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The 5 Most Haunted Historical Places in the World

Judith enjoys disconcerting herself and others with chilling stories from near and far.

Windsor Castle is one of the Queen's favourite residences. Her father, George VI, reportedly saw the ghost of Anne Boleyn in the castle.

Windsor Castle is one of the Queen's favourite residences. Her father, George VI, reportedly saw the ghost of Anne Boleyn in the castle.

Ghosts Around the World

Ghosts and old buildings go together hand in hand. Indeed, it's hard to find a castle that doesn't boast a headless lady, a spectral coachman, or a screaming nun. It's not just Merry Old England's buildings that are packed to the rafters with ghosts either; all over the world, there are historical places that play host to a ghost.

Every continent has its share of spectres roaming hotels, hospitals, and homes—so on whichever continent you live, or wherever you visit, take your pick from the world's most haunted historical places.

5 Most Haunted Places in History

  1. The Tower of London
  2. The White House
  3. The Monte Cristo Homestead
  4. The Castle of Good Hope
  5. The Old Changi Hospital
The Tower of London—Traitors' Gate in the foreground and the White Tower behind.

The Tower of London—Traitors' Gate in the foreground and the White Tower behind.

1. The Tower of London

The Tower of London has stood alongside the River Thames for over 900 years and inside its grey stone walls many poor souls have played out their last few days in misery. No wonder then that the Tower is home to many ghosts, some famous, some anonymous. The reports of apparitions remain undiminished; even today, those who guard the Tower occasionally encounter an intruder who turns out to be long dead.

Tower of London's Infamous Ghosts

  • "The Two Princes in the Tower" The two young sons of Edward IV were allegedly smothered in the Tower on the orders of their uncle, Richard III. Their spirits have been seen in the Bloody Tower on several occasions, most recently in 1990 when two Coldstream Guards heard the children giggling outside the Tower. Sometimes the boys are seen holding hands together.
  • Lady Jane Grey has been seen on the roof of the Salt Tower.
  • Lord Guildford Dudley, Lady Jane's teenage husband, also beheaded, has been seen in floods of tears in the Beauchamp Tower.
  • The Blessed Margaret Pole, Countess of Salisbury was a cousin of Henry VIII who was put to death in 1541. Although elderly and in ill health, the Countess put up a fight at the end. She refused to kneel for the executioner and had to be forced down, whereupon the executioner botched the beheading and hacked at her neck until she was dead. This horrible scene is played out on Tower Green by the ghosts of Lady Margaret and her executioner. Lady Margaret was beatified in 1886.
  • Others include Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn, a bear and various processions are amongst those who also haunt the Tower.
WIlliam Wallace "Willie" Lincoln—Young Willie's ghost is said to haunt the White House, as is his father, Abraham.

WIlliam Wallace "Willie" Lincoln—Young Willie's ghost is said to haunt the White House, as is his father, Abraham.

2. The White House

The White House is certainly America's most famous house, but it is also allegedly one of the country's most haunted houses too. Several former presidents and their family members, as well as people who work in the building, have reported either seeing or feeling the presence of spirits. One of the most celebrated former residents still said to inhabit the building is Abraham Lincoln.

Lincoln himself was certainly a believer. He held several seances during his time in office, hoping to contact the spirit of his Willie, who had died at the age of 11 from typhoid fever at the White House. It is not recorded whether the Lincolns were successful in their attempt to contact their son; however, during Ulysses S Grant's administration, members of his household apparently did speak to the young boy.

Lincoln himself still haunts the White House and is said to be most active at times of national crisis. His ghost then stalks about the corridors, rousing sleeping residents by rapping on their doors and is seen gazing through windows, his hands clasped behind his back.

After Lincoln's assassination, his widow attempted to contact Lincoln through a medium and felt that she succeeded. Other first ladies have also held seances in the White House. Allegedly Hillary Clinton channelled the spirits of Eleanor Roosevelt and Mahatma Gandhi during a 1995 séance.

The beautiful but sinister Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, NSW

The beautiful but sinister Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, NSW

3. The Monte Cristo Homestead

The Monte Cristo Homestead in Junee, New South Wales, has the distinction of being Australia's most haunted house. Built in 1885 by Christopher Crawley, most of the ghosts seem to have connections to his family. Now a museum and tourist attraction, the house has also appeared on several TV shows about the paranormal.

Crawley himself met his death in bizarre circumstances; in 1910 he contracted an infection in a carbuncle on his neck through wearing a starched collar. After his death, his widow spent much of the remainder of her life in the house and still seems reluctant to leave. Her ghost is seen dressed in black, carrying a large silver cross. Mrs. Crawley also makes her presence known by sudden drops in the temperature of a room. She has also been known to order people from her favourite place, the dining room.

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Other unfortunate souls who appear tied to the house are a maid who fell to her death from a balcony, a baby girl who was dropped by a nanny (who claimed that unseen hands pushed the baby from her arms) and who subsequently died from her injuries, a stable boy burned in his bed and a caretaker murdered by a youth who shot him after watching the movie Psycho.

The Haunted Castle of Good Hope—Several ghosts haunted South Africa's oldest colonial building

The Haunted Castle of Good Hope—Several ghosts haunted South Africa's oldest colonial building

4. The Castle of Good Hope in Cape Town

The Castle of Good Hope was built by the Dutch East India Company. Work started in 1666 and was completed in 1679, making the fortress the oldest colonial building in South Africa. Over the centuries the building has housed numerous convicts and seen many executions. One of the most gruesome places in the building is the Donker Gat, a small windowless pit of a cell in which prisoners were imprisoned and tortured.

The Castle is now a museum, but it is said that after dark a few of the former residents come back to haunt their former home.

Notorious Ghosts of the Castle

  • Lady Anne Barnard, the wife of a Colonial Secretary, who lived in the Castle during the eighteenth century. Lady Anne's drawings and journals have provided a great deal of information about life within the Castle. Lady Anne clearly relished her time at the Castle and she is not ready to give up her position as her translucent ghost is said to drop into parties at the Castle.
  • A grey lady haunts both the Castle and Government House, perhaps using the underground passageway between the two sites. In 1947 it is said that Princess Margaret saw the ghostly woman during the Royal Family's stay at Government House.
  • Pieter van Noodt, a particularly harsh Governor, died on the day he unjustly had seven soldiers executed. His ghost is said to stride around the Castle.
  • An unidentified and extremely tall luminous ghost has been seen on the battlements a few times, most recently in the 1940s.
  • A large black dog, a floating lady as well as disembodied voices and poltergeist activity have also been reported.
The old hospital at Changi now houses only ghosts, according to many locals.

The old hospital at Changi now houses only ghosts, according to many locals.

5. The Old Changi Hospital in Singapore

The Old Changi Hospital in Singapore was built in the 1930s as a military hospital and later taken over as a public building. It was used up until 1994 when the Hospital relocated to a modern facility. The Old Hospital has been abandoned by the living since 1997, but rumours persist that it is still inhabited by ghostly patients and even a vampire.

Singapore was the scene of horrendous atrocities during World War II when the Japanese invaded the island. The beaches around Changi were said to be stained with the blood of beheaded Singaporeans. Changi Hospital was commandeered by the Japanese and used for interrogations and executions, and then when the tide of the war turned, the Japanese suffered the same fate as their former captives.

The hospital acquired an eerie reputation even before it closed down. Many of Singapore's residents would apparently prefer to suffer in pain rather than visit the Hospital for treatment. Over the years there have been reports of many ghosts, of several nationalities, often appearing without heads and feet.

Comments

Judi Brown (author) from UK on October 31, 2012:

Hi Susan - 'tis the season to be spooky! Glad you are enjoying the ghost stories.

Hi GoodLady - it does seem that everyone loves a ghost, if not in their house, then in their neighbour's house.

Hi Joanveronica - it's just the day for a bit of spooky fun!

Hi stayingalivemoma - yes, looks like the politicians aren't the only creeps in the White House! I was surprised to hear that seances have taken place there recently though.

Thanks for all your comments, hope you all have a hair raising Halloween ;D

Valerie Washington from Tempe, Arizona on October 31, 2012:

Hi Judy -

I love a good ghost story - and so fitting now that its Halloween. I didn't know that the White House was haunted! I found that really interesting, although I shouldn't be surprised! voted up and interesting!

Joan Veronica Robertson from Concepcion, Chile on October 31, 2012:

Hi Judi, a good fun read! Voted up, etc. Also shared. Have a good day!

Penelope Hart from Rome, Italy on October 31, 2012:

I didn't know the White House had Lincoln walking around in it still. That must be wonderful. Thanks for super great ghost stories again. I had no idea the rest of the world had ghosts in important places as we do in Merrye Olde England. I knew they were around, but not necessarily in famous buildings.

Susan Zutautas from Ontario, Canada on October 31, 2012:

I'm so enjoying all your hubs lately on ghosts and haunted places.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on June 30, 2012:

Kayleesnider - this comment has only just been found - it was caught by the spam filter - so sorry not to have replied!

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 15, 2012:

Hi Michael - glad you enjoyed reading this hub - I had no idea the White House was haunted either!

Thanks for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it :-)

Michael Salas from Dallas, Texas on May 14, 2012:

This was fun to read. Thank you for the information. Many of these places I never knew were considered to be haunted.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 11, 2012:

Hi KDuBarry03 - happy to hear that you found this interesting. I don't tend to watch TV much these days, so don't know if there have been any episodes at these places.

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them :-)

KDuBarry03 on May 11, 2012:

My goodness, this was a really interesting hub! Thank you for sharing this with numerous examples of testimonies. Has any show hosted an episode at any of these places while doing an investigation?

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 04, 2012:

Hi Melbourne3` - glad to hear that you enjoyed reading this hub! Wish I had the time to go travelling, to haunted places or just anywhere!

Thanks for the comments, I appreciate them :-)

Melbourne31 from Ogden, Utah on May 03, 2012:

Hi there. I enjoy reading your blog and I love ghost hunting! I wish I could visit some of the haunted places you mentioned. Wanna join me?=)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 03, 2012:

Hi Jessica - I envy you! I lived in London for a few years and although I've seen some scary sights in London, a ghost was never one of them!

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 03, 2012:

Hi pandula77 - great to hear that you are well-spooked!

Thanks very much for your comments, truly appreciated :-)

Just Ask Jess from Phoenix, Arizona on May 03, 2012:

Great hub! I have had a lot of ghost sightings. London was especially haunted!

Dr Pandula from Norway on May 03, 2012:

Great hub! Very interesting til the end. Spooky too! voted up!

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 03, 2012:

Hi Somesh Dutt - thanks very much, glad this hub was of interest to you. Like you, I've never seen a ghost, but look forward, with trepidation, to the day I do!

Thank you very much for your kind comments, I appreciate them :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 03, 2012:

Hi am301986 - hope this hub has given you some ideas of where to visit!

Great to hear from you, thanks for commenting :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 03, 2012:

Amethythraven - I can't even remember what sparked my interest in ghosts, but they've always interested me. Those old ghost towns always look interesting, haunted or not. I hope you get a chance to get back into your paranormal investigations, it must be fascinating - yes, I would love to see footage!

Thanks so much for taking the time to comment, I really do appreciate it :-)

Somesh Dutt from India on May 03, 2012:

Well Researched Hub. Really interesting to read it.Never seen a ghost in my life though so far but do believe in the existence of spirits.

Nice one.

am301986 from New Delhi on May 03, 2012:

Nice hub. Looking for one to see. Thanks for sharing.

Amethystraven from California on May 02, 2012:

I love the paranormal. I have been curious about it ever since I was a kid and saw my first episode of Scooby Doo. Calico Ghost town is close to where I live and is reported to be haunted. Your hub is an inspiration for me. Paranormal investigation is a hobby of mine I have put on the back burner because other priorities have a larger importance. When I get some footage I will be more than happy to share. Thank you for this hub.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 02, 2012:

Hi mikeydcarroll67 - I tried to cover most of the continents, although I didn't quite manage it. I shall have to add a South American haunting at some point!

Thanks for your comments, I appreciate them :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 02, 2012:

Hi millersmith3 - great to hear that you found this hub interesting. Thanks for your comments, much appreciated :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 02, 2012:

Hi HSAdvocate - I'm pretty sure there is a hub about haunted Savannah, it rings a bell. I would love to go on one of these haunted walking tours, they sound like fun!

Thanks for your comments, great to hear from you :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 02, 2012:

Hi sholland - it fascinates me too, not sure whether I believe or not, but it's fascinating nevertheless. The Tower is a great place to visit, and I share your interest in the Tudors.

Thanks very much for your comments, much appreciated :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 02, 2012:

Hi Crazzykylex - yes, afraid that I chose one site from the USA and it was the White House, no offence intended!

Thanks for taking the time to comment :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 02, 2012:

Hi Eric - glad you enjoyed reading this hub, thanks for taking the time to comment :-)

mikeydcarroll67 on May 02, 2012:

Wow you seem to have covered a lot of the corners of the world!

millersmith3 from USA on May 01, 2012:

Thanks for Sharing! Interesting.

HSAdvocate from Home on May 01, 2012:

Interesting hub... I been to Savannah Georgia which is also supposed to be very haunted. Went on a haunted walking tour and it was pretty creepy

Susan Holland from Southwest Missouri on May 01, 2012:

Judi, this is so fascinating to me. I actually got to visit the Tower and am a big Tudor and pre-Tudor fan. I did know about William Lincoln and even President Lincoln, but I did not know about his ghost during times of crisis. I am unfamiliar with the other places, but I enjoyed learning about them. Great Hub! Votes and Shares! :-)

Crazzykylex from Incredible India! on May 01, 2012:

You missed out Amityville? That's rude

Eric L. Andrews from Midwestern United States on May 01, 2012:

Really enjoyed the hub and found it interesting. Voted up. I would like to add another place to your list....anywhere my ex-wife is located. Just kidding.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 01, 2012:

Hi TrainingMan - glad you found this interesting, I always enjoy researching this type of hub.

Thanks very much for taking the time to comment, I appreciate it :-)

Judi Brown (author) from UK on May 01, 2012:

Hi shoeclub - I agree that even if you don't believe in ghosts these are interesting places to visit and who knows, you might just be converted!

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated :-)

TrainingMan from Rochester, NY on May 01, 2012:

Very interesting article Judi. I always enjoy reading about haunted places.

shoeclub from New York City on May 01, 2012:

This is pretty rad! While I don't believe in ghosts it would still be pretty cool to check these places out and Im sure it would be kinda creepy.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on April 22, 2012:

Hi Anurag2008 - thanks very much! I read about Borley Rectory when I was young, it scared me lots! I've only listed places that you can still visit in this hub though, so since Borley Rectory burned down some time ago I didn't include it.

Thanks for your comments, much appreciated :-)

Anurag Ghosh on April 22, 2012:

Good list. IMO, Borley Rectory is one of the world's most haunted places.

Judi Brown (author) from UK on April 22, 2012:

Hi Vinaya - when I was a child there seemed to be more headlines about haunted houses and the like, but nowadays we seem more interested in UFOs and aliens! Before I researched this hub I hadn't heard of a few of the places either, that's part of the fun of HubPages, you learn you so much.