Over the course of centuries people have been fascinated by claims of ghosts, spirits, and even demons.
Some sightings have been claimed by so many people with the stories being so similar and in some cases identical that the evidence is difficult to ignore. Open up your mind, if you will, and let’s take a journey through the world’s most haunted places.
Edinburgh Castle: Edinburgh, Scotland
No “most haunted” list is complete without Edinburgh Castle, as it’s one of the most well known for its hauntings. Now maintained by Historic Scotland, the castle and its grounds are open to the tourist and there have been several reports of ghostly encounters.
It’s important to know that long ago there were prisoners kept in the dungeon of the castle. They were sometimes tortured and left to die. Some say that when going through the dungeons, there’s an unsettling feeling. This isn’t any proof of ghosts or spirits, but several unrelated guests of the castle have stated the same thing.
The Drummer – History tells us that there was a drummer who guarded the castle from attack. Many people claim to hear the drumming, but few have seen a ghost. However, on the rare occasion that the ghost has made his appearance, he’s in the form of a headless boy in the traditional Scottish dress.
The Canine Graveyard – Edinburgh Castle has one of the only two canine graveyards in Scotland. Tourists often report hearing barking coming from the graveyard, but have seen no dog.
The Whaley House: San Diego, California, USA
Now open to the public for tours, the Whaley House is said to be the most haunted houses in the United States, with several reports of different ghosts throughout different parts of the house.
Yankee Jim – James Robinson, or “Yankee Jim” was the inhibitor of the house before Thomas and Anna Whaley acquired the property. In 1852, Yankee Jim was found guilty of attempted grand larceny and was hanged. Robinson’s ghost was reported as early as when the Whaleys themselves still lived there, reporting heavy footsteps throughout the house.
Thomas Whaley – Many people have reported seeing Thomas Whaley in the house, normally on the upper landing of the staircase. A former curator of the house, June Reading stated that a little girl reported a man (believed to be Whaley) standing in the parlor.
Anna Whaley – Several reports of the sighting of Anna Whaley have been noted. She’s normally seen in the garden or in one of the downstairs rooms.
The Woman in the Courtroom of the House – There’s no telling who this woman is, but several people have reported seeing a woman lurking in the courtroom.
The Little Girl – There have been several reports of the sighting of a little girl in the dining room. There’s much speculation of who this girl may be, but some say it was a playmate of the Whaley children, though this can’t be confirmed.
The Dog – Some say that they’ve seen a spotted terrier-like dog running though the house. Interestingly enough, the Wahleys owned a terrier named Dolly.
Bran Castle: Transylvania, Romania
Bran Castle was originally built in the early 13th century, but it’s most famous for what occurred about 200 years later. If you’ve never heard of Bran Castle, you’ve surely heard of Transylvania and the legends of Dracula. Well, Bran Castle is also known as “Dracula’s Castle”.
The legend is based on Prince Vlad Tepes, also known as Vlad the Impaler or Vlad Dracula (“Dracula” meaning “son of the dragon”). This prince was a defender of Christianity and was best known for impaling an army of 20,000 Ottomans.
Alcatraz: San Francisco, California, USA
Though Alcatraz Island was used for military prisoners before hand, in 1933 it was turned into a maximum security prison for the worst Federal inmates. If you think back to the time period, it would be no surprise that many convicted mobsters were imprisoned at Alcatraz. In 1963, the prison was closed.
Reports in the Utility Corridor – This is the area where one night three inmates were shot several times as they were attempting to escape the prison. Since then, there have been reports of the sounds of clanging in this corridor.
Cell 14D – D Block was where they put prisoners in solitary confinement. There have been reports of a lot of eerie activity in cell 14D even today as visitors go through, but perhaps the most perplexing occurrence happened while Alcatraz was still a prison. In the 1940s, an inmate in that cell was heard screaming that a creature was killing him. The next day, guards found him strangled to death in the cell.
The Ghost of Al Capone – In Capone’s last days, he was suffering from syphilis and spent his time at Alcatraz playing the banjo. Today, visitors as well as employees at Alcatraz have herd the sounds of a banjo playing.
Other Reports – Countless reports of strange phenomenon such as cold spots throughout the prison, sounds of crying, screaming and moaning, and sightings of ghosts of prisoners and military personnel have occurred over the decades. There have even been incidents reported of people smelling smoke, but no fire is found.
Borley Rectory: Essex, England
The Borley Rectory is unofficially known as the most haunted house in England. Since the late 1920s, there have been several reports of different phenomenon that include footsteps, whispers, sound of a stage coach outside, and peculiar lights.
What’s even more amazing is the reports of actual sightings of spirits such as the builder of the rectory, Henry Bull, a headless man, a little girl, and a nun who has been seen in the garden.
Winchester Mystery House: San Jose, California, USA
Perhaps you wouldn’t know who “Winchester” was unless you think about guns. William Wirt Winchester was the inventor and developer of the Winchester rifle. Some time after William’s death, his wife Sarah moved to California and into the house now known as the Winchester house.
The house is now a national landmark and is open to the public, having countless claims and sightings of ghosts. Some say that they’ve seen Sarah Winchester herself lurking around the house. Other claims and beliefs are that some people who were shot and killed by the Winchester rifle haunt the place.
Pollepel Island: Hudson River, New York, USA
Pollepel Island, often referred to as Bannerman Island, is just off the Hudson River about 5o miles north of New York City. A castle on the island, Bannerman’s Castle was built by Scotsman Francis Bannerman VI and was used for military surplus.
After Bannerman’s death in 1918, many strange occurrences happened of the island. Two hundred pounds of powder and shells stored in the castle abruptly exploded and blew half of the remains of the castle onto New York City. Another incident occurred when a ship, the Pollepel, exploded in a storm and crashed into the island.
Many people say that the island is inhabited by goblins that don’t like visitors. Is it true? Who knows, but the unfortunate occurrences remain a mystery.
The Queen Mary: Long Beach, California, USA
The Queen Mary is an ocean liner that sailed the North Atlantic Ocean from 1936 to 1967. It was then retired and permanently docked in Long Beach, California where it’s now a museum ship. For decades, the ship is reported to be haunted.
There have been many reports of crying in the nursery room along with other sounds and sightings. The ship has been explored by many paranormal investigators over the years and still remains a public attraction due to its reputation.
The Bell Farm: Adams, Tennessee, USA
Though strange things still happen on this farm, it all stems from the huge and continuous haunting on the Bell family from 1917 to 1921. The ghost that haunted the Bell family was said to have identified herself as Kate Batts, a neighbor of the Bells who had bad business dealings with John Bell over some slaves.
At first, John Bell remained quiet about the hauntings, but soon divulged the information to a friend. The family was tortured daily by the spirit as they were repeatedly kicked, scratched, punched, and had their hair pulled. The violence continued until John’s death which was said to have been done at the hands of the spirit in the house.
Rayham Hall: Norfolk, England
Rayham Hall is the location of the famous Brown Lady spirit which was said to be caught on film. This spirit is thought to be a resident of the house, Lady Townshend, the second wife of Lord Townshend. Rumor had it that she was also his mistress when he was previously married.
The Tower of London: London, England
Also known as “Her Majesty’s Royal Palace and Fortress”, the London Tower is a historic monument in London. For over more than a century, there have been reports of sightings and strange sounds. The ghost of Queen Anne Boleyn, beheaded in 1536 for treason, has been seen haunting the chapel. Other ghosts that have been seen are Lady Jane Grey, Margaret Pole, and Henry VI.
Are these reports of ghosts and spirits true? The believers will be believers and the non-believers will most likely stay that way. However, these phenomenons will always remain a mystery and will peak the curiosity of many generations to come.