If we discovered, emphatically,
that ghosts were real,
I probably wouldn’t be surprised.
— Sarah Snook
Has there been a time you thought you saw, no you thought you may have seen, no wait…you did see a ghost! Visiting the most haunted sites across the world can be a blood curdling, spine chilling, and unnerving experience for the bravest of souls. Cursed castles, pools of doom, grotesque dolls, forests that drive people to end their lives — #DSSCRecommends seven most haunted spots dotted on the globe that ghost hunters would love to explore.
The Green Lady at Château de Brissac, France
The French château in the commune of Brissac-Quincé belongs to the Cossé-Brissac family, whose head is the current Duke of Brissac. This seven-storied Monument Historique (heritage site) is accessible to public for tours and overnight stays. Dukes of Brissac, who took over the reign of the chateau, have reported encounters with the ghost of Charlotte de Valois – an illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII. Charlotte is famous as the Green Lady whose ghost glides across the halls wearing a green dress, and her face bears gaping holes in place of the eyes and the nose.
Victim of a double murder, Charlotte was caught red-handed with a local huntsman by her husband, who took his revenge by killing them. Guests often get startled by Charlotte’s apparitions in the chapel tower where she was murdered. At other times, her moaning can be heard all over the castle in the early hours. Talk about a chilling wake up call!
A love story gone awry at Devil’s Pool, Australia
60 km south of Cairns, in northern Queensland, Australia, three streams of water flow down Babinda Boulders and meet in an idyllic natural pool. Locals know Babinda Boulders as Devil’s Pool, a site feared by aborigines in the area. Chilling tales of unsuspecting young men having met their watery graves in the relatively calm waters of the pool have surfaced time and again. The aboriginal legend goes that young Oolana of the Yidinji tribe married an old but revered tribal leader. Soon after, she fell for a younger man from another tribe and eloped with him, only to be caught. Separated from lover, Oolana jumped in this pool and chose to drown. Her spirit is believed to reside in these waters, luring young men to their deaths. The aboriginals believe the site punishes those who disrespect the water or the graves of those who have perished here. Planning a visit? Think twice before you take that dip.
A bride and a bellman at The Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, Canada
Located in Rocky Mountains close to the thermal springs, this 19th century luxury hotel is among Canada’s most haunted sites. And may we add, beautiful too. The original Banff Springs Hotel opened to public in 1888 and has now been taken over by the Fairmont group. It is easy to be charmed by the hotel’s scenic surroundings, but it is widely known that since its completion, paranormal activities have often been recorded. The Ghost Bride, a Ghost Family, and the Bellman are the most frequently spotted ghosts.
The Ghost Bride fell down the stairs and broke her neck upon panicking when she saw her dress was on fire. She is often spotted in the ballroom dancing away with the back of her dress engulfed in flames. The second eerie appearance is of a family that stayed here, and was murdered in room number 873. The door to the room has since been bricked, but the family is seen lurking in the hallway. The third apparition is the Bellman, Sam Macauley, who, though dead, finds pleasure in escorting guests to their rooms, opening doors, and switching on lights. Try having a word with him and poof…he vanishes into thin air.
The curse of the magician at Bhangarh Fort, India
With a doomed destiny, gloomy Bhangarh fort on the border of Sariska Tiger Reserve, is a haunted fortress that the most daunting ghost hunters approach cautiously. Legend has it that a magician fell in love with Bhangarh’s princess, Ratnavati, and tried luring her with his magical powers. The magician’s powers backfired leading to his death, but not before he cursed the fort to be doomed forever. Doomsday, of course followed, with the princess being assassinated soon after, and the fort being abandoned. Visitors are allowed only till 5 pm, after which the gates are locked to avert mishaps. No one has dared to stay at the fort post sundown, which is when the haunting evil powers are said to come alive.
The full bodied apparitions at Ancient Ram Inn, England
A site of satanic sacrifices, a Pagan burial ground of yore and a former pub, the 12th century ancient Ram Inn is located in Wotton-under-Edge, a market town in Gloucestershire. The inn situated on Ley Lines is haunted by at least 20 spirits including those of children, a pagan high priestess, and an incubus. Currently functioning as a bread & breakfast, Ancient Ram Inn is considered to be one the most haunted places in the British Isles. Visions of a little girl, wails of children, full-bodied apparitions in rooms of the guests, a constantly nagging feeling of being watched, and a general feeling of evil has led many visitors to flee the inn in the middle of the night.
A former owner of the inn, John Humphries, wasn’t spared of paranormal occurrences either. On his first night at the inn he felt someone grabbed his arm, dragged him from the bed, and across the room. Later, he found numbing evidence of sacrifice rituals when he stumbled upon skeletons of two children under a staircase.
Rendezvous with creepy dolls at Island of Dolls, Mexico
Located on Lake Teshuilo near Mexico City, the island of dolls is a one of its kind haunted space. There are hundreds of ghastly dolls hanging all over the island. These dolls are said to whisper and laugh at visitors; they talk to each other, and sometimes even move their limbs.
Legend goes that the island is haunted by the spirit of a girl who died after drowning near the canal. A man called Julian Barrera moved to the island and became friends with the spirit of the girl, who demanded he bring her dolls who would act as her playmates. Julian sold vegetables that he grew on the island to fulfil the girl’s desires. Soon, Julian grew tired of the spirit’s demands, and believed that the girl wanted Julian himself as her playmate. He is said to have been found dead at the same spot near the canal as the girl. Now, both the spirits reside on the island.
The suicide forest of Aokigahara, Japan
Along the edge of Mount Fuji sits the Aokigahara Forest, literally meaning a sea of trees. Ubasute, a Japanese practice of abandoning the elderly to death was carried out here in the past. The forest is known to be home to yūrei or ghosts of the dead according to Japanese mythology. Forests usually enchant visitors with their dense green cover, and sights and sounds of the fauna. At Aokigahara’s entrance, though, a signboard reads ‘Life is a precious gift’, yet another urges visitors with suicidal tendencies to reach out for help. It is so because the forest witnesses many suicides every year, people hanging themselves or overdosing on drugs being the most known ways. #DSSCTopTip: Too scared to visit the forest just yet? Watch the film The Forest, an American horror feature narrating the tale of a woman who goes to the Aokigahara Forest in search of her twin sister.
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