6 Haunted Castles

Strange sightings and ghostly goings-on make for a spook-tacular tour

By Google Arts & Culture

Predjama Castle, Slovenia

When in 1483 the cruel robber baron, and lord of Predjama Castle, Erasmus of Lueg murdered a relative of the Holy Roman Emperor Fredrick III, he fled to his castle to escape punishment. Fredrick ordered a siege of the nearly-impregnable castle to starve Erasmus out.

Erasmus survived, thanks to a secret tunnel through which supplies were brought. But he eventually met his fate when he was betrayed and killed by his own men. His ghost is said to walk the maze of cold, dark passageways, seeking revenge.

Berry Pomeroy Castle, England

The Pomeroy family owned this land for nearly 400 years before they fell on hard times and sold the castle to the Seymours, who soon abandoned the ageing and unfashionable building. Ever since, this picturesque castle has lain in ruins, attracting stories and tourists…

It's said that a pair of ghosts stalk the empty halls. The Blue Lady calls for help, and lures unsuspecting men to the top of the tower, where they fall to their death. While the White Lady haunts the dungeons, having been imprisoned there by her sister, envious of her beauty.

Burg Eltz, Germany

Perched on the hills of the Rhine, Burg Eltz has housed 33 generations of the Eltz family. The castle has survived wars of religion and succession, and gathered many ghost stories in this time.

Above one of the beds hangs a 15th-century breastplate and battle axe. These treasured relics belonged to a young countess named Agnes, who according to legend was killed defending the castle from the knight she was betrothed to, after she insulted him and he sought revenge.

Voergaard Castle, Denmark

Scandinavia also has its fair share of spooks, but none as horrifying as Ingeborg Skeel. Skeel was a rich landowner and sheriff who built Voergaard Castle. She's rumoured to have drowned the architect in the moat, so that another castle so grand could never be built.

Accusations of witchcraft were made against the prosperous Skeel, who never remarried following the death of her husband. Her reputation was such that locals called for an exorcism following her own death. But sightings of her ghost suggest this extreme measure was insufficient.

Himeji Castle, Japan

Himeji holds the title of Japan's most haunted castle, and of the many ghosts found here, Okiku is most famous. Okiku was a servant in charge of ten golden plates. A samurai in the castle named Tessan Aoyama became enamoured by her, and stole a plate to blackmail her.

Okiku refused his advances or to admit guilt, and drowned herself in the well. Each night, her ghost wailed at the missing plate. Eventually, Tessan was driven mad and he was thrown out of the castle. This was fortunate, as Tessan was planning to kill the lord of Himeji.

Edinburgh Castle, Scotland

The tragic story of Lady Glamis is one of the most haunting tales of Edinburgh Castle. During the reign of James V, Lady Glamis was accused of witchcraft against the king. She was imprisoned in the castle, and her family and servants were tortured to gather 'evidence'.

Lady Glamis was convicted, and on the 17th of July, 1537, she was burned as a witch on the forecourt of the castle. Shortly after this, a grey lady was seen wandering and heard weeping in the castle. Strange knocking is said to be the sound of workmen building her scaffold.

Château de Blandy-les-Tours, France

Built during the Hundred Years War, Château de Blandy-les-Tours is a classic example of a feudal fortified manor, transformed into a grand medieval residence. And within its high stone walls are held terrifying tales of murder and mayhem.

A former master of the castle was supposedly murdered, and now walks the ramparts wearing a bloody shroud and carrying the knife that killed him. And on halloween, at midnight, phantoms circle the walls of the castle, their sinister screams echoing about the town.

Mont Saint-Michel, France

Off the northwest coast of France lies the rocky outcrop of Mont Saint-Michel. There's been a religious community on the island since the 8th Century, and in later years the monks and nuns were joined by criminals imprisoned on the lonely isle by the Ancien Régime.

Pass along the narrow medieval streets and you might feel the paranormal presence of Louis d'Estouteville, captain of Mont Saint-Michel for nine of the Hundred Years War. D’Estouteville distinguished himself, and its said his ghost still guards the island to this day.

Bran Castle, Romania

Ask the local tourist guides, and you'll hear that Bran Castle is the home of both Vlad the Impaler and Bram Stoker's Count Dracula. Ask a historian or a literary critic, and you'd get a different answer. But when the legend becomes fact, print the legend…

Besides blood-curdling torturers and vampires, the castle is claimed to be haunted by the undead souls of peasant who witnessed medieval atrocities. Every years, paranormal investigators flock to Bran Castle, eager to unveil the truth of numerous unnatural events.

Thanks for joining this ghostly tour of strange and unexplained sightings. But that's not all, there's lots of other haunted sites you can explore from your own home. But first, exit through the gift shop… if you dare!

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