With its centuries-old castles, cemeteries, and chapels, Europe attracts more enthusiasts of the macabre and spooky. From fully-dressed mummies and skeletal remains of thousands of individuals in France to ghostly apparitions and alien encounters in Romania’s scary woodlands, these creepy places in Europe retain vestiges of the continent’s lengthy and bloody history.
If you want to see the dark side of Europe, this list may provide you some suggestions for places to visit during your vacation. If you have a weak stomach, proceed with caution because some of these spooky Europe locations can be rather disturbing.
The Catacombs of Paris are a labyrinth of tunnels filled with the bone remains of 6 million individuals. The cemetery was established in 1786 when the city’s church cemeteries became too small to receive the deceased. Philibert Aspairt went missing during his excursion to the catacombs in 1793, which was one of the most unusual episodes in the catacombs’ long history. 11 years after his disappearance, his body was discovered near an exit. The catacombs are about 300 kilometers long, although just a small fraction (approximately 1.5 kilometers) is available to the public. Adults paid €13 to visit the Catacombs of Paris.
75014 Paris, France, 1 Avenue du Colonel Henri Rol-Tanguy
Fans of Bram Stoker may recognize Bran Castle in Romania as the source of the author’s most renowned fictional character, Count Dracula. Residents of the villages surrounding the historic fortress believe in steregoi, or people whose souls leave their bodies to afflict victims while they sleep. This spooky European location dates back to the 13th century and was the royal residence of Queen Marie from 1920 to 1957. Its hilltop setting provides stunning views of Bran’s vast countryside. Adults must pay 40 lei to enter Bran Castle.
Romania, 24 Strada General Traian Moșoiu, Bran 507025
The Hill of Crosses is a Catholic pilgrimage destination in Lithuania that is located 11.5 kilometers northeast of Siauliai. On this little hill, more than 100,000 crosses have been constructed, many of which date back to the mid-nineteenth century. After experiencing an apparition of the Holy Virgin Mary with infant Jesus at the spot, residents began installing crucifixes, rosaries, pictures, and statues of holy artifacts here. Despite its status as a holy site, countless reports of ghost sightings have been made over the years. The Hill of Crosses is open to the public for free.
81439 Jurgaiiai, Lithuania
Over 8,000 skeletons and mummified remains are piled up against the walls of the Catacombe dei Cappuccini, one of Palermo’s most horrific tourist attractions. The bodies are divided into galleries based on gender, age, and occupation. The chapel of Santa Rosalia, which houses the body of 2-year-old Rosalia Lombardo, who died in the 1920s, is one of the most frequented. She is so well preserved that her eyelashes are still intact after being displayed in a glass casket. While the Catacombe dei Cappuccini welcomes visitors of all ages, if you have a weak stomach, avoid going because many of the well-preserved bodies are those of youngsters.
90129 Palermo, Italy, Piazza Cappuccini, 1
The Hoia-Baciu Forest, located 9 kilometers west of Old Town Cluj-Napoca, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most terrifying woodlands. Over the years, many people have reported seeing aliens, ghosts, and floating orbs, as well as hearing disembodied voices. In 1968, military technician Emil Barnea snapped images of a rumored UFO flying over the Hoia-Baciu Forest, gaining recognition in Europe. Despite investigations proving that the soil is normal, there is a dead vegetation zone in the centre of the forest. If you want to visit Hoia-Baciu Forest, be mindful of your health. Several people have reported headaches, nausea, and fainting spells.
Romania, Pădurea Hoia, Hoia Forest
Edinburgh Castle is widely considered to be one of Scotland’s most haunted locations, with numerous urban legends, alleged ghost sightings, and paranormal occurrences. The story of a nameless piper who vanished after going down a subterranean passage for hundreds of years is perhaps the most renowned. Sightings of misty figures, things pulling at your garments, and unexpected dips in temperature have all been reported as ghostly happenings. For those interested in the paranormal, Edinburgh Castle is available to the public and offers free guided tours.
Edinburgh, EH1 2NG, United Kingdom
The Sedlec Ossuary is a Roman Catholic underground chapel in the Czech Republic. The Chapel of Bones is a scary spot in Europe where the skeletons of roughly 70,000 people are placed as morbid decoration and furnishings. A enormous chandelier comprised of practically every bone in the human body hangs in the church’s center area. Hundreds of bones are displayed in glass cabinets and skull candelabras. Adults pay 90 koruna and minors pay 60 koruna to visit the Sedlec Ossuary.
284 03 Kutná Hora, Czech Republic Zámecká
Built in the 11th century, the Château de Brissac is one of the most stunning castles in France’s Loire Valley. While the castle is open to the public for guided tours, wine tastings, and overnight stays, it has been known to hold ghostly encounters and disembodied cries. It is said to be haunted by the ghost of the Green Lady, who was former owner Jacques Brézé’s young bride. With its magnificent chambers, ancient furnishings, and 15th-century décor, Château de Brissac also attracts non-believers.
Brissac-Quincé, France, 49320 Rue Louis Moron
Between Venice and Lido is an abandoned island known as Poveglia. Thousands of victims (dead and alive) were carried to this island during the 14th-century bubonic plague outbreak in an attempt to exterminate the disease. Locals allege that the island was the location of brutal acts, torture, and suicides until the 1800s, when a psychiatric institution was erected in 1922. Poveglia is ostensibly off-limits to outsiders, but tour operators still provide journeys to the island for a high charge. Screams were reportedly heard emanating from the decaying hospital by several previous guests.
30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy Poveglia, 30100 Venice, Metropolitan City of Venice, Italy
Moosham Castle, in Unternberg, was the site of thousands of people being tried and sentenced to death during the 17th century witch hunts. The Salzburg Witch Trials lasted roughly 15 years as a result of the enormous panic surrounding witchcraft in Austria. It’s thought that those executed on the Archbishop of Unternberg’s instructions were as young as ten years old.
Moosham Castle, like many other eerie places in Europe, is open for tours, where you may explore the gruesome torture cells and possibly see a ghost strolling the castle corridors. The apparition of a guy sitting in the dining room was alleged by paranormal investigators. Anton was the castle’s guardian during the witch trials, according to the locals.