Brave tourists can ghost hunt around the world

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For those who are intrigued by ghostly fables and the paranormal, there is a whole world of the strange and spooky to explore. Many travel destinations and guides specialize in letting you peer into the darker side of your explorations.

W e have selected five cities that offer special ghost tours, often including interesting historical background. Don’t be afraid. It’ll be fun!

Tokyo, Japan
When you visit Tokyo, where ghosts and spirits have always been a part of folklore, you can visit Japan’s most haunted sights to get a deeper understanding of Japanese culture. One of the best-known companies is Haunted Tokyo Tours, taking visitors on day or night tours of some of the city’s spookier places.

At Tokyo’s oldest public cemetery, walk through a maze of gravestones on the Graveyard Mystery Tour while your guide tells frightening stories about the ghosts who still haunt this place. Learn about a hara-kiri general’s sinister stables, a faithful dog who still awaits his long-dead master, even a plot to murder Charlie Chaplin.

Or visit Old Hag’s Pond, the inspiration for a kabuki play and more than one horror film, where 1,400 years ago a serial killer finally met her deserved fate. Haunted Tokyo’s seasonal walks include Halloween Night Graveyard, My Bloody Valentine and Freak Show. The latter includes electric men, squid girls and snake charmers.

Brisbane, Australia
Hunt ghosts in Brisbane with Brisbane Ghost Tours. Trained guides will walk you through haunted churches, jails, towers and other landmarks, telling tales of killers, executions, bearded white ghosts and disappearing graves. Brisbane Ghost Tours offer a lucky 13 tours, including various cemetery and themed tours.

Or board the tour bus to Ravenswood, a ghost town from Australia’s gold rush days, where guests visit spooky locations and then spend the night at their choice of two haunted hotels. Some of the Brisbane tours are not suitable for children, so be sure to check ahead of time.

Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is an ancient and historic city, so it’s not surprising that there are plenty of horrifying tales of ghosts, the paranormal, alchemy and magic. If you’d think you’d like to look deep into the city’s sinister side, you can join the popular McGee’s Ghost Tours of Prague.

Sign up for Explore Prague after Dark and walk with your guide though the city streets, on your way to see the 13th Century Devil’s Bible, with its illustration of an almost naked royal Devil, wearing nothing except an ermine loincloth. You’ll also see Hrad Houska, a gothic castle, where an ancient crack in the limestone was said to be the Hole to Hell. It’s reported that this place is so disconcerting that even the tour company’s owners avoid it.

Or you can choose the Mental Asylum Graveyard Tour, spending two hours wandering through 4,000 melancholy graves at the now abandoned Bohnicky Hrbitov mental facility. You will hear frightening stories of tormented inmates and the secret rites held there. Guides offer a chance to measure psychic energy, so it is recommend that guests bring their own cameras, recorders and EMF meters.

Delhi, India
India is one of the best places in the world for those seriously interested in the strange and supernatural. The tour company Guide Trip offers tours to the Mehrauli Archeological Park, in the old city of Delhi, to explore eight centuries of hauntings and history. Professional paranormal investigators are happy to help train guests on how to use K2 meters, night vision cameras and other scientific equipment provided to help contact the other side.

Numerous visitors have claimed to have met a menacing old woman who follows them even after they leave the park. Some have seen a mysterious dancing girl who, it is said, is still searching for her royal lover. The excursion takes about two hours, but if you are having a really good time, guides will extend the tour.

Charleston, South Carolina, USA
Ghost hunters claim that one of the most haunted cities in the United States is Charleston, South Carolina. While there, you can choose from several touring companies. Join Bulldog Tours on their nightly Haunted Jail Tour to see the Old City Jail where criminals, pirates and Civil War prisoners once languished. Walk through one of the city’s oldest buildings after hours on the Haunted Arsenal Tour.

Choose Ashley on the Cooper Walking Tour’s visit to Chilling Charleston Macabre, visiting the city’s most haunted places, including King Street, Philadelphia Alley, the South End Brewery and Poogan’s Porch, currently an award-winning restaurant. In the early 1900s, a recluse named Zoe St. Amand lived there, reportedly driven mad by loneliness. Restaurant patrons report seeing Zoe in the restaurant and there are rumors that police receive so many late-night calls about a woman trapped inside Poogans, they now ignore them.

Ghost tours fill up quickly, so don’t wait until the last minute to book your trip to this stranger side of travel. That is, if you dare. ■

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