To haunt or not to haunt, that is the question. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, seeking out the paranormal can be tempting – just to prove your side of the argument.
From all corners of the world you have both sides: ghosts exist; ghosts are a part of our imagination.
For my part, I believe in them simply because I have had the not-so-pleasurable experience of living in several houses that had something very NQR about them – from childhood to adulthood, I’ve managed to attract the darker side. Thus, my interest in the supernatural.
There are plenty of ‘haunted’ locations you can visit. Here’s a list I’ve made especially for you…
1. In Australia, Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales
Monte Cristo Homestead currently runs as a Bed & Breakfast, offering its guests and those curious a ghost tour.
The Victorian mansion was built in 1876 by its first wealthy owner, Christopher William Crawley. Monte Cristo is reportedly the most haunted house in Australia with many a ghost to pick from.
Several deaths supposedly occurred on the grounds, of which their ghosts linger to this day. You have the stable boy burned to death and the child who was dropped down the mansion’s steps. You also have the son of a caretaker who was found beside his dead mother and had been chained up for 40 years…and there is also the maid who reportedly fell from the balcony.
2. For those who love French culture, Château de Brissac, Maine-et-Loire, France
This now popular hotel hosts events and conferences including wine-tastings from its own vineyards. It’s decorated as per the usual lavish French period furniture and the architecture is stunning in its own right – a castle, of course.
But what makes this 11th Century castle in the heart of Loire Valley most unique is King Louis XIII’s visit in 1620 – and its dead residents.
The Green Lady is the most active in the 204-roomed hotel, a victim of a double murder. La Dame Verte, as she is known by regulars, is seen and heard around the tower room of the chapel. Although she wears a green dress – albeit her name – she isn’t pretty. Gaping holes in her face where her eyes should be, aren’t for the faint-hearted ghost hunter.
3. Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada.
Taking a page out of Stephen King’s The Shining – though this isn’t the hotel it was filmed in – is Banff Springs Hotel.
Currently serving as a luxury hotel with the Fairmont chain, this landmark hotel is renowned for its selection of peculiar residents refusing to leave.
The stylish and massive hotel is home to a family who was murdered in room 873, a former bellman form the 60s who still attempts to help guests to their rooms and a bride who broke her neck when tumbling down a staircase, who still haunts the ballroom, dancing.
4. A Place the Locals Won’t Dare to Go: Poveglia Island, Italy.
This island is abandoned – and for good reason. This small island situated between Venice and Lido was home to 14th Century Venetians who were sent there to die from Bubonic plague. It was also a mental asylum in the 19th Century.
Locals are worried about the curses the island will bring, and fisherman reportedly stay away in fear of dragging up human remains. The locals will tell you of the screaming that still comes from the island, and any visitor brave enough tends to report of an oppressive feeling.
If there is any one place to stay away from, in fear of ghosts, this is probably ranked at number one.
5. Back to Australia, and to Another Mental Asylum, Aradale, Ararat, Victoria.
Don’t step into the autopsy ward, J Ward…or down into the kitchen…
This is Australia’s largest abandoned Lunatic Asylum. It was built in 1866 and housed anyone deemed psychotic, criminally insane, through to the unwanted wife and child for over 140 years.
Suicides of 12-year-olds, murders and horrific deaths swamp the feeling of Aradale as you approach its yards. At its peak, the mortality rate would reach some four to five inmates dying each week – and that was without any outbreak of disease.
Be prepared for individuals engaging with you, who still refuse to leave, and for the oppressive and negatively-charged emotions that will haunt you until you’re free from the building’s dark past.
You can still walk its grounds during the day or take a ghost tour by night – I highly recommend the ghost tour.
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