Believe it or not, people actually pay to walk through an underground burial site housing the bones of over 6 million people. The Catacombs of Paris are a major tourist attraction! And honestly… it might be really creepy, but it’s also disturbingly fascinating, so it's inevitably bound to lure in curious travellers.
To make things even more unnerving, there are endless stories about the catacombs being haunted. Legend says that if you are there past midnight, the walls begin to speak and disembodied voices will lure you further into the tunnels until you become lost with no way out. One of these voices is said to belong to a man named Philibert Aspairt, a doorkeeper of a military hospital in Paris who, in 1793, became lost after sneaking into the catacombs. His body was mysteriously found 11 years later, identifiable by the hospital keys still on his belt.
Since then, visitors claim they have seen candles blown out while hearing Aspairt’s voice roaming the tunnels.
The Tower of London
For over 800 years and especially during the Tudor era, the Tower of London was the main prison where criminals would be sent and executed. To this day, seven ravens live at the tower and are cared for by a Ravenmaster, a tradition that has existed since anyone can remember. Legend has it that should the ravens ever leave the Tower, the monarchy would fall apart.
The Tower is notoriously known for its terrible beheadings, the most well-known cases being two of King Henry VIII’s six wives, who were gruesomely sent to their deaths by the king himself.
That’s already disturbing, isn’t it? Well, just wait… it gets creepier.
The Tower is known for being haunted and there are countless stories of visitors running into ghosts. Night guards have experienced feeling strangled or crushed by an invisible entity, spirits standing at the beheading site of Tower Green have been seen, and the ghost of Anne Boleyn is one of the most common sightings.
Considering the amount of death and horrific events the Tower saw, it serves as no surprise that such a place could be haunted.
Just thinking about it gives you the creeps!
The Black Forest
The Black Forest is not exactly an inviting title. Just the name itself is already ominous enough!
Well, the name comes with reason. Situated along Germany’s Rhine River lies the vast, dark and mysterious Black Forest. The forest is incredibly dense, with its pine and fir blocking out any sunlight, making it a perfect home for things that go bump in the night.
Have you ever read the Grimm Brothers’ stories? The Black Forest is the backdrop for all of these tales, such as Hansel and Gretel, for example. Because of this, it has a reputation for being home to all fairytale and magical creatures. There are rumours of Baden nymphs, who live beneath the murky Mummel Lake, helping to kidnap women who walk the forest to take them to their undead king. It is also said that the forest is haunted by ghosts.
It may be the home of fairy tales, but with its dark, looming atmosphere, it feels a bit more like a place of nightmares.
Edinburgh Castle, once home to many kings and queens, and also a military barracks in the 17th century, has seen countless deaths, torture, and executions, the perfect recipe for hauntings!
Visitors have complained so much about paranormal experiences, that now there are actually names for the ghosts who allegedly roam the castle grounds. The Ghostly Piper Boy, for example, comes from the recurring event of visitors hearing a single bagpipe being played underground. It is believed that this is the spirit of a young boy who played the bagpipes and became lost in the tunnels of the castle where he met his death.
Another popular ghost is The Grey Lady, a woman who is seen wandering the halls and weeping. People claim she is the ghost of a woman named Janet Douglas, who was accused of witchcraft.
Prague, Czech Republic
Prague may look innocent and enchanting with its colourful and fairytale-esque buildings. But have you ever walked around alone at night? When the city is blanketed by dark, the noise has quieted and the bright colours have dimmed, suddenly its cobblestone streets and looming bridges might send a chill down your spine.
Prague is actually notorious for being a haunted city overall- with there supposedly being over 100 ghosts who live there. There are even ghost tours which are very popular with tourists! This is the city where you can find The Doctor Faust House, after all.
The spookiest legend of hauntings has to be ‘The 12 Headless Ghosts of Charles Bridge.’ Legend has it that every year, on the 21st of June, you can witness twelve headless ghosts walking across the bridge. They are said to be men who were executed by having their heads placed in iron baskets and hung from The Old Bridge Tower.
Now that’s a story to keep you up at night.
And there you have it!
Some of the most “haunted” places in Europe.
Despite the “scary” stories, we’re not crossing any of these destinations off our bucket list!
We just might sleep with the lights on while we’re there….