I believe in ghosts. Yes I do. And I love a good haunted house because there is nothing more perversely exciting than scaring oneself stupid. That little spider of fear you can feel creeping up your spine, starting at the small of your back with its cold, light feet. That feeling there is something around you that you cannot name. That all consuming urge to run, scream, laugh and flip on a light switch simultaneously. Ah it’s such fun.
Thankfully, the world is full of haunted destinations where you can enjoy the sensation of being visited by the long departed. Here are my picks for the spook-seeking traveller …
Picton – NSW, Australia
This town has a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in Australia with ghost sightings reported for years. Most recently, a woman took a photo of a cemetery and happened to snap two children – who died, fifty years apart – walking amongst the headstones. The ghosts are said to be little Blanche Moon who was crushed to death in 1886 and David Shaw who died of polio in 1946. Another ghost who apparently makes her presence repeatedly felt is a lady who died in Redbank Range Railway Tunnel when she was hit by a train in 1916.
You can take ghost tours through Picton. Check them out here.
Image from Paranormal Australia
The Galleries of Justice – Nottingham, UK
Said to be the most haunted place in England (and that’s a big call for a country that has its fair share of ghosts, hello Tower of London) The Galleries of Justice certainly has the history to produce lost and restless souls. There is evidence to suggest that the site – which itself dates back to 600AD – has been used for doling out (often wicked and torturous) punishments since Saxon times and most certainly from the 1700s onwards. Ghosts apparently abound in various rooms in the Galleries with visitors and staff regularly reporting a litany of strange feelings, sights and inexplicable happenings.
Find out about ghost tours here.
Image from Galleries of Justice
Moundsville Prison (West Virginia Penitentiary) – West Virginia, USA
A building that has witnessed the violent punishment and execution of hundreds of people in its life-time, built on sacred Native Indian burial ground … double whammy. Could this be the most negatively charged building in the states? And what if, just to really put the final nail in the coffin, I told you one of the inmates who spent some time there was Charles Manson … and that he requested a transfer back there, after leaving? Moundsville Prison is a ghost-hunter’s heaven – a place of lost souls wandering the hallways of an unspeakably cruel history.
You can also tour this one – more information here.
The Castle of Good Hope – Cape Town, South Africa
Built in 1666 by the Dutch East India Company on the shores of Cape Town, this castle saw a form of torture take place within its dungeon walls that all but guarantees an angry ghostly presence. High tide would fill the moat and flood the room where prisoners were chained to the walls, left to drown with each wave that would roll through. Executions also took place in the Castle of Good Hope and one ghost who commonly appears is apparently that of Governer Pieter Gysbert van Noodt who himself was responsible for the hanging of seven soldiers.
Penitentiary Chapel – Hobart, Australia
According to ausparanormal.com, Tasmania is one of the most haunted locations in Australia, if not the world. With the island’s history inextricably entwined with Australia‘s convict past, Tasmania is home to several spooky sites, including Port Arthur and Richmond Bridge. The Penitentiary Chapel was where convicts were both held and executed and today regular ghostly presences are felt and paranormal activities reported. I don’t know what’s creepier – the restless spirits of hung convicts or the blood beneath the gallows …
Tour information here.
Catacombs – Paris, France
Whilst not exactly known for being haunted, per se, there isn’t anything particularly peaceful about the final resting place of those buried in this chamber of bones. An underground tunnel of thousands of skeletons piled atop one another, the Catacombs is macabre at its grisly best and for its walls of skulls alone, worthy of an honourable mention.