The catacombs of Paris are “home” to almost 6 million corpses. If ghosts are going to congregate anywhere, this would be it. With several hundred years of history, often bloody war-time history at that, there are easily enough tragedies and unfinished stories to fuel ghost stories for generations. Walls made of human skulls? The catacombs have it. The city now runs regular tours of this “Empire de Mort”.
New Orleans Ghost Tours
New Orleans offers a wide variety of ghost tours through its legendarily haunted streets. From individual establishments to whole areas of the city, New Orleans is infamous for its history of the macabre, and such events are bound to leave marks for travellers to enjoy.
Waverly Hills Sanatorium
Louisville Kentucky is home to one of the more classically haunted locales in the world, the Waverly Hills Sanatorium. Take a tour through the dilapidated old mental hospital while hearing hair-raising tales of its tragic (and terrifying) history.
They call it the city built on the dead, and that is literally what it is. Large portions of Savannah, Georgia were built atop pre-existing burial sites, and at least ten thousand graves still lie beneath its streets and businesses. No wonder, then, the prevalence of paranormal sightings. Savannah delights in leading visitors through its streets, and showing them those spots most known as upwellings of ghostly activity.
London is one of the world’s most historic cities, but its relevance to ghostly tourism can be boiled down to a single name: Jack the Ripper. That short-lived killing spree is the backbone of a ghost tour industry in London, which supplements its retellings of Jack’s tale with visits to the dozens of ghost-infested locations throughout England’s capital.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston is a beautifully preserved city, but in its history it functioned as the port of entry for almost 40 per cent of new African slaves brought to America. As a result, the city has a legacy of violence that’s difficult to wash away. Until that washing is done, however, some have decided to take travellers on a guided tour of its more troubled areas, and there are quite a few of them.
Whether it’s the Fairmont Chateau Laurier or a featureless patch of street, Canada’s capital has a history rich in the darker side of life (and death). Unsolved murders and terrible tragedies pepper the walks through Ottawa’s beautiful streets, with stops at some of the city’s most beloved landmarks.
Whether it’s sea monsters of the legend of Marco Polo, Venice is one of the world’s most storied locations. It has been invaded numerous times, held during some, conquered during others. The canals have played host to all kinds of battles, and their depths provide convenient dumping grounds of newly created bodies. As a result, Venice has become one of Europe’s centers for ghost-related stories. And ghost-related tours.
Site of the famous Battle of Gettysburg and the deaths of over 50,000 people, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania has more than its share of ghost stories. The most sensational is surely the Phantom Battalion, which reportedly appears to tourists on occasion, marching around in formation before returning to whence it came. Whatever the group’s motivations for such unpredictable walks, they have laid the foundation for the city’s thriving (and entertaining) stable of haunted tours.
Probably the most famous Halloween destination of all time, Salem was host to the famous witch trials of 1692. Much of modern Halloween mythology springs from Salem, and to this day the city thrives on the tourism generated by those old tragedies. Take a stroll over Gallows Hill, then walk down to the burning pits, all the while guided and entertained. You won’t find a place more dedicated to bringing you a good, dark time than Salem.