- By Tudor
What says ‘Halloween’ more than haunted houses?
Probably nothing. We’ve searched high and low for the creepiest, crawliest and quirkiest haunted houses (and buildings). Some are really old, some are architectural oddities and some are just downright weird.
Bhangarh Fort, Rajasthan, India
Located in northwestern India in the state of Rajasthan, this fort was built in the early 17th century and is characteristic of Indian architecture of that era. While it is not clear what caused its abandonment, one legend explains that the fort city was cursed by a wizard. After failing to use a love potion on the princess of Bhangarh, the wizard was crushed by a rolling boulder. Some time after, the town was invaded and all its inhabitants perished. It is believed that the spirits of those killed, including the princess and the wizard, continue to haunt the area. The Architectural Survey of India, which manages the ruins, forbids visitors from remaining there after dark.
George Stickney House, Illinois, USA
This is an odd one. The house was built by George Stickney, a spiritualist, in 1836. He and his wife would conduct seances in an attempt to commune with the spirits of their dead children. In order to allow directionally challenged spirits to roam freely, he designed the house so that no walls met at 90-degree angles. This is what gives the house its curved look. Built in the Italianate style, this building now houses the local police department. Flickering lights, doors opening and closing and moving objects have all been reported.
Franklin Castle, Ohio, USA
It’s not really a castle, but after multiple alterations and additions, and gargoyles, it sure looks like one. This Queen Anne house was built for German immigrant, Hannes Tiedemann and his family in 1881. Within a few short years, Tiedemann’s daughter, mother and three children all died, some under suspect circumstances. Tiedemann chose to distract his distraught wife by building a ballroom in the home as well as adding gargoyles to its exterior. His wife died in 1895, and Tiedemann himself died in 1908 with no family left to inherit his estate. Since then, the house has earned its reputation as one of the most haunted houses in Ohio with reports of spinning chandeliers, crying children and disembodied faces.
Lawang Sewu, Central Java, Indonesia
This building complex was finished in the early 1900s by the Dutch East Indian Railway Company and to this day remains a well-preserved example of Indonesian colonial architecture. When the Japanese invaded Indonesia in WWII, the basement was converted into a prison where several executions were carried out. The complex has been the site of other conflicts, including one between Dutch and Indonesian fighters. Headless spirits and the ghost of a Dutch woman who committed suicide are all said to wander the complex.
Monte Cristo Homestead, New South Wales, Australia
It’s regarded as the most haunted house in Australia. This Victorian manor was built by Christopher William Crawley in 1885. Crawley was a wealthy landowner who was seen in the local area as a generous and philanthropic figure. After its construction, the manor hosted all sorts of gruesome events. Among those were the confinement of a mentally ill man, a stable boy who burned to death, and the murder of a caretaker. When Crawley himself died, his distraught wife didn’t leave the home for 23 years. The manor is now thought to be haunted by the ghosts of Crawley and his wife.
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