A Guide to The Most Haunted Cities in the World

From Europe to the United States, ghost tales bring chills and excitement.

Ghostly destinations are guaranteed to spook even those who don’t scare easily. From Europe to the United States, ghost tales bring chills and excitement. Two young prince’s remains were discovered in a tower. The boys’ ghostly figures have been seen drifting hand in hand through the halls at the Tower of London. While visiting Edinburgh Castle in Scotland, visitors have felt sudden unexplained temperature drops. One-armed Union soldier’s apparitions have been observed wandering buildings in the southern United States.


Around the globe, people have caught glimpses of spectres lurking the historic homes, castles, alleys, and cemeteries in towns. Whether you believe in the supernatural, there’s nothing more intriguing than a good ghost story.


I have put together a list of some most haunted places in the world. They’re full of gory stories, and tales of creepy ghost hauntings. These places will send shivers down your spine and have your hair standing on edge. If you are a brave traveler seeking to witness paranormal activity, take an adventure to these towns. No matter where you live, there is a haunted historical site, so check out the ghost stories in your own hometown too.


Here are the most haunted cities in the world.

Location: Greyfriars Kirkland, Edinburgh. Photo by Gina Duncan

The Spookiest Places in Ghostly Towns


Europe

If you’re looking for macabre tales, European cities have it in abundance. Throughout Europe, there are ancient historic buildings with stories of bloody wars, gruesome murders, beheadings, and spooky paranormal activity.


St. Briavels Castle, England

St. Briavels is an 800-year-old castle in Gloucester. It Is referred to as England’s most haunted castle because of Its reputation for paranormal activity. It is now a youth hostel and guests have reported seeing ghostly figures, hearing baby cries, and feeling hands on their throats.


Whitby Abbey, England

Not only was the abbey the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Dracula. This North Yorkshire gothic ruins is the site of ghostly happenings including dog-like beasts and goblin-like creatures. The most chilling is a phantom coach that appears at the top of the abbey steps and with horses rearing it charges towards you, then disappears.

Halloween Illuminated Abbey

Location: Carlisle Cumbria. Photo: Gina Duncan
Carlisle Castle, England

Carlisle Castle in Cumbria has withstood a turbulent history; nine centuries marked with bloody battles and gruesome prison torture stories. It is a hotbed of supernatural activity. It is believed an unknown woman whose remains were excavated from inside a wall was put into it when she was alive. Today this woman and prisoners who committed suicide in its dungeons haunt visitors to the castle. 

Ghost Tours at Carlisle Castle


Location: Tower of London Photo by Gina Duncan
Tower of London, England

The Tower of London has quite a few ghosts lurking around. One of its most famous is the ghost of Anne Boleyn, Queen of England and the second wife of King Henry VIII.  He had her beheaded in the tower for treason in 1536. Take a tour here and you might see her headless body roaming both outside and inside its rooms.  The tower is a must visit in London.

Tower of London Tours


Pendle Hill, England

Pendle Hill, the home of the notorious Lancashire witch trials, is one of the most haunted places in England. In the 17th century, they accused twelve women of being witches and charged them with the murder of ten people. Ten of them were convicted and executed by hanging. To this day, the women haunt the villages of Pendle Hill.


Edinburgh, Scotland

Ghost hunters and psychics claim Scotland’s Edinburgh to be the paranormal capital of the world. If you’ve ever visited the city, you believe it.  Even its castle is haunted by a young piper, a headless drummer boy, and French war prisoners.


Location: Edinburgh, Scotland Photo by Gina Duncan

When visiting Edinburgh’s Old Town, and you hear a dog barking, look around. If you don’t see one, it’s probably the ghost of the capital’s most beloved Greyfriars Bobby. The cute little terrier spent over 10 years guarding his master’s grave. They buried him near his owner, in Greyfriars Kirkland. A statue of the faithful dog is a popular stop on any local tour.


Speaking of Greyfriars Kirkland, most of the paranormal activity occurs here because of the actions of George “Bloody” MacKenzie. He was a judge who presided over the Covenanters in the 1670s. His punishments were brutal, and many detainees died in jail. Bloody George and his convicts haunt the prison and the graveyard today. Visitors to both have left with bruises or bite marks. Some people have even passed out.


The city is also the site of witch burnings and haunted underground vaults. To check out all these supernatural activities, there are plenty of ghost walks and tours. They will leave you feeling spooked, but also share much of the city’s history.

Free Ghost Tour

City of the Dead Tour


Venice, Italy

Poveliga

A small abandoned island off the coast of Venice called Poveliga, is a frightful place. It was used as a quarantine station for people suffering from bubonic plague and then as a mental asylum. Locals still claim to hear the asylums tower bell, and many are afraid to step foot on the island because of its paranormal activity.


Brissac de Quince, France

Chateau de Brissac

According to legend, Charlotte de Brézé, the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, was murdered at this castle. Her husband killed her after discovering her affair. Visitors claim to see a lady wearing a green dress roaming the halls. Visit the Chateau de Brissac.



Paris, France

The Catacombs

This labyrinth of underground tunnels is the creepiest burial site in France. The catacombs hold the remains of over six million people. Legend says that mysterious, ghostly phenomena occur after midnight in these burial grounds. Some even say the walls speak to you.


The United States

The USA also has plenty of the creepy and supernatural. There’s a haunted place to be found in almost every state. Visit a few of the most fascinating spots.


New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans French Quarter is the most culturally rich city in the United States but it also has a long dark history which makes it a prime site for the creepiest of ghost stories.


Lafitte's Blacksmith Shop Bar

There’s the tale of serial killer Madame LaLaurie’s torture chamber in her creole home on Royal Street. LaLaurie Mansion is inhabited by the ghosts of its past, including Madame herself. Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop Bar is haunted by pirates, a mysterious lady in black, and the phantom of the pirate Jean Lafitte, a spy for the Battle of New Orleans.


The Hotel Monteleone

The Hotel Monteleone is visited by spirits that roam the floors opening and closing locked doors, pressing elevator buttons, and playing chilling jazz tunes.


St. Louis Cemetery

New Orleans is home to the most haunted cemetery in the United States, St. Louis Cemetery Number One. Buried on the grounds, pirates, artists, politicians, criminals, and aristocrats stalk its crypts and mausoleums. The most famous ghost of the graveyard is the voodoo queen, Marie Laveau.


Location: Philadelphia. Photo by Gina Duncan
Eastern State Penitentiary, Pennsylvania

This 142-year-old Philadelphia prison was home to famous criminals like “Scarface” Al Capone and bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton. Its history is full of torture, suicide, and murder. Today it is a national historic landmark with empty haunted cells. There are stories of tormented faces appearing on the walls, unexplained voices, and shadowy apparitions roaming the cell blocks.


Atlanta, Georgia

The souls of historic U.S.A. battles meet in Atlanta and surrounding areas. Atlanta’s Oakland Cemetery is home to many spirits from the Civil War. Paranormal activity has also been reported in Covington, Dahlonega, Decatur, Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield, Macon, Marietta, and Roswell. 

Covington Ghost Tour

Dahlonega Walking Ghost Tour

Decatur Ghost Tour

Ghosts of Marietta

Roswell Ghost Tours


Savannah, Georgia

Hamilton Turner Inn and Marshall House

Savannah is a great city for paranormal fans. Start your visit with the Hamilton Turner Inn and the Marshall House. Inside these hotels you might hear the echos of past billiard games, ghostly laughter, or see the spirits of former guests roaming the floors.  


17Hundred90 Inn and Moon River Brewing Co.

At 17Hundred90 Inn and Restaurant you may have your belongings rearranged by Anne, the most famous ghost in the city. Look up the stairs while have a beer at the Moon River Brewing Co. you might witness the ghostly figure of a lady in white.


Sleepy Hollow, New York

Is home to the legendary ghost the Headless Horseman.

Visit Sleepy Hollow


Jerome, Arizona

This old mining town is nicknamed “Ghost City.” It’s old mining shafts have a higher population of ghosts than humans. Its paranormal activity includes notorious madams and former patients who died of the Spanish influenza.


Estes Park, Colorado

The Stanley Hotel

Stanley Hotel was the inspiration for Steven King's, The Shining. A ghostly maid is known to pack guest's suitcases and staff members have encountered many ghosts.



Top 10 Ghost Tours in the USA


Ghost tours not only satisfy your paranormal curiosity, they are a great history lesson of the city you are visiting. USA Today asked a panel of experts to help pick their favorite ghost tour. These top 10 for 2021 were chosen by popular vote:

  1. Nightly Spirits - Located in Multiple Cities

  2. Mysteries of Hawaii - Oahu, HI

  3. Sisters Grimm Ghost Tours - San Antonio, TX

  4. Black Cat Tours - Salem, MA

  5. Ghost City Tours - Savannah, GA

  6. Bar Harbor Ghost Tours - Bar Harbor, ME

  7. DC by Foot Ghosts of Georgetown - Washington D.C.

  8. Secrets of St Augustine Ghost Tours - Saint Augustine, FL

  9. New Braunfels Ghost Tours - New Braunfels, TX

  10. Ghosts and Gravestones Tour - Key West, FL

What is your favorite haunted place? Do you have ghost stories in your town?

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