From the haunted ghost stories, we tell in the dark, to the horror movies we see on the big screen, stories of the supernatural are a widespread form of entertainment and a source of interest.
With false partitions, gas chambers, stairs to nowhere, and trapdoors leading to the basement, Holmes created a house intended to murder all of its guests.
For all the lovers of urban legends and haunting tales, iTHINK lists five must-visit haunted locations.
Old Liu Family Mansion – Minxiong Township, Taiwan
This beautiful, baroque house is now overrun with trees and plants, but in the Japanese colonial era, it used to house a wealthy landlord family: the Liu family.
Legend has it that the patriarch of the family, Liu Rong-yu, fell in love with one of his maids. Their affair was discovered by his wife, and she began to torment the maid at any given opportunity.
Unable to cope with Liu’s wife’s torture, the maid drowned herself in a well on the property.
Liu and his wife were supposedly haunted by the maid’s spirit until they were forced to move out and abandon their ancestral home.
Stories continued to circulate about the Old Liu Family Mansion after the Lius moved out, including tales of Japanese soldiers killing one another while spending the night there, and visitors who were killed or taken ill shortly after visiting the house.
Shrouded in mystery and myth, the Old Liu Family Mansion is worth a visit, even if just to appreciate the way nature has reclaimed this magnificent structure.
Villa de Vecchi – Cortenova, Italy
Commissioned by Count Felix de Vecchi in 1854, the famous architect Alessandro Sidoli set to work building the magnificent Villa de Vecchi, which was to serve as a summer house for the de Vecchi family.
Though the house was completed, Sidoli didn’t live to see it; he died about a year before its completion.
According to local legend, Sidoli’s death was the beginning of a tragic drama that played out in the Villa de Vecchi.
It is said that Count Felix de Vecchi and his wife and daughter spent a few pleasant summers at the house. But in 1862, Count de Vecchi supposedly came home one night to discover his wife brutally murdered and his daughter missing.
After searching fervently but fruitlessly for his daughter, the tale ends with Count de Vecchi committing suicide, unable to bear his loss.
Referred to as The Ghost House, The Witches House, and The Red House, the Villa de Vecchi is long abandoned and falling apart.
It is off-limits to visitors but those who have snuck in illegally claim to have heard the now-destroyed grand piano playing, or the wailing of Count de Vecchi’s deceased wife.
Monte Cristo Homestead – Junee, Australia
Built by Christopher William Crawley in 1885, the Monte Cristo Homestead began as a grand home for the Crawleys and a symbol of their family’s fortune.
However, it now has a history of tragic and horrific tales attached to its name and is often referred to as Australia’s most haunted house.
Eleven people have been reported to have died on the estate, including Mr. and Mrs. Crawley. Visitors claim that the latter still haunts the property, scaring away unwanted visitors.
A pregnant maid is said to have fallen off of a balcony, to her untimely death. Rumour has it that the maid was carrying Mr. Crawley’s child, and that an enraged Mrs. Crawley pushed her over the edge of the balcony.
There is also the tale of the stable boy who was burned to death after his mattress was set on fire.
But perhaps the most horrific story surrounding the house is that of Harold Steel, a mentally ill son of a maid who was chained up behind the house for over 30 years because of his aggressive behaviour.
Currently a museum and guest house, it is possible to visit the Monte Cristo Homestead and even spend the night there, if you dare.
Montpelier Hill – County Dublin, Ireland
Perched atop Montpelier Hill is a hunting lodge said to be one of the most haunted places in Ireland. It was built by William Conolly around 1725 and, since then, has had an interesting and eerie history.
When the lodge was first being constructed, workers discovered a grave passage and a cairn, the latter of which they used to construct parts of the lodge. This is supposedly where the paranormal history of the lodge began.
Soon after the lodge was built, its roof was blown completely off. This has been attributed by most to a storm, but others say it was the result of the devil’s rage at Conolly’s workers destroying the cairn.
The roof was rebuilt, still using stones from the cairn, and some say this is partially the cause of the lodge’s supernatural occurrences.
After Conolly’s death in 1729, the lodge was used by the Hell Fire Club: supposedly a group of Ireland’s elite men who would gather to do horrible and immoral things in private.
The Hell Fire club is said to have practiced orgies, satanic rituals, human sacrifices, and even cannibalism. During one of their meetings, the lodge caught fire and killed several of the club’s members.
One of the most well-known tales about the lodge where they met is that of a mysterious stranger visiting to join them in their card game. Upon dropping a card and reaching to pick it up, one of the Hell Fire Club members saw that the stranger had cloven hooves.
The ruins of the lodge are said to be haunted by spirits, and visitors claim to have felt their presence. Some have even reported hearing a wailing noise at night.
Murder Castle of H.H. Holmes – Chicago, USA
While the only building on the land formerly occupied by H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle is the Englewood Post Office, the history of Holmes’ building is both gruesome and terrifying.
In 1887, Holmes purchased the plot of land where the Englewood Post Office now sits and began construction on a multi-purpose building. He claimed that it would be used for shops and apartments, but his intentions were far more sinister.
Changing architects and builders during the building’s construction, Holmes ensured that only he would know the full layout of the building, and the horrors it was built to perform.
With false partitions, gas chambers, stairs to nowhere, and trapdoors leading to the basement, Holmes created a house intended to murder all of its guests. An intricate alarm system alerted Holmes of which room his visitors entered and there they would meet their demise.
The basement, in particular, was full of deadly secrets, including vats of acid, operating tables, and instruments of torture.
After his arrest, Holmes claimed to have killed over 200 people in his Murder Castle, and while this number is likely an exaggeration, Holmes was certainly a prolific serial killer.
While the building itself no longer stands (it was burned to the ground shortly after Holmes’ arrest), the twisted tale of H.H. Holmes’ Murder Castle is enough to send a shiver down the spine of any visitors to the area.
We hope you’ve found your next must-see haunted house in this list, but if not, there are many more to explore all around the world.
Some are but ruins, destroyed over time by nature and people, and others are well-preserved museums, often with ghost tours. And others still are just stories that remain within a community, even after the building itself is long gone.
Hi! My name is Nethmi and I’m an English and Creative Writing student at the University of Birmingham. I write about Literature and Women’s Health here at iThink. When I’m not writing or curled up with a good novel and a cup of tea, I spend my time binge-watching cartoons and trying to keep my succulents and cacti alive.
Image respects to - Kathmandu and Beyond, altrisogni.it, Wikipedia, All That's Interesting