My #Blogtober a.k.a. 🎃 31 Days of Halloween 🎃
Hello, my spooktacular lovelies. As an audiobook blogger who’s passionate about paranormal romance, cosy paranormal mystery and urban fantasy, most of my reviews fit perfectly with this time of year. However, I’ve joined in with #Blogtober this year which is a daily blogging challenge. This means that I’m trying to mix it up with some suitably Halloween-y book tags, memes and discussion posts too this month.
I haven’t ever tried to post every day before but I’ll do my best to keep it interesting.
Welcome to day 19 of 🎃 31 Days of Halloween 🎃 my version of #Blogtober. Today I’m sharing 21 of the Most Beautiful Haunted Homes Around the World.
Covid put a dampener on Halloween festivities for the last couple of years. Meaning no trick or treating and a reduction in parties here in the UK. However, that doesn’t stop us from virtually exploring all things spooky. Therefore, check out these 21 spookily stunning buildings from all around the planet. I do want to visit each one someday.
There’s a whimsical elegance to homes that have experienced lifetimes of inhabitants. They’re hiding a secret that only the ghosts can relay. I’ve found some beautiful places that have eerie stories to tell. Behind their opulent façades hides a skeleton—or two. The creek of a floorboard. The flicker of light. But that’s just the beginning of the frightening tales these locations have to tell. Look out for a pair of “suicide brides” who took their lives in the same room decades apart. Or the headless apparition of a famous royal. The dark histories behind these places are as spooky as they are beautiful.
See for yourself why visitors never want to leave these stunning houses and hotels—even after death.
Photo: Roberto Machado Noa
Businessman Henry Pellatt’s Gothic Revival castle was completed in 1914 and includes secret passages and storage areas. I love its castle-like esthetic. Of course, there’ve been rumours of ghosts on the property for years, and the estate is now advertised and dressed up as a haunted house during the Halloween season.
The historic Romanesque landmark, which was opened in 1886 by cattle baron Jesse Driskill, has hosted many big-name celebrities and politicians throughout the years. It also has a well-known history of paranormal activity following the deaths of several guests, including the “suicide brides,” that I mentioned above. Two honeymooning women took their own lives in the same room 20 years apart!
Although I’ve visited Edinburgh, I missed the opportunity to step inside this historic castle. Nestled at the head of Edinburgh’s Old Town, this 12th-century fortress was, for many years, an active military base. If its stone walls could talk, they would tell grim tales, including that of a piper who entered the castle’s tunnels never to be seen—or heard from—again. To this day, visitors report music echoing through the fort’s empty chambers.
A short gondola ride from the romantic canals of Venice, Poveglia Island holds the decaying remains of an early-20th-century insane asylum. Originally a quarantine zone for those suffering from the bubonic plague, Poveglia reportedly played host to brutal medical experiments. The asylum closed when a doctor flung himself from the institution’s highest tower. Check out this video I found made by Brennen Taylor – a brave, intrepid explorer indeed!
The tallest building in the Loire Valley, Château de Brissac is perhaps best known as the site of the grisly murder of Charlotte of France. Legend has it that Charlotte, the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, was killed by her husband after he discovered her adulterous behaviour. The Green Lady, named for the colour of the dress in which she met her end, is said to haunt the castle’s tower. I certainly don’t blame her for wanting a bit of payback and had to include the magnificent château in this beautiful haunted homes list.
After reading Hailey Edward’s The Beginners’ Guide to Necromancy series, I know that Savannah is the oldest city in Georgia. Kehoe House is beautiful and one of the most photographed mansions in Savannah. Sitting on Columbia Square, the Queen Anne brick mansion was completed in May of 1892 for William and Anne Kehoe and their ten children. Sadly, a few of them died in the house as infants like so many in the 1800s and 1900s. The building was converted into a bed-and-breakfast in 1992 and guests have reported hearing the sounds of children playing.
We’re back in Canada for this magnificent building. A stalwart of Canada’s historic railway hotels, the Fairmont Banff Springs has been associated with the paranormal since its construction in 1888. One notable tale includes an unfortunate bride-to-be who died while she descended the candlelit stairs in full wedding attire. The Ghost Bride of the Fairmont Banff Springs, as she has since been dubbed, can supposedly still be found in the hotel’s ballroom eternally waiting for her first dance. This stunning hotel had to be included in my beautiful haunted homes list.
Built by the Dutch East India Company in the mid-1600s, the bastion-style fort is now a historical monument in Cape Town and a local hotbed for paranormal activity. The castle is said to contain the ghost of violent ruler Governor van Noodt, who supposedly died of a heart attack while ordering a hanging. The common tale is that one of the men doomed for the noose cursed the governor before being executed, sealing his soul to the castle forever.
Completed in 1637, Raynham Hall is considered one of the most splendid English country homes of its time. The estate has garnered an infamous reputation thanks to the Brown Lady of Raynham Hall. Believed to be the spirit of the adulterous Lady Dorothy Walpole, the Brown Lady caused an uproar when a photograph purporting to have captured her essence was published in the December 1936 edition of Country Life magazine.
Type in beautiful haunted homes into Google and The Stanley Hotel pops up – a lot. This neo-Georgian mountain hideaway is best known as the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. Its staff claims it is only visited by “happy ghosts” and that nearly every room has a unique ghost story, like that of the maid from Room 217 who is known to pack away guests’ clothing when they aren’t looking. I wonder if she’d take a busman’s holiday and visit my house. 😂
Akershus Fortress was built in the late 1290s as the ultimate defence against foreign attacks and was instrumental in the Seven Years’ War. The sprawling fortress is now used for some royal functions and can be toured by the public; however, locals say its war-torn past has yet to leave, noting that some have seen the ghosts of soldiers roaming the halls. Although a fortress isn’t typically categorised as a home, it would have been home to the soldiers stationed there. The stunning architecture means it had to be included in my beautiful haunted homes list.
We have thousands of inns and pubs in the UK, a huge portion of them are haunted. However, England’s Ancient Ram Inn boasts more spirits than an average pub’s liquor shelf. Built on the site of what is believed to have been a 12th-century pagan burial ground, the inn reports hauntings by at least 20 otherworldly visitors. With ghostly children, a high priestess, and even an incubus (Google is your friend, but don’t say you weren’t warned) wandering the halls, guests have reportedly leapt from the windows in a frenzy to escape.
C’mon, I’m a paranormal romance junkie who loves vampires. I had to feature Romania in this list! Corvin Castle is most famous for being home to Vlad III, better known as Vlad the Impaler, whose despicable acts of bloodthirsty torture inspired Bram Stoker’s novel Dracula. The awe-inspiring Renaissance Gothic-style castle is said to be haunted by the spirits of the lives taken within these castle walls. Several paranormal fanatics and documentarians have investigated the estate hoping to find if the story of Dracula is truly a myth. This stunning castle had to be included in my beautiful haunted homes list.
We’re over in the beautiful country of Ireland for this haunted home. The bloody legend of Leap Castle dates back to its construction in the late 13th century. Having been inhabited by several destructive Irish clans throughout history, many violent deaths have taken place within these storied walls, trapping the victims’ souls for eternity. One of the most disturbing aspects of the castle’s construction is the hidden oubliette, which held the bodies of nearly 150 people and was not discovered until the 1920s. The Red Lady seen holding a dagger is the most commonly sighted ghost on the grounds.
OK, so this isn’t a beautifully build home like all the others on this list but I saw a TV documentary about this place last year and was fascinated by the folklore around it. The story of Isla de las Muñecas begins when its sole resident and caretaker, Don Julian Santana Barrera, found a lifeless young girl, who had apparently died from drowning, and a floating doll in the water as he was walking the island. Julian took the doll and strung it high in a tree to pay homage to the girl’s spirit. Over the years, more dolls were placed on the trees throughout the island. Julian, and some visitors, claim that the dolls are possessed by the spirits of girls who passed too soon, reporting that the dolls would move independently and even speak to passersby. Alexander Travelbum posted this video of his experiences of the place.
Beneath the red sandstone façade of this gorgeous medieval castle lies a gruesome history that, supposedly, still haunts the estate today. The Grey Lady is the most active ghost that haunts the premises. This mysterious woman is said to be Lady Grey, wife of Reginald de Grey, who was put to death for murdering a peasant girl who she suspected to be having an affair with her husband.
Situated on the picturesque Otago Peninsula, Larnach Castle is one of New Zealand’s premier visitor attractions (after those created for the world’s Tolkein fans) and the only castle in the country. Seen on an episode of Ghost Hunters International in 2008, the Larnach Castle in New Zealand was built for William Larnach and his family. Rumour has it that the ballroom in the residence is haunted by his favourite daughter Kate. He built the room for her as a 21st birthday present, but tragedy struck when she died a few years later of typhoid. Another dead cert to add to my beautiful haunted homes list. 😘
Palacio de Linares, Madrid, Spain
We’re in Spain for this opulently beautiful residence. Formerly the home of the Marquis and the Marchioness of Linares, this exquisite palace was built for Don José Murga and his wife, Raimunda Osorio. Hidden beneath its opulent exterior are trap doors, disappearing staircases, and the ghost of Don José and Raimunda’s daughter. Allegedly, a young girl is heard singing in the palace from time to time when there are no more visitors in the building.
“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother 40 whacks. When she saw what she had done, she gave her father 41.”
Even living here in the UK, we’re aware of this horrific slaughter. The haunting nursery rhyme originated with the 1892 murders of Andrew and Abby Borden. Their New England–style house blends beautifully into the lovely background of Massachusetts, nearly disguising the atrocities that took place inside. The home is now a museum and bed and breakfast for those brave enough to stay overnight. Electricity surges, shadowy figures, and floors creaking overhead when no one is in the house have been reported by guests and the proprietor.
In the northeastern Danish town of Dronninglund, Voergaard Castle displays works by Raphael, Goya, and El Greco to the public. But the stately building is as renowned for its dark past. The most famous myth tells the story of Ingeborg Skeel, who acquired the castle in 1578 and drowned its architect in the moat so that he could never design another building as beautiful as Voergaard. People today report seeing Skeel’s tormented ghost wandering through the castle at night, dressed in white. Even if you don’t believe ghost stories, you might still get goosebumps passing by Rosedonten, Voergaard’s most infamous dungeon: The room was designed so that an adult man could neither stand up straight nor lie stretched out, and there are no holes for light or air to enter. Definitely earning its place on my Beautiful Haunted Homes list.
And last but not least it’d back to my home country. Though the former fortress is flooded with tourists on a daily basis, the 900-year-old Tower of London is still one of the bloodiest places in Europe. Built by William the Conqueror in 1070, the sprawling fortress is most famously known for the number of royal deaths that have happened within its walls. Anne Boleyn was one of the 22 executions that took place at the Tower, and her headless apparition is said to haunt the hallowed halls.
“The boundaries which divide Life from Death are at best shadowy and vague. Who shall say where the one ends, and where the other begins?” – Edgar Allan Poe (2006). “The Best of Poe”, p.134, Prestwick House Inc
Thank you for stopping by and reading my Beautiful Haunted Homes post. Confession time. Would I visit these places? Oh yes definitely. However, I’m not sure if I’d actually stay the night in any of them. What about you? Have you spent the night in a haunted house? Which beautiful old ghostly homes and ruins would be on your list? Drop me a comment and share your spooky places with me.
Let the frightening festivities continue!
Bye for now,