Some castles in Europe are over 1000 years old and were hosts to brutal murders and imprisonments. So, it's no surprise that a few of these castles are alleged homes to paranormal beings. Here, you'll read about five of the most haunted European castles and stories about some of the spirits that roam their halls.
5 The Tower of London
This palace, fortress, prison combo has a violent 1000-year-old history. It is actually composed of many different buildings and towers—the most haunted including White Tower, Bloody Tower (no surprise there), Wakefield Tower, and Tower Green. The White Tower is said to be haunted by a spirit known as the "White Lady" who waves to children in a nearby building. In this same tower, many guards have claimed to be overcome by a feeling of being crushed when they enter King Henry VII room of armor.
The Bloody Tower was once known as the Garden Tower, but after two young princes were killed by their greedy uncle in the 15th century, it was renamed. The bones were found 200 years later under the stairwell, and visitors have said that they see ghosts of the two boys wandering this area. King Henry VI haunts Wakefield Tower once every year at midnight on his anniversary of being stabbed to death while knelt in prayer.
The Tower Green also has an annual haunt of the lady ordered to be beheaded by King Henry VIII. At the last moment, the woman is said to have ran away and was chased by the beheader with his ax. He hacked her to death and once every year, she comes back to portray this horrific act.
4 Edinburgh Castle
The Scottish Castle Edinburgh rests in one of the most haunted European cities. Built in the 12th century, many have said that the ghosts of prisoners are seen here frequently.
One such prisoner was planning to make his escape by hiding in a cart of excrement until someone would wheel it out of the prison. Little did he know that the cart would be emptied off of a rocky cliff and he would be thrown to his death.
People say that near this same cliff an entity tries to push them towards the crags below and they smell an overwhelming scent of feces. The ghost of Janet Douglas is a less violent spirit that visits Edinburgh. Douglas was sentenced to burn at the stake for conspiring to murder the king and for witchcraft. In some areas of the castle, people can hear sounds of the platform she was burned on being constructed.
3 Brissac Castle
The original structure of Brissac Castle was built in 11th century France, but was later rebuilt and renamed 400 years later by the Duke of Brissac. A few years later, the castle's hauntings started to take place due to the violent murder of two people.
Jacques de Breze, the Duke's son, inherited this castle in the 15th century. He was married to Charlotte of France, the half-sister of Louis XI; however, their marriage was not a happy one because of Charlotte's infidelity. Charlotte was sleeping with one of her huntsmen, and when Jacques caught them in the act he stabbed the couple repeatedly with his sword. Nothing was seen or heard of from the couple until one night the Green Lady appeared.
She is named for the emerald dress she wears as she roams the castle and moans in agony, usually visiting the area where her husband murdered her. The most fearsome feature of Charlotte's spirit is her face—it looks like a corpse's face with black, hollow eyes and nose socket.
2 Leap Castle
Built in Ireland during the 14th and 15th centuries, Leap Castle is home to a creature called an Elemental. This type of spirit is simply the spirit of something that was not human, and they can be awoken and angered by rituals. It's unclear exactly how or why this creature began to haunt Leap Castle, but some say that the violence for the throne within the O'Carroll Family might have created the Elemental.
One member of this family murdered his priest brother during a mass in the castle's chapel, which is now referred to as the Bloody Chapel. Others speculate the secret dungeon found near this chapel contains the answer. This dungeon has a massive spike that prisoners were impaled upon being thrown below. If they did not die from being impaled here, they were left to starve to death. Whatever the reason for the Elemental being at Leap Castle, it was awoken in the 19th century by Mildred Darby, whose family inherited the estate in the 1600's.
Mildred dabbled in witchcraft and was performing a ceremonial ritual in which shortly after she claims to have seen this creature. She described it as having the body of a sheep with the face of a decomposing human, not unlike that of Brissac Castle's Green Lady. She wrote that the smell of decaying bodies was intense. The castle was purchased by an Australian family in the 1970's, and after hiring someone to exorcise the castle, the Elemental is claimed to have either left or become peaceful.
1 Frankenstein Castle
You have probably heard the story of Frankenstein's monster, but may not have known that there may be some truth behind this story in the history of this 10th-century German castle.
The castle was ruled by the Frankenstein family until the last true heir died in the 17th century during a chariot crash. He was on his way to visit his betrothed, Anne Marie. Visitors claim that the couple can be seen roaming the castle at night trying to find each other close to the castle's chapel. The most famous part of this castle's history and haunting occurred when Konrad Dipple von Frankenstein started living in there in the 1600's after the original Frankenstein family died out.
Konrad was known to have robbed graves in order to find body parts that he tried to resurrect. It was during his experimentation with these dead body parts and virgin's blood that he brought a huge monster to life in his laboratory. This monstrosity terrified the locals and they decided to kill Konrad, but he then committed suicide by drinking one of his potions concocted in his lab. Visitors of Frankenstein Castle have claimed that you can still see Konrad working in his lab and robbing nearby graves at night.
Some also say that his monster lurks in a forest near the castle, looking for playmates and the blood of virgins. Mary Shelley's famous novella, Frankenstein, is based on the story of this castle that the Brothers Grimm told to her stepmother.