Halloween reminds us all of the spooky and supernatural. And from dressing in costumes to trick-or-treating outdoors, we take a moment to engage the weird. One thing that some people like to do during Halloween is to go to spooky places, known for being haunted. From places just down the block to famous sites from around the world, these places draw people in with stories of the unexplained and possibly supernatural.
Lets take a look at a few of the famous haunted sites from around the world.
Aokigahara: The Suicide Forest
Much of what makes up the supernatural and unexplained is tied to core aspects of our being. Life and death are two of these aspects that are seen again and again in haunted sites. This in particular is what makes Aokigahara, otherwise known as the suicide forest, so famous and so haunted.
Aokigahara is a forest at the base of Mt. Fugi in Japan. With twisting roots and meandering paths, large thick trunked trees stretch into the sky and stop most of the sunlight from hitting the ground. Aokigahara is where people go to commit suicide, with hundreds of people wandering in every year. At the entrance to the forest are signs asking people to reconsider. It only becomes spookier the deeper you go into the forest, as people have reported watching people in the distance vanish, as well as the occasional ghost. With so much death and despair in one place, it is easy to see why Aokigahara is considered one of the most famous haunted sites in the world.
Raynham Hall: The Brown Lady
The United Kingdom is home to many supposedly spooky places, including most notably the Tower of London. However, Raynham Hall makes the list because of a very special spirit, the spirit of the Brown Lady.
Believed to be the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole who lived from 1686 to 1726, she allegedly had an affair and then was locked in the home to starve to death. The result is that ever since her death, Raynham Hall has been haunted by a woman in a brown brocade dress.
There have been reports of people seeing the Brown Lady over the past few centuries, making her one of the more popular haunted sites in the world. Photos have apparently been taken of her, though none have been fully substantiated. Regardless, she has captivated the imagination of the UK, and continues to excite and frighten people trying to get a look.
Eastern State Penitentiary: The Insane Prison
There are many things that can make a place haunted. Whether it is the spirit of someone long gone or acts committed, haunted places can be anywhere. One famous place in the United States is the Eastern State Penitentiary, sometimes referred to as the Insane Prison. Eastern State Penitentiary was an old prison, built in 1829 in the heart of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
It was here at Easter State Penitentiary that solitary confinement was devised as a method to help people in their recovery. Kept away from all human contact for months at a time, prisoners were never allowed to see other people. Though this was believed to be helpful, it had a horrifying effect. The prisoners undergoing solitary would become insane, losing all sense and reason. The insane prison eventually stopped doing solitary in 1913, and the prison finally closed down in 1970.
Since then, people have reported seeing shadowy figures, a dark figure that haunts the guard tower, evil laughing from a cellblock, shadowy figures that slide down the walls, and the sound of strange, disembodied footsteps. Banging jail cells is also another common occurrence.
Halifax Citadel: Witness to Destruction
Halifax Nova Scotia has a long and storied history as a center for trade and business along the north east coast. In the center of this modern city is an ancient fortress, called Halifax Citadel. For the 300 years that it has been around, there has been a constant stream of hauntings and reported ghost sightings.
The reasons for the hauntings are numerous. Halifax Citadel has fully manned and had a prison, where terrible things have been reported to happen. In addition, Halifax Citadel had a front row seat to the Halifax Explosion in 1917. Two ships ran into one another while one was full of ammunition and explosives for the war effort. The resulting explosion was the single greatest explosion ever (until the atomic bombs) and nearly 2000 people were killed by flying debris, a tidal waves, and the resulting fires. It is said that some of their spirits resided in the Halifax Citadel, even now looking for protection from the massive explosion.
Popular hauntings include a little girl following tour groups and holding people’s hands, as well as individuals in the distance simply disappearing.