Halloween is the perfect time and excuse to investigate the paranormal on a suitably spooky ghost tour. The world goes mad for Halloween, with special costumes, traditional trick or treating and haunted house tours all the rage. Carve yourself a pumpkin, spot a few ghosts and indulge in this great cultural event.
Raynham Hall, Norfolk, UK
The 17th century Raynham Hall country house in rural Norfolk near Fakenham is home to one of the most photographed ghosts in history. The ‘Brown Lady’ of Raynham Hall is Lady Dorothy Walpole who is said to have died of smallpox in 1726. Mystery surrounds her death however as she had an affair prior her marriage and it’s said that her husband was less than impressed with her dalliance and pushed her down the oak staircase. Sightings of the Brown Lady ghost are long documented with many photos in existence with none ever being proven as fake.
Jamali Kamali, Delhi, India
The Jamali Kamali mosque and tomb in south Delhi, India is the perfect Halloween destination for a spooky ghost tour. Visitors can wander the tomb site in Mehrauli which was constructed in 1529 and is said to be one of the most haunted places in India, according to the TV show India’s Most Haunted. Apparitions have been caught on camera, growling has been heard and other strange noises reported.
The Queen Mary, California, USA
The ocean liner, RMS Queen Mary which until 1967 sailed on the North Atlantic Ocean and was then re-commissioned as a hotel and restationed at Long Beach in California. The engine room saw a 17 year old sailor crushed to death as he tried to escape during a fire and today clanging pipes can be heard around the door where the stricken sailor would have tried to escape. The ghostly figure of a lady in white has also been spotted in the reception area and the ghosts of children are said to have been seen in the swimming pool.
Dominican Hill, Philippines
The Dominican Hill building in Baguio City in the Philippines is said to be haunted by soldiers killed in the war. The soldiers rattle windows and doors, scream during the night and bang plates.
Underneath the French city of Paris lay hundreds of miles of mines in addition to the famous catacombs. According to legend, ancient spirits and creatures patrol the deserted and unsafe mines. Spanning some 600km the mines are now strictly out of bounds, with narrow tunnels completely impassable and sheer drops a menace. There are thousands of human bones spread throughout the mines and eerie paintings on the walls, all pointing to supernatural activity.
The White House, Washington DC, USA
Several previous presidents and first ladies are said to haunt The White House, in particular the ninth President, William Henry Harrison is rumoured to roam the attic after he died in 1841. President Andrew Jackson who died in 1845 is said to haunt his previous bedroom and First Lady Abigail Adams’ ghost has been spotted in the hall after she died in 1818. The most famous ghost in The White House however is that of the 16th President Abraham Lincoln whose ghost has been seen on several occasions. He was the first President to be assassinated in 1865, at point blank range when attending a play at Ford’s Theatre in DC.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
The handsome medieval Edinburgh Castle sits atop the mound and overlooks the city of Edinburgh with spectacular vistas of the surrounding hills and mountains. Inside the castle the prison cells and vaults are a hotbed of paranormal activity. The dead echo in a disused street after the plague struck, there are stories of ghost dogs, ghosts of prisoners of wars, a phantom piper and headless drummers roaming the vaults and corridors.
Built in the late 15th century the castle is the subject of a fierce rivalry between two opposing clans; the O’Bannons and the O’Carrolls. One of the O’Carroll brothers was a priest and was brutally murdered by his brother in his own church in front of his family earning the chapel within Lemp Castle to be nicknamed The Bloody Chapel. Various foul stenches have been reported in the castle such as rotting flesh and sulphur. An undiscovered dungeon filled with three cartloads of human remains was also unearthed on the site.
October 31st each year sees many countries including USA, UK and Canada celebrate Halloween, All Hallows Evening. Today children don decorated costumes and go door to door in their neighbourhoods chanting ‘trick or treat’ in expectation of candy. The practice originated in Ireland and stems from the ancient celebration of the saints and martyrs. Today Halloween is more a cultural events than a religious holiday.
Monte Cristo Mansion, Australia
In Junee, New South Wales lies Australia’s most haunted house, the Monte Cristo mansion. Here Mrs Crawley lived as a hermit for 23 years after the death of her beloved husband, never leaving the house. After her death, her ghost has been spotted wandering the house, with her face pressed against the window and lights switching on and off without reason.
Screaming Tunnel, Niagara, Canada
The Screaming Tunnel in Ontario’s Niagara Falls is one of Canada’s most famous legends. The tunnel lies underneath railway lines and when a nearby farm caught fire, the daughter ran from the farm with her clothes alight and tried to extinguish herself in the tunnel. She died however and legend has it that it you strike a match at midnight in the tunnel it will blow out and eerie female screams can be heard.
By Julie Bowman