From ancient castles to long-abandoned hospitals, these haunted places have stood the test of time and acquired a reputation for being the most haunted places in the world. Not only have they captivated the imaginations of millions of visitors, they have also become a popular destination for those who seek real paranormal experiences. From eerie cemeteries to spooky islands, here are 10 of the world’s most haunted places that are sure to keep you awake at night.
1. Bhangarh Fort, India
The Bhangarh Fort in the Indian state of Rajasthan is one of the country’s most renowned haunted places. This 17th century fort has been called the country’s scariest place due to tales of ghostly occurrences, strange, unexplained lights, and the lingering smell of incense that lurks in its dark corridors. According to locals, the fort is cursed; anyone who enters the fort between sunset and sunrise is sure to die an untimely and mysterious death. Therefore, the fort has become a popular spot for ghost hunters and thrill-seekers alike.
2. The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
The Island of the Dolls, or Isla de las Muñecas, is located near Mexico City and features thousands of dolls lining the island’s trees and hanging from branches. Urban legend states that a caretaker named Don Julian Santana Barrera found a girl’s drowned body in a nearby canal and became haunted by the girl’s spirit. To appease the spirit, Julian began to collect dolls and hang them throughout the island. Long after Julian’s passing, visitors have reported experiences with disembodied voices, dolls moving on their own, and creepy feelings of being watched.
3. Queen Mary, United States
This 1930’s ocean liner is now a hotel and popular tourist attraction in Long Beach, California. However, beneath the luxury and excess of this legendary ship lies an unforgettable dark history. Many visitors have reported strange paranormal occurrences such as lights flickering out, eerie laughter, and other strange sounds coming from the ship’s corners. The legend of a woman in white, believed to be the spirit of a female passenger who allegedly died on the ship, continues to make the Queen Mary one of the most haunted places in the United States.
4. Poveglia Island, Italy
Located between Venice and Lido, this small island is known for its dark history. During the 16th century, the island served as a quarantine station for plague victims. Travellers who are brave enough to venture onto the island will find interconnecting canals and abandoned buildings, which make it perfect for an eerie exploration. In addition, visitors have supposedly experienced strange feelings of being watched and have even encountered shadows.
5. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle is an ancient fort that is the crowning jewel of Scotland’s capital city. This major visitor attraction is also believed to be one of the most haunted castles in the world. Over the years, many visitors have reported strange noises including distant screams and other mysterious sounds. Others have witnessed a strange headless apparition walking amongst the tombs in the castle graveyard.
6. Eastern State Penitentiary, United States
The Eastern State Penitentiary in Pennsylvania was once one of the most feared prisons in the world. It was built in the early 1800s and featured a unique design of individual cells for inmates in an attempt to give them a chance to repent their sins. During its long and notorious history, the prison was home to many ruthless criminals and criminal celebrities like Al Capone. Visitors have reported the smell of burning flesh, strange shadows, and an odd presence in the cold, abandoned cells.
7. The Vatican Secret Archives, Vatican City
Located right in the heart of the Vatican City, the Vatican Secret Archives is the repository of all of the Holy See’s documents, including ancient manuscripts dating back to the 8th century. The underground archives are home to what is believed to be haunted entities hiding in the dark, numerous spirits who are waiting to be released, and the ghosts of high-ranking officials who lost their lives in the church’s conflicts.
8. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
Located on the foothills of Mount Fuji, Aokigahara is one of the world’s most mysterious and haunted forests. This lush green forest has a long and tragic history; for centuries it has been the site of many suicides and many people have gone missing without a trace. Due to its eerie atmosphere and disturbing energy, the forest is now known as “the Suicide Forest” and is home to numerous paranormal encounters.
9. Highgate Cemetery, England
Located in the Highgate area of North London, this Gothic cemetery is one of the most haunted places in England. Famously known for its tall, ivy-covered catacombs and tombs, Highgate Cemetery is home to numerous paranormal encounters, including eerie sightings of figures and ghostly figures roaming its grounds.
10. The Tower of London, England
The Tower of London, an iconic fortress built by William the Conqueror in 1066, is surely one of the world’s most haunted places. This ancient structure, once an execution site, is now home to numerous reports of paranormal activity during the night. Many people have claimed to hear footsteps, moans, and even gunfire coming from the tower’s menacing walls.