By Briana Seftel
Paranormal activity, eerie nooks and crannies, violent pasts...these eight castles in Europe are so good, they're scary vacation ideas!
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
The fortified birthplace of Edinburgh is not only the most popular attraction in the Scottish capital - it's also one of the most haunted. Guests have reported “visits” from prisoners of the American Revolutionary War, French prisoners from the Seven Years War, and even the ghost of a dog wandering the dog cemetery on the castle’s grounds.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Built into a cave jutting out from the side of a 400-ft high cliff, Predjama Castle has a sordid and dark past involving the knight Erazem Lueger, a notorious robber baron. After murdering the kinsman of Frederick III, the Holy Roman Emperor, Lueger was killed in the castle, and is said to still haunt it.
Moosham Castle, Austria
Located outside of Salzburg, Moosham Castle was the site of the Salzburg Witch Trials from 1675 to 1690. Hundreds of people, mainly men, were imprisoned, tortured, and killed at this castle. Their lingering spirits are said to haunt the castle.
Leap Castle, Ireland
Leap Castle is widely known as the most haunted castle in Ireland. Located in Coolderry Co Offaly, the castle is thought to have been built in 1250 as the seat of the O'Carroll Clan. The castle was the site of many ghastly murders including that of a priest, whose spirit is said to haunt the "Bloody Chapel."
Chillingham Castle, England
Chillingham Castle is sure to give you the chills. As a monastery, royal residence, and army barracks during WWII, the castle is also known as being the most haunted in Britain. The most famous ghostly resident is the Blue Boy, who according to the owners used to haunt the Pink Room in the castle. Guests have reported seeing blue flashes and a blue "halo" of light above their beds after a loud wail.
Bran Castle, Romania
Also known as "Dracula's Crib," this medieval castle in Transylvania is positively ghoulish. Completed in 1388, Bran Castle is widely thought to be the castle featured in Bram Stoker's "Dracula," although the Irish author never visited Romania. Folklore of the countryside, where undead souls haunt villagers at night, and its brutal medieval past give enough evidence that Bran Castle is indeed haunted.
Frankenstein Castle, Germany
Said to be the inspiration for Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein," this castle overlooking the city of Darmstadt is built on legend and myth. Surrounded by the dark and mysterious Odenwald, the castle was the home of Johann Konrad Dippel, who created potions and elixirs and was possibly the inspiration for Dr. Frankenstein. In 2008, the series "Ghost Hunters International" recorded paranormal activity at the castle.
Château de Brissac, France
This family-owned chateau in the Loire Valley is not only the tallest chateau in France, it is also one of the most haunted. Brissac is home to "la Dame Verte" or Green Lady, who is said to be the ghost of an unfaithful wife murdered by her husband during the 15th-century.
Bonus: Stay in a haunted castle!
Cabra Castle Hotel, Ireland
Cabra Castle Hotel in Kingscourt, Co Cavan is a luxury hotel in a 19th-century castle set amidst the Cavan countryside. Guests have reported seeing ghosts inside and near the “Hanging Tree” in the grounds.