Make no mistake: being cooped up is a struggle. Sometimes it can be a challenge to keep your hopes up—especially when you know a world of chilling wonders and thrilling terror awaits you. So if you’ve got a hankering for some eerie adventures, then we’ve got a solution for you that doesn’t require your leaving the safety and comfort of your house. Dim the lights and prepare to go on one frightening virtual journey. From Philadelphia's Mutter Museum to the catacombs of Paris, here are 10 creepy virtual tours of some of the most haunting places from around the world!
If you’ve got a taste for the morbid, then The College of Physicians of Pennsylvania’s Mütter Museum in Philadelphia is a must-see. One of America’s best collections of medical history, this museum contains models, anatomical specimens, and medical instruments. Encompassing the history of the medical sciences as well as the mysteries of the human body, the contents of this collection are as eerie as they are educational. The video tour of this incredible site includes remarkable exhibits such as Dr. Joseph Hyrtl’s human skull collection, the Soap Lady, and Albert Einstein’s brain.
On April 26th, 1986 near the Ukrainian city of Pripyat, a nuclear accident occurred at the No. 4 reactor in the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. During a planned safety test, unstable conditions resulted in an uncontrolled nuclear reaction. A large amount of energy was abruptly released alongside an explosion, and for a period of 9 days, radioactive contamination flooded the area. In an effort to manage casualties, upwards of 100,000 people were evacuated from a 19-mile exclusion zone.
This event is regarded as the worst nuclear disaster in history. Though only 2 people died in the initial explosion, roughly 40 members of station staff and emergency responders passed away from radiation-related complications within the next decade. Cancer rates were shown to have increased in the nearby population as well.
In this video tour from Frontline, take a walk through the ghost town bearing the shadows of sudden tragedy.
In Spring City, Pennsylvania sits what remains of Pennhurst Asylum, a building that formerly housed the mentally and physically disabled residents of the region. The asylum began taking in patients in 1908. Behind its doors, however, tragedy ensued. For 79 years, many Pennhurst patients suffered neglect, abuse, and brutalization. The site was finally shuttered in 1987. It’s said that to this day severe paranormal activity lingers in the halls.
Today, the site is open for tours. Curious to explore the haunted and hallowed grounds yourself? Check out this 360 video tour, courtesy of Destination America.
Catacombs of Paris
You think graveyard tours are a fun and spooky activity? You ain’t seen nothing, yet.
In the late 18th century, Paris’s cemeteries were tied to rampant health problems. As a result, the city made a decision to relocate the dead to an underground location—the labyrinthine Tombe-Issoire quarries beneath the plain of Montrouge. From 1785 to 1860, the bones from graves, tombs, and charnel houses were moved to the catacombs. Public viewings began as early as 1809.
Touring the catacombs today is a profoundly unnerving experience. As visitors maneuver through the claustrophobic maze-like halls some 60 feet underground, they encounter actual human remains. While sharing space with millions of dead Parisians, visitors also discover incredible architecture and a chilling look at history. In this virtual tour, interactive slides allow you to take a 360-degree look at the halls, getting up close and personal to the catacombs' eternal residents.
Winchester Mystery House
This architectural marvel sits in San Jose, California, and was once the home to Sarah Lockwood Pardee Winchester, the heiress to Winchester Repeating Arms fortune. Construction on what started out as a humble 8-room farmhouse began in 1886, not long after the tragic passing of both Sarah’s infant daughter and husband. It’s said that the remodeling and additions to the home never stopped until Sarah’s death in 1922. Today. the enigmatic estate covers 24,000 square feet and boasts 160 rooms.
No one truly knows what compelled Sarah to build a maze-like home full of dead ends, decoy rooms, and “13” motifs. Some say it was depression and pure eccentricity. Others say she operated under the orders of a psychic. Others still say she was inspired by ghosts of the Old West, all those restless souls gunned down by Winchester weapons. Whatever the reason, many are convinced the Winchester Mansion crackles with paranormal activity to this day.
For just $8.99, you can take an independent and immersive virtual tour of each floor of the bizarre abode. Explore rooms off-limits to in-person visitors, and glimpse the wonders of this haunted home from every angle. You can also rent or buy a video tour by clicking here. All proceeds support the Winchester Mystery House, ensuring that it will remain open to future visitors.
During the Civil War, Union forces used Fort Delaware as a prison for captured Southern foes. Roughly 33,000 Confederate inmates were held within the structure, under conditions described in one historical letter as “hopeless and gloomy.” An estimated 2,500 prisoners died under Union custody here. Little surprise, then that reports of paranormal activity haunt Fort Delaware to this day. In this haunting 360 video tour, glimpse the halls darkened by the shadowy spirits of the past.
The Sedlec Ossuary—otherwise known as the “Bone Church”—is a Roman Catholic chapel beneath the Cemetery Church of All Saints in the Czech Republic. The remains of between 40,000 and 70,000 humans are housed in the ossuary, many of which are arranged in decorative fashion. Notable pieces include the enormous chandelier of bones, monstrances, and a coat of arms. Glimpse all the chilling wonders the ossuary has to offer in this 360 tour.
St. Pancras New Church — The Crypt Gallery
From 1822 to 1854, the crypt of St. Pancras Parish Church was used for coffin burials. The remains of some 550 souls rest within the structure today. However, the interesting history of the crypt doesn’t end there. In fact, it was used as a shelter during air raids in both World Wars. More interesting still, as of 2002, art exhibitions are displayed throughout the crypt, offering a one-of-a-kind backdrop for for 21st century works.
Thanks to the Crypt Gallery’s partnership with Google Streetview, you can take a 3D tour of the crypt now.
Eastern State Penitentiary
Eastern State Penitentiary is best known for housing the likes of Al Capone and “Slick Willie” Sutton. Within the foreboding architecture, guards carried out strict disciplinary techniques. These harsh methods were meant to inspire true regrets and reform—but in the end, it may have just cursed the halls with the dark presence of its former inmates. Reports say that the crumbling institution is haunted by ominous voices, shadowy figures, and ghostly faces.
For a chilling look inside this historic Philadelphia, Pennsylvania prison, take a look at the site's in-depth 3D Google Maps tour.
Preston Castle is an old reform school located in Ione, California, notable for housing such wayward boys as country singer Merle Haggard and bank robber Joseph Paul Cretzer. This juvenile correctional facility was run in a military fashion, with wards splitting their time between school and a practical trade to focus on upon release. The castle was closed in the 1960s, where it sat abandoned for 40 years. It’s long been said that this landmark is haunted—by the ghost of its deceased wards, as well as the spirit of Anna Corbin, a housekeeper who was beaten to death in the ‘50s.
Take the 360 video tour of the castle courtesy of Destination America.
Featured photo: Matthew Thompson (all rights reserved)