The Scariest Places on Earth: Haunted Hotels and Spooky Destinations
Light your pumpkins and grab the nearest black cat… Halloween is almost here! Beneath the fancy dress and endless stream of sweets and chocolate lie myths and magic from centuries past, where ghosts and ghouls reigned supreme. Journey with us to the scariest places on earth in this Halloween treat of a blog post.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 10
The Akershus Fortress in Oslo was built in the 1300s and is said to be the most haunted place in Norway. It was used as a defensive stronghold in medieval times and a prison in which many prisoners died. It was also occupied by Nazis in World War II, during which executions took place onsite. Amid all this history there are bound to be a few restless souls wandering around the place. Witnesses have seen a faceless lady called Mantelgeisten wandering from her chamber only to disappear into the darkness. There is also a ghostly dog called Malcanisen guarding the castle gate, said to be the soul of a dog who was purposely buried alive in the castle grounds so that its apparition would return to ward off intruders. Legend has it that if Malcanisen appears to you, you’re then cursed to die a horrible death within 3 months.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 9
Edinburgh Castle and Edinburgh itself have a rich history with many famous and frequently seen resident ghosts. Listen out for the sound of eerie bagpipes, played by a piper doomed to wander the tunnels beneath the castle forever. Sent down on a mission to explore the tunnels when they were first discovered hundreds of years ago, the lone bagpiper played out a tune to mark his whereabouts underground. The music suddenly stopped and when a rescue party went to investigate, no trace of him could be found. The haunting sound of bagpipes can be heard through the castle walls and even on the streets of Edinburgh. The castle’s dungeons once housed tortured prisoners, whose presence can still be felt and seen through changes in temperature, shadowy figures and light orbs. One prisoner is said to have tried to escape hidden in a dung barrow; he met his death when the barrow was emptied out over the rocky castle slopes. Visitors report feeling a shove from him off the battlements, often accompanied with a strong smell of dung.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 8
The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa in Arkansas proudly calls itself ‘America’s Most Haunted Hotel’. Intrigued? The 1886 Crescent Hotel & Spa is said to be home to at least 8 spirits including a young woman who fell to her death from the roof, a stonemason called Michael who slipped and also fell to his death, a cancer patient that visited owner and self-proclaimed (but not medically trained) doctor Norman Baker and Norman Baker himself. There is no definite number of how many patients were ‘treated’ and subsequently died under Baker’s false care, but it is feared to be a great many and the bodies were hidden in the hotel until they could be burned in the incinerator later on.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 7
The Sedlec Ossuary in the Czech Republic is also known as the ‘Church of Bones’. Yes, you heard me right. From the outside you’d be forgiven for thinking this building was just an ordinary, gothic church. Wrong! Inside the church is decorated with around 70,000 human skeletons. Bones, bones and even more bones. The centrepiece here is a huge chandelier, made from at least one type of every bone found in the human body. History tells us that Sedlec become extremely popular as a place for burials after holy soil was sprinkled in the abbey’s graveyard. When the church was erected in the 15th century its basement became an ossuary, where the bones of the dead remained until a woodcarver was appointed to organise them in the 1800s. The result? A church packed to the brim with thousands of ancient bones, naturally! There is something oddly beautiful about it; thousands of people wanted to be buried in this holy place and now their bones are the decoration for a church. But mostly it’s just pretty damn creepy.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 6
Old Changi Hospital in Singapore was originally intended for us as a British RAF Barrack and hospital in World War II. However, Japan attacked and took control of the hospital, using it as a secret police prison camp for the British and their allies. Torture was rife in the camp and many soldiers died in great pain and torment. When the war ended Japanese soldiers were also executed at the hospital. There are thousands of reports of paranormal activity in and around the old hospital: screaming, flickering lights, apparitions and an all-consuming feeling of sadness and dread.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 5
Looking for somewhere terrifying that’s a little closer to home? Look no further than Mountpelier Hill in Dublin, home to the Hellfire Club circa the 18th century. The building was originally built as a hunting lodge but after falling into the Hellfire Club’s aristocratic hands, lots of stories about strange and sinister goings on started to circulate into local folklore. The Hellfire Club’s mascot was a black cat and accounts report that members always kept one seat spare at meetings for the devil himself (who apparently did stop by occasionally). Stories tell of strangers with cloven hooves, animal sacrifice, the murder of a dwarf and black masses. Visitors wearing religious jewellery have felt invisible hands tugging at their necks. The anguished screams of a woman sent to her death in a burning barrel rolled down the hill can be heard piercing the air. The spirit of the tormented dwarf is said to haunt the building and many visitors swear they can smell brimstone, as if the devil himself is lurking nearby.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 4
Australia’s Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, previously called Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum, is said to have had thousands of people perish within its walls during the 128 years it was open. There have been many sightings of ghostly Matron Sharp – a grey, hooded figure wearing period dress who when alive worked at the asylum. Visitors have reported mysterious screams and doors swinging by themselves, sightings of an old man in a green jacket wandering the grounds and visions of a woman standing in the window from where she is said to have been thrown to her death. With stories of excruciating treatments such as chairs that spun fast enough to make eyes and ears bleed, electroshock therapy and horrible crimes taking place within the walls, it’s no wonder that this vast and foreboding building now holds such a sense of sadness and fear.
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 3
Are you thinking that this hotel looks familiar? Are Jack Nicholson and creepy twin girls coming to mind? The Stanley Hotel in Colorado was the inspiration behind Stephen King’s The Shining and the Overlook Hotel. The novel was actually written after King was inspired following a stay at the Stanley, in room 217. Numerous apparitions and spirits have been reported in the hotel: ghosts of the original owners have been seen throughout the building, footsteps and mysterious voices have been heard in the hallways, room 418 (the most haunted room in the building) is said to be haunted by phantom children who play noisily at night and there is small child who cries out for his nanny… witnessed by Stephen King himself. These are just a few of the spirits and happenings said to occur at the Stanley Hotel. Spoooky! We dare you to book your stay with us now (it’s a double dare to request room 418)….
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 2
The Catacombs of the Capuchins in Italy is number 2 in our list; located in Palermo, this corpse-filled dungeon plays host to around 8000 bodies. Some of these have reduced down to skin and bone but the majority are still rotting and only half decomposed. Yes, I did just say that. Some are propped up against the walls, others lie in caskets… all undeniably create one of the most terrifying, bone-chilling places on earth. They were preserved many years ago using hay and sunlight, before being laid to rest (sort of) in the catacombs. I’m really not sure if I’d be brave enough for this one, how about you?
The Scariest Places on Earth: Number 1
Number 1 on our list is the Island of the Dolls in Mexico. Legend has it that a girl drowned here many years ago and began to haunt the caretaker of the island, who hung dolls from the trees to appease the young ghost. Some people say the caretaker tried to save the girl himself and never recovered from the guilt of her death. Either way, more and more dolls were hung. After his death in 2001 the island became a tourist attraction and now visitors continue to leave doll upon doll on the island. This almost sounds like a lovely story, however the hanging dolls are grotesque with limbs missing, eyes missing, dirty clothes and mismatched body parts. It’s disturbingly creepy and I can only imagine the sense of being watched if you were to visit in person. *Shudder*.