The Most Haunted Historical Places in the World
Ghosts at Windsor Castle
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.
The Haunted Tower of London
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. Among the ghosts are:
- "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.
- Guy Fawkes, Anne Boleyn, a bear and various processions are amongst the other apparitions that also haunt the Tower.
WIlliam Wallace "Willie" Lincoln
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 Monte Cristo Homestead, Australia's Most Haunted Home
Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales
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.
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
Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town
The Castle of Good Hope was built by the Dutch East India Company. Work started in 1666 and 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. Among them are:
- 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 say the ghostly woman during the Royal Family's stay at Government House.
- Pieter van Noodt, a particularly harsh Governor, who 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 Abandoned Old Changi Hospital
Old Changi Hospital, 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 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.