Personally, if I’m going to travel I prefer somewhere quite sunny and safe. You’ll sooner find me driving a car hire in Malaga, leisurely along the Spanish coast, than in some dark and decrepit house that may or may not be haunted. It’s not that I believe that the spirits of the decease are capable of driving me to an early grave, but why test that theory. There’s a Portuguese saying that states that witches don’t exist, but the fact is that there are some. And who am I to argue with Portuguese wisdom? All the same, here are 5 of the spookiest places on Earth.
Winchester Mystery House, California - This is what happens when a crazy widow has far too much money and time on her hands. Sarah Winchester believed that the house was haunted by the people killed by Winchester rifles - which must’ve been quite a crowd - and only continuous construction in the premises could appease the should of the departed. Because of that, she kept building for 38 years, filling the monstrous mansion with a maze-like network of corridors, twists, dead ends, and unexpected turns. That way, the spirits would never find her. Image source.
Helltown, Ohio - The name says it all. The inhabitants of the town were evicted in 1974 and the town became a ghost-town (apparently in more ways than one). The road leading into Helltown - officially Stanford Road - received the far more colourful moniker “Highway to Hell”. The town cemetery is reportedly haunted, as was an old school bus abandoned in Stanford Road. Satanists are said to use a local Presbyterian church for their dark rituals, and reports even include the existence of mutants due to a chemical spill (which allegedly would have have been the real reason for the town’s evacuation). Image source.
Byberry Mental Asylum, Philadelphia - Home to the lunatics, the mentally disturbed and the criminally insane, Byberry Hospital was used as a mental facility from 1907 to 1990 and for most of its history, stories about the appalling conditions and the inhumane treatment of patients were rampant. Human excrements lined the walls and the people were herded naked like cattle. A patient in the 80s was shackled to a bed for 14 months, and one of the patients murdered a fellow inmate and hid parts of her dismembered body across the property. A breeding ground for angry spirits. Image source.
Leap Castle, Ireland - Built in the 15th century, this castle was the seat of the O’Bannon Clan. Many people were executed in the grounds, the spirits of which are said to haunt the property. In the 19th century, Mildred Darby - now living in the castle - is said to have unwittingly disturbed a spirit during her occult activities. This creature, an Elemental, is said to still haunt the castle, and its appearance is often accompanied by the stench of decomposing corpses and sulphur. When the castle was renovated, the workers discovered an oubliette - its bottom lined with spikes - full of human bones. A pocket-watch from the 1840s was also discovered. Image source.
Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum - The site of this museum in Cambodia was used at times as a high school and as a security facility and interrogation centre known as Security Prison 21 (S-21). It’s estimated that around 17,000 were jailed there. The conditions were brutal and the rules strict. Torture was used as a means to get information and as a means to punish prisoners. Only 7 people are known to have survived detention in S-21. The museum is said to be haunted by the spirits of the deceased. Image source.