Spooky Cities: Chilling Urban Ghosts and Haunts


Wednesday, October 31, 2012 | 11:00 AM





Author: Adam Zettler

Famous haunts, ghoulish ghostly houses and scary places haunt the urban landscape in cities all across the world. Travel with us to some of the places that go bump in the night, some spectral tours, haunted houses and spine chilling legends. Here is a look at some of the most eerie places travelers can visit to celebrate Halloween!


Savannah, Georgia-The Most Haunted City in America

Savannah is officially recognized as the 'most haunted city in America' by the American Institute of Parapsychology. This Southern city has many haunted houses and a spooky night time historical district, including the famous haunted Kehoe House. The Spanish moss covered trees that line the streets and the fog that rolls off the sea add to this chilling atmosphere.  I recommend the tours at 6th Sense World for travelers who want to delve into this darkside of this Georgia city.


(image courtesy of Haunted Georgia)




Paris, France-The Paris Catacombs

Paris is known as the City of Light, but it also has a dark side that lurks far below its lively streets. Extending for almost 300 kilometres underground are the Paris Catacombs, or Paris Underground, containing over six million corpses from the 17th and 18th centuries. Travelers can take a tour through the maze of skulls and bones that line the walls and ancient arches, but you have to sign a waiver first (seriously). As you enter this underground chamber of the unliving, a sign reads "Stop! Here is the Empire of Death".


(image courtesy of Travels with Two)



Portland, Oregon-The Shanghai Tunnels

The Shanghai Tunnels, also referred to as the Portland Underground, consist of tunnels linking Portland’s Chinatown to the central downtown area of Portland. Local lore says that the process of "Shanghai-ing", where people were kidnapped and forced into servitude aboard ships that linked from these tunnels to the seaport, was practiced in these underground tunnels from the mid 19th to early 20th centuries. It is rumoured that over 3000 men and women were kidnapped from streets, drugged in saloons and dropped through trap doors, holes in the walls, imprisoned in underground jails and sold to ship captains for blood money. These very same tunnels are haunted by the spectres of many who died in these underground chambers of horror!


(image courtesy of 1859 Oregon Magazine)




Hong Kong-Nam Koo Terrace

Urban legend says that this derelict building and the property on which it sits is forever cursed, and locals dread to even go near it. Abandoned and unsold for over 50 years despite the value of land in Hong Kong, it is home to a history of murder, mayhem and demonic possession. Lore says it was the site of an attempted excorcism, where police officers were violently attacked by a young girl in the late 1960's and another possession was reported in 2003. Nam Koo was also the site of a Japanese massacre during World War 2, and the ghosts of those murdered are said to howl and haunt the corridors. Hong Kong students who have attempted to stay in Nam Koo overnight are reported to have been driven out of the building by ghostly poltergeists.


(photo courtesy of TimeOut Hong Kong)




Niagara Falls, Ontario-The Screaming Tunnel

This decidedly creepy 35 metre long tunnel, alongside Warner Road in Niagara Falls, is said to be haunted by the spectre of a young woman. There are a few versions of the tale but the most common one tells of a nearby farm, the girl’s family home, which burned down over 100 years ago. The girl ran out of the house, engulfed in flames, and into the limestone tunnel where she perished, screaming in agony. Another version of the story is that she was burnt alive by her deranged father. In any case, on certain nights, locals swear that you can still hear her agonizing screams. Travelers who want to check out this spooky landmark (go at night!)  just need to ask any local for directions.





New Orleans-The Haunted LaLaurie Mansion

New Orleans, like Savannah, is another city that is teeming with haunted houses and ghostly places. The most haunted place in The Big Easy is the LaLaurie Mansion, where the ghost of Madame LaLaurie and her victims are seen and heard to this day. Madame LaLaurie, reputed to be a witch, was also a murderess, and dozens of people enslaved here went missing or died in the 1820's and 1830's. Otherwordly sobbing can be heard outside the house, especially near the fountain in the courtyard, and rattling chains are heard in the kitchen and on the staircase. Visitors who have taken the tour of the LaLaurie House report fainting or becoming nauseous, so be wary!


(image courtesy of Haunted America Tours)



London-The Tower of London

The Tower of London  is said to be the most haunted place in all of the United Kingdom.  A place of sordid and tortuous history, many beheadings, murders, hangings, and mysterious disappearances have occured here in the last 900 years. Many ghostly sightings of the tortured souls who lived and died here - including the headless body of Queen Anne Boleyn and two more of Henry VIII's wives, as well as Sir Walter Raleigh, Lady Jane Grey, child princes Edward and Richard of York. Brave travelers can take a tour through this macabre medieval relic.





San Diego-The Whaley House

Reputed to be the most haunted house in all of the US, and now the site of a museum open to travelers, the Whaley House is the site of dozens of stories of ghost and apparitions. During the 19th century, four members of the Whaley family died violently or mysteriously in the house, including the suicide of Violet Whaley, whose ghost has been reportedly seen by many visitors. Another spectral visitor, the ghost of "Yankee Jim" Robinson who was hanged in 1852 on the property, haunts this building. Shutters open and close by themselves, and visitors report strange smells and mysterious sounds. The family patriach, Thomas Whaley, almost unbelievably, chose to build his cursed mansion on the site of both an ancient native burial ground as well as the location of one of the first gallows in San Diego.


(photo courtesy of Ghosttheory.com)




Buenos Aires-Chacarita Cemetery

Derelict graves where actual bones and partial skulls can actually be seen poking through the ground between toppled gravestones, this is an eerie place where the quiet wind whistles through the trees. Ghosts and disturbances from the buried dead of an 1872 Yellow Fever epidemic haunt open mausoleums, and visitors have reported becoming lost or confused here. Tourist maps do not even show Chacarita Cemetery. If you have the guts, the cemetery can be found if you get on the Buenos Aires B-line subway and get off at the Federico Lacroze station. The cemetery is right across Avenida Guzman, if you dare!



What is the most haunted place in your city? Ever had any experiences with apparitions or other-wordly spirits? Have a haunted house or ghost story you want to share about your city? Tell us all about it in the discussion below! Happy Hallo'ween!



travel, tourism, vacation, strange, haunted, ghosts, haunted house, castle, Savannah, Kehoe House, Paris, Paris Catacombs, Portland, Shanhai Tunnels, hong kong, Nam Koo Terrace, Niagara Falls, Screaming Tunnel, New Orleans, LaLaurie Mansion, London, Tower of London, San Diego, Whaley House, museum, Buenos Aires, Chacarita Cemetery, scary, tours, mysteries, Halloween

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Barb Lawrence wrote: 6:14am August 22, 2013

Loved all the stories great work

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