With the autumn just around the corner, now is the perfect time to consider visiting some of the most haunted places in Europe. Some of these places are surrounded by mystery with scary legends that pass onto generations. Others are much newer but have a rather tragic past. But whether these places are from the 8th or 20th century, they all have one thing in common. The interesting, mysterious history and the unexplainable things that happened there. Even if you’re skeptical, by visiting one of these destinations you’ll get a glimpse into their (more than) interesting history. Mystery is always around the corner in pretty much any European country. You just need to know where to look. With that being said, turn of the lights, get under your cover and prepare to get familiar with some of the creepiest and most mysterious places in Europe.
Hell Fire Club, Ireland
The Hell Fire in Dublin was built as a hunting lodge where Dublin elites used to gather in the 1700s. The ruins of the club are located on the top of Montpellier Hill, overlooking the adjacent Massy Woods. There have been numerous stories about black masses, animal, and even human sacrifice rituals happening in the Hell Fire Club but that’s not all.
Multiple witnesses claim to have seen a satanic-like creature with a human appearance and cloven feet. Another common “visitor” is the ghost of a young lady who is believed to have been burned inside a barrel and rolled down the hill.
Raynham Hall, England
What appears to be a gorgeous country house in Norfolk is actually one of the spookiest places in England. The hall is a home to the mysterious Brown Lady, rumored to be Lady Dorothy Walpole, who died more than 300 years ago. Ever since her shadowy figure in a brown dress has been haunting everyone who dared to step into the Raynham Hall. One of them was even the King, George IV who stayed here in the 19th century. According to witnesses, he was seen leaving the house saying “I will not pass another hour in this accursed house.”
Ancient Ram Inn, England
The Ram Inn is one of the oldest B&B in the western world. According to multiple sources, this structure was used as a pagan burial ground in the past. Several historical books also claim that devil worship and child sacrificing rituals took place in the Ancient Ram Inn. This place is supposedly haunted by more than 20 spirits, including a murdered little girl named Rosie, a high priest, and a real incubus (a male sex demon).
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Built in the 12th century, this is one of the most impressive but also most haunted places in Scotland. Many people reported suspicions of paranormal activities throughout the year, featuring music echoing in the halls (even though there aren’t any instruments in the castle), doors and windows opening and closing on their own, and strange voices whispering in the night. In 2001, the castle was the site of one of the biggest paranormal investigations in human history. The results, however, were never shared with the public.
The Haunted Vicarage of Borgvattnet, Sweden
This old vicarage in the small village of Borgvattnet is one of the scariest places in Sweden. Several vicars that used to live here over the years experienced a lot of strange, mysterious activities. The first recorded incident of a paranormal activity happened in 1927 when the vicar Nils Hedlund noticed an unseen force tearing his clothes apart from the line in the yard. Other vicars also reported paranormal activities in the following years. More recently, one visitor that stayed in the guestroom claims she woke up in the middle of the night feeling that someone was watching her and saw three ghostly figures of women crying on the sofa.
Akershus Festning, Norway
This castle is one of Norway’s most important medieval monuments but is also the most haunted place in the country. The complex includes 67 buildings but only one of them is haunted, according to stories. The most famous stories related to the castle feature Malcanisen, the ghost of the dog that used to protect the castle and the ghost of a no-faced woman named Mantelgeisten that emerges from darkness into a full-length robe.
Beau-Séjour Palace, Portugal
The Beau-Sejour Palace in Lisbon looks like an idyllic place on first sight but it’s actually one of the creepiest places in Portugal after the sun goes down. The palace is supposedly haunted by the Baron of Gloria, whose ghost has been seen walking around the corridors and gardens of the castle by multiple witnesses. Employees at the palace also claim that objects in the castle move on their own and doors and windows close suddenly. Some visitors also claim to have heard bells ringing, despite the fact that there aren’t any on the property.
Château Miranda, Belgium
In its prime, Chateau Miranda was one of the most beautiful castles in Belgium. However, after the 1950s it was used for housing mentally ill patients and today stands completely derelict. Many people claim to have heard screams coming from the castle despite the fact that no one has been living there for years. That’s why the castle got the nickname Chateau de Noisy.
Château de Brissac, France
This castle is without a doubt, one of the most haunted places in France. Even the biggest cynics would need some serious determination to make it through a whole night in this castle. According to the legend, Charlotte, daughter of King Charles VII, was killed by her husband after he discovered her affair. After this incident, many guests in the castle claim to have seen her ghost in a green dress walking down the corridors during the night.
Poveglia is arguably the scariest island in Europe, if not in the world. Series of mysterious activities were detected on the island and that is (probably) the main reason why Poveglia is closed for visitors today. The island was used as an asylum where a mad doctor performed all kinds of gruesome experiments on the patients. The doctor eventually killed himself by jumping from the bell’s tower. The bell was later removed but people from the surrounding islands claim to have heard it echoing in the night in multiple occasions.
This architectural masterpiece is known among locals as the ‘house of no return’. This is a well-worthy nickname, considering the bad things that happened to anyone who ever owned this building. The first owner and original designer lost both of his children (murder and suicide) while they lived in the house. After that, 13 successive owners died under mysterious circumstances. Needless to say, this house is abandoned today and doesn’t have an owner.
Wolfsegg Castle, Germany
Reports of hauntings in the Wolfsegg Castle date back to the 1500s. Similarly like the Chateau Miranda, the owner of the castle killed his wife after finding out about her affair. Shortly afterward, he and his two sons died as well. Multiple visitors to the castle reported strange noises coming from the caves located next to the castle and some even claim to have seen a “white woman” walking around the hallways.
The “white lady” of Freihung supposedly used to drift around the town’s old mining tunnels, used by local B&Bs. After the complaints of the residents, the tunnels were destroyed but the white lady appeared on the surface shortly afterward. Today, she regularly appears in car rearview mirrors and probably is the main reason for the increased number of traffic accidents in the region.
Moosham Castle, Austria
The Moosham Castle witnessed some of the most gruesome witch trials in Austrian history. Interestingly, most of the accused victims kept in the castle were male and a large portion of the killed ones were 21 or younger. Today, this castle is one of the most haunted places in Europe. Many people claim to have seen Anton, the castle caretaker wandering around the castle and watching over the prisoners. Even more interestingly, oftentimes in the morning, when the staff would come to open the museum they would find the guns in the hunting room hanging upside down, despite the castle being locked up overnight.
Castel Reszel, Poland
This fascinating, red structure looming over Reszel has a horrifying, dark past. The town was burned in the 1800s and a woman named Barbara Zdunk was arrested for committing arson and was later accused of witchcraft. In the castle, she was tortured and raped on multiple occasions, and eventually gave birth to two children. Many people claim that the ghost of Barbara and her children haunt the castle today. A strange smell of perfume was reported in the castle on multiple occasions, doors that were previously locked were found open the next morning, and some people even claim that they were touched by a strange force in the castle.
Zvíkov Castle, Czech Republic
Legend has it that a supernatural being haunts the residents of the Zvikov castle since the 1500s. According to several sources, strange events still happen in the castle’s tower. Visitors reported unusual photographs, strange animal behavior, and unexplained extinguishing of candles and fire. Another legend says that anyone who is brave enough to spend the night in the tower will die within a year.
Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
The Sedlec Ossuary is a small Roman monastery created (solely) from the remains of 70,000 people. The creator of this ossuary dug out the bones from the mass graves of plague victims but he didn’t just stack the bones, like in most catacombs. Instead, he decided to build a monastery and even created sculptures and decorative elements out of them. Although this place doesn’t have a scary story, you’ll surely get a shiver up your spine just by looking at it.
The Houska Castle, Czech Republic
Located in the forests north of Prague, the Houska Castle is one of the most haunted locations in the world. According to the legend, on this exact spot, there was a huge hole in the ground that was considered to be the gateway to hell. Paranormal activities were disturbing the region and the Bohemians thought they would solve the problems if they cover the hole. That’s why they built this castle.
Hundreds of prisoners were forced to go into the pit to build the foundation for the castle. However, when they were taken out of the hole, they all looked like old men. Later on, the castle was the center of Nazi occult dabbling during WWII and multiple dead bodies of Nazi soldiers were found on the site. Witnesses reported several different forms of paranormal activities and some even claim that the site contains remains of demonic beasts who escaped the pit.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Predjama Castle was home to Erasmus the Knight who rebelled against the Monarchy in the 1500s. During that time, he tortured and killed hundreds of people in different parts of the castle. A lot of prisoners were thrown down the 70-meter deep cave under the castle. The ones who would survive the fall would slowly die from injuries and get eaten by the rats. Erasmus also died in the castle and some people say he comes back to rule it once the sun goes down. Many people claim they can still hear the screams of agony of the tortured prisoners echoing in the forest. All of their remains still lie beneath the castle.
Hoia Baciu Forest, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Hoia Baciu isn’t named the scariest forest in Europe for nothing. A lot of visitors reported a feeling of anxiety and being watched while passing through the forest. Some even claim to have seen unexplained apparitions, ghosts, and even dark faces appearing in photographs that were not visible to the naked eye. Some locals even claim spotting unidentified flying objects circling around the forest.
Hunyad Castle, Romania
Many strange sightings were reported in this castle throughout the years. The most famous one is probably the one with the Turkish prisoners who were offered to dig a well in exchange for their freedom. They took a few years to complete this task but in the end, they were still murdered. After their death, a strange writing appeared on the well. It stated verses from the Quran lamenting the prisoners’ fate at the hands of Non-Muslims. Moreover, human bones keep re-appearing at the bottom of the well in multiple different occasions.
Related: See everything you need to know before traveling to Romania!
Pripyat is a small town in northern Ukraine, that was the closest town to the notorious Chernobyl Power Plant. Once upon a time, Pripyat was a nice little town that was a home to 50,000 people. However, after the Chernobyl disaster, everything changed. Needless to say, no one lives here today and it’s even dangerous to visit, 32 years after the explosion. There are many ghost stories surrounding Pripyat but I’ll tell you only the most peculiar one.
One of the nuclear physicists was measuring the radiation readings when he heard someone screaming inside the plant. This event happened in 1997, 11 years after the explosion. He asked the employees about it and they told him that he was the first one to enter the control room in 11 years and the only way to go in was through the thick metal door. Even if someone did come inside, they would inevitably trigger an alarm that goes off when the reactor is opened mechanically and the alarm could only be shut down with a password or a handprint. Even more interestingly, later that evening, the employees saw a flood light turning on in the installation room. They thought there might have been a power surge but seconds later, the lights were turned off.
On a first glance, Dargavs looks like a charming village but if you dare to enter it, you’ll be in for an unpleasant surprise. Each one of these beautiful buildings is actually a tomb containing entire Ossetian families. If you’re skeptical, you can roam around the village and peek inside the houses. You will discover clearly visible skeletons. Local historians claim that when the plague was sweeping through the area, people who lost their families would sit in the family crypt waiting for their death. They knew no one will be around to bury them. Hence, the nickname- the city of the dead. Today, Dargavs is cut-off from the rest of Russia and is only accessible via a three-hour drive from the nearest living settlement.