Eerie Old Fortresses From a Different Era
Not all castles have fairytale stories. Most of these beautiful structures are hundreds of years old and that history is accompanied by many spooky myths. Some castles are haunted by ghosts and ghouls rather than princes and princesses. We’ve gathered a bone chilling list of the most haunted castles in the world. Most of these are tourist attractions today, so you can visit… if you dare!
Leap Castle, Ireland
Leap Castle is thought to have been built as early as 1250. As you can imagine, a castle that old holds some secrets. This historic castle is widely known as the most haunted castle in Ireland. The legend is that a priest was murdered within the walls of what is now known as “The Bloody Chapel”. Spooky… but that’s not all.
When the castle was undergoing renovations in the 1900s, a worker found a hidden dungeon in the Bloody Chapel and inside were tons of human skeletons below. They discovered it was a trap designed to have prisoners fall below onto wooden spikes. Not quite a fairytale ending.
Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle is one of the most popular and historic tourist attractions in Western Europe. It also happens to be haunted. Visitors have reported seeing many different spirits, including a dog wandering around the cemetery on the castle grounds.
Other guests of the castle have claimed to see prisoners of the American Revolutionary War and French prisoners from the Seven Years War. You can tour the grounds, shop the products, and enjoy fine whiskey and foods if you visit. If you want to enjoy tea with some ghosts, this is the place for you.
Chillingham Castle, England
Chillingham Castle is widely known for being the most haunted castle in Britain. It has a long history of prisoner dungeons and torture chambers. This medieval castle has many ghosts that frequently haunt the halls.
The three most famous spirits of the castle are the Blue Boy, the Grey Lady, and the Lady in White. Apparently, the Blue Boy appears behind closed doors at the stroke of midnight. If you ever find yourself in Britain, we recommend you steer clear of these characters.
Casa Loma, Canada
Casa Loma is a Gothic castle in Toronto that is actually famous for more than just ghosts and ghouls. You might recognize this building from movies such as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, X-Men, Beauty and the Beast (the live action), and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
Casa Loma has gained notoriety for housing the ghosts of the couple whom the castle was built for. Even more often, a ghost of a maid has made appearances in the halls of the castle. Its legend and beautiful infrastructure make it one of the most famous haunted castles in the world.
Castle Fraser, Scotland
Castle Fraser is known for more than just its beautiful architecture. There is a myth that a princess was murdered in her sleep while staying at the castle. Her body was then dragged down the stone steps, leaving a trail of blood.
They couldn’t scrub the blood from the staircase, so they covered them in wood paneling, which is still there today. Apparently, the princess still haunts the castle. You can visit the grounds or rent the castle out for your wedding, if you dare.
Himeji Castle, Japan
Himeji Castle is one of the last remaining examples of Japanese castle architecture. Like our other haunted castles, this building comes with a haunting tale. Legend says that an ancient mythical creature, Okiku, was killed after being accused of losing some very valuable dishes.
She was thrown into a well on the grounds and is said to still be heard counting the dishes around the castle yard. Apparently, she counts to the number 9 before shrieking. We’d be pretty annoyed too if we were accused of losing dishes we didn’t actually lose.
Predjama Castle, Slovenia
Predjama Castle is a beautiful and unique structure built into a cave on a cliffside. The castle is beautiful, although the story that accompanies it is horrifying. Perdjama was known for having secret passageways that were used for horrendous torture.
One resident was a knight named Lueger. The servants of the castle turned on the knight and killed him. He remains in the building, haunting it still to this day along with other tortured souls who were mistreated in the secret passageways and dungeons. Not the “happily ever after” we are familiar with.
Voergaard Castle, Denmark
Voergaard castle can be found in a Danish town and is famous for housing art pieces by Fransisco Goya, El Greco, and other famous artists. It’s also known for many dark and twisted stories that have left it with ghostly visitors.
One such myth is that Ingeborg Skeel, the owner of the castle in the later 1500s, drowned the architect of the castle in the moat that surrounds the building. He stated that he did not want the architect to be able to build another structure as beautiful as the Voergaard. Now, the architect wanders around the castle dressed in white.
Larnach Castle, New Zealand
Larnach Castle was built more recently than some of our other haunted castles. It was resurrected in the late 1800s as a home for a local politician of the time. The haunting of this castle is slightly less sinister as well.
The politician’s daughter, Kate, died of typhoid at age 26. She has been seen and heard wandering the ballroom, which her father had built as a gift to her for her 21st birthday. Ghost Hunters International has visited the location and found paranormal activity, so beware!
Moosham Castle, Austria
Moosham Castle has a gruesome history of capturing and torturing men and women who were accused of being witches during the Salzburg Witch Trials. It doesn’t end there, sadly. In the 1800s, there were so many animals found dead on the grounds that some residents were killed for being werewolves.
All these tragic deaths led to many tortured spirits. Visitors have claimed to see white mists, hear whispers, and see footprints in and around the castle. The most chilling accounts are from those who have felt someone breathing on them.
Castle of Good Hope, South Africa
Castle of Good Hope is one of the largest and oldest buildings in South Africa, and its long history brings a lot of ghosts. The castle used to have a windowless dungeon in which prisoners were drowned while chained to the walls.
There are many other stories of the dead haunting the castle as well. A guard hung himself with the bell rope and today the bell is sometimes rung (seemingly by itself). Some visitors see a large black dog lunge at them and then disappear. Castle of Good Hope might be a misleading name for a structure with such dark history.