From the fortress that inspired Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein" to the palace that once housed the real Dracula, these are among history's most haunted castles.
History has often been made between walls and that can certainly be said of these haunted castles.
Many of these fortresses hold violent histories filled with tales of vengeance, mysticism, and even cold-blooded murder. As a result, these gorgeous yet decrepit estates have morphed from their majestic beginnings into some of the most haunted places on Earth — or so some might claim.
For example, Edinburgh Castle in Scotland is known as one of the most haunted places in the entire country. Its unparalleled paranormal activity involves poltergeists and demonic figures allegedly birthed by the extensive brutality that took place inside its dungeons, as well as its underground quarantine for victims of the Black Plague.
There’s also the famous Castle Frankenstein in Germany which got its name from its alleged connection to the celebrated author Mary Shelley, who wrote Frankenstein. The haunted castle is said to be a place where witches congregate in search of the fabled “fountain of youth” that is said to be located on its grounds.
But these surreal stories are just the beginning — take a look at some more of these haunted castles below.
Moosham Castle In Unternberg, Austria
Moosham Castle, or the Schloss Moosham, of Austria has a dark history entwined with the European witch hunts. The fortress was first documented in an 1191 deed, and received its name from the Moosheim family, who inherited the castle during the 13th century.
But by the 17th century, the people of Austria were subjected to a series of witch hunts, which culminated in the Salzburg Witch Trials. Hundreds of people were accused of witchcraft, mostly women, and a lot of those were paupers and peasants, and were said to have been brought to Moosham Castle where they were imprisoned and tortured. Some victims had their hands cut off and brandished with iron stamps before they were finally executed.
While those innocent people almost certainly were not supernatural beings, Moosham was involved with another creature of the uncanny: werewolves. These half-man, half-beast creatures were rumored to roam near the castle, supposedly evidenced by the inexplicable slaughter of deer and cattle found around the area in the 1800s.
With such a wicked history, it's no surprise that Moosham Castle is said to be haunted, likely by the ghosts of the victims who were tortured there. Visitors and staff who now work at the castle claim to have experienced inexplicable events while in the palace. Some report feeling a light touch or breath despite having no one by their side, hearing loud bangs and footsteps at night, and seeing sudden clouds of white mist.
The Real Dracula's Haunted Castle In Bran, Romania
In the mountains of Romania stands one of the most foreboding castles in Eastern Europe. Its secluded location among the Romanian wilderness is enough to make anyone think twice about knocking on its door. But more than that, Bran's Castle has earned a terrifying reputation thanks to its association with history's real Dracula.
The castle was allegedly the residence of the fearsome Vlad III, known as Vlad the Impaler, for his notoriously brutal methods of torture. Vlad ruled the territory of Wallachia in the 15th century and took on the name Vlad Dracula after his father, Dracul. But his unparalleled reputation for violence was known across Europe, and especially his favorite form of torture.
When an unfortunate soul was impaled, a wooden or metal pole was jabbed through their body starting either in the rectum or vagina. It would then slowly pierce through the body until it came out the victim's mouth, shoulders, or neck. Sometimes the pole was rounded so that it would go through the body without puncturing any internal organs, prolonging the victim's torture. In these particularly gruesome cases, it could take hours or even days for the victim to finally die.
Vlad was known to imprison and torture those who opposed him, including other nobles. Despite his blood-thirsty antics, Vlad was favored by Pope Pius II and is hailed as a national hero of Romania for his iron-fisted rule, which helped protect the region during times of war.
Nevertheless, it's said that the hallways of Dracula's castle are now haunted with the souls of those who were tortured by him. Many claim to hear ghostly voices and footsteps, as it's estimated that as many as tens of thousands of people were once impaled in that very palace.
While Dracula is long gone, the souls of his victims allegedly remain.