10 Haunted Islands That Will Creep You Out

Islands tend to conjure up images of sunny escapes, but what if some of them also have a dark side? Here are the scariest, spookiest and irrefutably creepiest spots on 10 haunted islands.
Dunvegan Castle
Dunvegan Castle, located on the Isle of Skye in Scotland, is rumored to be haunted by ghosts. Shutterstock

It’s that time of year when everything creepy is cool, scary tales go viral and the more haunted a hotel or house is the better. But think about this: If that spooky place overrun by the spirits of the not-so-dearly departed is on an island — and you’re surrounded by miles and miles of water — where you gonna go, who you gonna call? So if you love a good fright, consider a visit to these 10 haunted islands, where it doesn’t have to be Halloween for ghosts to taunt you.

Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo


If seeing a ghost isn’t scary enough, how about seeing the decaying corpses of real people — thousands of them? You can on Sicily, where the Capuchin Catacombs of Palermo touts itself as “the place where the living meet the dead.” Its passageways are lined with of skulls and bones as well as 45 naturally mummified intact bodies. And then there’s the eerily serene face of two-year-old Rosalia Lombardo, who rests in a glass coffin after being so well embalmed in 1920 that she appears to be sleeping. Sweet dreams? Maybe for her, but not for you! Shutterstock
key west ghost tour

Key West

“Fright-seeing” is big business in Key West, where a half dozen ghost tours recount some pretty macabre stuff, including a creepy turn-of-the-19th-century doll named Robert on display in Fort East Martello and Captain Tony’s Saloon, located in a building that once housed a morgue (skeletons where found under the floorboards during a renovation) and is adjacent to a hanging tree (a woman in a blue dress who was hung there is said to appear from time to time). Even Earnest Hemingway’s legendary Key West home is reportedly haunted — by both him and his second wife, Pauline, along with a black-and-white cat that guards the estate’s cat graveyard. Shutterstock
historic St. George
Bermuda is beautiful — perhaps hauntingly so. Ground zero for spookiness is historic St. George, a 400-year-old town with a reputation for hosting ghosts, including the last woman to be tried for witchcraft in Bermuda and Captain George Dew, who reportedly plays a harpsichord at the Old Rectory B&B. Other spirited apparitions around the 21-square-mile island: Hugh Gray, a hotelier who met a mysterious demise in 1920 and is said to walk the pink-sand beaches of Bermuda’s western end, and Laura Cox, who irately haunts the Orange Valley Road house where she died in 1861. Shutterstock
ghost tours of catalina

Santa Catalina

There are said to be so many ghosts on this island 20 miles off the coast of Los Angeles that those who dabble in the supernatural claim it’s an energy portal that draws spirits back here. Ghost Tours of Catalina details all the creepy occurrences on this island that’s otherwise pretty much a paradise. The Art Deco-style Catalina Casino is reportedly haunted by a worker who died during its construction (he’s been seen in the men’s rest room) and an elderly woman in a white robe (she appears in the mezzanine-level women’s restroom). Western author Zane Grey’s ghost has been spotted walking the streets of Avalon. And the spirit of actress Natalie Wood, who drowned just offshore, is said to roam a beach in Two Harbors. Shutterstock
haunted oahu
Night Marchers — the name alone is enough to scare the aloha out of you. Legend has it that they’re the spirits of ancient Hawaiian warriors who walk the streets carrying torches (whatever you do, don’t look at them!). Factor in the Choking Ghost of Waikiki, who attacks as you sleep, and you might be convinced that Oahu has a seriously devilish side. Even the Hilton Hawaiian Village is said to be haunted by a young woman in a red dress. Shutterstock
Rose Hall Great House


One of Jamaica’s ghosts is so celebrated she has a Montego Bay golf course and a 1973 Johnny Cash song named after her. Annie Palmer, known as the White Witch of Rose Hall, is an island legend — she’s said to have been a cruel early 19th-century plantation owner who tortured her slaves and murdered her three husbands — and nighttime ghost tours of the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay are popular. Whether Annie was real and now haunts the mansion is up for debate (spoiler: she was real, but the legend perhaps not so much), yet creepy occurrences have been reported. Shutterstock


This island in the the Venetian lagoon is said to be the most haunted island in the world — and while you can’t visit it (unless you trespass like some YouTube posters have), you can enjoy an unsettling boat ride around it as a guide spins macabre tales of tragedy, suffering and death. That’s because Poveglia is thought to be home to the decaying bones of more than 160,000 plague-infected and mentally tortured souls who were confined here over many centuries. Shutterstock
Eden Brown Estate
Known for its mellow vibe and mischievous green vervet monkeys, Nevis is a 35-square-mile tropical Eden, except at the Eden Brown Estate where a tragic turn of events at a wedding almost 200 years ago has purportedly cursed the property ever since. Details vary among locals who perpetuate the tale, but a dispute between the groom and his best man resulted in a duel to the death — of either the groom or both men. The distraught bride-to-be is said to haunt the abandoned sugar plantation, now in ruins. Shutterstock

Related: 3 Ghost Tours in the Caribbean

Dunvegan Castle

Isle of Skye

So it seems the spirits on this Scottish island go way beyond single-malt whiskies! Skye is home to Dunvegan Castle, where friendly music-loving ghosts perform melodies in a room with no musical instruments and play bagpipes in the south tower. And the ruins of Duntulm Castle are reportedly home to four ghosts, including Hugh MacDonald whose tortured spirit haunts the dungeon where he starved to death and a housemaid who accidentally dropped a clan chief’s son out of a window and still cries in anguish. Shutterstock
Port Arthur Historic Site
This Australian island’s tortured history — it was a brutal 19th-century British penal colony — has created lots of creepy lore. Visitors can hunt for apparitions in the prison cells and autopsy room at Port Arthur Historic Site, where 1,000 inmates died over a 47-year period and nighttime ghost tours are full of frightful details, or wander the historic streets of Battery Point in Hobart and the dark alleyways of Launceston where ghosts are said to roam. And then there’s the island’s resident Tasmanian Devils, whose screams are enough to give anyone nightmares. Shutterstock

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