Halloween, you either hate it or love it. Although traditions like trick-or-treating are not that common in Europe, the continent is abundant in “haunted” places that could give you a taste of Halloween creepiness. And even if you don’t believe in haunted places as such, maybe you do believe in scary destinations. In that case, we’ve got the perfect list for you.
If you’re still looking to book a getaway this autumn or if you just like reading scary stories, Stress Free Car Rental has put together quite the list. The rental company researched which European villages are the creepiest and has put together a top 7 of destinations ideal for thrill-seekers. We dove a little into the story of each and every one of them and are giving you a small overview of what makes these villages so scary – or haunted.
1. Bran, Romania
Literature lovers will certainly know the village of Bran in Romania. It is the setting of the Bran Castle, the residence of former Voivode of Transylvania Vlad III, more commonly known as Vlad the Impaler, who was Bram Stoker’s inspiration for his famous book Dracula. You might not want to roam around after sunset, unless you want to encounter a vampire of course…
2. Triora, Italy
Aside from its stone, grain and fortresses, the village of Triora is known for its witches. A witchcraft trial took place here between 1587 and 1589 and ended in the execution of some of the women on trial. The whole trial started out as a way of explaining the famine which struck the village in 1587.
3. Pluckley, England
According to the Guinness Book of World Records, Pluckley should be the most haunted village in Britain. There’s talk of no less than twelve, maybe even thirteen, ghosts roaming its streets. One of them belongs to the colonel who hanged himself in Park Wood, another is called the White Lady, belonging to a young woman buried in seven coffins, haunting St Nicholas’s Church.
4. Ochate, Spain
Abandoned villages are always scary and the same goes for Ochate. Illness, bad weather and a murder by a crazy pastor are just some of the reasons the village was finally abandoned in the first half of the nineteenth century, after having been occupied since the Bronze Age.
5. Roslin, Scotland
Rosslyn or Roslin Chapel is a place that has sparked the interest of many people throughout the years. Some speak of a Holy Grail in the chapel’s sealed-off crypt, others of the lost crown of Scotland, others yet of ghosts roaming its walls and surroundings… No matter the truth, it certainly is a mystic location. And for the science lovers out there: Dolly the sheep was cloned by some researchers at the Roslin Institute – haunting of a wholly different kind.
6. Škrinjari, Croatia
Near the village of Škrinjari, there is a house that only dates back to the eighties, but the former owner apparently abandoned because of paranormal activities and was never able to sell it afterwards. Over the years, many ‘activities’ have been reported in the house, going from crying baby sounds over strange shadows to the apparitions of the ghost of a woman. The explanations for those sightings are multiple and none of them have been proven. Anyway, not suited for the faint-hearted as, rumour has it, all those who chose to sleep at the house over the years had to be taken into mental institutions afterwards.
7. Tintern, Wales
Tintern Abbey is not only a beautiful ruin that has inspired quite a few artists such as Wordsworth and Turner over the years, it’s also said to be home to a handful of ghosts.
The ghostly monk, the guardian knight, the lost Saxon soldier… There certainly are a lot of people to be on the lookout for when you visit.