Knowing history of the real world helps so much with your world building. Looking at pictures of actual place gives you ideas for your settings. 

I love looking up haunted mansions and reading about the ghosts. They’ve inspired the building in my world. Some of the stories behind these haunted places are more interesting than some novels I’ve read. Also, let’s say, you have some supernatural element in your story. Reading about “real” hauntings help you create a chilling atmosphere. You can’t just rely on movies. 

One thing I ran into while making my world map was architectural style. It never occurred to me until then, but mansions and castles are defined by a stylistic period i.e. buildings from the same style period will have similar characteristics. Gothic buildings have high pointed arches and flying buttress. 
For my village map, I had to keep in mind that the buildings needed to have similar characteristics or explain, in the story, why they didn’t. 

Last week, i09 put together this amazing list of haunted mansions and castles complete with pictures and the story behind the hauntings. This is the largest list of castles and mansions I’ve come across so far. The pictures are awesome. This article is a good starting point for more in depth research. World building aside, I just like a good ghost story and looking at historic buildings.

“Raynham Hall, built in the 1630s, Norfolk, Great Britain

The sister of Robert Walpole, the first Prime Minister of Great Britain was the second wife of a British Whig statesman named Charles Townshend, who was famous for his violent temper. When Townshend discovered that his wife had cheated him with Lord Wharton he locked the Lady to her rooms. She remained there until her death in 1726. Her ghost was first observed in 1835, and the famous photograph was taken by Captain Hubert C. Provand in 1936.”

Read more atWonderful Castles and Mansions That Are Haunted by Tragic Ghosts

One day, I’m going to visit all those places.  


Unknown · September 23, 2013 at 10:34 pm

I agree. The world is full of interesting places and "haunted" places. There's lots of mysteries surrounding some building and locations. For writers, that means a wealth of ideas and possibilities for plots.

One of the places in the good old USA that I find fascinating is New Orleans: the French Quarter and the more ritzy Garden District. In the Garden District, I could almost see vampires; in the French Quarter, I felt as if I were stepping back in time–ghosts were real possibilities.

    Auden Johnson · September 24, 2013 at 6:42 pm

    I so want to go to New Orleans just for that reason! I've heard so many times about how haunted that city is.

Unknown · September 24, 2013 at 1:32 pm

We just got back from a night in Savannah, GA. If you love mansions and hauntings, you might take a trip there. The old houses are so beautiful, but once you take the tours in the historic district, you'll be amazed at how much of it comes home with you. This was my third trip and I hear of new haunted tales each time I visit.

That first photo is amazing. Love it.

    Auden Johnson · September 24, 2013 at 6:44 pm

    Hope you had an amazing time! That might be another place I have to check out.

William Kendall · September 24, 2013 at 7:43 pm

I'm pretty sure I've heard the Raynham Hall story.

There's always time for a good ghost story!

Kelly Hashway · September 25, 2013 at 1:07 am

I'm too chicken to visit places that are haunted, but I do love reading ghost stories. I'm reading one now. 🙂

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