Many people around the world seek out supposedly haunted destinations and all things supernatural, with eyes firmly focused on finding ghosts, ghouls and anything else otherworldly.
Ghost hunters, horror movie fanatics, those looking to confront their fears head-on, or even skeptics will go out of their way to stay in or near haunted places to see if they can survive the night.
This is a trend noted by online accommodation platform Airbnb worldwide, both in homes and Airbnb Experiences.
The accommodation platform said guests were actively seeking out haunted mansions in New Orleans and historic Civil War farmhouses known for spooky sightings, old homes and castles in England where invisible presences keep you company at night, and manors and towers across Europe said to be home to the ghosts of peasants from the Crusades or scorned or bereaved women destined to continually mourn their long-lost loves.
Here are some destinations Airbnb recommends:
Create Movie Prosthetics in a Workshop in Amsterdam: Send tacky Halloween costumes to the grave for good with expert tips on blood, gore and guts in this Amsterdam experience. Learn how to create movie-quality limbs and wounds that are sure to spook everyone you know.
Discover the Ghosts & Mysteries of Dubrovnik, Croatia: See the darker side of Dubrovnik on a local-led ghost tour. On this fully narrated evening walk, you will explore haunted sites (including cemeteries and old castles) and learn all about the city’s lesser-known turbulent history.
Enjoy a Speakeasy Murder Mystery, Chicago, US: Channel your inner Sherlock Holmes to solve a speakeasy murder mystery with this Airbnb Experience. Go back in time to revisit Chicago’s rich Prohibition era and assume the role of characters based on actual historical figures.
Explore the Catacombs by Candlelight, New York City, US: Explore the modern catacombs from the 1800s by candlelight in Old St. Patrick’s Cathedral. Here you’ll discover the resting places of legendary New Yorkers including Civil War generals.
Stay at the Elegantly Decayed Creole Mansion, New Orleans, US: Widely regarded as one of the most haunted cities in the US, New Orleans houses this mansion and there’s something about this one that stands out as most eerie.
The current owners opted to have the interior look like it is falling apart, letting finishings naturally decay over time. Built in 1855, the mansion belonged to Louise Vitry, an African-American woman, and her French consort, Archille Courcelle. In 1858, a Louisiana Supreme Court ruling let Louise keep her home – making it a beacon of hope for free women of colour. Step inside this home and you’ll be taken back to the 19th century – and maybe even see a lingering ghost down the hall.
Stay at this Victorian Gothic Castle, Ellicott City, MD, US: Some ghosts will leave you with the chills. This Airbnb was built in 1857, also known as Lilburn Mansion, and housed successful iron trade entrepreneur, Henry Hazelhurst. In 1923, the mansion was ruined in a fire and when the new owner, John McGinnis, went to rebuild, unseen entities did not approve of the changes.
Being wealthy in the 19th century did not guarantee your health; the Hazelhurst family lost a child to an illness and Henry died in the home. Guests claim the Hazelhursts never left. Some guests have spotted the apparition of a girl wearing a chiffon dress playing in rooms and a heavy chandelier swinging with vigour.