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With Halloween on the horizon, how about a seasonal getaway where you might see something far more memorablethan fall foliage? Consider these spooky spots around the world, where the eerie encounters that have reportedly taken place include full-bodied apparitions of former royalty, ghostly orbs, mysterious echoes of cannon fire from bygone centuries, and even a phantom truck that terrorizes drivers. No matter where you go, you’re guaranteed some spirited sightseeing.
Reigning above a Scottish city notorious for its murders, plague and torture, and with 900 years of its own history spanning executions, surprise attacks and purported witches burned at the stake, it’s no surprise that this landmark attraction is rich with paranormal lore. In fact,Edinburgh Castlewas the site of one of the world’s largest paranormal investigations in 2001. Among experiences reported by the dozens of volunteers were ghostly touches, temperature drops and shadowy figures. Today,guided toursoffer the everyday visitor a chance to see a specter of their own. Don’t miss the dog cemetery, the final resting place for officers’ beloved pets.
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This desolate 10-mile stretch off Route 23 North in West Milford, New Jersey, has been spooking sojourners for decades. Reports abound about Satanic rituals in the nearby woods, a phantom truck that tailgates terrified drivers and a ghostly child who locals say haunts the perilous Dead Man’s Curve, throwing back the coins that people toss into the river below. Legends aside, the road is scary enough on its own, with no lighting and sharp turns.
The Tower of London
Believed by many to be London’s most haunted buildings, this circa 11th-century fortress is bursting with stories of spirits roaming within. The most legendary include Queen Anne Boleyn — who was beheaded in 1536 and has been known to walk around the White Tower with her head under her arm — Guy Fawkes and Sir Walter Raleigh. But the extensive paranormal activity atThe Tower of Londonalso includes levitating shapes, disturbing noises and a bear (the grounds were briefly a zoo!) Listen to the ghostly tales of the fortress during popularTwilight Tower Tours.
DuringMoundsville Penitentiary's more than 100 years of operation in West Virginia, this spooky spot ranked among America’s most violent correctional facilities with prisoner riots, inmate murders, hangings and electrocutions. The 53,000-square-foot prison closed in 1995, but screams of tortured souls can often be heard during various paranormal-centric tours. During the day, you can explore the grounds, including rows of cramped cells; by night, braver visitors can choose to be locked inside the formidable Gothic building by themselves until daybreak.
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The Queen Mary
More than 50 people are believed to have died aboard the historicQueen Maryocean liner, which now moored at Long Beach, California, as a hotel and tourist attraction that’s awash in spiritual activity. One prominent paranormal hot spot is the area on the hull that marks where the ship crashed into another vessel. Pounding and screams, perhaps from the souls of the sailors who met their watery end in the disaster, are often heard there. Other reports include ghostly swimmers in a pool with no water and sightings of long-ago crew members.
For the rest of the 10 spooky spots for a ghostly encounter, including the six diablos of the Alamo, visitFodor's.