If you are looking for some creepy experiences, there are no better places to visit than haunted tourist attractions. There are quite a few haunted places around the world with well documented reports of the supernatural. In several of these places the reports go back many centuries.
What makes a place haunted
With every death some some residue of energy remains at the place the death occurs. These residues, if strong enough, can form together into noises, smells, and figures. Some might even have the strength to move objects.
Some scientist believe that proof of the existence of an eternal “soul” could be found in quantum physics. Read about it in “Messages from the dead“.
Intense memories and emotions can trap the energy at a certain place. In most cases, haunted places contain strong energies that are associated with a tragic event, such as a violent death. But not all hauntings involve death at a specific place. The emotion of a great happiness within that energy can also cause a haunting.
What draws people to haunted tourist attractions
When it comes to the supernatural, there are many cultural similarities around the world. People are obsessed with what goes on after death. What happens to the living after they die? Do they go on to a different place? Or do they stick around?
Coupled with this curiosity are ghost stories that come from folklore and legends. Most of which are pure fiction for entertainment or to scare unruly children. Yet, some seem more realistic and supported by many witnesses. No matter the time period or culture, the fear of the unknown is deeply ingrained in people’s minds. So, it may be simply to satisfy the curiosity, or for the adrenaline rush that comes with the feeling of creepiness.
Haunted tourist attractions
The places listed below can even turn the most skeptic. Reports of paranormal activity are documented by paranormal researchers as well as reports of witnesses dating back many centuries ago up to today. The places will make great vacation spots for enthusiasts of the creepiness. If you are looking to just spend a night in a haunted hotel there are quite a few in the USA.
The Sallie House haunting in Atchison, Kansas, USA
Sallie is the spirit of a 6-year-old girl, and she was the first to haunt the house. Somehow, as time goes on, more entities came to join her and turned the house into a nightmare of activities.
There are several versions to the story of Sallie. All agree that during Sallie’s time, which is somewhere around 1905, a Doctor lived in the house. One day Sallie fell sick and her mother rushed the girl to the Doctor. The Doctor diagnosed her with acute appendicitis and decided to perform a surgery. As he tried to give Sallie ether, she panicked and fought him. When he began to make the incision, Sallie was not completely under the gas. Things just went wrong. She never woke up from surgery, but her last memory was the operating room with all the scary instruments, and a man who caused her pain.
It is not until 1993 that Sallie’s story gained public attention for the first time. During that time, Tony and Debra Pickman, moved into the house and shortly after they noticed strange things happening. Asides from voices, lights flickering and such, several fires broke out and Tony suffered scratches and bruises from a series of attacks.
Many paranormal groups have investigated the house with high tech equipment ever since. They found the house to be occupied by multiple entities, most of which have nothing good on their mind. Which makes it one of the most haunted tourist attractions you can find.
Mary King’s Close in Edinburgh, Scotland is the strangest of haunted tourist attractions
The Mary King’s Close is a warren of underground streets hiding underneath the City Chambers on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh. During the 16th and 17th centuries the streets lead to businesses and homes.
When the plague hit, the city leaders left people to die on the streets. At one point, the city officials decided to seal up the buildings and streets with walls in order to protect the rest of the city from the spread of the plague. Since then there are continuous reports of ghost sightings and strange noises. Some even claim to feel a little, grasping hand.
Mary King’s Close is one of the most enduringly haunted tourist attractions in the world. Which leads to continues numerous paranormal investigations every year.
The poltergeist of Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland
Haunting this cemetery is George MacKenzie whose activities give him the nick name MacKenzie Poltergeist. George MacKenzie was a ruthless persecutor of the Scottish Covenanters, a Presbyterian movement in the 17th century. Visitors to the cemetary say that he is the most aggressive and active poltergeist from all haunted places.
In 1999, according to legend, a homeless man broke into the Black Mausoleum to find a place to sleep. That’s when he released MacKenzie’s ghost. Scottish poet Robert Louis Stevenson predicted this release in his 1879 book “Edinburgh: Picturesque Notes”. He wrote, “When a man’s soul is certainly in hell, his body will scarce lie quiet in a tomb however costly; some time or other the door must open, and the reprobate come forth in the abhorred garments of the grave.”
Ever since the release of George MacKenzie from his grave, visitors to the mausoleum return with bruises, scratches, burns, and even broken bones. In 2006 the national newspaper, The Scotsman, wrote, “To date there have been more than 450 documented attacks, at least 140 people have collapsed – and there have even been suggestions that the spirit may be responsible for a death.”
Sai Ying Pun Community Complex in Hong Kong, aka the High Street Haunted House
Since it was first built, this building often changed its purpose. And each change brought brought new deaths.
After the completion of the construction in 1891 the building served as a nurse’s facility until the beginning of WWI. But during the war it was used as an execution hall under the Japanese occupation. When the war ended, the building was turned into a mental institution. Then, in 1962, the building once again changed its purpose and became an outpatient clinic. Finally in 1971, after the clinic closed its doors, the building became abandoned.
The government tried its best to maintain the building, but reports of ghost sightings kept the workers away. The reports range from wailing women, to sightings of decapitated ghosts, and even men bursting into flames. The building eventually caught on fire and much of it was destroyed. The government decided to preserve the old granite facade, demolished the rest and built the Sai Ying Pun Community Complex as we know it today.
Once known as one of the three largest mental asylums in Australia, Beechworth Asylum has its share of tragedies that often surround mental asylums of earlier times.
Located in Victoria, Australia, the asylum became later known as Mayday Hills Hospital. It was closed in 1995 after 125 years in operation as a hospital for the insane.
It didn’t take much to get admitted, but it was hard to get released again. Basically, any friend or relative could make the request to have a person admitted, and deliver it together with just two signatures from any doctors. On the other hand, to be released, it required eight signatures.
The stories of five former patients survived and had been published in the Herald Sun. Their stories tell of the brutal treatment, and with thousands of patients over time, many never saw the outside of the asylum again. And some of them are said to be still haunting the rooms today.
This village is located in India and is considered to be one of India’s most haunted places.
Aside from being a pre-historic site, Bhangarh is known for its old buildings dating back to 1573. That in itself could be considered to be reason enough for some restless souls to keep wandering around here and there. But, the reason behind the haunting is explained in one of the many legends.
It claims that Princess Ratnavati of Bhangarh was responsible for the famine of 1783, which befell the fort and left it uninhabited ever since.
The legend says that a local black magician fell in love with the Princess. He attempted to make her fall in love with him by using magic on cosmetic she was supposed to use. But, the princess became suspicious and poured the cosmetic over a big stone boulder, which caused the boulder to fall on the magician and crush him to death. With his dying breath he placed a curse upon the entire landscape, so that no soul would ever be able to live in peace there again. Ever since, the entire landscape around the Bhangarh Fort has been haunted by strange and eerie sounds throughout the nights.
A signboard posted by the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), which is a Government of India organization, warns that “Entering the borders of Bhangarh before sunrise and after sunset is strictly prohibited. Legal action will be taken against anybody who does not follow these instructions”. Other rules warn that no one is allowed to graze their animals in the village after sunset.
Château de Châteaubriant
If you happen to be in France around the time of October 16, you might want to stop at the Château de Châteaubriant. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of Françoise de Foix, who walks the Château during midnight of that date every year.
According to legend, Françoise had been locked up in a room, and then later killed by her jealous husband Jean de Laval.
Catacombs in Paris, France
The catacombs in Paris might not be one of the most haunted tourist attractions in France, but they are a creepy sight for sure.
In an effort to eliminate the city’s over-crowded cemeteries, the remains of more than six million people were moved into a small part of a network of underground tunnels, built to support Paris’ ancient stone mines. Thus the The Dark Underworld of the Paris Catacombs was created.
Aside from the stacking of the cemetery over-flow, the catacombs are the location of several creepy events.
During 1793, the Val-de-Grâce hospital doorkeeper, Philibert Aspairt, lost his way out of the tunnels. His body was not found until 11 years later, and his tomb was placed at the exact spot where he was located. Then, during 1871, a group of monarchists was killed inside the catacombs by members of the “Paris Commune”, a radical revolutionary Government that resulted in part from growing discontent among the Paris workers.
Aokigahara in Fujikawaguchiko, Japan
Aokigahara is a forest of 13.5 square miles of very dense tree growth on porous lava. Do to its lavish foliage, the forest is also known as the Sea of Trees, and it is located on the northwestern flank of Japan’s Mount Fuji.
The hardened lava absorbs sounds and the trees don’t allow much light to break through. This gives visitors a sense of solitude, but also an eerie feeling.
The forest has a long reputation of being inhabited by the yūrei, which are the ghosts of old people carried to the mountain and left there to die. Abandoning an old woman or parent during times of famine is called ubasute, and may have been practiced there well into the 19th century. It is said that the yurei lure visitors who are sad and lost off the path.
Aokigahara has become a famous destination for people to go and commit suicide. According to some estimates there are about 100 suicides each year somewhere in the forest. An exact number is impossible due to the fact that many can’t be found until maybe a visitor discovers some remains by accident.
To help in suicide prevention, signs have been placed on entrances that urge suicidal visitors to think about their families and to contact the suicide prevention association. Throughout the forest there are messages like “Think carefully about your children, your family” and “Your life is a precious gift from your parents” posted along the paths.
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The Island of the Dolls, Mexico
Just south of Mexico City lies an island between the canals of Xochimico to which fans of haunted tourist attractions like to book a tour. The island is called Isla de las Munecas because of its many dolls in various conditions placed on trees and buildings.
The story behind the dolls is rather sad. It is said that one day, Don Julian Santana Barrera, the caretaker of the island, found the body of a young girl who had drowned. Shortly after, he saw a doll floating by. He thought that it must have belonged to the girl and, to show respect to the spirit of the girl, he retrieved the doll from the water and hung it up to a tree.
But he felt haunted by the girl’s spirit. In his attempt to please her, he collected dolls and placed them all over the island for the following 50 years. It is said that he died on the same spot where he had found the girl so many years ago.
Since his death the island has gained in fame not just because of its many dolls. People on the island claim that the dolls are possessed. They say their heads are turning and their eyes are moving to stare at visitors.
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