9 Most Haunted Places in the World That Are Beautifully Scary

Lawang Sewu, Semarang, Indonesia

Lawang Sewu, or “Thousand Doors”, was built in the early 20th-century by Dutch colonialists. It served as the head office of the Dutch East Indian Railway Company until the Japanese made it a detention camp during WWII. According to the Ministry of Tourism, the building was subject to many tortures and harsh interrogations during World War II. These events contributed to the current status of the building as one of Indonesia’s most haunted places. The abandoned site is open to tourists today to verify if the ghost stories about Lawang Sewu are true.

Aokigahara Forest, Japan

The seemingly tranquil forest at the foot of Mount Fuji has had a troubled past. Aokigahara, also known colloquially as “Suicide Forest”, has been the scene of 500 suicides since the 1950s, reports BBC. This trend is often attributed to the association of the forest with demons from Japanese mythology. Some blame large underground iron deposits, which can interfere with compasses and make finding your way difficult. Many hikers use tape or string to mark their route to help them find their way back.

Port Arthur, Tasmania

Port Arthur was established as a penal colony by the British in 1833. It housed British convicts, until its abandonment in 1877. During those decades, the island–touted as “inescapable”–focused on correcting the inmates’ morality, using methods like solitary confinement and mandatory church services. Since its abandonment, the settlement has been a popular tourist destination. It was declared a historic site in 1979. You’ll find The New York Times today, which describes as an “impressive apparatus for remembering” with a ferry, interactive exhibits for children, and trained guides. Ghost Tours of the ruins and open-air museums are available.

Taj Mahal Palace, Mumbai, India

The five-star Taj Mahal Palace, located in Mumbai’s heart, has been voted one of India’s most beautiful hotels. The hotel is known for its extraordinary views and royal-like interiors. But it also has a mysterious aura. Legend states that the architect of the building jumped to his death on the fifth floor when he realized the hotel was facing the wrong way. His spirit wanders the halls, interacting with guests and walking around on the roof.

Charleston, SC: Dock Street Theatre

The Charleston’s Dock Street Theatre was renovated in 2010. It hosts plays and concerts each year. According to Charleston’s city website, the site has a long and turbulent history. Apart from the fire that destroyed the theater’s original structure in 1740, the building was damaged by an earthquake in 1886. It was abandoned in the early 20th-century. Even more frightening is the legend that Nettie Dickerson, a prostitute, was struck by lightning on her balcony in the mid-1800s. Her ghost is believed to be gliding along the theater’s second floor.

Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, CA

Sarah Winchester ordered a Victorian labyrinth to repel the evil spirits of her husband, the rifle magnate William Wirt Winchester. The Queen Anne-style home, which has four stories and 160 rooms, 10,000 windows panes, and 47 stairways, is decorated with interesting elements. Some staircases lead directly to the ceiling, as well as secret passageways and windows that open onto it. The Winchester House will host a variety of Halloween activities, including a trick-or-treat trail, Halloween dinner, and Unhinged, which promises to be an “immersive horror experience” from November 2 through 5. For more information, visit the website.

Canberra, Australia

Similar to Savannah, the whole city of Canberra appears to be a paranormal hotspot, especially when it comes to buildings in the Parliamentary Triangle. The ghost of Ben Chifley, former Prime Minister, is believed to be living in Hotel Kurrajong. This four-star hotel has some serious A-list ghosts wandering its halls. His gray-suited ghost has been known to visit that room from time to other, writes The Canberra Times. The Old Parliament House is another place where security guards have reported being called out by cleaning staff.

First World Hotel, Pahang (Malaysia)

Malaysia’s First World Hotel has 7,351 rooms. This hotel is sure to have something for everyone. The hotel has an indoor theme park that thrills seekers can enjoy, as well as a tropical rainforest that nature lovers will love. Ghost hunters will even find paranormal activity. Legends tell of wandering ghosts from high-rolling gamblers, who lost everything in the in-house casino. One TripAdvisor user shared a firsthand account about his stay at the hotel. He warned of “unseen forces” pressing on his body while he was sleeping.

Carl Beck House, Ontario, Canada

This Penetanguishene house was built by Carl Beck, a lumber magnate in the late 1800s. It is one of the most haunted homes in Ontario. Legend has it that Beck lived with his family in the house. Mary, his oldest daughter, was given the responsibility of raising his younger children after his wife died. Carl left $1 to Mary in his will years later when he died. Today, a female ghost, presumably Mary, is said to be haunting the upstairs windows. If your father left you $1, you would likely haunt the house as well. You can rent the Carl Beck House on Airbnb for $95 per Night if you are interested in Victorian architecture and paranormality or you can click here if you are looking for a horror house in the U.S.

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