Around The World In Eighty Ghosts: Part Three

The end is in sight so let’s buckle up and continue our whistle-stop tour of the weird world we live in.

Read Part’s One and Two

41. Highland Towers – Selangor, Malaysia

On December 11th 1993, a 12 storey tower block in Selangor, Malaysia collapsed, resulting in the death of 48 people. As is often the case, the location is reputed to be haunted as a result of such tragic events. Stories tell of taxi drivers collecting ghostly passengers – a variation of the hitchhiking ghost legend – and a young boy who roams the vicinity at night, searching for his “missing arm”. 

The collapsed block was one of three which comprised the Highland Towers complex and surviving residence were evacuated due to lingering safety concerns, leaving the site abandoned . These day’s only ghost hunters and urban explorers brave – or foolish – enough to venture into the ruins.

42. Phi Pop – Thailand

Ghosts are an integral part of Thai folklore, so there’s a whole wide world of them to explore, but for now, we’ll touch on one spirit in particular – a nasty little bugger known as the Phi Pop. These spectral entities possess the bodies of both animals and humans with the intention of feasting on the intestines of its victims. If you find yourself at the mercy of these spirits, never fear because there is hope! The Phi Pop can be exorcised by means of a spinning or “whirlpool” dance, during which the spirit becomes transfixed by the movement and is thus drawn out of its victim’s body.

43. The Leir Psychiatric Hospital (Lier Sykehus) – Lier, Norway

Built in the 1920s and closed in the 1980s, the Leir Psychiatric Hospital is – as I often find myself saying on this list – said to be one of the most haunted places in it’s native country. Due to the general lack of understanding of mental illness at the time, the hospital subjected its patients to a wide range of questionable procedures, including lobotomies. So, combined with terrible understaffing issues, it’s no wonder this now abandoned hospital has succumbed to a host of ghos tly rumours. With tales of phantom screams and an oppressive atmosphere, the hospital is likely a hot-spot for residual hauntings.  

44. Ogrodzieniec Castle – Poland

What’s better than a haunted castle? A castle haunted by a giant dog, of course! For lovers of old things and puppies, Ogrodzieniec Castle, is said to be home to a phantom black hound who roams the castle whilst dragging heavy chains. If you see him, don’t be tempted to stop and offer a tummy rub, because this demon dog is the spirit of the wicked nobleman, Stanisław Warszycki, who ruled the castle with an iron fist. As the legend goes, upon his death, he was pulled straight down to Hell and transformed into the phantom hound, cursed to haunt the castle for eternity as punishment for his sins.

A Good Boy
Photo by Pixabay on

45.Kremlin – Moscow

One of the most recognisable sites in Russia, the Kremlin is said to be home to the spirits of many of its historic leaders – and with a location of such importance, that should come as no surprise. Ivan the Terrible is one such spectre and he supposedly roams the Kremlin’s bell tower. His spirit was said to have been sighted by Nikolai Romanoff, allegedly an omen signifying the fate of the Romanoff’s.

46. Al Jazirah Al Hamra – Nr. Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

Abandoned in the late 1960s due to a mixture of tribal clashes and mass migration to Abu Dhabi, it’s not difficult to see why many think of Al Jazirat Al Hamra as a literal ghost town. Present day visitors claim to suffer a sense of unease in the town, with a few reports of phantom handprints and disembodied voices thrown in for good measure. Superstitious folk claim Djinn have taken up residence in the abandoned houses, and refuse to visit the site for fear of disturbing them, even in daylight.

47. The Sallie House – Atchison, Kansas, USA

If you move in ghostly circles, you’ve probably heard of The Sallie House. Built in the1800s, the legend tells of a young girl named Sallie who developed an appendicitis. Despite surgical efforts (taking place in the house, of course), little Sallie passed away, her last moments a haze of pain and confusion. Subsequent residents of the house have made claims of disembodied voices, apparitions, moving objects and worryingly, accounts of burns and scratches. The house has hosted numerous paranormal TV and web shows, and remains one of the most widely discussed locations in America.

Sallie, is that you?
Photo by Charles Parker on

48. Myrtles Plantation – St. Francisville, Louisiana, USA

Another well known location, the Myrtles Plantation is a permanent fixture on the list of American haunted houses. The most famous tale associated with the plantation is that of Chloe, said to be a slave of the former occupants, the Woodruff family. As the story goes, her ear was cut off after she was caught eavesdropping. 

In an attempt to regain favour within the household, Chloe baked a cake containing oleander leaves, intending to make the family ill so she could nurse them back to health. Unfortunately, this plan backfired massively when three of family members – the wife, Sara, and her two daughters – died from the poisoned cake. Chloe was subsequently hanged as punishment.

Although historical records do not support this story, the ghost of a woman in a green turban – which Chloe supposedly wore to cover her missing ear – has been sighted around the plantation. The house is said to host at least 11 additional ghosts, 10 murders (only one confirmed) and an incomprehensible amount of ghost hunters, and now operates as a Bed and Breakfast. 

49. 112 Ocean Avenue – Amityville, New York, USA

On November 13th, 1974, Ronald ‘Butch’ DeFeo Jr. shot and killed his parents, two brothers and two sisters as they slept in their home on Ocean Avenue. He was convicted of second-degree murder, and died inn March 2021. These are the accepted facts in the case of what became known as The Amityville Horror. The house was later purchased by the Lutz family in December 1975. 28 days later, they fled the property. What happened in those 28 days has been told and retold in print, film, and documentaries of various extravagance. What chased the Lutz’s from the house? Did the walls really drip green slime? What about Jodie, the demonic pig? I could write for days on the case of The Amityville Horror – and perhaps, one day I will – but for now, I encourage you to make up your own mind.

50. Skondhokatas – Bengali Folklore

The Skondhokata (or sometimes, Kondhokata) is a headless spirit in Bengali folklore. They are said to be malevolent, headless ghosts able to enslave the living in order to make them search for their lost head. In recent years, these spirits are said to be victims of train decapitations, primarily haunting railway stations and tracks. However, next time you find yourself face to – uh – bloodied neck with a Skondhokatas in a deserted train station, don’t worry to much. Despite their fearsome countenance, these headless spirits are easy to escape from, as their lack of eyes and ears make them terrible hunters.

51. Jiangshi – Chinese and Various East Asian Folklore

These reanimated corpses are noted for their stiffness (cue childish giggling) causing them to hop around with arms outstretched for balance. The Jiangshi, being influenced by other vampiric tales, is said to drain the life force from its human victims. But why does this vampire hop? This may relate to the practice of “transporting a corpse over a thousand li”, where a Taoist priest would be hired to reanimate the corpse of a family member who died away from home and help them back to their village, thus insuring a restful afterlife. These corpses would be tethered upright to long, bamboo rods and carried by two men – one at the front and one at the back. The movement of the rods caused the body to appear to “hop” across the ground.

52. Gjenganger – Scandinavian Folklore

A Gjenganger is a corporeal revenant in Scandinavian folklore, unable to rest for a variety of reasons, usually some misdeed in life, or because of some kind of unfinished business. In other stories, the Gjenganger is malevolent and returns to haunt the living and spread disease. To ensure a person does not rise from the grave, symbols such as crucifixes were placed on the coffin or, alternatively, the deceased would be carried around the church three times before being buried there.  

53. Hanako-san – Japan

One of the most enduring urban legends to come out of Japanese playgrounds, Hanako-san is said to be the ghost of a young girl who haunts school toilets. Although her origins vary, she is often described as having being murdered in the school bathroom by a stranger, parent or classmate, or having committed suicide there. She is summoned by knocking three times on the third stall in the school bathrooms and asking if she is there. If she is present, she will drag the interrupting victim into Hell through the toilet. Despite the legend of Hanako-san first appearing around the 1950s, she appears in film, manga and anime to this day.

54. Flying Dutchman – The Seven Seas

Possibly the most famous of maritime legends, the Flying Dutchman has been doomed to sail the seven seas since the Golden Age of piracy. Legends of the vessel’s origins vary, but the most famous claim the Dutchmann’s captain, Van Der Decken, was met with bad weather whilst traversing the Cape Of Good Hope and in a rage, proclaimed that he would succeed, even if it took until Judgement Day to do so. The Devil heard the captain, and curse the ship to do just that. Sightings of the ghost ship have been alleged ever since, with witnesses including King George V. 

Plain Sailing?
Photo by Pixabay on

55. Tower of London – London, UK

With a bloody history of executions, murders and treason, it’s really no wonder that the Tower of London is said to be haunted. Tales of the ghosts and their origins are plentiful, but one of the worst involves the two “lost princes” – 12 year old Edward (who was briefly declared Edward V) and his younger brother, Richard, who were labeled illegitimate, imprisoned in the tower, and supposedly murdered on the orders of their uncle, who quickly became Richard III. Ghosts of the two young boys have been sighted ever since. 

56. Mary King’s Close – Edinburgh, Scotland, UK

This subterranean close in Edinburgh’s Old Town was once a bustling 17th century street, and even then, the close was said to be haunted. In more recent years, it is famous for one particular spirit – that of a little girl named Annie. In the 90’s a Japanese medium, Aiko Gibo, visited Mary King’s Close and communicated with the spirit of a little Annie. The young ghost was said to be devastated at the loss of her doll, and being a kind sort of women, Gibo went out and bought one for her, leaving it behind in the room that became known as “Annie’s Room”. The story struck a cord with many subsequent visitors, with thousands bringing their own gifts for little Annie to play with.  

57. Bran Castle – Bran, Transylvania, Romanina

This striking Transylvanian fortress is known world wide as “the real Castle Dracula”, and is said to be home to the count himself. Unfortunately, there is actually little to connect Bran Castle with the famous vampire nor his infamous inspiration, Vlad The Impaler. That being said, the castle is still said to be rife with paranormal activity, being featured in a host of paranormal reality TV shows.

Bran Castle
Photo by elif weasley on

58. Sunshine 60 – Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan

Once the tallest building in Tokyo, Sunshine 60 is a 60 storey mixed use skyscraper, currently housing a variety of shops, showrooms, offices and more. Despite its cheery name however, the building was constructed on the foundations of the old Sugamo Prison, used to hold war criminals, soviet spies and more. It was also the site of several executions. Owing to its infamous past, ghostly apparitions, disembodied voices and weird chills have been reported since its opening. The real horror for me is the buildings elevators, which travel at a speed of 600 meters per minuet, and would likely leave me a wreck of nerves.

59. Tsunami Spirits  – Various Locations, Japan

On March 11th, 2011, a massive earthquake – the fourth biggest ever recoded – struck the Japanese coast. The tsunami that followed killed more than 19,000 people. Buildings were destroyed and roads swept away, leaving entire communities decimated. In the time since, many taxi drivers have reported pick up ghostly passengers who have disappeared before arriving at their destination. As we’ve already seen, paranormal taxi rides are reported worldwide, but it’s particularly interesting to see reports so soon after the devastation. Could this be a particularly specific manifestation of PTSD, shared by taxi drivers worldwide? Whatever the answer, it certainly raises an interesting series of questions.

60. Kikimora – Slavic Folklore

A Kikimora is a slavic house spirit, often seen as the female counterpart to another house spirit, known as the Domovoy. In some versions, they are married to each other, and can be benevolent or malevolent. If the spirit is kind, she will tend to the family’s chickens, and carry out housework. If she is bad however, she will break dishes, cause a number of minor inconveniences and kidnap children – which seems a little extreme, but there you go.

Make sure to follow The Hawthorn Files so you don’t miss the fourth and final instalment of our global mini-break series!

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