“All houses are haunted. All persons are haunted. Throngs of spirits follow us everywhere. We are never alone.” – Barney Sarecky.
Whether or not you are a believer of things that go bump in the night spine-tingling ghost stories can still give you the shivers. The word “mansion” tends to conjure up images of opulence – grand fixtures and wealthy proprietors. However, some mansions come with more than just fancy finery. Some come furnished with a gruesome past that has left behind a trail of wretchedness and death that the present day has been unable to shake off. Lost souls remain trapped in their previous residence, resulting in supernatural shenanigans and paranormal pandemonium guaranteed to make the hardiest of sceptics doubt themselves. Feeling brave? Then join us as we take a look at these 8 haunted mansions from around the world.
Joshua Ward House
The town of Salem, Massachusetts, is no stranger to notoriety and when sea captain Joshua Ward decided to build a home he picked a dreadful spot. On land where Sheriff George Corwin carried out reprehensible witch trials. Corwin was a sadist and nick-named “the strangler” due to his penchant for tying the accused necks to their ankles. He executed many victims here and their tormented souls are said to inhibit Joshua Ward House to this day. One such phantom is thought to be the restless soul of Giles Corey, who was slowly crushed to death with large, heavy stones.
This deserted mansion makes for an eerie dwelling and is located in County Wexford, Ireland. Loftus Hall goes in for some serious name-dropping when it comes to hauntings – it is rumored to be inhabited by the devil himself. A rather less infamous spirit (that of a young girl) also roams the abandoned site.
El Cortijo Jurado
El Cortijo Jurado is an abandoned 19th century mansion located in Malaga and is infamous for its murderous past and supernatural occurrences. The Heredia family owned the mansion and reputedly carried out satanic rituals there, involving the rape, torture and murder of young women. In 1925 the Jurado family took possession of the house and discovered that all was not quiet in their new abode. They experienced screams, sobs and unexplained noises. They were also unnerved by apparitions, perhaps of the poor girls who were horrifically put to death under their roof. At present the building sits empty, aside for a contingent of ghost hunters seeking paranormal entertainment.
Leith Hall in Aberdeenshire, Scotland served as a temporary hospital during World War 1 and it seems that some of the fatally wounded soldiers never left. Their souls still roam the corridors, moaning pitifully. The ghost of Fourth Lair John Leith also reportedly haunts the hall, sporting a bandage on his bloodied head. There have been many ghostly goings-on, doors slamming on their own, glass being smashed, unnerving footsteps and the laughter of an ethereal child. There have even been sightings of an otherworldly dog bounding around.
Rose Hall, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Rose Hall is located in Montego Bay, Jamaica and was built in the 1770’s as a plantation for Mr. John Palmer. Palmer went on to marry, but his beloved wife (Annie) was far from a devoted wife. In fact, she was a cold-blooded killer who murdered John and two other unsuspecting husbands. With an upbringing associated with voodoo and witchcraft Annie reportedly also bewitched, poisoned and killed many of the plantation slaves (she enjoyed bedding them too)!
The evil spirit of Annie Palmer allegedly frequents Rose Hall, perhaps searching for her next victim.
Plas Teg, Flintshire
Plas Teg in Flintshire, Wales looks peaceful, but has a past that is anything but. Owner, Sir John Trevor, became enraged on hearing his daughter Dorothy was having an illicit love affair with the son of a farmer. He threw her jewels into the well and poor Dorothy fell in and drowned when trying to reach them. Her grieving lover then hung himself. Their tormented souls still wonder Plas Teg and they are not the only supernatural residents. The ghost of John Trevor V (he murdered his wife before driving his carriage into a tree) wails despairingly and the apparition of a girl in white has reportedly been seen running in the hallways.
With a serial killer as a proprietor it doesn’t come as a shock that LaLaurie Mansion in New Orleans has been frequently thought to be the most haunted property in the French Quarter. The lady of the house, Madame LaLaurie, a well-to-do Louisianan social climber, took great delight in the brutal torture, mutilation and murder of numerous slaves. A fire in 1834 led to the discovery of a torture chamber, filled with dismembered body parts and unfortunate slaves (some barely alive and many dead). Long after the house was vacated blood-curling screams were heard and apparitions of slaves reported. A real-life house of horrors.
Woodchester Manor in Gloucestershire has a reputation for having some of the most frightening ghosts in the United Kingdom. Unsurprising when you learn satanic rituals were reportedly carried out in its private chapel. Spooky goings on have been recorded both inside and out this gothic mansion and it is home to a whole plethora of resident phantoms. A ghostly horseman patrols the driveway, an apparition roams the chapel, and a young girl plays in the corridors. There is also an old woman with a dislike for female visitors and a lone head that floats ominously about the bathrooms.