Are there such things as ghosts? Are they real? Whether you are a paranormal seeker (or chaser) or a non-believer trying to be daring for a change, here are the 8 haunted places to visit around the world.
1) Ghost Hill (Penang, Malaysia)
Let’s start off with one of the most famous haunted places in our own backyard — the Ghost Hill a.k.a. “Bukit Hantu” in Penang. It was the same hill that lies the Penang War Museum. The museum itself used to be a British military fortress in the 1930s. When World War II struck in 1941, the fortress was seized by the Japanese army and turned the fortress into a concentration camp. Hundreds of POWs (prisoners of war) were captured, tortured and brutally executed in this very site. No wonder the National Geographic Channel listed this as one of the Top 10 Most Haunted Sites in Asia.
2) Old Changi Hospital (Singapore)
The Old Changi Hospital is no doubt the most famous haunted site in Singapore. Abandoned since 1997, this hospital used to be a prison camp for the Kempeitai a.k.a. Japanese secret police during World War II. This was the place where hundreds of thousands of POWs ended up being tortured or executed by the Japanese without mercy. Few peoples who have visited the hospital claimed to experience strange phenomena ranging from creepy shadows to disembodied screams. The aforementioned phenomena were even believed to be coming from the haunting of the POW victims.
3) Tat Tak School (Hong Kong)
There were many haunting stories surrounding this abandoned school in Yuen Long. One of them was a tale where a schoolteacher in a red dress believed to hung herself in the woman’s toilet. A report of her sighting was famously documented in 2001 when a group of students explored the school. One of the female students were said to be possessed by the spirit of the deceased teacher, prompting her to attack her fellow classmates and even attempted to strangle herself. The school also happens to sit next to the cemetery, which tells another haunted tale of its own. Apparently, the cemetery used to be a burial site for the British who massacred and dumped the local residents in 1941 during World War II. Now, this is what we called a double dose of haunting experience.
4) Lawang Sewu (Indonesia)
Located in Semarang, Central Java, Lawang Sewu (“Thousand Doors” in Javanese) is a Dutch colonial building used to be a Japanese detention camp during World War II. Legend has it that the building was haunted by the headless spirits of the victims and the ghost of a young Dutch woman, who committed suicide for some unknown reasons. Lawang Sewu has even become a subject of a 2007 Indonesian horror film known as Lawang Sewu: Dendam Kuntilanak.
5) Aokigahara (Japan)
Otherwise known as the “Suicide Forest”, Aokigahara is an infamous site where people chose to commit suicide every year. The forest is believed to be haunted by the Yūrei (“ghost” in Japanese) and demons existed in Japanese mythology. The popularity of Aokigahara also plays a role in Hollywood films including the 2016 supernatural horror film, The Forest starring Natalie Dormer.
6) The Stanley Hotel (Colorado, USA)
This 142-room hotel in Colorado is one of the most haunted places in America. For instance, there’s the infamous tale about the Room 217. One night during the summer of 1911, a housekeeper named Elizabeth Wilson suffered from fractured ankles following an explosion due to a gas leak when she lighted the acetylene gas lamps. She did survive the incident and even continued to work at the hotel until her death in the 1950s. Many guests who stayed in that room considered the Room 217 a curse. There were reports of mysterious loud noises and items being moved by itself. Stephen King himself used to stay in Room 217 after stuck in the hotel with his family due to a snowstorm. Coincidentally, they were the only guests staying in the hotel during the off-season period. King reportedly encountered a female apparition while exploring the halls. The unusual incident, of course, served him as an inspiration to write the 1977 horror novel. That novel in question was none other than The Shining, which also later became a 1980 big-screen adaptation directed by Stanley Kubrick.
7) Eastern State Penitentiary (Philadelphia, USA)
It was once a famous prison that housed America’s most notorious criminals like Al Capone and Willie Sutton. Abandoned in 1971, the prison has since converted into a tourist attraction. There were reports of numerous paranormal activities, where the ghosts of the prisoners haunt the jail and eerie sounds of prisoners’ crying from the prison cells.
8) Monte Cristo Homestead (New South Wales, Australia)
Beyond this innocent-looking house in New South Wales lies several eerie tales that earned its reputation as the most haunted place in Australia. Some of the multiple tragedies were reported such as a caretaker being shot to death, a baby falling from the stairs and a stable boy burnt to death!