Haunted or just downright creepy, castles in Europe are some of the best places to sightsee. They're full of history, intrigue, and stories that'll keep you awake at night.
For anyone who has ever been to Europe, chances are you've seen some castle, schloss, or chateau along the way. Want to know makes seeing one of these medieval babies even better? Oh, how about a ghost story or two?
OK, not all of these castles on the list are haunted--but with their history, they're just flat out creepy.
Chillingham Castle, England
The tale that this 13th century castle is so haunted, no less than six paranormal ghost shows have filmed here. Not only have the Earls of Tankenville seen the flashes of unexplained light, but Chillingham is said to be haunted by the Blue Boy
Cachtice Castle, Slovakia
Who knew one of the world's worst serial killers would be a woman. The Countess Elizabeth Bathory, to be more precise. Cachtice Castle isn't reportedly haunted, but the "Blood Countess" was said to have murdered almost 700 young girls--all the quest to keep her young by bathing in their blood. Elizabeth died in the castle in 1614; and by the beginning of the 18th century the castle was totally abandoned.
Hunyad Castle, Romania
Speaking of blood-thirsty, it's a Transylvanian tale here at Hunyard Castle. Sure, everyone thinks of Dracula's Bran Castle and the story of Vlad the Impaler; but he lived here for a short time. The 30-meter deep well was dug by Turkish prisoners, only to be left there when they finished. Yikes.
Of all of Europe's castles, Hunyad is one of the most extraordinary with all its balconies and courtyards--and the view of its moat below from its entry bridge is astounding. How the heck did they manage to build this massive castle over almost nothing?
Charleville Castle, Offaly Ireland
This is said to be one of the most haunted castles in Ireland, maybe because it was sacred to the Druids? Who knows, but folks have said Charleville is haunted by a young girl who broke her neck here. Maybe this is why Lord Byron liked to come here.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Actually, I don't know if this castle is haunted or not--and don't much care. You won't either when you see this Renaissance styled beauty built right into the rock of a cave. Legend says the Robber Baron who lived here was blown up while he was using the, um, pardon the expression--outhouse.
Predjama Castle has hidden passageways--only adding to its mystical charm.
Glamis Castle, Scotland
Oh, this is my favorite of Europe's haunted castles. Not only is the place said to haunted by the long-suffering Grey Lady, who is said to be Janet Douglas--the wife of Lord Glamis who was burned at the stake for being a witch.
She wasn't, by the way.
Glamis is also said to be haunted by devilish sounds, swearing, and dice cracking. One Lord Glamis was gambling in the place during the Sabbath, and the Devil himself came knocking when Lord Glamis said he'd play the Devil himself if he showed up.
Well, Lord Glamis, you got your wish--you're still playing a few hundred years later.
Dragsholm Castle, Denmark
If you can sleep in a place that's said to be haunted, then look no further than the 12th century Dragsholm Castle--as it's now a hotel. Go ahead, walk around after dark looking for the Grey Lady, or to hear the horses of the Earl of Bothwell, James Hepburn, who was a friend of Mary Queen of Scots.
Chateau Brissac, France
This French castle is a tale of jealousy. Poor Charlotte, she is said to still shriek and wail after being killed by her husband. The husband, by the way, moved out soon after killing his wife and so-called lover because the sounds of their eternal screams made him go a bit batty. Either way, this manicured French chateau is lovely and definitely peaceful on the outside.
Burg Stockenfels, Germany
Leave it to the Germans to say that watering down beer is just as sinful as murder. If you're a tavern owner, waitress, or server and put water in the beer--you'll come to Burg Stockenfels for all eternity. Your punishment, which starts at midnight until the morning light, is to continuously fill up you bucket with as much water as you've put in your customers drinks.
I guess if you're gonna be anywhere for eternity, it might as well be in Bavaria--one of the loveliest places on earth.
It doesn't matter if you believe in ghosts or not, these castles have seen hundreds of years of life within their walls. Call them creepy, call them haunted, call them whatever you want--but I just say their magnificent.