It’s Halloween, and everyone wants a little spook today! So dim the lights, put on some scary music, and read about some scary, haunted, and creepy places around the world.
The Driskill Hotel, Austin, Texas
The Driskill Hotel is a gorgeous, four-star hotel in downtown Austin Texas. It’s also one of the most haunted hotels in the world. Built by Colonel Driskill in 1886, it went bankrupt within a year, and has struggled over the years many times to turn a profit.
Many people say the hotel was cursed from the start; it was built with blood money: money earned selling beef to the Confederate Army during the American Civil War.
The ghost of Colonel Driskill has been seen throughout the hotel, as have others, including a jilted bride. But the most compelling story is of Samantha Houston, a little girl who died at the hotel when she chased her ball down the stairs and tumbled to her death. She has been seen and heard playing on the grand steps of the hotel. Haunted indeed.
In 1563, the regional king built a fortress city for his younger son. However, it was foretold that no building in the city could be taller than the home of a local religious leader. When this vow was broken, the religious man cursed the fort. Or, perhaps, a wicked wizard tried to win the heart of a beautiful woman, who scorned him. With his dying breath, he cursed the city.
Either way, everyone in the region considers it to be haunted, so much so that they even prohibit any visitors between sunset and sunrise to avoid accidents caused by the ghosts! Naturally, people looking to have personal encounters with the paranormal make visiting this place–after dark–a top priority.
The Fairmont Banff, Alberta, Canada
There’s something about hotels that lend themselves to be haunted. Perhaps it’s the people traveling in life, they end up traveling after death. The Fairmont Hotel in Banff is a remote, gorgeous luxury hotel set in the mountains of Canada.
The hotel, completed in 1886, burned down just a few years later. Since then, it has been haunted. One ghost is a happy one, a bellhop who finds satisfaction helping guests even in the afterlife. Others, however, are not so happy. In the room where a man murdered his family, some travelers have reported being smothered with pillows, hearing screams, or seeing bloody fingerprints.
It’s striking to imagine so much pain and horror among some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.
Corvin Castle, Romania
Another gorgeous structure with scenic landscapes, Corvin Castle in Romania is one of the largest castles in Europe and one of the most beautiful structures in the country. Built in the 1400s, the castle sits on the border between historic Christian and Muslim clashes.
One of the most haunting stories is that Turkish Muslim slaves were held at the castle; promised freedom if the dug a well. More than a decade later, for some reason they were not granted their freedom. A message is purported to read “You may have water, but you have no soul.” Bones have been found throughout the castle, documenting a history of oppression worthy of hauntings.
Paris Catacombs, France
The city of Paris has been inhabited for nearly 1,400 years, and have been burying their dead in the city for as long. In the 1700s, the cemeteries were dangerously full, and the city decided to dig out tunnels underneath the streets for the dead. Over the next decade, they covered the walls, ceilings and everywhere with bones.
It was opened to the public in 1874, for concerts and other novelty events. Immediately, people reported paranormal events. It’s really cool to tour the catacombs, but be sure to never go alone, or after dark. Reports abound of voices encouraging you to go deeper and deeper, eventually getting lost and becoming part of the catacombs forever.
Tower of London, UK
If there’s one place that’s going to be haunted, it’s got to be one of the oldest and most storied prisons in European history. The Tower of London held thousands of prisoners over the years, but the most famous ones include Anne Boleyn, Jane Gray, and even young princes Edward V and Richard. These individuals met their untimely deaths while at the Tower, and are said to still be present to this day.
A White Lady, and a Gray Lady, are some of the more-frequently seen otherworldly guests. There are even reports of a haunted bear who has attacked the Beefeater guards!
Whether you are inclined to believe in ghosts or not, it’s clear that there is paranormal activity, and it’s all around the world. Let’s just hope that if you encounter a spirit who hasn’t crossed over, it’s a friendly one just wanting to help you with your luggage, and not a haunted bear or murderous husband.