By Alison Fox
October 25, 2019

A trip to Asia is a far-flung event with ancient temples, diverse cuisines, and colorful traditions. But there’s also a darker side to experience, one with tales of ghosts and creepy things that go bump in the night.

From a former war prison with a rumored roaming resident to a haunted fort in India where you are forbidden to go at night, there are plenty of places in Asia to go searching for the eerie.

Next time you’re in Beijing, take a second look at the Forbidden City, an unbelievably popular tourist attraction that is typically closed — to the living, at least — at night, or head to some of these other spots (at your own risk). Because along with Asia’s rich history is a more sinister past that, if you ask some people, is still alive and well today. 

These are some of Asia’s most haunted spots. Are you brave enough to add them to your next itinerary?

Bhangarh Fort, India

This impressive 17th century fort, located in Rajasthan, India, was once home to royalty, but now it is one of the most haunted places in the country. Bhangarh Fort was built in 1631, complete with temples and a palace, before it was suddenly and mysteriously abandoned. There are several stories used to explain why people left this once-great fort. One legend says that someone placed a curse upon the fort because it was casting a shadow over their home, and another attributes its ruin to a love potion gone wrong. Whatever the cause, visitors are no longer allowed in after dark, but you can visit during daylight hours — if you dare.

Lawang Sewu, Indonesia

This building has a storied history; it was built in the early 1900s as an outpost for the Dutch East Indies Railway Company before it was taken over by Japanese soldiers and used as a prison during World War II. Later, it was the site of a bloody altercation between Dutch and Indonesian forces.  While it’s certainly a hotbed for ghosts in general, it’s one ghost in particular that gets people’s attention: a young Dutch woman who died by suicide is said to roam the property.

The Forbidden City, China

The Forbidden City has been the home of Chinese emperors for five centuries, and it is one of the most popular places for tourists to visit in Beijing. The palace complex is typically closed to the public at night —  adding to its spooky allure (because ghosts only come out after dark, of course!). One of the most popular legends is that of a ghostly woman in white who can be heard crying inside the palace. Reports of this specific ghost date back to the 1940s. 

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