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Chapter VIII

Not all die and go to heaven. Some spirits linger by refusing to step into the afterlife world. We have watched ghosts and spirits in movies. The slamming of the doors, the flickering of the light, a swift passing of a shadow, the eerie music and the unexpected appearance of a spirit. We have heard about haunted houses and dilapidated havelis, mansions and forts in documentaries and films. However, in reality, how many of us have the moxie to chance an encounter with the walking dead? There are many who seek the thrill of visiting haunted places and some cities like New Orleans haunted tours find a place in every tourists itinerary. For those who dig spooky places and want to test their courage by visiting them below is the list of the world’s most haunted places.

Haunted Hotspots For Ghost Lovers

Bhuli Bhatiyari Mahal, New Delhi

It was two years ago that I set out to see the haunted Bhuli Bhatiyari ka Mahal, a hunting lodge that was built by Feroze Shah Tughlaq in the 14th century. A drive into the hidden lane next to the mammoth Hanuman Statue on Karol Bagh- Pusa junction led to the Southern Ridge of Delhi. The road was much quieter with no human in-sight. A huge rubber masonry wall loomed in front and a board placed outside informed that I had reached my destination. A note near the entrance also mentioned that no one was allowed to enter after sunset. Was I spooked? Of course! I was. The lodge needed repairs and I could see some work had been ongoing though I could spot nobody. I stood near the boundary of the site, looking deep into the dense ridge forest. I strolled around clicking pictures till the guard came in and I couldn’t resist asking him if the place was haunted. He replied that the ASI had been sprucing the place up and nobody had seen any paranormal activity. “But madam we never stay beyond 5 pm because that is the time the bhoot (spirits) emerge”.My watch showed it was 4:30 pm already. Taking no chances, I took the last few photos and zoomed off. You can read more about that day here.

Bhuli Bhatiyari Mahal
Bhuli Bhatiyari Mahal

Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan

Condemned to desolation and inhabited by ghosts, the Bhangarh Fort is said to be the most haunted fort in India. Stories whispered from generation to the next unravel a story of melancholy. Smitten by the beautiful princess, Ratnavati a Tantrik priest tried to cast a spell on a perfume bottle that the princess’s maid was buying. As soon as the princess applied the perfume, the result thereof would be her falling deeply in love with the Tantrik. However, that didn’t happen. The princess learnt of his tactic and threw the bottle which converted into a boulder crushing the Tantrik. Just before he breathed his last, he cursed the princess that misfortune would befall on her and her kingdom and that everyone would be wiped out. It is said that the next year, a battle was fought between Bhangarh and Ajabgarh which led to the death of almost everyone in Bhangarh, including princess Ratnavati. Today, people claim to hear the shrieks and cries of a woman in the fort. Others say they music and at times, smell the faint perfume wafting in the air. Haunted and spooky the fort continues to attract travellers who want to see the ghostly shadows and inexplicable lights themselves.

Bhangarh Fort
Bhangarh Fort (Photo Credit: Haunted Bhangarh)

Le Laurie Mansion, New Orleans

Filled with grim tales of the past, New Orleans is said to be the most haunted city in the USA. Travellers book ghost tours well in advance to visit spooky homes and mansions. House number 1140 Royal Street, the “Haunted House” or Le Laurie Mansion has a history of ghost sightings and paranormal happenings. The spirits of slaves that were tortured by serial killer Madame Le Laurie are said to occupy the house. All those who have lived there have sworn about a ghost phenomenon that can burn, scathe, torture and even kill. What makes the story even more credible is that Le Laurie is not a fictitious name. She lived in the 19th century. Her photos and ghastly misdoings have all been chronicled. Skeletons of her slaves have been exhumed to show that she was undoubted “a demon in the shape of a woman”. No one messes with her spirit till today.

La Laurie Mansion
La Laurie Mansion ( Photo Credit: Tours by Steven)

Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum, West Virginia

The long, gloomy corridors of the building known as the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was home to thousands of patients with mental illnesses and disabilities since 1864. The facility closed in 1994 but the spirits of patients continue to wander restlessly. Tortured with painful treatments like insulin-shock therapy, ice-pick lobotomies that were inserted in eye sockets, ice-cold hydrotherapy, many died here. One can relive their agony in the variety of tours that are conducted here. Experiences, including paranormal tours, 45- and 90-minute heritage tours, photography tours, ghost hunts and tours of the facility’s farm, cemeteries and wards for the “criminally insane” are all covered. Want to dive into the experience a bit more? Opt for the eight-hour ghost hunt that involves a paranormal adventure with experienced ghost-hunting guides.

Trans Allegheny Lunatic Asylum)

The Queen Mary, Long Beach, California

Long regarded as the world’s most haunted ship and declared by Time Magazine as one of “America’s Top 10 Most Haunted”, The Queen Mary is said to be home to ghosts. This beautiful British ocean liner spent 30 years at sea before she retired from service in 1967 and permanently docked in Long Beach. During her voyage years, she logged more than 50 deaths, which makes her a truly haunted ship. Suite room B-340, a former third-class cabin is especially said to be “notoriously haunted” People have seen the ghost of an engineer who died in the ship’s engine room, a lady dressed in white and heard the sounds of children throughout the ship. Twilight tours, Paranormal Ship Walk and seances are arranged by travel and tour companies to explore the past and have haunted encounters for tourists who fancy paranormal.

The Queen Mary
The Queen Mary (Photo Credit: Andy Shig)

Raynham Hall, Norfolk, England

She walks in the passage and down the hallway, of Raynham Hall, dressed in a brown dress and sometimes with a lantern in her hand. Visitors have seen this personage of Lady Dorothy Walpole a number of times at the mansion in Norfolk. There have been credible written accounts of ghost sightings spanning centu­ries till she was finally caught on camera for the British weekly magazine “Country Life” in 1936 by photographer, Captain Hubert C. Provand. Today, the photograph shown below is perhaps the most famous ghost photograph in the world.

Raynham Hall - The Brown lady
The Brown lady of Raynham Hall

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