23 Insanely Haunted Places That’ll Scare The Shit Out Of You

From abandoned asylums to underground chambers.

We asked the BuzzFeed Community for the most haunted places they’ve ever heard of. Here are the seriously spooky results.

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.

sabrinao4d

2. Eastern State Penitentiary — Philadelphia

Flickr Creative Commons / Retrofresh! / Via Flickr: retrofresh

Flickr Creative Commons / Kaitlin / Via Flickr: kaitlinmarie

 

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

 

The tale: Also known as the world’s most haunted forest, visitors “report intense feelings of anxiety and the feeling of being constantly watched.” Local legend says those who enter will never return home.

Can I visit? Yes. It’s literally a forest that you can just enter.

caitlinrwillis

4. The Stanley Hotel — Estes Park, Colorado

Flickr Creative Commons / wakedawg / Via Flickr: wakeley

Courtesy of Visit Estes Park

 

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.

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6. Bobby Mackey’s — Wilder, Kentucky

Flickr Creative Commons / Tabitha Kaylee Hawk / Via Flickr: tabithahawk

Flickr Creative Commons / Tabitha Kaylee Hawk / Via Flickr: tabithahawk

 

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.”

Can you visit? Yes. You can visit the nightclub or take a haunted tour on Friday and Saturday nights.

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7. Preston Castle — Ione, California

Flickr Creative Commons / thr0ke / Via Flickr: 60434932@N03

Flickr Creative Commons / Mark Brooks / Via Flickr: cal_gecko

 

The tale: Built in 1890, its purpose was to be a school bringing discipline to troubled boys through extreme punishment. Modern-day visitors have reported slamming doors, voices, and “ghostly physical contact.”

Can I visit? Yes — there are monthly overnight ghost tours.

alexbermudez91

8. Villisca Axe Murder House — Villisca, Iowa

Flickr Creative Commons / Jennifer Kirkland / Via Flickr: jingerelle

Flickr Creative Commons / Jennifer Kirkland / Via Flickr: jingerelle

 

The tale: In 1912, the bodies of six children and two adults were found brutally murdered in their beds in what is now known as the Villisca Murder House. The crime remains unsolved.

Can I visit?: Yes. Reservation-only overnight tours are currently offered for groups of 10 or less.

ashleym47

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.

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10. Dammasch State Hospital — Wilsonville, Oregon

Tony Thayer / Via dammasch.com

Graeme Mitchell / Via dammasch.com

 

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.

anna42

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.

janeh47

12. Lemp Mansion — St. Louis

 

The tale: In the early 1900s, several members of the wealthy Lemp family began to die, with causes ranging from suicide to heart attacks. As for the mansion being haunted? You’ll have to see for yourself.

Can you visit? Yes. You can eat in its restaurant, take a tour, or stay overnight.

madelynr47

13. Bachelors Grove Cemetery — Bremen Township, Illinois

Flickr Creative Commons / Tom Gill / Via Flickr: lapstrake

Flickr Creative Commons / John W. Iwanski / Via Flickr: usachicago

 

The tale: Ghost hunters have speculated that high paranormal activity happens here because of how vandalized this cemetery is. Satanists apparently often perform rituals here as well.

Can you visit? Not really — the grounds are abandoned, so entering is considered to be trespassing.

Fyeahrandaj

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.

alisonr4

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.

catscatscats

17. Chillingham Castle — Northumberland, England

Flickr Creative Commons / John6536 / Via Flickr: 10857883@N05

Flickr Creative Commons / John6536 / Via Flickr: 10857883@N05

 

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.

riptitanic

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.

Can you visit? You can take a regular ghost tour, but the hotel’s popular “Paranormal Weekends” are all sold out for 2016.

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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.

Can you visit? Yes! You can stay in a room or take a tour.

—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

Flickr Creative Commons / Luis Alveart / Via Flickr: alveart

Flickr Creative Commons / Luis Alveart / Via Flickr: alveart

 

The tale: The Hotel del Salto used to be a destination for wealthy travelers but is believed to be extremely haunted after several suicides occurred on the grounds.

Can you visit? No — the building has been abandoned since the ’90s.

—Andrea Ariza, Facebook

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.

Anna Kopsky

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