1. Poveglia Island — Venice, Italy
The tale: In the 1800s, the now-abandoned island was home to plague victims, but it was used more to exile patients than to help them get better. Rumor has it that one doctor threw himself off a bell tower and he haunts the land.
Can you visit? Yes — if you’re willing to wait. No boats make regular stops to the island, and the country requires a lengthy application process.
2. Eastern State Penitentiary — Philadelphia
The tale: Between the 1940s and 1970s, more than 1,200 inmates died within the walls of ESP for various reasons. Since the building was abandoned in the ’70s, ghost activity has skyrocketed, with experts citing there are “restless spirits that swirl for eternity.”
Can you visit? Absolutely. It offers tours year-round.
—Stephanie Clark and Andrew Smith, Facebook
3. Hoia Baciu Forest — Cluj-Napoca, Romania
4. The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, Colorado
The tale: A night here helped to inspire a little book called The Shining, and the hotel is very proud of that accomplishment. The spirits of former owners F.O. and Flora Stanley roam the halls — they’ve even been captured on camera.
Can you visit? Yes. The hotel is a very active tourist site today.
—Erica Cruise, Facebook
5. Loftus Hall — Hook Head, New Ross, Co. Wexford, Ireland
The tale: Formerly a private residence, then a convent, and then a hotel, this place is so damn terrifying — legend has it that “the devil himself has slept here.”
Can you visit? Yes. You can do either a historical tour or a haunted tour. This year is huge: It’s Loftus Hall’s 666th anniversary.
6. Bobby Mackey’s — Wilder, Kentucky
The tale: Now a nightclub, Bobby Mackey’s used to be home to an animal slaughterhouse in 1850. It’s been said that Satanic cult activity took place in the building in the 1890s, where both animals and humans were sacrificed. Many believe the basement holds the “portal to Hell itself.”
7. Preston Castle — Ione, California
8. Villisca Axe Murder House — Villisca, Iowa
9. The Edinburgh Vaults — Edinburgh, Scotland
The tale: The vaults are part of a series of chambers completed in the late 1700s that used to house questionable material, like the bodies of victims of serial killers for “medical experiments.” People have said they hear voices, and some actually say they’ve been grabbed by a ghost.
Can you visit? Yes — there are guided tours that will take you underground.
10. Dammasch State Hospital — Wilsonville, Oregon
The tale: Dammasch was an asylum where mentally ill patients could find solitude during treatment. Even after all patients were long gone and ghost hunters could visit, there were reports of mysterious footsteps, keys jingling, and inexplicable buzzing over intercoms.
Can you visit? No. The asylum closed its doors in 1995 and has been demolished.
11. Galleries of Justice — Nottingham, England
The tale: Regarded as one of the most haunted buildings in all of the United Kingdom, the Galleries still house prison cells from the 1440s. Very active ghosts reside throughout, assumed to be the spirits of prisoners who suffered intense physical abuse.
Can you visit? Definitely. You can go on a tour, or have your wedding reception here, if you so desire.
12. Lemp Mansion — St. Louis
13. Bachelors Grove Cemetery — Bremen Township, Illinois
14. Banff Springs Hotel — Alberta, Canada
The tale: A bellman who died here in 1975 had threatened that he’d haunt the place, and he apparently wasn’t lying. Guests have also reported seeing a woman called “the doomed bride” dancing in one of the main ballrooms.
Can I visit? Yes! You can stay overnight at the hotel, though it doesn’t advertise the hauntings as an attraction.
—Debbie Ann, Facebook
15. Gimghoul’s Castle — Chapel Hill, North Carolina
The tale: A student named Peter Domgoole supposedly died here after dueling for the heart of a lover in the mid-1800s, and though his body was buried in a shallow grave, his spirit still roams the grounds.
Can you visit? Unfortunately, no. The castle is on private land and is inaccessible to the public.
16. The Queen Mary — Long Beach, California
The tale: Once an entertainment liner for big names like Clark Gable and Winston Churchill, the Queen Mary was a ghost ship used in WWII and is now docked as a floating hotel. There have been around 49 recorded deaths on board, and so it is teeming with paranormal life.
Can you visit? Hell yes. You can go for a night tour or stay in a room, if you’d like.
17. Chillingham Castle — Northumberland, England
The tale: Numerous deaths took place here over the last few hundred years, namely in the dungeon, where the bones of children have been found. Visitors have reported ghosts grabbing their arms, but they are “mostly a friendly feeling.”
Can you visit? Absolutely. Take a tour or stay overnight.
18. Crescent Hotel — Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The tale: The Crescent used to be a “cancer-curing” hospital until late 1939, and there’s a spot a few floors above the old morgue where people faint very frequently. Paranormal evidence also exists in the form of orbs and other personal experiences that have been documented.
19. Myrtles Plantation — St. Francisville, Louisiana
The tale: Known as one of the most haunted homes in America, the plantation offers up the legend of Chloe, the ghost of a slave who was captured on camera by the National Geographic Explorer film crew in 1992. Other spirits have been caught on camera as well.
—Nikki Tessier, Facebook
20. 432 Abercorn — Savannah, Georgia
The tale: Though most of the horrifying stories surrounding this house are fabricated, people have still captured eerie ghosts on film and been overtaken by negative energy while on the property. It’s speculated to have been built on a burial ground.
Can I visit? You can walk around outside on the grounds, but you cannot go inside.
—Sierra Larson, Facebook
21. The Hotel del Salto — near Bogotá, Colombia
22. Waverly Hills Sanatorium — Louisville, Kentucky
The tale: Once a hospital used to house tuberculosis patients, Waverly Hills closed in 1962 when its services were deemed unnecessary. Supposedly over 9,000 deaths have occurred on the grounds, including a suicide in room 502.
Can I visit? Yes — you can take a walking tour or participate in a six-hour paranormal investigation.
—Vanessa Martinez, Facebook
23. The Island of the Dolls — Xochimilco canals, Mexico City
The tale: A former caretaker of this island claims he found a doll haunted by a little girl whom he could not save from drowning. He hung the doll on a tree out of respect, and then started hanging up more and more of these dolls to “please her spirit.”
Can you visit? Yes, but it could take two to four hours just to commute from any surrounding land.