From deserted cemeteries and abandoned hospitals to the towers and castles of yesteryear, we’re taking a look at the lore behind haunted harbors around the globe, including two particularly spooky Alaskan legends. In honor of Halloween, enjoy these chilling stories – and plan a visit, if you dare!
Buenos Aires, Argentina: In Recoleta Cemetery, legend has it that a young woman who was mistakenly buried alive wanders among the cemetery grounds to this day, uncovering newly buried bodies to make sure they’re dead. The “Torre del Fantasma,” another famously haunted location, was once home to a tortured artist who eventually plunged to her death from the tower – her ghost is reportedly still seen in the leaded glass window. Passengers of the Line A subway, one of the oldest underground trains in Latin America, also say the tunnels and platforms are haunted by spirits from over a century of accidents and mishaps.
Dublin, Ireland: Ireland’s capital is teeming with haunted locales, some of which are top attractions even for those not interested in ghosts. St. Patrick’s Cathedral is rumored to be the home of a ghost dog, belonging to a sailor buried inside, and Dublin Castle is haunted by the ghosts of headless bodies said to be buried beneath it. Even Trinity College is graced by the ghostly wanderings of a former medical professor.
Edinburgh, Scotland: With a reputation for being one of the most haunted cities in Europe, Edinburgh is home to one of the more famous spots for hauntings and spooky occurrences: Edinburgh Castle. It features an eerie underground labyrinth of tunnels which were used to quarantine and bury plague victims, and even more chilling are the cavernous dungeons once used for imprisonment and torture. Visitors often report ghost sightings, unexplained sounds, abrupt temperature changes and other odd events in these locations.
Singapore, Singapore: Former hospitals often provide the setting for ghostly encounters, and the Old Changi Hospital in Singapore is exactly that. The former military hospital closed in 1997, but stories of ghost sightings at the complex date back to the 1940s around when it was built. Legend has it that the mortuary and a supposed torture room are among the most haunted. Throughout Asia, it’s widely considered one of the most haunted places on the continent.
Sitka, Alaska: After Russia officially transferred Alaska to the United States on October 18, 1867, rumors spread that the ghost of a beautiful Russian Princess haunted the abandoned Baranof Castle in Sitka. According to the legend, the so-called “Lady in Black” was the daughter of a Russian-American governor who had been forced to marry a man she did not love, so she killed herself on her wedding night. Her sad spirit – draped in diamonds and donning a black trailing robe of mourning – supposedly wanders the remains of the deserted castle during the midnight hour.
Skagway, Alaska: Local legend says that a man known as “Klondike Ike” checked into the Golden North Hotel in Skagway with his fiancée, Mary. The following day, Ike set out in search of gold, but never returned. Despairing, Mary locked herself in her room on the 3rd floor, and eventually died. Though the hotel bar and restaurant on the ground floor are the only areas now open to the public, patrons used to report sightings of “Scary Mary” in the hotel corridors. Rumor has it that she appears as a shadowy apparition, peering out of windows and endlessly seeking her long-lost Ike.
Happy Halloween from all of us at Oceania Cruises!