and breakfast. The bravest souls can stay in the same room that Lizzie’s stepmother was murdered in.
St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida
During the Civil War, the light was removed to make Union shipping difficult. The result was many deaths. There are reports of ghastly noise and even ghost children playing around the lighthouse. Today, visitors can go on nighttime ghost tours. If you go, keep an eye out for the ghost of a friendly lighthouse keeper who has been spotted on the grounds.