Who doesn’t love a good fright from time-to-time? Well now you can incorporate this into your holiday with the scariest places in Europe. FYI…these are not reserved for Halloween alone.
The first stop on any tour of the scariest places in Europe has to be London. Spooky Victorian cemeteries and haunted pubs like The Ten Bells are just the starting point.
Take a Jack the Ripper tour or visit the London Dungeon to live out the English capital’s horrid history. If you’re a fan of creepy stuff, head to the Grant Museum to find over 68,000 preserved animal specimens and a wonderfully weird collection of brains.
Flights to London
Bucharest is the perfect destination for vampire enthusiasts. Just a short drive from the Romanian capital is Transylvania, where you’ll find the castle where Vlad the Impaler once resided.
Vlad’s brutal, torturous acts were the inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s Dracula, and the castle has become one of Romania’s most popular tourist attractions.
Bucharest is also home to Hotel Cismigiu, haunted by the ghost of a young woman. The Palace of the Parliament is often visited by another ghost begging people to help her.
Flights to Bucharest
Speaking of Dracula, the iconic vampire was created by Dubliner Bram Stoker. Ireland’s capital city hosts a festival in the author’s honour each October with four days of spooky adventures.
But if you’re not visiting in October, you can still celebrate Dracula’s legacy at Castle Dracula in Stoker’s hometown of Clontarf.
If you’re looking for a truly creepy experience, make a trip to Dublin’s Hellfire Club on Montpellier Hill. It was once a hunting lodge where, if the stories are to be believed, some truly horrifying things took place.
Flights to Dublin
The Italian capital has a strange affection for the afterlife with thousands of statues dedicated to the dead around the city.
At St. Peter’s Basilica lie the Doors of Death which depict the deaths of Jesus, Mary, and St. Peter. Many Catholics refuse to walk through these doors as it is believed to bring bad luck.
At Campo de’ Fiori, many visitors have claimed to see the spirit of philosopher and astrologer Giordano Bruno wandering the square. He was tried for heresy and executed by the Roman Inquisition and now his hooded statue rests in Campo de’ Fiori, sending chills down spines in the process.
Flights to Rome
For those with a penchant for the supernatural Madrid is definitely a place to visit. Madrid’s Ministry of Finance was once used as a prison during the Civil War, and many of those who died during the conflict were buried there.
Guards have reported hearing strange voices and banging windows and doors while on duty. If you’re looking to be haunted, a visit to Linares Palace is a must.
The former home of a noble family is haunted by their murdered daughter. One of Spain’s most popular tourist attractions, Reina Sofia Museum, is also haunted by former patients from its time as a hospital.
Flights to Madrid
Edinburgh is without doubt one of the scariest places in Europe. From haunted theatres to underground vaults and passageways that would make your blood turn cold, the Scottish capital is a must visit place for horror fans.
The most terrifying place to visit in the city is Greyfriars Kirkyard cemetery, which was one of the world’s first concentration camps. Many Presbyterian Covenanters were executed here. George Mackenzie was one of the men responsible, and his grave here is known for its paranormal activity.
Flights to Edinburgh
There are two sides to Corinaldo. On the one hand, it’s an idyllic Italian town with picturesque landscapes and award-winning nature. But on the other, its inhabitants are descendants from a long line of witches – who they still worship today.
If you’re visiting Corinaldo during Hallowe’en you should prepare for the worst. It’s the capital of witches, and “celebrates” Hallowe’en with a fright-filled event named “Hallowe’en – the witches festival”.
Flights to Ancona
You might remember the film In Bruges describing the city as a fairytale town, but if the ghost stories are to be believed, it’s closer to a nightmare.
Many ghost hunters travel to Belgium to explore the IM Cooling Tower and Château Miranda, two of the country’s creepiest abandoned buildings.
The city’s most infamous story is of a monk and a nun who lived on the River Reie. The monk was in love with the nun but murdered her and buried her body in a secret tunnel. The two now haunt the streets of Bruges and its people, disappearing at midnight.
Flights to Belgium
Although known as the city of love, Paris also has a reputation for the supernatural. The Musée de Vampires is Paris’ most creepy museum with a collection including anti-vampire protection kits and mummified cats.
Those looking for a scare should visit Le Manoir de Paris, a museum and haunted house. If you see The Red Man walking the Paris streets you might be in trouble. The former royal hitman is said to be a premonition of death – Paris’ own Grim Reaper.
Flights to Paris
Another European capital city, and even more haunted buildings. Berlin sits on top of a maze of dark, underground tunnels with a plethora of stories to tell.
On Klosterstraße sits an old Gothic Franciscan monastery haunted by Friar Roderich, a notoriously cruel man who murdered his own son.
In Berlin’s Citadel, Anna Sydow’s ghost roams the halls to this day struggling to find a way out after being imprisoned there by her lover’s son.
Flights to Berlin
Bratislava arguably has more ghost stories per person than any other city in Europe. That should come as no surprise as its one of Europe’s oldest cities, and despite being surrounded by the beautiful Carpathian Mountains and gorgeous vineyards, the Slovakian capital has some truly horrific tales to tell.
One of the most well-known stories in Bratislava is of Ursula, a woman involved in one of the strangest love triangles in history. Ursula was in love with the same man as her friend, so she spread a rumour that her friend was a witch which led to her being burned at the stake. Ursula spent the rest of her life being tortured by guilt.
Ain’t love grand?
Flights to Bratislava
Czech folklore would have you believe that Prague’s streets were once guarded by a mythical clay Golum that was brought to life in the 16th century by a Rabbi to protect the city’s Jewish ghettos.
Houska Castle is believed to have been built over a gateway to hell, and demons from the bottomless pit escaped and roam the city when night falls. Keep an eye out for a headless Templar who rides through the streets on horseback.
Flights to Prague
Venice is one of our most popular destinations because of its romantic canals, picturesque views, and gorgeous cafés… and definitely not because of its terrifying haunted buildings.
If you’re brave enough, take the waterbus to Palazzo Dario, not so affectionately nicknamed “The House That Kills”. A number of the property’s previous owners mysteriously died. You should be okay to visit and leave with your life intact, but we would advise against taking out a mortgage on the palace.
Cain degli spiriti has an eerie feel to it, and for good reason. Once a meeting point for gamblers, The Casino of the Spirits was allegedly the site of religious demonic rituals and is haunted by famous 16th century painter Luzzo, who committed suicide there.
Flights to Venice
We hope our list of the scariest places in Europe hasn’t creeped you out too much. Book your flights with Ryanair to explore these spooky destinations… if you dare.
- Seán Walsh