Skirrid Mountain Inn, below the Brecon Beacons, has been an inn for 900 years. It's a charming place but one grisly event has reputedly left a bevy of restless spirits trapped within its thick stone walls. In 1685, 180 rebel supporters of the Protestant Duke of Monmouth were hanged from a joist under the staircase.
The order came from King James II and it was administered by the notorious Judge Jeffreys, who used one of the inn's upstairs rooms as a courtroom. Chafing marks from the rope can be still seen on the beam. One bathroom was formerly a holding cell and is said to be haunted by a prisoner who slit his throat while awaiting sentencing.
35 Stonegate, York, England
York, it's claimed, is the UK's most haunted city. Some 140 ghosts, including entire Roman legions, have been surveyed. This Halloween, people will be attempting to break the record for the world's biggest ghost vigil at 35 Stonegate, a 700-year-old former bookshop in the city.
A violent spirit here put the celebrity ghost-hunter Derek Acorah in a stranglehold, while many others have supposedly been touched by ice-cold invisible fingers and heard screeching in the attic. The crew of TV's Most Haunted fled screaming from the dwelling, known in the middle ages as The Sign of the Bible.
Poveglia island, Venice
Venetians know Poveglia as the island of no return. In the 16th century 160,000 peste nera (bubonic plague) victims and suspected victims were taken to the island and dumped, dead and alive, in fiery pits. Fishermen still dredge up bones. A mental hospital was built here in 1922 and rumours abound of patients being tortured, resulting in the doctor in charge being pushed from the island's bell-tower. He survived the fall, it's said, but was then "strangled" by a rising mist. Night sailors have reported hearing the bell's ghostly peals.
Most boats refuse to call at the death isle, another of its names, but those who have landed report treading on ashes, hearing screaming, seeing moving shadows and having the urgent desire to flee.
Rose Hall great house, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Rose Hall, a Georgian sugar plantation mansion, was lavishly built as a "calendar house", with 365 windows, 52 doors and 12 bedrooms. Bloodstains that supposedly appear and then vanish are the starkest signs of the former owner, the Voodoo priestess's daughter Annie Palmer. She was murdered in her bed after an 11-year reign of death, torture and nymphomania.
Annie bumped off three husbands and a succession of slave lovers by poisoning, strangulation and witchcraft and then forced other slaves to carry the corpses through a tunnel to be buried on a beach, according to legend. As well as evil Annie, ghosts of the slave babies she sacrificed in rituals and her male victims may be heard and have seemingly been captured in photographs.
Waverly Hills sanatorium, Louisville, Kentucky
If you lived in Jackson county during the TB outbreaks of the 1910s, your best hopes of recovery were to stay above the swamps in the hilltop sanatorium of Waverley Hills, which opened 99 years ago. But even then your chances of getting out were slim, and you'd most likely end up being lowered down the "death tunnel" to the morgue.
Intended to house 40 patients, at the peak of the "white death" 120-plus people were clamouring for medical aid at the sanatorium. It's the wailing and wandering ghosts of the diseased patients, and those who perished under its later incarnation as a barbaric geriatric mental institution, that attract multitudes to weekend events entitled Terror on the Hill.
North Head quarantine station, Sydney
Between 1828 and 1960, any Sydney-bound ship with the merest sign of disease on board was forced to dock at the desolate harbour of North Head, and all passengers incarcerated in a cluster of buildings and tents until they either got the all-clear... or perished.
Lights apparently flicker on and off in the hospital ward, and bulbs have exploded in the shower block (despite there being no electricity supply), while the door to the mortuary has the habit of slamming shut on visitors or opening by itself in the night. The body lying on the mortuary slab is a joke dummy, but human forms are said to appear and vanish on the hospital beds.
Bhangarh, near Jaipur, Rajastan, India
Ghost tourism is a big industry these days but the Indian government expressly forbids people to enter the ruined town of Bhangarh after sunset. It's said to be cursed by a wicked sorcerer after he was spurned by a princess. As the sorcerer decreed, the 17th-century city was soon afterwards destroyed by an opposing army, with just its temples untouched, and was never inhabited again.
The magician's restless spirit apparently watches over the town from a hill, coming down at night to seek his ghost princess. Birds and wildlife fall silent and a harsh wind whistles through the valley as sunset approaches, visitors report.
Alcatraz Prison, California
Ever wondered what Al Capone's banjo-playing sounded like? The gangster's finger-picking is one of the more appealing hauntings within the notorious maximum-security island prison of Alcatraz, which closed in 1963. Cell 14D, used for solitary confinement, is eeriness central: one prisoner was apparently strangled to death by a spectral beast during the 1940s. Visitors have smelt smoke without fire and heard many unhappy screams, crying and shouts from the condemned.
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