Dracula's Castle in Bran, Romania

castle 1creativecommons.org/Horia Varlan

Officially called Bran Castle, this Romanian castle has earned the reputation for being Dracula's castle. However, the castle described in Bram Stoker's Dracula doesn’t actually exist, and there are several other castles in the area that lay claim to Dracula fame. However, Bran Castle is often referred to as Dracula's Castle because of its fortress location on the border between Transylvania and Wallachia.

Most famously, Bran Castle was one of many Romanian castles in which Queen Marie spent her time. After she died, it was requested in her will that her heart was cut out and buried in the grotto of Bran Castle in a golden casket, where it remains to this day.

 

Leap Castle in County Offaly, Ireland

Leap Castle is considered to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland. It has been the subject of investigations of many ghost hunting organizations because of the sheer amount of haunting stories about the old rock.

This castle has a history bathed in blood. More than 400 years ago, brother turned against brother and blood was shed. One brother stormed the chapel and slew his brother, who was a priest, right there beside the alter. Since then the chapel has been known as ‘the bloody chapel’.

 Another particularly spooky spot is the dungeon. The prisoners there were pushed into what was called an ‘oubliette’ – which was essentially an eight foot pit with spikes at the bottom.

However, it’s said that it’s not just the spirits of the slain that haunt Leap Castle – but also an ‘elemental’. This elemental is described as a dark creature about the size of a sheep with a human face and black pools for eyes. People who claim to have seen it describe the room filling with the cloying smell of rotting flesh.

 

Newcastle Castle in England

castle 2creativecommons.org/Glen Bowan

Before Newcastle Castle was built, the Romans built a fort on the site. Years later, the fort was torn down and the area became a cemetery. In 1172, the bodies were dug up one by one and moved elsewhere, and the new castle was built on the old burial grounds.

Many paranormal teams have visited Newcastle and all of them claim that the place is very haunted, especially the castle keep. It is said that chanting can be heard coming from the chapel, as well as the traditional disembodied footsteps. One person even caught a four foot high black mass in a photograph.

 

Moosham Castle in Unternberg, Austria

Moosham Castle is this Austrian castle's official name, but it has come to be known by a more sinister name: Witches Castle.

The new name matches the castle’s blood-soaked history. It was within this castle that Austria held its largest and bloodiest witch trials. While history has not kept an exact number, thousands of young women accused of practicing witchcraft were put on trial in this castle. Many were tortured and killed in the dungeon.

It’s said that the castle also housed a few accused werewolves too. In the early 1700s the area was plagued by wolves who stole livestock. Many brave groups of men went out hunting them, but they never returned. So like witch paranoia, werewolf paranoia took over.

Witches Castle is now avoided, except by the bravest souls and paranormal investigators, who claim to have heard random screams, footsteps, chains jingling, and even the sight of a priest wandering around.

Predjama Castle in Slovenia

castle 3creativecommons.org/Gilad Rom

This castle was built within a cave for extra defense that dates back to 11th century. In the 15th century a robber baron fled to the castle while fleeing the revenge of the Holy Roman Empire. He thought he was safe within the fortress, but the army brought that castle crumbling down.

It was rebuilt in 1511, but it was yet again destroyed by an earthquake. It was rebuilt again in 1567, and since then it has managed to remain standing. Most of the hauntings seem to take place in the castle’s underground tunnels. Those who visit the tunnels have claimed to hear footsteps and conversations.

 

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