Halloween is almost upon us, and although many of us can’t travel the way we’d like to right now, we’ve certainly learned this year that a mental escape can make for a suitable stand-in. Get in the Halloween spirit and immerse yourself in some haunting stories from these three cities around the world—is that an autumn chill in the air, or are you a little spooked?
One of the oldest cities in Europe, Edinburgh is rife with spooky tales that weave among its historic streets, dating all the way back to 8500 BC (well, that’s the first time human life was recorded there, at least).
The city’s namesake Edinburgh Castle is supposedly one of its most haunted locales. A headless drummer boy allegedly roams the grounds, as well as a group of French prisoners who were captured during the Seven Years War.
But for a sweeter haunting, the city’s Greyfriars Bobby statue offers a heart-tugging tale: The statue, of a terrier dog who spent 14 years guarding his master’s grave until his death in 1872, may be home to a furry spirit. Visitors to the statue say a small, unembodied bark can often be heard nearby.
This southern gem is a classic contender for America’s most haunted city, and it doesn’t take much sleuthing to figure out why—the city’s seen its share of slavery, Civil War battles, disease, murder, and more.
One of its spookiest—and most scenic—sites is just outside the city. Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah’s oldest graveyard and the setting of the best-selling thriller Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, is allegedly home to a host of ghosts, including a pack of dogs that’s said to roam the cemetery throughout the night.
At the Marshall House hotel, once a hospital for Union soldiers and later for victims of Yellow Fever, is one of America’s most haunted: Guests report faucets turning on and off and the ghostly sounds of children running up and down the hall.
One of the city’s most famous creepy sites is its Catacombs, where 6 million skeletons (you read that right) rest underground, spanning an area more than 300 kilometers. Though plenty of real-life horrors have taken place there—we’ll spare you those details—ghostly tales abound, like that of the ghost of doorkeeper Philibert Aspairt, who got lost in the catacombs in the 1700s; he never made it back out alive. His ghost is said to roam there every November 3, the day he supposedly met his fate.
And aboveground, the Père Lachaise Cemetery, the final resting place of such celebrated names as Jim Morrison and Oscar Wilde, is a worthy haunting site, too—the ghost of the late Doors singer allegedly roams within its mist-laden grounds. And the ghost of Adolphe Thiers, a prime minister from the 19th century, is said to tug on visitors’ clothes if they walk too close to his resting place.