9 of the world’s most haunted castles and mansions — and a look at their dark histories

The Château de Trécesson.

Photo by Gerard SIOEN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

Some castles and mansions around the world are said to be haunted.
The ghost stories associated with the properties are rooted in history, folklore, and fables.
They tell the stories of those who came before, and those who many believe have yet to pass on.

Some of the most haunted places in the world give us a deeper look into the history of past cultures.

From Château de Trécesson in France (supposedly haunted by a young woman who was believed to be buried alive on the premises) to Morgan House in India (said to still be visited by the spectral, tortured wife who once lived there), these locations are not only home to alleged ghosts, but also to the legends that have been passed down for decades — or even centuries.

It’s no wonder these locations hold such an allure for travelers. They offer not just goosebumps or a set of cold shivers down the spine, but the chance to feel a connection with souls who came before — the people who walked in a land before our time.

And if not that — well, then at least they offer a pretty solid Instagram picture. 

Here are some of the most haunted, once-opulent former residences in the world.

Château de Trécesson — Brittany, France
The Château de Trécesson.

Photo by Gerard SIOEN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The Château de Trécesson is said to be haunted by a woman who was buried alive on the property, The Local reported.

The legend goes that a thief had been lurking around the Château de Trécesson and spotted two people digging a hole. Then, the two people dragged a young woman, dressed in a bridal gown, and threw her body into the hole. 

The thief ran home and told his wife about what he’d seen, claiming that he’d overheard the two people saying they’d buried the young woman alive because she had “dishonored” her family. His wife told him to run back and save the young woman, but once he returned, the young bride was already dead.

Morgan House — Kalimpong, India
Morgan House.

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Morgan House was built in the 1930s, Times of India reported. It was once occupied by George Morgan and his wife, who lived on the property shortly after getting married.

The legend states that George Morgan used to torture his wife, causing her to fall into a state of sorrow and unhappiness. Eventually, she died, and Morgan abandoned the property. 

For decades, the home was in a state of disrepair, until the Indian government took control of it. Now, it’s run as a boutique hotel, though people still report hearing the tapping of Mrs. Morgan’s heels in the hallways.

Casa Loma — Toronto, Ontario
Casa Loma.

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Casa Loma was built by businessman Sir Henry Pellatt in 1914 for his wife, Lady Mary Pellatt, Spacing magazine reported.

Today, visitors and staff workers at the castle report seeing apparitions, being touched by unseen figures, and even hearing disembodied voices around the property, Toronto.com reported.

The castle is said to be haunted by several ghosts, one of which is known as “The White Lady”; she is believed to have been a maid on the property in the early 1900s.

Then, there are the tunnels underneath the property, in which guests have reported speaking to and otherwise interacting with another ghost. Reports say it’s the ghost of a friend of Sir Henry, who was hired to look after his horses. 

There have also been rumored sightings of the Pellatts themselves. People say they’ve spotted Henry glaring out of the windows on the second floor, and Mary, who has been noted for turning off the cameras of those who have tried to capture a snapshot of her in the afterlife.

Kellie’s Castle — Batu Gajah, Malaysia
Kellie’s Castle.

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Kellie’s Castle is considered one of the most haunted places in Malaysia.

Construction of Kellie’s Castle began in 1915 but ceased in 1926 after its owner, William Kellie Smith, died. Soon after, the castle was sold off and fell into a state of disrepair.

Ever since, his spirit is said to haunt the second floor of the castle, and a young girl, believed to be his daughter, has also supposedly been seen around the property, according to the Ipoh Tourism Board’s official website. During WWII, Japanese soldiers were said to have executed prisoners on the castle grounds, leaving an eerie, unsettling vibe as one enters the property. 

Charleville Castle — County Offaly, Ireland
Charleville Castle.

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Charleville Castle dates back to 1798 when it was built for Earl of Charleville William Bury and his family. It remained in the family until 1963 when ancestor Charles Bury died suddenly, Irish Central reported.

Today, people report hearing disembodied voices and classical music throughout the property. Visitors have claimed that sounds of children playing fill the air in the room that was once a nursery, and the apparition of a young girl named Harriet has been spotted in the stairwell.

Harriet died in the 1800s while she was playing on the stairwell; legend has it that a little girl can be heard giggling and talking, and has even moved furniture. 

The castle was reportedly built on ancient land where religious leaders once convened. The current owners of the property say they’ve seen hooded figures walking around on the castle grounds. 

Dragsholm Castle — Hørve, Denmark
Dragsholm Castle.

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Located about 50 miles west of Copenhagen, Dragsholm Castle was built by the Bishop of Roskilde around 1215, Atlas Obscura reported. The castle served as a prison in the 1500s, and held James Hepburn, the fourth Earl of Bothwell and the third husband of Mary Queen of Scots. The pillar he was chained to remains intact at the site today.

The castle is said to feature 100 different ghosts, including that of Hepburn and a friendly spirit known as The Grey Lady.

Burg Eltz — Wierschem, Germany
Burg Eltz.

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Towering above the Eltz Forest, Burg Eltz has been maintained by the same family for eight centuries, according to its official website.

The most haunted part of the castle is said to be the Countess Room, once inhabited by Countess Agnes, the daughter of the 15th Count of Eltz. The room still contains her battle armor and axe — and, some say, her ghost.

Himeji Castle — Himeji, Japan
Himeji Castle.

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Himeji Castle, comprised of 74 structures, dates back to 1346. It is nicknamed the “White Heron Castle” for its white exterior and curved rooftops reminicscent of wings.

Legend has it that the UNESCO World Heritage Site is haunted by the spirit of Okiku, a servant who lost a valuable plate and was thrown down a well to her death.

Castle of Good Hope — Cape Town, South Africa
Castle of Good Hope.

Jan Willem van Hofwegen/Shutterstock

The Castle of Good Hope is South Africa’s oldest existing colonial building, dating back to the 17th century, according to its official website. It served as a fortress, military base, and prison. 

The ghost of Pieter van Noodt, an 18th-century governor who was cursed by a man he sentenced to death, is said to haunt the grounds of the castle. The castle’s bell has also been known to ring on its own.

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