Are you looking for a vacation with a difference? Are you keen to explore some of the world’s most haunted destinations? Then this is the article for you! We’ve compiled a list of 13 atmospheric cities, towns, and villages renowned for their supernatural stories and eerie atmospheres. From the UK to the USA, Romania to Japan, and many more, prepare yourself for a frightful foray into the unknown.
There is perhaps no better feeling in the world than packing to go away on vacation. You're a Rebel, though- we don't expect you to go anywhere pedestrian for your travels. We know you're adventurous and always looking for a new experience. We also know you're probably into scary movies, if your feedback is any indication. We think combining the two is a great idea- so we've put together a list of the most haunted cities in the world for consideration when it's time to book your next flight!
Immediately recognizable as the backdrop of many movies and shows, this home of the O.K. Corral has seen its share of deaths. In the lawless days of the 1800s when this was a frontier town, an oasis in the wild scrubland, it was host to a number of people who lived on the fringe of society. Thieves, cattle rustlers, murderers and rapists would retreat to try and hide at the edge of society, but were soon followed by lawmen who were of questionable morals themselves. The resulting loss of life of course impacted the entirety of the town, making it one of the most haunted places in the United States. Of particular interest are of course the O.K. Corral itself, where the most famous gunfight in history (between lawmen including Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday and cowboys like Billy Clanton) took place; the Boot Hill Graveyard, where restless spirits have been photographed; and the Bird Cage Theatre, the most popular honky tonk in town and home to as many as 31 ghosts.
If you're craving something a little more international and exotic, consider a trip to the Rajasthan region of northern India. A county (and not a city), it deserves inclusion on this list. Home to the cities Jaipur and Kota, it's also home to plenty of ghosts. The most active of the sites is an old fort built in the 1600's, Fort Bhangrah. While no evidence has been found for it, it is said the entire settlement of 10,000 was wiped out in a single day. For years, the locals have insisted the place teems with paranormal activity at night and refuse to set up and homes inside, despite the walls still standing strong. Also in the district are other abandoned places and supernatural hangouts. There's the Kudhara town, another place seemingly abandoned at the height of its power for no reason. Jagatpura is said to be a good place to spot witches and ghosts if you go at the right time. Explore the area, and we're sure you'll find some extraordinary stories to take home with you.
When a city has 1300 years of history behind it, there are bound to be a few skeletons rattling around in the closet. This capital city, of course, is no exception. Against the backdrop of a rapidly growing metropolis with a growing cosmopolitan edge, explore the Vaults, where a frightening hooded figure has been seen. Visit Edinburgh Castle and hear drums, knocking, and other sounds for which there is no explanation. Or stop by one of the city's many haunted pubs to enjoy a pint with a poltergeist. With so much that has happened in this city, spirits can be found everywhere.
New Orleans, Louisiana
In the deep south, where the Missisippi River meets the Gulf of Mexico, is the jewel that is New Orleans. It retains much of the French influences from its founders, from the accent to the food. What it really hold onto, though, is its past. St. Louis Cemetery No.1 was built in 1823, and is home to the Queen of Voodoo (a practice mixing African and Caribbean magic and rituals with Christianity) Marie Laveau. This graveyard, along with 2 and 3, is where innumerable victims of disease, murder, and untimely death are interred aboveground in tombs, as swampy ground means caskets won't stay buried for long. Many spirits have been seen walking among the vaults. The city's history is spotted with so many black marks that it's no wonder so many ghosts are seen here- pirates were, at one time, predominant in this port city. Fires, disease, and violence have seen to the death of many, as have natural disasters such as Hurricane Katrina. Be sure to stop by the Lalaurie house, where bizarre experiments were carried out; Hotel Monteleone, where up to a dozen spirits roost; and the Chalmette battlefield, where the last battle between the United States and a foreign army fought on US soil.
In a place that once served as the seat of Nazi power, you'd expect a little supernatural presence. What you probably wouldn't expect, though, is a crumbling sanatorium that wasn't abandoned until 2000, yet was used by Nazi forces as a military hospital. Partly bombed by Allied forces, the complex of more than 60 buildings is said to be haunted by those who died here in the early part of its history when it was used for tuberculosis patients as well as the fallen soldiers. The Reichstag building is also said to be haunted, but this time it's political figures that roamed the halls of the Parliament building while they lived.
In the storied of home of witch trials and Puritans, something roams the streets at night. Here, twenty people were tried for witchcraft and summarily hanged, burned or crushed with rocks. Many now believe that rather than being witches, the vistims were merely targets of vindictive behavior or perhaps pointed out by accusers under the influence of ergot poisoning. Whatever the case may be, people here died horribly and that seems to have doomed their spirits to wander here. Stop by the Old Town Hall or the Joshua Ward house if you're really looking for things that go bump in the night.
Prague, Czech Republic
Another old city with a lengthy list of catastrophes like plague, war, and violence, Prague is in a part of Europe that has long held to its traditions- traditions like ghosts, witches, and golems, that is. Tales of a drowned maid at the House of the Golden Well in Old Town say her ghost, soaked through, appears nearby. Daliborka Tower was used as a jail in the 18th century, and the sounds of a violin played by one of its first incarcerations can be heard at night. A monument in Old Town, the Iron Man, is dedicated to the memory of a man who killed his wife and hanged himself, and now haunts the place he died. Dozens of other spirits and spooks roam the streets at night, including a Templar knight on horseback and a nun who weeps in the dark streets.
Touted as the most haunted city in the USA, this sweet little coastal town on the Atlantic ocean hides some nasty little secrets. Stay in the Kehoe house, a charming bed and breakfast full of Southern charm and a child's voice that entreats you to play. Or try the Marshall house, once used as a hospital during the Civil War (which was not the best place to be, as a bullet in the arm or leg often saw the limb sawed off. Usually with the same dirty saw used on the man before.) and now a hotel. Too spooky? You can always try the Moon River Brewing Company, where a severe woman seems to make the air thick and hard to breathe. With places like that around, it's no wonder Savannah's residents are so charming- they'd have to be to get people to stay!
Home to a myriad of historical sites, London is of course going to be on this list. The city may be pricey and glittering with the facade of a new century, but you can't hide ghosts like these. The Tower of London has headless ghosts that wander the lawns where their lives ended. A myriad of pubs and inns across the city each have their own resident spooks, like the laughing cavalier in the cellar of The George or the ghost at the Bow Bells Pub. Many of the castles and cemeteries in and around the city boast hauntings as well, and so do many of the old churches. Don't forget, this is also where Jack the Ripper worked his fatal trade, and many of the streets in the district where he stalked are the same. Just hope you don't run into him- you might wind up haunting the place, too.
This sleepy little community was home to the battle that saw the largest number of dead and wounded during the American Civil War. Over the course of three days, there were nearly 50,000 casualties. When something of that scale happens, the trauma often scars the landscape and leaves behind more than a few ghosts. It's not just the battlefield itself that's haunted either; many of the buildings were commandeered to be used as field hospitals, where many more died and seemingly remained. Many people have seen what they thought were actors playing out incidents from the war, only to learn that no reenactments were scheduled for that day. Pretty much every building here lays claim to at least one or two specters; of particular note are the Gettysburg College, the Hoffman Mansion, and the Jennie Wade house. In addition to ghosts, you'll also get a good dose of history, making it a great stop for a family trip.
Another beautiful old citythat's already a popular vacation destination, Paris has plenty of reason to be haunted. Laying aside the public executions like beheadings and the multitude of wars and skirmishes fought in or near its borders, the same diseases that ravaged the rest of europe decimated the population here. And like any big city, it's seen its share of grisly murders and- shall we say unorthodox?- burial practices. in Les Catacombes, visit an ossuary where the bones of more than six million people have been brought when the city grew and needed the land that once held cemeteries to build on. The bones have been artfully arranged into lovely patterns, but this means the bones have been separated (and we all know how much ghosts love that, right?). It's macabre and definitely creepy, but the masterful care taken to create these ossements is something to be admired. While in the city, you can visit the world's only museum dedicated to vampires and a museum showcasing corpses preserved with colored wax and flayed at the Musee Fragonard. After that, take a late night stroll through the back streets of old Paris to see if you can't find the spirit of the Demon Barber of Rue Chanoinesse, who operated much as Sweeny Todd did- in the 1380's.
Romania is the legendary birthplace of Vlad Tepes (fondly known as Vlad the Impaler), the supposed inspiration for the legend of Dracula. St. Anthony's church in Bucharest holds a statue dedicated to the warlord, whose brutal practice of impaling men on spikes along the road from Bulgaria caused the Ottoman empire's men to retreat, too demoralized (and frankly, probably terrified) to continue the campaign. Rumor has it he even dined among the dying and had competitions to see who could impale a man in such a way to miss the most vital organs, ensuring a slow and painful death. Don't worry, though- that's not the only reason this place would be haunted. There is of course the requisite disease and violence that comes with any city of this size, but there are also people like Ion Rimaru, a serial killer from the 1970's. In and around the city, this crazed man- thought to suffer from a rare case of clinical lycanthropy, where the sufferer believes he is actually a wolf- killed 4 people, raped many more, and drank the blood of several. There's also the Great Fire of 1847 that razed more than 1800 buildings. And the huge blocks of housing built by the Communist party, forcing prisoners and the homeless to work in dehumanizing conditions, leading to the deaths of hundreds if not thousands. So, while this city may be lovely and historic during the day, the night in Bucharest seems to offer many chances to get a bit too close for comfort to that history.
This quaint countryside village in Kent is the holder of an interesting record- the most haunted villaige in all of England. There are 15 ghosts reouted to reside in this sleepy little town that looks for all the world like it came out of a Thomas Kinkade painting. There's the highwayman Robert Du Bois from the 1700's, seen in the Screaming wood reenacting his death being found in a hollow tree and stabbed. Perhaps you'd rather dine with the poltergeist of the Black House inn, or meet with the Red Lady and her small white dog. She can be found- along with the White Lady- at St. Nicholas' Church. There is a phantom coach that can be heard riding through town, its destination unkown. Or the ghosts of the men who hanged themselves- a schoolteacher in Dicky Buss's Lane, and the colonel found in Park Wood. You have many options here- just don't let the idyllic landscape fool you.
What's your best ghost story? Tell us in the comments!