Some cities around the world are charming and beautiful places to visit. They’re inviting and they make you feel at home. Most of these cities, however, have quite the dark and scary past. Throughout history, cities have been shaped by events that occurred. Our history makes us who we are today and the same thing goes for a city or a country. Some of these cities have such a dark past that they are still haunted by the spirits of those who lived there years ago. For the lovers of all things creepy and scary, here are 12 of the most haunted cities around the world.
Savannah | Georgia
Established in 1733, Savannah has pretty much always been haunted. Built upon Native American burial sites and forgotten cemeteries housing slaves and colonialists, there are hundreds of unsettled spirits roaming the streets of Savannah. Fires, battles, hurricanes, and yellow-fever epidemics have also claimed hundreds more lives within the years. One of the most haunted buildings in Savannah is the Marshall House, built in 1851. Though it is now used as an inn, it was formerly used as a hospital for wounded soldiers during the civil war. Visitors who have stayed in the inn have seen ghosts of soldiers with missing limbs as well as apparitions of others that were a part of the hospital. Tourists visiting this historic town can also partake in the many haunted tours in the hopes of catching a glimpse at one of the many other spirits that roam through the streets.
Rome | Italy
Much like Paris, Rome is also built upon underground catacombs that were used to house the dead bodies of the civilization that used to occupy Rome. Aside from the catacombs, there have been many brutal things that have happened over the years in the city. An example of an event that helped shape the haunted history of Rome was the execution of Beatrice Cenci, a 22 year old woman who was imprisoned in Castel Sant’Angelo for the murder of her husband. Since her execution, it is said that her ghost walks the Sant’Angelo bridge every year in September. Rome is not only haunted with ghosts, but it is also home to one of the creepiest places in the world, the Museum and Crypt of the Capuchins. This place is decorated with the skeletons of more than 400 monks with chandeliers made with arm and leg bones, hanging from the ceiling.
Edinburgh | Scotland
One of Scotland’s prettiest cities is also one of it’s most haunted. Also considered to be the most haunted city in the United Kingdom, it is no wondering why, considering the long history of grave robbers and political upheavals Edinburgh has seen over the years. Some of the most haunted places in the city include the vaults, Edinburgh castle and the Greyfriars Kirkyard. Built in the 18th century, the vaults, known as the South Bridge vaults, were made to house taverns and cobblers. In 1975 however, tragedy struck and the vaults were flooded leading to the deaths of many people. The underground vaults have now become a popular tourist attraction following multiple ghost sightings. Edinburgh castle is also another place that is filled with restless souls. Edinburgh’s most iconic landmark was also the site of sieges and multiple deadly battles. The staff working at the castle have become accustomed to hearing voices, footsteps, and music all throughout the castle.
New Orleans | Louisiana
Founded in 1718 and home to the infamous Lalaurie House and the St.Louis cemetery, New Orleans is often considered to be one of the most haunted cities in the world. The city is filled with a history of voodoo, murder, and black magic which would explain the multiple ghost sightings the city has. If you’re an American Horror Story fan like myself, the Lalaurie House should sound familiar. The house once belonged to Delphine Lalaurie and her husband. It is said that the couple kept slaves in the attic of the house where they were subjected to vicious beatings and surgical experiments. The mansion was eventually abandoned by the couple after their crimes were exposed and they disappeared. The house still stands today and can be found in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Several ghosts have been spotted at the house including the ghost of Delphine Lalaurie, the young girl she is said to have murdered as well as the spirits of some of the slaves that were brutally tortured and killed here. Visitors can also spot the ghost of the famous Marie Leveau wandering through the streets of the French Quarter. Marie was one of the first people to practice voodoo and gained a massive following in the 1800’s. Her grave can be visited at the St.Louis cemetery where visitors leave her gifts in exchange for favors asked to the voodoo queen. The cemetery in which she is buried in is considered to be one of the most haunted cemeteries in the world.
Paris | France
Often known for being the city of love and lights, Paris also has a much darker, macabre side to it. Home to such creepy places as the Paris catacombs, it is sure to give anyone goosebumps. Considered to be one of the largest graves ever recorded, the catacombs were built in the 18th century beneath the streets of Paris as a way to dispose of dead bodies. The underground maze has skeleton lined walls and rooms filled to the ceiling with piles of human bones. The catacombs are the final resting place for over six million people. Aside from the possibility of getting lost forever in the dark labyrinth, ghost sightings, voices, touches from invisible sources, and strange orbs are all regular occurrences in the catacombs. If the bone filled hallways of the catacombs aren’t your thing, visitors to the city can also stroll down to the Rue Chanoinesse and catch a glimpse of the ghost of a butcher. This specific butcher however wasn’t just any other ordinary butcher. Back in the middle ages, this butcher would kidnap strangers off the streets to later murder them. He would then cook the victims’ bodies and bake them into meat patties to sell. It is often thought that this butcher was the inspiration for Tim Burton’s Sweeney Todd movie about a deranged barber who cooked his victims into meat pies. The ghost of the butcher can still be seen wandering through the streets where the horrors unfolded.
Dublin | Ireland
Dublin is not only the capital city of Ireland but it is also haunted by many spirits. Though from the outside it appears to be like any other regular city, beneath the surface Dublin has quite the dark history. St. Michan’s church is one of the most haunted spots in the whole city and is home to many spirits. Below the church lies the crypt, the final resting spot for over 30 mummified bodies that are over 800 years old. The room in which the bodies are found is filled with stacked coffins with limbs sticking out every which way. Those brave enough to descend down into the vaults have experienced things such as the feeling of icy fingers touching them as well as hearing voices and whispers. Another hot spot in Dublin for ghosts is the Hellfire Club. Hidden away from the public up in the Dublin mountains, the Hellfire Club was built in 1725 and was to be used as a hunting lodge. When the original owner of the lodge passed away, it became Ireland’s Hellfire Club. Rumors soon spread about the horrible things that were going down at the club such as devil worshiping, animal sacrifices, and murder. The building was eventually destroyed by a fire and left abandoned. Many spirits still roam the grounds of the club including a screaming girl ghost believed to have been murdered by the club members. Those visiting the site have felt invisible hands tugging at jewelry especially necklaces bearing a crucifix and the sound of laughing can be heard echoing through the hills.
Athens | Ohio
Athens is a small town in the state of Ohio and is a rather peaceful community. Looks can be deceiving however as there are quite a few ghosts that also call this place their home. Athens is home to the creepy and now abandoned Athens Lunatic Asylum. Known today as the Ridges, the asylum was built in 1874 and was shut down in 1993. The asylum housed not only the mentally ill but also the elderly and rebellious teenagers. Patients were often subjected to horrible methods of ‘treatment’ such as ice water baths, electric shocks, and lobotomies. One of the ghosts that can still be spotted wandering through the asylum is that of a former patient known as Margaret Schilling. She disappeared from the asylum in 1978 and her body wasn’t found until a month after her disappearance. It is said that where her body was found there was an outline of her body made with blood. Visitors to the asylum have claimed to see this blood stain appear and disappear. Aside from the ghost stories, it is also claimed that when plotted on a map, all of Athen’s five main graveyards form the shape of a pentagram.
Prague | Czech Republic
Prague is an ancient city with a rich history dating back over a thousand years. Not only that, the history of the city is filled with murders, executions, battles, and disease which is why Prague has it’s fair share of ghosts. One of the more well-known ghosts of Prague is the Mad Barber. It is claimed that after losing his wife, he started slashing at passerby’s with his razor after becoming overcome with grief. He was later beaten to death by a soldier for his crimes and his ghost can still be seen wandering through Prague’s streets. Though the city and it’s ghosts seem scary and creepy, it is also home to a much friendlier ghost known as the Begging Ghost. It is believed that he was once a good-looking but poor man who would always be spotted begging for money. The man had supposedly agreed to sell his skeleton to a medical professor but died shortly after that. His skeleton still wanders the streets of the city looking to collect money.
Salem | Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts, better known as the witch city, is the site of the infamous witch trials and hangings of 200 presumed witches in which 20 of those were executed. Naturally because of all this, Salem is considered to be extremely haunted. The Salem Witch trials occurred between 1692 and 1693. Within this year over 200 women were accused of being witches. Witches were believed to be working along side the Devil and if found guilty of the crime, they were to be hanged. In total, twenty people were accused of witchcraft and hanged at Proctor’s ledge near Gallows Hill. Since the witch hangings, the area has been deemed haunted. Visitors to the area have experienced orbs, apparitions, and voices. Not only is Salem well known for it’s history filled with witches, it is also home to one of America’s most haunted houses, the Joshua Ward house. The home is built atop the foundation of George Corwin’s house. George is infamous in the part he played in the death of Giles Corey, a man accused of witchcraft. It is believed that George is buried underneath the foundation of his old home and that both he and Giles still haunt the Joshua Ward house to this day.
Niagara On The Lake | Ontario
Considered to be one of the most haunted towns in Canada, Niagara-on-the-lake is filled with ghosts as well as haunted places. Niagara has a past filled with death due to the war of 1812 that ran through the area leaving behind some unruly souls. Two of the spirits that reside in Niagara are Sobbing Sophia and Captain Swayze. Sobbing Sophia is said to wander along Queen Street crying. She was a widow who lost her husband in battle and when she learned of his death it is said that she cried for days on end and continued to mourn his death for years to come. It is thought that she remained faithful to her husband even after death and she continues to roam the streets in search of her lover. The Olde Angel Inn is the place to go in hopes of seeing the ghost of Captain Swayze, the ghost that haunts the wine cellar of the inn. Captain Swayze was killed at the inn during the American Invasion. He had delayed his departure of Niagara to meet with a woman and was caught off guard when American soldiers stormed the inn. It is believed that his ghost remains at the inn searching for his lost lover as well. Visitors have experienced noises coming from empty rooms as well as rearranged place settings in the dining room. There is no reason to fret though as the ghost apparently does no harm and stays calm for the most part as long as the Union Jack flag found outside of the inn is never taken down, a task that the now owner of the inn ensures to always fulfill.
Buenos Aires | Argentina
Home to a lively, upbeat city and atmosphere, Buenos Aires also has a much darker side to it. Part of this is due to the fact that parts of the city have been built on top of ancient burial grounds which attracts some paranormal activity to the city. One of the most well-known ghosts in Buenos Aires is that of a 19 year old girl Rufina Cambeceres who died suddenly in 1902. Though she was believed to be dead that wasn’t the case and she ended up being buried alive and died of suffocation inside of her casket. Since then Rufina has been known as the ‘girl who died twice’ and is said to roam through the Recoleta cemetery where she is buried uncovering freshly buried bodies to ensure that they are really dead. Buenos Aires is also home to a second creepy, haunted cemetery, the Chacarita cemetery. Created to house the victims of the yellow fever epidemic, it is one of the largest cemeteries in the city. At the peak of the epidemic, trains filled with human corpses were brought to the cemetery daily. Plenty of the souls that once occupied those bodies continue to haunt the cemetery to this day.
Estes Park | Colorado
Founded in 1909, the Stanley Hotel is among some of Estes Park’s haunted hotels. Used as inspiration for Stephen King’s book, the Shining, the hotel is thought to be haunted by ghost children and other ghostly guests. One of the ghosts that continue to frequent the hotel is that of a former chambermaid who used to be employed at the hotel. In 1911, she survived a massive explosion caused by a gas leak and continued to work at the hotel up until her death. She is believed to haunt the room 217 where the explosion occurred and she reportedly folds guests’ clothes and puts them away. As if one haunted hotel wasn’t enough, Estes Park is also home to two other creepy hotels. The Baldpate Inn and the Elkhorn lodge both each have their own ghostly guests staying in their hotels.