If there’s one thing that’s plentiful across Europe, it’s amazing castles. They come from a variety of eras and cover an amazing array of architectural styles. And far too many cases, they’re also supposedly haunted.
The stories surrounding these castles run the gamut. But what they all have in common is that they’re all interesting and often not for visitors who are faint of heart. In a select few cases, even people with strong constitutions should probably pick another castle to visit.
Bran Castle in Transylvania
The character of Dracula made his debut in Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel. While Stoker never stated this, many scholars believe that the closest real person to the character was Vlad the Impaler, the ruler of Wallachia in the 1400s known for his extreme brutality.
Despite him never setting foot in the castle, Bran Castle in Transylvania has been dubiously connected to Vlad and the myth of Dracula. The irony is that the castle experienced enough war and brutality on its own without Vlad ever actually hanging out there. The souls of the deceased reputedly stalk its halls.
The hellish Houska Castle in the Czech Republic
An early Gothic castle built in the 1200s, Houska Castle can be found less than 30 miles outside of Prague. While it’s close to one of the greatest cities in Europe, it feels like you’re a world away once you get out there. The ghosts sure don’t help.
Folklore says that Houska Castle rests on the gates to Hell, blocking the demons from crossing over to our world. Evil creatures are said to have climbed out of the hole before the castle was built and anyone who has ventured into its depths has returned in a terrifying state.
Dragsholm Castle, the haunted prison castle of Denmark
Over its centuries of existence, Dragsholm Castle has gone through a lot of architectural changes. These days, it’s home to a restaurant and a hotel. But from 1536 to 1664, it was transformed into a prison by the Crown.
It was actually the Danish prison that held Lord Bothwell, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. Bothwell is one of three ghosts that have been repeatedly reported on the grounds of Dragsholm. His might be the most interesting, though, as it reputedly shows up in full horse and carriage setup. Being dead for a few centuries certainly hasn’t killed Bothwell’s sense of style.
Moosham Castle was the site of witch trials
This stunning castle in Austria dates back to the 1100s and may have actually been built on the foundations of a Roman fortress. While Moosham Castle was restored to its former glory in the late 1800s, that doesn’t remove its bloody history.
From 1675 to 1690, Moosham was home to a brutal era of witch trials. In total, 139 people ranging in age from 10 to 80 were tortured and executed. It’s said that the spirits of these wrongfully and brutally murdered people continue to haunt the site. If that is the case, it’s honestly hard to blame them.
The Tower of London is a classic, but haunted, destination
As one of the top destinations in London, England, this spot sees an unreal number of tourists throughout the course of the year. While it’s a popular spot with millions of out-of-towners, the history of this iconic location is still incredibly dicey.
Construction on the Tower of London began in the 1000s with several updates along the way. it’s a tourist destination now but served as a feared prison for more than 800 years. Multiple ghosts have been reported over the years, including Margaret Pole, Henry VI, Lady Jane Grey, and, most infamously, Anne Boleyn. If you’re gonna have ghosts, they might as well be historically famous.