Halloween is right around the corner, and not only are we looking for all the best costumes to wear during the holiday, but we’re also gearing up for spooky stories and haunted houses. If you’re looking for a thrill, we’ve put together a list of ten of the most haunted places in the world that you can visit throughout the year, from the house that inspired Stephen King’s The Shining, to World War 2 torture chambers – there’s a wide range of spooky locations to have a look at.
Keep reading below to see ten of the most haunted places in the world and pay a visit, if you dare.
The Island of the Dolls, Xochimilco – Mexico City
La Isla de las Muñecas is known for its collection of supposedly haunted dolls. The story claims that a former caretaker of the island found a doll which was haunted by a little girl after he couldn’t save her from drowning. The man hung the doll on a tree as a sign of respect, and continued adding to the collection to “please her spirit.” 50 years later, the man was allegedly found dead in the exact same spot he found the young girl’s body in. Locals insist that the dolls come alive and move every night, and even if they don’t, the thousands of eyes watching you should be scary enough.
If you’d like to visit the island you can, but it is about a 2-4 hour journey from any nearby land. Find out how to pay a visit at the Isla de las Muñecas website.
Villisca Axe Murder House – Iowa, USA
The unsolved crime of the Villisca Axe Murders goes back to June 9, 1912, where six members and two guests of the Moore family were found dead in their home. All eight bodies, which included six children) had severe head wounds from an axe. After a long investigation and a handful of suspects, the case remains unsolved with no answers as to what happened that night.
If you’re interested, the Villisca House offers reservation-only overnight tours in groups of 10 or less.
Loftus Hall – Ireland
The Loftus Hall is built on the site of the original Redmond Hall, which locals claim has been haunted by the devil as well as the ghost of a young woman. There’s an elaborate ghost story surrounding the house, which involves exorcism and a multitude of ghosts visiting the supposedly haunted castle.
You can visit the Hall on either a historical tour or a haunted tour.
Stanley Hotel in Estes Park – Colorado, USA
The infamous Stanley Hotel is what inspired Steven King’s The Shining. That should say a lot about the terrifying location, which reportedly has high paranormal activity.
“Stanley Hotel features a variety of rooms with high paranormal activity including the famous Stephen King Suite 217, the Ghost Hunters’ favorite room 401, as well as 407, and 428. These are among our most-requested rooms, availability is limited,” states the website, so go ahead and pay a visit if you dare.
Poveglia Island – Italy
Poveglia island was initially used as a quarantine station for victims of the plague and other diseases for more than 100 years, where many deaths occured during the time. It was later turned into a mental hospital, which closed in 1968. It’s been abandoned ever since, and has a reputation of being haunted by those who died on the island.
You can visit the island, but it requires a long application process.
Eastern State Penitentiary – Pennsylvania, USA
Considered to be one of the most haunted places in the world, Eastern State Penitentiary was a prison that opened in the 1820s. Inmates at the facility ranged from robbers to murderers, and the prison isolated the inmates as a punishment. Many ended up committing suicide because the loneliness was too much to bear, after being forced to wear heavy masks that prohibited communication with other inmates. During the time, many inmates died from disease and old age and even murder, and their spirits are said to be haunting the facility to this day.
The Eastern State Penitentiary offers year-round tours.
Galleries of Justice – Nottingham England
The Galleries of Justice have been around since the 1300s, and was the only place in Britain where you could be tried, convicted, and sentenced. With executions, whippings and other harsh methods, lots of tormented souls are said to haunt the building. From a Victorian lady to a solider, many ghosts have been seen on site as well as weird sounds and phenomenons. Visitors have also reported weird smells, knocking and more from the walls.
The gallery offers ghost tours and Halloween-inspired walk-throughs of the “most haunted building in the UK.”
Ho Chi Minh City Museum of Fine Arts – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Originally a property of a Chinese aristocrat and businessman named Hua Bon Hoa, the Ho Chi Minh City Museum is said to be haunted by the soul of his only daughter. After having lots of sons and one girl, Hoa tried to send them all to schools abroad but the daughter refused. After the sons left, people stopped seeing the girl around the house, and unnatural events started happening frequently. There have been lots of speculations, with many believing that the father was so shocked and upset about his daughter’s death that he put her body in a room and treated her just like she was still alive by bringing food, treats and water. A movie surrounding the story was also created, which generated even more curiosity.
The now museum is open to the public and welcomes more than 200,000 visitors annually.
Chibichiri Cave – Okinawa, Japan
During World War II, Okinawa experienced an 82-day long battle where more than 100,000 people lost their lives. Americans invaded the island and civilians hid in caves like Chibichiri after being exposed to years of propaganda that taught them that the American soldiers would rape, torture and murder them. When the soliders arrived at the cave, they threw in pamphlets in Japanese claiming they’d treat the civilians well, but no one believed them.
The story says an 18-year-old girl told her mom to kill her so that the soldiers wouldn’t rape her, and the mother did. The killing set of a wave of parents killing their children and themselves, resulting in 83 deaths in the cave. The bones of children can still be found in Chibichiri, and Okinawa is considered to be one of the most haunted islands in the world. You can visit the cave, but only one entrance is currently open to the public.
Old Changi Hospital – Singapore
Singapore’s old Changi Hospital is said to be haunted by victims of Japanese war crimes. Built by the British as a Royal Air Force Hospital, the place was also used as a prison camp for the Japanese secret police during WW2 where the Japanese Kempeitai turned some rooms into torture chambers. “The interviewer produced a small piece of wood like a meat skewer, pushed that into my left ear, and tapped it with a small hammer. I think I fainted some time after it went through the drum. I remember the last excruciating sort of pain, and I must have gone out for some time because I was revived with a bucket of water,” claimed an Australian soldier who survived the torture by the Kempeitai.
Since its closing in 1997, the building has been abandoned. Many people visiting the site have reported paranormal activity, such as screams, flickering lights, shadows, scents and even being “touched” by invisible hands.