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Haunted houses usually have bloody pasts, real-life paranormal events, and other things that horror films and stories often portray. Despite unexplained events and scary testimonies, a lot of people are still fond of haunted places. They seem to enjoy hearing about their creepy history and the experiences of people who have been or stayed in those locations. A book titled “Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger” written by science journalist Jeff Wise said that although fear is negative, it can also feel good.
Wise called this “high arousal” response as “the biological equivalent of opening the throttle.” When we’re in a safe place, hearing stories about haunted places produce high arousal response like joy or happiness. "The response is triggered by anything unpredictable or startling. But when we're in a safe place and we know it, it takes less than a second for us to remember we're not actually in danger. Then we switch over to enjoying it. It's a kind of euphoria. That's why you see people go right from screaming to laughing,” sociologist Margee Kerr explains.
To those who are looking for spooky places to visit, here are some of the most haunted places in the world.
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Villisca Axe Murder House
On June 10, 1912, Josiah B. Moore, his wife, their four children, and two young girls were murdered inside their home in the city of Villisca in Montgomery County, Iowa. They were bludgeoned to death by an ax that was left at the scene. Unfortunately, the murderer has never been identified and the case unsolved to this day. According to an article by Travel Channel, an American pay television channel, residents of the home over the next years reported visions of a man with an ax. They also heard crying children and unexplained activities.
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Lizzie Borden House
Massachusetts is known as one of the scariest states in the US. After all, it is one of the oldest cities in the country and was the place for the infamous Salem witch trials. Its scariest spot is Fall River where the Lizzie Borden House stands. In 1892, Borden allegedly murdered her father and stepmother due to personal conflicts. She was acquitted of the crime, however. It is believed that the two tragic souls have been staying in the house for many decades now. Many visitors have reported hearing strange sounds and seeing ghosts.
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The Tower of London
The Tower of London was constructed by William the Conqueror in 1078 on the north bank of the River Thames. Throughout the years, the building was used for different purposes, such as torture and execution room, armory, prison, royal residence, treasury, and public records office. Thus, it’s not surprising that the tower has seen its fair share of murder and torture. It was believed that the ghost of one of the wives of Henry VII, Anne Boleyn, has been roaming there. She was beheaded in the tower in 1536. Several times, her ghost has been spotted, sometimes carrying her head under her arm.
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Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
Once known as the Weston State Hospital, the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum was established in 1864. It housed thousands of people with mental illness until it closed in 1994. It was believed that hundreds of people died there. Some spirits continue to haunt the place, believed to be spirits from the Civil War era. The asylum’s ground served as a military post centuries ago.
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Poveglia Island, Italy
Islands are known for white beaches and sunsets. They are great places where people can relax. But it is not the case with Poveglia Island. According to an article by MSN, a web portal and related collection of internet services and apps for Windows and mobile devices, this island served as a quarantine station for plague victims during the 18th century. Many of them were buried in mass graves. Poveglia Island also had a mental hospital in the 1920s. It was believed that a disturbed doctor conducted experiments on helpless patients before eventually committing suicide himself.
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Constructed over 900 years ago as a military fortress, the Edinburgh Castle is considered one of the most haunted places in Scotland. Throughout its long history, it has seen executions, attacks, and murders, leading to a lot of ghost tales. Some of the apparitions believed to be residing in the castle are Duke Alexander Stewart of Albany, who stabbed his guards to death and then burned their bodies, and Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis, who was burned at the stake for witchcraft.
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The Sultan’s Palace was originally built like a house with a large courtyard and classic-wrought iron balconies. In the 1800s, it became a house of horrors for the sultan. It was believed that this wealthy man used this place for partying, opium, and torture. He had multiple wives and children, and a harem of women and young boys whom he held against their will. According to reports, the sultan was buried alive in the courtyard after his family and harem were killed by an unknown perpetrator. Since then, people have been hearing unusual noises and loud music and smelling strong incense in the house.