Across the globe, people tell tales of ghosts and strange sightings; it is one thing that all cultures have in common. For those who want a little more mystery in a tour, here are some of the most haunted places in the world that travelers can visit. Who says dead men tell no tales?
One of the most haunted places in London caused quite the scandal in the 1970’s. Highgate Cemetery got a lot of notice from the press when multiple sightings of a tall man in a top hat with glowing eyes dubbed the ghost the “Highgate Vampire.” Other ghost sightings and strange noises among the cemetery’s 53,000 grave sites have made this area a popular visit for those interested in the haunted and spiritual.
The graves themselves are interesting to see. One gravestone is in the shape of a grand piano. Another is representative of pop artist Patrick Caulfield.
The east cemetery has some of the more famous graves, such as German philosopher Karl Marx, Victorian novelist George Eliot, and author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy Douglas Adams. Admission to the West cemetery is by guided tour only as it has some of the more interesting history. The best part is that having a ticket to the West cemetery will allow one entry to the East cemetery that is good for one month.
How to Get There – Take the Northern Line on the tube to the Archway stop and exit towards Highgate Hill. Then, take the bus (210, 143, 271) two stops to Waterlow Park. The gates are a five minute walk through Waterlow Park.
The Stanley Hotel
The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado was the inspiration for Stephen King’s bestselling horror novel, The Shining. The book was later made into a film and is known as one of the greatest films and one of the scariest films of all time. The hotel has a wide history of being haunted, mostly by past staff and ghosts of children who used to stay there. The most prominent figure is of Ms. Elizabeth Wilson, the chief housekeeper in the early 1900’s. She takes special care to those staying in room 217; all the ghosts are apart of making visitors feel welcome by unpacking for them or tucking them in at night.
The Stanley Hotel gives historical and ghost tours to both guests and visitors. Tours can be in the day or night and some are more focused on ghost hunting than others.
Staying at the Hotel – Among the many packages the hotel offers, those interested in the haunted aspect of the hotel should book the Ghost Adventure Package. The experience includes a room on the fourth floor, a K2 Meter, and a redrum mug per person. Upgrades to a haunted room are available at check-in.
What better way to celebrate everything spooky by visiting Count Dracula at his home? Bran Castle is thought to be linked to the Dracula legend. Dracula is derived from the Romanian words for devil and dragon. While there is no proof that Bram Stoker knew anything about the castle, it is still an interesting visit especially to those who love vampire lore. The interior of the castle, with its narrow corridors and secret chambers, could very easily house a vampire. The castle has only recently become open to visitors as a museum of Romanian royal history and culture.
How to Get There – From Bucharest, Romania’s capital city with an international airport, visitors must travel by bus, train, or car to Brasov. Brasov has many hotels with an easy distance by bus or car to Bran Castle. There is also some smaller lodging in Bran itself.
The most haunted place in Paris is underground. The Catacombs, now an official museum in Paris, holds 6 million people, most of which are stacked on top of each other and lining the walls. The skeletons are placed rather artistically; there is a heart shaped arrangement made of skulls and tibias in one section.
The Catacombs have intrigued visitors since the late 18th century, including Napoleon III and Charles X, however it was very recently re-opened to the public after the vaults were strengthened.
Students get a discounted entrance ticket for only four euros and teachers are able to go for only six euros. There are many stairs to get in and around the catacombs, so the tour is not accessible for persons with limited mobility.
How to Get There – The metro has a stop right next to the entrance to the Catacombs at Denfert-Rochereau, which is on line 6. The nearest train station is the Gare Montparnasse which has access to line 6 of the metro.
One of the many trips for SyFy’s “The Ghost Hunters”, Xunantunich is the location of Mayan ruins near the Guatemalan border in Belize. Xunantunich means “Stone Woman” in the Maya language; the “Stone Woman” refers to the ghost of a woman dressed all in white with red eyes who haunts the sight. Sightings date back to the late 19th century and continue today.
Mayan ruins all throughout Latin America have a dotted history of hauntings or extraordinary occurrences. In some, shrunken heads have been found among other mummies and ancient relics.
Visitors must take a tour to explore the ruins as they are fragile and are still trying to be preserved. There are many Maya ruin tour companies that visit Xunantunich that offer transportation and a historical background of the site.
The Vaults and Mary King’s Close
All of Edinburgh’s underground has some history to it, but the most interesting are The Vaults and Mary King’s Close. Both of these sites have haunted tours all year round from different companies.
The Vaults are a series of chambers underneath the South Bridge in Edinburgh. For the first 30 years, the vaults were used for business and pubs as well as storage for illegal substances. It is rumored that the serial killers, Burke and Hare, kept bodies in the vaults for medical experiments. An excavation in the 1980’s found toys, medicine bottles, and plates in the vaults proving that people had once lived there. While the Vaults are now mostly used for ghost tours, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe uses them as a performance venue hosting over 60 shows a day.
In the 1600’s, Mary King’s Close was a bustling market area in Edinburgh. 400 years later it has found itself buried underneath the Royal Mile. Many myths and legends surround the close, including one that involves the Black Death; it is rumored that plague victims were quarantined in the close and left to die, then, the city built right on top of it to further stop any risk of plague.
What other destinations around the world would you recommend checking out this Halloween? Share your favorites with us in the comments below!