We all love a good scare from time to time, but what if the settings for our favourite horror movies were real? As you get your costumes ready for Halloween, make sure you check out this list of 10 haunted places around the world.
Horror Stories are Healthy?
Unknown to many, watching horror flicks may give you some extra health benefits. Yes, sitting down, shouting at the top of your lungs, getting the daylights scared out of you actually has some benefits, including:
- You burn as much as 200 calories while watching a horror movie. This shouldn’t replace your daily exercise though!
- Watching horror movies relieves stress since it takes your mind away from your real stressors.
- It’s a great source of adrenaline, which your body needs from time to time.
- The excitement is good for the brain. Your brain secretes dopamine, serotonin and glutamate while watching scary flicks, reducing anxiety.
- Horror gives you a better sense or control of reality. We don’t mean you’ll get paranoid about every little noise, but you’ll be more alert and better prepared for anything.
- Horror movies = hugs. If you’re watching horror movies with a special someone this Halloween, make sure you cuddle up! Hugs release that feel happy hormone oxytocin.
And now, something sure to scare your socks off. For those of you who are tired of haunted houses with fake blood and animatronic ghosts, we bring you 10 real life spooky places.
Top 10 Scariest Places
These spooky and scary places have their own stories scary enough to be the plot to a horror film. Let us give you a tour.
#1 Eastern State Penitentiary
This haunted prison is located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Opened in 1829, the prison is known as the country’s first official penitentiary. The prison used the power of isolation to reform its inmates. It was then believed that if a criminal was confined in an isolated cell they would eventually become regretful of their sins. Each cell was designed so that both prisoners and guards would have next to no contact with others. According to tales, both the guards and inmates experienced a different kind of unexplained and unusual vision in the long corridors and in several other locations within the prison. Even after the penitentiary was abandoned, the haunting stories increased.
There are lots of intriguing “true” haunting stories surrounding the prison. Al Capone was one of the most notable prisoners confined at Eastern State. According to stories, the spirit of a person named James Clark returned to torture Capone night after night. Each night they would hear Capone scream. But despite Al Capone’s claims, the guards never found anything that could prove the stories to be true.
Blocks 12, 4, and 6 have been associated with paranormal activity. Individuals who worked for the Eastern State Penitentiary have claimed they heard screams, whispers and laughter and felt different sensations like someone watching them during their stay there.
Add the power of isolation to any creepy story and you’ve got a haunted prison!
#2 The Princess Theatre, Australia
Federici was the stage name of the ghost haunting the Princess Theatre. An Italian baritone singer, Federici died on stage in 1888 when he had a heart attack while being lowered down into a basement below the stage. Since then many have claimed they saw ghostly figure at the theatre.
He is often seen staring at the stage as if he is preparing to perform. For many years, a seat has been reserved and held vacant for Federici every nightly performance.
#3 Borley Rectory, England
Borley Rectory was built in 1863 for Reverend Henry Bull on the site of an ancient monastery where the ghost of a sorrowful nun was already well known by the villagers at that time. The nun was known to have fallen in love with a monk and tried to elope with him which led to the monk’s execution. The nun was bricked up, still alive, in the wall and left to starve to death.
The rectory then became the home of Reverend Lionel Foyster and his family. The ghost seemed to have an interest in the reverend’s young wife, Marianne. Strange messages were sent to her and objects were often thrown at her. The family eventually decided to leave.
Many refused to live in the rectory but one Harry Price was curious. Price rented the house in 1937 and conducted a long investigation after having been asked by a newspaper. Many of his accounts from the house would be first-hand, as he claimed to actually witness the reported phenomena in that place. The building was finally demolished in 1944 but still retains its reputation as one of the world’s most famous haunted houses.
#4 Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Cambodia
Tuol Sleng, meaning “Hill of the Poisonous Trees”, was one of the 150 execution centers in Cambodia. It is now known as Sleng Genocide Museum. The site is a former high school and was used as the notorious Security Prison 21 (S-21) by the Khmer Rouge regime in 1975. Prisoners were tortured and forced to name their family members for interrogation, who were later repeatedly tortured and killed. As many as 20,000 prisoners were killed. Among them only twelve were known to survive.
The museum includes a display of paintings by former inmate Vann Nath and some articles used during that period. Personnel who worked to identify the victims claim that they can feel the ghosts in the room with them. These ghosts were said to be of those prisoners who were tortured in countless ways.
Stories about ghosts and spirits of the victims have been known to people visiting the place for years. At the request of the museum staff, monks held a ceremony at Toul Sleng Museum to conciliate the spirits of the victims.
#5 Helltown, Ohio
Helltown, formally known as Boston, Ohio, is associated as a place with satanists and regular hauntings. Several legends surround the town, and there are a few reasons as to why it has become such a spooky place.
First, the National Park System began purchasing homes in the village with the intention of demolishing them. Rumours began to spread that the government allowed the National Park System to build a park in Boston to cover up a horrible chemical spill in the place. And other rumours sprung forth which spoke of mutants from the chemical spill.
Second, it has a church called “Mother of Sorrows” which has upside down crosses and other satanic symbols. Although it is a Catholic church, legend distorted the idea that it became a satan worshipping church.
Third, it has a very old cemetery with bodies dating back to the early 1800s.
Other spooky things found in the town include the abandoned school bus, legends of a hearse chasing visitors, a bridge where a baby is often heard crying and many more tales.
Abandoned buildings and houses left by the residents are still intact. It has become one of Ohio’s most famous horror legends and tracking all of the different stories would nearly be impossible.
#6 Stull Cemetery, Kansas
This place is just one of the many cemeteries across America that has become famous for a number of supernatural happenings. People in Stull were angered by the stories about their town and believed they were just inventions of students at the University of Kansas who spoke of the strange occurrences in Stull. But let’s hear them anyway!
Legends say that the devil has been appearing in Stull since the 1850’s. Claims include stories of a wooden crucifix on a wall which would turn upside-down when people walked passed it at midnight, sinister air currents knocking a person down to the floor and making them unable to move for some time, and a very specific claim of a vehicle on the side of the road which had been moved to the other side, facing the opposite direction. These stories are still a mystery to many. Were they actually true?
#7 Byberry Mental Asylum, Philadelphia
Byberry was opened as a city institution in Northeast Philadelphia to relieve overcrowding at a huge institution in West Philadelphia that held the indigent as well as many varieties of poor and homeless insane. It was later renamed as a “hospital” and many changes were made. Reports about inhumane treatment, unexpected patient deaths, abuse and extensive use of chemical and mechanical restraints were released after its closure. Now, the memory of the horrors brought down upon each surviving soul inside the asylum have yet to be erased.
#8 Maple Hill Cemetery, AlabamaMany unnatural phenomena occur in “Dead Children’s Playground” which hides among the old beech trees within Maple Tree Cemetery in Huntsville, Alabama. The Maple Hill is one of the largest and oldest cemeteries in the Southeast. The place is haunted by the ghosts of children who have often been seen there playing between 10:00 PM and 3:00 AM. A photo of either a male or a female child was captured as well as mixed voices of children playing on swings were recorded during an investigation at the site.
#9 Atsugi Hangar Bay, Japan
Many ghosts in Japan haunt famous battlegrounds like Atsugi Hangar Bay. Located across from the naval base in Atsugi, this site is famous in Japan for ghost spotting. Many pilots killed themselves in disgrace when Japan surrendered to the allied powers. A spirit of a young marine has been seen moving from room to room and is said to slam doors occasionally.
#10 Raynham Hall, England
A sighting of the “Brown Lady of Raynham” was first recorded at a Christmas gathering in 1935. According to the legend it is the ghost of Lady Dorothy Walpole, the sister of the first Prime Minister of Great Britain.
Marryat, a friend of a famous novelist, did not believe in the Brown Lady so he requested to stay a few nights in the Hall to prove the reports wrong. But then, to his horror, he fell down while holding his gun, pointing it at the image of the Brown Lady as he watched her approaching nearer and nearer. He never attempted to enter Raynham Hall again. Rumours spread that Lady Dorothy was abused and locked up by her husband in that house, but evidence suggests that she lived a happy life. If this is the case, why would Lady Dorothy haunt the place?
Would you dare to visit any of these places on Halloween? Have a safe and spooky weekend!