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Waverly Hills Sanatorium, Kentucky
A closed sanatorium in Jefferson County, Kentucky, it has been highly popularized as the ‘most haunted hospital in the United States.’ Founded in 1910 as a two-storey hospital for tuberculosis patients, it was closed down before later becoming Woodhaven Geriatrics Hospital in 1962. It was finally closed for good in 1981 due to allegations of patient abuse. Ever since then it has been the topic of scary stories and urban legends.
Bran Castle, Romania
This castle found in the Transylvanian Alps has been the subject not only of thousands of myths and legends, but of novels and movie plots as well. Most of the stories center on its inhabitant, Prince of Walachia Vlad Tepes or “Vlad the Impaler” who was said to be the real life inspiration for Count Dracula. The legends probably found their origin in the way he punished people by having them impaled on poles and left to die, burnt alive, or decapitated and left hanging in the body filled forests of Transylvania.
Unit 731 Experimentation Camp, Japan
At the beginning of World War II, 3,000 Japanese prisoners and 250,000 Chinese died from brutal experimentation conducted by Japanese scientists within this complex now known as Unit 731. Men, women, and children were subjected to vivisections, which are basically live dissections without anesthesia. Prisoners had limbs amputated in order to study blood loss. Those limbs that were removed were sometimes re-attached to the opposite sides of the body. Some prisoners had their stomachs surgically removed and the esophagus reattached to the intestines. Parts of the brain, lungs, liver, etc. were removed from others. In other tests, subjects were deprived of food and water to determine the length of time until death, placed into high-pressure chambers until death, experimented upon to determine the relationship between temperature, burns, and human survival, placed into centrifuges and spun until death, injected with animal blood, exposed to lethal doses of x-rays, subjected to various chemical weapons inside gas chambers, injected with sea water to determine if it could be a substitute for saline, and burned or buried alive.
Edinburgh Vaults, Scotland
Underneath the busy streets of modern Edinburgh lie the Edinburgh Vaults, which have been abandoned for nearly two hundred years and were only rediscovered in the mid-1980s. Used as cellars, workshops, and residences by the businesses that plied their trades on the busy bridge since 1785, they were later abandoned due to the unpleasant atmosphere. These days locals claim the place is haunted due to a number of strange incidences that have taken place over the years.
San Zhi Resort, Taiwan
The rusting, abandoned UFO-shaped buildings just outside of Taipei, Taiwan were intended as exclusive destinations for the wealthy and the elite. Built in the 1980s, construction of the Pod City was halted by the government due to unexplained deaths that occurred in the area. It was so shrouded in mystery that today even the locals are afraid to get near it.
A completely abandoned, silent, radioactive city in northern Ukraine, this once housed as many as 50,000 people, most of them workers and scientists of the Chernobyl Nuclear Plant. When a small reactor malfunctioned in 1986, the city was evacuated for safety reasons. Prypiat has been a desolate place since then and along with its buildings you can also see the giant Ferris wheel at the amusement park made for the families of the workers. Today, it wouldn’t be smart to enter the Zone of Alienation, a 30-kilometer radius that is directly affected by the radiation.
Machu Picchu, Peru
The “Lost City of the Inca” was once a pre-Columbian city above the Urubamba Valley in Peru, which was created by the Inca Empire. It became a World Heritage Site in 1983 and although it may not be as creepy as some of the other places on this list, its focal role in the Spanish inquisition has certainly led to enough speculation and legend.
LaLaurie Mansion, New Orleans
The residence of Delphine LaLaurie at 1140 Royal Street in New Orleans became famous in the 1830s when the miserable treatments of the household’s slaves was exposed due to a fire in the kitchen started by a cook who was chained to the stove and attempting suicide. An angry mob stormed the house and freed the slaves while Delphine escaped to Paris. Though it has been restored in recent years, its past is wild enough to prevent anyone from wanting to occupy it.
Hellfire Caves, England
The Hellfire caves is a network of man-made chalk and flint caverns that extend a quarter of a mile (500 metres) underground in Buckinghamshire, Southeast England. They were excavated between 1748 and 1752 for the infamous Francis Dashwood, co-founder of the notorious Hellfire Club, whose ritualistically pagan inspired meetings were held in the caves.
The location of one of the deadliest battles of the Civil War is now a distant reminder of the atrocities of armed conflict. It’s hard to visit and not think about the thousands of lives that were lost in a matter of only 72 hours.
Fort Mills, Philippines
Now one of the most popular tourist attractions in the country, it once played an important role during the invasion and emancipation of the Philippines from the Japanese. Heavily bombarded during the latter part of the World War, most of the buildings haven’t been restored in order to pay homage to the many Filipino and American soldiers who died there. Though day tours are a popular activity, some who have visited the site at night report seeing soldiers standing guard or pacing about in the shadows.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
There is a good reason why Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is considered one of the most haunted spots in all of Europe. It saw the deaths of hundreds of people during the plagues of the 1600s, housed French prisoners during the Seven Years War and once again was used as a dungeon during the American Revolutionary War. Today, it is frequented by paranormal researchers.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania
This Philadelphia prison was operational from 1829 until 1971. It became infamous for its punishment for those who broke the rules as they were dunked in a bath of ice-cold water and then hung on the wall for a night. Paranormal activities were recorded as early as the 1940s until it was shut down in 1971. It is now famous for “Terror behind the Walls” tours, a yearly Halloween tour around the 12-acre site.
Also known as Owlsbury, the “Infamous Village of the Damned” was a deserted village that is believed by many to be the most haunted place in New England. First settled in the mid-1700s as a farming community, the smallpox plague in 1774 drove most of its inhabitants out and with no new families moving in the remnants of the village not surprisingly earned themselves a spooky reputation.
The Coliseum, Rome
The focus of Roman power when it was at its peak, the Coliseum is well-remembered for its blood and gore as gladiators fought to the death for the amusement of Caesar and his mobs. Thousands of people, prisoners of war and victims of religious persecution were executed here in brutal displays of violence which has led to a number of legends and ghost stories being attributed to the arena.
Cold Harbor Battlefield
This haunting battlefield was the location of one of the bloodiest battles of the American Civil War. About 16,000 men died or were wounded in this battle and today, it stands as a memorial in their memory. Visitors sometimes report hearing sounds of hoof beats or distant cannons which has earned it a slightly haunted reputation.
Derby Gaol, England
Known as the “Ghost Capital of England,” the Derby Gaol, located at 50 and 51 Friargate, is now a working museum after it was acquired by Richard Felix, a paranormal investigator, in 1997. Basically an old-fashioned jail where punishments for the severest crimes were executed, it is often visited by people seeking to have paranormal experiences.
Catacombs of Rome, Italy
These ancient Jewish and Christian underground burial places were built beneath the streets of Rome but were later abandoned. Over the centuries Ostrogoths, Lombards, and vandals ransacked the catacombs in search of valuables but they were rediscovered in the 1950s and became an important monument to the early Christian church.
Paris Catacombs, France
Another underground crypt, unlike the Roman catacombs Paris was designed almost exclusively to cram as many bodies into its wall as possible. When the city of Paris grew, the engineers of the day decided to make way for the living by disinterring a number of mass graves and depositing their remains underneath the city in what is now known as the Empire of the Dead.
A town near Jaipur in Rajasthan, Bahngarh is famous for its many houses with no roofs. According to legend whenever a house with a roof is built, it immediately collapses. The reason for this was a black magician named Guru Balu Nath who cursed the city, which also apparently led to its eventual abandonment. Nowadays, entry into the town is legally between sunset and sunrise as there are supposedly incidents of people visiting at night but not leaving alive for undisclosed reasons.
Berry Pomeroy Castle, England
The former castle turned into a romantic ruin was recognized as the most haunted place in the British Isles. Now a shell of its former glory, it still retains the mystery of its troubled past as it became the subject of local myths and legends including ghost sightings and other phenomena. These strange phenomena ranged from strange lights, apparitions of a lady wearing a grey dress, the ever-present Cavalier, and strange shadows.
Bannerman’s Castle, New York
Located on Pollepel Island on the Hudson River in New York, the island itself has been the subject of wild rumors, myths, and legends for centuries now. Even the Native Americans thought it to be haunted and now that it houses abandoned military surplus, the legends have only multiplied.
Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camps, Poland
The infamous Nazi death camp, Auschwitz was in operation from May 1940 until it was liberated by Soviet forces in January 1945. It was estimated that 2 million Jews, Poles, Gypsies, and captured Soviet POWs died here from the Zyklon-B gas in the camp’s’ gas chambers. These days the atmosphere can be quite somber as visitors come to pay their respects and walk through the abandoned camp.
Aokigahara Forest, Japan
A forest that lies at the base of Mount Fuji, it is one of the most popular suicide locations in the world after San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. In fact, there are even signs scattered around with phrases like “life is valuable” and “think of your family”.
The Alcatraz Prison, an outcropping in the middle of the San Francisco Bay, was opened in 1933 as a maximum-security facility for the most dangerous criminals, which included Al Capone and Robert Stroud. It was shut down in 1963 and became a national park site after which numerous stories of slamming cell doors and phantom banjo music were circulated.