Believing in the existence of supernatural creatures is a tale as old as time. Humans managed to build fascinating castles and palaces that had been for years full of occupants. Just for many years to pass, and those places get left behind for as long as the universe lives on. That’s when they receive the label of being haunted places.
Such places leave you with this whimsical effect as soon as you lay your eyes on them. People of different cultures blame this effect on the spirit world, believing that ghosts are playing their part. Some even take it far by claiming to have directly interacted with these creatures by either seeing or hearing them.
Honestly, some of those spots around the world possess some beauty despite their spookiness. They serve as perfect destinations, especially during the Halloween season. If you are willing to ignore the sound of creek floors and flickering lights, be ready to have an unearthly experience. Check out our top picks of the world’s scariest haunted places for a genuine Halloween experience.
Halloween Relation to Creepy Places
Halloween season is the time where people pick up customs as spooky as they can. It’s a worldwide tradition that many cultures practice, but have you ever asked yourself why? Well, people mistakenly believe that Halloween is an American holiday. The Celtic cultures were the first ever to celebrate this fiesta, known as Samhain.
Halloween wasn’t originally a holiday when you visit haunted places for fun. As the ancient Celtic tales go, Halloween is the time when the barrier between the real and spirit worlds disperses. It takes place on the 1st of November every year. Legends also have it that these spirits are evil ones that you should protect yourself from. Consequently, dressing up in uncanny, scary customs will leave them confused and have you be safe and sound.
Somehow, this tradition has made its way to various places around the world. People started associating Halloween with everything that seemed scary and inexplicable to them. Many cultures find it easier to believe in the supernatural world than reason with logical answers.
The World’s Most Hair-Raising Haunted Places
If you are looking for ways to live an authentic Halloween experience, we’ve got your back. The world is full of abandoned spots that can send a shiver down your spine. You will always hear exciting stories about residing ghosts and other supernatural creatures from the locals.
No matter where you are heading next, there is always somewhere spooky to observe in every corner of the Earth.
1- Hoia-Baciu Forest – Romania
Forests have the power of inducing emotions of deep fear. They are shrouded with mystery. You could never guess what awaits behind the misty air or between the imperceptible branches. One forest that gained phenomenal notoriety is Hoia-Baciu in Romania.
Hoia Forest is situated in the Romanian city of Cluj-Napoca. The forest is characterized by an eccentric atmosphere and curvy trees, traits of typical haunted places. Lying close to it is the Ethnographic Museum of Transylvania, an excellent opportunity to visit two sites on the same day.
This forest gained popularity in the late ‘60s when a photographer snapped a picture of a UFO hovering over it. Tales started circulating about the forest being a portal to an invisible world where people mysteriously vanish into thin air. Besides zapping into a different realm, passing near the forest left many people with ailments for a while.
2- Teatro Tapia – Puerto Rico
Teatro Tapia is a Puerto Rican opera house that sits in the center of San Juan city. It is a soulful site that has served as the city’s cultural life for centuries. Despite being a site of arts and culture, this fact hasn’t refrained people from imposing paranormal impressions upon it.
Urban myth professes that the venue is home to the spirit of a deceased actress. That actress had kicked the bucket during her performance in the theatre. An unfortunate event that led people to believe her soul still roams the place freely.
It is to label the theatre as one of the haunted places. But, claiming to have seen the actress’s ghost is a totally different story. Many visitors have reported having seen her or, at least, heard her footsteps. Others have also revealed having the privilege of hearing her sing from the back of the stage.
3- Hell Fire Club – Ireland
Would a club with the name of hell fire be appealing or spooky? Before you answer, let us tell you a little story about this club. William Connolly was an Irish parliamentary speaker, a respectable figure with a hunting lodge built for him in Dublin. It sits atop Montpelier Hill, giving you a vast landscape that overlooks the city,
This place was tied down to devil worship and dissipation. It served as a gathering spot for the elites, not to drink nor dance but to worship the devil. They also performed several debauchery practices. Apparently, those people knew they were engaged in awful behaviors, hence the name of the club.
As the tale goes, a satanic creature used to visit in a human form. The men managed to unravel the disguise after noticing his cloven feet. Thus, he vanished into thin air. Another version of the story professes the spirit of a young lady who haunts the lodge. A myth states that she was put into a flaming barrel that was pushed down the hill. Her soul lingered around for an unknown reason.
Out of all the haunted places, this one has a very mischievous touch. It is said that the building stood from the ground thanks to the stones found in a passage to ancient tombs. An act that people believe had enraged evil spirits, urging them to haunt the building
4- Bhangarh Fort – India
There’s a slight chance that you haven’t heard of the Bhangarh Fort. It’s one of the world’s most famous haunted places. Yet, it still offers you vast landscapes of splendid greenery that appeal to the eyes. Located in Rajasthan, this site encompasses royal palaces, temples, bazaars, and fort walls. There is so much to explore around here.
The Bhangarh Fort ruins have been around since the 17th century, with many details of a whimsical past. Indians refer to it as the House of Ghosts, but it is still a touristic site open for guests to visit. You will realize the fort is roofless, allowing for a generous amount of sunlight to pass in. There are several versions of weird stories surrounding this area.
One theory claims that a local religious man cursed the whole fort, for its hugeness cast a shadow over his place. People still believe in the power of his curse, thinking building a roof will lead the fort to collapse. Another story suggests that the wizard, Singhia, cursed the palace when the princess rejected his love
5- Baron Empain Palace – Egypt
A Belgian businessman once arrived in Egypt and built one of the country’s most outstanding architectural masterpieces, the Baron Palace. He had no idea it would turn into one of the world’s most haunted places. This exquisite palace has been standing tall since 1910. It’s also one of the most significant landmarks of the Heliopolis neighborhood in Cairo. Since its renovation, it’s been open to visitors and guests from all over the globe.
Egyptians have the impulse to believe in the supernatural power, labeling many of their buildings as haunted places. The Baron Empain Palace is no exception; many shadowy stories surround this place. Although Halloween isn’t a significant celebration in Egypt, this palace serves as the perfect spot to visit while you’re there.
Bats and stray dogs wander about the palace, adding even more authenticity to it being haunted. According to legends, the baron’s daughter mysteriously died at the palace, and her spirit still lingers. People living around report hearing her screams and sounds of furniture moving. They also assert that lights from inside the palace keep flashing in a mysterious way.
6- La Recoleta Cemetery – Argentina
There are various haunted places around the world with phantom stories. And what could possibly be a perfect Halloween destination other than a cemetery? In Argentina, La Recoleta Cemetery is a burial site for people with high-profile statuses. This cemetery is one of the most beautiful in the world. It’s located in the capital city, Buenos Aires.
Lying six feet under is the body of Rufina Cambaceres, a socialite with a spooky death story. It’s said that Rufina was accidentally buried at 19 after suffering from a deathlike condition, catalepsy. Doctors marked her dead and placed her inside a coffin. As the story goes, a worker in the graveyard found the lid of her coffin broken.
The most famous theory that circulates is that Rufina died while attempting to break out of her grave. Her heartbreaking death story urged her family to build a giant statue at the cemetery to commemorate her. Regular visitors of the graveyard claim to have seen Rufina’s spirit roaming around freely.
7- Jaziret El Hamra – United Arab Emirates
Jaziret El Hamra was once a village for pearl fishing before it was abandoned in the ‘60s. Some claim that the changing tides played a significant role in urging fishers to dump this area. However, others believe that tribal conflicts were to blame Today, this site is deemed suitable for Hollywood directors to set their films.
The most famous legend surrounding this area is that ghosts, or Jinn, reside there, driving people away. Also, residents from several towns and cities around UAE gather once a year to party. They still think this island is one of the spookiest haunted places, but that won’t put down their inner party animals.
Many visitors of this site have reported hearing strange noises with failed attempts to find the source. There are also claims that you’ll spot ghostlike images between the ruins now and then. If you ever find an animal wandering about, you should run. The locals profess that ghosts disguise themselves as animals, and they sometimes visit nearby towns.
8- The Black Forest – Germany
If you’re a fan of the Brothers Grimm stories, you have definitely, come across this name before, the Black Forest. They set many of their stories in haunted places, including this mystical forest. Well, no one can really blame them. After all, the real-life tales of this forest are hard to believe.
The Black Forest sits in the southwest region of Germany, bordering France. It is famous for its extremely lush trees and visually stimulating greenery. This forest is deemed one of the haunted places, but not by ghosts and evil spirits. According to legends, fantastical creatures live beyond the pages of fictional books.
Germans seem to have a wild impulse to believe in the creatures we read about in mythology books. For many years, theories of mythical creatures being the residents of the forest have been circulating. They believe that a king from underwater gets out of his lair to kidnap women. Also, you may come across friendly dwarves that guide you through the forests.
9- The Island of the Dolls – Mexico
Located in the Xochimilco canals near Mexico City is the Island of Dolls. A site worth winning the award of being the most ghoulish among all the world’s haunted places. As the name suggests, this island is full of thousands upon thousands of dolls. Despite its spine-chilling atmosphere, it became a UNESCO World Heritage site and a famous tourist attraction.
Don Julian Santana Barrera was the only resident of the island in the past. One day, he found a girl’s dead body and a doll in a nearby river. Honoring the little girl, he hung the doll on a tree. However, he could barely sleep at night, believing that the girl’s spirit must linger on his island. Thus, he hung more dolls in an attempt to ward off evil spirits.
Although he thought they were possessed, Barrera kept collecting those dolls until he died in 2001. Ironically, he was found dead in the same river where he found the body. Nowadays, the locals believe that Barrera’s spirit still lives on the island. You can rent a boat and watch this horror island from afar.
10- Palacio de Linares – Spain
Spain seems to have its fair share of haunted places that have existed for centuries. Palacio de Linares, or the Palace of Linares, is a beautiful attraction in Madrid that dates back to the 19th century. It used to be home to the noble family of Linares but now is a multi-cultural site.
Residents that live nearby the palace reported hearing doors slamming, loud sobbing, and screaming. They also claim that these sounds come from the dollhouse that belonged to the family’s adopted child, Raimunda. Legends profess that Raimunda was the Marqués’s biological child that resulted from his affair with a working-class woman.
This story was supposedly known after his son had already married Raimunda and had Junior Raimunda. Resulting from an incestuous relationship, the child was born with many deformities and incurable illnesses. They decided to get rid of the child by killing her. Although many researchers claimed this story as untrue, the locals still go about it.
11- The Forbidden City – China
The Forbidden City is a palace complex in Beijing that used to serve as China’s imperial palace. This palace was a sacred place that ordinary people were forbidden to enter during ancient times, hence the name. It’s one famous Chinese haunted place that should be on your list for a genuine Halloween experience.
The Forbidden Palace gained paranormal notoriety that made it popular among tourists with daring souls. This palace has witnessed multiple murders through the centuries for being an execution platform per the emperor’s commands. Besides the emperor’s behests, mistresses working at the palace were famed for poisoning each other out of resentfulness and jealousy.
In the ‘40s, the palace was open to the public, and people have been reporting phenomenal incidents ever since. Stories of weird sounds of footsteps and whispers are popular among the visitors. There is also a tale of a lady dressed in white who suddenly appears out of nowhere and keeps weeping.
12- Catacombs of Paris – France
It is hard to believe that there is a gruesomely dark side to the City of Light, Paris. However, Paris has proven itself as an interesting destination with halloween vibes rather than just being a romantic getaway. It has its fair share of haunted places that may pique the interest of phenomenal enthusiasts.
The famous Paris Catacombs is a skeletal maze that is not for the faint-hearted. It is a long tunnel that is centuries old with millions upon millions of corpses buried inside. Walking down the passage, you will find millions of bones and skulls lining the walls of the tunnel. It’s definitely a decorating style that sends a shiver down your spine.
The catacombs are now open to the public and are a famous tourist attraction. However, people are allowed into only a mile of the tunnel despite being 200 miles long. The overly curious still try to break through the forbidden area.
13- Castle of Good Hope – South Africa
South Africa is famous for being home to many haunted places, making for a great Halloween destination. Situated in Cape Town, the Castle of Good Hope is among the most famous ghost houses in South Africa. It’s located in the central business district of the city. This castle has survived for over a century, being the center of civilian and military activities.
Unfortunately, the walls of this castle had witnessed ghastly practices of torture and executions. This probably explains the stories that circulate between guards about ghosts wandering about the castle. Many of the guards reported the occurrence of paranormal things through the years, including the bell ringing on its own.
Guards dread the night hours, claiming that bizarre incidents take place in the small hours. All guards insist on walking all the way around the building but never passing through the archways. They say that screams and loud voices come from the dungeon where torture took place. Also, the ghost of a woman kept appearing and vanished when they found a body of a dead woman.
14- The Langham Hotel – England
Could there ever be more haunted places than hotels that survived centuries? There is always that peculiar atmosphere to ancient hotels where lots of history has taken place. The Langham Hotel is over a century old and one of London’s finest hotels. It represents the high life of the English, and even famous writers used to stay there.
The hotel has now rebranded as the Langham Hilton since 1991. It has undergone quite expensive renovations to keep the luxury and extravagance it’s always been known for. This hotel still attracts the elites. Legends have it that the ghosts that roam around the hotel’s corridors are of high profiles too.
The Langham hotel has been resided by thousands upon thousands of people, making itself more prone to paranormal claims. People believe that you can encounter any number of ghosts, given the hotel’s long history and large size. Also, room number 333 is best to avoid rumors; it belongs to someone from another realm.
15- Yawata no Yabushirazu – Japan
According to the cinema industry, Japan is home to various haunted places and ghostly creatures. This depiction has probably stemmed from the fact that the paranormal is instead a core belief of the Japanese culture. So, here is one great country to add to your Halloween destinations, especially the Yawata no Yabushirazu Forest.
Commonly known as Yawata, this forest is a forbidden area. There are many theories regarding what happens when one sets foot into its lush greenery. And, no, it is not an apparition or casual ghosts appearances. Regardless of the authenticity of all the circulating stories, the Japanese are taking them seriously. They build a fence around it to hinder anyone from the entrance.
Haunted places aren’t always about ghostly residences. It could be a portal site into a different realm too. As the tradition goes, anyone who steps into this forest gets spirited away. They either die and change into spirits or get abducted. There are also theories that there is a poisonous gas that no one knows its source.
Now that you’ve learned about the prominent haunted places around different places in the world, it’s time to take off. Pack your stuff and get ready to have a real Halloween experience. Despite the spooky vibes of these haunted places, there is also beauty within them.