If you enjoy tales of the supernatural, it seems only fair to point out that you can actually go and visit spots in the world where these said tales have been related as fact, and not fiction.
For every person who says 'hang on, ghosts aren't real', there's at least one more saying 'yes they are'! Sit around a campfire long enough and pretty soon everyone will have a tale about that one time when something spooky happened.
Well, we've scoured the planet for what may well be the most haunted places on earth. At the very least, they're extremely creepy, and come complete with disturbing stories.
The Catacombs of Paris
Deep underground caverns lined with human skulls, what could be wrong with that?
The Catacombs of Paris are what's known as an 'ossuary' - a resting place for human skeletal remains. It's been open to the public since 1867, but dates back to the 1700's, when Paris's cemeteries had become so full, they didn't know what to do with the bodies. A network of tunnels, old mines and quarries became the new resting place for thousands of skeletons, which now line the walls.
To actually walk through these skull-lined tunnels is one of the creepiest things to do on Earth.
Quarantine Station, Sydney
The creepiest place in Australia.
Australia's own Quarantine Station still manages to chill the visitor, and has regular tours - it even caters for functions and conventions!
From 1828 to 1960, North Head was the place where immigrants and visitors had to stay to avoid passing on diseases like plague and influenza. Tents were replaced by buildings, and the surrounding sandstone has been liberally covered in graffiti carved in by passengers waiting to get the all clear. In fact, the Lusitania, famously sunk in 1917 by the Germans, stopped by at Quarantine Station that very year. A long history of people dying of illness, of people desperate to escape, has lead to stories of ghostly remnants, with many anecdotal tales of bizarre occurrences. Several photos have also been taken of what appears to be supernatural phenomena. The creepiest part of the currently available buildings are the morgue (with it's ancient stone slab), and the old mass shower room.
Rose Hall, Jamaica
When on the lookout for spooks, our guests prefer to stay at...
The warm and enchanting climate of Jamaica is the home to a fabulous tale of 'The White Witch' who is said to still haunt an old plantation.
Annie Palmer was a the french born wife of plantation owner John Palmer. She soon developed a cruel streak due to the loneliness and boredom of her island live. Public whippings, torture and executions of the plantations slaves were par for the course from this diminutive firebrand. In time, she began sleeping with the slaves, after which, she would have them killed. Some slaves taught her Voodoo, which she eagerly took to, allegedly including the sacrifice of babies in her black magic services. This soon earned her the reputation as 'The White Witch'.
Eventually she was killed by a rival Voodoo priest, and she was buried in a grave designed to keep her from rising and walking the plantation. However, the ritual wasn't completed, and hence she walks through Rose Hall this very day.
Manifestations have included hurried footsteps, cries and whispered in the dungeons, tapping on the walls, cries of babies, and old music. Lights turn off and on at random. A mirror shows someone who is not there.
The Hall has been refurbished, and is now a museum. Enjoy your visit!
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
With a history going back 900 years, Edinburgh castle has seen its fair share of violence, and if rumours are to be believed, it's fair share of ghostly apparitions.
Visitors have reported classic signs of supernatural activity, including sudden drops in temperature, seeing shadowy figures, a feeling of being watched, an unseen presence touching the face and the feeling of something tugging at clothes. Ghosts that have been described are a man in a leather apron, a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War. There's also been tales of a ghost dog, wanderin the grounds of the the castle's dog cemetery.
Raynham Hall, England
Home of infamous 'Brown Lady'.
The home of one of the most famous ghost photos of all time is still said to be the place where Lady Dorothy Walpole's spirit forever wanders in search of her five children.
The sister of Sir Robert Walpole, she died of smallpox in 1726, after being locked up after being caught in an affair. Reports state that she may in fact have been pushed down the grand staircase, and died of a broken neck.
This is the famous staircase that was photographed in 1936 by Captain Provand and Indre Shira and then published in Country Life magazine, Brown Lady floating in the middle.
Stories of her appearance include tales about her ancient clothes, empty eye sockets date back to 1835. King George IV is said to have seen her.
Other ghosts are said to inhabit Raynham Hall, including, the (ex) Duke of Monmouth, two children and a ghostly cocker spaniel.
If you don't see Lady Walpole at Raynham Hall, you can also try her at Sandringham House, where she is said to appear as a younger, happier ghost.
The Queen Mary, California
Fancy a first class ticket to the chills?
The Queen Mary was Cunard Line's pride of the North Atlantic, from !936 to 1967. Built on the Clyde in Scotland, she plied the waters between Southampton, Cherbourg and New York. In World War II, she was used as a troop transport, and after the war partnered up with the Queen Elizabeth to provide a weekly two-ship serviced between the UK and the USA.
After being decommissioned, she was moved to Long Beach California, where she now sits next to Howard Hughes gigantic Spruce Goose, the largest wooden aeroplane that ever flew.
The ship is now a floating hotel and attraction, providing guided tours and an array of entertainment. Since 1936, there have been 49 recorded deaths on board. Since then, hauntings have been reported, including a phantom crewman in the engine room, a man in black, a woman in blue, and most eerily, swimmers in the first-class pool.
Sounds, including children crying in what was the third-class playroom and splashing in the now empty first-class pool, have also been heard.
Paranormal tours are held daily.
Not just a haunted place - a whole haunted island!
Originally a self-governing island just inside the gulf of Venice, Poveglia has a delightfully gruesome history. It was at one point a burial ground for victims of the plague, and a dumping ground for soon-to-be victims of the plague. Hundreds of thousands were burned, buried or left to rot. The island was abandoned in the 1340's, and it wasn't until 1922 that a pshyciatric hospital (complete with spooky bell tower) was built. A crematorium and an office was also built. You can see where this is going, can't you?
Our head doctor was a man with a mission, including experimental techniques. Lobotomies using a hand drill and hammer and chisel (the style at the time) were just part of the daily routine.
Patients were taken to the tower, where further experiments took place. Years of strain finally told on the doctor, who reported seeing ghosts on the island. Attempting to escape them, he ran to the top of the tower, and then subsequently threw himself off.
After impact, he did not die immediately, but is said to have been choked by mists that rose from the ground.
Manifestations include the bell tower ringing, moans and screams reverberating across the island, and an investigator had their face ripped open by 'something' - requiring twenty stitches.
The island is uninhabited, and is not open to tourists.