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Spooky Places in Europe to Set the Scene for Halloween!

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It’s officially spooky season 🎃

As fall sets in, Halloween provides some fun events to liven up the dark evenings in late October. We’ve got some fantastic castles, historic houses, and uninhabited mansions that make a great tour experience by day….but would you sleep well in those dark and draughty chambers after dark?

From powerful Barons and headless women to prisoners and even animals, we feature some of Europe’s spookiest sightings to get you in the mood for Halloween….

Raynham Hall, UK

This outstanding country house in Norfolk is one of the loveliest 17th century stately homes in England. It was built for the Townshend family and gave its name to five nearby villages, known as The Raynhams. Built in Italian form in the style of ground-breaking architect Inigo Jones, it is best known as being the “most haunted house in England”. There are multiple sightings of ”the Brown Lady”, thought to be Lady Dorothy Walpole who died over 300 years ago. There’s even a photograph of this shadowy figure in her brown dress. In the 19th century, King George IV stayed here and left in a hurry saying “I will not pass anther hour in this accursed house!”.

Akershus Fortress, Norway

One of the most historic buildings in Oslo is Akerhus Festning (Fortress) which has survived countless sieges over the centuries. Built in the Middle Ages, it has been a royal palace, military base, prison and is currently the office of the Prime Minister of Norway. It’s open to the public (check out the King’s Guards!) and the castle complex contains the Royal Mausoleum, the Museum of the Norwegian Armed Forces, and the Resistance Museum. Altogether there are 67 buildings, but only one of them is haunted. Visitors report the appearance of a faceless woman named Mantelgeisten that emerges from the darkness dressed in a full-length robe. More scary are tales of the ghost of the dog that once protected the castle. Eeeek!

Beau-Sejour Palace, Portugal

From dogs to the powerful Baron of Gloria, it seems there’s no class distinction when it comes to haunted strongholds! The beautiful 19th century Portuguese Manor of Beau-Sejour in Lisbon houses one of the largest collections of romantic and naturalist art in the country. The gardens are open to the public and are well worth a visit…by day.

After dark, this beautiful palace is reputedly one of the creepiest places in Portugal. The ghost of the Baron of Gloria has been seen roaming the corridors and gardens by many witnesses. Employees don’t last long after experiencing objects moving on their own and doors and windows suddenly banging shut. Some have even heard bells ringing on the property – even though there aren’t any!

Dragsholm Slot, Denmark

Dragsholm Slot | Official image library | Download photos (skyfish.com)

Take a tour of the 12th century whitewashed Dragsholm Slot Castle at Horve which has been the home for successions of kings, queens, and nobility. Guides will regale you with stories of just some of the 100 ghosts that seem to be residing in this historic palace. There’s the Grey Lady, a maid who likes to check in with guests and ensure they are comfortable. Another chilling spectre is the White Lady who was bricked up inside the walls while still alive. No wonder she paces the corridors distraught, late at night. Then there’s the clatter of horses’ hooves in a completely empty courtyard. Reportedly it’s the Earl of Bothwell who was imprisoned in the cellar in the 16th century and went mad. It seems he’s found his revenge!

Chateau de Marcay, France

One of the most elaborate chateaux lining the banks of the Loire Valley is the Chateau de Marcay. White crenelated towers are topped with black turrets in a charming fairytale estate that belies the truth. This 15th century chateau is now a luxury hotel with a swimming pool, gardens, gastronomic restaurant, wine cellars…and a dark secret. Many visitors stay at the castle specifically to witness the paranormal activity after dark. Legend has it that ladies of the chateau were transformed into werewolves after dark. A farmer shot one then buried the body in secret…she continues to make herself known. Others report seeing a woman in a strange white shroud. Sleep well!

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

Edinburgh Castle, United Kingdom

With over 900 years of history, and the site of numerous deaths, beheadings, witch burnings, and politically contrived murders, Edinburgh Castle is not a place for the faint-hearted to visit after dark. As well as being “the most besieged place in Great Britain” it is also one of the most haunted castles in Europe.

Venture down into the vaults (not to be confused with the Edinburgh Dungeon attraction nearby) and feel a distinct chill in the air. Perhaps it’s the spirit of the prisoner who hid in a wheelbarrow of horse manure hoping to be transported through the gates to freedom on Royal Mile. Instead, workers tipped the contents of the barrow over the edge of Castle Rock where he fell to his death. Some say his disgruntled ghost lingers on. Others report a strong smell of dung, strange whispering voices, and doors opening and closing on their own.

In 2001, the castle underwent an extensive paranormal investigation. The results were never publicly declared. Was it because the truth was just too terrible to broadcast, or was there simply nothing to report? We’ll never know!

Castella della Castelluccia, Italy

Let’s finish our spine-chilling Halloween castle tour in Rome, one of the oldest cities in Europe. Built around 1200AD, the Castello Della Castelluccia is a medieval castle now operating as a hotel. Twenty-three luxuriously appointed rooms include the Tower Suite as well as deluxe and family rooms. It is said to be haunted by spirits of the highest pedigree, including Emperor Nero. Look out of your windows on a dark night and you may see a ghostly horse galloping around. The rider is a local alchemist who was struck by lightning.

If you fancy adding any of these castles to your bespoke itinerary with Finest Journeys, just let us know. We’ll see what we can “spirit up!”.

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By: Admin on October 07, 2021    No Comments


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