• The most popular haunted location in the world is Salem, Massachusetts due to its notorious witchy history with 2,310,697 Instagram hashtags
  • The second spookiest place is Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, USA with 1,257,152 hashtags
  • The Tower of London ranks third with 594,336 hashtags – unsurprising with its horrifying-headless history!
  • Nine out of the twenty most popular ghostly locations are in the USA, making it the world’s favourite haunted country

When it comes to ghost stories, most of us remain skeptical. However, from rumored paranormal sightings, to prolific execution sites, even the bravest of souls would not dare to stay in some of the world’s scariest places.

With the spooky season upon us, OnBuy’s Fancy Dress Department was intrigued to uncover which are the most Instagrammed haunted locations around the world.

The Top Five Haunted Places Around The World

The world’s most popular haunted place which certainly has us under its spell is Salem in Massachusetts, USA with an incredible 2,310,697 hashtags. This location is famous for the notorious witch trials in 1692. In addition to the town’s horrifying history, popular films, and TV shows such as Hocus Pocus, Bewitched, and Mass Hysteria chose Salem as filming locations! It is no wonder that this small town outside of Boston attracts people from all over the world.

Salem Most Haunted for Halloween

Salem-Photo -credit Georgios Antonatos

OnBuy’s Costume Department can reveal that Alcatraz Island in San Francisco, USA is in second place with 1,257,152 hashtags. The prison is known to have held famous criminals such as Al Capone and “Whitey Bulger”. Alcatraz Island is said to be impossible to escape from, yet John Anglin, Clarence Anglin, and Frank Morris managed to break free –  it
is unlikely however that they survived due to the cold water temperature and strong waves surrounding the prison. Nowadays, you can tour Alcatraz Island accompanied by audio of real-life accounts from former prison guards. (featured image Alcatraz Island – Photo Credit Nickolay Stanev)

Instagrammed haunted locations around the world.

Haunted Places Around The World Number of 

Instagram #s

1 Salem, Massachusetts, USA 2,310,697
2 Alcatraz Island, San Francisco, USA 1,257,152
3 Tower of London, England, UK 594,336
4 Edinburgh Castle, Scotland, UK 563,159
5 Eastern State Penitentiary, Philadelphia, USA 79,474
6 Stanley Hotel, Colorado, USA 69,095
7 Bhangarh Fort, India 51,166
8 Lawang Sewu, Semarang, Indonesia 49,936
9 Winchester Mystery House, San Jose, USA 37,273
10 The Forbidden City, Beijing, China 33,082
11 Catacombs of Paris, France 26,606
12 Hill of Crosses, Lithuania 18,889
13 Whaley House, San Diego, USA 15,656
14 St. Augustine Lighthouse, Florida, USA 15,652
15 Crescent Hotel, Arkansas, USA 11,879
16 Oriental Theatre, Chicago, USA 8,727
17 Crumlin Road Gaol, Belfast, Northern Ireland 8,360
18 Castle of Good Hope, Cape Town, South Africa 7,165
19 Dragsholm Slot, Denmark 6,769
20 Isla de las Muñecas, Mexico 6,566


"Tower of London"


Creeping into third place is The Tower of London with an impressive head count of 594,336 hashtags. The building has seen the beheading of Anne Boleyn, the imprisonment of Guy Fawkes and the alleged murders of the Princes in the Tower. This ghoulishly historic tower is now one of London’s most significant tourist sites and is available to visit by the public. 

"Edinburgh Castle in Scotland"

Edinburgh Castle in Scotland – Photo Credit Colin Dewar

Another spine-chilling UK site, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland takes fourth place. The castle boasts 563,159 hashtags and is a popular location for visitors due to its immense beauty. Built in the Iron Age, the castle has endured numerous sieges and has held many pirates and prisoners of war captive over the centuries. As well as its extensive past, the castle is known for its paranormal activities with dungeon prisoners rumoured to roam the grounds. 

"Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia:

Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia – Photo credit: o1pok12

In fifth place is the prison which changed the world, the Eastern State Penitentiary in Philadelphia, USA with 79,474 hashtags. As America’s first prison (1829-1971), the history is felt within the eerie corridors. It is said that there were over 50 suicides and more than a dozen murders within its walls.

Cas Paton, Managing Director of OnBuy.com commented: 

“With the Halloween season fast approaching, we’re all scanning the internet for festive inspiration.  From spooky costumes to blood-curdling household decorations, there are so many ways to create a spectral atmosphere in the house and office. However, the season is so much more than black hats and zombified faces. It provides pumpkin carving activities, palpitation-worthy films, and of course real-life history of some of the world’s terrifying locations. These spine-tingling buildings and towns are a certified way to start the scary festivities with a sorcery bang”.

Photos supplied by guest author are from Shutterstock