We find the concept of the undead both spooky and exciting. According to legends, they cry their eerie moans through deserted passages, rattle their chains in the inky night and make untimely spectral appearances.
Bizarre incidents and ghostly sightings have been recorded for all of time. In many societies, the spirit world is accepted as fact, and people's daily lives are interwoven with rituals and beliefs, which take into account the needs of their ghostly companions. Objects and places may be associated with particular spirits, and people will call on spirits to intervene on their behalf to deal with life's problems. This page however, deals with the ghosts of western society: with the spectres, spooks and ghouls who inhabit our nightmares. People are intensely curious, indeed fascinated by ghosts, even though most would claim to be sceptical about the realm of the dead.
While stories vary over place and time, some threads seem fairly consistent in the generally accepted view of the ghostly world. For example, not everyone is destined to turn into a ghost. Ghosts may be those who have died a violent and untimely death, those who have suffered great hardship, or those with unfinished business, such as a quest for revenge. These factors are often portrayed as holding the ghost back from their journey away from the mortal world to whatever awaits them next.
In terms of their manifestation or appearance, the descriptions are less consistent. Some ghosts are the exact image of the person they were, others are only recognisable by their faces. Often just a blur of white light is present. Some are said to be solid, some are translucent, others only noticeable by a breath of warm air or a cold hand. A ghost may not appear at all, but be recognised by eerie sounds or moving objects. Other spirits such as poltergeists are said to cause mischief, ranging from spilt milk or tangled yarn to grave accidents, even death.
One of England's most famous ghosts is the wicked Lady Howard, who in a phantom coach made from human bones - the bones of her four late husbands. The skeleton of a dog runs beside the coach. The story goes that each night the coach comes to Oakhampton Castle in Devonshire and the skeleton dog picks a blade of grass from Oakhampton Park to carry back to Lady Howard's family home. She has to take this journey every night until every blade of grass is picked - that is until the end of the world - as a punishment for murdering her four husbands.
When King Henry VIII wanted to marry another woman, he accused his wife, Anne Boleyn of treachery and had her beheaded. Anne's body is said to haunt the Tower of London where she spent her final hours. She has been seen as a pale figure in a grey dress, who carries her head under her arm.
Ghosts may not only be people. In 16 41 the Flying Dutchman was sailing around the Cape of Good Hope on its way to Holland. Its captain was a man called Henrik Vanderdecken. A huge storm blew up but the captain was so desperate to get home that he cursed God and swore that he would sail until Doomsday rather than stop. For these words against God he was doomed to sail forever until he could find another ship's captain to accept a letter from him which begged for the Lord's forgiveness. This has never happened and it is said that any ship that comes into contact with the Flying Dutchman will suffer a terrible fate.
There are many alleged ghosts residing in places of great suffering. These include prisons, battlegrounds, hospitals and execution chambers. Spectral appearances send shivers down all our spines and we can't help but wonder.
1. Borley Rectory
The derelict building is not a place to enter lightly. Though the small village of Borley, near Sudbury, UK, is not the sort of place one would associate with ghosts, it has a dreadful reputation because it was the site of the infamous Borley Rectory, reputedly the ‘Most Haunted House in England’.
Built in 1863 for the Reverend Henry Bull, it sits on the site of an ancient monastery. The ghost of a mournful nun who patrolled the so-called 'Nun's Walk' had often been seen there. An old story claimed that she had fallen in love with a monk from the Borley Monastery – to much outrage – and the two had tried to elope together but had been quickly tracked down. The monk was executed and the nun bricked up in the cellars of the monastic buildings!
2. Stanley Hotel
There are countless tales of ghosts from all over the world, but some are more skin-crawling than most. Many of us remember the superb horror film The Shining, based on the novel by Stephen King. The book was inspired by a stay at the Stanley in Estes Park, Colorado. Assigned Room 217, King reportedly heard ghost children playing in the hallway. Many have experienced paranormal activity here, but these real-life ghosts seem harmless. Many spirits are said to haunt the place, while guests and employees claim to have heard faint music coming from the ballroom and seen the piano keys moving.
3. Tower of London
Considered one of the most haunted places on Earth, the bricks of this castle were witnesses to countless of executions, tortures, and murders for the last thousand years. Two prominent ghosts include Lady Jane Grey and Ann Boleyn. Both were beheaded. The latter’s ghost has been seen carrying her head. Ghosts have also been spotted depicting the horrible death of the Countess of Salisbury. She was said to have been hacked to death by the axe man when she ran away from the spot where she was to be executed.
The picture here is of one of the most famous spirits to haunt the Tower of London: one of the wives of Henry VIII, beheaded in the Tower in 1536. Her ghost has been seen on many occasions, sometimes carrying her head, on Tower Green and in the Tower Chapel Royal.
Other ghosts include those of Henry VI, Thomas Becket and Sir Walter Raleigh. One of the most gruesome ghost stories describes the death of the Countess of Salisbury. According to one account, “the Countess was sentenced to death in 1541 following her alleged involvement in criminal activities (although it is now widely believed that she was probably innocent). After being sent struggling to the scaffold, she ran from the block and was pursued until she was hacked to death by the axe man.” Her execution ceremony has been seen re-enacted by spirits on Tower Green
4. Woodchester Mansion
Woodchester Mansion in Gloucestershire, England, is another building with a ghostly reputation. Building work has never been completed here, and in the last 200 years workers have repeatedly run from the place and seven builders are rumoured to have died in inexplicable accidents.Strange noises are often heard, like the sounds of crashing masonry or voices wailing, and many ghosts, including those of Roman soldiers and young girls, have reportedly been seen. Regular ghost hunts are held here.
5. The Parisian Catacombs
The Paris Catacombs are a maze of tunnels and crypts underneath the city streets where Parisians placed the bones of their dead for almost 30 years. Prior to the creation of the Catacombs in the mid-1700s, residents buried their dead in cemeteries, but as the city grew, they quickly ran out of space.The decision was made to use an underground section of quarries in Paris, and the bones from Paris’ city cemeteries were moved underground between 1786 and 1788. The process was conducted with reverence and discretion – the quarry space was blessed before any bones were moved there, bones were always moved in a quiet parade of carts accompanied by priests, and these movements always took place at night. The quarries continued to be used as the collection point for the bones from Paris’ cemeteries through 1814 and now contain the bodies of roughly 6-7 million Parisians. Watching the video here will give you some idea of what a scary place this is.
6. The Skirrid Inn
One of the most notorious haunted sites in England is the Skirrid Mountain Inn in Llanfihangel Crucorney, Wales. According to folklore, in its 900-year history over 180 people have been hanged from a beam on the staircase, which is still in place today, with rope marks, apparently. The first floor of the inn is thought to have been a courtroom in the past.
Glasses often suddenly fly across the room of their own accord, faces are seen at windows and people feel nooses around their necks. Guests who stay there often report waking to icy room temperatures – even when the heating is on – and the feeling of being watched. 17th-century barmaid Fanny Price is thought to be the most active spirit among many, but everyone agrees that this really is one scary place to stay.
7. Rose Hall
You might not think that Jamaica would be the site of an infamous haunted house, but Rose Hall in Montego Bay is exactly that. This huge house is inhabited by the ghost of voodoo priestess's daughter, Annie Palmer, who reportedly causes bloodstains to appear and disappear randomly. She was murdered in her bed after an 11-year reign of death, torture and nymphomania.
Annie murdered three husbands and a succession of slave lovers by poisoning, strangulation and witchcraft, before forcing other slaves to carry bodies through a tunnel to be buried on a beach. According to legend, it is not just the tormented Annie who roams the house, but also ghosts of the slave babies she sacrificed in rituals. Reports have it that her male victims have actually been not only heard but also captured on camera. Not a pleasant place to spend the night.
8. Bell Farm
The Bell Farm haunting is recognized throughout the paranormal community as the only known account of a ghost that caused the death of a living person. During the years of 1817 and 1821 a woman entity terrorized the Bell family. She became known as the Bell Witch or 'Kate'. She had tortured John Bell so much that it led to his death. He did suffer from a nervous system disorder, and Kate’s antics made his condition worse. Beside John’s deathbed was found a vial of black liquid. When paranormal experts asked Kate what it was, she claimed she gave it to him. It was thought that the liquid Kate gave to John is what killed him. To test the validity of the liquid, they placed a drop of it on the family cat’s tongue which immediately killed it. Current residents near the Bell Farm believe Kate is still up to no good.
9. Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. And Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions, visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War, colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War – and even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds' dog cemetery. This is a historical fortress, parts of which are more than 900 years old. The cells of its ancient dungeon, the site of uncounted deaths, could very well be an eternal place of unrest for numerous spirits.
The place features a dog cemetery and this is where ghost dogs can often be seen. There have also been reports of ghost prisoners, a headless drummer, and a piper that can be seen and heard in the castle. The piper was said to have been hired to look into the underground tunnels of the castle. He played his piper while underground so that those above would know where he was but halfway through his exploration, he vanished.
People in India know all about ghosts. Locals give the Bhangarh fort, and the area around it, a wide berth, due to some popular spooky stories associated with the fort and town. Authorities have told visitors not to enter the ruined city after dusk. It is said that a wicked sorcerer cursed the city after being spurned by a princess. The 17th-century city was soon destroyed by an advancing army, leaving only its temples intact, and has been uninhabited ever since. Visitors say that birds and wildlife fall silent as the spirit of the sorcerer approaches at night, and nobody has ever tried to spend the night there. Just too spooky to take that chance.
Whether or not you give credence to the idea of ghosts, it is difficult to deny that places like this have a certain ‘feel’ to them which makes you want to get out as soon as possible. Overactive imagination, or subconscious warning? You be the judge.
11. The Myrtles Plantation
Located in St. Francisville, Lousisina, this inn is said to be one of the most haunted places in America. This was built in 1796 by General David Bradford and is currently an inn. It has been said that at least 10 murders took place here. Considering that number, it’s no surprise that guests of this place can often see two ghost children playing in the veranda and ghost slaves walking around. They can also hear footsteps on the staircase and the grand piano playing by itself.
12. The Whaley House
This haunted house can be found in San Diego, California. Ghostly apparitions include that of a young girl who met her death when she was accidentally hanged on the property. There have also been reports of a ghost of a red-haired girl around the house. She is said to be the daughter of the original owners of the house. Another constant paranormal visitor is the thief Yankee Jim Robinson. He was clubbed to the death in the house; his ghost makes itself known during house tours and often on the stairway where he died.
13. The Queen Mary
Now a tourist attraction docked in Long Beach, California, many visitors and staff have reported paranormal sightings in this former ocean liner. One popular story is that of many banging and knocking on the pipes of the engine room. This is where a young sailor, trying to escape a fire, was crushed to death. Ghost children can also be seen and heard at the ship’s pool. One ghost of a girl who broke her neck at the pool can also sometimes be heard asking her mother for her doll.
14. The White House
The only place on Earth where you can encounter the ghosts of many dead presidents. You may be able to spot President Andrew Jackson in his bedroom. You may also be lucky enough to spot Honest Abe. The ghost of Abraham Lincoln has been seen sitting on a bed, taking off his boots. A visiting dignitary has also confessed that she answered a knock on her door at the White House and found Abe staring at her. His ghost has also been seen by Eleanor Roosevelt and Calvin Coolidge’s wife.
Banff Springs Hotel – Alberta, Canada
Dying gets a bad wrap. Just look at the positive: you don’t have to go to work anymore. However, not everyone hates their job. One of those people was Sam, a bellman at the Banff Springs Hotel . He loved his job so much that he returned to work… after he died (get a life, dude… oh, wait…). That’s right, Sam the white-mustachioed bellman still wanders the halls of the hotel, helping guests locked out of their room and doing favors — without even asking for a tip. The other ghosts at the hotel aren’t as helpful. In 1932, a bride died on her wedding day when her dress caught on fire and she tumbled down the stairs. Now her ghost can be seen dancing alone in the dining room and generally depressing the guests.
But the most frequent ghostly activity occurs on the eighth floor. Rumor has it than an entire family was murdered in room 873, including a little girl, whose fingerprints couldn’t be wiped away from the mirror. Seeing as how guests would find that terribly creepy, the room was sealed off with bricks and the wall painted over to hide its existence. Even though no one can go inside the room and the hotel denies the room exists, guests report hearing noises coming from room 873.
Castle Leslie – County Monaghan, Ireland
In 2002, everyone’s favorite one-legged golddigger, Heather Mills, married everyone’s third favorite Beatle, Paul McCartney, at the Castle Leslie in rural Ireland. But that’s not the scariest thing about this place. It’s said to be haunted by a handful of members of the famous Leslie family, many of which have died in the castle over its 300-year history. Even one of the young Leslie men named Shane, who died in a war, returned to the castle as ghost to watch over the lake (apparently sensing the need for a life guard at the lake). But perhaps the most famous ghost in the hotel isn’t a person… it’s a dog named Punch.
Ballygally Castle Hotel, Larne, Northern Ireland
Built in 1625, the Ballygally Castle was later transformed into a hotel and the former Lady of the Castle, Isobel Shaw, continues to frighten visitors by knocking on different guestrooms, before disappearing. Shaw fell to her death from the bedroom window after her husband had locked her in her room to starve
Crescent Hotel – Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The idea of a tall handsome man showing up to your hotel room and asking “are you waiting for me?” sounds attractive to some amorous travelers… but things get scary when he suddenly vanishes into thin air. This man is just one of the frequently seen ghosts who haunt the Crescent Hotel. There’s also an Irish stonemason who frightens guests in room 218, where he fell and died during construction; guests complain of banging on the walls, lights turning on and off, and the ghostly hands of the man reaching out from the mirror. Then there’s a woman who frequently appears in room 419 and introduces herself as a cancer patient to guests and housekeepers. That’s because back in the 1930′s, a man named Dr. Normal Baker turned this hotel into a hospital promising to cure cancer patients… but it was all a sham. Many people died in the hotel because they didn’t receive proper cafe, including the woman in 419. Unfortunately, she’s stuck with Dr. Baker, who also never left. He’s sometime seen in the hotel’s recreation room, the same place where he often spent time not helping the cancer victims he promised to help.
Farnsworth House Inn – Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
It’s not unusual for places in and around Gettysburg to be haunted by the spirits of dead Civil War soliders, but what makes the Farnsworth House Inn so special is that it’s haunted by 14 ghosts. During the Civil War, Confederate soldiers used this house as a sniper stronghold. In one tragic incident, a solider accidentally killed a civilian named Jennie Wade; that young solider is said to remain in the house out of remorse. After that incident, the soliders gave away their hiding spot and many were killed in a shootout — the building is riddled with over 100 bullet holes that can still be seen today. There’s even a nurse named Mary that continues to console soldiers in the afterlife, as well as a ghost of a young boy who was run over and killed by a horse and carriage in front of the house.
The Heathman Hotel – Portland, Oregon
The Heathman Hotel is famous for its popular restaurant, luxurious accommodations… and one ghostly resident. Legend has it that not long after the hotel opened in 1927, a woman fell out of room 703 and plummeted to her death. Now, that woman is haunting all of the rooms that she passed on the way down to the pavement. Guests staying in any room that ends in an “03″ report hearing noises, objects moving on their own, cold spots, and in the case of room 703, a ghostly face peering out of the corner of the room. We sincerely hope the hotel staff tells guests about this before staying in that room because no one feels comfortable with the idea of a ghost watching them do it.
Hotel Del Coronado – San Diego, California
Ghosts don’t tend to haunt ugly hotels because no one wants to stay in an ugly hotel — not even a dead person. However, when a hotel is given four stars by AAA and named one of the Top 10 Resorts In The World according to USA Today, it makes sense that a ghost would want to hang around forever. That’s why we’re surprised that there’s only one ghost haunts that the Hotel Del Coronado (make it two after I go; this place rules). Her name is Kate Morgan, and back in 1892, she committed suicide on the beach just outside the hotel after her estranged husband stood her up. Today, guests who stay in room 3327, the room where Kate stayed, say lights flicker on and off, objects float around the room and the temperature fluctuates drastically. Some have even seen her ghostly apparition walking the halls in the black dress she died in. Men who’ve hit on her using the pick-up line “Heaven called, they’re missing one of their angels” are sorely disappointed when she disappears.
Hotel Coronado is located on an island just outside of San Diego. It provides guest with a high-class resort experience on a beachfront location and has been used as romantic retreat for couples since it first opened its doors. With romance, though, always comes the potential for heartbreak, which the Coronado has also seen plenty of. In fact, some of the heartbreaks to occur in the Coronado have caused some of the depressed guests to stick around even after death.
The most famous ghost at Del Coronado is that of a woman named Kate Morgan. It is said that in the late 1800s Kate checked into the hotel to meet her estranged husband. She was hoping to rekindle their love and passion by spending a weekend together at the Coronado. Her husband never showed up for their scheduled getaway leaving Kate alone at one of the most romantic places in the world. A few days later Kate’s body was found on the beach. She had died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Room 3502 was Kate’s room and since her death it has become a hotspot for paranormal activity. Whispering, inexplicable cold spots, strange bumps and bangs, foot steps, doors opening and shutting on there own, and even being touched by an invisible entity are all reported in this haunted room. Kate is also seen from time to time wandering the beach were she chose to end her life.
Le Pavilion – New Orleans, Louisiana
The four ghosts that haunt Le Pavilion have been the subject of over 100 catalouged sightings and incidents. The most frequently seen ghost is Adda, a teenage girl who was killed by a horse and carriage just before she was about to board a ship with her family. Sometimes guests see her ghostly spirit manifest in her old room on the third floor, asking for a ride to the docks. The second ghost is a prankster who wears bell bottoms and walks shoeless through the halls; he likes to rip the sheets off the bed and move thing around people’s rooms. The other two ghosts are a happy couple who stroll around the hotel grounds holding hands, though we’re not sure how happy they were in real life because they stayed in different rooms. His former room on the fourth floor often smells like the cigars he smoked, even when nobody has been inside (can’t quit a bad habit even when you’re dead), and the girl’s former room on the third floor often smells like her rose perfume.
Le Pavilion Hotel is located in the downtown area of one of the most haunted cities in the world, New Orleans, Louisiana, and it is said that this hotel matches the city that it is located in when it comes to hauntings. While claims of ghosts come out of the Le Pavilion hotel daily, there are several ghosts that appear more frequently than others.
The most frequently seen undead guest at the La Pavilion Hotel is that of a young girl named Adda. The story goes that Adda was set to board a ship with her family when a carriage tragically struck her in the 1800s. The strange thing about this ghost is that she does not seem very ghostly. In fact, most of the witnesses say she will communicate with you and seems like a living human until she vanishes before your eyes. One story goes that during Mardi Gras a young man bumped into Adda forcing her to drop her purse. He was struck by her 1800s period costume and attempted conversation. The man picked up the girls purse and handed it back to her. Adda then said to him, “excuse me, I am very lost,” and then vanished into thin air.
Among the other ghostly guests at the Le Pavilion are an aristocratic 1920s era couple who are often seen strolling the halls of the 3rd and 4th floor. The apparition of a young man who appears to be a member of the hippie generation has also taken up permanent residence at this hotel. He is often seen running through the lobby or down the halls of the hotel as if something is chasing him.
Lizzie Borden Inn – Fall River, Massachusetts
The Lizzie Borden trial was like the O.J. Simpson trial of its time. In 1892, Lizzie was accused of killing her father and stepmother with a hatchet in their home. Even though the overwhelming consensus was that Lizzie did it, she was eventually acquitted (apparently using the same “if the glove does not fit, you must acquit” defense). Today, guests who don’t like to get a good night’s sleep can stay in the rooms where the bodies were discovered. Many have reported seeing ghostly black mists, hearing noises, feeling cold spots, and some have even seen the shape of a body indented into the bed where her father was murdered.
On August 4, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts, Andrew Borden and Abby Borden were found murdered in their family home. Andrew’s body was discovered slumped on a couch in the downstairs sitting room while Abby was found in the floor of the guest bedroom. The two of them were hacked to death with a hatchet. Also in the house at the time of the murders was their daughter Lizzie Borden. Lizzie was eventual charged with the murder of her father and step mother, but was acquitted despite incriminating evidence including trying to purchase cyanide a few week before the murder and suspiciously burning a dress a few days after the murders.
Today the Lizzie Borden house is a bed and breakfast where guests can chose to spend the night in one of the most morbid bed and breakfasts in the world. Along with the house’s unsavory past, ghosts also cause guests at the Lizzie Borden Bed and Breakfast to have restful nights. It is said that lights turn on and off on their own accord and doors are open and shut by some unseen force. Staff members and guest claim to hear conversations emitting from rooms where no one is located and they also hear the distinct sound of a women weeping late at night.
One guest of the bed and breakfast claims that they had a close encounter with one of these ghosts. A man and his wife checked into the Borden house and got the room that Abby’s body was found in. The man brought the luggage up to the room while his wife stayed and took care of the payment. While unpacking the man noticed a strange indentation on the bed as if someone were laying on it. Even the pillow had the indentation of a head. The man rushed out of the room to retrieve his wife, and when they returned the bed had returned to normal.
These five sleepover spots are suggested by eyewitness claims to be haunted, and there are many more like them all across the world. So the next time you decide to have a romantic getaway or stop to take a load off after a long days driving, try not to be caught off guard if you are forced to share your room with the ghosts of former guests.
Ostrich Inn – Colnbrook, England
This story will make you never want to sleep in a hotel again. In the 17th century, the Ostrich Inn was a popular place for travelers. But for some reason, no one ever noticed that over 60 people never left. That’s because the owners installed a secret trap door under the bed in what they called the “best room” in the hotel. This room was located right above the kitchen. When their guests fell asleep, the owners would pry open the trap door and tilt the bed so that the guest would slide into a boiling cauldron. Many of the victims still haunt the Ostrich Inn, probably to make people realize how ridiculously unobservant they are (seriously, no one realized that people were going in and not coming out!?).
Provincial Hotel – New Orleans, Louisiana
Any time a hospital is converted into a hotel, you’re asking for problems. And that’s exactly the case with the Provincial Hotel. It used to be a Confederate hospital during the Civil War, and many of the soldiers that died inside its walls have never left. But here’s what’s really scary: one particular solider has a thing for country music. Whenever the radio is turned to classical, the ghost quickly changes it to a country station. And if the guest insists on changing the station back, he’s been known to materialize and frighten them away from the radio. Don’t mess with a ghost that digs country music (we really hope that’s not the preferred musical genre in the afterlife).
Hotel Provincial, like Le Pavilion, is located in the heart of haunted New Orleans. It has an old world southern charm that keeps guest coming back, but also has a paranormal presents that drives guests to the exit. The hotel was used as a confederate hospital during the civil war and paranormal activity seems to have been a mainstay at this hotel ever since. Countless reports from guests and staff members at the hotel of ghosts have flooded on to the Internet and the complaint box at the hotel.
One room is said to be haunted by the ghost of a former soldier, who is often seen as a full body apparition in a khaki uniform. The ghost is said to have a passion for oldies music and the clock radio in the room will often tune itself to the local oldies rock station. Guests in the room often tell tales of constantly feeling like that they are being watched and other lucky or perhaps not so lucky few, have actually seen the stern face of this apparition staring at them before it vanishes into thin air.
Staff members say that the most haunted area of the hotel is an area referred to as Building #5. In this area guest have claimed to open the doors to their rooms and see the shadows of wounded soldiers and even hear their groans of pain. The apparitions vanish once the light is switched on. Another guest staying in this building claims that she was dragged from her bed and drug across her room floor until she smashed into the wall. Needless to say, she checked out that same night.
Queen Mary Hotel – Long Beach, California
When the RMS Queen Mary was in service, it was only involved in one tragedy (when it crashed into another boat and killed people on that boat). Oddly enough, it’s experienced more tragedies since being permanently docked in Long Beach. In typical California fashion, most of the hauntings take place at the pool. A young girl who drowned in the second class pool now haunts the first class pool (because it’s easy to get past the bouncer as a ghost). She’s accompanied by another woman who was murdered in the first class women’s change room. Together they walk around the pool, leaving wet foot prints on the deck and making splashing noises… even when the pool is empty. Some guests have even seen the ghosts of the women wearing bathing suits from the eras in which they died.
Schooner Hotel – Alnmouth, England
The Schooner Hotel has twice won the title of Most Haunted Hotel in Britain thanks to over 3,000 ghost sightings through the years. The hotel has been the site of so many murders, suicides and massacres — some involving babies thrown into a fire — that 60 individual ghosts inhabit the property. To get revenge, they freak out guests by making eerie noises, turning on electrical devices, opening and closing doors and sometimes manifesting into ghostly form.
Stanley Hotel – Estes Park, Colorado
Remember “The Shining”? Well, Steven King conceived the idea for that book during a stay at The Stanley Hotel. The freaky thing is, he didn’t know the place was haunted until after he started developing the idea. Maybe he got the idea because he heard the ghostly voices of kids running through the halls, or had an encounter with the alleged “ghost thief” that steals people’s jewelry (we think the thief is really just an employee wearing a white sheet and pretending to be a ghost). The hotel is also believed to be haunted by the former owner, Freelan O. Stanley, and his wife, Flora. Apparently Flora liked to entertain her guests, and she continues to do in the afterlife: her ghost is often seen playing the piano in the lobby.
This hotel is located snugly in a remote area of the cc. It is enjoyed by guests due to its isolation and solitude, and has been used as a retreat for those who just need some peace and quiet. Unfortunately, some who stay at this gorgeous hotel often find it hard to relax considering that most have to share their rooms with undead entities.
The hotel is said to be haunted by F.O. and Flora Stanley, the original owners. Flora is often heard playing her piano while F.O. is spotted in the billiards room or wandering around the hotel still carrying out his duties as the owner even after death. Another permanent guest of the hotel is that of a young child who is often heard in the early morning hours scampering up and down the halls while laughing and giggling.
The hotel is perhaps most famous for inspiring Steven King to write The Shining. King was still a young writer working on his third book when he began to suffer from writer’s block. King decided to get away for a while and what is perhaps an act of fate, or luck chose to stay at the Stanley Hotel. King was one of the sole guests at the hotel as it was preparing to shut down. One instance saw King getting lost in the maze-like hotel halls having to resort to frantically asking a staff member how to get back to his room
Langham Hotel, London
Situated in London's classy West End district, this grand five star hotel has been home to many famous guests in real-life, including George Orwell, Mark Twain and Charles de Gaulle. However, the hotel's most intriguing have been its supernatural inhabitants, who were reportedly first sighted by British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalists after World War II.
Reporters claim to have seen the ghost of Emperor Napoleon III, and a German prince who died by jumping out of a fourth-floor window. The hotel's room 333 is said to be the room where many of the ghosts like to congregate.
The Russell Hotel, Sydney, Australia
Tucked away in The Rocks next to Circular Quay in Sydney, this historic hotel is said to house the ghost of an ancient sailor from the colonial era. Guests staying in room 8 have reported sightings of the seaman watching them sleep and wandering the corridors, before vanishing into thin-air.
Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel, Hollywood, USA
Hosting the first-ever Academy Awards in 1929, several of the hotel's guestrooms include the hand-prints of Hollywood stars preserved in cement. The celebrity connection doesn't end there. The ghost of pop star Marilyn Monroe, a permanent and popular resident of the hotel has been sighted as has actor Montgomery Clift, who has been known to play a brass instrument in his old room.
Hotel El Convento, San Juan, Puerto Rico
Originally the home of a war-widow, Spanish noblewoman Dona Ana, before becoming a cloister for local nuns, this property was temporarily converted into a hotel in the 1960s, before opening permanently as a hotel in 1995. Eery swishing sounds and nun's robes have since been sighted, while some guests even say they have been woken by the ghost of Dona Ana if they've slept in too late!
Hotel Burchianti, Florence, Italy
A popular hang-out for artists, musicians and politicians in the early-mid 20th century, the Hotel Burchianti in Florence has become the scene of many ghostly rumors. Not the most chilling of all supernatural tales, but guests have claimed to have seen visions both a child skipping down the hallways, as well as a phantom woman knitting in a chair. Stories of the hotel's Fresco room are not so innocent, with reports of guests feeling an icy breath sensation.
Image via Hotel Burchianti
Grand Hyatt Hotel, Taipei, Taiwan
Located in the center of Taipei's business, shopping and entertainment district, the luxurious Grand Hyatt is well known by local Taipei residents to be haunted. Believed to be built on the land of a wartime political prison where many prisoners were executed, the hotel has supposedly been home to a number of ghosts ever since. To combat the lingering evil spirits, a Chinese sutra has been positioned in the hotel's entrance, and the lobby is decorated with sacred scrolls.
1. Castle Bran – Dracula’s Castle
Dracula’s Playground can be found in a creepy and remote corner of the Carpathian Mountains in Romania. Bran Castle sits high upon craggy peaks within Transylvania, bringing vampires to mind. But there is no historic proof that Vlad the Impaler resided in Dracula’s Castle during his reign of terror. Dracula impaled thousands at a time, sometimes making their agonizing torture go on for months until death would claim his victims. Castle Bran is renowned for its infamous claim to haunted fame. Tourists are welcomed to find out. The little chapel, or grotto, in the bottom right adds an extra creepy element. As requested in Queen Marie’s will, after her death, her heart was placed in a gold casket and buried in Balcic, later moved to this grotto by Bran Castle.
2. Leap Castle – Ireland’s Most Haunted
Perhaps the most haunted castle in Ireland is Leap Castle. More than 400 years ago, in 1532, brother turned against brother to shed blood. One was a warrior who rushed into the chapel and used his sword to slay the priest who was his brother. The priest fell across the altar and died. The chapel is known as Bloody Chapel since that time. The dungeon in the castle is called an oubliette. Prisoners pushed into the oubliette fell eight feet onto spikes coming up from the floor. Leap Castle is also haunted by an Elemental, a dark evil creature about the size of a sheep and has a human face and black pools for eyes. It smells of rotting flesh. It’s a great place to go for a ghost hunt. See if you agree with the paranormal “proof.”
3. Newcastle Castle Keep & The Black Gate
About AD 12, the Romans constructed a fort in this location which later became a cemetery. Hundreds of the dead in the graveyard were supposedly moved when in around 1172, this stone castle was built upon that very same land. It’s now Newcastle upon Tyne, England. There is about 75 feet separating the Castle Keep and the Blackgate gatehouse. Many teams of paranormal experts have led investigations here where tragedy is seeped into the ancient ground. Many of those experts claim Castle Keep is very haunted.
4. Belcourt Castle
Construction began on Belcourt Castle located in Newport, Rhode Island, in 1891. The entire first floor was an extravagant stable as was requested by the owner. But in 1956, the Tinney Family bought Belcourt Castle. Harold Tinney adored his castle. He is said to roam the grounds and haunt his castle even in his afterlife. If haunted castles are your type of place, you can do more than travel there to visit. The castle is currently for sale and you can make it your own for a cool $ 7.2 million.
5. Witches Castle
Moosham Castle in Unternberg, Austria, has a terrible and accursed past. It was in this castle where Austria’s bloodiest witch trials took place. Untold thousands of young women who were accused of being witches were tormented and killed in torture chambers in the dungeon. Moosham Castle is now better known as Witches Castle.
6. Predjama Castle
A castle built within a cave, now that is brilliant in terms of defense and offense. In Slovenia, Predjama Castle is known to date back to at least 1274. In the 15th century, a renowned robber baron fled the revenge of the Holy Roman Emperor and settled his family in this castle fortress. There ensued a long siege in which the castle was destroyed. It was rebuilt in 1511 before being destroyed by an earthquake. The castle was once again rebuilt in 1567 and has a secret natural shaft that leads out of the castle for supplies as well as when the robber baron needed a quick in and out for his robberies. With at least 700 years of violent history, Pedjama Castle is said to be extremely haunted.
7. Dragsholm Castle
Dragsholm Castle in Denmark was built in the late 12th century. Today it is a renowned hotel, but Dragsholm Castle’s biggest claim to fame is its alleged haunting of over a hundred ghosts. Legend has it that three of these spirits continue to demand attention: Grey Lady, White Lady and the Earl of Bothwell. Perhaps the most tragic of all, the White Lady, was a young girl who fell in love with a commoner who worked in the castle. The girl’s father found out about the lovers and ordered his daughter imprisoned in her room, never to be seen alive again. During the early part of the 20th century, workers were tearing down some old walls. To their horror, they came across a small recess in one of the walls which contained a small skeleton wearing a white dress.
8. Edinburgh Castle
The Scottish fortress built high upon a plug of an extinct volcano dates back to the 9th century. Edinburgh Castle has been there since the 12th century. Although it appears impregnable, in 800 years, the castle has taken part in numerous historic conflicts and wars, having been besieged both successfully and unsuccessfully many times. Deep in the bowels of Edinburgh Castle, dark and damp dungeons lie hidden away that had been used for imprisonment and torture over the centuries. Additionally there was construction of the vaults in the fifteenth century, but now that underground labyrinth of tunnels with 120 rooms are in an area known as Crown Square. At one point in history, the vaults were used to quarantine and eventually entomb victims of the plague. Archaeological evidence points back to the Iron Age, so Castle Rock and Edinburgh may very well be the longest continually occupied site in Scotland. With so much conflict and so much history, is it any wonder that many people swear Edinburgh Castle is haunted?
9. Dalhousie Castle
More than 800 years old, teenage Lady Catherine of Dalhousie was once deeply in love. Her parents however forbid her to see her young man. She then locked herself in the top room of the castle and starved herself to death. Legend has it that her lovelorn ghost roams the castle still to this day. Dalhousie Castle is now a renowned hotel, ironically a hotspot for lovers and newlyweds.
10. Chillingham Castle
Chillingham Castle in England is most famous for its ghosts and is marketed as the most haunted castle in Britian. The “star” ghost of castle is the “blue boy” who is sometimes also called the radiant boy. Legend has it that he haunts the Pink Room. Guests of the Pink Room have reported seeing blue flashes of light or a blue halo of light above their bed after a long loud wailing. The hauntings decreased or perhaps ceased after renovation work revealed two bodies, a man and a young boy who were both bricked inside a 10-foot thick wall. The owners however claim the hauntings continue, so ghost hunters and paranormal investigators still come to investigate the mysteries of Chillingham Castle.
Though ghosts appear in several of Shakespeare’s plays (such as ”MacBeth” and ”Julius Caesar”), King Hamlet is among the better known of the Bard’s ghosts and plays an integral part in ”Hamlet.” Hamlet may be the central character in the play named after him, but without his father’s ghost, there would be no story. King Hamlet appears three times in the play, each time during the night (apparently ghosts, like vampires, prefer darkness). The ghost tells Hamlet that he was murdered by his treacherous brother Claudius, and asks Hamlet to avenge his death.
THE FLYING DUTCHMAN
The Flying Dutchman, the world’s best-known non-human ghost, is a seventeenth-century merchant ship said to haunt the high seas. According to sea lore, the ship, which often appears as a hazy image or a strange light, is said to be a portent of bad luck and doom. The ship and its crew became eternally cursed when its Dutch captain refused to take safe harbor during a storm despite pleas from the crew and passengers. Instead the impudent Dutchman challenged God to take them down. The ”ghost ship” has been reported on the ocean from time to time, including appearing off the coast of South Africa in 1923. Though never seen on land, The Flying Dutchman most recently appeared in movie theaters across the country in the ”Pirates of the Caribbean” films.
THE BELL WITCH
The events that allegedly happened at John Bell’s Tennessee farm between 1817 and 1821 are said to be one of the classic American ghost tales. Bell shot at a strange animal on his farm, but the creature disappeared before it could be harmed. Several weeks later, the Bell family was tormented by a ghost that made terrifying sounds, shook the house, and physically attacked Bell’s daughter Betsy. The spectral assaults continued for several years, and at one point Andrew Jackson is said to have dabbled in ghost hunting and did his own investigation. Though some authors recount the Bell Witch tale as a true account, there is little evidence that it is anything other than a ghost story. Jackson, for example, never mentioned the Bell Witch case at all; it seems that the future president’s role was created from thin air, possibly to lend verisimilitude (the appearance of reality) to the fictional tale.
While Bloody Mary spends her time in the ghostly realms waiting to be summoned to dark bathrooms so she can scare kids, Casper (whose legal last name is ”The Friendly Ghost”) is the white-outlined, smiling ghost who tries not to scare people. In the Harvey comic book series, Casper was often joined by friends such as Wendy the Good Little Witch and Hot Stuff the Little Devil. While some found the idea of a dead child’s ghost hanging around with a witch and a devil a bit creepy, the characters were made benign and kid-friendly with the addition of ”good,” ”friendly,” and ”little” to their names. Casper had a revival of sorts with a self-titled 1995 film, a modest success that managed to avoid the direct-to-video graveyard.
”Bloody Mary…Bloody Mary…Bloody Mary…” rnrn..With those words, many schoolchildren had their first experience with a ghost. According to folklore, Bloody Mary is a ghost of a woman who murdered her children long ago. If you want to see her, go into a bathroom (usually at school), turn the lights off, stand in front of a mirror, and repeat her name three times. While countless children (and surely more than a few adults) have tried to summon Bloody Mary using the prescribed method, to date few if any have actually succeeded. Most either stare at their scared reflection in the dark mirror or lose their nerve after saying the second ”Bloody Mary” and run screaming from the bathroom in girlish giggles. An updated version of the Bloody Mary legend was made into a horror film series ”Candyman.”
THE DRURY LANE GHOST
There are many theaters in the Covent Gardens district in London’s West End. Plays have been produced in that area for over 300 years, and some of the world’s greatest actors have appeared there. Yet one theater is better known more for its ghost than its productions. There is actually more than one ghost said to haunt Drury Lane’s halls and wings, including those of several actors. The most famous, however, is a ”Man in Grey” seen as a nobleman carrying a sword. Any theater worth its salt (and many that aren’t) reputedly have a resident ghost treading the boards, and the Drury Lane ghosts carry on their part of theater tradition.
THE VANISHING HITCHHIKER
”This didn’t happen to me, but my friend, she heard it from her hairdresser, it happened to her parents. It seems that they were driving along a lonely country road one night’¦ it was really cold, maybe up in Minnesota, or Montana. Anyway, it was snowing and as they turned a corner they saw a barefoot young girl wearing a dress and a green shawl. Of course they stopped to help her, and she got in the back seat. She didn’t say much, and when they asked her where she lived, she pointed to a farmhouse in the distance. A few minutes later, when they pulled into the driveway, she was gone! The couple were puzzled but got out of the car and knocked on the farmhouse door. A somber, grey-haired woman answered, and the couple explained that their mysterious passenger had said this was her house. ’That’s impossible,’ the woman replied. ’My daughter died near here twenty years ago, on this very night.’ Just inside the door, on an old wooden peg, hung her daughter’s green shawl!”
THE GHOST OF CHRISTMAS PAST
In Charles Dickens’s famous novel ”A Christmas Carol,” cold-hearted miser Ebenezer Scrooge has a change of heart after being visited by several ghosts representing different eras of his life’s Christmases (Past, Present, and Yet to Come). Ghosts are often associated with life lessons and morality tales, and these spooks are no exception. The ghosts aren’t wasting time rattling chains or scaring kids; instead the Ghost of Christmas Past rehabilitates Scrooge by showing him visions of his past Christmases. Scrooge comes to appreciate the true meaning of Christmas-no, not holiday commercialism but friendship and goodwill
THE MURDERED PEDDLER
One day, in the early 1840s in Hydesville, New York, a young peddler arrived at the home of a Mr. and Mrs. Bell to sell his housewares. He was invited into the home by the Bells’ housekeeper and in fact stayed for some days. The maid was shortly dismissed from service but abruptly rehired a week later. The peddler was gone, but many of his items were now in use in the Bells’ kitchen. The maid thought little of it until she began experiencing strange, ghostly phenomenon, only to find out from the peddler’s ghost that he had in fact been murdered in her absence. rnrnAt least that was the story told by two sisters named Maggie and Katie Fox, who claimed to communicate with the ghost. Years later, the sisters admitted it had all been a hoax; there was no murdered peddler, and the spirit communications had been faked. Still, the sisters had inadvertently founded a religion called Spiritualism, which is still practiced today. The Murdered Peddler is the only fake ghost whose presence started a real religion.
Slimer is the grotesque green ghost featured in the ”Ghostbuster” films and cartoons. He’s green, he’s obnoxious, and he can spew slime… what’s not to love? In fact, Slimer proved to be so popular with kids that he got a starring role in the spin-off series ”The Real Ghostbusters.” A reformed evil ghost that joined the Ghostbusters team, Slimer’s voracious appetite and guttural burps make him among the most memorable cartoon ghosts.