Five of The Most Haunted Places to Visit
One way to commune with the dead is to visit one of their abodes. If your neighbor’s kitschy “Haunted House” with hay rides and rubber ghouls doesn’t work for you, you may want to consider these options. All of them come with scary stories and (supposedly) real ghosts.
1) The Tower of London, England
The Tower of London is reputedly one of the most haunted places in the United Kingdom. It was built in 1078 during the reign of William the Conqueror (1035-1087). For centuries, it was the site of many executions and torture sessions.
One of the most famous ghosts associated with the Tower is that of Anne Boleyn, who had been one of the ill-fated six wives of the notorious Henry VIII (1491-1547). He had her beheaded in 1536, and people have seen her headless body walking the corridors. She has also often appeared near the site where she was killed.
The ghosts of two children have also been seen. The youngsters are holding hands and seem terrified. They are often called “the Princes in the Tower” and are said to be the ghosts of the sons of Edward IV (1422 – 1483). Unfortunately for them, Edward IV had a brother, the Duke of Gloucester, who would become the infamous Richard III. He wanted the throne and thus had the children locked up in the Tower. They soon vanished, and it is widely believed that Richard murdered them.
2) Island of the Dolls, Mexico
The Island of the Dolls (La Isla de la Munecas) is located on Lake Teshuilo south of Mexico City. Back in the 1920s, three girls were playing near the lake. One fell in and drowned. Roughly 30 years later, a man named Julian Santan Barrera moved to the island. He either found the remains of the girl or was contacted by her spirit. To appease the girl’s spirit, he collected dolls that had fallen into the lake and hung them from trees. He also sold fruits and vegetables to buy more dolls. In 2001, the now-elderly Julian fell into the lake and drowned. He thus joined the girl who had obsessed him for decades in death.
Visitors to the island claim to have seen the ghosts of both Julian and the girl. They also claim that they can hear the dolls whispering and that the dolls’ eyes follow them.
3) The White House, USA
The White House in Washington, D.C. is known for both being the residence of the President of the United States and for being inhabited by more ghosts than any other house in the nation. Every President has lived in the White House since John Adams moved there in 1800.
The ghost of Abraham Lincoln, who was assassinated in 1865, is probably the most famous of the White House spirits. He has been seen by people like Teddy Roosevelt, Jackie Kennedy, and Winston Churchill. The latter had been sleeping in the Lincoln Bedroom during a visit. When he saw the specter of Lincoln standing by the fireplace, he refused to sleep in the room again.
Another Presidential ghost is Andrew Jackson (1767 – 1845). Many employees at the White House have heard him swearing or laughing. John Adams’ wife Abigail used to do her laundry in the East Room. People have seen her floating through the room with outstretched arms, as though she were carrying a basket of laundry. People have also seen the ghosts of Thomas Jefferson, Dolley Madison, and a British soldier, among others.
Gettysburg is a small town in Pennsylvania that was the site of a battle that is often considered to be the turning point of the Civil War. In June 1863, General Lee launched an invasion of the Northern States. The Confederates had been winning the war so far, and he wanted to press the attack. After winning some battles, Lee clashed with a large Union army commanded by General Meade. The battle lasted three days (July 1 – 3) and ended in a decisive victory for the Union.
During those three days, the fighting spilled out of the “official battlefield.” There were thus skirmishes in forests, the countryside, and even the streets of the town. The Battle of Gettysburg proved to be the bloodiest battle of the Civil War with nearly a third of the men involved slain. 28,000 Confederate soldiers alone perished.
Not surprisingly, the Gettysburg Battlefield is said to be swarming with ghosts. Many of the hauntings take place at the Devil’s Den, the main site of the battle on July 2. People have reported encounters with ghostly soldiers and hearing the sounds of gunfire.
General Lee and some of his officers stayed at Gettysburg College’s Pennsylvania Hall during the battle. The dormitory, which was built in 1837, has also been the site of many hauntings. Ghostly soldiers have been seen marching. Pennsylvania Hall was also used as an army hospital, as two college administrators learned to their horror. They took an elevator down to the first floor. Instead of the expected storage room, they found a Civil War operating room filled with wounded men and blood-spattered doctors.
5) Lawang Sewu, Indonesia
Lawang Sewu, which was built in the city Semarang in 1917, is said to be the most haunted building in Indonesia. The building’s name means “One Thousand Doors,” and it originally belonged to the Dutch East Indian Railway Company. During World War II, the Japanese seized Indonesia, and they used the basement of one of the buildings as a prison. Many people were tortured and executed there. In October 1945, Dutch soldiers used the tunnel under Building A to sneak into the city during the Battle of Semarang.
Lawang Sewu is said to be home to many ghosts, and people visit it in the hopes of seeing some. The most famous and active ghost is that of a Dutch woman who supposedly committed suicide. People have also seen headless spirits wandering the halls, and the former basement prison is said to be inhabited by a Kuntilanak, a hostile female spirit that resembles a vampire.