We’ve already covered a quarter of our global ghost hunt, but we can’t stop now! Here’s 20 more of the most gruesome spectres and spirits around the world.
21. Emily’s Bridge – Vermont, USA
This unassuming covered bridge in Stowe, Vermont, was once the setting of a romantic tragedy, so the legend goes. During the mid 1800s, the Gold Brook Covered Bridge as it is officially known, was the rendezvous of a pair of star crossed lovers, who were due to elope. The night of their escape, poor Emily waited in vain for her lover, but he never appeared. The devastated girl hung herself from the rafters, but her spirit remained to haunt the bridge in the form of a spectral mist.
22. Vanishing Hitchhiker, Worldwide
Many a horrific tale has begun with an outstretch thumb on a desolate road. Although many of these tales feature very human monsters, there are those who claim a murderous vagabond isn’t the only thing to cross your path.
The story is usually the same: a motorist pulls over to offer a lonesome traveler a ride. This traveler – usually a woman – accepts, and when asked their destination, only points ahead. They say very little through the ride, and when the driver turns to speak, they find their companion has disappeared. Variations occur, of course, but you get the gist of it. These tales have been reported worldwide, from Resurrection Mary in the US, to Japan, where a rash of taxi drivers supposedly encountered similar spirits after 2011 tsunami and subsequent earthquake.
23. Night Marchers, Hawaii
In Hawaiian lore, the Nigh Marchers are a procession of spirits who traverse scared trails to ancient battle grounds or holy places. These Marchers are usually warriors, but chiefs, priests/priestesses and attendants are also said to accompany them. The exact configuration of Marcher’s vary according to its leader, but all are said to travel above the ground, carrying torches and accompanied by the sound of drumming. If one is ever unlucky enough to come across a Night March, be sure to lay on the ground and shield your eyes. Those foolish enough to look upon the sacred spirits will meet a grim demise.
24. Adaro – Solomon Islands
Mer-people, rainbows and the ocean: it sounds like the beginning of a benevolent fairytale, but believe me, The Adaro aren’t here to take you one a magical, undersea, musical adventure. When a person dies, their soul is separated between the Aunga (the good bit) and the Adaro, which remains behind and becomes a ghost. They are said to form from the evil parts of a person’s spirit, developing gills, fins and a swordfish-like growth from its head, as well as hunting human victims by hurling flying fish at them. Contrary to their wicked ways, the Adarno are said to travel up and down rainbows and occasionally visit sleeping fisherman to teach them songs.
25. Fisher’s Ghost – Australia
In 1826, an Australia farmer named Fred Fisher decided to returned to his native England, leaving his friend, George Worrall, in charge of his affairs. Some time later, Worrall received a letter stating Fisher’s decision to remain in England, and thus gifting his farm to Worrall. Or so he claimed.
No one thought much about it until a few months later, when a local man burst into a hotel looking as if he’d seen a ghost, which apparently, he had – the ghost of Fred Fisher, no less! According to legend, the spectre pointed towards a piece of land before disappearing into thin air. Eventually police agreed to search the area, upon which they found the skeletal remains of Fredrick Fisher – and wouldn’t you know it, it was right where the ghostly apparition had indicated! Worrall was eventually charged with murder and hanged, but more than a century later, the whole affair is celebrated in The Festival of Fisher’s Ghost, in Campbelltown, New South Wales, where parades, street fairs and fireworks commemorate how fun it is when the ghosts of murder victims show up and lead people to their mortal remains! Yay!
26. The Skirrid Mountain Inn – Nr. Abergavenny, Wales
In what is practically my own back yard, sits The Skirrid Inn, a charming little country pub with the reputation of one of the most haunted places in Wales. The Inn’s first floor was said to be used as a courtroom, with executions taking place on site. Up to 180 hangings were said to have taken place from the rafters of the inn, where a noose is still tied to the hanging beam. As well as the spirits of the convicted, ghostly residence also include a woman named Fanny Price, who died in the 1800s, and who’s gravestone is located just up the road. The Inn has featured on a variety of paranormal programs, including Most Haunted.
27. Onryō – Japan
One of many classifications of Japanese Ghosts, the Onryō are a particularly nasty bunch. Translating as “Vengeful Spirit”, these spirits have been wronged in life, and must be appeased, or else they will go on to cause harm to the living, even to the point of death. In some tales, they have been unknown to cause natural disasters. Although these spirits can take any form, they are usually depicted in a white burial kimono, with a pale face covered by long, unkempt hair – a costume worn popularised in Kabuki theatre.
28. Agnes of Glasgow – Scotland and South Carolina
Agnes was born in Glasgow in 1760, but by her death at the age of 20, she’d become a figure in American Folklore that survives to this day. As the story goes, Agnes’s lover, a British army officer, was sent to America during the revolution. Being a tenacious young lady, she stowed away on a ship destined for South Carolina, in the hopes of following him. Upon her safe arrival, she set about traveling to Camden, Kershaw County, where she believed he was stationed. Agnes wandered through town and country in search of her love, but alas, she fell ill and passed away before they could be reunited. It is said that her ghost still wanders the area, in hopes to find her lost lover.
29. Krasue – Thailand and Southeast Asia
Although her name varies by language, this ghostly spirit takes the form of a beautiful young woman. Which wouldn’t be too terrifying, if it wasn’t for the organs hanging below her neck. Yes, the Krasue is but a floating head and trailing innards, transformed into such a creature as punishment for earthly sins. In some variations, the spirit is cursed with insatiable hunger and must spend its nights feeding off blood and raw flesh. In other tellings, the Krasue is indistinguishable from a mortal woman during the day time, but by night they are particularly fond of troubling expectant mothers and newborn babies.
30. Krahang – Thailand and Southeast Asia
The Krahang is the Krasue’s male counterpart, and like a pair of paranormal lovers, they are often seen draining the blood of innocent mortals together. The Krahang is depicted as a shirtless man who uses rice baskets to fly whist riding a rather phallic looking wooden pestle.
31. Vulcan Hotel – Saint Bathans, New Zealand
In the former mining town of Saint Bathans, lies the historic Vulcan Hotel, a public house and inn, that locals claim is the most haunted place in New Zealand. The resident ghost is said to be that of a sex worker known as The Rose, who is said to haunt room one. According to legend, The Rose was strangled to death here some time in the 1880s, and has since made her presence known by interfering with lights, doors and kettles, however, she has an understandable dislike of male guests in her room, who often wake to the sensation of being held down and strangled.
32. Colosseum – Rome, Italy
With a history as bloody as the Colosseum’s it’s no surprise this historic location is crawling with spirits. Staff and tourists alike have spotted apparitions, including that of a Roman soldier, standing guard at night, and groups of ghostly spectators still cheering from the seats of the arena. Moans and screams – both animal and human – have been heard echoing through the Colosseum’s underground tunnels. During my visit to Rome, I may have glimpsed a spectre or two amongst the crowds, but this could have bee the combination of heatstroke and suspected swine flu with which I was afflicted. An experience I would not recommend.
33. La Pascualita – Chihuahua, Mexico
If you ever find yourself shopping for a wedding dress in Chihuahua, you may find yourself face to face with Mexico’s most peculiar mannequin. La Pascualita, as she is known, is infamous for her incredibly lifelike features, which caused many to wonder if she was really a mannequin at all. As the story goes, the mannequin appeared in the 1930s, and bore a striking resemblance to the owner’s daughter, Pascuala Esparza, who sadly from a black widow spider bite. On her wedding day. The legend continues the grief stricken mother having her daughter embalmed to remain with them in the bridal shop forever. Having had a past life in funeral care, I can assure you that preserving a corpse for so long, for so well in such an uncontrolled environment would be incredibly unlikely. However, those hands? Incredibly similar to the hands of a recently deceased person.
34. La Chasse-Galerie – Quebec, Canada
This wonderful little tale features a group of French-Canadian lumberjacks who make a deal with the Devil after a night of drinking on New Years Eve. The most popular version of the tale involves the group being so disheartened at being so far away from loved ones and their festivities, that they make a deal with the Devil, who grants them use of a flying canoe, so they can make it there and back before work the next morning. A perfectly reasonable venture. The ending of this tale varies, but some say the groups quits was ill-fated, and if you look to the Canadian sky every new years eve, you may see their spirits fly overhead, trapped in the Devil’s canoe for eternity.
35. Catacombes de Paris – Paris, France
Holding the remains of over six million people in an attempt to relieve the overcrowding of Parisian cemeteries, the catacombs below the streets of the French capital are rife with ghost stories. Part of these winding tunnels are open to the public and, according to staff at least, no one has gotten lost there. However, rumours tell of solo adventurers finding themselves unable to escape after entering the Catacombs by one of the many “unofficial” entrances. Legends persist of an abandoned video camera, found deep within the tunnels, containing footage of a clearly panicked man desperately searching for a way out. Abruptly, he is startled, drops the camera, and flees, never to be seen again.
36. Frankenstein Castle – Darmstadt, Germany
Having inspired Mary Shelley’s classic novel, Frankenstein Castle sits within the Odenwald mountain range, a location steeped with ancient folklore. Alchemist, Johann Konrad Dippel, called the castle home and where he allegedly experimented with reanimating corpses. It’s no surprise that a place so entrenched in history is also said to be rife with paranormal activity including a phantom knight and his forlorn girlfriend, Anne Marie. The castle is also said to be home to the fountain of youth, magnetic stones and a dragon.
37. 25 GB Bungalow – Kerala, India
Built in 1951 for an English family, this long abandoned bungalow is said to be one of the most haunted places in Kerala. According to legend, the owner’s children died tragically, causing the rest of the family to return to England and leave the home abandoned. In the decades since, people have reported the sighting of spectral boy wandering the area, accompanied by mysterious sounds – specifically, screaming children and breaking glass.
38. Poveglia – Island near Venice, Italy
This tiny little island in the Venetian Lagoon was used as a quarantine station for plague victims for over 100 years. That in itself should be everything you need to know about this dastardly place, but throw in the fact that it was then used as a mental health facility until 1968, and it’s got all the makings of a low budget horror film (and not the good kind). It’s no surprise to hear that Poveglia has a particularly haunted reputation, featuring on paranormal shows such as Scariest Places on Earth. For completely unsurprising reasons, visiting the island is prohibited.
39. Hotel Burchianti – Florence, Italy
Staying in Italy, let’s take a trip to the beautiful little Hotel Burchianti. It’s so nice that even the ghosts don’t want to check out. It once hosted Benito Mussolini, but current residence include ghostly children skipping down the halls, women knitting and and a maid going about her duties.
40. Petra – Jordan
People have inhabited the area that was to become the ancient city of Petra, in southern Jordan, since 700 BC. With buildings carved our of the sandstone rock, it is now considered a UNESCO world heritage site. According to the Bedouins – nomadic Arab tribes who have lived in Petra and the surrounding areas for centuries – the city plays host to Djinns. If you ever find yourself visiting Petra, keep an eye out for the six block tombs near the entrance. They’re said to be the dwelling place of the Djinn.
In retrospect, this was probably a bad idea, I’m already feeling seasick.
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