Let’s face it: your office is probably not your favorite place in the world. Your desk is cluttered with papers you’ve been meaning to sort through, and there’s that one guy on the floor who always talks way too loud. But some workplaces around the world can be scarier than your inbox after a long vacation. If you worked in one of the 10 buildings listed below, a late night at work might end with a paranormal sighting.
Banff Springs Hotel, Alberta, Canada
Built in 1888, the Banff Springs Hotel housed plenty of famous guests, including Marilyn Monroe and Queen Elizabeth II. There are numerous ghost stories that abound in the operating hotel, particularly around the now sealed-off room 873. Guests who have stayed in the room reported being woken up by violent shrieks, and housekeepers sent to clean the room said they found bloody fingerprints in the bathroom mirror that could not be removed. Another common sighting include a phantom bride whose wedding was supposed to be in the hotel; she’s been spotted dancing alone late at night in the ballroom. Guests staying at the hotel might come across a very helpful elderly Scottish bellman in a dated uniform — Sam McCauley was a beloved bellman who died in the late 1970’s, but still welcomes guests.
Australian College of Wine (formerly the Aradale Lunatic Asylum), Victoria, Australia
Constructed in 1864, the Aradale Lunatic Asylum was Australia’s largest mental hospital. — comprising 60 buildings spreading across 100 acres. In its 130-year history, it’s estimated that over 13,000 people died in the hospital. The facility closed in 1998, but, the Northern Melbourne Institute of Technical and Further Education reopened it three years later as the Australian College of Wine. Despite no longer being used for the original purpose, spirits reportedly still haunt the campus and haunted tours occur frequently, particularly in the morgue. Wait — why is there still a morgue?
The Bullocks Wilshire Building, Los Angeles, California
Now a Southwest Law School building, this was originally a grand department store. The Art Deco building was built in 1929, and the store was frequented by some of the most famous people in the world, including Walt Disney, John Wayne, Alfred Hitchcock, and Clark Gable. You may recognize the roof from the ending of the original Ghostbusters film. In addition to the usual unexplained voices, footsteps, and lights flickering, this building has an added creep factor: secret passageways that lead from the building’s namesake, Mr. Bullock’s, penthouse. During a remodel of the building for its current use as a law library, several construction workers quit due to unexplained phenomena.
McMenamin’s White Eagle Saloon, Portland, Oregon
Originally, this saloon and hotel was opened in 1905 as a respectable establishment to serve the area’s Polish working population that lived in the (at the time) residential area. But as the surrounding area quickly industrialized, the White Eagle Saloon changed as well, catering to a rougher crowd. Today the Saloon is a haven for rock-and-roll enthusiasts — and for those in search of the paranormal. People have reported seeing coins fall from the ceiling or appear on the ground seemingly out of thin air. Chairs move by themselves, toilet paper in the ladies’ room flies around on its own accord, and an entity can be seen walking from the bar to the men’s bathroom.
Sunshine 60, Ikebukoro, Japan
This 60-foot skyscraper was the tallest building in Japan until 1991 — but it still holds the title of the most haunted skyscraper in the country. The tower was built on the ground that once housed Japan’s most infamous Sugamo Prison, constructed to hold political prisoners, including anarchists and communists. During World War II, the tower was overtaken by Allied forces and used to hold prisoners of war. In constructing the new skyscraper in 1971, city planners even chose the name Sunshine 60 to give the tower a cheerier feel, despite a bleak history. But construction was rife with setbacks and freak accidents, and this general eeriness didn’t go away once the skyscraper was completed. Maintenance workers tasked with cleaning up at night have reported hearing strange laughter, whispers, and chanting. Even during the daytime, people report inexplicable gusts of frigid cold, or suddenly tripping and falling when nothing was in the way.
Los Angeles City Hall, California
Security guards report a couple haunted floors in this government building, but two in particular are especially creepy. The 27th floor features paintings of all former Mayors of Los Angeles, but a particular painting in a back hallway is especially eerie, as a man portrayed seemingly watches you as you walk by. The second floor is made entirely of marble and is said to feature noises coming from all directions. A potential explanation? Rumor has it that the City Hall building previously housed a morgue.
Empire State Building, New York
The Empire State Building features 102 floors, 1,000 businesses, 21,000 employees, and one very famous ghost. A pretty young woman in old-fashioned 1940s-style clothing is often seen on the observation deck of the 86th floor. Some witnesses even attest that the ghost talked to them, expressing sadness and dismay.
Harpo Studios, Chicago, Illinois
You get a ghost sighting! And you get a ghost sighting! This space was made most famous for being the studio for the Oprah Winfrey Show, but the history of the building has a dark past. In 1915, the Western Electric Company chartered four ships to take employees and their families to the annual company picnic. However, one of the ships had a history of balance problems, and capsized. In order to prevent thieves from stealing from the pockets of the deceased, the city set up a makeshift morgue in the building that would later become Harpo Studios. A memorial plaque marks the spot of the tragedy, but that hasn’t stopped ghosts from haunting the studio. Disembodied sobs and phantom old-time music are commonplace.
The Kentucky State Office Building, Frankfort, Kentucky
Known for being one of the most haunted spots in the whole state of Kentucky, this office building was originally built as a Kentucky State Penitentiary in 1798. However, overcrowding and severe flooding damage led to the building being decommissioned as a prison by the mid-1930s. Those currently working in the building believe some of the former inmates haven’t left, including one particular ghost who seems to enjoy running the copy machine late at night. Unexplained activity picked up during a big renovation from 2005-2007, with construction workers reporting being grabbed by unseen hands and at least one person who claimed to have been shoved down the stairs.
The Princess Theatre, Melbourne, Australia
This iconic theatre was opened in 1857 and remains the oldest entertainment site in Australia. However, for many years the theatre always left a single seat open in the dress circle on opening night of new productions — so the theatre’s friendly ghost, Frederici, could get a good seat. Frederici Baker was an Italian baritone singer who died on stage in 1988 due to a heart attack after falling through a faulty trap door. Actors performing at the Princess Theatre today actually consider Frederici sightings to be good luck and he’s called the most friendly ghost in the world.