There world's a big place, home to a plethora of bizarre and terrifying haunted sites. From the locations of strange tragedies to cities designed specifically for ghosts, the places on this list will take you on a complete journey through haunted Asia. Some of these haunted spots in Asia will intrigue you, others will have you slowly backing away, screaming.
With a rich and diverse cultural history and thousands of years of myth, folklore, history, and religion to draw on, it's no surprise everything from urban legends to ancient ghost stories thrive in Asia. Of course the content with the largest land mass and population base in the world is home to a panoply of spectral haunts. There are countless haunted places in Asia, and ghost sightings in Asia date back thousands of years.
These haunted Asian places run the gamut from areas left haunted by the horrors of war to sites marred by black magic and blood thirsty ghosts. In some of these spots, the government has taken steps to stop people from entering after dark, as it is rumored those who do never survive. Hold your teddy bear tight, things are about to get spooky.
Gonjiam psychiatric hospital in Gwangju, South Korea is one of the most haunted places in the country. According to legend, numerous mysterious patient and staff deaths caused the hospital's sudden closure in the 1990s. The families of the deceased demanded explanations, and none were given. It's said the disturbed spirits of the dead wander the abandoned facility.
The site is home to all manner of paranormal activity, and visitors to the creepy, disused mental hospital have reportedly been seen running screaming from the building. The spirits therein are violent; some claim to have been scratched so deeply they bled by unknown, unseen entities. Disembodied whispers, moans, and screams echo through the halls of Gonjiam.
Okinawa, a Japanese island in the East China Sea, was the site of an 82-day battle in World War II, during which at least 100,000 people lost their lives (some accounts put the number as high as 200,000). When Americans invaded the island, civilians hid in caves, including Chibichiri, terrified from years of propaganda teaching them American soldiers would rape, torture, and murder any Japanese civilians they found. When Americans arrived at the mouth of they cave, they threw in pamphlets, in Japanese, detailing ways in which Americans would treat them well.
No one believed them. An 18-year-old girl shouted "Mommy, kill me! Don't let them rape me!" Her mother obliged, setting off a wave of parents killing children, or people killing themselves. In the end, 83 people died in the cave.
The bones of children can still be found in Chibichiri. For a while, the site was open to the public, though now only the entrance is accessible. Locals protested tourists trudging about gawking at the bones of their relatives. In other caves on the island, Japanese soldiers killed themselves, a preferable alternative to being captured. Chibichiri was included on CNN's "10 Scariest Places in Asia," and Okinawa is considered one of the most haunted islands in the world.
Kurseong is a town near famous hill station Darjeeling in northeast India, nestled between the borders of Nepal, Bhutan, and Bangladesh. It's bucolic, a well known tourist destination, and infamously haunted. To quote Indian writer Vargis Khan:
It seems that this entire hill-station is more or less a ghost town. A haunted building, a haunted road, mysterious forests, sinister treks, a headless corpse, the ghost of a woman running after people, whispers in the wind, red eyes in the dark, screams of women, mysterious deaths, you name it and Kurseong has got it.
Some of these ghostly phenomena are connected. A haunted Victorian school, from which moans, voices, and laughter can be heard when the school is closed for vacation, backs onto Dow Hill, a haunted forest in which, supposedly, numerous murders and suicides have taken place.
Penang War Museum, on Penang Island, Malayasia sits on a site known to locals as Bukit Hantu, or "Ghost Hill." Even before the horrors of World War II, the area was known for its supernatural residents. As the world marched to war in the 1930s, British colonists in Malaysia built a fortress on Ghost Hill, which quickly fell to the Japanese. The fortress became an prison camp, where hundreds were tortured and executed by Japanese forces.
According to eyewitness accounts, the camp was run by sadistic Japanese officer Tadashi Suzuki, known as the "hippy executioner" on account of his unusually long hair. Suzuki beheaded prisoners and ordered their heads paraded around town as a warning. Others were locked in small wooden crates and left to bake in the jungle sun without water.
Rooms in the museum have walls pocked with bullet holes, a byproduct of bloody executions. There's also a hangman's noose and a tree labeled "guillotine," the base of which was supposedly Suzuki's favorite spot for decapitations. It's said the ghosts of many of those the Japanese murdered still walk the museum grounds.