By: Matthew Lavelle …..
Sometimes the history of a location and the events that once took place at a site can lead to stories about paranormal activity haunting a place. But often, stories are born from the real experiences of visitors who have had interactions with a paranormal presence at that location. While the stories might take on a life of their own – the experiences are still very real. So, when you’re ready to ratchet up your interaction with the paranormal, there are creepy places you can visit that will definitely deliver on their spooky promise.
Many destinations are historical sites, like Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary where the city even celebrates the haunted history of the former prison. However, even small towns have supernatural places that, while not as celebrated, are worth the trip if only for the opportunity to challenge yourself to experience a genuinely terrifying visit to a haunted site. On your travels to any creepy location, you can even find creepy places to stay, so check out the list below for some haunted travel destinations of historical significance, international significance, or even little significance but haunted nonetheless.
Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh
Mary King’s Close was a site of extreme death and suffering during the plague. As a result, the city of Edinburgh closed off the homes and alleyways leading to Mary King’s Close. Since then, many have reported seeing ghosts and feeling a paranormal presence when at the site. Visitors to Edinburgh can get a tour of this location by authentically dressed guides who can explain the suffering that occurred at the location and the many haunted stories that have since lingered.
Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania has a long and significant history in the United States – maybe that’s why so many haunted sites exist in the Commonwealth. Each Halloween, Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary is open for a “haunted house” visit called “Behind The Wall.” However, the fun that surrounds the event doesn’t cleanse the brutal history of Eastern State Penitentiary. During the 1800s through the early 1920s, the prison was the prototype for security and punishment. Inmates received punishments with the “Mad Chair” and “Iron Gag.” Many visitors have recounted stories of paranormal experiences, and those who study the location have relayed stories of hearing screams and other similar sounds of suffering.
Sterling Opera House, Derby, CT
Opened on April 2, 1889, Derby’s Opera House could fit 1,200 people in its theater. Although it’s closed, many people have reported hearing the voices of children and seeing dark images in the theater. The Italianate Victorian architecture that once added to its beauty now adds to its creepiness. The TV show, Ghost Hunters, featured The Sterling Opera House, where the hunters recorded EVPs and voices.
Mad Woman’s Room, Yorkshire, UK
Charlotte Brontë’s mentally ill character was locked in an attic for 10 years by her husband. The “mad-woman” attic that inspired the story is open for public tours in Yorkshire, UK. The novel was apparently inspired by a real paranormal presence that Brontë experienced in the attic. Now, fans of Jane Eyre can visit and maybe feel the same presence the author had experienced in the attic.
Old Fort Niagara, NY
The site of many violent battles, Old Fort Niagara, is allegedly haunted by those killed at the fort. Visitors can go to the site and sit around a bonfire to hear stories of the fort’s haunted history. Graveyard tours are also available. Additionally, each year volunteers reenact the violent battles at Old Fort Niagara to provide context for tourists who seek to understand the fort’s dark past. The fort’s Executive Director has said of the location, “even if you are not afraid of the dark, you will be here.”
West Mountain Sanitarium, Scranton, PA
The former site of an open-air tuberculosis treatment center, West Mountain Sanitarium is known for its ghost sightings and the painful past that surrounds it. The site of the former treatment center is rundown and torched, and weathered patient beds still exist in the dilapidated buildings from a fire that killed many of the residents. Unlike some of the other sites on this list, this location definitely does not have an open season for visitors. Nonetheless, the haunted history tempts many brave visitors who seek an uninhibited paranormal experience.
Precious Blood Cemetery, Woonsocket, RI
In 1955, the Precious Blood Cemetery was affected by a category one hurricane. The storm unearthed many corpses. The city re-buried many of the unearthed bodies, but extreme decomposition meant that some of the bodies didn’t match new headstones. This has led to many unhappy spirits who haunt the location. Visitors have told stories about seeing creepy figures and hearing voices while at the cemetery. The belief is that lost spirits are seeking their headstones or loved ones.
Ecclesgrieg House, Aberdeenshire, Scotland
Ecclesgreig House and its surrounding area, St. Cyrus, is filled with tormented stories that are still harrowing to this day. One such tale was of King James I of Scotland, who became displeased with the constant complaints about the then sheriff, James Melville of Glenbervie, and so he permitted his people to make soup of the man. Another is about a blind piper who entered a cave with his dog and became lost. While spirits helped guide him out of the cave, his pipes can still be heard inside long after he’s passed on.
Catacombs, Paris, France
Beneath the streets of Paris exists what has been called an empire of death. In the 17th century, as the cemeteries of Paris were filled, mass graves were created. Only, instead of a traditional mass grave, 13th-century tunnels below Paris were utilized for a more macabre purpose. Six million Parisian bones are found in the skull-lined catacombs, which tourists visit regularly for a few good chills.
Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, Weston, WV
Filled with ghost sightings, voices, unexplainable sounds, and other paranormal activity, this asylum was the place of hundreds of involuntary commitments and death. Daytime and flashlight tours exist at the paranormal location; guides will show visitors the main areas, as well as the treatment areas of the building. After hearing the history of the location, and some of the haunted history of the asylum, many visitors are positive the site is filled with spirits.