If there is one thing that is guaranteed to make my mind wander, it would have to be the paranormal. It seems like if I’m home alone at night and I hear one noise, I’m listening for every tiny noise after that. Anytime I hear a noise, I get nervous that something might be lurking in the shadows. I think this all started to happen when my family and I lived in a house that was actually haunted. The family who had lived there before us had some unfortunate circumstances happen between their friends who were the neighbors and who were also part owners of a restaurant the two families owned together. I didn’t necessarily believe in the paranormal until I lived in this house and unexplainable things began to happen. Some of these things were windows breaking from the inside of the house while everyone was sleeping, dark shadows floating in front of your face without leaving a trace, and signs flying across the room when no one else was in there. After speaking with a refugee from Haiti whose grandfather was a voodoo shaman, she explained what we needed to do to make the spirits that haunted our home a little more friendly. We took her advice, and what do you know? The spirits were much happier and left our family alone after that. Well here are 20 haunted places that are actually real and the stories behind these haunted places will terrify you.
1. Byberry Mental Asylum – Also known as the Philadelphia State Hospital located in Byberry, it’s one of the most haunted hospitals in the US. It was demolished in 2006, but that does not hide its gruesome history. It was once the poster child for patient maltreatment. It opened in 1907, but the population grew quickly, with it maxing out at 7,000 patients in 1960. It housed many people, from mentally challenged patients all the way to the criminally insane. Because of the terrible conditions, it was closed and left abandoned in 1990. After it was abandoned, the neighborhood wanted it to be torn down as it became a haven for vandals, arsonists, Satanists and urban explorers.
2. Helltown – That name seems fitting for a place that is rumored to be haunted. While there isn’t really a reason that this place is haunted, people visiting have told some amazing stories about what has happened here. First off, there have been quite a few visitors that have reported being chased by a hearse. Where would a hearse come from in this area? Well it’s rumored that a former resident of Helltown drove a hearse. Then there is the rumor about the headless train conductor. There is a set of railroad tracks in Helltown that go through Cuyahoga Valley National Park. When these train tracks cross the Cuyahoga River, people have reported seeing a headless train conductor from the early 1900s standing by the water. There is also a barn located in Helltown that was once a slaughter-house. Nearby residents have reported a stench coming from the slaughter-house that comes and goes.
3. Humberstone And LaNoria – These two mining towns can be found in Chile. They are so haunted, they were recently featured on the show Destination Truth. These two towns were founded as saltpeter mines in 1872. They quickly exploded as business was booming at the time. But with several hard blows, such as The Great Depression, business slowed down causing the mines and the town to collapse in 1958. Humberstone was then completely abandoned by 1960. The mines were operated by people who were basically treated like slaves for the mine, and those are the people believed to be haunting this area.
4. Leap Castle – This castle, located in Ireland, was built in the late 15th century by the O’Bannons. The O’Bannons were under the rule of the O’Carrolls, who decided to take over Leap Castle as their own. When Mulrooney O’Carroll passed away, there was a huge rivalry that erupted to gain control of this castle. There were two brothers who wanted to control this lush area. One of the brothers was a priest. He was actually killed by his other brother in the chapel of Leap Castle in front of his entire family. They now refer to the chapel in Leap Castle as the Bloody Chapel. Leap Castle also housed many prisoners where they were also executed.
5. Riddle House – This house is located in Palm Beach County, Florida. While it looks like an adorable Victorian beach house, it has a bit of a past. It was originally built as a funeral parlor. But once the funeral parlor shut down, they decided to completely dismantle the house and move it to Yesteryear Village at the South Florida Fairgrounds. In the 1920s, Karl Riddle became the private owner of this home. An employee named Joseph reportedly hung him himself in the attic of the Riddle House, and once the beam and rope that he used were removed, the home was haunted. This scared the employees so bad that most of them ended up quitting.
6. Shades Of Death Road – Honestly if I saw that street name on a map, I’d probably find an alternative route. This road is located in the New Jersey countryside and winds through about 7 miles of country. This is actually the official name of the road, not necessarily a name that the locals gave it. The road gained popularity as it was believed that bandits would hide in the shadows of the trees and wait for unsuspecting travelers, where they would jump out at them, murder them, then take all of their belongings. There have been some gruesome murders that have happened on this stretch of road, along with many fatal car accidents.
7. Stull Cemetery – This cemetery is located in Stull, Kansas. It is basically located in the middle of nowhere and there are about 20 people who reside in Stull to this day. Even though city officials have asked people to stay away from Stull Cemetery, this hasn’t stopped curious ghost hunters from visiting. There was once a large stone church that was built in the 1800s, but it was recently knocked down. Stull Cemetery has been referred to as ‘The Gateway To Hell’. The reason for this is that somewhere within the cemetery there are a set of hidden steps that reportedly will lead you to Hell. They are almost impossible to find and are hidden with a seal that will only open on Halloween and the Spring Equinox. If someone does find them, they should not go down the steps as there is no way to return.
8. The Mines Of Paris – These mines run below the streets of Paris, but they are not the same as the Catacombs of Paris. It’s not recommended to explore The Mines Of Paris, because it’s almost a guarantee that you will get lost. It is pitch black in the mines, and there are holes along the ground that drop down hundreds of feet. During the 17th century, the cemeteries of Paris got so full that they began to break through the walls of cellars and caused terrible health issues. So rather than filling up the cemeteries even more, they ended up pouring corpses into the tunnels below. Visitors in the mines have reported being touched by hands that weren’t there and they’ve reported being followed only to find out that nobody was behind them. People have also experienced severe changes in the temperature in the mines. Because of the location of the mines, if you were to scream, nobody would ever hear you.
9. The Ridges – This was originally called the Athens Lunatic Asylum, but when the state of Ohio acquired it, they changed the name to The Ridges. In this asylum, they performed many lobotomies. They also believed that masturbation and epilepsy were the cause of insanity in their patients. This institution quickly became overcrowded, and patients were subject to ice baths and electroshock therapy along with lobotomies. Patients started off as being the criminally insane, but shortly after opening the patients became unruly teenagers and older children that parents had hospitalized. One example of The Ridges being haunted is because of a patient named Margaret Schilling. On December 1st, 1978 she was playing hide and seek, but the nurses got distracted and forgot about her. More than a month later, a maintenance worker found her body. But that’s not the creepiest part of the story. Her body left marks on the floor. An imprint of her clothes and hair were found on the floor and were perfectly visible. They thought that her body had began to decompose which caused the outlines on the floor, but even after the area has been cleaned over and over again, the outline reappears.
10. Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – Located in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum was a former high school that was then converted to a prison in 1975 by the Khmer Rouge. It was used as a base where prisoners were tortured and murdered. A lot of the prisoners were actually former soldiers and government officials from the Lon Nol Regime. The leaders of the Khmer Rogue soon became paranoid about the fact that they were only torturing and killing members of the Lon Nol Regime. Because of this, they started to ship members of the Khmer Rogue to the prison, tricking them into naming their family and associates, who would then also be tortured and killed.
11. Amityville – Not only has this house been the subject of a very popular book, The Amityville Horror, along with two movies, but it is rumored to be extremely haunted! It’s located in New York, and is where Ronald Defeo Jr. murdered his family of 6 in 1974. He said he was being possessed by an unknown force. The Lutz family moved in 13 months later and almost instantly experienced paranormal activities. There was a lot that happened to the Lutz family before they moved out in January 1976. George Lutz, the father, would wake up every morning at 3:15am to check on the boathouse, which is about the same time Defeo murdered his family. Even in the winter months, the house was invaded by swarms of flies. George also discovered a small hidden room in the basement. The walls were painted red and this room was not on the blueprints of the house. The Lutz daughter, Missy, had an imaginary friend named Jodie. Jodie resembled a demonic pig-like creature with glowing red eyes. The front door would slam shut randomly, but when George would check it, nothing would be there and everyone was sound asleep. Kathy Lutz, the mother, was once in bed and received red welts on her chest and then was levitated two feet into the air. This is just a short list of the many paranormal things that have happened in this house.
12. Villisca Axe Murder House – While this may look like a cute Victorian. house, what happened inside is sure to give you nightmares. A total of 8 people (2 parents and 6 children) were hacked to death by an axe in this home in 1912. The murders have not been solved, but it’s rumored that the murderer actually haunts this house and inside you can hear children screaming and crying.
13. Lalaurie Mansion – Located in the French Quarters in New Orleans, this mansion was once owned by Dr. Louis and Delphine Lalaurie. They lived here until 1834 when it was discovered that they had a torture chamber in the home that contained dozens of bodies and body parts. The Lalauries were able to escape and have never been seen again.
14. Whaley House – This house was built in San Diego, California in 1857. Before the house was built, it was a site for gallows, which is basically where people would be hanged for their crimes. When The Whaleys built their house on the site, they reported hearing heavy footsteps inside of the house. They thought the ghost that was making the noise was James “Yankee Jim” Robinson, who was actually hanged on the same property. Once the Whaleys moved in, four family members passed away and people have reported seeing Thomas and Anna Whaley on the property.
15. Borden House – This house is located in Massachusetts and is the location where Lizzie Borden was rumored to have murdered her parents in 1892. She struck them with an axe, but was never found guilty of the murders. She was acquitted, but people have heard various sounds inside of the home, along with screams.
16. Myrtles Plantation – This home is located in St. Francisville, Louisiana and has been dubbed one of America’s most haunted homes. The home is rumored to be haunted by at least 12 ghosts. There were a total of 10 murders that happened inside the home, but records only show the murder of William Winter. He was an attorney who lived on the plantation from 1865 through 1871. He was outside of the plantation when he was shot by a stranger, where he then stumbled inside of the home and died while climbing the stairs. He died on the 17th step and employees of this home turned hotel, can still hear his dying footsteps. Unsolved Mysteries tried to film a segment at the plantation, but they experienced numerous technical difficulties while filming.
17. Lemp Mansion – The Lemp Mansion in St. Louis was built using money from the Lemp Beer Company. Many people have seen spirits roaming through the house, including one named “the monkey faced boy” who is rumored to be William Lemp’s illegitimate son, Zeke, who was born with Down’s Syndrome and forced to live in the attic. Many members of the family died in the mansion, including four different Lemp family members who committed suicide and haunt the home to this day.
18. Hull House – Hull House was built in the 1850s by Charles Hull, and was used as a home for recent immigrants from Europe. Over time, it became a home for the poor and indigent in the Chicago area. It was rumored that the building was haunted and numerous stories have surfaced about the history. Charles Hull’s wife died in the home in 1860 and is rumored to haunt the home currently. There have also been other people who died in this home from natural causes. One story is of a man who said he’d “rather have the Devil in his house than a picture The Virgin Mary.” After that, his child was born with pointed ears, horns, scale-covered skin, and a tail. The mother of this child took the baby to the Hull House, where Jane Addams attempted to baptize the baby, but ended up locking it in the attic.
19. Winchester House – The Winchester House is located in San Jose, California. It was built by Sarah Winchester after her husband, William, passed away. A psychic told her that she was being haunted by ghosts that had been killed with Winchester guns. In order to avoid these spirits, Sarah built a home that had over 160 rooms. There were construction crews at this home 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Sarah would stay up all night, adding to the already maze-like blueprints. She thought that by building her home like a maze, it would confuse the spirits and they would not be able to follow her. She continued to build onto this home for 38 years, until she passed away. Some visitors have seen and heard spirits, along with the spirit of Sarah roaming the home.
20. Connecticut House – This home is the basis of the movie The Haunting In Connecticut. It was originally built as a funeral home known as the Hallahan Funeral Home. The home was used as a funeral home from the 1930s up until it was purchased by the Snedeker family in 1986. When they moved in, they found items that would be used in a funeral home such as coffin handles, a blood drainage pit, and more. The paranormal activity started as soon as they moved in. They moved out just two years later, after their eldest son was removed from the house and diagnosed with schizophrenia.
And there you have it, 20 haunted places in the world that are actually haunted. Would you want to visit these places and experience the paranormal activity for yourself? Have you ever done a ghost tour in your area to see what secrets your city has been hiding? If you want to be scared even more, check out these haunted abandoned places around the world.