There's something unsettling about a museum. Perhaps it's the presence of so many antiquities from around the world, or maybe it's the sensation that the eyes of the portraits follow your every move. And then there are the buildings themselves - many museums were once historic homes or plantations where terrible acts occurred. It's no wonder there are so many scary stories about museums.
Museum ghosts are said to haunt the corners of many cultural institutions. At the Cleveland Museum of Art, one haunted painting takes on an eerie life of its own. Mummy artifacts housed in the British Museum are rumored to carry a dreadful curse. And then there's a museum in Australia - visitors report feeling ghostly touches on their shoulders.
Whether you're a skeptic or a believer, these creepy museum ghost stories are sure to send a chill down your spine. Who knows what you might see on your next visit?
The Cleveland Museum of Art is supposedly one of the most actively haunted museums in the United States. According to the museum's interim director, Leslie Cade, the many ghosts of the museum are "still here telling their stories and every now and then they let us know they are here."
The paintings in the west wing of the museum seem to be hotspots for paranormal activity. A little boy is sometimes seen running through the exhibits, dressed in the same clothing as one of the works in the gallery. Then there's the "man in gray," who can be seen standing in front of his own portrait - and slowly vanishing into it.
The Fremantle Arts Centre, just outside of Perth, Western Australia, is one of the most haunted museums in the Southern Hemisphere. And no wonder: the building was once an insane asylum.
For years, visitors have reported feeling a sense of unease upon entering the building. Others have felt the touch of ghostly hands - and even lips. Photographs in certain galleries reportedly change, with figures appearing and disappearing at random. Ghostly voices intoning "those are chains," and "it's not cold" have also been heard.
In 2015, Torquay Museum in Devon, England was hosting a ghost hunting event when things got creepy. A snapshot from a supposedly empty room showed the apparition of a woman, dressed in antique clothing. Even eerier, she appears to be emerging up from the floor.
She might not be the only spirit at the museum. Employees report seeing books fly off the shelves of their own accord, and spotting another female figure in blue.
When you visit the Pharmacy Museum in New Orleans, keep your eyes open - you might see the spirit of the building's former owner. The infamous Dr. Dupas was rumored to have performed horrendous experiments on pregnant slaves in the 19th century.
When the museum closes. Dr. Dupas begins his mischief. He flings books, moves the contents of display cases, and sets off the security alarm. Some staff and visitors have even seen his apparition. He appears much as he did in life, wearing a brown suit and a matching hat.