Updated On: November 08, 2023 by Miranne Khaled
Ghost stories have been told for centuries now, and our guess is there won’t be a time when it ever stops. Whether you believe in the existence of unseen spirits or not, stories about unnatural occurrences never cease to be told. So, you may as well need to take your firm beliefs on yet another dark ride before you make up your mind.
Notorious haunts exist in sheer numbers, yet only a few get all the attention. For one, nothing beats the popularity of Bran Castle in Romania story, commonly known as Dracula’s castle. Yet, our world is home to much spookier haunted places that deserve the same attention.
Whether you are searching for a Halloween destination or you just have a penchant for places with dark stories, this list will serve you best. It features the lesser-known haunted spot destinations around the world that nobody gives the same hype as the hot tourist destinations. So, buckle up and prepare for a good scare!
1. Corvin Castle – Romania
Castles always seem to have spooky, ghostly stories, especially the Romanian ones. When it comes to the scariest places with a hair-raising haunting story, Romania dominates the scene for its notorious Bran Castle. Yet, here it comes on top of the world’s most frightening haunted spots once again for its renowned Corvin Castle.
It also goes by the names Hunedoara Castle and Hunyadi Castle. Corvin Castle is a Gothic-Renaissance fortress situated in Hunedoara, Romania. It is among Europe’s largest castles ever and is ranked as one of the Seven Wonders of Romania. Yes, there is such a thing in Romania, given its reputation for paranormal activity and Gothic architecture’s dominance.
This castle is one of the haunted spots in Europe that doesn’t get much attention, although it is shrouded in mystery that will pique your interest. Many legends are associated with this castle; some of them profess that its spooky walls had witnessed torture and injustice, especially the tale of the fountain.
It’s said that John of Hunedoara kept three Turkish prisoners in the castle, promising to give them freedom if they found precious water under the deep well. They kept fighting for their lives by digging for over a decade until they finally found the water. However, the savage king betrayed the prisoners and killed them instead of letting them go.
2. Baron Empain Palace – Egypt
Baron Empain Palace is one of the wondrous architectural masterpieces in Egypt that goes way back in time. It was built in 1910 by a wealthy Belgian industrialist who also built the whole neighbourhood of Heliopolis, one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Cairo, in which the palace is situated. This palace is deemed one of the most famous landmarks of Cairo and among the bone-chilling haunted spots as well.
For many years, eerie stories have circulated about this palace, and people profess to hear random sounds, including furniture moving, glass breaking, and screaming voices. Residents and concierges living around the mansion also claim they occasionally see flashing lights from the palace.
The horrors of that household seem to have reached its own people, especially the wife and daughter of the Baron. His daughter Miriam was said to suffer from real mental disorders, leading to her suicide by jumping off the spiral staircase of the palace. It is said that the Baron had a pink room, which everyone was forbidden to get near. When he died, the mirrors of the walls turned red.
The haunting stories around this palace are pretty endless. When passing the renowned landmark, you can randomly hear new ones from the local taxi drivers in Egypt. It is said that there is a secret tunnel beneath the palace that connects it to the Basilica Church, which is also located in Heliopolis. This church also happens to be the final resting place of the Baron, where he is buried in a grave underground.
3. Ross Castle – Ireland
When it comes to haunted spots around the world, rarely do we hear about the presence of ghosts in Ireland. The reasons are unknown, but maybe the Irish don’t believe in supernatural creatures or don’t share much with the rest of the world. However, we did some digging and found out about an Irish castle that seems to be associated with some hair-raising stories.
Ireland is famous for being home to a centuries-old castle that embraces layers of rich history. Among those castles lies the notorious Ross Castle. And, right here, we are referring to the one lying in County Meath on the shores of Lough Sheelin. It is situated somewhere where you cannot easily find it, but it is worth the effort.
Ross Castle goes way back to 1563. It has undergone some renovation throughout the hundreds of years it has been existing, yet it hasn’t changed entirely. Thus, we can safely say that it still keeps its history and integrity intact. Now it has transformed into a hotel where people constantly report paranormal activity.
If you have a fascination for the darker side of the world, you will definitely have a great adventure within the walls of this castle. Unlike the many haunted spots in the world, nothing terrible has really happened in this one. Yet, guests have reported hearing whispering voices and doors slamming hard without being touched. You can blame such an incident on the wind, but how about feeling the presence of someone in your bed? Quite spine-shivering, isn’t it?
4. Boleskine Burial Ground – Scotland
Scotland, just like Ireland, is full of old castles and vast landscapes and is rich in history and culture. We bet you thought we were going to refer to its ancient castles as some of the world’s most haunted spots. But we are actually casting the light over its renowned Boleskine Burial Ground. Well, we know what you’re thinking. It’s a graveyard, so it must be haunted and full of free spirits roaming around.
We must tell you that Boleskine Graveyard is not just ordinary. It happens to be among the great attractions of Scotland, given the beautiful sceneries it offers to the beholders. The graveyard sits between the road and the famous Loch Ness of the Scottish Highlands. It provides awe-inspiring scenes that feature striking elements of nature.
People have considered this place to be among the most haunted spots for many years, yet it is rarely crowded. The Boleskine graveyard has always been the subject of many bizarre happenings. It also embraces a burned-out house that people barely notice. This house is associated with too many dark stories and horrific incidents, from murder to suicide and unexplained appearances.
If we have learned anything from history, places that witnessed torture and torment are now haunted spots, and this house is no exception. People have reported hearing strange noises coming from this house. It is known as the “House of the Unholy,” for it is said that the owner used to practice strange rituals and the darkest bewildering arts within.
5. Poenari Fortress – Romania
Bran Castle may be one of the world’s most famous haunted spots, but it is not the only spooky fortress in Romania. There is also the Poenari Fortress, a less travelled destination with similarly spine-shivering haunting stories and reports of ghostly presences. It dates back to the 15th century and was constructed by prince Vlad III.
That prince was famous for his tormenting behaviour towards his enemies. His way of executing his enemies always involved gruesome impalement, the method known to be Count Dracula’s favourite according to the 1897 Bram Stoker’s novel. Another thing that is tied to Transylvania is Romania, the world’s headquarters of horror.
This fortress is situated on a high level deep in the mountains, hiding in the lush greens, which adds even more mystery to this enormous mansion. It was another fortress that exploited the cruelty of Vlad Tepes even further, making it a playground where many have lost their lives. One legend professes that a group of boyars were plotting Vlad’s murder. When he learned about that plan, he forced them to climb the mountain and work on constructing the rest of the fortress.
However, working under harsh conditions that provided no safety, many fell off and died instantly. It is said that this fortress is also where Anastasia, Vlad’s wife, killed herself. The reason for her suicide has never been agreed upon. Some say she murdered herself after finding out about Vlad’s affair. Others claim she didn’t want to be a captive of Vlad’s enemies after his death.
6. The Cave of the Hanging Snakes – Mexico
Snakes are scary no matter where they are or how far they seem to be from you. So, let’s imagine those creepy snakes in a dark cave. Caves can give some intimidating vibes the minute you set foot inside. But wouldn’t they be even creepier when they are home to snakes hanging from the ceiling? The Cave of the Hanging Snakes is among the most haunted spots in the world.
If you ever decide to get inside the cave, be ready to observe snakes swarming on the walls and hanging loose from the ceiling. This cave is located in Mexico, somewhere tucked away inside the lush jungles of the Yucatan. Besides the snakes, there is another population of rodents; bats and rats.
People around this region call it the “Bat cave”, for it is also home to small bats, which makes the cave even scarier. The scenes in this cave involve the snakes dangling down further to gulp the small bats down their throats. There are so many pretty spooky elements about this cave, so you better leave your fears by the entrance and summon your courage.
7. The Tunnels of the Great Sphinx – Egypt
Egypt has always been home to centuries-old mysteries and baffling discoveries, given its significant historic landmarks and pretty rich history. Its unprecedented civilisation has always left archaeologists and Egyptologists perplexed. The Great Pyramids have always been one of the world’s most delightful sites and top touristic destinations. There’s always an undeniable logic for it being one of the World’s Seven Wonders.
The Pyramids and the Great Sphinx unfold layers upon layers of history that go way back over
45 centuries. Its construction has always been shrouded in mystery, and the world has never figured out how the ancient Egyptians managed to build monuments that enormous. One of the most remarkable facts about this region is that it is believed to be one of the world’s most haunted spots.
The Sphinx may be believed to be one of the hideous mythical monsters. However, Egyptians have a penchant for superstitions and supernatural beliefs. They also believe in what is known as the Curse of the Pharaohs, which was mentioned in many ancient books that whoever tries to mess with the graves of the Pharaohs will face an eternity of torment.
One of the greatest mysteries discovered lately is that the Great Sphinx is home to secret tunnels stretching beneath the monument. People started to believe that these underground tunnels were not just ordinary ones but rather some of the spookiest haunted spots that should be avoided at all costs. There is always that frequently narrated story where the nearby residents hear strange voices ordering the visitors to leave the premises and continuous screaming sounds.
8. Playa Racetrack, Death Valley National Park – The United States
Death Valley is the name of a spooky region that lies at the lowest point of North America. Its name is sufficient to send a shiver down your spine, but imagine even being there on the premises. This valley is home to the Playa Racetrack, which is commonly known as Racetrack, and it is a dry lakebed. Although there are signs of life there, this place has also witnessed death, hence the name.
Every region on Earth that observes death is automatically claimed as one of the scariest haunted spots. This one is rarely crowded. You can barely see people roaming around this deserted area, yet you may see bobcats, squirrels, bighorn sheep, jackrabbits, and even mountain lions, which adds to the horror of the region if you are not an animal person.
The story associated with this valley makes people believe it to be among the world’s haunted spots. It involves a group of pioneers that were sent to excavate the region and remained lost throughout winter. That took place back in 1849-1850. The popular story claims that only one of this group encountered his death angel there, and the rest could make it. However, that group were the one to give the region this forbidding name, for they didn’t believe they would survive.
9. Island of the Dolls – Mexico
If there were a prize for haunted spots that would go to a country other than Romania, we believe Mexico should be the winner. This country seems to embrace a plentiful of haunted spots that will drop your jaw open, and not in a good way, and leave your hair unexplainably raised. Dolls are always used in horror movies to add creepiness to the scenes, especially when you get to stare into their lifeless eyes. These movies were the reason some people gutted dolls altogether.
Well, imagine being on an island tucked away in the middle of the waters, where a bunch of creepy dolls stare dead into your soul. It is a real place that is known as the Island of the Dolls, and it is only for the daring souls who would embark on such a horrifying adventure. This mysterious island sits in the heart of the Xochimilco canals, the last trace of the Aztecs in Mexico City.
The Island of the Dolls is perceived as one of the planet’s most horrifying haunted spots that are associated with a tragic story. You may wonder how all of these dolls managed to make it to the island. Well, the main reason for their existence was to ward off an evil spirit that haunted the island in an attempt to avenge her death.
The story was narrated by Julian Santana Barrera, the guy who found the body of a dead girl on this island in the 1950s. He said that the young girl drowned while playing in the waters with her sister and friends. Barrera started seeing ghosts on the island where he lived, believing them to be that of the young girl. He realised that his corps always went corrupted no matter what he did. Thus, he started to collect over 1,000 dolls in order to scare off the spirit and appease it.
10. Aokigahara (The Sea of Trees) – Japan
Aokigahara is a Japanese forest that has a long history embedded in Japanese folklore and mythology. Although people refer to it as the Sea of Trees, it’s also known as the Suicide Forest, and this name has been associated with the region since the 1960s. It is now known worldwide as a site that people use to commit suicide. Thus, it spontaneously became one of the famous haunted spots.
This horrible forest lies on the island of Honshu in Japan, on the northwestern flank of Mount Fuji. Although it spans over a spacious area, covering around 30 kilometres of land, the government forbids permission into the premises.
One of the reasons is the occurrence of suicide incidents in the area, and the other is the existence of hardened lava below the ground that has been there since the 864 CE eruption of Mount Fuji. It is one of the rare haunted spots in the world that rather offers more magical scenery than creepy vistas. According to mythology, this region is haunted by demons and the spirits of people who died here.