With the crisp fall air come the perfect conditions for visiting the scariest, spookiest and best haunted places in the world.
While some haunted houses can seem a little hokey — filled with actors dressed as ghouls, goblins, mad scientists, and Frankenstein’s monsters — there are several spots around the globe with real reputations for being truly haunted.
Some of these places are shrouded in mystery, with legends passed down for centuries. Others are much newer, but are steeped in their tragic pasts. Whether these places are from the 12th or 20th century, each has an interesting history — with plenty of sightings and creepy experiences. Even if you don’t have a ghostly encounter at one of these destinations, at least you’ll still get a fascinating history lesson out of your trip.
And ghost hunters everywhere are always trying to catch a glimpse of a ghost wandering a haunted hallway, hear mysterious voices in an empty room, or even feel a chill as their investigating a dark corridor. Luckily enough, there are a lot more reportedly haunted places that are open for public tours or even overnight stays than you might think.
No matter where you are in the world, there’s probably a haunted house, hotel, or old historical site that’s waiting for you to visit. Not only are there plenty of places to send a chill up your spine in the U.S. — from the Winchester Mystery House, in California, to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — you can also jump across the pond for even more eerie destinations.
Ghosts, strange sounds and lights, and even UFO experiences have been reported at these famous places in the U.K., France, Germany, Romania and as far as Australia, the Phillipines and China. Here are some of the places you can go to give yourself a fright, just in time for Halloween.
Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England
This gorgeous country home also has a dark past. The mysterious “Brown Lady,” rumored to be Lady Dorothy Walpole, was reported to be one of the apparitions to be captured on film in the December 1936 edition of Country Life.
Poveglia Island, Venice Italy
A short trip from Venice, the beautiful island of Poveglia has scars from being a quarantine zone for people suffering from the plague. In addition, the island was used in the early 20th century as an insane asylum. Ghost hunters claim this spot is a hotbed of paranormal activity.
Bhangarh Fort, India
Two hundred miles from Delhi, this abandoned fortress sticks out in the middle of the desert. Legend has it that a sorcerer cast a curse on the area after being rejected by a local princess.
Ancient Ram Inn, Wotton-under-Edge, England
This 12th-century inn is one of the oldest in the western world. It is believed to have once been a pagan burial ground, and boasts that it is haunted by more than 20 spirits, including ghost children, a pagan high priestess, and an incubus (not the band).
Port Arthur, Australia
There are many ghost tours around Port Arthur to satisfy worldly ghost hunters. The Tasmanian town was an 18th-century convict settlement, and a hotbed of paranormal activity.
The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
This beautiful ocean liner spent 30 years at sea before permanently docking in Long Beach. During her tenure, she logged more than 50 deaths, which makes her a truly haunted ship.
Burg Wolfsegg, Wolfsegg, Germany
This 800-year-old castle in the municipality of Wolfsegg, Germany, is apparently haunted by a “White Woman” who scares off any visitors who pass. The woman is rumored to be the ghost of Klara von Helfenstein who was reportedly murdered by her jealous husband.
Lizzie Borden House, Fall River, Massachusetts
This allegedly haunted bed and breakfast is the sight of a gruesome and highly publicized murder that occurred in 1892. Although she was acquitted, Lizzie Borden was suspected of killing her father and stepmother with a hatchet in the unassuming home. Since then, guests have reported all manner of strange sightings in the house.
Casa Loma, Toronto, Canada
Completed in 1914, this Gothic Revival style house is filled with corridors and and secret passageways. Tales of ghosts have been whispered about the property for decades and now the house is fully decked out for Halloween for visitors as a haunted mansion to tour.
Château de Brissac, Brissac-Quincé, France
This towering building is famously known as the place where Charlotte of France was murdered. According to the legend, Charlotte, the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, was killed by her husband, after discovering her affair. Visitors claim to have seen a “Green Lady,” because of the color of her dress, roaming the halls.
The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado
This famous Rocky Mountain destination is known as one of the inspirations for Stephen King’s “The Shining,” but it also has it’s own spooky past. Allegedly, staff have encountered ghosts during their time there, such as a maid from Room 217 who is known to pack away guests’ clothing when they aren’t looking.
The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Calgary, Alberta
Ever since it was completed in 1888, this hotel has been associated with paranormal activity. One of the most famous legends is of the Ghost Bride, a woman who reportedly awaits people in the hotel ballroom.
St. Augustine Lighthouse, St. Augustine, Florida
This lighthouse became infamous during the Civil War when the light was removed to disrupt Union shipping — also to many tragic results. However, visitors have reported to have seen a friendly ghost of a lighthouse keeper there.
One If By Land, Two If By Sea, New York, New York
This West Village establishment is a New York City treasure, but some of the guests who frequent there may not be totally of this plane. The restaurant was once the carriage house of Aaron Burr, and it is rumored that his ghost still haunts the place.
Tower of London, London, England
Many famous people have called the Tower of London their final resting place. The infamous fortress has been steeped in tragedy for over 900 years and home to many ghostly sightings of English royalty, including Anne Boleyn and Mary, Queen of Scots.
Myrtles Plantation, St. Francisville, Louisiana
One of America’s most haunted sites, this plantation is rumored to be built on a Native American burial ground and is home to at least 12 different ghosts. The home has been no stranger to tragedy, as many of the reported apparitions have appeared to be pre-Civil War slaves from the plantation.
Tao Dan Park, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Over 24 acres of gardens make Tao Dan Park look like a paradise, but at night, locals have reported that the park takes on a different feel. Rumors say that the ghost of a young man who was killed in an attack still wanders the park, looking for his lost love.
The Haunted Vicarage, Borgvattnet, Sweden
Borgvattnet is a small village in Jämtland County, Northern Sweden, known for having one of the most haunted houses in Sweden, The Old Vicarage. Inhabitants of the home have reported a number of sightings, including a lady in gray and unexplained sounds and moving objects. The house not serves as an inn and restaurant.
Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
After the death of her husband, rifle magnate William Wirt Winchester, Sarah Winchester commissioned this dizzying labyrinth of a house in order to keep safe from vengeful spirits killed by her husband’s guns. The home has four stories, 160 rooms, 10,000 window panes, and 47 stairways — some of which go to nowhere at all.
Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas
Many big-name celebrities have stayed at this old hotel since 1886, so there’s bound to be a ghost haunting the hallways. Some of the most famous tales surrounding the property include the stories of two “suicide brides,” honeymooning women who took their own lives in the same room 20 years apart.
Akershus Festning, Norway
This medieval castle that served as a defensive stronghold for the city of Oslo, and is rumored to be the most haunted place in Norway. The most popular sightings include a demon dog named Malcanisen that’s said to guard the gates to the castle and the ghost of a woman with no facial features named Mantelgeisten, often seen within the castle, walking back towards her chamber.
Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa
This giant fortress originally served as a replenishment station for ships in the Dutch East India Company. Among the famous ghosts to wander the grounds include a tall man seen walking the ramparts, and a Gray Lady who was seen crying in the halls.
The Catacombs, Paris, France
The Paris Catacombs is truly one of the spookiest places in the world, with hundreds of miles of tunnels that served as a burial ground for Parisians in the 1700s. Official tours happen regularly, so it’s an excellent Halloween destination.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
This 12th-century fortress has seen a lot of history over the centuries. Many different experiences have been reported over the years, including unexplained music echoing through the halls. Some guests believe the music is from the ghost of a piper who once died in the castle.
Forbidden City, Beijing, China
Many people would not assume the Forbidden City, located in the center of modern Beijing, would be haunted, but ghost hunters who are interested in local lore know better. One apparition that was first reported in the 1940s is of a woman in white who can be heard sobbing in the halls of the palace.
Hoia Baciu Forest, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
This forest is considered the most haunted in the world. Visitors often report intense feelings of anxiety and the feeling of being watched while traveling through the forest, and some of the most common sightings include ghosts, unexplained apparitions, faces appearing in photographs that were not visible with the naked eye, and even some UFOs.
Kehoe House, Savannah, Georgia
This beautiful home was completed in 1892 by William and Anne Kehoe. Unfortunately, tragedy struck the family when a few of their 10 children died in the house. Since the home was turned into a bed and breakfast, guests have noted mysterious sounds of children playing.
Gettysburg Battlefield, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania
The battle of Gettysburg was one of the bloodiest of the Civil War, so it’s no wonder why the area seems to be teeming with paranormal energy. Many visitors have reported to have seen apparitions of Civil War soldiers wandering the fields.
Corvin Castle, Hunedoara, Transylvania
If you’re looking for the inspiration for the original vampire myth, look no further than Vlad the Impaler. The bloodthirsty ruler was kept prisoner in Corvin Castle in Transylvania, where many strange sightings have been reported.
Lawang Sewu, Indonesia
The former railway building (and World War II prison) is believed to be the most haunted place in Indonesia. Among the many ghosts that have been reported here, the most popular spirit is the Dutch woman, headless spirits, and a kuntilanak (a female vampiric ghost in Malaysian and Indonesian mythology).