The most haunted places in Europe – with ghosts and creepy history a plenty – have been mapped. If you dare, why not take a trip to these places for Halloween?
The 31st of October is a day to celebrate the dead and some locations take it more literally than most.
Tainted by torturous pasts, these tormented places come alive on the day of the dead.
From chilling châteaux to spooky festivals, prepare to be scared by Europe’s creepiest offerings.
The city of Limoges in southwest-central France doesn’t hold back on Halloween, coming alive with a parade, street parties and storytelling events.
Locals-turned-revellers get into the spooky spirit, dressing up as ghouls, vampires and ghosts while holding candle-lit pumpkins and parading through the city’s streets. Meanwhile, local shops, bars and restaurants host their own creepy happenings, so wherever you end up in Limoges, you’re in for a scare.
Halloween takes the limelight but the 31st October is also the anniversary of master illusionist Harry Houdini’s death.
Each year, Ostend in Belgium plays host to a night of magic and wonderment at its Kursaal theatre. Previous years have seen magicians such as Aaron Crow, Tom Bibo and Kobe Van Herwegen, so prepare to see plenty of unexplainable and paranormal activity. The theme for 2016 is ‘The Ghost Edition’ and you’ll have the chance to wine and dine on ‘Zombie Cocktails’, ‘Ghost Burgers’ and ‘Spooky Sweets’.
Paris Catacombs, France
With one of the largest catacombs in Europe and the truly scary Père Lachaise Cemetery, Paris is the ultimate destination for a Halloween weekend.
When the city was expanding with such speed in the 1700’s that they no longer had room to store their dead, a labyrinth of tunnels was dug underneath Paris in order to bury the millions.
The underground maze of bones and skulls stretches for 200 miles, creating a truly hair-raising experience.
If you find yourself getting lost, it pays to remember the story of Philibert Aspairt whose body vanished in 1793 and wasn’t found until 11 years later when it was discovered near the exit.
Basilique du Bois Chenu in France is dedicated to the memory of Joan of Arc
Château de Brissac, France
One of the most haunted castles in France, a night at Château de Brissac is not for the faint of heart.
First built in the 11th century, the owner of the château, Jacques de Brézé, had a wife called Charlotte who began cheating on him.
One day, Jacques de Brézé broke down and violently murdered his wife and her lover after he caught them in the act, leaving their spirits to wander the château for eternity.
Guests have seen Charlotte’s ghost walk the halls of the château at night, haunting them in their sleep.
Home to its famous Torture Museum, Amsterdam has its fair share of spooks. Between 20th and 31st October, Amsterdam is plagued by revellers who run amok, scaring and creeping out anyone who crosses their path.
The highlight of the festival is the Dead Space party, with other highlights including shop events and makeup workshops to help you plan your perfect Halloween costume, and plenty of kid-friendly events if you’re travelling with the little ones.
Château Miranda, Belgium
If there’s one castle that screams “creepy”, it’s Château Miranda in Celles, Belgium. Built in 1866, over the years it’s been given the nickname Château de Noisy, due to its use as a camp for mentally ill children from 1950 onwards.
At the time, it was used by the National Railway Company of Belgium to give these children shelter and food, and it ran a pretty strict regime.
Today the vast building stands derelict, and while it’s not safe to enter inside (there’s also a security guard), a visit to the château is a creepy one.
Windows and doors are smashed in and the inside is rotting – a shell of its former glory.
Château Miranda in Belgium used to be a camp for mentally ill children
Halloween at Tivoli Gardens, Denmark
In Denmark’s capital, Copenhagen, the beautiful Tivoli Gardens are lit up for three whole weeks over the Halloween period, from 14th October to 6th November 2016.
Tivoli is a good option if you’re travelling with anyone who scares easily. There will be thousands of pumpkins, plants and hay bales to set the murderous mood, with mazes, pumpkin carving and delicious seasonal food to enjoy.
The park is also home to Denmark’s biggest pumpkin.
Basilique du Bois Chenu, France
A dazzling yet haunting place near the commune of Domrémy-la-Pucelle, the Basilique du Bois Chenu is dedicated to the memory of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc).
Despite being a leader amongst French Christians and a muse for many, Joan of Arc was burnt at the steak for heresy by the orders of John of Lancaster, an English regent. Her position as a martyr has meant that many feel her ‘presence’ when they visit the basilica, and the location of the site is where she claimed to have visions from God. Keep an eye out for her ghost which is said to wander around the church.
Château de Trécesson, France
In the heart of France’s Brittany region, the Château de Trécesson is a medieval castle that’s positively haunted.
There are dozens of stories about murders, ghosts and unexplainable deaths taking place from within the castle’s walls, but the most famous is of a bride who was murdered by her brothers, by being buried alive. Her eternal coffin? The Château’s brick walls, on the morning of her wedding.
Burg Wolfsegg, Germany
An 800-year-old castle in the municipality of Wolfsegg, Germany, Burg Wolfsegg is apparently haunted by a “White Woman” who scaes off any visitors who pass.
The story of this woman is rooted in backstabbing and treachery, as it’s said that the mysterious ghost is the spirit of Klara von Helfenstein. Wife of a jealous husband, her husband hired assassins to have Klara murdered. Even creepier was that not long after, her sons and husband suddenly died.
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Categorised in: halloween
This post was written by Nadia Vella