The 15 Most Haunted Places on Earth6
By Rebecca Leib
The 15 Most Haunted Places on Earth
Ever feel like there’s a presence in the room: a cool breeze on your shoulder, the lights turn on and off, footsteps? These are hallmark signs that you’re in the presence of a ghost! Whether you believe in them or not, ghosts are something that have both fascinated and scared human beings for ages, even if only to expose the more humorous side of man’s preoccupation with the supernatural, like in the KoldCast TV series, PIT: The Paranormal Investigative Team. But first, to scare you just a tad – KoldCast gives you the fifteen most haunted places on earth. And if you live close to one… you may want to think about moving.
1. The Catacombs – Paris, France
In the 10th century, Paris was rapidly expanding as a city. Like the Romans, Parisians needed to bury their dead on the outskirts of their jurisdiction (so they could make room for the living). Massive amounts of graves had to be transported to a new locale, the Catacombs. This location quickly became overrun and overcrowded leading to controversy and the first of many ghostly sightings. Even today, visitors see figures, lights, hear talking and crying while on their visit (especially at night).
2. The Underground Vaults – Edinburgh, Scotland
Far below the bustling streets of Edinburgh lies a more ominous part of the city’s history. Discovered in the mid-1980’s, the Edinburgh Vaults had been abandoned for nearly two hundred years by local merchants who used the spaces for storage and workspace. Lying beneath the South Bridge, the Vaults are foreboding and said to be extremely haunted. Many visitors have been attacked by invisible figures and left with bruises, cuts, and scratches. Others have been knocked unconscious and overcome by debilitating nausea and vomiting.
3. Bran Castle – Brosov, Romania
Bran’s castle may not sound familiar, but it is often referred to by its other name: Dracula’s Castle. Although it is one of three immense castles linked to the Dracula legend, it is by far the most haunted. Said to have been occupied by many different roving warriors in the Middle Ages, Bran Castle was at one time occupied by the Count with a legendary penchant for blood. Visitors have to take a journey deep into the Carpathian Mountains to visit and when they do, some say they can feel Dracula’s presence!
4. The Coliseum – Rome, Italy
At the height of Roman power, the Coliseum represented everything about the success and grandiosity of the Roman Empire. Used for sporting events and speeches, the Coliseum was where many gladiators, prisoners and slaves met their death at the hands of Imperial Rome. Under the main arena is said to be the most haunted part of the whole building where many animals and people waited to die. Visitors often hear the roar of lions, people speaking Italian and heavy breathing… especially in the holding area under the main arena.
5. Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp – Oswiecim, Poland
One of the biggest death camps during Hitler’s reign, the Auschwitz death camp is truly a place for lost souls. It was in operation from May 1940 until its liberation by Soviet forces in January 1945. A low estimate is that Auschwitz killed 2.1 to 2.5 million people in the gas chambers during its operation. People have reported a strange presence as they walk around the camp. Auschwitz is said to be haunted not only by the many lives lost here, but also the mistakes of history and the atrocities of the Nazi regime.
6. Rookwood Cemetery – Sydney Australia
Approximately one million people are buried in this immense Australian cemetery, one of the biggest in the world. One of the more notorious residents are the Davenport Brothers, spiritualists who conjured up the dead. Currently, spirits have been seen spooking the living during Rookwood’s after hours. And with a million bodies in the cemetery, there are at least a couple reoccurring and recognizable ghosts reported.
7. Whitechapel/Spittalfields – London, England
The Whitechapel/Spittalfieds of the East End of London have been actively settled since Roman antiquity. Throughout the ages this area has been home to many different groups of people from Jewish merchants to English prostitutes. The coming of high Victorian morals did nothing to quell the seedy reputation of the Whitechapel/Spittalfields area. During this time the area was home to the dregs of English society but most famously the victims of the notorious Jack the Ripper. It is said that the victims of Jack the Ripper are spotted in dark alleys and late at night in the streets.
8. Unit 731 – Manchuria, China
Called the Asian Auschwitz, this Chinese experimentation camp was home of cruel and unthinkable experiments while the Chinese were invading Manchuria. The Chinese government sanctioned Unit 731 in 1935, and it caused the death of over 250,000 Manchurians. Unit 731 was eventually shut down and is now used as a center for learning and a memorial for those who died. Visitors to Unit 731 often see figures in the camp as well as in photographs taken there. Many speculate that the spirits of those who were tormented and murdered there are becoming more and more active, and more anxious for justice.
9. The Tower of London – London, England
Located on the Banks of the River Thames, The Tower of London is just as much an icon of London as it was when it was built back in 1078. Used for various reasons throughout its notorious history, there have been sightings and reports of numerous ghosts, unexplainable events and even celebrity spirits! One such sighting is Ann Boleyn (former wife of Henry VIII) who lived in the tower and was beheaded in 1536. The Tower of London was home to many prisoners and enemies of the English Monarchy. Though their bodies may have been trapped in the tower in life, they often demand to be heard now in death.
10. The Whaley House – San Diego, California
Built in 1867, the Whaley House is different from the other highly haunted places in this list because there is NO history of death or violence in the house’s history. The Whaley House was occupied solely by Thomas Whaley until it became a museum in 1960. Still, visitors and locals regularly see Whaley family members in the house’s chambers showing that ghosts can haunt anywhere they please – whenever they please.
11. Waverly Hill Sanatorium – Louisville, Kentucky
Opened originally in 1883 as a family home, the land was purchased and turned into a sanatorium in the early 20th century. The sale was followed by a somewhat serious outbreak of tuberculosis in Louisville and its outer jurisdictions. This is where its sordid history begins. As a sanatorium, Waverly Hill killed and abused thousands of people. As a hospital for the elderly around 1965, the administration and staff continued abusing their guests. In 1981, Waverly Hill was closed, but ghosts are reported to violently haunt the empty halls of Waverly Hill to this day.
12. Borley Rectory – Essex, England
Constructed in 1862 by Reverend Henry Bull next to Borley Church, Borley Rectory was a mansion that was lived in until it was destroyed by fire in 1939. Throughout its time, it gained notoriety throughout the United Kingdom as being one of the most haunted houses in Britain, peaking in popularity in the 1930s when research and experiments specific to Borley Rectory were carried out by Harry Price, a popular psychic and author. The ghosts of inhabitants of the Borley Rectory, who died in the fire, are sometimes spotted by the occasional passerby.
13. Aokigahara Forest, Japan
This forest, known to the Japanese as the “sea of trees,” is at the base of Mount Fuji. Thick and full of flora and fauna, the locals revere this forest as the center of many Japanese myths and legends. At the same time, there are crimes and acts of murders committed in the forest (as well as many people who go missing in Aokigahara forest annually). Tourists may often hear wailing, screaming or other sounds when visiting.
14. New Orleans, Louisiana
New Orleans is considered by locals, visitors and paranormal investigators worldwide as the number one most haunted city in all of the United States. In the United State’s formative years, the port of New Orleans brought to America an exotic mix of people, creating many cultures and retaining many mystical legends. The mysterious French Quarter houses most of the ghost sightings of New Orleans. Looks like New Orleans houses the dead spirits of a changing America as well as the tasty spirits of a changing America.
15. Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
The deadliest battle during the American Civil War took place in the tiny town of Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863. It is said that these battlefields are the most haunted parts of America, “acre for acre.” The history for the unification of the north and south still resonates in the hearts and minds of many Americans and so do the spirits of this bloody battle. The Battle of Gettysburg left approximately fifty thousand young soldiers of both sides dead – and these soldiers are often seen by locals fighting or wandering around the area, lost.
Dead and Breakfast
Rebecca Leib received her BFA in Fine Art and MFA in writing and hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She is a Los Angeles based comedian and writer. Her work can be seen in the pages of many print and online publications, including Beautiful/Decay, Artillery Magazine, Blackbook, Tvgasm, Metrowize and Dailyfill. She has performed at the Second City Studio Theatre, UCB-LA, IOWest and the improv, and can often be seen brooding at sidewalk cafes.