Do you believe in ghosts? Spirits? Well, every country in the world has it own spooky stories, movies and landmarks. And in this case, South Korea is no exception. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, these spookiest places in Korea are definitely giving me sinister vibes. Perhaps, if you’re on the brave side and want a little bit of a goosebump inducing thrill for your next trip to Korea, do consider visiting these scary places!
P.S. if you’re traveling around South Korea whilst searching for these spookiest places in Korea, take a look at our recommendations on halal restaurants in Seoul and Busan, you won’t be disappointed!
Korean amusements parks
You can’t come to Korea and not visit any of their amusement parks. Why? Korea is infamous for their thrilling theme parks – and there are more than five amusement parks in Seoul alone! So here are two of our favourite amusement parks in South Korea:
Lotte World Korea Haunted House
If you’re in Seoul, then you must visit Lotte World Korea Haunted House in Jamsil-Dong. Known as the largest indoor theme park, it has so much to offer: numerous rides, arcades and ice skating rink; there something for everyone.
You must check out their haunted house, it is super creepy as it shows a 3D animation movie. Though if you’re not a fan of anything horror don’t worry, there are plenty of of the rides for you to enjoy. You will not regret visiting this Seoul theme park as it’s enjoyable, you will without a doubt have an incredible time!
Operation Hours: 9:30 AM – 11:00 PM
Price: 46,000 won
Map: Songpa-gu, Seoul, https://goo.gl/maps/kbU6EMjk2Du
Everland Amusement Park
Everland is one of Korea’s first theme parks and the largest; it is also family oriented so even fun attractions are suitable for children. And their thrilling rides are a must try! Their most popular ride is the Eagle Fortress, a super speedy ride that is also Korea’s steepest ride a ride that will thrill you to your core.
Operation Hours: 10 AM – 11 PM
Price: 54,000 won
Map: Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, https://goo.gl/maps/b3DFrGoALEs
Listen to scary stories
Dark side of Seoul Evening ghost tour
Visit the haunting and taunting side of Seoul that many don’t get to see. Go on a tour and walk down the spooky alleyways of forgotten mass murders that took place decades ago. But be careful of the gwishin that is roaming around, you don’t want to be possessed now, do you?
Enjoy unique Seoul ghost tour, where your English speaking guide will lead you to the city’s most haunting sites such as a neighbourhood occupied by ghostly call girls, and a walk to the spookiest house in Seoul. Your guide will share gruesome stories of Seoul’s infamous ghosts that are so sinister, you may not be able to sleep at night. So be spooked and enjoy this Korean ghost tour as you will roam around the city with some ghostly friends.
Operation Hours: Tour begins at 8PM (1.5 hours)
Price: 35,000 won
Starting Point: Seodaemun Station, exit 5 https://goo.gl/maps/f5d1VxoceBL2
Reservations: Book with Viator
Yongin Korean Folk Village
This folk village is famed for it being a filming site for historical dramas. Once you step into Yongin, you will be transported to the Joseon era and experience the traditional life Koreans once lived. Not only that, one of Korea’s most prominent Korean ghost legends started on this village, the Virgin Ghosts, about women who died as virgins.
Yongin’s Korean Folk Village is turned into a thrilling ghostly theme park every summer that is catered to horror lovers. Many Korean youngsters come here just to have the experience of spending the night roaming the village, whilst being scared witless by actors dressed up as Gwishin (ghost).
If you are interested in visiting Yongin Village the closest station to this site is Sanggal Station. There is a guided tour available for a price of 85,000 won, where you’ll get to the sets of drama, and explore more the village. Scrumptious Korean lunch will also be provided with the opportunity of seeing traditional activities such as performances.
Tip: You should watch “Arang and the Magistrate” since it was filmed in Yongin Village; it depicts the story of one of the virgin ghosts.
Map: Yongin-si, Gyeonggi-do, https://goo.gl/maps/t2srfkKNRvK2
Abandoned places in Korea
South Korea is notoriously known for their spooky abandoned places; here are a few hair-raising places that you can visit!
Abandoned Yongma Land Amusement Park
Yongma is just one of the many old abandoned theme parks in South Korea. This unoccupied and decrepit funfair in Yongmasan has an eerie and haunting atmosphere, perhaps why it is the origin to many strange encounters such as the disembodied voice of a young girl.
Yongma Land was closed down in 2011 after a young girl who died on one of the poorly constructed rides. Her suffering spirit is said to reside within these grounds, hopelessly wandering to seek out her mother and father. Spooky right!
You can visit Yongma Land if you’re in Jungnang District; it’s about a 10 minute walk from Mangu Station. The current owner charges an entrance fee of 5000 won, with an additional 25,000 won if you want to go on the merry go round, but be careful of the young girl lurking in the shadows.
Price: 5000 won
Map: Yongmasan, Jungnang District, Seoul
If you’re visiting Busan, also check Okpo Land abandoned amusement park!
Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital in Gyeonggi-do
In the pop culture, mental hospitals are so famous for hauntings due to the associated painful encounters that occur in psychiatric wards; you often see them in movies or dramas. However, the story I’m about to tell you is a true story. Known as a hotspot for ghost hunters in Seoul, the abandoned Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital attracts many ghost-seekers to experience a truly unnerving insight into the dark past that this building bares.
Whereas once this hospital was fully operative in the 1990s, an urban legend has it that the owner was psychologically unstable and kept his patients hostage. With many mysterious deaths of patients whose families were not given a reason, the owner ran away to escape punishment, leaving the hospital to become abandoned.
Since then, locals have claimed this hospital to be the most haunted site in Korea, a place run by unstable, manic ghosts who died in “mysterious events” during their stay. The surroundings themselves make this a truly creepy hangout. It carries out many weather damage and fellow entrants’ scribbles and graffiti on the wall. Torturous looking equipment and busted furniture remain as a representation of the torment these patients must have endured.
Whether you believe in ghost stories or not, this is definitely one of the spookiest places I’ve ever been to. If you would like a closer look at Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital watch these videos, they’re super eerie!
Map: Gwangju-si, Gyeonggi-do, https://goo.gl/maps/VQVc2BC8BvC2
War devastated Yeonpyeong Island
Situated nearly exactly on the border between North and South Korea, Yeonpyeong Island has been a disputed area since the 1950s. Due to the unsettlement between the two countries, the island suffered multiple attacks such as shelling and bombing which came from North what led locals to flee to South Korea.
Yeonpyeong now has a ghostly ambiance due to many deserted buildings, most of which have been ruined by the shelling. Although there hasn’t been any ghostly sighting, people are convinced supernatural beings are hiding behind the abandoned buildings of Yeonpyeong Island.
If you would like to go see the damage that occurred in Yeonpyeong, then you can take a ferry from Yeonan Port (Incheon) to Yeonpyeong Island.
Ferry Operation Hours: Leaves at 12:30PM
Fee: 95,100 won
Map: Jung-gu, Incheon, https://goo.gl/maps/RZoYBjXXz2k
Korean Historical places with a spooky past
Visit these historical landmarks that ooze with supernatural myths.
Jeju Island’s surprising haunted past
For a place that is habitually considered to be South Korea’s heavenly island, it sure does have dark past that few people know about. So I’ll tell you why Jeju island is considered to be one of the spookiest places in Korea…
During WWII, the Korean government sent their armed forces to Jeju island in order to suppress an active communist group there. The suppression ended with the death of 60,000 people. With such history, it is not a surprise that the townspeople claim to witness hundreds of ghost sightings referring to the anguished past that this island has suffered. With Mul Gwishin (water ghost) roaming around in the beautiful sea of Jeju, are you brave enough to take a dip in the sea? Or visit Hallasan mountain caves were massacred bodies were discovered?
Did this story about Jeju’s haunted past intrigue you? If so, we recommend that you watch “Jiseul”, honoring the victims of the 1948 Jeju Massacre, and “Bedevilled”. It was filmed in Jeju island and is about two women who live in a secluded island surrounded by a vicious society.
Map: Cheju, Jeju-do, https://goo.gl/maps/ngmrzSDrYwm
Mul Gwishin of the Han River, Seoul
This very famous river in South Korea that runs through Seoul and flows out to the Yellow Sea, has a very deep-rooted history with the supernatural. Up until the early 1900s, the Han River served as a busy transport route for the locals, as well as Chinese and Japanese carriers. Reportedly, many people died after gangs hijacked the ship. From there came the story of the Mul gwishin, the spirits of the drowned who are known to be inhabiting the river till this day waiting for others to join them.
A thrilling award-winning movie “The Host” was filmed at Han River; it’s a story about a monster who kidnapped a girl and her father’s hunt to get her back. A bone-chilling movie that’s worth the watch.
If you want to add more spookiness to your day, read this true ghostly encounter below:
One morning, in February 2003, an American walking his dog along the river claims to have witnessed a Japanese ghost. He wrote:
“…it was actually over the water but not making any kind of ripple just two or three yards from the bank. At first, I couldn’t tell much about it; it looked like a small wisp of white dust, but it glowed just over the water. It started to materialize (for lack of a better word) and in disbelief, I could see what it was. It was what looked like a Japanese soldier in a battlefield uniform. I could make out his boots and his very distinctive hat, and the buttons stick in my mind. He had a rifle slung over his back and seemed to walk toward the bank. I couldn’t see much detail on his face, but he seemed to be looking for something.” – OHMYNEWS
Read this another ghostly story about Han River.
Han River, surrounded by the striking bright lights of the city, is a legendary location that is worth a visit just so that you can evaluate the real truth hidden behind the stunning and ghostly Han River.
To get to Han River, take the 3462 bus from Gangnam-gu office, then get off at Hotel Prima. From there, it’s a 15 minute walk to your destination.
Map: Seongdong-gu, Seoul, https://goo.gl/maps/6oGH2k9MXmD2
The Independence Gate, Seoul
This gate was built after the first Sino-Japanese war in 1894, a war that saw Japan and China fight over Korea. It was built as a relic to represent Korea’s independence and still stands today as a symbol for liberty.
Doesn’t seem too bad right? Wrong, here is where things start to get a little spooky! For many years, a rumor was spread claiming that goblins and other vindictive ghosts assailed travelers who were passing by and cut off the topknot on their heads! Whether this is true or simply a well-constructed myth, the Independence Gate definitely carries an intriguing and captivating past that is very mysterious!
Map: Seodaemun-gu, Seoul, https://goo.gl/maps/6WaXLS1TUMt
Another thing that Korea is well-known for is their Korean horror movies, TV shows, webtoons and books, especially the spooky genre. Here are some that are definitely worth the attention.
“The Wailing” movie is named after the county of where it was filmed – Gokseong in Jeolla Province. It can be argued that this is perhaps one of the best Korean horror movies and a must watch. “The Wailing” is an award-winning thriller that is about an investigator who is on the hunt for a perpetrator after a series of mysterious murders in a village .
So, grab your popcorn and watch this movie, it is suspenseful and yes, there will be times where you’ll be covering your eyes, but it’s totally worth it.
The Master’s Sun
Filmed in the same district as Gonjiam Psychiatric Hospital, “The Master’s Sun” is a horror comedy drama about a self-absorbed CEO who meets a dejected women who started seeing ghosts after an accident. They team up and begin working together the get rid of the ghosts that have infiltrated the CEO’s shopping mall. This drama will most definitely make you laugh but also jump. It has the perfect example balance of comedy and horror, making it a noteworthy ghost Korean drama to watch with your friends.
Bongcheon Dong Ghost
Supposedly based on a true story that took place in Gwanak District, Seoul. “Bongcheon Dong Ghost” is a popular horror webtoon is about a high-school girl who is walking home alone at night meets an unusual woman on her way home, and then everything changes. Doesn’t that sound creepy, right?
From Yongma Land to Lotte World, it can be said that South Korea is full of spooky places that play host to some gwishin. There are so many more stories and paranormal encounters that have occurred and are still happening in South Korea, but we hope that these spooky places, movies and entertainment made the hairs on your body stand up.
Are you looking forward to visiting these spookiest places in Korea?
If you get peckish whilst your ghost hunting, we have a list of scrumptious and satisfying halal Korean dishes that are definitely worth the try. And when you’re traveling in South Korea, check out our recommendations on halal restaurants in Seoul and Busan.
Let us know which spooky places you’d be interested in visiting in the comment section below.
If you’re visiting South Korea and need to book a Muslim-friendly hotel, visit our South Korea country guide for Muslim travelers that also has a Qibla map and a prayer time calendar so you don’t miss your prayer.