7 famous spooky haunted castles with chilling histories

haunted castles fi

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Care to spend a night in one of these haunted castles?

Have you ever walked past an old, abandoned castle and felt a shiver down your spine? Maybe it’s the shadows playing across the crumbling walls, or the wind whispering through the broken windows.

Castles have always captured our imagination with their towering turrets and deep, dark dungeons. They’re the perfect setting for spooky stories and ghostly tales.

From Scotland’s windswept highlands to Ireland’s rugged countryside, these ancient fortresses have plenty of history. Their stone and mortar facades are the keepers of secrets and tales passed down through generations.

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Local folklore is rich with stories of spectral figures wandering through castle halls, mysterious sounds echoing in the night, and past residents who can never entirely leave their ancestral homes.

We’re not just talking about any old buildings with a few cobwebs and a creaky floorboard. These castles have become almost as famous for their ghostly residents as for their historical significance.

Each one has a story to tell, a history that’s both fascinating (and a little spooky). Let’s journey together and discover some of the most famous haunted castles and their histories.

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1. Castle Bran, Romania

1 Bran Castle in The Summer haunted castles abandoned castles haunted castle spooky castle evil castle, haunted castles in ireland, haunted castles in scotland
Photo: Ryanjoejohnmccleary, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

In the heart of Romania, there’s a place where the line between myth and reality blurs — Castle Bran. This tower is a sight to behold with its stone walls and ancient turrets. It’s also connected to one of the most famous legends of all time — Dracula.

Now, let’s get something straight. The Dracula from Bram Stoker’s “Dracula” is fictional, but the author’s inspiration for Dracula’s eerie abode is often linked to Castle Bran.

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bram stoker's dracula
Bram Stoker’s Dracula

Although Stoker never set foot in Romania, the castle’s imposing appearance and the stories swirling around it sparked his imagination. It’s easy to see why — this castle could easily be the setting of any spooky tale.

But there’s more to Castle Bran than just its literary connection. Over the years, many have reported strange happenings within its walls.

From unexplained whispers to fleeting shadows, the castle seems alive with unseen presences. Some visitors have talked about feeling watched, while others have heard strange sounds echoing through the halls.

Its history, combined with the Dracula legend and these spooky reports, makes it a must-visit for anyone interested in haunted castles. Whether or not you believe in the paranormal, Castle Bran won’t disappoint.

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2. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

2 Edinburgh Castle, December 2021
Photo: Addshore, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
edinburgh castle official souvenir guide
Edinburgh Castle Official Souvenir Guide

Heading to Scotland, Edinburgh Castle stands out as a must-see for anyone interested in haunted castles. This historic fortress takes a proud place atop an ancient volcanic rock, overseeing the city of Edinburgh.

It’s not just its impressive architecture that draws people in — the castle’s history is also intertwined with various ghost stories. These tales of ghostly sightings in Edinburgh Castle are as old as the castle itself.

One of the most famous is the story of the headless drummer. First spotted in the 17th century, this apparition is said to have appeared when the castle was about to be attacked. But here’s the catch — no one has ever found any record of a drummer in the castle’s history who lost his head.

Other stories include sightings of a piper who vanished in the tunnels beneath the castle and is still heard playing today, as well as numerous reports of a ghost dog wandering in the castle’s dog cemetery. Visitors have also reported sudden drops in temperature, strange mists, and feelings of being watched.

While skeptics might brush these off as mere stories, something about Edinburgh Castle makes you think twice. Maybe it’s how the fog rolls over its towers or the wind howling through its walls.

Whatever it is, the castle has earned its place as one of Scotland’s most famous haunted castles.

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3. Château de Brissac, France

3 Brissac-Quincé - Schloss Brissac (Château de Brissac)
Photo: W. Bulach, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Next, let’s visit France and explore the Château de Brissac, a grand castle titled the ‘Giant of the Loire Valley.’ Its towering presence and elegant interior make it a sight to behold.

But behind its beauty lies a haunted past that draws the curious from all over the world.

The most famous ghostly resident of Château de Brissac is the ‘Green Lady,’ known in French as ‘La Dame Verte.’ According to the stories, she was the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, and her life met a tragic end in the castle.

Now, she’s said to roam its halls, particularly the tower room of the chapel, startling visitors with her presence. Visitors and staff have reported hearing her moans in the early morning, and many claim to have seen her wandering the castle.

Her green dress, which gives her the name, is often the first thing people notice. What makes her appearance unsettling is the description of her face — with empty eye sockets and a noseless face, it is not a sight for the faint of heart.

Whether you’re there to admire the Château de Brissac’s historical significance or to catch a glimpse of the Green Lady, this castle offers a fascinating glimpse into France’s paranormal past.

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4. Predjama Castle, Slovenia

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Photo: Shadowgate from Novara, ITALY, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Let’s take our ghostly tour to Slovenia, where Predjama Castle offers a different experience. This isn’t your typical castle — it’s built within a cave mouth, merging with the natural rock and creating an impressive and rather spooky sight.

Predjama Castle’s history is as fascinating as its architecture. The most famous legend associated with this castle is that of Erazem of Predjama, a robber baron who lived in the 15th century.

Erazem wasn’t just any nobleman — he was a rebel, constantly at odds with the ruling powers. His story is one of defiance, as he used the castle’s cave system to outwit his enemies for over a year.

The legend goes that Erazem was eventually betrayed. According to the tale, he was hit by a cannonball while in a somewhat vulnerable position — using the castle’s latrine.

Today, visitors to Predjama Castle can explore its rooms and passageways, feeling the weight of history and the thrill of the legend. Some even say they can sense Erazem’s defiant spirit lingering in the castle’s walls.

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5. Leap Castle, Ireland

5 Castles of Leinster- Leap, Offaly (geograph 1952754)
Photo: Mike Searle / Castles of Leinster: Leap, Offaly

Now, let’s journey to Ireland, a land rich in myths and legends, to visit Leap Castle.

Often cited as one of the most haunted castles in Ireland, this place has a history that could fill volumes. It’s a robust mix of family rivalries, hidden treasures, and (of course) many ghost stories.

One of the most talked-about spirits at Leap Castle is the Red Lady. She’s often seen holding a dagger and is said to have a pretty intimidating presence.

The story goes that she was captured and mistreated in the castle, leading to a tragic and bitter end. Now, her spirit roams the halls, an eternal reminder of the castle’s dark past.

But the Red Lady isn’t alone in haunting Leap Castle. There are tales of other spirits, like the ghost of a little girl who fell from the battlements, or the ‘Elementals’ — mysterious figures whose presence is more felt than seen that leave visitors uneasy.

Visiting Leap Castle is an experience like no other. Walking through its rooms, you can almost hear the echoes of its turbulent history.

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6. Houska Castle, Czech Republic

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Photo: MartinVeselka, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Next, we’ll venture into the Liberec Region of the Czech Republic to Houska Castle. This evil castle is said to be built over what some say is a “gateway to hell.” This alone sets the scene for a story filled with mystery and unexplained phenomena.

Houska Castle has no fortifications, no water source, and is not strategically placed, which is unusual for a castle. So why was it built then? Local folklore suggests it was constructed to cover a pit that was believed to be a passage to the underworld.

Stories tell of half-animal, half-human creatures emerging from this pit and dark, winged creatures flying in the skies around it.

Over the centuries, Houska Castle has been the site of numerous reports of paranormal activity. Visitors and researchers have experienced unexplained phenomena, from strange sounds to ghost sightings.

The most famous ghostly resident is a woman who appears in the chapel, where the energy feels particularly intense.

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7. Moosham Castle, Austria

7 Unternberg - SchlossMoosham
Photo: C.Stadler/Bwag, CC BY-SA 3.0 AT, via Wikimedia Commons

Our final stop takes us to Moosham Castle in Austria, a place with a history as haunting as its appearance. This spooky castle holds many chilling ghost stories and is known for its connection to witch trials and executions.

In the late 17th century, Moosham Castle became the center of the Salzburg Witch Trials, some of the most brutal witch hunts in history.

Many people, both men and women, were accused of witchcraft, and unfortunately, many met their end within the castle’s walls. This dark period in the castle’s history has left a lasting mark, with tales of torment and injustice echoing through time.

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Fast forward to today, and Moosham Castle is a site of numerous ghostly reports. Visitors and staff have spoken about unexplained sounds, like footsteps and whispers, when no one else is around.

Many describe a feeling of unease when walking through the castle, as if its tragic past still lingers.

Some even say they’ve seen apparitions, believed to be the spirits of those who were unjustly punished during the witch trials. These sightings and the castle’s atmosphere make it a hotspot for those interested in the paranormal.

While exploring Moosham Castle, it’s hard not to feel a connection to the past. The stories of those who suffered there are a reminder of a time when fear and superstition ruled. For anyone interested in haunted castles, Moosham offers a profoundly moving experience.

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Share your abandoned castles story 🏰

haunted castles by ray russell
Haunted Castles: The Complete Gothic Stories by Ray Russell

As we wrap up our journey through some of the most haunted castles in the world, it’s clear why these places hold such a special place in our hearts and imaginations.

We encourage everyone to explore these sites further. Consider visiting them and learning about their history first-hand. Who knows? More secrets might be waiting for us in the halls of these historic castles.

We’re eager to hear if you’ve visited a haunted castle or have a story to share. Your experiences help keep these legends and tales alive. 👻

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