The World's Most Haunted Places

Discover the Places Ghosts, Poltergeists, and Ghoulish Creatures Call Home

Prison cell of Al Capone at Eastern State Penitentiary
William Manning / Getty Images

Around the globe, there are certain haunted places where the restless spirits are said to linger between earth and the ether. These otherworldly phenomena manifest as eerie voices and strange perfumes; they move things about; they creep out of the shadows as apparitions. Sometimes, they even attack. Thanks to a bounty of eerie, inexplicable experiences, the following places are recognized as some of the most haunted places in the world.

The Myrtles Plantation

Corey Balazowich

Corey Balazowich / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Built in 1796 by General David Bradford, this stately old home in St. Francisville, Lousiana, is said to be haunted by several restless ghosts. Some researchers say as many as 10 murders have been committed here, but others, such as Troy Taylor and David Wisehart, authors of "The Legend, Lore, & Lies of The Myrtles Plantation" have only been able to confirm one murder on the premises.

Even they agree, however, that the place is seriously haunted and easily qualifies as one of the "most haunted." These are some of the ghosts that allegedly haunt the house:

  • The ghost of Chloe, a former slave who may or may not have been hung for killing two little girls has been reported (those murders and even the existence of Chloe are unconfirmed) and the ghosts of the two murdered children have been seen playing on the veranda.
  • William Drew Winter, an attorney who lived in the house from 1860 to 1871, was shot on the side porch of the house by a stranger. With his life's blood ebbing away, Winter staggered into the house and began to climb the stairs to the second floor... but didn't make it. He collapsed and died on the 17th step. His dying footsteps can still be heard on the staircase to this day. (Winter's murder is the only one that has been verified.)
  • The ghosts of other slaves allegedly occasionally show up to ask if they can do any chores.
  • The grand piano has often been heard to play by itself, repeating one haunting chord.

Now a bed and breakfast, The Myrtles Plantation has opened its doors to guests who often report disturbances during the night. Stacey Jones, founder of Central New York Ghost Hunters, reports on her stay there:

"It was a spectacular place to stay if you keep an open mind. While taking the guided tour, I saw what looked like a heavyset African-American woman wearing an apron walk by the door on the porch. Thinking it was a worker in period dress, I peeked out and no one was there.

"We stayed in the children's bedroom, and my best friend (who was a non-believer at the time) experienced quite a bit of paranormal phenomena. She was held down in the bed and poked all night. She was unable to move or cry out for help. She didn't think the stay was as great as I did. They let you ghost hunt on the grounds whenever you like, but you can't ghost hunt in the main house without an escort. I suggest setting up a video camera in your room and bring a tape recorder to obtain EVP."

The Tower of London

Tower of London

NIKOS karakasidis / Flickr / Public Domain

The Tower of London, one of the most famous and well-preserved historical buildings in the world, may also be one of the most haunted. With the scores of executions and murders, as well as the torture that was once commonplace here, it's little wonder that dozens upon dozens of ghost sightings have been reported in and around the Tower.

On one winter day in 1957 at 3 a.m., a guard was disturbed by something striking the top of his guardhouse. When he stepped outside to investigate, he saw a shapeless white figure on top of the tower. It was then realized that on that very same date, February 12, Lady Jane Grey was beheaded in 1554.

Perhaps the most well-known ghostly resident of the Tower is the spirit of Ann Boleyn, one of the wives of Henry VIII, who in 1536, was also beheaded here. Her ghost has been spotted on many occasions—sometimes carrying her own head—on Tower Green and in the Tower Chapel Royal.

Other ghosts of the Tower include those of Henry VI, Thomas Becket, and Sir Walter Raleigh. One of the most gruesome ghost stories connected with the Tower of London describes the death of the Countess of Salisbury. According to one account, "the Countess was sentenced to death in 1541 following her alleged involvement in criminal activities (although it is now widely believed that she was probably innocent). After being sent struggling to the scaffold, she ran from the block and was pursued until she was hacked to death by the axe man." Her execution ceremony has been seen re-enacted by spirits on Tower Green.

Eastern State Penitentiary

Eastern State Penitentiary corridor

Retrofresh! / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has become a favorite destination for ghost hunters as well as the public at large since it has been opened to tours.

Built in 1829, the imposing Gothic structure was originally designed to hold 250 inmates in solitary confinement. At the height of its use, however, as many as 1,700 prisoners were crammed into the cells. Like many such places of high emotional stress, misery and death, the prison became haunted.

One of its most famous inmates was none other than Al Capone, who was incarcerated there on illegal weapons possession in 1929. During his stay, it is said that Capone was tormented by the ghost of James Clark, one of the men Capone had murdered in the infamous St. Valentine's Day massacre.

Other reported haunting activity includes:

  • A shadow-like figure that scoots quickly away when approached.
  • A mysterious figure in the guard tower.
  • An evil cackling in cellblock 12.
  • A shadowy figure has been seen sliding down the wall in cellblock 6.
  • Mysterious, ghostly faces are said to appear in cellblock 4.

Unfortunately, not all of these cells are open to the public, even on the tours.

The Queen Mary

The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

Polyrus / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Once a celebrated luxury ocean liner, when the Queen Mary's sailing days ended, the ship was purchased by the city of Long Beach, California, and in 1967, she was transformed into a hotel. According to many people who have worked on and visited the craft, the ship is quite the haven for ghostly activity.

  • The most haunted area of the ship said to be the engine room, where a 17-year-old sailor was crushed to death trying to escape a fire. Knocking and banging on the pipes around the door have been heard and recorded by numerous people.
  • In what is now the front desk area of the hotel, visitors have seen the ghost of a "lady in white."
  • Ghosts of children are said to haunt the ship's pool. The spirit of a young girl, who allegedly broke her neck in a pool accident has been heard asking for her mother or her doll. In the hallway of the pool's changing rooms is an area of unexplained activity: Furniture moves about by itself, people feel the touch of unseen hands, and unknown spirits appear.
  • In the front hull of the ship, a specter can sometimes be heard screaming. Some believe the pained voice is that of a sailor who was killed when the Queen Mary collided with a smaller vessel.

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Waverly Hills Sanatorium

Aaron Vowels / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

The original Waverly Hills Sanatorium located in Louisville, Kentucky is a two-story wooden structure that opened in 1910. The larger brick and concrete edifice as it stands today was completed in 1926. The hospital was always dedicated to the treatment of tuberculosis, a disease that was fairly common in the early 20th Century.

It is estimated that as many as 63,000 people died at the sanatorium. Those deaths coupled with the reports of severe mistreatment of patients and highly questionable experimental procedures form the perfect equation for a haunted location.

Ghost investigators who have ventured into Waverly have reported a host of strange paranormal phenomena, including voices of unknown origin, isolated cold spots, and unexplained shadows. Screams have been heard echoing in its abandoned hallways, and fleeting apparitions have also been encountered.

The Whaley House

Whaley House San Diego

Smart Destinations / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Located in San Diego, California, the Whaley House has earned the title of "the most haunted house in the U.S." Built in 1857 by Thomas Whaley on land that was once a cemetery, the house has since been the locus of dozens of ghost sightings.

Author deTraci Regula relates her experiences with the house: "Over the years, while dining across the street at the Old Town Mexican Cafe, I became accustomed to noticing that the shutters of the second-story windows [of the Whaley House] would sometimes open while we ate dinner, long after the house was closed for the day. On a recent visit, I could feel the energy in several spots in the house, particularly in the courtroom, where I also smelled the faint scent of a cigar, supposedly Whaley's calling-card. In the hallway, I smelled perfume, initially attributing that to the young woman acting as docent, but some later surreptitious sniffing in her direction as I talked to her about the house revealed her to be scent-free."

Some of the other ghostly encounters include:

  • The spirit of a young girl who was accidentally hanged on the property.
  • The ghost of Yankee Jim Robinson, a thief who was clubbed to death, can be heard on the stairway where he died and has sometimes been seen during tours of the old house.
  • The Whaley's red-haired daughter sometimes appears in such a realistic form, she has been mistaken for a living child.

Famed psychic Sybil Leek claimed to have sensed several spirits there, and renowned ghost hunter Hanz Holzer considered the Whaley to be one of the most reliably haunted structures in the United States.

Raynham Hall

Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England

John Fielding / Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Raynham Hall in Norfolk, England, is most famous for the ghost of "the Brown Lady," which was captured on film in 1936 in what is considered one of the most authentic ghost pictures ever taken.

The Unexplained Site describes one of the first encounters with the spirit: "The first known sighting happened during the 1835 Christmas season. Colonel Loftus, who happened to be visiting for the holidays, was walking to his room late one night when he saw a strange figure ahead of him. As he tried to gain a better look, the figure promptly disappeared. The next week, the Colonel came upon the woman again. He described her as a noblewoman who wore a brown satin dress. Her face seemed to glow, which highlighted her empty eye sockets."

The White House

The White House, Washington, D.C.
John Greim/LOOP IMAGES/Getty Images

That's right, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, D.C. is not only home to the current President of the United States, it is also the home of several former presidents who occasionally decide to make their presences known there—despite the fact that they are dead.

President Harrison is said to be heard rummaging around in the attic, looking for who knows what. President Andrew Jackson is thought to haunt his White House bedroom, while the ghost of First Lady Abigail Adams has been seen floating through one of the White House hallways carrying something.

The most frequently sighted presidential ghost has been that of Abraham Lincoln. Eleanor Roosevelt once stated she believed she felt the presence of Lincoln watching her as she worked in the Lincoln bedroom. Also during the Roosevelt administration, a young clerk claimed to have actually seen the ghost of Lincoln sitting on a bed pulling off his boots. On another occasion, while spending a night at the White House during the Roosevelt presidency, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands was awakened by a knock on the bedroom door. Answering it, she was confronted with the ghost of Lincoln staring at her from the hallway. Calvin Coolidge's wife reported seeing Honest Abe's ghost standing with his hands clasped behind his back at a window in the Oval Office, staring out in deep contemplation toward the bloody battlefields across the Potomac.

Rolling Hills Asylum

Rolling Hills Asylum
Mastermason1983 / Tripadvisor

Located between Buffalo and Rochester, Rolling Hills Asylum is an enormous 53,000+ square-foot brick building that sits on a knoll in the hamlet of East Bethany, New York, and has been a popular destination for ghost hunters for many years. Originally named The Genesee County Poor Farm, the asylum opened on January 1, 1827, and was created by Genesee County to house those eligible for assistance including paupers, habitual drunkards, lunatics, the blind, lame or otherwise handicapped, orphans, widows, vagrants, and even a murderer or two.

In the 1950s it became the Old County Home & Infirmary, and then in the 1990s, it was transformed into a set of shops and later an antiques mall. When the property owners, vendors, and shoppers began to notice strange occurrences, a paranormal group was called in to investigate and Rolling Hills' spooky reputation was born. Reports include disembodied voices, doors mysteriously held shut, screams in the night, shadow people, and more.

Rolling Hills Case Manager, Suzie Yencer relates one chilling experience: "It was September 2007. While working a public hunt, we had a gentleman with us who was filming a documentary about the building. He wanted to try an experiment in one of the rooms. The room he chose was in the basement, popularly known as 'The Christmas Room.' The experiment he wanted to try was to sit in the room with no lights or equipment on. The only light we would use was a pink glow stick in the middle of a circle of people. We also placed a small ball and a toddler-size rocking horse in the circle. The gentleman conducting the experiment requested that only I talk and try to make contact with the spirits. The more I talked, the more strange occurrences began to happen. The glow stick started to move back and forth, and the rocking horse began to slowly rock. A few of the guests in the room including myself saw a hand and arm come out of nowhere and reach for the ball in the circle and then just vanish."

The Stanley Hotel

The Stanley Hotel, Estes Park, Colorado

Jennifer Kirkland / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Completed in 1909 by Freelan Oscar Stanley (inventor of the Stanley Steamer automobile), this 138-guest room hotel in the Colorado Rockies is probably best known as the inspiration for Stephen King's "The Shining," which he wrote after staying at The Stanley.

King did not write the novel there, nor was the 1980 Stanley Kubrick movie filmed there, but the TV movie version of "The Shining" used as The Stanley as its location. Today, the elegant hotel is a popular resort and destination for ghost hunters; a ghost tour is even offered to visitors.

Several apparitions and other phenomena have been reported throughout the hotel:

  • The ghosts of Freelan Stanley and his wife Flora have been seen dressed in formal attire on the main staircase and in other public areas such as the lobby and the billiards room. Mr. Stanley has also been spotted in the administration offices, perhaps to keep an eye on the hotel's books. Flora's piano playing occasionally echos in the ballroom.
  • Disembodied voices and phantom footsteps have been heard in the hallways and rooms.
  • Staff and visitors have reported unseen hands yanking at their clothing.
  • More than one guest has said they have awakened to find their blankets taken from their beds and neatly folded.
  • The Earl of Dunraven, who owned the land prior to the Stanleys, is said to haunt room 407, where the aroma of his cherry pipe tobacco still can be smelled. A ghostly face has also been reported peering out of the room's window when it was not occupied.
  • Room 217 (where Stephen King stayed) was the site of a tragic accident in 191. Housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson was nearly killed in the room by a gas leak explosion. Since her death in the 1950s, strange, unexplained activity is said to take place in that room, including doors opening and closing, and lights switching on and off by themselves.
  • Room 418 is the most haunted room, according to hotel staff, apparently by the ghosts of children. Guests who stay there say phantom children can be heard playing in the hallways at night. One couple complained that the noisy children kept them up all night, although there were no children staying at the hotel at the time. Impressions of bodies have been found on the bed when the room has been unoccupied.
  • The ghost of a small child who calls out to his nanny has been spotted on several occasions on the second floor—including by Stephen King.

General Wayne Inn

General Wayne Inn
General Wayne Inn

Numerous ghosts have been experienced and apparitions have been seen at this inn that was in continuous operation from 1704 to 2004. Originally called The Wayside Inn, it was renamed in 1797 after the Revolutionary War, and it has been visited by such notables of the time as George Washington and the Marquis de LaFayette. Many other famous guests have stayed there, including Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote part of his famous poem "The Raven" there.

In 1996 owner Guy Sileo allegedly murdered co-owner James Webb on the third floor of the building the day after Christmas in a dispute over finances. But it might have been Silio's mistress, Felicia, who actually killed Webb because he disapproved of the affair. Felicia later committed suicide.

The haunting activity reported here has been substantial over the years:

  • Women seated in a row at the bar would, in succession, feel someone blow on the backs of their necks.
  • The ghost of a German Hessian soldier was seen by a staff member standing on the steps leading upstairs before fading away. She reported that he seemed just as startled to see her as she was to see him.
  • Another Hessian soldier has been seen in the basement, said to be searching for the uniform of which he had been stripped.
  • The disembodied crying of a little boy has been heard.
  • Ghosts of an unknown Native American and African American men have been reported.
  • Psychic Mike Benio claimed that he made contact with a Hessian soldier named Ludwig, who made several appearances to Benio and said he had been killed during the Revolutionary War.
  • In 1986, an owner named Johnson and a friend were seated in the dining room when they saw a woman in period dress rush past them.
  • Kitchen appliances and towels have been thrown about and doors that were securely locked at night were found unlocked in the morning.
  • A luncheon hostess at the inn claimed to have seen soldiers in several places: the dining room, the bar, in the upstairs and in the private dining rooms.

The inn closed around 2004 and since been converted into the Chabad Center for Jewish Life, although "General Wayne Inn" is still displayed on the building's side facade.

Gettysburg Battlefield

Gettysburg Sniper
Library of Congress

Few would argue that the Gettysburg Battlefield is one of the most haunted places in America. As the site of one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War, nearly 8,000 Union and Confederate soldiers were killed and tens of thousands more were injured there on July 3, 1863. There have been numerous sightings of ghost soldiers, sounds of battle, recorded EVP, and even video.

Visitors to the park have reported seeing and even talking to these phantoms from the past only to have them mysteriously vanish. Screams and moans and the sounds of gun and cannon fire echoing from the horrific battle are occasionally heard and have sometimes even been recorded. One of the most compelling ghost videos ever recorded was shot at Triangular Field by Tom Underwood in 2001.

Ghost encounters are also common in the period buildings surrounding the battlefield, including the Farnsworth House Inn and at Gettysburg College. The experiences continue to the present day, and the area is well worth a visit, not only for its haunted reputation but also for its historical significance.

Moss Beach Distillery

Moss Beach Distillery
Photo: Moss Beach Distillery

During Prohibition in the 1920s, the Moss Beach Distillery in Moss Beach, California became one of the most popular speakeasies on the West Coast. Known back in the day as "Frank's Place," the illicit watering hole was frequented by silent film stars and flappers. After Prohibition, the place continued as a successful restaurant, which it remains today.

The Blue Lady is the Distillery's most famous ghost and has been investigated by such prominent ghost hunters as Loyd Auerbach as well as the "Unsolved Mysteries" TV show. According to legend, in the 1930s a beautiful young woman, possibly named Cayte, fell for a piano player of questionable character and they began an affair, even though she was already married. She was killed by an unknown assailant on the nearby beach, and it's thought that her spirit—dressed in blue—still searches for her lover.

Ghostly activity reported by guests and restaurant staff includes:

  • A levitating checkbook
  • Doors that impossibly lock from the inside
  • Mysterious phone calls
  • Disappearing earrings that later show up in a particular place
  • Glassware moving
  • During his 1999 investigation, Loyd Auerbach reports that he experienced the ghost "walking through" him several times
  • Anomalous magnetic field and temperature changes.

The Distillery has various haunting "effects" set up throughout the restaurant, and these were "discovered" in the "Ghost Hunters" episode about Moss Beach. But as Loyd Auerbach points out, he (and others) have written about these effects well before that show aired, and the genuine haunting activity has been reported and investigated since the 1930s, long before the effects were installed.

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel

Located on Hollywood Boulevard and opened for business in 1927, the Roosevelt Hotel is one of the most famous hotels in Los Angeles and one of the most haunted places in the world. It has long been a hangout for Hollywood's biggest stars, and the popularity of its trendy Teddy's nightclub still attracts the glitterati. Haunting activity includes:

  • Marilyn Monroe's ghost has been seen reflected in a mirror in room 229 and dancing in the hotel's ballroom.
  • Montgomery Clift's ghost is thought to haunt room 928, where he stayed while filming "From Here to Eternity," and can still be heard playing his trumpet. His spirit has also been spotted on the eighth floor.
  • One guest who stayed in room 928 felt patting on her shoulder by an unseen hand as she lay in bed reading.
  • There is an eerie cold spot in the Blossom Ballroom that is about 10 degrees colder than the rest of the room.
  • The ghost of a man dressed in white has been seen standing near a piano in the Blossom Ballroom. When guests approached the man, after hearing piano music, he vanished before their eyes.
  • The ghost of glamorous movie star Carole Lombard, wife of Clark Gable, has been spotted on the 12th floor, where she and Gable often stayed.
  • While staying one of the hotel's suites, former "Saturday Night Live" cast member Ana Gasteyer encountered a piano that played by itself and the full-body apparition of a maid in a hall closet.
  • Security guards have seen a ghost at the hotel's pool. It could be seen on security cameras, but when a guard went to check it, no one appeared to be there—although the figure still appeared on the security monitor.
  • The ghost of a pony-tailed little girl named Caroline has been seen skipping and singing around the fountain in the lobby.
  • Guests returned to their rooms only to find them locked from the inside.

Sallie House

Sallie House

Sallie House 

The Sallie House in Atchison, Kansas quickly earned a national reputation as one of the most haunted places in the U.S., and almost certainly the most haunted in the state of Kansas. It's called the Sallie house because the daughter of some previous tenants had an imaginary friend named Sallie, and she is believed to be one of the spirits haunting the house.

The rather simple-looking painted brick house at 508 N. Second Street, built between 1867 and 1871, gives no indication from the street of its spooky reputation but the many experiences of those who've lived there are have subsequently investigated the place testify as to its ghostly vibes—mostly of the negative kind.

The house was brought to national attention when Debra and Tony Pickman lived there from 1992 to 1994. The couple endured many disturbing encounters, including physical attacks on Tony, which were documented by the "Sightings" television show. When Tony Pickman drew a picture of the ghost he had seen, she was identified as Sallie by the former tenant. (Coincidentally—or not—people who owned the house in the 1940s had a daughter named Sallie, although she did not die in the house or at a young age.)

The Pickmans experienced many phenomena, including:

  • Wall-hung pictures turned upside-down.
  • Strangely melted candles and burnt finger marks.
  • Multiple photo anomalies.
  • Tony had an actual sighting of Sallie on Halloween morning, 1993.
  • While napping, Tony heard of woman's voice say, "Here's your remote," as the TV remote control was placed on his chest by unseen hands.
  • Tony received three bloody scratches on his arm during the first "Sightings" taping.
  • One night Tony dreamed that he was being pulled out of bed by his wrist by a little girl. Upon waking he found burn marks on his wrist that were much like the fingerprints of a small child.

The Kansas Paranormal Group has extensively researched and investigated the Sallie House over the years and may be primarily responsible for labeling the haunting as "probably demonic" because of the many violent incidents.

The house continues to be a focal point for investigations by ghost hunting groups from all over the country, who report strange activity, EVP, and other phenomena. On Friday the 13th, 2012, a 72-hour investigation was broadcast live on the internet.

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery

Highgate Cemetery 

Besides having famous people buried there including Karl Marx, Douglas Adams, and the parents of Charles Dickens, Highgate Cemetery has long been known for its ghosts, sinister activities, and other strangeness. Here are some highlights:

  • The most famous spook in this cemetery is The Highgate Vampire, who is not really a vampire in the classic sense, but a phantom that's been described as a seven-foot-tall, dark male figure with piercing, and hypnotic eyes. He wears a long black coat and a high top hat and seems to be able to vanish into thin air. There have been several dozen sightings and encounters since the late 1960s.
  • A man whose car broke down near the cemetery came face to face with a ghoul with glowing red eyes that peered at him through the graveyard's iron gates.
  • The ghost of a deranged old woman has been seen racing among the gravestones, her gray hair flowing behind her, as she searches for her children—whom she allegedly murdered.
  • A dark shrouded figure has been seen standing stock-still and staring into space. When approached, it vanishes then reappears a short distance away, still staring into the void.
  • A businessman was terrified by a phantom that jumped over the fence and landed right in front of him. He described it as having pointed ears, glowing eyes, and a large nose. (This might have been the infamous leaping devil, Spring-Heeled Jack.)
  • The ghost of a nun has been seen floating over the graves.

Stratford-upon-Avon

The Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Ferne Arfin

Known as the birthplace of William Shakespeare, Stratford-upon-Avon is one haunted town in a very haunted England. Located on the River Avon, it is a popular tourist destination and has many stories of ghosts and unexplained phenomena.

  • The White Lion Inn is haunted by the ghost of John Davies, otherwise known as the Stratford Ripper. According to Haunted Stratford, "Intrepid ghost hunters at the former White Lion Inn swear that they have been chased from rooms or even followed home by a man with the knife. On one occasion, a woman insists that he got into bed with her the following night!"
  • One of Davies' victims, a little girl named Alice, also haunts the area as a protective spirit. As many as 40 other distinct ghosts have been attributed to the White Lion.
  • The ghost of a World War II pilot has been seen at the bar at the Dirty Duck pub. The landlady even spoke to the ghost before it excused itself and vanished into the night.
  • Chanting in Latin can be heard coming from the old Boys Grammar School on Chapel Street.
  • When Halls Croft was investigated live on air for the "Most Haunted" TV show, something threw a wooden spoon at the team.
  • The life-like apparition of a woman, the victim of an unsolved murder, has been seen standing waist-deep in the river.
  • Lucy might be Stratford's most famous ghost. Lucy was a clever 8-year-old little pickpocket who was severely injured in a fire and eventually died of her injuries. Being extremely poor, her mother sold Lucy's body to a doctor. As the doctor was dissecting her, Lucy woke up! Apparently, she had only been in a coma but died on the dissection table. Her ghost has been accused of resorting to its pickpocket ways, pulling at rings on fingers, snatching earrings, and other jewelry. One reporter even felt try to pull coins from his pocket.

The Ettington Park Hotel near Stratford-upon-Avon might be the area's most haunted hotel. Built in the 12th century, it has served as a home, night club, prisoner of war camp, nursing home, and after a devastating fire, it was renovated as a hotel. It's no wonder the place has haunting activity, including:

  • The sound of heavy footsteps stomping around in some of the rooms.
  • Mysterious figures staring out the windows.
  • The sound of billiard balls colliding in the deserted library.
  • A candlestick floating above a fireplace mantel.
  • The ghost of an elderly woman in Victorian dress in the conservatory.
  • Disembodied women's voices in the empty drawing room.
  • Books flying from shelves in the library.
  • The ghost of a servant named Mary, who died in a fall, has been seen on the main staircase.

Ohio State Reformatory

Mansfield Reformatory

Mansfield Reformatory 

Modeled after German castles, the Ohio State Reformatory for Boys in Mansfield, Ohio was built in the 1890s as a reform school for wayward boys. After it closed 100 years later, stories came to light about the torture, cruelty, and killings that took place there. Some of the ghost and haunting activity reported there include:

  • The Administration wing is said to be haunted by the ghosts of Warden and Helen Glattke, who once worked there. Helen reportedly died of an accidental gunshot, but some suspected her husband of murder. After he died, the haunting seemed to begin. Helen's rose-scented perfume can occasionally be smelled, and unexplained rushes of cold air are felt, and her apparition—or that of a nurse—has been in the library.
  • Photos with unexplained elements and recordings with strange sounds have been reported in the chapel. Vanishing figures have been seen in the chapel doorways.
  • Visitors have seen objects moved by unseen hands in the reformatory's graveyard.
  • Inmates reported feeling a ghostly hand tucking them in at night.
  • "The Hole," located the basement was a site of severe punishment. Visitors to the area report a feeling of dread, of being watched, and glowing eyes have been seen peering from the darkness. The ghost of a 14-year-old boy who was beaten to death is thought to haunt the gloomy halls nearby.

Wicklow Gaol

Wicklow Gaol

 Wicklow Gaol

The original Wicklow Gaol (jail) was built beginning in 1702. An addition was completed by 1843. The jail's notoriously harsh conditions were appalling. During the great Irish Potato Famine of the 1840s and early '50s, the number of inmates swelled to 780, with many prisoners crowded in each cell. The prison was closed in 1900 but reopened in 1918 during the Irish War of Independence. It closed again in 1924 and was partially demolished in 1954. Over the centuries, many prisoners died there—of starvation, disease, and maltreatment.

Locally known as "The Gates of Hell," numerous ghostly accounts have been reported. Wicklow has been investigated by Ghost Hunters International and Irish Ghosthunters, among many other groups. Reported paranormal activities include:

  • The feeling of being touched by unseen hands or having hair pulled.
  • One staff member was shoved out of the gates.
  • An eerie mist on the walkway leading to the second-floor cells.
  • A visitor reported seeing a woman in 19th-century dress. When shown a picture of Mary Morris, a matron known to be associated with the prison, the visitor said, "That's her, only younger."
  • The ghost of a little girl is said to haunt the schoolroom. She has been seen to materialize and sometimes just to poke visitors on the thigh or pull their clothing.
  • Dublin-based medium Declan Flynn claimed to contact the ghost of deceased Irish President Erskine Childers there. Erskine was a prisoner in the jail but only for one night.