There are frightening spots all over the world to visit that will send shivers down your spine. Here are some of the scariest sites to visit around the world, ranging from abandoned mad asylums to Renaissance castles with underground dungeons.
If you dare, enter any of these spooky sites and try not to jump when something goes bump in the night.
The Whaley House in San Diego, California is number one.
The Whaley House in San Diego’s Old Town area was the first brick building in California, and it served as a granary, city courtroom, theater, and general store. It was built in the mid-nineteenth century.
It is now a historic house museum that draws people from all over the country who want to see the house’s Greek Revival architecture or experience the hauntings that have long been claimed to occur within the centuries-old San Diego mansion.
The brick house was erected on the site of the hanging of thief Yankee Jim Robinson, who is said to have haunted the Whaley family since they moved there in 1857. The Whaleys later had their own misfortunes, including the death of their 18-month-old son, Thomas, from scarlet fever, and Violet’s suicide after being dumped by her conman husband.
Residents and tourists to The Whaley House have reported hearing weird sounds like heavy footsteps and a baby’s cry for decades, while others claim to have seen a young woman strolling about the second floor. The Whaley House has twice been named the most haunted house in the United States, which comes as no surprise.
Alcatraz is a prison in San Francisco, California.
Alcatraz is the most infamous jail in American history, located a few miles off the coast of San Francisco. The maximum-security prison system was founded in the nineteenth century to hold war offenders.
It was then converted into a federal prison in the early 1930s, where the country’s worst criminals were transferred to serve their sentences. Al Capone and Robert “Birdman” Stroud are two famous Alcatraz convicts.)
Tales of torture and abuse plagued Alcatraz throughout its years of operation, and it became renowned as the one prison where no one was ever able to escape alive.
Guards had already reported hearing weird noises and seeing ghostly sights in the middle of the night before Alcatraz closed in 1963. Visitors and rangers have said the prison is haunted by the souls of old inmates ever since, including Al Capone, whose banjo music has been heard coming from the shower where he used to perform.
Visitors can now experience the eerie atmosphere of Alcatraz by taking a tour of the prison’s facilities and entering one of the prison’s solitary confinement cells, which mysteriously remain icy cold even in the summer months. Even if you only have one day in San Francisco, it’s worth the trip.
New Orleans, Louisiana is number three
New Orleans has more than earned its distinction as the most haunted carnivalofhorrors in the United States, with a frightening history that includes voodoo queens, vampires, pirates, and witches.
While some visitors may prefer to attend a jazz concert or try the city’s famous beignets, there are plenty of tours and haunted locations to keep paranormal investigators occupied for days.
New Orleans, Louisiana’s St. Louis Cemetery
Take a walking tour of the French Quarter and stop by famous haunted buildings including the Lafitte Guest House, which is claimed to be haunted by the spirit of a little girl who died of yellow fever, and the Old Absinthe House, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of Andrew Jackson.
Stop visit the LaLaurie estate, a beautiful house with a gruesome history of torture, or the St. Louis Cemetery, a 250-year-old graveyard where Marie Laveau, a.k.a. the Voodoo Queen, was buried.
4: Charleston, South Carolina’s Unitarian Cemetery
A visit to the Unitarian Graveyard, one of Charleston’s oldest cemeteries and one of the city’s creepiest spots, is always included on a ghostly tour of the city’s ghosts.
The Unitarian Graveyard, which is overgrown with weeds and plants, is said to be haunted by a lady in a white bridal gown who walks amid the crumbling tombstones and graves at night. Many people believe the apparition is Anna Ravenel, the woman who is claimed to have inspired Edgar Allen Poe’s devastating final poem, “Annabel Lee,” about a young woman who died before marrying the love of her life.
Maine’s Bar Harbor is number five.
Pirate shipwrecks, Indian burial grounds, and unsolved murders are all part of Bar Habor’s eerie past.
Take a red cloak tour of the town’s Old Burial Ground, the ghostly Art Deco Criterion Theatre, and try not to cover your ears as you hear terrifying Wabanaki indigenous tales that have kept more than one tourist awake all night.
Recoleta Cemetery is a cemetery in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Buenos Aires’ baroque Recoleta Cemetery is home to a number of notable Argentines, including Eva Peron and Isabel Walewski Colonna, Napoleon Bonaparte’s illegitimate granddaughter.
Rufina Cambaceres, a 19-year-old socialite who was accidently buried alive in the Recoleta in Buenos Aires in 1902, is perhaps the most renowned resident of the neighborhood. A graveyard worker discovered her coffin’s lid was damaged the day after her funeral.
He discovered markings on the inside of the lid and Rufina’s face and hands badly bruised when he opened the casket. They later determined that the young woman had not died at first but had suffered from catalepsy, a disorder that can mimic death, and had perished while attempting to crawl out of the coffin.
Rufina’s family erected a big Art Deco stone statue in her honor in the cemetery, and many visitors have claimed to have seen her strolling around the grounds since then.
The Eden Brown Estate in St. Kitts is number seven.
Take a short ferry ride from St. Kitts to Nevis, the sister island, and visit a haunting old sugar plantation that is now in ruins.
The Eden Brown Estate was previously owned by a wealthy businessman who intended to give it to his daughter Julia Huggins and her fiancé once they married. On the day of the wedding, however, disaster struck when the groom and his best man were both killed in a mystery duel.
Julia Huggins never married or recovered from his death, becoming a recluse on the estate for the remainder of her life. Locals swear they can still sense her sorrowful soul walking the property to this day, making it one of the Caribbean’s most haunted destinations.
8: Montego Bay, Jamaica’s Rose Hall Plantation
The White Witch, Jamaica’s most renowned ghost, lives in this eighteenth-century Georgian-style mansion near Montego Bay.
Annie Palmer was reared by a Haitian nanny who taught her witchcraft and voodoo spells after her parents died of yellow fever, according to folklore. She later married and murdered three husbands before being interred in a Rose Hall tomb.
A voodoo ritual was done to prevent her evil soul from ever leaving the grave, but it backfired, trapping her ghost inside the home for all time.
9: Quebec City, Canada’s Chateau Frontenac
Stop by the Fairmont’s Chateau Frontenac in Quebec City to visit a haunted hotel, where two ghosts are said to have never checked out.
Be on the watch for a woman in a white nightgown who likes to visit visitors while they’re asleep, or the 17th-century governor of New France, Louis de Buade de Frontenac, who died there before marrying his fiancée and spends his days searching the hotel for her.
Dublin, Ireland is ranked number ten.
Dublin, Ireland, like New Orleans, has a long and storied history of hauntings.
If you’re seeking for some paranormal activity, start by visiting Malahide Castle, one of Ireland’s oldest castles and one of Europe’s best medieval castles. At least five spirits are supposed to haunt the building, including a royal jester and a mysterious lady in white.
Tourists have reported hearing strange voices and feeling chilly fingers caressing the backs of their necks in the spooky crypt of St. Michan’s Church.
If you want to get a drink while getting scared, go to Dublin’s oldest pub, The Brazen Head, where the ghost of rebel leader Robert Emmet, who was hanged nearby, is said to appear from time to time; or The Grave Diggers pub, which is located next to Glasnevin Cemetery and has a resident ghost dressed in tweed.
Vanuatu’s Mystery Island is number eleven.
When you first arrive on Mystery Island, a little picturesque island in the South Pacific with pristine beaches and breathtaking landscape, you might wonder why this slice of paradise is still unoccupied.
Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the residents of adjacent Aneityum don’t want to stay on Mystery Island after the sun sets.
What is the explanation for this? The island, they believe, is haunted by spirits that only emerge at night. Cruise ships and tourist boats, predictably, do not stay after the sun sets.
12: The Galapagos Islands’ Isabel Island’s Tear Wall
While the Galapagos Islands are famed for their diverse flora and fauna, one of the islands also contains a creepy spot with a sad history.
The Wall of Tears is a 300-foot-long barrier made of volcanic rocks that was built between 1944 and 1959 in the municipality of Puerto Villamil on Isabel Island. Several offenders were imprisoned on the little Galapagos island at the time, and as part of their sentence, they were compelled to construct this seemingly endless wall.
Many of these criminals died as a result of the horrible forced labor, and villagers claim they can still hear their anguished cries at the incomplete wall from time to time.
Denmark’s Voergaard Castle is number thirteen.
One of the scariest locations to visit in Scandinavia is this beautiful Danish Renaissance castle, which has an equally outstanding art collection. Ingeborg Skeel, the owner of Voergaard Castle in 1578, is said to still haunt the grounds today.
Skeel, a noblewoman who lived alone, was suspected of being a witch, assassinating the castle’s architect by throwing him into a moat, and slicing off the hands of one of her farmhands. People were said to be so terrified of her that after she died, a priest was invited to perform an exorcism at the castle.
While none of these legends can be proven, a peek into the castle’s gruesome basement dungeon, which has no light, ventilation, or enough space for a grown man to sit or stand, is enough to prove that something horrible was going on inside Voergaard Castle in Denmark.
The Paris Catacombs are located in Paris, France.
If you’re looking for a little darkness while visiting the City of Light, headstones and bones adorn the walls of a centuries-old tunnel in France’s Paris Catacombs. With roughly six million bodies buried inside, the bone maze is rife with urban legends and ghost stories.
Only approximately a mile of the catacombs are available to the public, despite their length of about 200 miles. However, this hasn’t stopped others from attempting to gain access to the catacombs’ closed-off parts via the tunnels’ numerous secret entrances buried across Paris.
15: Sydney, Australia’s Bedlam Point
While Sydney has several haunted locations, Gladesville Mental Hospital near Bedlam Point is by far one of the most haunted.
This insane asylum, which was open from 1838 to 1997, allegedly committed various breaches against its patients, including shock treatments, burnings, and overcrowding. It closed in 1997, but the conditions were allegedly so bad that over 1,200 people died and were buried in a mass grave beneath the facility.