43 Most Haunted Places in the World, From Underwater Graveyards to Sinister Theme Parks

By Caitlin Morton

43 Most Haunted Places in the World From Underwater Graveyards to Sinister Theme Parks

Visiting the most haunted places in the world is like stepping into a real-life ghost story, where you can find UFO sightings in Transylvania , murders on luxury cruise ships, and spirits wandering the halls of British castles. No matter where you’re traveling, you’re sure to find some sort of haunted landmark (or even a haunted hotel ), as well as a ghost tour to go along with it.

But even if you’re guided more by scholarly than spectral pursuits, some of the spookiest locations are still worth your time—whether for their beautiful architecture, jaw-dropping locations, or fascinating histories. Here are 43 of the most haunted places in the world you’ll want to visit any time of the year—not just on Halloween .

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

All listings featured on Condé Nast Traveler are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

HoiaBaciu Forest Romania

Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania

From the moment a military technician captured a photograph of a “UFO” hovering over the forest in 1968, Hoia-Baciu has gained paranormal notoriety around the world, with some believing it to be a portal that causes visitors to disappear. Those who have passed through the forest without being zapped into another realm have reported rashes, nausea, and feelings of anxiety, according to The Independent . Known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania,” the spooky curved trees that populate the forest just add to the eerie atmosphere.

Valley of the Kings Egypt

Valley of the Kings, Egypt

Located along the Nile River near Luxor , the Valley of the Kings is one of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt (and the entire world). The valley served as a burial ground for pharaohs from the 16th to the 11th century BC, though it really only gained international attention in modern times after the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun (King Tut) in 1922.

The excavation of Tutankhamun’s tomb was funded by an English aristocrat, Lord Carnarvon, who died of infection shortly after the burial site was discovered—launching rumors of a “pharaoh’s curse” that continue to inspire works of fiction and Mummy sequels a century later. Today, visitors to the Valley of the Kings sometimes claim to see the image of an Egyptian pharaoh riding a chariot pulled by ghostly black horses.

Chuuk Lagoon Micronesia

Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

What’s even scarier than a haunted graveyard? Probably a haunted graveyard that sits 50 feet underwater. Micronesia’s Chuuk Lagoon (formerly Truk Lagoon) served as a fortified base for the Japanese Navy during WWII, and it was attacked by American forces during a three-day air strike in 1944. Dozens of warships, planes, tanks, and railroad cars sank to the bottom of the lagoon, where they remain today in what is known as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon.”

The ship graveyard is immensely popular with scuba divers, with PADI dubbing it “one of the best wreck diving destinations on the planet.” Underwater explorers can swim up close to the wartime vessels, which are littered with weapons, gas masks, and, according to some superstitious divers, a few waterlogged ghosts.

St. Georges Church Czech Republic

St. George’s Church, Czech Republic

Originally built in 1352, St. George’s Church (about 125 miles east of Prague) boasts quite a history. The building was nearly destroyed by fires many times over the centuries, and its roof partially collapsed during a funeral service in 1968. After that event, the congregation became convinced the church was haunted and refused to enter; as a result, the building was stripped by robbers and fell prey to vandalism.

That all changed in 2012, when an art student at the University of West Bohemia had an idea to lure visitors back to the church: a collection of 30 ghost sculptures sitting in the pews with their heads bowed. Today, tourists have flocked to the “Ghost Church” (which opens to the public every Saturday afternoon) to snap photos and even sit among the unmoving specters while praying.

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The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado

The Stanley Hotel, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel ’s stately Georgian architecture and world-renowned whiskey bar have lured travelers to Estes Park since opening in 1909, but the hotel reached new levels of fame after inspiring Stephen King to create The Shining ’s fictional Overlook Hotel . That eerie association aside, many other ghost sightings and some mysterious piano music have been connected to the hotel, and the Stanley Hotel leans into its reputation with nightly ghost tours and psychic consultations from the in-house Madame Vera .

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary took solitary confinement to new levels when it was built in 1829. Prisoners lived alone, exercised alone, and ate alone; when an inmate left his cell, a guard would cover his head with a hood so he couldn’t see or be seen. The prison had to abandon its solitary system due to overcrowding in 1913, although the forms of punishment did not get any less severe (chaining an inmate’s tongue to his wrists is one example) before it closed for good in 1970.

The site now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, both for its museum and Halloween celebrations . Reported paranormal happenings have included disembodied laughter, shadowy figures, and pacing footsteps.

Edinburgh Castle Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

One of the biggest attractions in Scotland’s capital city is also considered to be one of its most haunted . With sections dating back more than 900 years, the historic fortress’s ancient dungeons have led visitors to report sightings of colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War and French prisoners from the Seven Years War—and even the ghost of a dog wandering the castle’s dog cemetery.

Isla de las Munecas Mexico

Isla de las Munecas, Mexico

Despite its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well-preserved examples of Aztec life, the neighborhood of Xochimilco has reached a certain amount of internet fame for its Island of the Dolls. Hidden among the region’s many canals, the site is famous for the hundreds of dolls—and doll parts—hanging from trees and scattered among the grass.

While it might look more like a horror movie set, the chinampa (akin to an artificial island) used to be the residence of a now-deceased man named Julian Santa Barrera. After finding a dead girl’s body in a nearby canal, Barrera collected and displayed the toys in the hopes of warding off evil spirits, reports National Geographic . Daring souls can hire their own boat and view the island safely from the water.

St. Augustine Lighthouse

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is visited by more than 216,000 people annually, but it’s just as well-known for its otherworldly guests. Several tragic events that occurred at the now-historic site have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity . The ghost of a lighthouse keeper who fell to his death while painting the tower has been spotted watching over the grounds. And ever since the horrific death of three young girls, who drowned when the cart they were playing in broke and fell into the ocean, visitors have claimed to hear the sounds of children playing in and around the lighthouse.

The Forbidden City Beijing China

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

No trip to Beijing is complete without a visit to the Forbidden City , China’s former imperial palace that now serves as a museum. But you might not know that the popular tourist destination has quite the reputation among supernatural enthusiasts. During its 600-year tenure as a palace, the complex had its fair share of murders, whether from jealous concubines poisoning one another or executions performed at the emperor’s behest.

Needless to say, there have been many reports of strange phenomena since the palace opened to the public in the 1940s. The most common story involves a woman dressed in white (as most good ghost stories do) strolling around the grounds and sobbing.

Leap Castle Ireland

Leap Castle, Ireland

Built at some point between the 13th and late 15th century, this Irish castle has seen more gruesome deaths than a Game of Thrones wedding. As legend has it, during a struggle for power within the O’Carroll clan (which had a fondness for poisoning dinner guests), one member plunged a sword into his brother—a priest—as he was holding mass in the castle’s chapel. The room is now called “The Bloody Chapel,” and the priest is said to haunt the church at night.

The horror doesn’t end there—at least not according to the macabre history outlined on Leap Castle’s website . During renovations in the early 1900s, workmen found a secret dungeon in the Bloody Chapel with so many human skeletons, they filled three cartloads when hauled away. The dungeon was designed so that prisoners would fall through a trap door, have their lungs punctured by wooden spikes on the ground, and die a slow, horrific death within earshot of the sinister clan members above.

Oriental Theater Chicago

Oriental Theater, Chicago

Ghosts are said to haunt the Oriental Theater (formerly the Iroquois Theater) in the Loop area of downtown Chicago, where almost 600 people perished after a fire famously broke out in 1903 . Even though the theater was completely rebuilt and rebranded, spirits of the dead remained: Apparitions have been seen in “Death Alley,” the street behind the theater where bodies were stacked after the disaster (and a common stop on many a Chicago ghost tour ).

Poveglia Island Venice

Poveglia Island, Venice

Less than half a mile from the canals of Venice , Poveglia Island has served as a quarantine zone for bubonic plague victims, storage space for Napoleon’s weapons, and the site of an early 20th-century insane asylum. The asylum played host to horrific medical experiments, reports The Travel Channel , and finally closed for good when a doctor threw himself off the institution’s bell tower. Locals still claim to hear echoing chimes from the island—even though the bell was removed decades ago. It’s illegal to visit Poveglia today, but you can see the island and decaying hospital safely from the beaches of nearby Lido.

Château de Brissac Brissac Quincé France

Château de Brissac, France

One of the tallest castles in all of France, the seven-story Château de Brissac is perhaps best known as the home of “The Green Lady,” aka the ghost of Charlotte of France. The chateau’s website tells the legend of Charlotte, the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, who was murdered by her husband after he discovered her having an affair. Named for the color of her dress when she was killed, the Green Lady can be found roaming the chapel’s tower room and moaning in the early hours of morning.

Myrtles Plantation Louisiana

Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, Myrtles Plantation is considered to be one of America’s most haunted sites. The house is rumored to be on top of an Indian burial ground and is home to at least 12 different spirits. Legends and ghost stories abound, including the tale of a former slave named Chloe, who had her ear chopped off after she was caught eavesdropping. She got her revenge by poisoning a birthday cake and killing two of the plantation owner’s daughters, but then she was hung by her fellow slaves. Chloe now reportedly wanders around the plantation, wearing a turban to conceal her severed ear.

Haunted Places in the World Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol, Northern Ireland

Crumlin Road Gaol, a Victorian-era prison in Belfast, is said to be one of the most haunted sites in Northern Ireland. Often referred to as Europe’s Alcatraz, the jail contained some 25,000 inmates (men, women, and children) during its 150 years of operation, publicly hung many prisoners, and buried their bodies within the prison walls. The institution officially shut its doors in 1996, but the ghosts of deceased inmates are said to still roam the iron walkways today.

If this sounds like the sort of place you want to spend time in, you’re in luck—Crumlin Road Gaol offers daily tours , live concerts, and reasonably priced meals at its in-house (in-prison?) restaurant. It even serves as a venue for conferences and, believe it or not, weddings.

Castle of Good Hope South Africa

Castle of Good Hope, South Africa

A sprawling building near the shoreline of Table Bay in Cape Town, the Castle of Good Hope dates back to 1666, making it the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Originally built by the Dutch East India Company as a replenishment station for ships, the site also served as a military fortress and prison during the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902. Today, you can tour the fort’s many rooms and buildings (including the gruesome torture chamber), but you might want to prepare yourself for a ghost sighting.

Back in the 1700s, Governor Pieter van Noodt condemned several men to be hanged to death; one of the men cursed the governor from the gallows, and van Noodt died of a heart attack later that day. According to the Castle of Good Hope’s official website , his ghost has been haunting the battlements ever since.

RMS Queen Mary Long Beach California

RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

Aside from a brief stint as a warship in World War II, the RMS Queen Mary served as a luxury ocean liner from 1936 to 1967. During that time, it was the site of at least one murder—a sailor being crushed to death by a door in the engine room—and children drowning in the pool. The city of Long Beach purchased the ship in 1967 and turned it into a hotel, and it still serves that purpose today—although the reported ghosts of the deceased passengers get to stay for free. (For an extra dose of spine-tingling experiences, try and visit the ship’s engine room, considered by many to be a “hotbed” of paranormal activity.)

Larnach Castle New Zealand

Larnach Castle, New Zealand

The extravagant house was built between 1871 and 1887 to serve as the residence of William Larnach, a prominent New Zealand politician. Most notable is a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, which Larnach had built as a 21st birthday present for his favorite daughter Kate, who later died of typhoid at age 26 and is said to still haunt the ballroom. Don’t chalk those taps on your shoulder and whispers in your ear as all up to imagination: The building has been visited by paranormal investigators and featured on Ghost Hunters International .

Whaley House San Diego

Whaley House, San Diego

Thomas Whaley built this family estate in 1857, on the former site of San Diego ’s first public gallows. Shortly after he moved in, he reported hearing the heavy footsteps of “Yankee” Jim Robinson, a drifter and thief who was hanged on the site four years before the house was built. Whaley’s family history ended up being filled with tragic deaths and suicides—many of which occurred inside the home itself. According to the Whaley House Museum , some of the family members still haunt the landmark, running up the stairs and turning lights on and off.

La Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires

La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

You don’t have to be religious to be moved by La Recoleta Cemetery , which features thousands of statues, fairytale grottoes, and intricate tombstones, as well as the remains of Argentina’s most iconic figure—Eva Perón. The stone walkways and labyrinth of mausoleums are as beautiful as they are eerie, and Recoleta has a couple of haunted legends of its own. One of the most famous stories involves David Alleno, a former grave-digger and caretaker who worked at the cemetery for 30 years before killing himself. Today, people report hearing Alleno’s keys jangling as his ghost walks the pathways at dawn.

Gettysburg

Gettysburg Battlefield, Pennsylvania

The Battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest in American history, with somewhere around 50,000 young men dying in the three-day conflict. Many of the soldiers never received a proper burial after their untimely deaths, and some believe the souls of these men now wander the field to look for their weapons and comrades. There have even been several photographs taken over the years that seem to show some of the phantom figures—including the ghost of Robert E. Lee.

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Canada

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada

Built in 1888 to encourage tourism and sell train tickets, this chateau-style hotel sits pretty by the Rocky Mountains in Canada’s Banff National Park. But it gets a tad more Gothic once you get inside—and we aren’t talking about the architecture. The Calgary Herald has reported several resident ghosts, including a bride who supposedly fell down the stone staircase during her wedding. But there’s a less tragic spirit, too: Sam the bellman, who worked at the hotel until 1975 and claimed he’d come back to haunt the joint. His spirit supposedly pulls shifts to help people with their bags before disappearing.

Singapore Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa, Singapore

Haw Par Villa is a 1930s theme park located in Singapore—and it’s basically the polar opposite of Disneyland. Its colorful entrance of Chinese arches seems innocuous enough, but then you actually step inside and see that the park is covered with more than 1,000 statues, each stranger than the last. Lovers of all things macabre should head straight to the underworld-themed Ten Courts of Hell, a series of dioramas that portray severe modes of punishment as a way to teach young children about morality.

While detailed depictions of dismemberment are scary enough, Time Out Singapore reports that “the wax statues depicting condemned souls are said to come to life at night, filling the infamous Ten Courts of Hell exhibit with tortured screams.” Bring your kids!

Bhangarh Fort India

Bhangarh Fort, India

Located just 100 miles southwest of Delhi, the lush ruins of Bhangarh Fort make for a curious juxtaposition against the desert landscape of Rajasthan . To this day, the oasis remains largely uninhabited due to an alleged curse cast by a disgruntled sorcerer after his advances were rebuffed by a local princess. If you prefer your trips to skew more spiritual than haunted, Traveler ’s former editor-at-large Hanya Yanagihara suggests saluting the sun during a session of pre-dusk yoga at the site.

Catacombs of Paris France

Catacombs of Paris, France

After a prolonged bout of heavy rain flooded and unearthed the overcrowded Les Innocents cemetery in the spring of 1780, a wave of rotting corpses tumbled onto the property next door. According to Smithsonian Mag , this horrifying event started a 12-year project to move bodies from Paris’s cemeteries down into the city’s former limestone quarries, eventually packing the underground tunnels with some 6 million bodies. Today, about a mile of the subterranean labyrinth is open to visitors , who can take tours of the tunnels and artfully arranged displays of bones.

Aokigahara Forest Japan

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

This seemingly serene forest at the foot of Mount Fuji has a tormented past. Colloquially known as “Suicide Forest,” Aokigahara has been the site of 500 reported suicides since the 1950s, reports the BBC . Some blame this trend on the forest’s association with demons in Japanese mythology. Others point towards large underground deposits of iron, which interfere with compasses and make it easy to get lost. In fact, many hikers will mark their path with tape or string to make it easier to find their way back out again.

Xunantunich Belize

Xunantunich, Belize

Deep in the jungles of Belize , less than a mile from the Guatemala border, Xunantunich is an ancient Mayan ruin that has sat abandoned for the past millennium. An earthquake caused the original civilization to crumble, but the complex was rediscovered by explorers in the 1890s. Since then, Xunantunich has served as an important archaeological site, under-the-radar tourist attraction, and hotbed of ghostly sightings .

The ancient city is said to be haunted by one female ghost: a black-haired lady with red, glowing eyes. She was first spotted by one of the earliest research teams in 1893 and has been seen near El Castillo (the tallest building in the complex) many times since then. No one knows exactly who the so-called “Stone Lady” is, but many speculate that she may have been a human sacrifice whose death ritual was performed on the top of the El Castillo pyramid.

Fountain in Forsyth Park with Live Oaks lining pathway in Historic Area Savannah Georgia

Forsyth Park, Savannah

The entire city of Savannah is pretty much one giant ghost story, due in large part to the mysterious tunnels that run below the town’s streets. The underground structures play a major role in many of Savannah's most haunted locations, including Forsyth Park, the fountained green space you probably recognize from a postcard or two.

According to Savannah Magazine , doctors at the adjacent Candler Hospital (now the Savannah Law School) performed autopsies in the tunnels below. Maria Pinheiro, a historian and spokesperson with Ghost City Tours , says these below-the-surface rumblings make Forsyth Park particularly ripe for sightings of shadowy, now-you-see-them-now-you-don’t figures.

Borgvattnet Haunted Vicarage Ragunda Sweden

Borgvattnet Haunted Vicarage, Sweden

Originally built in 1876, weird happenings have been noted in this parsonage since the 1960s. The gray wooden structure now serves as a bed and breakfast in a rural area in northern Sweden with snowmobiling, fishing, and...not a lot else. Guests at Borgvattnet have claimed to hear footsteps, music, and the sound of three crying ladies coming from the inn—and the proprietors will reward you with a certificate that says you stayed through the night.

Himeji Castle Japan

Himeji Castle, Japan

Himeji Castle dates to 1333 and is regarded as one of the greatest remaining examples of Japanese castle architecture. It also has some rather eerie folklore associated with it—most notably the story of Okiku, a one-time palace servant who was falsely accused of losing valuable dishes. She was killed and thrown into the well in the castle. Her ghost now haunts the castle at night, counting dishes in a mournful tone; she reaches nine before shrieking and returning to the well.

Port Arthur Tasmania

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur began as a penal colony in 1833, housing British convicts until it was abandoned in 1877. During those decades, the island—touted as “inescapable”—focused on correcting the inmates’ morality, using methods like solitary confinement and mandatory church services. The settlement has been a destination for curious tourists since the time of its abandonment, and it was officially preserved as a historical site in 1979.

Today, you’ll find what The New York Times describes as “an impressive apparatus for remembering, complete with a ferry, interactive exhibit for children and well-trained guides.” Ghost tours are available of the ruins and open-air museum, as well as the nearby “Isle of the Dead,” an island housing the bodies of deceased convicts in unmarked graves.

Ancient Ram Inn England

Ancient Ram Inn, England

Built in 1145, Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge has played many roles over the centuries: a priest’s residence, housing for masons and slaves, an inn, and a public house. It also happens to be one seriously haunted spot. Architectural Digest writes: “With ghostly children, a high priestess, and even an incubus (Google it, but don’t say you weren’t warned) wandering the halls, guests have reportedly leapt from the windows in a frenzy to escape.”

Haunted Places in the World Jazirat Al Hamra UAE

Jazirat Al Hamra, United Arab Emirates

You'll find the nearly-abandoned town of Jazirat Al Hamra about 14 miles southwest of Ras Al Khaimah in northern UAE—located between a huge mall and a huge waterpark. Established in the 14th century, the town grew into a thriving pearl fishing village in the 1830s before it was suddenly abandoned in 1968. The town now consists of dirt roads, 13 mosques, and more than 300 coral-and-mud houses—and, of course, some resident spirits. People claim that visitors are bound to experience strange noises and chilling apparitions, usually djinns (genies) in the form of animals.

Lawang Sewu Indonesia

Lawang Sewu, Indonesia

Constructed in the early 20th century by Dutch colonialists, Lawang Sewu (or “Thousand Doors”) served as the head office for the Dutch East Indian Railway Company before the Japanese turned it into a detention camp during WWII. During the war, many harsh interrogations, tortures, and violent executions occurred within the building’s walls—all of which contribute to its current status as one of Indonesia’s most haunted landmarks, says the country’s Ministry of Tourism .

Tourists are free to visit the abandoned site today, perhaps to confirm whether the many circulating ghost stories tied to Lawang Sewu have any truth to them.

Dock Street Theatre Charleston

Dock Street Theatre, Charleston

Renovated in 2010, Charleston ’s Dock Street Theatre is a beautiful downtown venue, hosting plays and concerts throughout the year. But the site has quite a tumultuous history. Aside from a fire burning down the original theater in 1740, the building suffered damage from an earthquake in 1886 and fell into abandon during the early 20th century. To make matters even more spooky, a woman named Nettie Dickerson was supposedly struck by lightning while standing on the balcony in the mid-1800s, and her ghost is said to glide along the theater’s second floor.

most haunted places in the world Burg Eltz Germany

Burg Eltz, Germany

Burg Eltz dates back to 1157, so you better believe the list of myths surrounding the castle is quite long. The most compelling tale is that of a young countess named Agnes, who was betrothed to a fellow noble but called off the engagement after she met him. (According to legend, he sucked.) The scorned nobleman laid siege to the castle and Agnes perished after taking up arms to defend her castle. Her mournful spirit can still be sensed today, most strongly in her former bedroom with her pierced armor and battle axe on display.

Raynham Hall England

Raynham Hall, England

Built around 1620, the 7,000-acre Raynham Hall is one of the most impressive estates in Norfolk. As is the case with most historic buildings, the home also has its fair share of legends and ghost stories, most notably ones surrounding Lady Dorothy (“Dolly’) Townshend. Dolly was the wife of Viscount “Turnip” Townshend, and the couple lived in Raynham Hall during the 18th century, during which time Dolly was reportedly locked up in the house by her husband.

Lady Dorothy’s ghost is now said to haunt the estate, as “proven” by a photo taken of her in the 1930s. “No one has proved the picture taken of her is a fake,” Lord Charles Raynham (the home's current resident) told the BBC .

TransAllegheny Lunatic Asylum Weston West Virginia

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia

The Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum opened its doors to patients in 1864, and in the 1950s, the West Virginia facility reached its peak, housing more than 2,400 patients—even though it was designed to hold only 250. The severe overcrowding led to inhumane conditions (like lack of heat and convalescent people kept in cages), and patients started acting increasingly violent, from starting fires to attacking staff members. The asylum finally closed in 1994, but the souls of some patients are said to linger.

Winchester Mystery House

Winchester Mystery House, California

Following the death of her husband, rifle magnate William Wirt Winchester, Sarah Winchester commissioned a Victorian labyrinth designed to repel the vengeful spirits of the lives taken by her husband’s guns. The sprawling Queen Anne–style mansion—comprising four stories, 160 rooms, 10,000 window panes, and 47 stairways in San Jose, California—is appointed with curious elements, like staircases leading directly into the ceiling and windows opening onto secret passages.

Haunted Places in the World Höfði House Reykjavik

Höfði House, Iceland

Overlooking Reykjavik's waterfront, the Höfði House is most famous for hosting a meeting between Ronald Regan and Michael Gorbachev in 1986, a historic moment during the end of the Cold War. The house has housed many other famous figures over the years, including Queen Elizabeth, Winston Churchill, and Marlene Dietrich, plus a handful of British ambassadors.

It was one such ambassador who first experienced “ The White Lady ,” a ghost who many believe to be a victim of suicide. The phantom lady apparently caused so much panic and distress, that the ambassador persuaded the British Foreign Office to sell the house immediately.

Halifax Citadel Nova Scotia Canada

Halifax Citadel, Canada

Situated atop a hill in downtown Halifax, the Fort George Citadel (or Halifax Citadel) is often considered one of the most haunted places in Canada. The star-shaped fort dates back to 1749 and has seen its fair share of ghosts over the centuries—at least according to some eagle-eyed visitors.

The most common sightings are images of soldiers walking into rooms and disappearing, though other specters include an older woman appearing in windows and a young girl who likes to hold the hands of tour group members. The citadel’s ghost tours are among its most popular, complete with guides wearing period costumes and dark corridors illuminated by candlelight.

Eden Brown Estate Nevis

Eden Brown Estate, Nevis

Often overshadowed by neighboring St. Kitts, Nevis has just as much to offer travelers—in fact, it offers even more for the morbidly inclined. Case in point: the Eden Brown Estate, a former plantation that now lies in ruins. The estate was originally owned by a wealthy businessman who intended to give the property to his daughter as a wedding present. However, a mysterious duel between the groom and the best man left both men dead on the day of the wedding, and the daughter remained unmarried for the rest of her life. Today, many visitors say they have seen the reclusive woman’s spirit roaming around the grounds.

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35 Most Haunted Places in the World

Consider this your ultimate spooky travel guide.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Elizabeth Rhodes is a special projects editor at Travel + Leisure , covering everything from luxury hotels to theme parks to must-pack travel products. Originally from South Carolina, Elizabeth moved to New York City from London, where she started her career as a travel blogger and writer.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Getty Images / Lonely Planet Images

While some haunted houses may seem a little hokey — filled with actors dressed as ghouls, goblins, and mad scientists — many places around the world have well-earned reputations for being actually haunted.

Some of these spots are shrouded in mystery, with creepy legends about them passed down through the centuries. Others are much newer, but they are still haunted by their tragic pasts. Each one has an interesting backstory and is known for ghostly sightings or other spine-tingling experiences.

Meet the Expert

Conner Gossel is the history buff and paranormal investigator behind the Haunted Historian podcast and Instagram account, which tell the stories behind some of the world's spookiest places.

Ghost hunters across the globe are always trying to catch a glimpse of a spirit, hear mysterious voices coming from an empty room, or feel a chill while investigating a creepy corridor. Luckily, there are numerous reportedly haunted places that are open for public tours or even overnight stays. No matter where you are in the world, there's probably a haunted house or haunted hotel nearby that's just waiting for you to visit.

"If you're hoping to do more than just read about popular paranormal hot spots, the best place to start is with some simple research," said Conner Gossel , paranormal investigator and historian, in an interview with Travel + Leisure . "Find out what local legends and historic sites exist in your neck of the woods. Chances are, a couple offer guided tours and/or public paranormal investigations that give you all of the tools and spooky insight without any of the actual danger of being in a real-life haunt by yourself. "

Plenty of places in the United States — from the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose to the historic battlefields of Gettysburg — can send a chill up your spine. Outside the country, ghosts, strange sounds and lights, and bizarre UFO experiences have been reported around the world. Here's a look at 35 of the most haunted places in the world.

Raynham Hall in Norfolk, United Kingdom

Chris Radburn / PA Images /Getty Images; The LIFE Picture Collection / Getty Images

This English country home may be gorgeous, but it also has a dark past. The mysterious "Brown Lady" who haunts its halls is rumored to be Lady Dorothy Walpole, who was trapped in an unhappy marriage and later found solace in the arms of a fellow British aristocrat. Stories say it was either her enraged husband or the scorned wife of her lover who locked her in her room at Raynham Hall, where she eventually died in 1726. Her ghost, nicknamed so for the color of her dress, was reportedly captured on film in the December 1936 edition of Country Life . Guests can visit the home on any of its " Open Days " throughout the year.

Bhangarh Fort in Rajasthan, India

NurPhoto / Getty Images

This long-abandoned fortress , in a valley roughly 30 miles northeast of Jaipur, is considered one of the most haunted places in India. According to one story, a tantric priest fell in love with Ratnavati, a beautiful princess who lived at the fort. After Ratnavati spurned his advances, the priest cast a spell that prevented everyone in the fort and the surrounding village from being reborn. Another story tells of a sadhu, or holy man, ordering Ratnavati’s grandfather to build the fort without casting shadows over the sadhu’s own house (spoiler alert: Ratnavati’s stepbrother ignored the warning and built a towering addition; the entire town was soon destroyed). These two curses, as the legend goes, doomed the ghosts of the princess and her fellow villagers to wander the now-desolate settlement for eternity. Today, guests can still visit the fort's impressive ruins, though the entire area is closed to the public between sunset and sunrise – perhaps to give the ghosts some space.

Poveglia in Venice, Italy

Marco Di Lauro / Getty Images

A half mile offshore from the Lido, the beautiful island of Poveglia was once a quarantine zone for people suffering from the plague, and it was used as a psychiatric hospital in the early 20th century. Paranormal investigators claim the ghosts of the former patients have made this spot their eternal stomping ground. The island is officially closed to the public, though ferries and charter boats will occasionally take passengers on pre-approved visits.

"Time and again, Poveglia Island has found itself up for sale at dirt-cheap prices; the owner(s) no longer wanting to be responsible for its upkeep or for the active, often physical spiritual entities that reside there. Some claim they number in the hundreds. Whether that be true or not, it's an island so feared the world over that it may never see its crumbling structures brought back to life again," says Gossel.

The Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-Under-Edge, United Kingdom

This 12th-century hostelry , located on the western edge of the Cotswolds, is one of the oldest in the Western world. It was built atop what is believed to have been an ancient pagan burial ground, and it's supposedly haunted by more than 20 spirits, including several children and a monk. Fearless travelers can book a ghost tour at the inn in hopes of experiencing the specters firsthand.

"Travelers be warned: One of the most prominent spirits said to reside inside the home is a succubus, a demonic entity often characterized as a seductress." Gossel says that spirit alone is "a good reason to be fearful of shutting your eyes for too long while here."

Port Arthur in Tasmania, Australia

Mark Kolbe / Getty Images

British colonialists founded Tasmania's Port Arthur as a penal colony in 1830. After arriving from the United Kingdom, the settlement’s prisoners endured solitary confinement, hard labor, and both physical and psychological abuse. More than 1,000 of them died before operations ceased in 1877. We imagine any tortured soul would find it hard to rest after all that, and visitors to the site have reported everything from empty rocking chairs moving on their own to ghosts dressed in 19th-century clothing suddenly appearing in windows.

The Queen Mary in Long Beach, California

This beautiful ocean liner, launched by Cunard White Star in 1936, spent more than 30 years in service before permanently docking in Long Beach and becoming a hotel and tourist attraction. Ever since then, visitors and staff alike have reported seeing countless ghosts on the ship . These include The Lady in White, often spotted clad in a pale evening gown and dancing by herself in the lobby bar; William Eric Stark, an officer who died on board from an accidental poisoning and has been seen roaming the promenade deck; and Leonard Horsborough, a cook who died at sea on the Queen Mary’s final voyage and is said to now haunt the hotel’s kitchen.

Gossel recounted his recent stay to T+L, saying, "The RMS Queen Mary put a moratorium on its hotel operations during the pandemic, which I can tell you from first-hand experience seemed to have riled up the estimated 100 spirits onboard. I had the pleasure of staying on the ship recently and was at various points of the night woken by frantic knocking on my door. As you can imagine, nobody was there!"

Burg Wolfsegg in Wolfsegg, Germany

This 800-year-old Bavarian fortress has its own Lady in White. In life, she was married to the lord of the castle, whose military duties often kept him away from home for long stretches. Upon learning of an affair between his wife and one of his soldiers, the jealous husband killed them both. Now the woman's ghost, so the story goes, spends eternity climbing Burg Wolfsegg’s stairs and wandering its hallways. The castle is typically open on weekends and public holidays from May to early October.

The Lizzie Borden House in Fall River, Massachusetts

Jonathan Wiggs / The Boston Globe / Getty Images

The 1892 murders of businessman Andrew Borden and his second wife, Abigail, in this unassuming home made headlines across the country. Andrew’s daughter Lizzie was accused of killing her father and stepmother, but she was eventually acquitted in the much-publicized trial that followed. Since then, guests have reported all sorts of strange sightings in the house, now a bed-and-breakfast. Ghost tours and overnight stays are available for intrepid travelers who want to experience the notorious residence for themselves.

Casa Loma in Toronto, Ontario

For decades, both guests and staff at this Gothic Revival castle have reported seeing apparitions and hearing strange voices, footsteps, and closing doors around the property. The "Lady in White" is thought to be the ghost of a maid who dies of influenza in the early 20th century, while the spirit of Casa Loma's original owners, Sir Henry Pellatt and his wife Lady Mary, are rumored to still haunt the grounds. Tour the home and gardens during the day or visit in October for its annual Legends of Horror events, when guests can wander a trail through some of the castle's creepiest tunnels.

Château de Brissac in Brissac-Quincé, France

Getty Images / Hemis.fr RM

This 17th-century Loire Valley castle incorporates two towers from the medieval castle — once occupied by Jacques de Brézé, the Duke of Bressac — that it replaced. According to legend, after de Brézé caught his wife, Charlotte, and one of his huntsmen en flagrant délit in the south tower, he killed them both on the spot. Some visitors have claimed to have seen Charlotte’s ghost, nicknamed The Green Lady for the color of her dress, roaming the halls. Visit the château and try to spot her yourself. Honestly, though, the stunning architecture alone is worth the trip.

The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado

Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post / Getty Images

Not only is this popular Rocky Mountain destination famous for inspiring Stephen King's classic horror novel "The Shining," it also has its own spooky past. Allegedly, staff members have encountered ghosts such as the maid from Room 217, who is known to pack away guests' clothing when they aren't looking. The hotel offers a variety of accommodations and ghost tours of the property if you're feeling brave enough. It also makes a great base if you want to visit nearby Rocky Mountain National Park .

Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff, Alberta

This postcard-perfect chateau , open since 1888, has long been associated with paranormal activity. One of the most well-known stories is of the "Ghost Bride," the spirit of a woman who died during her wedding at the hotel. She is sometimes seen still dressed in her white gown and waltzing alone in the Cascade Ballroom. Another is of Sam the Bellman, a cantankerous old porter at the hotel who threatened to come back and haunt the place after he died. He apparently kept his word, as numerous guests have told of a silent bellhop who brought their bags to their rooms before disappearing without a trace.

St. Augustine Lighthouse in St. Augustine, Florida

This red-white-and-black beacon has guided mariners through St. Augustine Inlet since 1874. It’s also drawn a host of seaside specters. Employees have attributed a clanging bucket and randomly opened windows to the Shadow Figure, whom many visitors insist they’ve seen peering down at them over the interior railings. And the ghost of a former keeper reveals his presence with the aroma of burning cherry tobacco – despite the lighthouse's no-smoking rule. During the day, climb the spiral staircase to the widows walk for beautiful views of Anastasia Island, the Matanzas River, and the Atlantic Ocean— or  take a ghost tour  at night, if you dare.

One If by Land, Two If by Sea in New York City

The owners of this legendary Greenwich Village establishment claim that it occupies a former carriage house once owned by Aaron Burr — yes, the same Aaron Burr who infamously shot Alexander Hamilton — and that his ghost still haunts the place. In reality, the two-story brick structure was built as a private residence in 1834 (while the disgraced ex-VP was hiding across the Hudson from his creditors). Still, One if by Land is consistently ranked among New York's most romantic restaurants. Given Burr’s well-documented penchant for living the high life, it’s only natural he’d frequent the gorgeous candlelit dining room here in the afterlife.

The Tower of London in the United Kingdom

The Tower of London complex became the final resting place for many people of historical significance. The site of imprisonment and executions more than 900 years, it's known especially for its ghostly sightings of English royalty. Anne Bolelyn, the second wife of Henry VII, was beheaded in 1536 on the Tower Green. Her ghost is said to haunt the space today. Lady Arbella Stuart, imprisoned for following her heart rather than the rules, starved herself to death in 1615 inside the Queen's House. Several visitors have reported seeing her apparition there.

Dock Street Theatre in Charleston, South Carolina

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Originally built as the Planters Hotel in 1809 and converted to a theater in 1935, this famous playhouse in the city's French Quarter continues to host performances, despite the horror lurking within its walls: Patrons have claimed to see ghosts up in the rafters, as well as on the stage. Its most well-known apparitions include Nettie, a former sex worker who plied her trade at the hotel and can be seen still wearing her red dress (stories say she was struck by lightning during a storm in the 19th century), and Junius Booth, the father of the man who shot Abraham Lincoln, who once stayed at the Planters Hotel with his acting troupe.

Tao Dan Park in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

The gorgeous gardens of Tao Dan Park may look lush and relaxing during the day, but some say the space takes on an entirely different feel at night. That's when, according to urban legend, the ghost of a young man who was killed in an attack still wanders the park, looking for his lost love.

The Old Vicarage in Borgvattnet, Sweden

This former home for Lutheran vicars is considered one of Sweden’s most haunted houses. Over the years, residents and visitors have reported oddities like unexplained footsteps and music, apparitions of a woman dressed all in gray, and a rocking chair that seemed to move without any earthly assistance. The Old Vicarage currently operates as a cafe and an inn, so brave souls can stop for a bite or spend the night.

The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California

Manny Crisostomo / Sacramento Bee / MCT via Getty Images

Three years after rifle magnate William Wirt Winchester died in 1881, his widow, Sarah, moved into an eight-room farmhouse on the still-rural outskirts of San Jose. She spent the next 38 years expanding the modest structure into this dizzying 160-room labyrinth, which has 10,000 windows, 13 bathrooms, six kitchens, and 47 stairways – some of which lead to nowhere. Rumors swirled that Winchester built the maze-like mansion to evade the vengeful spirits of those killed by her husband's guns. Others suggested the ghosts themselves directed the construction during seances that Winchester conducted. Is the home haunted today? Take the Walk With Spirits tour and decide for yourself.

The Driskill in Austin, Texas

Many big-name celebrities have stayed at this popular downtown Austin hotel since it opened in 1886. So, apparently, have more than a few phantoms. One of the most notorious tales involves two women, each jilted at the altar, who took their own lives in room 525 – several decades apart. Founder Jesse Driskill's ghost is sometimes spotted roaming the grounds, smoking his cigar. Some guests claim to have also seen the ghost of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who went on a first date with his future wife here in 1934 and frequented the hotel throughout his life.

Akershus Fortress in Oslo, Norway

Getty Images / iStockphoto

This medieval castle once served as a defensive stronghold for the city of Oslo, and it is rumored to be the most haunted place in all of Norway. The most well-known supernatural sightings include a demon dog that's said to guard the gates to the castle, and the spirit of a woman with no facial features. It's free to visit , so ghost-hunting travelers will definitely want to check it out.

Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town, South Africa

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The Dutch East India Company built this pentagonal fortress in the late 17th century to protect its burgeoning Cape Colony, and the British later used part of it as a prison with a torture chamber. Several ghosts reportedly wander the grounds, including that of a tall man walking along and falling from the ramparts, and that of Lady Anne Barnard, who once entertained important visitors to the fort. Another curiosity: The bell in the bell tower sometimes rings all by itself, despite being blocked off by bricks hundreds of years ago. Visitors can tour the fort and learn more about South African history in the Cape Heritage Museum .

The Paris Catacombs in France

Christopher Larson / Travel + Leisure

The Paris Catacombs are truly spooky, with the remains of more than six million people located throughout the vast system of underground tunnels. While you can tour some of the tunnels today, be warned, as they're not for the faint of heart. And don't even think of venturing down there after midnight. According to urban legend, that's when strange voices (supposedly belonging to those who are buried there) will try to convince you to wander deeper and deeper within the tunnels until you get lost.

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland

This 12th-century fortress has seen a lot of action over the years. Many different eerie experiences have been reported, including unexplained music echoing through the halls. Many believe it comes from the ghost of a piper who died in the castle while investigating a series of tunnels that had been discovered — they were later resealed, but his tunes can still be heard on quiet nights. A ghostly drummer has also been spotted along the battlements and was known to appear prior to an attack.

The Forbidden City in Beijing

Kevin Frayer / Getty Images

You may not necessarily think of the Forbidden City as haunted, but ghost hunters know better. Though crowded with visitors during the day, the ancient complex closes every evening – and that's when things get interesting. More than a few night watchmen have reported the apparition of a woman dressed in white, sobbing as she wanders the grounds. Others claimed to have cornered a woman dressed in black and ordered her to turn around, only to see an intruder with no face. Still not convinced? Take a tour and ask your guide why the thresholds are all so high. (Spoiler alert: Ghosts can't jump.)

Hoia-Baciu Forest in Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Many aficionados of the paranormal consider this spot – with its eerily crooked trees and a barren patch of land rumored to be a portal to another dimension – the most haunted forest in the world. Visitors often report intense feelings of anxiety and an overwhelming sense of being watched while traveling among the trees. Some of the most commonly reported supernatural occurrences here include unexplained apparitions, photographs showing faces that were not visible to the photographers when the pictures were taken, and UFO sightings.

Kehoe House in Savannah, Georgia

Carol M. Highsmith / Buyenlarge / Getty Images

This Renaissance Revival mansion was completed in 1892 for William and Anne Kehoe, who lived there with their 10 children. In 1930 it became a funeral parlor. The house was eventually turned into a bed-and-breakfast, and guests have noted mysterious sounds of little ones playing, among other creepy occurrences. Ghost-chasing guests visiting the notoriously haunted city of Savannah should feel right at home here.

Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Patrick Smith / Getty Images

More than 7,000 soldiers lost their lives here during the Civil War's deadliest engagement, and their tortured spirits are said to still wander the town. Many visitors to the hallowed battlefield have reported seeing phantom soldiers – some on horseback, others marching in formation. Downtown, some people have reported hearing and seeing the ghosts of children in the building that once housed the National Soldiers' Orphans Homestead. And the spirit of Jennie Wade, the Battle of Gettysburg's only civilian death, is said to still haunt the home where a stray bullet took her life.

Corvin Castle in Hunedoara, Romania

If you're a fan of vampire lore, you're probably familiar with Vlad the Impaler, who famously inspired the title character in Bram Stoker's "Dracula." In real life, the bloodthirsty ruler was kept prisoner at Corvin Castle (also called Hunyadi Castle or Hunedoara Castle). Other prisoners included a monk bricked into one of the walls as punishment for spying. His ghost is thought to haunt the castle to this day. So too are the spirits of three prisoners promised freedom if they dug a well and found water. They did, but they were never freed. You'll just have to plan a visit to see whether the legends are true.

Lawang Sewu in Semarang, Indonesia

This former railway headquarters and World War II-era prison is believed to be the most haunted place in Indonesia. Apparitions that have been reported here include the ghost of a Dutch woman, various headless spirits, and a kuntilanak (a female vampiric ghost of Malaysian and Indonesian mythology). Visitors can check out the historic building on their own or take a haunted heritage tour to see whether they can spot any phantoms themselves.

Recoleta Cemetery in Buenos Aires

Craig Lovell / Getty Images

While Recoleta Cemetery may be best known as the final resting place of former Argentine first lady Eva Perón, the labyrinthine necropolis is also famous for the stories of its many ghostly residents. One popular tale is that of a woman in white who chats up single men near the corner of the cemetery and gets them to fall in love with her. To their surprise, the men later learn that the mystery woman has been dead since 1925 and is actually entombed near the cemetery's entrance.

Teatro Tapia in San Juan, Puerto Rico

Courtesy of Visit Puerto Rico

Open since 1832, Teatro Tapia (officially Teatro Alejandro Tapia y Rivera) is almost as famous for its hauntings as it is for its performances. Audience members have reported hearing strange voices and footsteps coming from empty rooms, and the building itself is said to be haunted by two specific ghosts. One is the spirit of a woman who dresses in red and still attends shows (keep an eye out if you're seated in Box 105). The other is that of an actress who tragically fell to her death during a performance; she has reportedly been spotted on stage before disappearing into thin air.

Old Parliament House in Canberra, Australia

Xinhua News Agency / Contributor / Getty Images

It turns out that Australia's legislature used to convene in one of the country's most haunted buildings. Security guards have reported doors that opened by themselves, the sound of a woman screaming, a specific spot that always smelled of cigar smoke, and an apparition so terrifying it scared several of them into abandoning their posts (one even quit on the spot). Though ghost tours no longer operate here, you can still visit the Museum of Australian Democracy to at least get a peek inside during daytime hours.

Himeji Castle in Himeji, Japan

Julian Elliott Photography / Getty Images

This 17th-century fortress consists of of 83 buildings and a maze-like floor plan designed to confuse invading enemies. The tiles on its roof are decorated with images of Onigawaras, meant to keep evil spirits away. Despite that, the castle is said to be haunted by, among other ghostly creatures , a young servant woman named Okiku. According to local lore, she was accused of losing one of her master's 10 porcelain plates, all part of a plan to trick her into becoming his mistress — when she refused, he pushed her down the well. Okiku still haunts it, returning every so often to count her plates and wail whenever she reaches missing plate number 10. If this story sounds familiar, that's because it inspired the film "The Ring."

The Cuban Club in Tampa, Florida

Courtesy of The Cuban Club

A popular venue for weddings and cultural events since it opened in 1918, the Cuban Club is also reputedly home to about 300 ghosts, including a playwright said to haunt the theater, a young boy seen in the basement (where the pool he drowned in once stood), and a young woman who was pushed from the ballroom's third-floor balcony after she refused to dance with someone. Take a ghost tour of the venue to learn more — if you dare.

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The 26 Best Haunted Houses for a Seriously Scary Halloween

Author image: purewow author

Ah, fall. The leaves are turning , the apple cider is brewing and the undead are chasing you through the halls of a haunted house. If your idea of a great Halloween involves being scared out of your wits, we’ve got you covered. Haunted houses around the country start opening their creaky doors in September and there’s something for everyone, whether you want lightly spooky or absolute nightmare terror. This year things are bit different due to COVID-19 safety measures, so it’s best to plan ahead and buy tickets online in advance. You’ll also want to read up on any required safety precautions, such as mask wearing. From family-friendly fun to adults-only haunts, here are 26 of the best haunted attractions around the country to experience this fall. (Warning: Some of the images and videos below are seriously scary… proceed with caution.)

50 Halloween Dessert Ideas, from Totally Spooky to Extra Sweet

1. Knott's Scary Farm

When: September 16 to October 31, 2021

Where: Buena, CA

What to expect: Southern California’s biggest Halloween event is full of scares, including numerous haunted mazes and attractions. There are also more than 1,000 terrifying creatures wandering the amusement park, so watch where you walk. The event is recommend for those over 13 years old.

2. The Bates Motel And Haunted Hayride

When: September 24 to October 31, 2021

Where: Glen Mills, PA

What to expect: Walk through a haunted forest, filled with terrifying sets and monsters, on a trail known as the “Psycho Path” and then head into the Bates Motel, a haunted house known for its high-level special effects. Don’t miss the Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail, a haunted corn maze that will send you running back to the car in fear.

best haunted houses midnight terror haunted house

3. Midnight Terror Haunted House

When: September 24 to November 6, 2021

Where: Oak Lawn, IL

What to expect: Taking up over 26,000 square feet, Midnight Terror Haunted House emphasizes using live actors to horrify its guests. There’s a lot to explore, including the “Factory of Malum” and “Black Oak Grove,” which are full of terrifying surprises. There’s an extensive story behind everything you see, making the experience all the more realistic.

best haunted houses the haunted trail of balboa park

4. The Haunted Trail Of Balboa Park

Where: San Diego, CA

What to expect: Explore two haunts in one location: The Haunted Trail and The eXperiment Maze. Follow a twisting trail through Balboa Park once you escape the mile-long maze, but watch out for dangers lurking behind the trees. Favorite horror icons, like Pennywise and Michael Meyers, can be found throughout the haunted attraction. This one is best for those over the age of 10.

5. Headless Horseman Hayrides And Haunted Houses

When: September 25 to October 31

Where: Ulster Park, NY

What to expect: One of the most famous haunted attractions in America, Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses covers 65 acres and includes a haunted walking trail, corn maze and five haunted houses. There are a few special children’s days where the terror is toned down for younger (or weak of heart) guests. The entire experience lasts about two hours, giving you plenty of time to enjoy everything.

best haunted houses netherworld haunted house

6. Netherworld Haunted House

When: September 24 to November 13, 2021

Where: Stone Mountain, GA

What to expect: Walk through Stone Mountain’s famed Halloween attraction, which is filled with live actors, monsters and intense special effects. It’s regularly named one of the best haunted houses in the U.S., and it features two haunts, Netherworld and Cyber Shock, which take about 45 minutes to explore in total. The minimum age is five, although kids who scare easily should probably skip this one.

7. Shocktober Fest

When: October 1 to November 6, 2021

Where: Sinking Spring, PA

What to expect: Located on Tulleys Farm, Shocktober Fest features 10 haunts, including “The Island,” “Twisted Clowns” and “The Chop Shop.” It’s notably immersive, with lots of live actors and special effects, although the event isn’t just about the scares. There are also two stages of live music, plus bars and street food options. Bring the whole family—if you dare.

8. Bayville Scream Park

When: September 24 to November 7, 2021

Where: Bayville, NY

What to expect: Discover seven terrifying attractions at Bayville Scream Park, one of Long Island’s favorite haunted attractions. It’s intended for older kids and adults (although there are a few tamer kid’s days on the calendar) and the park also boasts a selection of food, including two full-service restaurants and two bars. Best of all, one ticket covers the entire Halloween season, so you can return to explore different haunts on multiple days if you can’t see them all at once.

best haunted houses haunted hills hospital

9. Haunted Hills Hospital

Where: Columbia City, IN

What to expect: Join the deranged mental patients at Haunted Hills Hospital, a haunted attraction that only the truly fearless will survive. For a truly horrifying experience, book a ticket to one of the blackout days, where guests will explore the hospital in total darkness. It also includes access to the new Mayhem Midway, which features axe throwing, a live DJ, an escape room and food vendors.

best haunted houses the haunted mines

10. The Haunted Mines

When: September 25 to November 6, 2021

Where: Colorado Springs, CO

What to expect: The long-standing Haunted Mines experience takes over 28,000 square feet, with 2021 embracing a bigger and even better collection of scares. Many of the sets and actors are based on mysterious real events from Colorado’s mining history, but try not to think about how much of it could be true as you venture through the rooms.

11. Field Of Screams

When: September 10 to November 13, 2021

Where: Mountville, PA

What to expect: Field of Scream is often named one of the best haunted houses in the country, and for good reason. It includes four attractions, including a hayride, two houses and a haunted woods, and it makes for a terrifying night out during the Halloween season. There are also concessions with food and drinks and live bands take the stage on several nights of the yearly event.

12. The Dent School House

When: September 17 to November 6, 2021

Where: Cincinnati, OH

What to expect: A murderous janitor roams the halls of The Dent School House, a Halloween tradition in Cincinnati. The attraction, set in an actual schoolhouse and based on a true story, gets upgraded each year, with new sets and effects throughout the rooms. All ages are welcome, although those with a low fear threshold might want to avoid these classrooms. The Dent School House has food on sale for guests, as well.

best haunted houses haunted overload

13. Haunted Overload

When: October 8 to 31, 2021

Where: Lee, NH

What to expect: Located on the DeMeritt Hill Farm, Haunted Overload’s mission in all in the name. The attraction is different from year to year, but it always hosts a nighttime haunt for adults and daytime hours for kids looking for something slightly less scary. Follow along a scary trail, where you never know what might jump out at you.

14. The 13th Floor

When: September 11 to November 6, 2021

Where: Denver, CO

What to expect: Explore a secret “13 th floor,” which is filled with sinister creatures and scares at Denver’s favorite haunted attraction. There are two separate haunted houses for 2021, “Frost-Bite” and “The Dollmaker,” both of which welcome older kids—think PG-13 and up—for a jolt of terror. Buy a skip the line ticket to avoid waiting outside ahead of entry.

best haunted houses cutting edge haunted house

15. Cutting Edge Haunted House

When: October 1 to October 31, 2021

Where: Fort Worth, TX

What to expect: Cutting Edge Haunted House is set in a 100-year-old abandoned meat packing plant, which sets the stage for the screams to come. It takes about an hour to explore the multi-themed rooms, filled with sets, actors and monsters, and visitors should prepare themselves for a fully immersive experience.

16. Fright Fest At Six Flags Great Adventure

When: September 10 to October 31, 2021

Where: Jackson, NJ

What to expect: Come during daylight hours for family-friendly scares or arrive after dark to experience the full terror of Six Flags’ annual Fright Fest. It includes live shows, a trick-or-trail trail, haunted mazes and rides, including the new Jersey Devil Coaster, which roars through eerie nighttime fog.

17. The 13th Gate

When: October 1 to November 13, 2021

Where: Baton Rouge, LA

What to expect: Intended to blur the line between reality and horror, The 13 th Gate is a 40,000-square-foot haunted house that is not for the easily scared (or for children). It takes visitors through a pirate ship, the dangerous streets of Whitechapel with Jack the Ripper, hidden subterranean passages filled with live snakes and a zombie-infested graveyard, all of which are terrifyingly realistic.

18. Pennhurst Asylum

Where: Spring City, PA

What to expect: Navigate the maximum security wing of Pennhurst Asylum, before exploring the mental hospital’s morgue and 1,200-foot tunnels, which once housed a government research facility. It’s an immersive attraction with great storytelling behind it, and visitors should be prepared for special effects that involve fire and smoke. This one is for older guests, so find a babysitter for the kids.

best haunted houses 19 halloween horror nights at universal studios

19. Halloween Horror Nights At Universal Studios

When: September 3 to October 31, 2021

Where: Los Angeles, CA and Orlando, FL

What to expect: Universal Studios’ annual Halloween celebration features numerous themed attractions, including a haunted house based on Netflix series The Haunting of Hill House . There are also frightening experiences based on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Beetlejuice , and it’s scary enough that kids under 13 should stay home. Visitors can also expect live shows and five special “scare zones.”

20. Cedar Point Halloweekends

When: September 17 to October 31, 2021

Where: Sandusky, OH

What to expect: For something more family-friendly, head to Cedar Point on select weekends throughout the fall. There is trick-or-treating for young kids, and haunted attractions and mazes for those a little older. Don’t miss America’s Spooky Roller Coast, which is terrifying when the sun goes down.

best haunted houses blood manor

21. Blood Manor

Where: New York, NY

What to expect: New York City’s Broadway hosts Blood Manor, an annual haunted house that features 10,000 square feet of themed rooms and a labyrinth of passageways and corridors. It’s designed to be the most intense attraction of its kind in New York, and it’s not recommended for anyone under 14 (or for those who scare easily). The house is wheelchair accessible, so this is a good pick for anyone with limited mobility.

21. Reaper’s Revenge

Where: Scranton, PA

What to expect: There’s a lot of terror to explore at Reaper’s Revenge, an annual attraction that hosts a hayride, a horrifying carnival and several other themed haunts. A ticket includes access to all over the site’s offerings, and it can take nearly two hours to experience them all. Food is available for purchase, should you not be too nervous to eat. Keep kids under 10 at home.

22. A Petrified Forest

When: October 1 to 30, 2021

Where: Altamonte Springs, FL

What to expect: Plan a night out to A Petrified Forest, which boasts three haunted trails, live music, food trucks and activities. The haunted attractions are considered PG-13 level, but kids of all ages are welcome to attend.

23. Haunted Schoolhouse And Laboratory

When: September 18 to November 6, 2021

Where: Akron, OH

What to expect: Comprised of two separate haunted houses, Akron’s Haunted Schoolhouse and Laboratory brings double the scares for one ticket. It’s notably scary (kids are 12 should stay home) and guests can book into the even more terrifying blackout nights to creep through the attraction in the dark.

24. Frightmare Manor

Where: Talbott, TN

What to expect: Located on the site of real-life serial killer Jeremiah Lexer’s former plantation, Frightmare Manor covers 20 acres, with numerous walk-through attractions. It’s so absolutely terrifying that if you make it through the entire experience and beat the so-called “Nightmare Challenge,” you get your money back.

best haunted houses scary acres

25. Scary Acres

Where: Hope, RI

What to expect: Head to Scary Acres to immerse yourself in three terrifying attractions, including the “Haunted Woods” and the “Master’s Castle.” There are also bonfires, food and live entertainment, making it feel like a Halloween theme park come to life. There’s no age restriction and plan for at least 90 minutes (if not longer) to go through all three haunts.

The 16 Most Hair-Raising and Spine-Chilling Ghost Tours Across the U.S.

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  • 10 Horrifying Haunted Houses Around The World You Can Visit

Many of the world's most haunted houses are open to visit. Editorial Credit: Seph Lawless

  • About 30% of people are open to living in a haunted house.
  • It can cost as much as $450 USD per night to stay in a haunted hotel or bed and breakfast.
  • An average of 43% of people admit to believing in ghosts.

If you're looking for a unique road trip with potential for terror, check out some of the most renowned haunted houses that welcome visitors for tours or, for the exceptionally brave, overnight stays. From tales of murder to unexplained ghostly presence, these homes won't disappoint the thrill-seeking horror-lover.

10. Monte Cristo Homestead - Junee, New South Wales, Australia

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Originally built for the Crawley family in 1884, the house has seen tragedy. One of the servants dropped their infant daughter down a staircase, killing her, and insisted the child had been pushed by an unknown force. Christopher Crawley died in 1910 and his wife, Elizabeth, became a recluse for her last 20 years. Several deaths occurred in that time, including a pregnant servant falling to her death and a stable boy being burned to death. The home was in disrepair for years until purchased by Reginald and Olive Ryan in 1963, who said he could feel the presence of ghosts. Today the property is open to tours.

9. Sallie House - Atchinson, Kansas

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Sallie House gets its name from a famed demon in the form of a little girl (Sallie) who wreaked havoc on homeowners Debra and Tony Pickman in the 1990s. The same little girl had been seen by former renters, Bobby and Colleen Hunter, whose daughter Heather had played with an imaginary friend she'd called Sallie. Reports of evidence of Satanic rituals in the basement are the icing on the cake. Some who have visited Sallie House have reported being scratched, bitten, and screamed at during their tours or overnight stays.

8. Rose Hall - Montego Bay, Jamaica

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Children in Jamaica are still terrified of stories of Annie Palmer, who was said to practice voodoo. She began sleeping with plantation slaves and killed them or had them killed to keep them quiet, then poisoned her husband. She later married and killed two more men. Palmer became known as the White Witch and it's said her spirit, as well as those she murdered, haunt Rose Hall - now a museum where visitors and employees report hearing doors slamming and men screaming.

7. Woodchester Mansion - Gloucestershire, England

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

While constructing the mansion in 1868, builders suddenly abandoned the site, leaving behind tools and unfinished rooms. Though it appears normal from outside, on the inside, there are entire floors and many rooms missing. But the house certainly isn't empty. Visitors claim to see floating coffins, headless horses and floating heads, an old woman, and a little girl. Staff say they've had their hair pulled before their cameras turn off.

6. Biltmore Estate - Asheville, North Carolina

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The stately vacation home built in the 1800s by George Washington Vanderbilt II is reportedly haunted by his spirit and that of his wife, Edith. It is said their love was so strong they couldn't stand to be apart in the afterlife. Visitors have heard a woman's voice and a couple laughing togther, and seen apparitions walking the grounds. The estate can be toured with or without a guide.

5. Whaley House - San Diego, California

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

In 1852, convicted criminal James "Yankee Jim" Robinson was hung on the site of Thomas and Anna Whaley's future home, and it's said he could be heard walking around the house by their young daughters. He's not alone - visitors have also reported seeing the Whaleys themselves, a young girl, and a dog, and wafts of cigar smoke or perfume have suddenly appeared. Today the house is a museum and historic site.

4. Winchester Mystery House - San Jose, California

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

This home is a maze of hallways and staircases (some going nowhere), secret passages, sloping floors, 160 rooms, nine kitchens, 13 bathrooms, 2,000 doors and 10,000 windows. Owned by Sarah Winchester, heiress to the Winchester rifle fortune, the home is said to be haunted by the spirits of everyone killed by one of the company's rifles, and Sarah continued adding rooms to the home to make more space for the dead. Since her death in 1922, the home has been offering tours to the public.

3. Lizzie Borden House - Fall River, Massachusetts

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Lizzie Borden was the main suspect for the axe murders of her father and stepmother in 1892, but she was tried and acquitted. Now she is said to haunt the home where her parents were murdered and is reported to laugh at the top of the stairs in what is now a bed-and-breakfast with ghost-cams that serves up the couples' last meal (Johnnycakes and eggs) and looks just as it did the morning of the gruesome double homicide.

2. Myrtles Plantation - St. Francisville, Louisiana

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

There are at leaast 12 ghosts taking up residence on the Myrtle Plantation, which is rumored to have been built on a burial ground in 1796. A commonly seen and photographed ghost is a former slave named Chloe. When her ear was chopped off for eavesdropping she killed two of the master's daughters by poisoning a cake and was hanged by her fellow slaves. It's possible for anyone to catch a glimpse of her, and many others, walking the grounds of the bed and breakfast.

1. Villisca Axe Murder House - Villisca, Iowa

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

An unsolved axe-murder of six people - Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two friends staying the night - in the home in 1912 has made this house one of the most haunted houses in the country. Guests have heard children's voices, seen falling lamps and moving ladders, and watched objects fly across rooms while taking tours. Those who are brave enough can spend the night in the murder house, which has seen many tenants come and go over the years - some fleeing in the middle of the night.

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10 of the Scariest Haunted Houses in America

Even the YouTube clips are terrifying.

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Thankfully, for those thrill-seekers, just about every state across the country—from Pennsylvania and New York to Louisiana and Texas—has a place that'll freak them out. Some are located in massive fields and centuries-old farms (do not miss Lancaster County's aptly named Field of Screams), and others take place in abandoned buildings (think a deteriorating meat-packing plant, a historic manor, and a former schoolhouse). Some involve a guided tour of one heart-pounding attraction, while others allow you explore a variety of bone-chilling scenes, sets, and scenarios on your own. But no matter what you choose, all of these haunted houses are packed with spine-tingling sights (expect vicious vampires , killer reptiles, mysterious monsters, and, yes, lots of blood) that'll have you spooked days, even weeks, later.

Ahead, we've compiled a list of 10 of the scariest haunted houses in the United States—and, for that matter, in the world. While none are so extreme that they require you to sign a 40-page waiver , we promise they'll shake you to your very core.

The Bates Motel and Haunted Hayride

Location: Glen Mills, PA

Dates: September 25 to October 31

General admission price: $40-75, with $30 group rates

The Bates Motel and Bates Psycho Path (GET IT?) have been dazzling visitors for 30 years with a particularly slick experience featuring animatronic props actors, and digital FX. The third attraction, the monster-filled Revenge of the Scarecrows Haunted Corn Trail, features walk-through sets and over 30 actors in creepy costume. In 2021, though, those actors won't be touching anyone—masks are also required, and there's a temperature check at the door.

Headless Horseman Hayrides and Haunted Houses

Location: Ulster Park, NY

Dates: September 25 to October 31 (Friday through Sunday only)

General admission price: $39.95 to $47.95 + fees

Fans flock to Ulster Park, NY, every year for the theatrical Headless Horseman Hayride, corn maze, and several haunted house experiences on the grounds of a gorgeous, historic 18th-century manor. In 2020, the hayride was be replaced by a drive-through experience titled "The Horseman's Trail," but details regarding the 2021 season have yet to be released. Keep in mind, though: The website promises it's "returning bigger and better" this year.

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Field of Screams

Location: Mountville, PA

Dates: September 10 to November 6 (Friday through Sunday, mostly)

General admission price: $16 per attraction, $35 for all 4

Lancaster County's Field of Screams offers four themed attractions: The Frightmare Asylum, Den of Darkness, Nocturnal Wasteland, and the Haunted Hayride—which sounds less scary, but looks absolutely TERRIFYING in this video trailer .

The Dent Schoolhouse

Location: Cincinnati, OH

General admission price: $20-25

Taken with a grain of salt, the allegedly-true Dent Schoolhouse storyline is a fun one: The attraction's website claims it was once an actual public school, but it closed in the 1950s after a janitor known as Charlie was suspected of foul play after kids started going missing. These days, brave visitors roam the schoolhouse halls and the outdoor Queen City Slaughter Yard to find horrors around every corner.

The attraction—which has been frightening guests for 25 years—opens September 17, and true thrill-seekers can experience the Dent Schoolhouse *in complete darkness* on November 5 and 6.

The 13th Floor

Location: Denver, CO

Dates: September 11 to November 13 (select nights)

General admission price: $19.99-32.99, date depending

What terrors await on the cursed 13th Floor? Actors in exquisitely ghoulish costume, for one, plus high-tech animations, and rooms that may move to shake your sense of reality. While details about the 2021 attractions will be released in the coming weeks, there were three in 2020: Dead End District, an abandoned "town" with lingering residents you don't want to run into, a Creature Feature starring silver screen vampires, mummies, and werewolves, and Deadly Reflections (LOVE a good haunted mirror).

Haunted house aficionados should also check out the 13th Floor's YouTube channel , which offers "Behind the Screams" videos highlighting the artistry that goes into creating these annual experiences.

Cutting Edge Haunted House

Location: Fort Worth, TX

General admission price: Not listed

So named for its location in a former meatpacking plant, Cutting Edge has made the Guinness Book of World Records as the world's largest walk-through haunted attraction (everything really IS bigger in Texas). It'll take you about an hour to get through, and expect hanging butchered bodies, maniacs with chainsaws, and—well, we'll let their site say it: "Beware: You’ll receive ELECTRICAL SHOCKS. The floors are uneven; the slides are fast and dark; you WILL be enveloped by creeping fog and vapors." Did we mention there's a ghostly drum corps ?

Kersey Valley Spookywoods

Location: Archdale, NC

Dates: October 1 to November 6 (Friday through Sunday only)

General admission price: $30-35, $60 for VIP

Look, it's right there in the name: This is haunted ground. "From the moment you arrive on Kersey Valley property, you are fair game to each and every haunted creature residing here," the site warns. The tour offers a veritable small town of hair-raising sets, and actors in admirably-detailed costumes .

The 13th Gate

Location: Baton Rouge, LA

Dates: October 1 to November 13 (Friday through Sunday, mostly)

General admission price: $30, $60 for VIP

Louisiana's known for its bayous, and 13th Gate is known for its swampy pools full of actual snakes. The 40,000 square feet of ultra-realistic sets and scenarios include an outdoor graveyard full of zombies, and an abandoned asylum. Looking for something even scarier? You can also purchase tickets for one of the two Flashlight Fright Nights (November 5 and 6), in which visitors can explore the completely dark passages of the 13th Gate...with just a few dimly-lit LED finger lights. Oh, and don't miss Carnevil across the street, a festive celebration full of costumed characters, fire artists, and more revelry.

Haunted Overload

Location: Lee, NH

Dates: October 8 to 31 (Friday through Sunday, mostly)

General admission price: $28, $8 in the daytime

New England is famous for its eldritch history, with its real-life witch trials and 19th century " vampire hunters ." New Hampshire's Haunted Overload channels that mood at the DeMerritt Hill Farm each year, transforming it into an immersive experience that's more spooky than gory—but always chillingly done. For those seeking a more family-friendly experience, bring kids before dark for the Day Haunt where there won't be any monsters.

Netherworld Haunted House

Location: Stone Mountain, GA

Georgia's Netherworld has been consistently ranked as a top scary Halloween attraction. The main theme of last year, " Halloween Nightmares ," centered around a centuries-old feud between two rural Georgia clans, but as the website promises, the themes change dramatically each year, so so expect new effects, costumes, sets and scares.

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There are thousands of haunted house attractions in operation around the world, offering fear factors which range from fairground thrills to mind-bending terror.

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Labyrinth of Fear, Japan

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Located within Japan’s Fuji-Q Highland theme park, the Labyrinth of Fear certainly lives up to its name.

Navigating your way through the corridors of an ultra-creepy abandoned hospital while trying to avoid its “patients” will definitely get even the most jaded thrill seeker’s blood pumping. One visitor described her experience as “so horrifying that I ended up losing my voice due to shouting non-stop”.

Even worse for cowardy-custards praying for it to all be over, the Labyrinth is one of the largest haunted houses in the world, and takes up to an hour to complete.

Netherworld, USA

Voted the best haunted house in America by Hauntworld magazine last year, this Atlanta attraction opens its doors in October every year.

Netherworld “was one of the first haunts to create unique themes and populate the attraction with original monsters and special effects”, the magazine wrote, meaning that visitors truly have no idea what to expect inside.

In fact, the scares might even start before you get through the doors - “creatures often escape the building and roam the parking lot in search of their next victims”, according to viral news site TheThings.com.

Lost Souls Alley, Poland

Despite its picturesque location in the heart of Krakow’s Old Town, there is absolutely nothing charming about this haunted house-cum-escape room.

Once the door shuts, you have around 20 minutes to find a way out of “a creepy ramshackle apartment full of blood-spattered beds, hacked-off limbs, moaning invalids and reaching hands”, says travel website In Your Pocket .

Guests are asked to choose their preferred “pain level” before they enter. If you opt for maximum pain, not only will the hands of the actors inside become more grabby, some of them may even be holding stun guns. Yikes.

Thorpe Park Fright Night, UK

Thorpe Park’s annual fright nights have become a Halloween staple - but that doesn’t mean they’ve got any less terrifying. In fact, this year the theme park has put together a bonanza of fear, with nine scare zones and mazes to exhaust even the most hardened horror nut.

Horror movie fans can step into zones inspired by spine-chilling cult classic The Blair Witch Project and the gorefest SAW series, or try their luck at surviving a zombie hoard in The Walking Dead: Do or Die.

Among the new attractions is Vulcan Peak, “an intense nightmarish tribal hell where visitors will need their most primal instincts to survive”, says the Daily Express .

McKamey Manor, USA

The brainchild of Russ McKamey, McKamey Manor - formerly located in San Diego but recently relaunched in Tennessee and Alabama - is infamous among adrenaline junkies as the world’s most extreme haunted house. The experience is truly in a league of its own - in over ten years of operation, not a single visitor has made it to the end of the night.

Would-be participants must have a doctor’s note and undergo a background check before they can even attempt the gruelling ordeal, which many have likened to torture.

So what’s involved? The experience is different for every guest, says lifestyle website Can You Actually , but the 40-page waiver involves “agreeing to force-feeding, ice water dunking, head shaving, gagging and bondage, to list a few”. Not for the faint hearted doesn’t even begin to describe it.

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Winchester Mystery House

The best haunted houses in the U.S. to give you the creeps

Get ready for ghost stories and ghoul sightings at these super-scary haunted houses in the U.S.

Lights flickering, floorboards  creaking , doors slamming shut, shadowy figures passing by—are all eerie and inexplicable occurrences people have claimed to witness within historic homes over the years. In these abodes, they believe spirits, ghosts or supernatural entities still linger within the walls.

The idea of a haunted house spans cultures and centuries. In the tapestry of American folklore, certain homes have become famous for the tales of the restless spirits within their walls, and each has a spine-chilling story to tell.

From the LaLaurie House in  New Orleans , where real-life socialite and serial killer enslaved people, to the Joshua Ward House in   Salem , MA, where a prominent figure in the Salem Witch Trials resided, to many spooky homes in between, America's most infamous haunted houses continue to intrigue and attract visitors. If you're looking for more spooky properties, try an overnight stay in a  haunted Airbnb  or  haunted hotel .

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Most haunted houses in the U.S.

LaLaurie House | New Orleans, LA

1.  LaLaurie House | New Orleans, LA

American Horror Story: Coven reignited interest in this famous French Quarter haunt. In the series, Kathy Bates plays Madame Delphine LaLaurie, a real-life socialite and serial killer who orchestrated a torture chamber for enslaved people at the Royal Street mansion in the early 1830s (before responders to a fire uncovered her dark secret). LaLaurie's victims are said to haunt the property to this day—from the street, pedestrians have heard shouts, moans, and weeping, while some even claim to have seen ghostly faces in the upstairs windows. Even still, the house's ghastly history hasn't stopped wealthy buyers. Before losing the home to foreclosure in 2009, actor Nicolas Cage owned it, and today, a wealthy oil tycoon is said to hold the deed.

The Castle | Beaufort, SC

2.  The Castle | Beaufort, SC

Beaufort's most recognizable antebellum mansion is also one of South Carolina's most haunted. Though construction began in the 1850s, the house was only partially finished when it was commandeered in 1861 as a Civil War military hospital. An outbuilding behind the house served as the hospital's morgue, and bodies are rumored to be interred on the home's extensive grounds. After the house finished construction following the war's end, supernatural sightings began; among the spirits occupying the property is Gauche, a French dwarf jester who came to the area in the 16th century. In the past, he reportedly joined a young girl who lived in the home for tea parties and wandered the grounds in full sight of gardeners and visitors. The castle is privately owned but occasionally opens for tours and events if you want to see it for yourself.

Lizzie Borden House | Fall River, MA

3.  Lizzie Borden House | Fall River, MA

Some say a ghostly face appears in the cellar over the sink where bloody clothing may have been washed right after the 1892 hatchet murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. The possible perp? Andrew's daughter, Lizzie, who was acquitted at the trial of the century, perhaps by the jury's error. She, Andrew and her stepmother Abby are said to linger in the house, along with children who roll marbles on the attic floor, victims of a drowning by their mother in the basement well next door. Aim for the anniversary reenactments every August if you’re dying to see the Lizzie Borden House.

4.  House of Death | New York, NY

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The city that never sleeps is probably just too afraid to close its eyes—the House of Death, a famous brownstone off Fifth Avenue, is reportedly terrorized by a whopping 22 ghosts. Are any of them paying rent? Unlikely. In any case, the most famous ghoul among them is none other than Mark Twain, who lived here 1900-1901, while the most heartbreaking is the ghost of a six-year-old girl who was beaten to death in 1987 by her father, criminal prosecutor Joel Steinberg. In addition to sightings of Twain and the young girl, residents claim to have seen visions of a lady in white and a gray cat.

Molly Brown House | Denver, CO

5.  Molly Brown House | Denver, CO

Margaret Brown championed workers' rights, fought for suffrage and won the French Legion of Honor award for her help in France during WWI. But she is best remembered for surviving the Titanic's sinking, dubbed posthumously the "Unsinkable Molly Brown." It's said that she (along with her husband and mother) still haunts her prized Victorian home, now a museum. Visitors say they’ve seen apparitions in the dining room, smelled mysterious pipe smoke from Margaret's husband, and noticed rearranged furniture and unscrewed lightbulbs. (How many ghosts does it take to...?)

The Sallie House | Atchison, KS

6.  The Sallie House | Atchison, KS

At one of the most haunted houses in America, the bad energy allegedly stems from a botched appendectomy—the six-year-old girl who haunts the house died during a desperate procedure without anesthesia at the turn of the century. In the 1990s, a family who lived in the Sallie House documented their experience on the TV show Sightings , which spoke of flying objects, frequent apparitions, and a mix of scratching, gouging, and shoving (all mainly directed at the male owner). The home is now vacant, but a popular pick for paranormal researchers, and even regular folks can book the house to stay the night for about $100 per person.

Bell Witch Farm | Adams, TN

7.  Bell Witch Farm | Adams, TN

It's the age-old tale of neighbors at war: Kate Batts believed her neighbor, John Bell, cheated her out of some land. Lying on her deathbed in the early 19th century, she swore she would haunt him forever. The result was mayhem for the Bell family, who said they experienced physical attacks and heard chains dragged across floors and noises in the walls. They even saw odd-looking animals on their farm, like a dog with a rabbit's head. You can now tour the Bell Witch Cave and the replica of John Bell's log cabin from May through October. 

8.  Snedeker House | Southington, CT

When the Snedeker family lived here in the 1980s, the drama they experienced in this haunted house (and former funeral home) was so crazy that it inspired a popular horror flick called The Haunting in Connecticut . During a two-year span, the Snedeker parents claimed to have been physically assaulted and sodomized by demonic spirits and said a creepy man with long black hair often visited their son Philip.

Lemp Mansion | St. Louis, MO

9.  Lemp Mansion | St. Louis, MO

All the beer in the world won't lead to happiness. So is the case with the Lemp family, purveyors of Lemp Brewing Company, a stalwart in St. Louis before Prohibition hit. Four family members killed themselves between 1904 and 1949, three inside the 33-room Victorian mansion where they allegedly still reside and haunt guests. It has since been turned into a restaurant and inn where you can explore the Gothic arched underground tunnels and even partake in a ghost tour—just go a little easy on the beer during your stay, okay?

10.  Joshua Ward House | Salem, MA

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This brick mansion, built in 1784 for prominent merchant Joshua Ward, sits where High Sheriff George Corwin (a significant figure in the Salem Witch Trials) once lived. Corwin was the man who used his cane to poke back in the tongue of a dying Giles Corey, one of the 'witches' executed by piling stones upon his body. Three ghosts are now associated with the house: Giles Corey himself, "the strangler" who chokes visitors and "the witch," who was famously captured in all her disheveled glory by a realtor taking photos at a Christmas party at the property. Is it Photoshop, or is it Poltergeist? We’ll let you decide.

Winchester Mystery House | San Jose, CA

11.  Winchester Mystery House | San Jose, CA

Sarah Winchester's husband developed the "gun that won the West," a decision that would come back to haunt her: literally. After losing her husband and young daughter, the widow consulted a spiritualist who alleged the family was haunted by Native Americans, Civil War soldiers, and others killed by her husband’s famous Winchester rifle. She was recommended to use her $20 million inheritance to build a home to appease the spirits. What began as an eight-room farmhouse was added onto for 26 years between 1886 and 1922, becoming a 160-room mansion with 2,000 doors, all to confuse pursuing spirits. If you take a tour, bring your compass.

Ferry Plantation | Virginia Beach, VA

12.  Ferry Plantation | Virginia Beach, VA

Built on Native American hunting grounds, this home's got a raft of ghosts, from passengers of a shipwrecked ferry to a boy who fell from a window. Docents have watched the ghost of an enslaved man walk across the room and tend a long-boarded-up fireplace. Another paranormal presence is Grace Sherwood, accused of witchcraft in the 1700s and found guilty by 'ducking' (a process in which she was bound and dropped in deep water; drowning would mean she was innocent). Thankfully, after seven years in prison, she was released, and in 2006 she was officially exonerated. Book a $20 tour or stay overnight.

13.  Farnsworth House Inn | Gettysburg, PA

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The waiters at this inn won't be the only ones dressed up in Civil War-era clothes—keep an eye out for long-dead Confederate soldiers clad in similar outfits. During the Battle of Gettysburg, many of the South's soldiers died while hiding in this home, which explains the one-hundred-plus bullet pocks in the brick walls. After the fighting in the area was over, the house became a hospital for soldiers. You can learn about the weird supernatural occurrences that continue to take place on the property by booking a ghost tour or an overnight stay.

Villisca Ax Murder House | Villisca, IA

14.  Villisca Ax Murder House | Villisca, IA

On June 10, 1912, Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two visiting children, were murdered by ax in their beds inside this Iowa home. The crime remains unsolved. The home has been stripped of plumbing and electricity to give a more realistic experience to visitors who pay $428 to book the house overnight. But stay at your own risk: In 2014, a paranormal investigator stabbed himself (non-fatally) by morning. He still won't talk about what happened.

15.  Franklin Castle | Cleveland, OH

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This mansion was built 1881-83 by German immigrant Hannes Tiedemann, who tragically lost his four children. It was later called Eintracht Hall, and used for German culture clubs. It wasn't until the 1960s that the then-owners began to say it was haunted by Hannes's wife (and one daughter who died before the house was even built!) and declared it 'evil.' There are hidden rooms and ugly rumors about Hannes as a murderer, crying babies, organ music, ghosts who snatch blankets off you at night and more. One owner of this  "most haunted house in Ohio" was Judy Garland's last husband. 

The Conjuring House | Harrisville, RI

16.  The Conjuring House | Harrisville, RI

Paranormal experts say this colonial-era property is haunted to the gills. In the 1970s, the Perron parents and five daughters experienced a demon or poltergeist that physically harmed the family in a plethora of ways, including a scythe falling from a barn beam to nearly decapitate the mother. Ed and Lorraine Warren showed up to tackle the malevolence—events loosely portrayed in the movie The Conjuring . Today, you can book a day tour or an overnight stay.

17.  Amityville Horror House | Amityville, NY

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This house is the site of a grim murder where in 1974 a son killed his parents and four siblings by gun. The next tenants, the Lutz Family, stayed 28 days before fleeing. These events—including the chilling utterance of the words ‘get out’—were immortalized in the book and movie franchise, The Amityville Horror . The home with its distinctive quarter-moon windows (since replaced) in the attic has long been said to be haunted, including by a pig with red glowing eyes who would stare into the windows. The home sold to a private owner in 2017 for $605k.

Lynnewood Hall | Elkins Park, PA

18.  Lynnewood Hall | Elkins Park, PA

A Gilded Age manor with a Titanic connection? That looks like a state capitol meets Jane Austen’s boyfriend’s house? Check and check. At 70,000 square feet, this home has a lot of floor space for ghosts to ramble (its ballroom can hold 1,000 people). Although the house is abandoned, it’s in fairly intact shape, despite peeling paint, thanks to a caretaker and guard dogs. So who haunts this ‘last American Versailles’ which once held literal furniture from the Parisian palace? Apparently, tycoon Peter A. B. Widener, who built it, and his son and grandson, who sank with the famous ship.

19.  High Life Ski Club | Chittenden, VT

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This ski club exists in a farmhouse that hosted some of the turn of the century’s most convincing Spiritualist happenings. In 1874, siblings Horatio, William and Mary Eddy (descendants of a Salem ‘witch’) saw so many supernatural beings that Chittenden earned the nickname ‘Spirit Capital of the Universe.’ Mysterious poundings, children vanishing from their cribs and a giant Native American ghost were just some of the phenomena (more tragic is hearing how the family abused its young trance-prone sons). A convinced skeptic wrote ‘People from the Other World,’ a book about the 400 beings witnessed there during séances.

Boldt Castle | Alexandria Bay, NY

20.  Boldt Castle | Alexandria Bay, NY

Do you love 1,000 Island salad dressing? If so, you will love Boldt Castle on its heart-shaped island in St. Lawrence Seaway’s 1,000 Islands. Underway as a summer home for a millionaire’s wife, the castle’s construction was not yet complete in 1904 when she died of heart failure. The heartbroken Mr. Boldt walked away and the castle was abandoned until its 1977 rescue. Strange lights are said to come on in the castle, and some have even seen Mrs. Boldt haunting the home that death robbed from her. (Bonus for salad lovers? Mr. Boldt was the proprietor of New York’s Waldorf Astoria Hotel, where Waldorf salad was invented).

The House of the Seven Gables | Salem, MA

21.  The House of the Seven Gables | Salem, MA

Immortalized in the novel of the same name by Nathaniel Hawthorne (who changed his surname from Hathorne to avoid connection to his ancestor who had served as a Salem witch trials judge), this 1668 seaside house was built for a hat and shoe merchant. Check out the bonus eighth gable and the secret staircase replete with stair-climbing ghosts, the giggling ghost boy in the attic and a woman who peers out the windows, said to be Hawthorne’s cousin Susannah.

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15 Of The World's Scariest Haunted Houses

It's almost that time of the year: that time when summer starts winding down, kids go back to school, temperatures begin to cool, and pumpkin spice everything hits store shelves. It's also when we sta

It's almost that time of the year: that time when summer starts winding down, kids go back to school, temperatures begin to cool, and pumpkin spice everything hits store shelves. It's also when we start making plans for Halloween, which means costumes, horror movies, and partaking in activities that gives us chills, thrills, and scares.

That's right: the season of the haunted house is almost here, but some haunted attractions are spookier and more fun than others. Many serious Halloween aficionados will search the country for the next big scare, and thanks to them, we now know which haunted houses in the country to hit during this season. But remember, most of these haunted houses are not for the faint of heart because here there will be ghosts, demons, spirits, and zombies. Enter if you dare.

15 ScareHouse - Pittsburgh, PA

When film director Guillermo del Toro Gómez says a haunted attraction is one of the best, you're likely to believe him. And one of his favorites is ScareHouse in Pittsburgh, which just so happens to be located inside a 100-year-old building with a history of being haunted. Add new scares to that, including a hellish army of clowns and demons, and it's no wonder that ABC once referred to it as "the scariest haunted house in America."

The attraction features Hollywood quality special effects, sure to make even the bravest soul tremble in terror. This house pushes boundaries by messing with your mind and your emotions: that's why you must sign a waiver before you ever enter its doors. Do you dare face the nightmare fuel waiting for you there?

14 The Dent Schoolhouse - Cincinnati, OH

Haunted houses are fun, but they're even scarier when they take place in locations with creepy histories. This is the case with The Dent Schoolhouse . Here, between 1942 and 1952, several students went missing. Legend states that after that, there was a strange smell coming from the school's basement, but the janitor convinced everyone it was just backed up pipes. But the smell continued to pervade the school's halls, and eventually, a mob stormed the basement and found the rotting corpses of the missing students. The janitor, though, disappeared and supposedly still haunts the ground, searching for more victims. Word has it this story isn't true, but it's enough to bring people in droves to the haunted attraction at the Schoolhouse year after year. After all, who doesn't love a good ghost story?

13 The 13th Gate - Baton Rouge, LA

The 13th Gate doesn't just take you through one nightmarish realm, but forces you to face horrors in 13 separate dimensions. This is one of those extreme haunted houses, where the lines get blurred between fantasy and reality. Imagine being forced to crawl through an old crematory oven and getting lost in a maze of underground tunnels. Because most of the makeup and special effects artists are Hollywood-trained, this is the haunted house you come to where the details are so real, you'll believe you've awakened in your own worst nightmare. Be warned, though: if you have an aversion to live rodents and snakes, you may want to cross this one off your list. This one is definitely not for those with heart problems or weak bladders.

12 Cutting Edge - Fort Worth, TX

Most haunted attractions offer about 20 or 30 minutes of non-stop thrills and chills. But the Cutting Edge in Fort Worth, Texas, will take you on a nightmarish journey that lasts a whole hour, making it the longest walk through a haunted house in the world. It also holds a Guinness World Record for the world's largest haunted house, meaning everything that scares you is right there, all in one location. Even creepier? The house resides on the property of an old meat packing plant, but before that, the area was "Hell's Half Acre" because it was one of the most deadliest neighborhoods of the Old Wild West and a former hideout for outlaws such as Jesse James. This, obviously, means that the building itself is reportedly haunted.

11 Freakling Bros.: Gates of Hell - Las Vegas, NV

Las Vegas is often seen as the home to glitz, glamor, and gambling, but it also has a dark underside, at least for those who visit the Freakling Bros. haunted attraction there. Here, you won't find any dancing showgirls (at least any alive) and there are no Elvis impersonators singing sweet love songs in your ear. Instead, you'll find yourself inside the Gates of Hell , the only R-rated haunted attraction in Nevada. This is one of those attractions where guests get touched, so if you have an aversion to that, stay away: reports state that at one point, someone in the group gets attacked and dragged down a hallway, while another gets subjected to electrical shocks. Yikes! There's also a clown who breathes fire and likes to bite guests' ears.

10 Frightworld Scream Park - Buffalo, NY

Frightworld Scream Park is not just a single haunted house. The park includes five haunted attractions sure to get your heart rate up and your adrenaline soaring. It's also certain to make you scream. It takes about two hours to go through each attraction, although due to popularity, long lines probably mean it will take a little longer. Each haunted attraction there has its own theme: Grind House (think Texas Chainsaw Massacre ), Condemned, an "interactive flashlight experience" called Night Stalkers, the horror movie-inspired Eerie State Asylum, and the maze-based Insanity. That's enough scares to last you throughout the year. Each attraction is carefully constructed to deliver the most scares as possible, meaning that guests usually leave the park screaming and running back to their cars.

9 Pennhurst Asylum - Spring City, PA

What's scarier than an old mental asylum that once held insane patients often subjected to tortures and electroshock therapy? That's Pennhurst Asylum , which isn't just a haunted attraction in October, but also a haunted building throughout the rest of the year. Once known as the "Eastern Pennsylvania State Institution for the Feeble-Minded and Epileptic," Pennhurst Asylum pulls out all the stops for Halloween and uses its haunted history to recreate what life was like for those who once lived and worked within its walls. Expect to see live lobotomies and lots of shock therapy and a basement that will have most guests screaming for their mommies. Those running the attraction set it up in such a way that guests' screams get heard by those on the outside, setting up the perfect scare even before you walk through the front door.

8 13th Floor - Denver, CO

Here's another haunted attraction that's been featured in the media many times, including ABC News, USA Today, and the Discovery Channel. The 13th Floor in the Mile High City will plunge you down into the depths of your most dreaded fears and leave you shivering in terror once it's over. This year's theme includes "Undead Abominations" where subjects that were once experimented on and became mutations eventually, gave rise to something that "emerged from the bowels of the earth." There's also "Slasher Remix" that takes you to a lonely cabin in the woods where you'll face things with chainsaws that are much louder than simple bumps in the night. Finally, "Cursed" puts you face to face with werewolves and creatures brought back to life via necromancy.

7 The Hex House - Tulsa, OK

The Hex House is another haunted atttraction based on the city's real haunted history: it's the location where a woman kept other young women as slaves back in the 1940s: people believed her to be a witch who cast spells on the women to keep them in her service. The original Hex House got demolished, but that legend serves as fodder for the extreme haunted attraction that now bears its name. The attraction offers an altered reality of dimly-lit hallways and terrifying rooms that eventually carry guests into a journey of nightmarish proportions. The Hex House promises to take you out of your comfort zone and into the dark unknown where terror remain supreme. This year's attraction features two separate adventures: The Hex House and Westside Grim.

6 Statesville Haunted Prison - Crest Hill, IL

Prisons are naturally scary and creepy places, even more so when they're converted into haunted attractions, just in time for Halloween. Enter Stateside Haunted Prison and face the terror behind the bars.

"The Prisoners have rioted, the guards have fled, a darkness has seized control of this Maximum Security Prison and our Warden has opened the gates for visitors," reads the official website ." After the prisoners have processed 'The Meat/Visitors,' you will be forced to find your way through 23 maximum security cells and come eye to eye with over 100 criminals that were too evil to die. Statesville Haunted Prison. No one escapes."

There's also a second attraction on the premise for those who need even more of an adrenaline ride: City of the Dead.

5 Bennett's Curse - Baltimore, MD

There's a large group of evil beings awaiting your arrival at Bennett's Curse in Maryland. With three individual attractions under one roof, thrill seekers are bound to find the scares they're looking for here (and often many they don't want to see). The actors are not just talented, but also aggressive, which means that they'll do anything to hear you scream. This attraction is known for its great special effects, including realistic props, costumes, and animatronics.

One attraction takes you back to the medieval ages where Army of the Dead suddenly becomes real and guests must face the executioner. There's also a 3D attraction for those who need things to seem even more real and as the website says, "Abandon hope all ye who enter here."

4 The Darkness - St. Louis, MO

Deep within the heart of America's midwest, The Darkness awaits all who would dare face it. Possibly one of the best haunted houses in America, The Darkness features extraordinary set design, cutting edge special effects, live actors, and lifelike animations. The owners bill the place not as a haunted house, but as a horror movie straight out of Hollywood. Here, though, you are the star of the show and your screams serve as the only dialogue needed. This year, The Darkness added an Escape Room that takes you deep underground into hidden subway tunnels that act as a maze to confuse and terrify guests. For those looking for a little sport, there's also a zombie laser tag that lets guests hunt and kill the undead.

3 McKamey Manor - San Diego, CA

McKamey Manor is so scary that many who visited it, have actually spoken out against it, believing that it goes way too far in terrorizing guests, although it made its reputation on doing just that. The "live your own movie" experience simulates an abduction that is so real, you'll forget you paid to get into the building. Touching is not taboo here and guests get thrown to the ground and pulled around by the hair. There's a reason they sign a waiver before entering, after all. The attraction also has a minimum age of 21 to enter. The experience stops becoming entertainment and begins to feel real, and that's its appeal. The extremely terrifying attraction is now so popular, though, that the waiting list includes nearly 25,000 names.

2 Erebus Haunted Mansion - Pontiac, MI

Erebus Haunted Mansion once held the record for the longest walk-through haunted attraction in the world. Although it no longer has that distinction, it still provides a lot of scary entertainment for guests who dare step into its dark halls. This one starts with guests getting sent back through time to experience some of the more horrifying events that happened throughout history.

The attraction is four stories of unbridled and horrific fun that includes some excellent special effects, props, and animatronics. One year, guests reported seeing a hungry human-eating dragon on the property. Although the live actors at Erebus Haunted Mansion can't touch guests, other things can, including spiders, monsters, and bugs that fall from the ceiling. The building also moves of its own will.

1 Netherworld - Atlanta, GA

Welcome to the South, where the ghosts are crazier than most and the otherworldly creatures come out to play. This is Netherworld , in Atlanta, Georgia, a place known for its terrifying actors, over-the-top special effects, crazy details, and scares that will make you jump out of your skin. This haunted attraction doesn't come with a tour guide, though: guests must traverse its horrific corridors and rooms on their own without any indication of what lurks around each corner and behind them. The nightmare starts before you ever get inside, though: some of the creatures often escape the building and roam the parking lot in search of their next victims. The idea is to transport visitors to another world, and for the past 19 years, Netherworld can consider itself a success in doing just that.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

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The Most Beautiful Haunted Houses in the World

If walls could talk, these homes would scream. Check out stories of the 35 most gorgeous, ghoul-ridden haunted houses across the globe.

Haunts of the South: Calhoun House in Atlanta

Hauntingly Beautiful Travel Destinations

Word to the wise? Don’t let the beauty of these haunted houses lure you into a false sense of safety when crossing their thresholds. Their jaw-dropping exteriors are all but a cloak, shrouding their creepy histories, steeped with murder, mayhem and revenge.

First up: The Calhoun-Thornwell House or “Tryggveson” was completed in 1922 and remains one of Atlanta's most intriguing residences. Back in the 1970s, when only the carriage house was occupied, local kids would scout the grounds to see if they could catch a glimpse of a ghostly figure in the main house. Rumor has it, they often did.

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Yelp’s 20 Scariest Haunted Houses

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

To celebrate this year’s scary season, here’s Yelp’s list of the most spine-tingling haunted houses and terrifying attractions across the US

If you’re a thrill-seeker with a penchant for heart-pounding scares, you’ve come to the right place. Join us on a journey through the darkest corners of the US, as we unveil Yelp’s list of the scariest haunted houses to fuel your 2023 nightmares.

With each spine-tingling scream and whispered warning, Yelp reviewers have helped separate the truly terrifying from the mildly menacing. From historic mansions with sinister secrets to immersive Halloween attractions that blur the lines between reality and the supernatural, this list showcases the most highly acclaimed, scariest haunted attractions that American ingenuity has to offer. So gather your courage, bring your bravest friends, and prepare to embark on a Halloween-season adventure like no other. 

Ready to achieve your ghouls this Halloween season? Read on to learn about the haunted places near you, and save the collection on Yelp .

Did your favorite haunt make the list? Let us know on Twitter , Instagram , and TikTok with #YelpHauntedHouses. We only know how scary a haunted house is if you take the time to review it , so share your thoughts on Yelp! 

How we did it: This is an all-time list of the top haunted houses in the United States, according to Yelp. We identified businesses in the haunted houses category on Yelp, then ranked those spots using a number of factors, including the total volume and ratings of reviews. All businesses were marked on Yelp as open or soon to reopen as of September 25, 2023. 

1. Reign of Terror Haunted House , Thousand Oaks, California

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Step into your worst nightmares at the largest professional indoor walk-through haunted house in Southern California. In operation since 1999, Reign of Terror covers an enormous 28,000 square feet of floor space and features more than 130 custom rooms in 10 different themed sections. Inside it’s a no-phone zone, and the exact exhibits are always a mystery. But you’re guaranteed a wide selection of terrifying scenes, monstrous characters, scary props, and spectacular special effects, all designed for a thrillingly fun time. 

Yelpers say: “A high-alert sensory horror wonderland of sweat, gore, and seeming danger…The moment the door opens, you’re in for thrills and chills. Reign of Terror is a SoCal must and Halloween-season thrill.” —Yelp Elite Quintin E.

2. Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre , North Hollywood, California

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Immerse yourself in the macabre and bizarre at another LA-area attraction. While Zombie Joe’s Underground Theatre hosts a variety of themed activities throughout the year, their Halloween event is uniquely shocking, twisted, and irreverent. After walking through a brief maze, you’ll watch a staged production called Urban Death Tour of Terror that changes every year. It’s a series of vignettes, as quick as 1 minute per scene, that depict a range of horrors and controversial interactions. Please note: These shows are not meant for an underage audience nor the faint of heart, as they typically contain nudity, profanity, and fetishes.

Yelpers say: “Every single time I go, Zombie Joe’s steps up to the plate and hits it out of the park! If you enjoy the bizarre, the unusual, the absolute fringe, then this is the experience for you! Just entering is fun and the staging is small and intimate. I love the dedication of the actors and the fantastic use of lighting. Be warned, though… if you have delicate sensibilities, this is not the venue for you. It is esoteric times 100!“ — Grace C.

Find more haunted houses in Los Angeles.

3. Haunted Mansion , Lake Buena Vista, Florida

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Embark on a chillingly delightful adventure at the Haunted Mansion in Lake Buena Vista—better known as the Magic Kingdom, Disney World! At this attraction, guests climb aboard a gloomy Doom Buggy for a grave journey through a labyrinth of haunted chambers. While the ride is dark and contains some mildly frightening scenes, there’s no gore, the ghostly residents are friendly, and the ride is slow-moving, making this the sort of family-friendly attraction you’d expect from the Disney folks.

Yelpers say: “From start of the line to end of the ride, the Haunted Mansion is an entire mood, and I never wanted it to end. Iconic wallpaper, iconic stretchy room, iconic views of all the ‘haunted’ attractions throughout the ride… I loved every minute!” —Yelp Elite Amanda L. 

Find more haunted houses in Orlando.

4. 13th Hour Haunted House & Escape Room , Wharton, New Jersey

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Prepare for the ultimate adrenaline rush at The 13th Hour, where three haunted houses, 8 escape rooms, and an axe-throwing venue converge to deliver spine-tingling excitement. The Darkside is their newest haunted house experience, where guests navigate through pitch darkness with live actors and animatronics providing scares at every turn. The escape rooms, which run year-round, have been recognized as some of the most original and immersive in the country. When the haunted house opens in fall, live actors join in on the escape room fun after 6 pm for extra thrills. 

Yelpers say: “I loved this place! I’m an October baby so every year I look for the best haunted houses and this one is definitely in my top 3! The haunted houses had so many cool props, almost like movie sets…My group did the escape room and haunted house combo, and I am so glad we did! It’s unlike any other escape room I have done!” —Yelp Elite Carla O.

5. Mysterious Mansion of Gatlinburg , Gatlinburg, Tennessee

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Discover the spine-chilling secrets of Gatlinburg’s oldest and scariest haunted house , Mysterious Mansion. Guests embark on a self-guided journey through a classic turn-of-the-century, 3-story haunted mansion. There are secret passageways, winding staircases, and creepy dark corridors to explore, and you never know what might be lurking around the corner in each room ahead… or behind you! 

Yelpers say: “I loved every minute of it. They have done SUCH an outstanding job on this place. The design and decor of the house is impeccable. The music and sound effects were on point and added so much to the scare factor. I was honestly blown away! I don’t scare easily, but I absolutely, uncontrollably shrieked multiple times.” — Daniel D.

Find more haunted houses in and around Knoxville.

6. The Bernal Scream , San Jose, California

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

From a backyard thrill to a legacy of fright, The Bernal Scream’s journey continues in 2023. Father-and-son duo Abel and Mike Barrera started The Bernal Scream as a free show at their home in 2013. For the next 3 years, The Bernal Scream would attract thousands of people, countless terrifying scares, lots of TV news coverage, and numerous online articles. Since the passing of his father, Mike has continued building out the dream the duo started together. Now located in a parking lot, the Bernal Scream is back for 2023, with the “brand new high-endurance Lucifer’s Wrath haunted attraction.” Are you ready?

Yelpers say: “These guys gave me the longest and most terrifying 10 minutes of my life! This is a well-run, well-executed, well-done-everything kind of a haunted house. They only let a small group in at a time, which is a huge plus in my opinion, because you get to experience the whole thing without bumping into other people or getting distracted by their screams…You’ll have an unforgettable experience while also supporting a local family business at the same time—win-win!” — Heba K.

Find more haunted houses in San Jose.

7. Lewisburg Haunted Cave , Lewisburg, Ohio

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Descend into darkness and explore the depths of fear as you venture 80 feet below ground into a real limestone cave at the World’s Longest Haunt! The cave takes about 45 minutes to walk through and shoes with good traction are recommended. Photos aren’t allowed in the cave, but attendees can expect a genuinely creepy atmosphere, effective actors, awe-inspiring animatronics, and realistic sound effects. By the way, the 30,000 live bats aren’t paid actors—just cave residents who may zoom past your head.

Yelpers say: “I travel all over the United States to experience haunted attractions, and Lewisburg Haunted Cave is one of my new favorite haunts. It’s a perfect balance of ‘fun fear’ meets ‘real fear’!” —Yelp Elite Christine L.

8. The Dead End Hayride , Wyoming, Minnesota

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Haunted house or a hayride? This Minnesota attraction combines the two for an experience like no other. First, you’ll get on a tractor-towed wagon for 20 minutes of cool scenes, special effects, and frights. Then, you’ll hop off and walk back through spectacular, scary, and different-themed haunted sets—and a post-attraction beer garden with fire pits and several food trucks!

Yelpers say: “This is a Minnesota fall must-do! Most haunted experiences are you blink and miss it, but this is a great long length! It starts with a 20-minute scary hayride and then continues to keep going with 3+ haunted houses deep in the woods.” —Yelp Elite Jon H.

Find more haunted houses in the Minneapolis area.

9. Hotel of Horror , Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Delve into the eerie mysteries of the Hotel of Horror and Altered Nightmares, where the past and the paranormal converge in a 200-year-old “abandoned” resort. These indoor, walk-through haunted house attractions feature live actors and, they claim, actual paranormal activity. According to their website, “The sinister subconscious of the Hotel of Horror feeds off the dark energy that stains the lumber skeleton of this once pristine mountain resort known as the Lake House Hotel, while Altered Nightmares celebrates the chaos that grows stronger as each soul travels through its decaying halls and abandoned rooms.” It’s open rain or shine with a covered wait line, so don’t let the weather scare you—that’s their job! 

Yelpers say: “Halloween wild times in a haunted hotel. This place rocks—I’ve been going here for a couple of years now and it gets better every time. You enter the basement and slowly make your way to the staircase up to the hotel proper. From there it is pure mayhem…and who knows what you will find around that next pitch-black corner? Since there are a load of rooms and doors, you never know what is going to pop out of where. Absolutely worth the trip, especially if you have a group of fun peeps with you.” —Yelp Elite Franco C.

Find more haunted houses in nearby Bethlehem .

10. Darkside Haunted House , Wading River, New York

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

For a quarter-century, The Darkside Haunted House has been the epicenter of spine-tingling terror. Celebrating 25 years of fear in 2023, it features more than 30 incredibly detailed scenes in 14,000 square feet. The attraction immerses guests in an eerie ambiance, starting with the desolate field that surrounds the haunted domain. They promise to deliver an unforgettable experience that will leave guests trembling.

Yelpers say: “There is nothing better than getting scared out of your wits…Darkside Haunted House gives you all the thrills and chills that one asks for in a scary good time. You’ve got a whole month to get over there so do it while you can. Ain’t nothin’ like screaming your head off to round out an October evening.” —Yelp Elite Josh G.

11. Reaper’s Revenge Haunted Attraction , Scranton, Pennsylvania

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Do you have what it takes to brave a haunted hayride, a dark forest, a pitch-black maze, and the zombie apocalypse? If so, venture into Reaper’s Revenge for a 60-acre haunt featuring several terrifying attractions and more than 90 minutes of scare time. Board the hayride to begin your journey into the woods, but don’t get too comfortable—you’ll have to leave the safety of the wagon to face deranged clowns, mutant zombies,and more. Be careful where you go, because turning back may not be an option.

Yelpers say: “This is an all-around 5-star attraction. I think it takes a lot to impress me after all these years, but Reaper’s Revenge did the job! Color me impressed! Everything is spot on, from cast commitment, to costumes and makeup, to ambiance, to special effects and animatronics.” —Yelp Elite Vlora P.

Find more haunted houses in Scranton.

12. The Thirteenth Hour Haunted Attraction , Indianapolis, Indiana

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Prepare to step into the chapters of an epic horror story at The Thirteenth Hour. Multiple immersive haunted attractions, movie-quality set design, elaborate makeup and costumes, and high-tech lighting and sound make this locally owned and operated event one of Indy’s favorite things to do each fall. Check out their “sacrifice” ticket, often secretly purchased for a friend or family member, which prompts actors to target the ticket holder through the entire haunted house. 

Yelpers say: “All I can say is wow…! This haunt is not your typical gory, cliché attraction. It follows a storyline with actors who give “cut scenes” every so often throughout. They only let one party in at a time, so it’s paced well for the performances. The quality of the costumes, make up, and theming is excellent! Overall, it’s very creative and well done!” — Carlie C

Find more haunted houses in Indianapolis.

13. Purgatory Scream Park , Kingwood, Texas

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Houston’s ultimate haunt experience awaits! Purgatory Scream Park features 27,000 square feet and 40 minutes of terror, making it the biggest and longest attraction in the metro area. Owners Shane and Ryan Glasgow went pro in 2014, after many years of running a highly technical backyard production. Over the years, they’ve built out multiple themed areas, including the Kingwood Asylum, Hallowed Grounds, Asphyxia, and Hysteria Now. They have been voted Best Haunted House in Texas by Haunted Rooms America.

Yelpers say: “A hidden gem in Kingwood! Just when you think the haunt is over, there is another door to pass or a tight hall to walk through what seemed like a never-ending experience. I’ve been to many haunted houses around Houston…Scream Park [is] one of my top choices to visit [and] recommend to everyone.” —Yelp Elite Jose L.

Find more haunted houses in Houston.

14. Sir Henry’s Haunted Trail , Plant City, Florida

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Brace yourself for a night of thrills and chills at this outdoor attraction, where the legendary phantom Sir Henry awaits the bravest souls. Established in 2014, it’s a one-of-a-kind fright-fest featuring 3 haunted trails, laser tag, an escape game, and a new-in-2023 hayride. They also offer roaming scare actors, axe throwing, delicious food vendors, and diverse merchandise. Brave your fears and see if you have the courage to face the legendary phantom Sir Henry!

Yelpers say: “This is my 2nd year in a row attending Sir Henry’s Trail and it did not disappoint. The attraction consists of 3 VERY LONG outdoor haunted trails in the woods…All 3 haunted trails are super scary and the props, cast, smells are on point. The trails are set in the woods which makes it extra dark and scary.” —Yelp Elite Lisa M.

15. The Haunted Farm , Hendersonville, North Carolina

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Enter an eerie realm, where screams from a dark wooded path beckon the brave to follow… if they dare. The legend of the Haunted Farm surrounds young lovers Missy Mae Lively and Billy Joe Tate. Born to a rival family, Billy was murdered before he could meet Missy in her delicate white dress at Clear Creek for an elopement. Inconsolable, Missy disappeared into the woods near her family’s farm. Strange, scary things began to happen, as visitors learned very quickly.

Yelpers say: “Had the best time at The Haunted Farm tonight!…For those that haven’t been before, you’ll be blown away with all the new [scares] and sets! Topnotch set design, trails, and staffed with plenty of people in costume so that there were haunts around every corner! Everyone in our group had a blast. One of the best haunted attractions I’ve ever been to!” — Olivia T.

Find haunted houses in Charlotte.

16. Dark Hour Haunted House , Plano, Texas

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Scream loud, scream often. That’s the tagline of Dark Hour, a movie-quality attraction that has been delivering intense, heart-pumping thrills and chills to Texans and visitors since 2013. Their state-of-the-art lighting and audio systems, in-house production facility, and talented staff of artists and technicians allow them to offer new immersive experiences for each unique production. In 2023, the 13 witches of the Dark Hour Coven have gathered to cast the most terrifying spell, in a haunted house that’s been expanded to add more terrifying scenes, creatures, horrors, and nightmares that are sure to thrill all who enter.

Yelpers say: “I have to say, I think Dark Hour is my new favorite haunt!…Dark Hour is all about high tech and more than your average costumed jump scare. They had a fully realized theme and backstory, so it wasn’t like just walking into a hodgepodge of different scenes that weren’t connected in any way…Give Dark Hour a try, you won’t be disappointed.” — Amanda P. 

17. Trail of Terror , Wallingford, Connecticut

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Join the sinister celebration at the Trail of Terror, where maniacal merrymaking meets a heartwarming mission. The Trail of Terror is run entirely by volunteers who are as dedicated to community charities as they are to dreadful delights. This haunted house has donated close to $2 million to local charities, individuals in need, and community projects since it began in 1995. An outdoor walk-through haunt, it takes 50-60 minutes to traverse the trail. This year’s theme is centered around The Harvester, a being constructed from an amalgam of the town’s collective fears. Don’t worry about the panic setting in…it’s just time for the harvest.

Yelpers say: “So I am a professional haunt attraction enthusiast, I’ve been to haunts all over the world, and Trail of Terror did NOT disappoint! Their entry line was organized with lots to look at and monsters to entertain you.…The maze itself was long! In a good way! Detailed with great scare actors and very creepy scenery.…If you’re looking for a haunt in the Connecticut area, this is for you! Absolutely worth it.” — Ash C.

18. Fright Factory Haunted House , Buckley, Washington

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Enter if you dare into The Fright Factory, where screams reign supreme and terror knows no bounds. Leave the little ones behind, as this haunt is not for the faint of heart. A master class in terror, the owners of this haunted house make no claims of being “family friendly.” Most adult patrons who make it out the back door are usually screaming! This haunt might break your spirit, but it won’t break the bank at just $20 a ticket. Receive a $1 discount with a canned food donation. 

Yelpers say: “The haunted house itself was AWESOME. There were tons of times that truly scared the hell out of me, so that was cool. Outside of being scared a ton, a few times I got to breathe and really pay attention to the detail and work they put into each setting. They really did such an awesome job!…If you haven’t given this place a try, it’s DEFINITELY worth it!” —Yelp Elite Lauren P.

Find more haunted houses in Seattle.

19. Nightmare Haunted House , Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Prepare to be petrified at Myrtle Beach’s scariest after-dark attraction! This creature-themed haunted house places you in the middle of a terrifying zombie outbreak. See if you can survive more than 4,000 square feet of scares. You can’t be sure what lurks ahead or behind, above or below.

Yelpers say: “Scariest thing that I’ve experienced in a while. I loved it. There was never a dull moment in this haunted house. It was really really scary but in a fun way. You can tell the people who worked there not only did their job but performed it in an excellent way. I would totally go back again and I recommend it for anyone!” — Victoria M.

20. Netherworld Haunted House , Stone Mountain, Georgia

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Get ready for a scream-filled 27th season at Netherworld! Debuting this year are 2 epic new haunts: In Primordial, witness the battle between beings of water, wind, earth, and fire against the spawn from the Netherworld. Meanwhile, Cryptid Chaos brings to life living nightmares like the chupacabra, mothman, yeti, banshee, and more. Beyond the scares, you can enjoy photo ops, food choices, games, and a monstrous museum filled with movie props and the bizarre. Plus, the escape rooms are open year-round.

Yelpers say: “Hands down, Netherworld is my favorite haunt. The main walk-through is egregiously lengthy and elaborate, and the second one is just as terrifying though shorter. Netherworld’s effects are outrageous with so much detail…This haunt is an addiction!” —Yelp Elite Lori B.

Yelp’s 20 Scariest Haunted Houses was written and reported by Yelp Senior Community Manager Sarah Crawford .

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We're even spooked by some of the photos ...

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While we’re sure most of them will give you a fright, these haunted houses take scariness to a whole new level. Some of our most terrifying faves are on hold until 2021 (and are worth the wait), but we've found equally spine-tingling alternatives for this year. Are you brave enough to make it through?

Alabama: McKamey Manor

mckamey-manor

What the majority of the population would consider a torture chamber rather than a haunted house, McKamey Manor is by far the scariest "haunted house" there is. It began in San Diego, and now has locations in Alabama and Tennessee, and not one person has made it through without asking for it to be over.

The 30-page waiver you need to sign in order to participate gives Russ McKamey and his "team" the OK to shock you, submerge you in water, and even give you unwanted dental work, along with other disturbing things we'll save you from reading.

McKamey is currently under watch from locals — in both of his new locations — who want him out . The most disturbing part: He has over 27,000 people on the waiting list. If you are too scared, check out Episode 8 of Dark Tourist on Netflix to see what this is all about.

*WARNING: The site contains graphic images and links to even more graphic YouTube videos of the experience.*

More: The Best Halloween Animatronics to Make Your Own Haunted House

Alaska: Fright Nite Manor

Alaska Fright Nite Manor Haunted House

This haunted house is super popular in Anchorage, and it offers a 3D element. Fright Nite Manor been haunting locals for more than three decades, so you know it must be good!

Arizona: AZ Field of Screams

Large corn mazes are just extra spooky at night. This Glendale haunted attraction will make you want to escape, but the question is ... how?

Arkansas: Arkansas' Reaper Haunted House

If you desire an extra-long haunt, Arkansas' Reaper Haunted House offers over 15,000 square feet of scares through 30 horrific scenes. It continues to be the top Arkansas haunted house, so you should check out why. All new for 2020, the Haunted Hallow.

California: Knott's Scary Farm

Closed for the 2020 season.

This terrifying transformation of Knott's Berry Farm theme park to Knott's Scary Farm , where the Southern California theme park Knott's Berry Farm has been a tradition since the '70s.

Looking for one to visit this year? Many in California are shuttered for the season, but Scream Park's Museum of Horrors in Sacramento is up and running, where you can explore the Voodoo Bayou, the Midnight Asylum or the House of the Undead.

Colorado: Hellscream Haunts

At Colorado Springs' Hellscream Haunts , you can choose between the Hellscream Haunted House and the Haunted Mines. Each has a detailed story — in the first, a reporter gets stuck while covering a story, and in the second, you can take a lights-off tour through the underground tunnels.

Connecticut: Fright Haven

Experience a Victorian-era mansion spooked by bloodthirsty vampires, total darkness (and what's lurking in it), and a 3D carnival at Fright Haven in Stratford.

Delaware: Frightland

If one haunted house isn't enough for you, maybe take a trip to Frightland in Middletown, where you can experience eight haunted attractions. You can choose from Horror Hayride, Haunted Barn, Idalia Manor, Fear, The Attic, Ravenwood Cemetery, Zombie Town, and Zombie Prison.

Florida: Universal Orlando Halloween Horror Nights

One of our favorite scares in Florida is a must for the TV and movie junkie who's also into horror and roller coasters, experience it together at Universal Halloween Horror Nights . You'll recognize the haunted house themes from American Horror Story to The Shining to Saw , and there are nine different houses to walk through, in addition to Universal's famed rides.

This may be on hold this year, so try Tampa's Scream-a-Geddon instead. It has creepy clowns galore, paintball and the scariest beer garden you've ever seen.

Georgia: Netherworld Haunted House

You won't have to worry about these monsters touching you at Netherworld , but that doesn't mean you won't leave shaken to the core. The two houses for the 2020 season are Halloween Nightmares and Cyborg Shock, and there are escape rooms if you need even more of a spooky challenge.

Hawaii: Haunted Plantation

For real haunted vibes, check out Hawaii's Haunted Plantation (that is, if you're lucky enough to live there). At this haunt, over 60 actors — as well as the spirits of Hawaii — will scare you. Can you handle it?

Most of Hawaii's scary haunts are shuttered for 2020, but there's a drive-thru scare fest Habiltiat at Aloha Stadium in Oahu . Sounds safe, until killer clowns surround your car.

Idaho: Requiem Haunted House

Requiem is Idaho's top-rated haunted house for a reason: It features 7,000 square feet of horror, so there's plenty of haunting to be had here.

Illinois: 13th Floor Haunted House

This Chicago experience has two haunted houses in a 30,000-square-foot area: Cursed: Purgatory and Dead End District: Freakshow.

Check out the chilling trailer for 13th Floor here .

Indiana: Indy Scream Park

As Indiana's scariest haunted house, Indy Scream Park touts six attractions for the bravest souls. If you want an extra-scary time, wear the glow sticks so the monsters can give you the VIP terror treatment.

Iowa: Scream Acres Park

Escape from zombies in a prison, monsters in a corn maze, clowns in a carnival, and spirits in a slaughterhouse at Scream Acres Park . Be sure to do the cornfield — it's a fan favorite.

Kansas: Field of Screams

Walk through the haunted Field of Screams ... which is 30 minutes in the dark and being scared by actors and special effects. Reservations in advance are required.

Kentucky: Sinister Tombs

Sinister Tombs haunted house in Kentucky has been haunting locals in Eastview since 2001. The land also boasts a quarter-mile trail if you're feeling extra adventurous.

Louisiana: The 13th Gate

Thanks to the film industry's boom in Louisiana, the owners of this terrifying Baton Rouge haunted attraction have hired the best of the best when it comes to set design and makeup.

The walkthrough lasts 30 minutes as people make their way through 13 themed rooms seamlessly woven together. It involves claustrophobic cellars and a real snake-infested Louisiana swamp. No. No, thank you.

Maine: Destination Haunt

Destination Haunt , located in Maine, has several spooky attractions for guests to visit. Experience The Butcher, Buried Alive Cemetery, The Outdoor Maze, and The Clownhouse, to name a few.

While many of Maine's scariest destinations are closed, Saco water park Aquaboggan has been turned into the Trail of Terror for the season.

Maryland: Field of Screams

Field of Screams Maryland (unaffiliated with Field of Screams Kansas!) has been changed into one long haunted trail this season for all your scary needs. Tickets are purchased for groups of up to six people, so bring some friends to scream along with you.

Headshot of Angel Madison

Angel Madison is a writer, editor, and crafter living in New Jersey with her teenage daughter and two cats.

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Top 13 places in Russia where you may face a ghost

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

1. Kusovnikov House in Moscow

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

In the 19 th   century house № 17 on Myasnitskaya street in central Moscow was inhabited by a rich, but very greedy couple – Pyotr and Sofya Kusovnikov, who scrimped on almost everything. Extremely suspicious, they used to hide money from their servants in different places. Once they hid some in the fireplace, but the janitor accidentally burned it when lighting the fire. When she found out, Sofya died instantly of a broken heart, her husband passed away a little later. Since then, the ghost of a hunched old man in a coat has routinely appeared on the street near the house – this is Pyotr Kusovnikov mourning his lost money.

2. Sokol metro station

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

During WWI, not far from the modern Sokol station of the Moscow metro, a cemetery for fallen soldiers was located. In 1918, mass executions of White officers and priests by the Reds were held there. All this led to the appearance of ghosts in the dark tunnels of the station. Early in the morning diaphanous figures with festering wounds can be seen there.  

3. St. Michael’s Castle in St. Petersburg

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

This castle was a royal residence built by order of Tsar  Paul I. On March 21, 1801, he was killed there by a group of conspirators. It is considered that the restless spirit of the tsar was unable to leave the castle. It appears there in the corridors with a burning candle in its hand.

4.   Znamenskaya Tower in Yaroslavl

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

During the Civil War in Russia (1917-1922), a group of White troops held positions in the Volkovsky theater in Yaroslavl. The Red commissar in command of the siege promised to spare their lives. However, he lied and all the Whites were executed at the Znamenskaya Tower. Since then, the ghost of the commissar who didn’t keep his promise has been seen at the place of his crime.

5. Igumnov House in Moscow

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The house at 43 Bolshaya Yakimanka Street in Moscow, also known as “Igumnov House,” serves today as the residence of the French ambassador. It was built at the request of the industrialist Nikolay Igumnov in the late 19 th   century. He settled his young mistress here, but one day caught her with a lover. The lover was kicked out, but the girl was never seen again. It is believed that the outraged Igumnov bricked her up in a wall. During Soviet times, people often saw the ghost of a young girl walking through the walls with deep, plaintive sighs.     

6. House of Rasputin in St. Petersburg

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The flat on the second floor at 64 Gorokhovaya street in St. Petersburg is today a usual residential apartment. However, in the early 20th century it was home to one of the most mystical figures in Russian history – Grigory Rasputin. His ghost sometimes appears here, scaring inhabitants with its clunking steps and grunting in dark corners.

7. House on the Embankment

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

This house at 2 Serafimovicha Street, simply known as “House on Embankment,” is among the most famous in the Russian capital, known as the place of residence for the Soviet   crème de la crème : writers, artists, actors, generals, athletes. However, it also has a dark history. During the Great Purge, a campaign of political repressions in the USSR, dozens of the house’s inhabitants were arrested and executed. Today, the house is full of the ghosts of those victims, who sometimes appear in their old dwelling place. 

8. Tower of the old hospital in Ryazan

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Among the high-rise modern buildings at 15 Gorky Street in Ryazan is an old tower – all that remains of the old hospital. At night, a lonely dark figure can be seen walking in this tower. This is the ghost of Alexander Smitten, who administered the hospital more than a century ago.

9. Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

During a misty night in March, one can see the ghost of a young girl near the Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg. Her face is blue because of asphyxiation, and there is a big red mark on her neck caused by a rope. This is famous revolutionary Sophia Perovskaya, who assassinated Tsar Alexander II and was hanged for her deed. To meet this ghost is a bad omen, and can cost nocturnal pedestrians their lives.

10. Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

There is a legend that when the Kremlin in Nizhny Novgorod was being built, the constructors were unable to finish one of the towers. It kept falling down. In the end, they decided to make a sacrifice and to build the tower on the blood of the first person who passed by. It happened to be a pregnant woman hurrying to the river for water. She was seized and bricked up in the tower alive. The ghost of a pale woman holding a baby has appeared near this place ever since.

11. Oldenburg Palace near Voronezh

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Built in the late 19th century, the palace belonged to Princess Eugenia of Leuchtenberg. Today her ghost rises from the deep casemates of the palace to wander through its rooms and corridors. There is also another ghost there, much older — the ghost of a young peasant girl. It is even said that Princess Eugenia saw it when she was alive.

12. Stalin’s country house near Sochi

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Stalin’s ghost can be seen at his country house, located today within the Green Groove hotel near Sochi. The “father of the nations” walks in his white jacket, smoking his trademark pipe.

13. Psychiatric hospital near Nizhny Novgorod

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Near the modern psychiatric hospital in the village of Lyakhovo near Nizhny Novgorod, one can see an abandoned old building. Several dozen years ago a young girl hanged herself there because of unrequited love. At night it is possible to see a white silhouette and hear the moaning and cries of the “love-stricken schoolgirl” as the locals call her.

And if you want to see a UFO, here are several places in Russia where you will have a chance.

If using any of Russia Beyond's content, partly or in full, always provide an active hyperlink to the original material.

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13 of the BEST Halloween Horror Nights Houses of All Time at Universal Orlando

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

It’s a personal favorite day of the year since Halloween is not only an excuse to stuff your face with candy, but it’s the time when being scared is actually FUN.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

And, you know that Halloween Horror Nights is basically the way to spend your spooky season, if you’re looking for the most thrills and chills possible. While we weren’t able to attend a full event this year , Universal Orlando still incorporated two daytime houses , a decked out Tribute Store , terrifying treats , and grown-up trick-or-treating into its parks.

Maybe it’s our affinity for the fears that we’ve encountered during Halloween Horror Nights from the past, but we can’t help but think about all the outstanding houses, scare zones, and shows we’ve seen at previous events when October 31st hits.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

We’ve learned some awesome insider details from RIP Tours and gone down many rabbit holes about past events. And, there are over 180 houses (!!!) to consider from the past 30 years of Halloween Horror Nights in the parks. But, there are some that have really rocked our world and changed the game for horror events as we know them.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

In honor of (arguably) the best day of the year, we’re giving you a look at 13 of the BEST Halloween Horror Nights houses over the past 30 years of events!

Screamhouse

If multiple horror documentaries and critics place a house as a renowned work of art , you know it’s got to be good. Screamhouse at Halloween Horror Nights 12 literally changed haunted houses as we know them. It changed how Universal Orlando continued to build its event, setting a bar with the level of detail put into its facade and story.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The set design was unsettling as you tried to maneuver through hanging body bags as you smelled the scent of rotting flesh, all while you could hear the voice of the Caretaker overhead. Universal also instituted its famous mirror trick during the finale of Screamhouse, which has become a major component of other houses for years to come.

All-Nite Die In

Also at Halloween Horror Nights 13, the All-Nite Die In was a predecessor for many combination houses that we’ve seen later. The attraction took horror giants like Jason, Freddy, Michael Myers, and Leatherface and let guests walk through their own slasher movie extravaganza. And, that’s not even a joke, since the facade was actually a movie theater with a torn screen!

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The sets for each of these movies in the houses were crazy good, making you feel like you were actually outside at Camp Crystal Lake or inside the boiler room from The Nightmare on Elm Street . Each time we binge these scary movies at Halloween, part of us wishes we could turn back the clock and experience All-Nite Die In another time.

Body Collectors

Although there were past Body Collectors houses, one of the stand-out houses during Halloween Horror Nights 15 was its Body Collectors attraction that year. The Gentlemen were brutal characters that really turned up the gore factor. The story played into the Terra Queen prophecy that was prominent in the parks that year (and will hopefully be fulfilled during HHN 30 next year), tying both plot and character development together neatly.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

And, we can’t pass up the opportunity to talk about the gruesome SPINE RIP that the Body Collectors house showcased. This house was all about the blood and guts of the Halloween Horror Nights franchise (and there’s a reason it’s so well-known by fans today).

The Thing: Assimilation

The reason that The Thing: Assimilation from Halloween Horror Nights 17 has become such a favorite was that it kicked off the growth of puppeteering in Universal Orlando’s haunted houses. The design and tools used in the house really paved the way for later houses (which we’ll note again later) paired with the amazing scare actors and sound queues used throughout the walk-through.

But, honestly, this house has remained one of the most intense experiences to date. The costumes were terrifying, taking gore to the next level with ripped-open bodies and distorted faces. The scare actors ran after people, making The Thing: Assimilation feel incredibly real and terrifying (our hearts are pounding a little just thinking about it). If you want to see what we mean, you can look behind-the-scenes of the attraction in Universal Orlando’s Halloween Horror Nights series !

An American Werewolf in London

A few years later during Halloween Horror Nights 23, The Thing: Assimilation paved the way for the An American Werewolf in London  to become such a hit. While the house found its origin in a classic movie, it continued on an upward climb with the realistic puppets and special effects brought to life in the house. An American Werewolf checked everything off the “haunted house” necessity list as it contributed a great story, detailed elements, fantastic facade, and life-like puppets into the realm of Halloween Horror Nights.

Jack Presents — 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem

The 25th anniversary of Halloween Horror Nights was a big one as hosts from past years came together to scare the socks off guests that year. And, Jack Presents — 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem called back to key elements from past mazes. While the entrance was set in a house of horrors, the entrance set up what a trippy event it would be with a creepy carnival atmosphere.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

There are a LOT of hosts from other Halloween Horror Nights that show up in the house, but we are still obsessed with the flying gargoyles that were used in Jack Presents — 25 Years of Monsters and Mayhem. As Halloween Horror Nights 30 is already in the works, we honestly cannot WAIT to see how past events are incorporate into the milestone occasion.

The Shining

If you’re a massive Stephen King fan, you were likely in high anticipation when Universal announced that they would be constructing a house based on The Shining .

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

And, the Halloween Horror Nights 27 attraction lived up to ALL the hype and ticked each of the boxes it needed to in order to really pay homage to both Stephen King and Stanley Kubrick. Guests really felt like they were entering the Overlook Hotel and winding down corridors (complete with bloody elevators and axe-wielding psycho husbands).

The ending, though, was the best part as the temperature dropped considerably when you went into the hedge maze outside. Jack Torrance popped out at the right moments, making you unaware of where he was lurking just inside the hedges. I’m really gunning for a house based off the It movies after the success of Universal adaptation’s of The Shining .

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Poltergeist

It’s not always easy to take such a beloved scary movie and do it justice. But, Universal Orlando created an INSANE Poltergeist house that stayed true to the heart of its source material. It’s one of those houses you can’t help but think about time and time again because the detail was just that good .

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The entry facade alone is worth noting with this house as you literally rose up from the ancient burial ground, made your way past all the skeletons, and entered the house. But, unlike the movie, guests would actually act as Carol Anne in the Halloween Horror Nights 28 house and enter the portal to the other dimension. The huge masks, ghosts, and figurines used throughout the atmosphere brought your childhood fears to life in the best ways possible!

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After

The Scary Tales series has been an ongoing set of twisted fairytales at Halloween Horror Nights (that even the Revenge of the Tooth Fairy has taken a few notes from this year). However, the version at Halloween Horror Nights 28 was outstanding with the Wicked Witch of the West flying above guests as they entered the “story book” of Scary Tales: Deadly Ever After .

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The house really played up the fact that original fairytales written by Hans Christian Anderson and others are pretty dark (like cutting your tongue off in The Little Mermaid dark). The walk-through flipped stories like The Wizard of Oz , Hansel and Gretel, Humpty Dumpty and more on their head, giving the house one of the most creative narrative and sets at Halloween Horror Nights 28.

Stranger Things

Since the hit Netflix show has become a fan-favorite for people of all ages, Universal Orlando snatched Stranger Things up right away for its Halloween Horror Nights events. The first year when the Season One house debuted in 2018 blew everyone away as the Upside Down’s particles floated through the air and the Demogorgon was ridiculously life-like.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Universal spared no details on the monster, individually 3D printing each of the teeth on the masks the scare actors would wear. Some of them even opened and closed, which made it all the more terrifying when the Demogorgon would pop out at guests.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

The 2019 house for Season Two and Three was a bit of a let-down if we’re going to be honest with less special effects used than the previous year. However, the HUGE Mind Flayer animatronic was breath-taking (and made up for some of the other lacking elements in the Halloween Horror Nights 29 house).

Universal Monsters

Halloween Horror Nights 29 actually had some of the most incredible houses we’ve ever seen. And, although many houses are about the scares for some people, Universal Monsters used an incredibly detailed set that revealed something new to guests each time they walked through it.While each room shifted from imagery of Dracula to the Phantom of the Opera and even the iconic Frankenstein duo, most people probably didn’t notice some of the tiniest details (but it’s a cool fun fact for horror fans).

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

At the end of each room, there were decorations that keyed into the next scene’s theme. So, pieces of seaweed or other subtle underwater elements were incorporated into the previous The Hunchback of Notre Dame scene to allow a smoothless transition between sets. And, it just tied the entire the entire house together with seamless precision that Universal Orlando has mastered.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Killer Klowns from Outer Space

An interactive house that allows you to spray your friends with water while they get scared by human-eating clowns? Yes, please. There were plenty of fear factors at Halloween Horror Nights 29, but Killer Klowns from Outer Space was a surprise slam-dunk of a house. The film has become a cult classic with the its strange story, but hilarious and semi-scary clowns.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

However, the HHN 29 house was a hit due to its giant circus tent facade, MASSIVE clown costumes that towered over guests, and buttons that let you actually interact with the attraction. It really did give that “fun maze, but make it horror” vibe you’d find at an actual carnival or fair. But, the best part of the house was the insane Klownzilla puppet that hung from the ceiling, snapping at guests as they walked through.

Ghostbusters

It was only a matter of time before Halloween Horror Nights hopped on the Ghostbusters franchise, considering the fact that Beetlejuice and Bill and Ted have both been a central part of the Universal Orlando event. The Halloween Horror Nights 29 house was meant to be more fun than something scary as a “lighter” option for scaredy cats out there.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Yet, it was easily one of the best film to house adaptations that Universal has ever made. Honestly, it’s the fact that this house used its projection tools and special effects SO well that I actually thought I was passing a ghost in the Public Library or that Slimer was barreling towards me.

The proton energy streams the Ghostbusters used literally flickered and sparked, which made my heart more happy than I can describe. And, it just looked awesome. Oh, we also can’t forget the EPIC finale with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man burning and filling the room with the scent of toasted marshmallows (which is better than the rotted flesh and literal POOP that past houses have smelled like).

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Honorary Mention: Beetlejuice

Universal Orlando can’t help but keep us on our toes since the parks are wrapping up their modified Halloween Horror Nights with one last surprise! A Beetlejuice house opened for guests to walk right into the movie on October 31st and November 1st as an extra treat.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

And, we have to say that we are REALLY hoping this house returns for next year’s event because two days is not nearly enough time to experience how awesome it is! Guests were taken into the Land of the Living and the Neitherworld as they walked through the Maitland’s house and then the iconic Waiting Room.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

Similar to Ghostbusters, the Beetlejuice house stayed true to the parts of the film that have made it such a classic, all while adding special effects and insanely accurate set designs. You even get to experiences the “Day-O” scene and a real life SANDWORM! (Do you think Universal would let us move in with the Maitlands and Lydia as another friendly ghost??)

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

As Halloween Horror Nights 30 is underway, we’ve gotten a sneak peek at the Puppet Theatre: Captive Audience house that will be debuting in 2021 . However, the years-worth of amazing houses over the past 30 events have us expecting that there will be attractions that literally shake us to our core. While we’ll have to patiently wait for more details on the anniversary event coming soon, we’d LOVE to hear some of your favorite experiences you’ve had during the past “30 Years, 30 Fears” of Halloween Horror Nights in Universal Orlando!

Here’s how we think that Halloween Horror Nights 30 could see some big changes!

What are some of your all-time favorite houses? Let us know in the comments below!

Universal Orlando

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Rachel Franko

Rachel Franko has been going to Disney Parks since she was a baby, and her love of Disney has only grown into a SLIGHT obsession since! She's been writing for AllEars since 2019 and loves sharing the magic with all the readers. When she's not writing, you can catch her heading to Disney and Universal Studios with a heart full of dreams and a backpack full of themed ears!

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America's Biggest and Longest Haunted Screampark is back bigger and scarier than ever before with THREE new attractions including:  Slaughterhouse - Fright High and live stage show Freakshow Deluxe.   Creepyworld has 13 different haunted attractions in ONE LOCATION!  Creepyworld opens September 30th.   Visit The Darkness located about 20 minutes away.  The Darkness haunted house features two floors of fear Darkness, Terror Visions 3D, Horror Arcade, plus next door St Louis Escape Rooms and Retro Interactive mini golf.  Get a combo ticket and SAVE to both Darkness and Creepyworld.  Also consider a combo ticket with Lemp Haunted House which is back in 2023.  Go deep underground where no one can hear you scream.  

Attraction The Darkness

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READ THIS WARNING BEFORE PURCHASING TICKETS OR ENTERING ANY OF THE ATTRACTIONS!

This attraction reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone. You will experience intense audio, lighting, extreme low visibility, strobe lights, fog, damp or wet conditions, moving floors, special effects, sudden actions, and an overall physically demanding environment. You should NOT ENTER this haunted house if you suffer from asthma, heart conditions, areprone to seizures, have physical ailments, respiratory or any type of medical problem, are pregnant or suffer any form of mental disease including claustrophobia.

DO NOT ENTER: the attraction if you are intoxicated, wearing any form of cast, medical brace, using crutches, or have any type of physical limitations. Do not enter the attraction if you are taking medication or using drugs of any type. You will not be admitted if any of these conditions are noticed by our staff.

DO NOT ENTER: IF YOU SUFFER FROM - ASTHMA - HEART CONDITIONS - SEIZURES OR ANY TYPE OF MENTAL, PHYSICAL, RESPIRATORY AND OR MEDICAL PROBLEMS.

DO NOT smoke, run, eat or drink inside the attraction. Additionally there is no touching of the actors, customers, or props inside the attraction. No video or flash photography may be taken inside the attraction. You will not be admitted and asked to leave the property if any of rules are not followed.

THERE ARE NO REFUNDS! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Your ticket is a revocable license and may be taken and admission refused upon refund of purchase price. Holder of this ticket understands that there is inherent risk involved with attending this attraction. Holder voluntarily assumes all risks and dangers associated with participation in this attraction. In consideration and acceptance of entrance into this attraction holder agrees to release the operator, it's parent corporations, affiliates, officers, directors and employees and landlord from any liability, harm, injury or death, cost or expense whatsoever that may arise directly or indirectly, from attending this attraction or any of the attractions at this location

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America's Scariest Haunted Houses are The Darkness and Creepyworld located in the St Louis Missouri area. Click on the attraction you want more information for and prepare to scream. The Darkness is located near Soulard Market a couple blocks from Ball Park Village. Creepyworld with 13 different haunted attractions including a haunted hayride is located in Fenton off 141. St Louis Escape and Silly Putter are located next door to The Darkness. Grab your friends and scream with us in 2023.

Attraction Thedarkness

Are you ready to experience the best haunted house in America? How deep into the depths of The Darkness can you plunge before your next breath is your last? The all new Darkness Haunted House, located in Soulard, off South Broadway in downtown St. Louis, Missouri, has been rated as America's BEST haunted house. The Darkness celebrates its 30th Year of Fear with a total renovation to make The Darkness longer and scarier than ever before. New in 2023 the Horror Retail Store, new Scenes and Screams.   The Darkness also features several new scenes and screams.  Terror Visions 3D was totally renovated.  Prepare to scream downtown St Louis. 

Attraction Creepyworld

America's Biggest and Longest Haunted Screampark is back and bigger than ever. In 2023 Creepyworld will feature 13 haunted Attractions in one location including the THREE ALL-NEW Attractions including Slaughterhouse, Fright High, Freakshow Deluxe plusJack O'Lantern Spooktackular, Monster Midway with Vampire Crypt 5 Minute Escape Room. Also experience St Louis’ only Haunted Hayride.  PLUS THE ALL-NEW BOBO SLAUGHTERHOUSE THE GORIEST HAUNTED HOUSE IN CREEPYWORLD HISTORY!   Creepyworld takes over one hour to complete so bring your friends and scream together.

Attraction Escape

The all-new Lemp Brewery Haunted House is ready to make you scream. Lemp haunted house is BACK in 2023 to celebrate its 30th Year of Fear!  We spent all off-season adding new screams, scenes, animations, monsters and more to make LEMP THE SCARIEST YET!   

Attraction Escape

St Louis Escape is the #1 Rated Escape Rooms in St Louis with SEVEN different escapes, including the all-new Jurassic Island,  Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein, Dracula, Cellar, Haunted Hotel and the all new Pirates Curse. St Louis Escape is located right next door to The Darkness haunted house. Play one of the best escape rooms in America then visit The Darkness Haunted House in the same night. St Louis Escape is open year around so book now.  Also new in 2023 is Retro an interactive mini golf located in the same building as St Louis Escape.  

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This attraction reserves the right to refuse admission to anyone. You will experience intense audio, lighting, extreme low visibility, strobe lights, fog, damp or wet conditions, moving floors, special effects, sudden actions, and an overall physically demanding environment. You should NOT ENTER this haunted house if you suffer from asthma, heart conditions, areprone to seizures, have physical ailments, respiratory or any type of medical problem, are pregnant or suffer any form of mental disease including claustrophobia.

DO NOT ENTER: the attraction if you are intoxicated, wearing any form of cast, medical brace, using crutches, or have any type of physical limitations. Do not enter the attraction if you are taking medication or using drugs of any type. You will not be admitted if any of these conditions are noticed by our staff.

DO NOT ENTER: IF YOU SUFFER FROM - ASTHMA - HEART CONDITIONS - SEIZURES OR ANY TYPE OF MENTAL, PHYSICAL, RESPIRATORY AND OR MEDICAL PROBLEMS.

DO NOT smoke, run, eat or drink inside the attraction. Additionally there is no touching of the actors, customers, or props inside the attraction. No video or flash photography may be taken inside the attraction. You will not be admitted and asked to leave the property if any of rules are not followed.

THERE ARE NO REFUNDS! ENTER AT YOUR OWN RISK! Your ticket is a revocable license and may be taken and admission refused upon refund of purchase price. Holder of this ticket understands that there is inherent risk involved with attending this attraction. Holder voluntarily assumes all risks and dangers associated with participation in this attraction. In consideration and acceptance of entrance into this attraction holder agrees to release the operator, it's parent corporations, affiliates, officers, directors and employees and landlord from any liability, harm, injury or death, cost or expense whatsoever that may arise directly or indirectly, from attending this attraction or any of the attractions at this location

America's Scariest Haunted Houses are The Darkness, Lemp Haunted House and Creepyworld located in the St Louis Missouri area.  Find more information about the best haunted attractions in Missouri Illinois area.  The Darkness is located downtown St Louis just a few blocks from the St Louis Cardinals Busch Stadium and Ball Park Village in historic Soulard.  The Darkness features zombie laser tag, outdoor scream zone, Monster Museum, and The Darkness haunted house.  Next door to The Darkness is St Louis Escape with SEVEN different escape rooms in one location plus Retro Mini Golf.     Creepyworld located about 20 minutes from downtown in Fenton Missouri on highway 141, is America's biggest and longest haunted screampark with 13 different attractions in one location.  Creepyworld features a haunted hayride, haunted houses, graveyards, haunted hospitals, haunted prisons, cornfields and yes even a Christmas themed haunted house Krampus revenge. Lemp is located inside the old Historic Lemp Brewery underground where NO ONE CAN HEAR YOU SCREAM!   Find the best and scariest haunted houses at www.Scarefest.com  

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Top 10 Most Haunted & Ghostly Destinations in Russia

Sally Polly

Russia is the world's largest country by land area, covering 11 time zones and a wide variety of landforms. It is recognized for encompassing more than 1/8th of the inhabited land area of Earth and shares land borders with nations like Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Poland, among others.

Russia is undoubtedly a fantastic country with exquisite food and stunning churches, but when it comes to horror, it really elevates the experience. that upon your next visit, you will undoubtedly get goosebumps.

Russia is home to numerous haunted locations that will stay with you forever, from Stalin's mansion to the Yakutia diamond mine.

What are the most haunted and ghost places in Russia?

10. nizhny novgorod kremlin.

The Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin is a fortress located in the city's center and represents the oldest historical, social, political, and artistic complex.

The Plenipotentiary Representative of the Russian President in the Volga Federal District, as well as the Mayor and Governor of the Nizhny Novgorod Region, have their official residences here.

It is situated at the meeting point of the Oka and Volga rivers on the right high bank. The Kremlin's northwest section descends nearly to the base of the slopes, its southeast section leads to Minin and Pozharsky Square, and its southwest section rises above the People's Unity Square and the deep Pochainsky ravine.

There is a story that the builders of the Nizhny Novgorod Kremlin were unable to complete one of the towers. It continued to fall. Ultimately, they chose to offer a sacrifice and erect the tower using the blood of the first passerby. It turned out to be a pregnant lady rushing to get water from the river. Captured, she was bricked up alive inside the tower. Since then, the ghost of a pale woman carrying a baby has been seen close by.

9. Griboyedov Canal in St. Petersburg

This canal is small and winding, running through the heart of St. Petersburg between the Fontanka and Moyka Rivers, running parallel to them for the majority of its length. Despite being shorter than six kilometers, the canal is crossed by over 21 bridges, many of which are pedestrian. The Obvodny Canal has the most bridges—24—among all of them. The five-kilometer canal embankment offers a wide view of St. Petersburg's architecture spanning centuries and architectural styles, from opulent palaces and cathedrals to modest tenements from the early 20th century. The canal is also well-known for being the scene of one of the most well-known terrorist attacks of the 19th century, where Russian Emperor Alexander II was assassinated by anarchist revolutionaries.

The Griboedov Canal was constructed parallel to the small Krivusha River, which flowed through this area long before St. Petersburg was built. In the 1730s, houses for Navy Department workers were constructed on the river's right bank. The Krivusha River channel was linked to the Moyka in 1737. The Court Stables' homes and barns were situated along the newly named Konyushennaya channel. Francesco Bartolomeo Rastrelli constructed a mansion for General Villebois at the intersection of Nevsky Prospekt and the canal between 1759 and 1761. The best masquerades and balls in the city were hosted here in the 1820s and 1830s by millionaire Baron Vasily Engelhardt; today, chamber music concerts take place in the Maly (Small) Hall of the St. Petersburg Philharmonia.

The ghost of a small child is visible in St. Petersburg near the Griboyedov Canal on a misty night in March. She has a large scarlet mark on her neck from a rope, and her face is blue from asphyxiation. This is the renowned revolutionary Sophia Perovskaya, who was hanged for her actions after killing Tsar Alexander II. It is ill luck to encounter this ghost, which could endanger the lives of nighttime pedestrians.

8. Tower of the old hospital in Ryazan

Among the high-rise modern buildings at 15 Gorky Street in Ryazan is an old tower – all that remains of the old hospital. At night, a lonely dark figure can be seen walking in this tower. This is the ghost of Alexander Smitten, who administered the hospital more than a century ago.

7. Mikhailovsky Castle

In addition to being a striking example of unique architecture in St. Petersburg, the Mikhailovsky Castle silently observed a number of intriguing events during the brief reign of Emperor Paul I, son of Catherine the Great. In order to take the Russian Imperial throne, Catherine deposed her husband Peter III. She ruled Russia until her passing in 1796. By that time, her 42-year-old son Paul was expected to have inherited his mother's position of authority. However, Paul lived in constant fear of being assassinated because neither the nobility nor the royal guards liked or respected him. He gave the order to have a fortified palace—a castle encircled by deep ditches—built for him in order to allay these worries. A legend states that one of the soldiers stationed at the construction site had a vision of Archangel Michael standing next to him, watching over the castle. After the Emperor was informed of this, the castle was renamed Mikhailovsky (St. Michael's).

Two factors make the Mikhailovsky Castle well-known: First of all, it is the only castle in St. Petersburg, and secondly, tsar Pavel I, the most well-known ghost in the city, resides there. He took the initiative to have the castle built, and once it was finished, he made it his haven. A group of inebriated soldiers killed Pavel, with the intention of apprehending him to allow his son to succeed to the throne. He ruled for precisely four years, four months, and four days, and he spent just forty days in his castle. His life was also filled with great fortune. Legend has it that he can be seen playing his favorite instrument, the violin, out of a specific window in the castle.

There is a house that dates back to the end of the 18th century located at the intersection of Gorokhovaya Str and the Fontanka embankment. It's just your average St. Petersburg building, but

The Rotunda, the city's most enigmatic location, is located here.

The structure is circular and has six free-standing columns. The lines of the stairs, reaching infinitely upward, are repeated in the bends of the walls.

The rise of informal Soviet youth movements and subcultures, such as rockers, hippies, and punks, in the 1970s and 1980s gave rise to the Rotunda's cult status.

This place is the subject of numerous legends. For instance, wishes and dreams inscribed on the Rotunda's walls might come true. But there are other legends as well. Since the Rotunda is situated where the St. Petersburg hexagon's meridians converge, someone has dubbed this location the universe's center.

Another legend concerns a young man who entered the parallel world through the house's basement and stayed there for roughly fifteen minutes. Upon his return, he appeared to be elderly.

Many people think that you can meet Satan here at midnight. The Rotunda was a gathering place for Freemasons during the Russian Empire. It was also Grigory Rasputin's favorite location.

5. Obvodny Canal

Obvodny Canal had functioned as a city boundary at one point. The suburbs were on one bank of the Obvodny Canal during the 19th century, while the Fontanka served as the city boundary during the 18th century. Even though the city boundary has moved forward considerably since then, Obvodny Canal's appearance has evolved over the previous century, and the term "city outskirts" has acquired new meaning, it still has a certain "uptownish" quality. The Obvodny Canal is not only a hydrotechnical marvel of unparalleled quality for its era and a crucial waterway connecting the port to the upper Neva; it is also an integral element of the city's artistic identity, sharing equal significance with Nevsky Prospekt in terms of cultural significance. Without the Obvodny Canal, St. Petersburg's image would be lacking, at the very least. St Petersburg had always offered a contrast between two images: the industrial, noisy, smoggy, and disheveled, and the solemn, official, and beautiful. But together, the two likenesses made up the singular whole, which was the Russian Empire's capital. The growth of the city had been impacted by these two likenesses.

At eight kilometers, the Obvodny Canal is the longest artificial waterway in St. Petersburg. Currently, the canal acts as a temporary wall dividing the city's southern industrial district. Numerous structures along the Obvodny Canal, including industrial and civil buildings, bridges, and support walls, have significant historic and architectural significance. Like Nevsky Prospekt, Kolomna, and Vasilyevsky Island, the current architectural environment along the canal shores is very unique and an integral part of St. Petersburg.

The longest man-made canal in St. Petersburg, the Obvodny Canal, was formerly the city's southern border. It is not very deep, but it has been the site of numerous successful suicide attempts. The people who have been spared have stated that they didn't intend to end their lives. They were just driven to act by an intense force. Some claim it's the result of the restless spirits in the company that craves canals. If you choose to go, keep your distance from the water.

4. Northern Crown – The Stranded 5-Star Hotel

After the magnificent project was shelved almost twenty years ago, this crumbling five-star hotel is empty when it should be teeming with affluent vacationers and corporate executives.

There is an eerie silence in the corridors of the Northern Crown Hotel, which should have been a grand lobby, despite its 247 rooms having never been slept in.

When work on the opulent hotel started in the Russian city of St. Petersburg in 1988, it was expected to become a popular tourist attraction.

But in 1995, with the building 90% finished, laborers at the hotel stopped working because a bank that was funding the project was having financial difficulties.

Even though there have been multiple attempts to restart construction, the incomplete hotel was instead abandoned and is soon to be demolished.

After the Soviet government commissioned the project, the company Monteksgroeksport, based in what was then Yugoslavia, started construction on the hotel in the late 1980s.

However, fate had other ideas because the project's construction was nearly finished when funding was suddenly cut off. After that, this magnificent hotel was destroyed and never had the chance to welcome any guests, turning into an abandoned location. Many residents also think that the unfortunate incident has something to do with the passing of St. Pete's Metropolitan Ioann. He passed away in Northern Crown at a celebration marking Bank St. Petersburg's 50th birthday. The rooms still have the same opulent appearance as before, but the building is beyond repair at this time.

3. Mirny Diamond Mine

The Mir mine, also known as the Mirny mine, is an open pit diamond mine situated in the Siberian region of eastern Russia's Mirny, Sakha Republic. The mine is one of the biggest excavated holes in the world, measuring 1,200 meters (3,900 feet) in diameter and more than 525 meters (1,722 feet) deep—the fourth deepest in the world.

1957 saw the start of open-pit mining, which ended in 2001. It has been in operation as an underground diamond mine since 2009.

On June 13, 1955, Soviet geologists Yuri Khabardin, Ekaterina Elagina, and Viktor Avdeenko made the discovery of the diamond-bearing deposits while on the massive Amakinsky Expedition in Yakut ASSR. They discovered remnants of kimberlite, a volcanic rock typically linked to diamonds. This discovery marked the second successful attempt to find kimberlite in Russia following a string of unsuccessful expeditions in the 1940s and 1950s. (The Zarnitsa mine in 1954 was the first.) Khabardin received the Lenin Prize, one of the greatest honors in the Soviet Union, in 1957 in recognition of this discovery.

Are you someone who would like to visit a place like this and is intrigued by the mysteries surrounding the Bermuda Triangle? If so, you really ought to visit the Mirny Diamond Mine at least once in your lifetime in order to see something truly remarkable. This location used to be known for producing the greatest quantity of valuable Russian diamonds, which provided employment and income for the Russian people. The bustling metropolis that encircled this massive mine was once home to a large population of contented people.

There is currently no scientific explanation for why every helicopter that flies over this hole gets sucked into it, despite the fact that this abandoned mine is closed. Isn't that odd for a diamond mine? So, if you're looking to visit some of the most well-known scary locations in Russia, make sure to stop by and discover the mystery surrounding this location.

2. The Kusovnikov House in Moscow

House No. 17, located on Myasnitskaya Street in Central Moscow, was formerly the home of the extremely avaricious Pyotr and Sofya in the 19th century. They used to conceal their money in odd and strange locations because they were also highly suspicious of whether it was safe.

They adopted this tactic to ensure that no one would steal their money, but they were unaware that it would eventually lead to their own demise. It is said that one terrible night, the caregiver unintentionally set fire to their concealed cash in the fireplace, and they instantly passed away from shock. Since then, a number of people have reported seeing the ghost of an elderly man with a humped body on the nearby street who they believe to be Pyotr Kusovnikov, lamenting the loss of his money. Therefore, if you intend to stroll down this street at night, be sure to reconsider your plans before running into him.

1. The Maternity Hospital

It was erected on the grounds of the hospital meant to house the soldiers from the 1812 Patriot War. Following its conversion to a maternity hospital in the latter half of the 20th century, it was shut down in 2009 for renovations. The hospital's central heating system is still in relatively good condition, which is quite surprising given how long the building has been abandoned. It appears like the torture chamber from a horror film, which is one of the reasons it is listed among Russia's most haunted locations.

For a considerable amount of time, the Maternity hospital has been a popular tourist destination. Many eager bloggers visit this location frequently to learn the story behind the building's peculiarities. The fact that many pregnant Russian women wish to give birth in this specific hospital only serves to heighten the strangeness of this place. For individuals who have an inclination towards eerie hospitals and their eerie hallways, this is the ideal location.

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5 Haunted Places In Russia Will Definitely Scare the hell out of you

5 Haunted Places In Russia

June 3, 2019

In europe , russia, no comments.

Being the biggest nation by territory over the globe, Russia fuses a tremendous range of landforms and spans a sum of 11 time zones. It share land borders with nations like Estonia, Finland, Norway, and Poland and so forth and is known for covering more than 1/8th of Earth’s occupied land. Aside from the antiquated museums and lovely Russians, what makes this astonishing nation a mysterious riddle are some abandoned and creepy spots that will scare you deeply. At long last, it is the ideal opportunity for you to remember each one of those great scary minutes from your favorite movie. From Stalin’s nation house to the Diamond mine in Yakutia, there are such a significant number of haunted places in Russia that you will remember forever. Below is the list of 5 most haunted places in Russia .

5 Haunted Places In Russia

There is no denying the fact that Russia is an incredibly wonderful country with beautiful churches and delicious cuisine but when it comes to horror, it takes you to a next level. that you will definitely end up having goosebumps on your next visit.

1. The Maternity Hospital

The Maternity Hospital

It was built on a region of the hospital constructed for the members of the devoted war that occurred in 1812. After turning into the maternity hospital in the second half of twentieth century, it was shut because of reconstruction in the year 2009. In spite of the way that this structure has been deserted for many years, it is very shocking to observe that the hospital still has the central heating which is spotless. There is a reason behind why it goes under the classification of the most haunted places in Russia as the spot resembles as a torture chamber from a horror movie.

The Maternity clinic has been the real vacation spot for quite a while and a ton of excited bloggers frequently come here all the time to explore this place. What adds to the irregularity of this spot is the way that a great deal of pregnant Russian ladies want to deliver their child in this specific medical clinic. This is the ideal spot for the individuals who love chills and spookiness of scary places and its creepy corridors.

2. The Kusovnikov House in Moscow

The Kusovnikov House in Moscow

Located on the Myasnitskaya Street in the Central Moscow, this nineteenth century House No.17 was used to be the home of of Pyotr and Sofya who were very greedy. They were likewise suspicious about whether their cash is sheltered or not and that is the reason they used to conceal it in various and irregular spots. They embraced this trap with the goal that none can take their cash yet what they didn’t know was that one day, it would be the purpose behind their very own annihilation.

It is said that one awful night, the caretaker unintentionally burned their hidden cash in the chimney and they passed on the spot because of the shock. Since that day, many individuals have seen the ghost of an old bumped man, considered by them as Pyotr Kusovnikov on the adjacent road who grieves the loss of his cash. Thus, on the off chance that you are wanting to go for a night stroll on this road, make a point to reconsider before you end up finding him.

3. Mirny Diamond Mine

Mirny Diamond Mine

If you are fascinated by places like Bermuda traingle then visit the Mirny Diamond Mine in at least once in your lifetime to observe something remarkable. Once a source of employments and income for the Russians, this spot was prior known for delivering the most valuable Russian diamonds. The city that encompassed this immense mine was full used to be a bustling one with a great deal of upbeat and bright residents. Although this deserted mine is closed till now, there has been not been any reasonable logical clarification of why each helicopter that hovered over this opening got sucked into it. Abnormal for a precious stone mine, isn’t it? All things considered, if you wish to visit the popular haunted places in Russia , remember to visit here and investigate the puzzle of this spot.

4. Northern Crown – The Stranded 5-Star Hotel

Northern Crown – The Stranded 5-Star Hotel

In the year 1988, this brilliant 247 room’s hotel was commissioned by the Soviet Union to overlook the Karpovki River in the city of St. Petersburg. But destiny had some different plans since its construction was nearly finished when the undertaking was suddenly halted because of the absence of cash. At that point what happened was the devastation of this magnificent hotel as it in the long run turned into a deserted spot and never had the chance to have any guest. A lot of local people additionally trust that this disastrous occasion is related with the demise of Metropolitan Ioann of St. Pete. He passed in Northern Crown amid a reception in the respect of the 5oth birthday celebration of Bank St. Petersburg. Indeed, even today, the rooms look as rich as ever however the structure can’t get fixed at this point.

5. Mikhailovsky Castle

Mikhailovsky Castle

This splendid yet creepy castle must be in the list of top haunted places in Russia as the minute you step into it, there is a different and creepy aura that you can feel at each corner. This is the main castle of St. Petersburg however this isn’t the main reason behind why it is the source of fascination among the nearby just as global travelers. The reason is that it is a permanent resident of the most famous ghost of the city which is tsar Pavel I.

He started the construction of this place which turned into its shelter after the procedure was finished. He suffered a a trageic death while being murdered by the drunken soldier’s crowd that simply expected to arrest him so as to make his child the new ruler. You can at present watch him playing his favorite instrument, violin through a particular window in the fort. This should be more frightening than fascinating.

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Rosatom Starts Production of Rare-Earth Magnets for Wind Power Generation

TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom has started gradual localization of rare-earth magnets manufacturing for wind power plants generators. The first sets of magnets have been manufactured and shipped to the customer.

scariest haunted house in the world 2020

In total, the contract between Elemash Magnit LLC (an enterprise of TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom in Elektrostal, Moscow region) and Red Wind B.V. (a joint venture of NovaWind JSC and the Dutch company Lagerwey) foresees manufacturing and supply over 200 sets of magnets. One set is designed to produce one power generator.

“The project includes gradual localization of magnets manufacturing in Russia, decreasing dependence on imports. We consider production of magnets as a promising sector for TVEL’s metallurgical business development. In this regard, our company does have the relevant research and technological expertise for creation of Russia’s first large-scale full cycle production of permanent rare-earth magnets,” commented Natalia Nikipelova, President of TVEL JSC.

“NovaWind, as the nuclear industry integrator for wind power projects, not only made-up an efficient supply chain, but also contributed to the development of inter-divisional cooperation and new expertise of Rosatom enterprises. TVEL has mastered a unique technology for the production of magnets for wind turbine generators. These technologies will be undoubtedly in demand in other areas as well,” noted Alexander Korchagin, Director General of NovaWind JSC.

For reference:

TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom incorporates enterprises for the fabrication of nuclear fuel, conversion and enrichment of uranium, production of gas centrifuges, as well as research and design organizations. It is the only supplier of nuclear fuel for Russian nuclear power plants. TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom provides nuclear fuel for 73 power reactors in 13 countries worldwide, research reactors in eight countries, as well as transport reactors of the Russian nuclear fleet. Every sixth power reactor in the world operates on fuel manufactured by TVEL. www.tvel.ru

NovaWind JSC is a division of Rosatom; its primary objective is to consolidate the State Corporation's efforts in advanced segments and technological platforms of the electric power sector. The company was founded in 2017. NovaWind consolidates all of the Rosatom’s wind energy assets – from design and construction to power engineering and operation of wind farms.

Overall, by 2023, enterprises operating under the management of NovaWind JSC, will install 1 GW of wind farms. http://novawind.ru

Elemash Magnit LLC is a subsidiary of Kovrov Mechanical Plant (an enterprise of the TVEL Fuel Company of Rosatom) and its main supplier of magnets for production of gas centrifuges. The company also produces magnets for other industries, in particular, for the automotive

industry. The production facilities of Elemash Magnit LLC are located in the city of Elektrostal, Moscow Region, at the site of Elemash Machine-Building Plant (a nuclear fuel fabrication facility of TVEL Fuel Company).

Rosatom is a global actor on the world’s nuclear technology market. Its leading edge stems from a number of competitive strengths, one of which is assets and competences at hand in all nuclear segments. Rosatom incorporates companies from all stages of the technological chain, such as uranium mining and enrichment, nuclear fuel fabrication, equipment manufacture and engineering, operation of nuclear power plants, and management of spent nuclear fuel and nuclear waste. Nowadays, Rosatom brings together about 350 enterprises and organizations with the workforce above 250 K. https://rosatom.ru/en/

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43 most haunted places in the world

By Caitlin Morton

43 most haunted places in the world

Nothing beats a good ghost story, and our planet is chock full of them: UFO sightings in Transylvania, murders on luxury cruise ships, and spirits wandering the halls of British castles. No matter where you’re traveling, you’re sure to find some sort of haunted landmark , as well as a ghost tour to go along with it.

But even if you're not a fan of paranormal activities, some of the spookiest locations are still worth your time, whether for their beautiful architecture, jaw-dropping locations, or fascinating histories. Here are the 43 most haunted places in the world you’ll want to visit any time of the year—not just on October 31.

This article has been updated since its original publish date.

HoiaBaciu Forest Romania

Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania

From the moment a military technician captured a photograph of a “UFO” hovering over the forest in 1968, Hoia-Baciu has gained paranormal notoriety around the world, with some believing it to be a portal that causes visitors to disappear. Those who have passed through the forest without being zapped into another realm have reported rashes, nausea, and feelings of anxiety, according to The Independent . Known as the “Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania,” the spooky curved trees that populate the forest just add to the eerie atmosphere.

The Stanley Hotel Estes Park Colorado

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel ’s stately Georgian architecture and world-renowned whiskey bar have lured travelers to Estes Park since opening in 1909, but the hotel reached new levels of fame after inspiring Stephen King to create The Shining ’s fictional Overlook Hotel . That eerie association aside, many other ghost sightings and some mysterious piano music have been connected to the hotel, and the Stanley Hotel leans into its reputation with nightly ghost tours and psychic consultations from the in-house Madame Vera .

Chuuk Lagoon Micronesia

Chuuk Lagoon, Micronesia

What’s even scarier than a haunted graveyard? Probably a haunted graveyard that sits 50 feet underwater. Micronesia’s Chuuk Lagoon (formerly Truk Lagoon) served as a fortified base for the Japanese Navy during WWII, and it was attacked by American forces during a three-day air strike in 1944. Dozens of warships, planes, tanks, and railroad cars sank to the bottom of the lagoon, where they remain today in what is known as the “Ghost Fleet of Truk Lagoon.” The ship graveyard is immensely popular with scuba divers, with PADI dubbing it “one of the best wreck diving destinations on the planet.” Underwater explorers can swim up close to the wartime vessels, which are littered with weapons, gas masks, and, according to some superstitious divers, a few waterlogged ghosts.

St. Georges Church Czech Republic

St. George’s Church, Czech Republic

Originally built in 1352, St. George’s Church (about 125 miles east of Prague) boasts quite a history. The building was nearly destroyed by fires many times over the centuries, and its roof partially collapsed during a funeral service in 1968. After that event, the congregation became convinced the church was haunted and refused to enter; as a result, the building was stripped by robbers and fell prey to vandalism. That all changed in 2012, when an art student at the University of West Bohemia had an idea to lure visitors back to the church: a collection of 30 ghost sculptures sitting in the pews with their heads bowed. Today, tourists have flocked to the “Ghost Church” (which opens to the public every Saturday afternoon) to snap photos and even sit among the unmoving specters while praying.

Edinburgh Castle Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

One of the biggest attractions in Scotland’s capital city is also considered to be one of its most haunted . With sections dating back more than 900 years, the historic fortress’s ancient dungeons have led visitors to report sightings of colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War and French prisoners from the Seven Years War—and even the ghost of a dog wandering the castle’s dog cemetery.

Eastern State Penitentiary Philadelphia

Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia

The castle-like Eastern State Penitentiary took solitary confinement to new levels when it was built in 1829. Prisoners lived alone, exercised alone, and ate alone; when an inmate left his cell, a guard would cover his head with a hood so he couldn’t see or be seen. The prison had to abandon its solitary system due to overcrowding in 1913, although the forms of punishment did not get any less severe (chaining an inmate’s tongue to his wrists is one example) before it closed for good in 1970. The site now welcomes thousands of visitors every year, both for its museum and Halloween celebrations . Reported paranormal happenings have included disembodied laughter, shadowy figures, and pacing footsteps.

Isla de las Munecas Mexico

Isla de las Munecas, Mexico

Despite its status as a UNESCO World Heritage site for its well-preserved examples of Aztec life, the neighborhood of Xochimilco has reached a certain amount of internet fame for its Island of the Dolls. Hidden among the region’s many canals, the site is famous for the hundreds of dolls—and doll parts—hanging from trees and scattered among the grass. While it might look more like a horror movie set, the chinampa (akin to an artificial island) used to be the residence of a now-deceased man named Julian Santa Barrera. After finding a dead girl’s body in a nearby canal, Barrera collected and displayed the toys in the hopes of warding off evil spirits, reports National Geographic . Daring souls can hire their own boat and view the island safely from the water.

Al Madam United Arab Emirates

Al Madam, United Arab Emirates

There is something eerily beautiful about ghost towns , and Al Madam is no exception. Located in about 40 miles southeast of Dubai, the village was most likely built in the 1970s and deserted shortly after—a fact that local legend attributes to djinn (shape-shifting spirits) scaring people straight out of town. No one knows whether or not the spirits have lingered, but Al Madam still has a sort of haunted quality to it: dunes encroaching on the two rows of houses and a mosque, sand falling through broken windows like waves, and a seemingly endless sea of ochre desert stretching out in every direction.

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St. Augustine Lighthouse Florida

St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida

The St. Augustine Lighthouse is visited by more than 216,000 people annually, but it’s just as well-known for its otherworldly guests. Several tragic events that occurred at the now-historic site have contributed to the alleged paranormal activity . The ghost of a lighthouse keeper who fell to his death while painting the tower has been spotted watching over the grounds. And ever since the horrific death of three young girls, who drowned when the cart they were playing in broke and fell into the ocean, visitors have claimed to hear the sounds of children playing in and around the lighthouse.

Gunnuhver Iceland

Gunnuhver, Iceland

If you already thought Iceland had an otherworldly quality to it, just wait until you hear the story behind Gunnuhver, the country’s largest geothermal mud pool. The area is named after Gunna , a woman who lived on this slice of the Reykjanes Peninsula some 400 years ago. After dying of starvation, her spirit came back home to violently murder her former landlord and his wife. The local townspeople called upon a priest to take care of their little ghost problem, which he solved by casting Gunna into a boiling hot mud pool. While no other supernatural murders have occurred since then, some visitors claim to catch glimpses of Gunna’s ghostly figure through the billowing mist of the pools from time to time.

Bonaventure Cemetery Savannah Georgia

Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah

The entire city of Savannah is pretty much one giant ghost story, with mysterious stories shrouding everything from public parks to breweries. But few city spots evoke quite as much reverence as Bonaventure Cemetery, overflowing with moody Spanish moss and time-worn Victorian monuments. There are many notable figures buried here, like singer Johnny Mercer and poet Conrad Aiken, but it’s the grave of Gracie Watson that dark tourists should flock to. Having died at just six years old, her grave is marked by a life-size marble statue with her hand resting on a tree stump, symbolizing her life cut short. Many visitors place toys at her grave, and some have reported seeing the ghost of Gracie near the site. Other spooky accounts of the cemetery include inexplicable sounds, like crying babies and barking dogs, and—creepiest of all—statues suddenly smiling as people approach them.

The Forbidden City Beijing China

The Forbidden City, Beijing, China

No trip to Beijing is complete without a visit to the Forbidden City , China’s former imperial palace that now serves as a museum. But you might not know that the popular tourist destination has quite the reputation among supernatural enthusiasts. During its 600-year tenure as a palace, the complex had its fair share of murders, whether from jealous concubines poisoning one another or executions performed at the emperor’s behest. Needless to say, there have been many reports of strange phenomena since the palace opened to the public in the 1940s. The most common story involves a woman dressed in white (as most good ghost stories do) strolling around the grounds and sobbing.

Leap Castle Ireland

Leap Castle, Ireland

Built at some point between the 13th and late 15th century, this Irish castle has seen more gruesome deaths than a Game of Thrones wedding. As legend has it, during a struggle for power within the O’Carroll clan (which had a fondness for poisoning dinner guests), one member plunged a sword into his brother—a priest—as he was holding mass in the castle’s chapel. The room is now called “The Bloody Chapel,” and the priest is said to haunt the church at night. The horror doesn’t end there—at least not according to the macabre history outlined on Leap Castle’s website . During renovations in the early 1900s, workmen found a secret dungeon in the Bloody Chapel with so many human skeletons, they filled three cartloads when hauled away. The dungeon was designed so that prisoners would fall through a trap door, have their lungs punctured by wooden spikes on the ground, and die a slow, horrific death within earshot of the sinister clan members above.

Oriental Theater Chicago

Oriental Theater, Chicago

Ghosts are said to haunt the Oriental Theater (formerly the Iroquois Theater) in the Loop area of downtown Chicago, where almost 600 people perished after a fire famously broke out in 1903 . Even though the theater was completely rebuilt and rebranded, spirits of the dead remained: Apparitions have been seen in “Death Alley,” the street behind the theater where bodies were stacked after the disaster (and a common stop on many a Chicago ghost tour ).

Poveglia Island Venice

Poveglia Island, Venice

Less than half a mile from the canals of Venice , Poveglia Island has served as a quarantine zone for bubonic plague victims, storage space for Napoleon’s weapons, and the site of an early 20th-century insane asylum. The asylum played host to horrific medical experiments, reports The Travel Channel , and finally closed for good when a doctor threw himself off the institution’s bell tower. Locals still claim to hear echoing chimes from the island—even though the bell was removed decades ago. It’s illegal to visit Poveglia today, but you can see the island and decaying hospital safely from the beaches of nearby Lido.

Castle of Good Hope South Africa

Castle of Good Hope, South Africa

A sprawling building near the shoreline of Table Bay in Cape Town, the Castle of Good Hope dates back to 1666, making it the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Originally built by the Dutch East India Company as a replenishment station for ships, the site also served as a military fortress and prison during the Second Boer War from 1899 to 1902. Today, you can tour the fort’s many rooms and buildings (including the gruesome torture chamber), but you might want to prepare yourself for a ghost sighting. Back in the 1700s, Governor Pieter van Noodt condemned several men to be hanged to death; one of the men cursed the governor from the gallows, and van Noodt died of a heart attack later that day. According to the Castle of Good Hope’s official website , his ghost has been haunting the battlements ever since.

RMS Queen Mary Long Beach California

RMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

Aside from a brief stint as a warship in World War II, the RMS Queen Mary served as a luxury ocean liner from 1936 to 1967. During that time, it was the site of at least one murder—a sailor being crushed to death by a door in the engine room—and children drowning in the pool. The city of Long Beach purchased the ship in 1967 and turned it into a hotel, and it still serves that purpose today—although the reported ghosts of the deceased passengers get to stay for free. (For an extra dose of spine-tingling experiences, try and visit the ship’s engine room, considered by many to be a “hotbed” of paranormal activity.)

Larnach Castle New Zealand

Larnach Castle, New Zealand

The extravagant house was built between 1871 and 1887 to serve as the residence of William Larnach, a prominent New Zealand politician. Most notable is a 3,000-square-foot ballroom, which Larnach had built as a 21st birthday present for his favorite daughter Kate, who later died of typhoid at age 26 and is said to still haunt the ballroom. Don’t chalk those taps on your shoulder and whispers in your ear as all up to imagination: The building has been visited by paranormal investigators and featured on Ghost Hunters International .

Whaley House San Diego

Whaley House, San Diego

Thomas Whaley built this family estate in 1857, on the former site of San Diego ’s first public gallows. Shortly after he moved in, he reported hearing the heavy footsteps of “Yankee” Jim Robinson, a drifter and thief who was hanged on the site four years before the house was built. Whaley’s family history ended up being filled with tragic deaths and suicides—many of which occurred inside the home itself. According to the Whaley House Museum , some of the family members still haunt the landmark, running up the stairs and turning lights on and off.

La Recoleta Cemetery Buenos Aires

La Recoleta Cemetery, Buenos Aires

You don’t have to be religious to be moved by La Recoleta Cemetery , which features thousands of statues, fairytale grottoes, and intricate tombstones, as well as the remains of Argentina’s most iconic figure—Eva Perón. The stone walkways and labyrinth of mausoleums are as beautiful as they are eerie, and Recoleta has a couple of haunted legends of its own. One of the most famous stories involves David Alleno, a former grave-digger and caretaker who worked at the cemetery for 30 years before killing himself. Today, people report hearing Alleno’s keys jangling as his ghost walks the pathways at dawn.

Haunted Places in the World Crumlin Road Gaol Belfast

Crumlin Road Gaol, Northern Ireland

Crumlin Road Gaol, a Victorian-era prison in Belfast, is said to be one of the most haunted sites in Northern Ireland. Often referred to as Europe’s Alcatraz, the jail contained some 25,000 inmates (men, women, and children) during its 150 years of operation, publicly hung many prisoners, and buried their bodies within the prison walls. The institution officially shut its doors in 1996, but the ghosts of deceased inmates are said to still roam the iron walkways today. If this sounds like the sort of place you want to spend time in, you’re in luck—Crumlin Road Gaol offers daily tours , live concerts, and reasonably priced meals at its in-house (in-prison?) restaurant. It even serves as a venue for conferences and, believe it or not, weddings. 

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel Canada

Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada

Built in 1888 to encourage tourism and sell train tickets, this chateau-style hotel sits pretty by the Rocky Mountains in Canada’s Banff National Park. But it gets a tad more Gothic once you get inside—and we aren’t talking about the architecture. The Calgary Herald has reported several resident ghosts, including a bride who supposedly fell down the stone staircase during her wedding. But there’s a less tragic spirit, too: Sam the bellman, who worked at the hotel until 1975 and claimed he’d come back to haunt the joint. His spirit supposedly pulls shifts to help people with their bags before disappearing.

Singapore Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa, Singapore

Haw Par Villa is a 1930s theme park located in Singapore—and it’s basically the polar opposite of Disneyland. Its colorful entrance of Chinese arches seems innocuous enough, but then you actually step inside and see that the park is covered with more than 1,000 statues, each stranger than the last. Lovers of all things macabre should head straight to the underworld-themed Ten Courts of Hell, a series of dioramas that portray severe modes of punishment as a way to teach young children about morality. While detailed depictions of dismemberment are scary enough, Time Out Singapore reports that “the wax statues depicting condemned souls are said to come to life at night, filling the infamous Ten Courts of Hell exhibit with tortured screams.” Bring your kids!

Myrtles Plantation Louisiana

Myrtles Plantation, Louisiana

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, Myrtles Plantation is considered to be one of America’s most haunted sites. The house is rumored to be on top of an Indian burial ground and is home to at least 12 different spirits. Legends and ghost stories abound, including the tale of a former slave named Chloe, who had her ear chopped off after she was caught eavesdropping. She got her revenge by poisoning a birthday cake and killing two of the plantation owner’s daughters, but then she was hung by her fellow slaves. Chloe now reportedly wanders around the plantation, wearing a turban to conceal her severed ear.

Bhangarh Fort India

Bhangarh Fort, India

Located just 100 miles southwest of Delhi, the lush ruins of Bhangarh Fort make for a curious juxtaposition against the desert landscape of Rajasthan . To this day, the oasis remains largely uninhabited due to an alleged curse cast by a disgruntled sorcerer after his advances were rebuffed by a local princess. If you prefer your trips to skew more spiritual than haunted, Traveler ’s former editor-at-large Hanya Yanagihara suggests saluting the sun during a session of pre-dusk yoga at the site.

Tower of London England

Tower of London, England

Built by William the Conqueror in 1066, this uncompromising fortress has served many functions. But it’s best known for its bloody history as a prison and execution site: Henry VIII famously ordered the execution of two of his wives, Anne Boleyn and Catherine Howard, here. It’s also where two young princes were imprisoned after the death of their father, King Edward IV; they disappeared shortly after in 1483, and their remains weren't found until 1647. Unsurprisingly, ghost stories of the Tower’s victims—and ghost tours through Historic Royal Palaces —abound.

Catacombs of Paris France

Catacombs of Paris, France

After a prolonged bout of heavy rain flooded and unearthed the overcrowded Les Innocents cemetery in the spring of 1780, a wave of rotting corpses tumbled onto the property next door. According to Smithsonian Mag , this horrifying event started a 12-year project to move bodies from Paris’s cemeteries down into the city’s former limestone quarries, eventually packing the underground tunnels with some 6 million bodies. Today, about a mile of the subterranean labyrinth is open to visitors , who can take tours of the tunnels and artfully arranged displays of bones.

Aokigahara Forest Japan

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

This seemingly serene forest at the foot of Mount Fuji has a tormented past. Colloquially known as “Suicide Forest,” Aokigahara has been the site of 500 reported suicides since the 1950s, reports the BBC . Some blame this trend on the forest’s association with demons in Japanese mythology. Others point towards large underground deposits of iron, which interfere with compasses and make it easy to get lost. In fact, many hikers will mark their path with tape or string to make it easier to find their way back out again.

Xunantunich Belize

Xunantunich, Belize

Deep in the jungles of Belize , less than a mile from the Guatemala border, Xunantunich is an ancient Mayan ruin that has sat abandoned for the past millennium. An earthquake caused the original civilization to crumble, but the complex was rediscovered by explorers in the 1890s. Since then, Xunantunich has served as an important archaeological site, under-the-radar tourist attraction, and hotbed of ghostly sightings . The ancient city is said to be haunted by one female ghost: a black-haired lady with red, glowing eyes. She was first spotted by one of the earliest research teams in 1893 and has been seen near El Castillo (the tallest building in the complex) many times since then. No one knows exactly who the so-called “Stone Lady” is, but many speculate that she may have been a human sacrifice whose death ritual was performed on the top of the El Castillo pyramid.

Borgvattnet Haunted Vicarage Ragunda Sweden

Borgvattnet Haunted Vicarage, Sweden

Originally built in 1876, weird happenings have been noted in this parsonage since the 1960s. The gray wooden structure now serves as a bed and breakfast in a rural area in northern Sweden with snowmobiling, fishing, and...not a lot else. Guests at Borgvattnet have claimed to hear footsteps, music, and the sound of three crying ladies coming from the inn—and the proprietors will reward you with a certificate that says you stayed through the night.

Himeji Castle Japan

Himeji Castle, Japan

Himeji Castle dates to 1333 and is regarded as one of the greatest remaining examples of Japanese castle architecture. It also has some rather eerie folklore associated with it—most notably the story of Okiku, a one-time palace servant who was falsely accused of losing valuable dishes. She was killed and thrown into the well in the castle. Her ghost now haunts the castle at night, counting dishes in a mournful tone; she reaches nine before shrieking and returning to the well.

Ponte Sisto Rome

Ponte Sisto, Rome

In a city as ancient as Rome , practically every brick in every building has a story that goes along with it. In some cases, those stories are downright creepy. One such tale surrounds the Ponte Sisto, a romantic bridge spanning the Tiber near Rome’s city center. Local legend has it that if you visit the bridge at sunrise, you’ll see a charging carriage helmed by the ghost of Olimpia Maidalchini, Pope Innocent X’s advisor (hence her nickname, the “female pope”). The spectral occurrence is said to be Olimpia’s attempt to flee the city with the church’s gold, just as she allegedly did after Pope Innocent X’s death in 1655. While the Ponte Sisto is closed to pedestrian traffic, you can visit the bridge as part of Dark Rome’s daily “ Ghosts, Mysteries and Legends of Rome Night Walking Tour .”

Port Arthur Tasmania

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur began as a penal colony in 1833, housing British convicts until it was abandoned in 1877. During those decades, the island—touted as “inescapable”—focused on correcting the inmates’ morality, using methods like solitary confinement and mandatory church services. The settlement has been a destination for curious tourists since the time of its abandonment, and it was officially preserved as a historical site in 1979. Today, you’ll find what The New York Times describes as “an impressive apparatus for remembering, complete with a ferry, interactive exhibit for children and well-trained guides.” Ghost tours are available of the ruins and open-air museum, as well as the nearby “Isle of the Dead,” an island housing the bodies of deceased convicts in unmarked graves.

Teatro Tapia

Teatro Tapia, Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico is known for its natural beauty and rich history, the latter of which lends itself quite well to eerie experiences. One of the most famous spooky sites on the island is Teatro Tapia, a San Juan theater known for its plays, concerts, and paranormal activity. According to urban myth, an actress who fell to her death while performing at the theater returned to haunt the venue. Some visitors have claimed to see her ghost wandering the theater grounds, while others have reported mysterious footsteps, doors swinging open and shut, and an unseen choir of voices coming from the stage. Teatro Tapia still holds frequent ballet and music performances, so purchase a ticket to see some local acts—and maybe a local ghost while you're at it.

Ancient Ram Inn England

Ancient Ram Inn, England

Built in 1145, Ancient Ram Inn in Wotton-under-Edge has played many roles over the centuries: a priest’s residence, housing for masons and slaves, an inn, and a public house. It also happens to be one seriously haunted spot. Architectural Digest writes: “With ghostly children, a high priestess, and even an incubus (Google it, but don’t say you weren’t warned) wandering the halls, guests have reportedly leapt from the windows in a frenzy to escape.”

Parador de Jan Spain

Parador de Jaén, Spain

Located in an 18th-century Arab fortress overlooking the Andalusian landscape, Parador de Jaén has a few spooky stories hiding behind its imposing walls. According to the hotel’s website, a guest in Room 22 was rudely awakened one night by the sounds of a woman crying and someone knocking on the door. A team of paranormal investigators was called in to check everything out in the 1980s, and they concluded that the room was, in fact, haunted by the spirit of a young woman who had died of heartbreak in the fortress several centuries ago. The room has been quiet since the investigation, but that's not the only ghost story ‘round these parts. The hotel is also said to be haunted by the spirit of “Terrible Lizard,” the nickname of a prisoner who died of hunger while locked up in the fortress.

Lawang Sewu Indonesia

Lawang Sewu, Indonesia

Constructed in the early 20th century by Dutch colonialists, Lawang Sewu (or “Thousand Doors”) served as the head office for the Dutch East Indian Railway Company before the Japanese turned it into a detention camp during WWII. During the war, many harsh interrogations, tortures, and violent executions occurred within the building’s walls—all of which contribute to its current status as one of Indonesia’s most haunted landmarks, says the country’s Ministry of Tourism . Tourists are free to visit the abandoned site today, perhaps to confirm whether the many circulating ghost stories tied to Lawang Sewu have any truth to them.

Dock Street Theatre Charleston

Dock Street Theatre, Charleston

Renovated in 2010, Charleston ’s Dock Street Theatre is a beautiful downtown venue, hosting plays and concerts throughout the year. But the site has quite a tumultuous history. Aside from a fire burning down the original theater in 1740, the building suffered damage from an earthquake in 1886 and fell into abandon during the early 20th century. To make matters even more spooky, a woman named Nettie Dickerson was supposedly struck by lightning while standing on the balcony in the mid-1800s, and her ghost is said to glide along the theater’s second floor.

Canberra Australia

Old Parliament House, Canberra, Australia

Much like Savannah, the entire city of Canberra seems to be a paranormal hot spot—especially when it comes to the buildings in the Parliamentary Triangle. Hotel Kurrajong, a four-star hotel with some serious A-list ghosts roaming its halls, is thought to house the ghost of former Prime Minister Ben Chifley, who died on the night of June 13, 1951, after suffering a heart attack in room 214. His gray-suited ghost is known to appear in that same room from time to time, writes The Canberra Times . And then there’s the Old Parliament House itself, where security guards and cleaning staff have reported hearing their names whispered in the night.

Carl Beck House Canada

Carl Beck House, Canada

Built by lumber magnate Carl Beck in the late 1800s, this house in Penetanguishene is known as one of the most haunted houses in Ontario. According to legend, Beck and his family lived in the house together; after his wife passed away, the eldest daughter, Mary, was put in charge of raising the younger children. Years later, when Carl died, he inexplicably left Mary $1 in his will. Today, an angry, female ghost—presumably Mary—is said to appear in the upstairs windows. (You’d probably haunt the house too if your dad gave you a $1 inheritance. #TeamMary.) For any travelers curious about Victorian architecture with a side of paranormality, you can actually rent the Carl Beck House on Airbnb, starting at $119 per night .

Lord Milner Hotel South Africa

Lord Milner Hotel, South Africa

South Africa might be most famous for its game reserves , but it has its fair share of charming—and haunted—hotels. One such place is the Lord Milner Hotel , located on the edge of the remote Great Karoo in Matjiesfontein Village. The town served as command headquarters during the South African War at the turn of the 20th century, as well as the site of subsequent (and controversial) war crimes hearings. Given the village’s intense history, it probably comes as little shock that the Lord Milner Hotel has a bit of paranormal activity going on. According to the hotel , there are some ghostly guests who never seemed to check out, including “Lucy,” a negligee-wearing specter who makes noises behind closed doors from time to time.

Burg Eltz Germany

Burg Eltz, Germany

Burg Eltz dates back to 1157, so you better believe the list of myths surrounding the castle is quite long. The most compelling tale is that of a young countess named Agnes, who was betrothed to a fellow noble but called off the engagement after she met him. (According to legend, he sucked.) The scorned nobleman laid siege to the castle and Agnes perished after taking up arms to defend her castle. Her mournful spirit can still be sensed today, most strongly in her former bedroom with her pierced armor and battle axe on display.

Eden Brown Estate Nevis

Eden Brown Estate, Nevis

Often overshadowed by neighboring St. Kitts, Nevis has just as much to offer travelers—in fact, it offers even more for the more morbidly inclined. Case in point: the Eden Brown Estate, a former plantation that now lies in ruins. The estate was originally owned by a wealthy businessman who intended to give the property to his daughter as a wedding present. However, a mysterious duel between the groom and the best man left both men dead on the day of the wedding, and the daughter remained unmarried and alone for the rest of her life. Today, many visitors say they have seen the reclusive woman’s spirit roaming throughout the grounds.

First published in CNT US

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