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13 Unexpectedly Haunted Places Around the World

SmarterTravel

This Halloween, scare yourself silly at one of these unexpectedly haunted places—from spectral subways to ghostly golf courses.

Caobao Road Subway Station, Shanghai, China

Caobao Road Subway Station, Shanghai, China
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution/Share Alike)(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Next stop: nightmares. If you’re ever taking the subway from Shanghai’s Caobao Road Station (nicknamed “Ghost Station” for a reason), keep an eye out for fellow passengers who might not be what they seem. Ever look around at your fellow morning commuters and think you’ve stumbled onto the set of The Walking Dead? You might not be so far off! At this station, which is located near a mortuary, witnesses have claimed to see an otherworldly spirit drag a waiting passenger off the platform and onto the tracks in front of an oncoming train. Other spooky reports have included the appearance of a girl in red and the sound of a woman laughing in a supposedly empty station.

St. Andrews Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland

St. Andrews Old Course, St. Andrews, Scotland
(Photo: Steve Klise)(Photo: Steve Klise)

Missed your putt? At St. Andrews Old Course, you can blame it on a ghost. The Martyrs’ Monument, built in memorial of five Protestants who were burned at the stake, sits behind the course’s 18th hole, and is allegedly haunted. It’s also rumored that the ghost of golfer Tom Morris, who died after falling down a flight of stairs at the New Club, lingers around the course.

The White House, Washington, D.C

The White House, Washington, D.C
(Photo: The White House via Shutterstock)(Photo: The White House via Shutterstock)

Former Presidents and White House staff have reported that 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue is haunted. Famous deceased souls such as Abraham Lincoln, Abigail Adams, Andrew Jackson, and Dolley Madison have all apparently been spotted hanging around the property. Even the formidable Winston Churchill reportedly refused to sleep in the Lincoln Bedroom out of fear that the former President would return to reclaim his room.

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, Gasparilla Island, Florida

Port Boca Grande Lighthouse, Gasparilla Island, Florida
(Photo: Port Boca Grande Lighthouse via Shutterstock)(Photo: Port Boca Grande Lighthouse via Shutterstock)

Stick to visiting the Port Boca Grande Lighthouse in the daylight, as workers have claimed to see ghosts here after dark. A young girl reportedly plays and laughs inside the lighthouse, while outside, the headless ghost of Josefa (a Spanish princess decapitated by a pirate) enjoys long romantic walks on the beach.

HMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

HMS Queen Mary, Long Beach, California
(Photo: Queen Mary via trekandshoot/Shutterstock)(Photo: Queen Mary via trekandshoot/Shutterstock)

The HMS Queen Mary was launched in 1936 as a luxury liner, but she was commissioned into a troopship known as the Grey Ghost during World War II. After making more than 1,000 transatlantic crossings, the ship was retired in 1967. Unfortunately, it seems that some ghosts decided to buy only a one-way ticket for this cruise and refuse to disembark. Spirits in old-fashioned swimsuits are seen wandering the pool decks, leaving wet footprints from a pool that no longer holds water. Unexplained sounds are often reported as well. See for yourself, if you dare, on one of Queen Mary‘s paranormal tours.

Note: The Queen Mary is currently closed to the public due to the pandemic.

Moon River Brewing Company, Savannah, Georgia

Moon River Brewing Company, Savannah, Georgia
(Photo: Moon River Brewery via flickr/CC Attribution)(Photo: Moon River Brewery via flickr/CC Attribution)

You’ll never drink alone at the Moon River Brewing Company—because there will always be a spirit there to share a spirit or two with you. This beer house’s building dates back to 1821. In its early days as a hotel, men were reportedly killed in bar fights (including a Yankee who was allegedly beaten to death by unsympathetic Southern locals), and their ghosts are still hanging around their favorite old haunt. Barflies (the most reliable story source) report seeing bottles fly through the air and being touched or even punched by apparitions. Keep an eye out for Toby the ghost, who hangs out in the billiard room waiting for a bar brawl.

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California

Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, California
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution)(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution)

Sarah Winchester, heiress by marriage to a rifle fortune, lost her daughter and spouse to disease. With $20 million in the bank, Winchester poured her efforts into building a house that would become one of the creepiest in the world. Via nightly seance, Winchester enlisted the help of friendly ghosts to design the house and protect it from evil spirits. With no blueprints or building inspectors, the house became a twisted labyrinth of rooms and endless hallways. Winchester was never satisfied and had rooms torn down and remodeled for 38 years. Don’t wander off on a tour, or you could get lost in the house for hours. Visitors have claimed they temporarily went blind, felt icy breezes, and saw ghosts.

Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India

Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution/Share Alike)(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Want to really get off the tourist track in India? Pay a visit to the Bhangarh Fort—after dark. It’s rumored that anyone who ventures out to the fort at nighttime never returns. Legends abound about this haunted place—including one that claims an evil sorcerer put a curse on the site’s former residents, dooming them to haunt the area for eternity.

Wreck of the Alkimos, Australia

Wreck of the Alkimos, Australia
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution/Share Alike)(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution/Share Alike)

Does a cursed ship’s bad luck sink with it when it capsizes? Apparently not, according to those who claim the wreck of the Alkimos is haunted. The boat had a run of bad luck even before it sank, including a murder-suicide, a crash on a reef, and allegations that unfortunate welders were accidentally sealed between hulls during the boat’s construction. Now the wreck (a popular diving site) is supposedly haunted, and believers blame the Alkimos for a plane crash that killed a recent wreck visitor, near-drownings close to the boat, unexplained engine failures on boats sailing by, and, of course, plain old ghost sightings.

Quarantine Station, Manly, Australia

Quarantine Station, Manly, Australia
(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution)(Photo: Wikimedia Commons via CC Attribution)

Until 1984, The North Head Quarantine Station operated as a forced holding area for passengers arriving in Australia who were believed to harbor contagious diseases. Sound romantic? You can have your wedding here. Not in the mood? Spend the night in the former doctors’ and nurses’ rooms, which are hot spots for spirit activity. Tour the hospital, morgue, and shower block before bunking down to never sleep again.

Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania

Hoia-Baciu Forest, Romania
(Photo: Matei Domnita via flickr/CC Attribution)(Photo: Matei Domnita via flickr/CC Attribution)

After a shepherd and his flock of 200 sheep supposedly disappeared here, the forest became the setting for many a spooky tale. Some locals are afraid to venture into the forest, fearing that they will never return. Other brave souls who have gone in claim to have returned with unexplained sicknesses and rashes. UFOs, glowing lights, and apparitions have all been reportedly seen inside the forest.

The Old Bailey, London, England

The Old Bailey, London, England
(Photo: The Old Bailey via Shutterstock)(Photo: The Old Bailey via Shutterstock)

Judges, lawyers, and policeman have reported seeing a ghostly figure appear during important trials in London’s main criminal court. The figure wears a black cloak and is believed to be the spirit of a wrongly accused person who was executed on-site. It’s not surprising that this place would be haunted. The court was built on top of an old prison, which was the site of public beatings, mutilations, burnings, hangings, and deaths by crushing.

Eastern Air Lines Planes

Eastern Air Lines Planes
(Photo: Haunted Planes via Shutterstock)(Photo: Haunted Planes via Shutterstock)

Eastern Air Lines Flight 401 crashed into the Florida Everglades in 1972, killing 101 people. The airline salvaged parts from the broken plane and reused them on other planes—which could explain why employees then claimed to see the ghosts of the doomed flight’s crewmembers sitting onboard their flights. The rumors were so prevalent that airline management allegedly warned employees that they could be fired for repeating them. Eventually, Eastern Air Lines removed all the salvaged parts from operating planes, and the haunting claims stopped. You can still see parts from the original flight in a Miami museum.

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