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10 Cities With Great Ghost Tours

Get goose bumps with a bloody good ghost story in these haunted locales.

U.S. News & World Report

10 Cities With Great Ghost Tours

Leesburg Tour leader Elaine Maxon (left) directs her flashlight into the window of a building occupied by spirits.
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(Getty Images)

Prepare to be spooked with grueling tales of murders, witches and other local lore on these terrifying tours.

'Tis the season for all things spooky, but on these ghost tours, discovering paranormal activity is a year-round pursuit. Whether or not you believe in things that go bump in the night, these tours offer a fun, active way to learn about the history, culture and lore of diverse destinations and appreciate something that every society has – a good ghost story or two. Here are 10 cities across the globe with bone-chilling ghost tours.
An old Saxon graveyard lies May 10, 2001 in the walled city of Sighisoara, Romania.
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(Getty Images)

Turda, Romania

Learn more about Transylvania's most infamous resident, Vlad the Impaler, and how his actions in the 15th century gave birth to the legend of Count Dracula during the Dinner with a Bite tour. A local guide leads you through the ancient city center of Turda, regaling guests with tales of Transylvania's fascinating past on the way to Dracula's Saloon, where a life-sized statue of Vlad himself awaits. After brushing up on Vlad's history, you'll sample a glass of Transylvanian plum brandy and enjoy a vampire-themed five-course meal of Smoked Turks on the Steak, Walachian Count Roast Beef, Dracula's Chop and Lost Souls (cheese pancakes), all washed down with red wine.
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Prepare to be spooked with grueling tales of murders, witches and other local lore on these terrifying tours.

'Tis the season for all things spooky, but on these ghost tours, discovering paranormal activity is a year-round pursuit. Whether or not you believe in things that go bump in the night, these tours offer a fun, active way to learn about the history, culture and lore of diverse destinations and appreciate something that every society has – a good ghost story or two. Here are 10 cities across the globe with bone-chilling ghost tours.

Turda, Romania

Learn more about Transylvania's most infamous resident, Vlad the Impaler, and how his actions in the 15th century gave birth to the legend of Count Dracula during the Dinner with a Bite tour. A local guide leads you through the ancient city center of Turda, regaling guests with tales of Transylvania's fascinating past on the way to Dracula's Saloon, where a life-sized statue of Vlad himself awaits. After brushing up on Vlad's history, you'll sample a glass of Transylvanian plum brandy and enjoy a vampire-themed five-course meal of Smoked Turks on the Steak, Walachian Count Roast Beef, Dracula's Chop and Lost Souls (cheese pancakes), all washed down with red wine.

Taos, New Mexico

New Mexico's storied history makes it especially prime for all things paranormal. The Land of Enchantment lives up to its nickname in more ways than one. In Taos, meet at the historic plaza at dusk with Ghosts of Taos Tours to explore the city's ancient streets in search of the head of Arthur Manby, a wealthy man so hated that he was murdered and his head never found, and La Llorona, a woman who searches the irrigation ditches throughout New Mexico looking for her drowned children. Plus, strolls through Kit Carson Cemetery and past haunted buildings and other historic sites with ghostly tales are included.

Kilkenny, Ireland

Meet at the haunted Lanigans Bar at 8 p.m. every evening and don a witch's hat and cape to explore the 13th-century cobblestone streets of Kilkenny with Kilkenny Ghost Tours. Learn about the first-ever witch trial, the curse of Sir Richard Shee, St. Mary's graveyard, Kilkenny Prison, the open tombs of Black Abbey and maybe even hear the scream of the Banshee. If you loathe the idea of ghost-chasing on an empty stomach, show up at 7 p.m. for a bowl of Irish lamb stew before taking to the dark streets by lantern light.

London

Learn about the werewolves of London and other paranormal tales with London Ghost Walks, led by London's Master of the Macabre, Richard Jones. Three choices are offered depending on your favorite area of fright. On Fridays, meet outside the Lord Raglan Pub on St. Martins Le Grand Street at 7 p.m. for the Condemned and the Cursed Haunted History Walk, a terrifying tour of London's most haunted streets, including where Sir William Wallace was executed in 1305. On Saturdays, meet outside Exit Three of Bank Underground Station to tour London's haunted underground stations. And on Sundays, visit haunted churches, mass burial vaults and a courtyard where a phantom is said to live.

Sydney

Established by the British in 1788 as a penal colony, Sydney was first home to aboriginal people. With convicts arriving in chains and forced to build the city stone by stone, Sydney Ghost Tours takes guest through the streets of Sydney after dark to learn about the real history and alleged hauntings on several different tours. Search for ghosts and learn the history of Sydney's infamous Q Station (the Q stands for Quarantine), haunted Macquarie Street where Sydney's oldest government buildings are and otherworldly sites Down Under.

Hamilton, Ontario

Hamilton's Ghost Walks and Dark History Tours explore some of Canada's darkest stories with several tours offered in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Hamilton and Ruthven. Niagara-on-the-Lake was attacked and burned by Americans during the War of 1812, and the ghosts from this battle are said to have never left the field. In Hamilton, explore the mysterious Scottish Rite of Freemasonry temple at night and the Hermitage Ruins and its haunted forest where cult rituals took place – and rumor has it a ghost of a coachman still wanders through the trees.

Venice, Italy

On an Original Venice Ghost and Legends Walking Tour, expert guides take visitors through the city's famously narrow streets and canals at night and regal them with historic tales ranging from sea monsters to rat-infested prison cells that flooded during high tide. With real estate at a premium in Venice, many graveyards lie below the streets and piazzas throughout the city, and legend has it ghosts frequent the maze-like streets after dark. Hidden passageways and architectural details, such as a staircase where a nobleman could ride his horse up to his apartment, are highlighted on the tour of the City of Water.

Edinburgh, Scotland

A night with Mercat Tours in Scotland begins with a tour of the narrow streets of Edinburgh and stories of witchcraft, prison lynchings and restless spirits before venturing to the Blair Street Vaults for more tales of cannibals, body snatchers, deals with the Devil and other spine-chilling details. Stroll through Canongate Kirkyard (a cemetery) and visit the graves of Adam Smith, the economist who coined the "invisible hand" theory, James Douglas (the third Marquess of Queensberry and noted cannibal) and other infamous figures from Scottish history. Afterward, enjoy a dram of whiskey by candlelight for even more ghost stories. On Halloween, special tours offer even more gore and ghoulish tales.

Prague

Learn about the "Devil's Bible," peer into the unfathomably deep "Hole to Hell," tour the grounds of Prague Castle and explore the underground passageways beneath the city with McGee's Ghost Tours of Prague. Several tours focus on different aspects of Prague's Old Town, a place with a violent past that's now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Tour a graveyard that contains more than 4,000 graves from a mental asylum and is known for its ghost sightings. Afterward, learn about the gruesome acts that took place below the city streets in dungeons – and the spirits who many believe still linger. And cap off your tour with a pint of Prague's famous beer.

Bordeaux, France

Witches, werewolves and executions are just some of the fun to be had on a Bordeaux Ghost Tour. On the Death Walking Tour, costumed guides explain the folklore and legends of this city where gladiators once battled to the death in Roman times, 292 people were guillotined during the French Revolution, the heads of priests and nuns were placed on pikes, witches were burned at the stake and other dark occurrences that are credited for Bordeaux's paranormal activity. The cries of a little girl have been heard, and the ghostly apparition of a monk in the state of prayer may join you as you wander the city's millennia-old streets.
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