Have you had any ghostly encounters lately?
For a country that was home to Jack the Ripper, bloody queens and sinister kings, it’s no surprise that England boasts some of the world’s scariest secrets. Fascinating ghost tours can be found in almost every major city, but a good place to start is in London itself. Tours of Excellence (toursofexcellence.com) organises Haunted Ghost Tours that cover haunted sites in the capital and travel out to parts of the country, including visits to creepy old castles, plus overnight stays and meals in haunted hotels and pubs. If that’s too daunting, check out shorter tours in individual cities. You’ll find good ghost walks in England’s former capital York, which is full of history and spine-tingling sites (theoriginalghostwalkofyork.co.uk). Or brave the City of the Dead Tours (cityofthedeadtours.com) farther north in Edinburgh, Scotland, which takes you into graveyards, prisons, underground tunnels and the Black Mausoleum, heavily haunted by the famous Mackenzie Poltergeist. Enter at your own peril!
Don’t let the bright, shiny landscapes of Australia fool you. Away from the big cities, this vast country holds its own ghostly legends and macabre history. The award-winning Lantern Ghost Tours (lanternghosttours.com) runs regular tours around Victoria and Queensland, including chilling trips to old jails, lunatic asylums and morgues. Braver souls can also go for overnight experiences. If you’re looking for something more frightening, join a ghost tour in The Rocks, Sydney’s historic neighbourhood (ghosttours.com.au), where you’ll travel down cobblestoned lanes into Australia’s darker past of murders, suicide, hangings and hauntings. Or put your own ghost-hunting to the test in Tasmania – some ghost tours (ghosttoursofhobart.com.au) encourage guests to bring recording devices to try capturing other-worldly activity.
The nation that brought us everything from The Exorcist to Ghostbusters to The Blair Witch Project has plenty of ghost stories to tell. Head to the heart of witch city in Salem and join the Salem Witch Walk (witchwalk.com) to visit enchanted sites, learn about historical witch trials and even partake in a modern-day ritual. Then, up the scare-factor and travel to New Orleans, said to be America’s most haunted city (neworleansghosttour.com). Themed tours take you to top haunts, walk you through cemeteries and relive notorious stories about voodoo and vampires. If you’re after something more educational, join the candlelit walking ghost tours at Gettysburg (gettysburgghosttours.com) near the historical battlefields of the Civil War. You might catch an eerie formation of soldiers marching across those empty fields.