Everyone has heard scary stories about haunted houses. Usually the scenes of grizzly murders or tragic deaths, haunted houses have captured the imaginations of storytellers, authors, film directors, paranormal experts and scientists. In essence, a haunted house is a building (usually residential) with a dark history that displays abnormal activities. Abnormal activities in a haunted house can include such events as: ghost or apparitional appearances, disembodied voices, unexplained noises, and items moving of their own accord.
Belief in haunted houses typically depends on a person’s beliefs regarding ghosts and the afterlife. Skeptics and non-believers of haunted houses offer up various explanations for events that occur at such locations. Strange noises in old buildings, for example, are often thought to be a natural result of the aged, weakened infrastructure of the house. Individuals that experience ‘hauntings’ in a haunted house may be experiencing a dream, or suffering from mental issues (such as schizophrenic hallucinations). Other individuals may misinterpret or exaggerate events due to personal beliefs or the desire for publicity.
If individuals are willing to believe in haunted houses, there is a lot of history to support those beliefs. Haunted buildings and locations have been a part of history since ancient times, though the concrete idea of a ‘haunted house’ original emerged in some mid 18th-century literature. Since then, haunted houses have been a central point in many gothic novels, horror films and supernatural television series. Haunted houses, along with other unexplained, unnatural occurrences, have even inspired a branch of study known as paranormal science.
There are dozens of locations worldwide that earn the title of ‘haunted house.’ Other locations – such as towers, prisons, catacombs, graveyards, asylums and other locations have also been known for paranormal activity. The worldwide presence of these haunted locations lead many to believe that haunted houses are real. Some of the most famous haunted house locations worldwide include:
Haunted houses have inspired multiple attractions at theme parks, carnivals, circuses and other entertainment venues in the form of scary, haunted house rides. The question of whether haunted houses are real, however, remains up for debate. What cannot be debated is that hundreds of haunted house locations still exist in the world today, and unexplained events still continue to occur in such places.