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The world's nine most haunted places

Wanderlust logoWanderlust 1/06/2016


Paranormal destinations that are guaranteed to spook even the most skeptical of travelers ...

1. Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales, Australia

© Bidgee via wikipedia

The site...

A late Victorian mansion, with intricate cast iron lattice work, built by wealthy landowner Christopher William Crawley in 1876. Reputedly Australia’s most haunted house.

The ghosts...

Take your pick. There’s the young child who was dropped down the stairs, the maid who fell from the balcony or the stable boy who burned to death. The most active, however, is the ghost of the son of the caretaker who was found curled up next to the dead body of his mother and chained up for 40 years.

Current situation...

The house currently operates as a B&B and revels in its gruesome past by offering ghost tours. 

2. Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India

© Education Images/UIG via Getty Images

The site...

The ruins of a fort city built in the 17th century, Bhangarh Fort consists of fort walls, bazars, havelis, royal palaces, and numerous temples.

The ghosts...

A wizard called Singhia and a princess called Ratnavati who spurned his advances. Legend has it that the enchanted oil he hoped would make her love him turned into a boulder when she threw it away – and it crushed him. But not before he cursed the palace, condemning the inhabitants to death, without any hope of rebirth.

Current situation...

Bhangarh Fort is now an archeological site, known as the ‘House of Ghosts’. It is closed between sunset and sunrise, with locals convinced that anyone who spends the night amongst the ruins will never be seen again.

3. Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa

© Mark Williamson/Getty Images

The site...

Built in the 17th century by the Dutch East India Company, the Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest colonial building.

The ghosts...

The first ghost was spotted in 1915 when the apparition of a tall gentleman was seen jumping off the side of one of the castle walls, and then walking between the bastions Leerdam and Oranje. Another famous ghost, the Lady in Grey, was often seen running through the castle holding her face and crying hysterically, but has not been seen since a woman’s body was found during recent excavations.

Other unexplained events include the bell in the bell tower ringing of its own accord and the ghost of a black dog that pounces on unsuspecting visitors, then simply vanishes into thin air. 

Current situation...

The castle is a popular tourist attraction, with a military museum, a restaurant with views of Table Mountain, and a Military Tattoo held every November.

4. Château de Brissac, Maine-et-Loire, France

© DEA / M. SANTINI/Getty Images

The site...

The tallest castle in France, Château de Brissac was built in the heart of the Loire Valley as a fortress by the Counts of Anjou in the 11th Century. It has 204 rooms, numerous portrait galleries, a chapel, and a private opera house which seats 200 people. King Louis XIII dropped by in 1620.

The ghosts...

The most active is La Dame Verte, (Green Lady), who was the victim of a double murder in the château in the 15th Century. She is often seen in the tower room of the chapel, wearing her green dress, with gaping holes where her eyes and nose should be. When not startling guests by her appearance she can be heard moaning around the castle.

Current situation...

The château is a popular hotel and conference centre that hosts special events and tastings of the well-regarded wines, produced from its own vineyards. Guests who are brave enough to stay overnight enjoy rooms lavishly decorated with period furniture.


5. Ancient Ram Inn, Gloucestershire, England

© npower/REX

The site...

A Grade II listed building and former pub built in 1145, located in Wotton-under-Edge, a market town in Gloucestershire. It is situated on two ley lines and was the scene of a child sacrifice and devil worshipping.

The ghosts...

Built on an ancient pagan burial ground, the Ancient Ram Inn is believed to be haunted by upwards of 20 spectres, including an incubus (a male sex demon) that delights in pushing guest down onto their beds. A high priestess has been spotted sitting on a bed, and guests often hear the agonising screams of a young girl.

Current situation...

Trading on its reputation as the most haunted building in the British Isles, the Ancient Ram Inn currently operates as a B&B for would-be ghost hunters. Its Trip Advisor ratings seem to be directly influenced by whether guests had a supernatural experience or not.

6. Hell Fire Club, Montpelier Hill, Ireland

© Joe King via wikipedia

The site...

The Hell Fire Club was built as a hunting lodge in 1725, and it reportedly became a gathering place for a small group of Dublin elites who met for debauchery and devil worship. Its ruins sit atop the summit of Montpelier Hill in the foothills of the Dublin Mountains, overlooking the adjacent Massy Woods.

The ghosts...

Tales of animal sacrifice, black masses, cloven-hoofed men and murder are linked to the structure. The most popular tale tells of a visit by a satanic creature, in the form of a man, who was only discovered when one of the players dropped a card and on picking it up, noticed the guest had cloven feet. On his discovery, the creature disappeared in a ball of flames. The most regular ghostly visitor is a young lady, believed to have been placed in a barrel, set on fire and rolled down the hill for fun.

Current situation...

It's a popular stopping point on a walking trail through the Dublin Hills. Ghost tours of the site are particularly popular during Halloween.


7. Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada

Banff Springs Hotel © Michael Interisano/Design Pics/Getty Images Banff Springs Hotel

The site...

Styled after a Scottish baronial castle, The Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada, is one of Canada’s great railway hotels and reportedly one of the most haunted buildings in the country.

The ghosts...

A selection of apparitions await at the Banff Springs. 

There's a bride who fell down the staircase breaking her neck after panicking when her dress caught fire. She is often seen in the ballroom dancing, with the flames coming from the back of her dress.

A family were murdered in room 873. The door to this room has since been bricked up, but the family can still be seen in the hallway outside the room.

And former bellman, Sam Macauley, can often be spotted – even though he's dead. He served at the hotel during the '60s and '70s, and he likes to help guests up to their rooms, dressed in his '60s uniform. If you try to tip him or make conversation, he disappears.

Current situation...

Now part of the Fairmont chain of luxury hotels, The Banff Springs stands as a landmark in the alpine town of Banff, Alberta and remains a popular year-round resort. 

8. Dragsholm Slot, Denmark

© Niels Elgaard Larsen via wikipedia

The site...

Dragsholm Slot, or Dragsholm Castle, was originally built in 1215 and towers over Odsherred in Zealand. In the 16th and 17th century parts of it were used to house prisoners of noble or ecclesiastical rank, and in 1694 it was rebuilt in a Baroque style.

The ghosts...

Dragsholm castle is thought to have at least three ghosts: a grey lady, a white lady, and the ghost of one its prisoners, James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell.

Current situation...

The castle has been transformed into a luxurious hotel with lavish rooms and a highly-rated restaurant serving food that has all been sourced locally.

9. Poveglia Island, Italy

© Fulvio Roiter/CORBIS

The site...

In the Venice Lagoon between Venice and Lido, this small island was a place where mainlanders fled to seek refuge from invaders. In the 14th century Venetians infected by the Bubonic plague were sent here to die – and, when they died, they were burned on giant pyres. The site was also used as a mental asylum during the 1800s.

The ghosts...

The ghosts of the patients and victims of disease are said to haunt the island and its buildings. Voices and screams are often heard, and visitors have reported seeing dark, fleeting shadows. Many visitors say they begin to feel an oppressive evil feeling as soon as they step on the island.

Current situation...

The island is totally abandoned, with many locals unwilling to step foot on the island for fear of being cursed. Fisherman also refuse to fish in the area, worried that they will drag up human remains.


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