5 Spooktacular Castle Hotels in Europe
This Halloween, if you’ve been wanting to do more than just don your scariest costume, why not level up your game by travelling to some of the most notoriously haunted places in Europe? While you might not run into a real ghost on this journey, we can assure you that a visit to any one of these places will show you a spooktacular time.
From family-friendly castles turned hotels to haunted sites perfect for paranormal thrill-seekers, Europe sure has it all!
If you’re brave enough, here’s a peek at the Haunted Castles you should visit during Halloween.
Tulloch Castle Hotel – Scotland
It’s only fair that we begin at a Scottish castle, as the origin of Halloween ties back to Celtic culture. Samhain (Samhuinn), a traditional Celtic festival, celebrated on the 31st of October, typically marks the end of summer, giving bragging rights to Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man. Needless to say, these countries celebrate Halloween with pride, blending Celtic traditions and modernity – with folks dressing up in scary costumes and house hopping with the trademark ‘trick or treat’.
Tulloch Castle Hotel is believed to be over 900 years old and sits on a forested hillside overlooking Cromarty Firth and the Black Isle. The castle continues to retain many of its period features, like the original fireplaces, elegant ornate ceilings, and the 250-year-old panelled Great Hall. But what truly adds the spook factor is its resident ghost, the Green Lady. Visitors have reportedly spotted her so often that the castle bar has been named after her, and a portrait of the woman believed to be said Green Lady hangs in the Great Hall. Now, if you open your door for room-service and instead are greeted by her, don’t worry as most green ladies (yes, there is more than one, and they’re found all across the United Kingdom) are said to be benevolent in nature.
Château de Brissac – France
Château de Brissac will give you the chills at any time of year, more so during Halloween. The castle holds a reputation for being one of the most haunted places in France and it requires courage to just make it through the night alone. The haunting is attributed to the castle’s violent past, and it has since been occupied by its own resident ghost ‘la Dame Verte’. She has been spotted walking the corridors after dark, and her favourite haunt is said to be the tower room of the chapel, making it the perfect spot for people looking to have a brush with the paranormal. For the sceptics amongst us, go have a great time at this vintage property and take in the festive mood of Halloween.
Dragsholm Slot Hotel – Denmark
Built-in the 12th century, Dragsholm Slot is one of the oldest standing castles in Denmark. Originally constructed in the year 1215 by the Bishop of Roskilde, this medieval structure was refurbished into a fortified castle. Through the centuries it has seen many occupants including kings, queens, and noblemen. There have been many encounters reported by visitors and psychics who claim that three permanent ghosts reside at the castle: a white lady, a grey lady, and Lord Bothwell. The Earl is said to ride through the courtyard on a full horse and carriage! There have also been accounts of footsteps heard late at night, and chairs moving on their own. Thankfully, you can settle your nerves by paying a visit to the whisky bar downstairs.
If real encounters with ghosts isn’t your thing, then worry not! We’ve got some other fun places, which spook you just enough (while keeping the ghosts at bay). Head here to celebrate Halloween in its true spirit.
Warwick Castle – England
This medieval castle was originally built by William the Conqueror during 1068 and was rebuilt in stone during the 12th century. These days, it gets transformed into a terrifying spectacle that hosts ‘The Haunted Castle’ event for Halloween. The spooky event returns every year between 20th of October and 4th of November. The ultimate experience for children of all ages, this event features fun-filled activities with witches, retellings of horrible histories, escape rooms, and birds of prey. And if that is not enough, the all-day event also gives children the chance to learn how to cast spells in the setting of a Wizard School. What’s more, the spell-scenes from the Harry Potter series were shot here. And yes, Muggles are allowed. Live actors are roaming the grounds to give you a scare when you least expect it, along with many other things to try: like the mighty Trebuchet siege machine, the Haunted Hollows walk-through experience, and the creepy House of Wax.
Bran Castle – Romania
Transylvania is a place synonymous with vampires, werewolves, and spooky-looking fortresses. Rising above the town on top of a rocky point, Bran Castle is Transylvania’s most famous castle and holds its visitors in thrall. Its association with the cult ‘Dracula’s Castle’ has given birth to an entire industry around it. The Castle was the favourite residence of Romania’s Queen Marie, with museums honouring the ruler and paying homage to the patrons the castle has gained owing to the Dracula legend. Indulge in a host of fun activities , from climbing up the Castle’s conical towers, enjoying the views over the lush forest, to taking a long stroll through creaky-floored rooms furnished with bearskin rugs and 19th-century antiques.
From ghostly spirits to snickering vampires, a stay in one of these homes is not for the faint of heart.
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