Here is a question to think about: if you were a character in a horror movie, which trope do you think you would fall into? Ideally, we would all be the one character who makes it through all the way to the end, but in order to do that, I’m thinking we would need to put any hints of curiosity behind us. I mean, yes, I know that protagonists tend to eventually come face to face with the serial killer/ghost/doll tormenting them, usually because they can’t help sticking their noses in places they should normally run away from.
But, realistically, your survival odds are basically proportional to how much you want to keep away from any strange occurrences. My point is, I’ve always liked to believe that I was a person with enough common sense to avoid uncomfortable situations, but compiling this list of the 10 Most Haunted Castles In The World, I’m kind of starting to doubt everything. I definitely feel the unnatural urge to go and explore most of them, but, actually, I think this is just in theory. In reality, I would probably make sure to not be in a one thousand mile radius with them.
1. Beaumaris Castle, Wales
The Beaumaris Castle was built in 1330 and today it looks like the ruin of an ancient fortress from Lord of the Rings. But don’t let the picturesque landscape surrounding it trick you; the castle’s chambers echo with the tune of mysterious chants, captured in recordings by the various guests who stepped through its doors. More than that, you might want to stray off from this place if you get squeamish at the idea of being haunted by the dreadful feeling of someone watching you.
2. Erasmus Castle, South Africa
Not all haunted places have to look like they’re haunted. Some can look new, like a peaceful church-resembling building that’s commonly used for cultural gatherings. With so many people passing through Erasmus’ threshold, there’s no wonder that there are plenty of claims that support its alleged paranormal nature. Among some of the most common occurrences witnessed by visitors, we count windows that are lit in inaccessible areas of the castle and strange human noises.
3. Franklin Castle, Ohio
Speaking of places that are so blatantly obviously haunted, that you might as well rename them to “Ghosts Inside, Don’t Enter.” The Franklin Castle is considered to be one of the most haunted places in the USA. Within its walls, you can find many secret passages, strange trap doors and a basement tunnel that goes on for miles. Although, what really made this building’s fame spread is the fact that a chamber filled with children’s skeletons was discovered. This place basically sounds like it would make a fantastic filming set for American Horror Story: Castle.
4. Charleville Castle, Ireland
This castle is more famous than I will ever be. It’s already well known for being one of the most haunted locations in Ireland, and it was featured in a multitude of TV shows that explore the paranormal. It’s said that within the walls of the Charleville Castle lurks the ghost of Harriet, the eight-year-old daughter of the third Earl, who died after she fell down the stairs.
5. Akershus Castle, Norway
A fortification that originates from the 13th century, it was initially built in order to protect Oslo, Norway’s capital. In the 20th century, though, it was converted into a prison that became the home of countless of horrible deeds done by the Nazis during World War II. Akershus is said to be so haunted, that even the dog that used to guard the gate is now a ghost roaming the grounds of the castle.
6. Himeji Castle, Japan
Japanese architecture is truly a thing of beauty, but the Himeji Castle is a rose that also has its thorns. It’s thought to house many eerie happenings, but the spotlight goes towards its well, believed to be bound to the ghost of Okiku, a character from Japanese mythology. At night, the spirit rises from the well, counts to nine, then returns to its depths after letting out a gut-knotting shriek.
7. Ballygally Castle, Northern Ireland
So, say you have a castle that’s pretty creepy looking and almost one hundred percent filled with ghosts. What should you do? Turn it into a hotel, of course! The star of the cast of spirits roaming the hallways of Ballygally Castle is Madam Nixon, the former tenant herself. She allegedly wears a silk dress and is often seen in a room from the corner turret.
8. Houska Castle, Czech Republic
Most haunted places are tied to the death of some kind of inhabitant of the respective household, but Houska Castle is something different entirely. It’s one of the most famed haunted sites in Europe, but also one of the most mysterious. The castle has no fortifications, which indicates that it wasn’t built to house a ruler or defend the surroundings. Instead, it’s said that it was built over a hole that was a portal to hell, and the castle’s construction was meant to put a stop to the terrifying creatures crawling out of it.
9. Castle Of Bardi, Italy
The Castle of Bardi has a romantic tragedy tied to its name. A man by the name Moroello, who was an army captain, committed suicide within the castle’s walls after he found out that his love, Soleste, had ended her life because she believed he had died on the battlefield. Moroello’s ghost is said to roam the hallways of the castle, not being able to find peace until he finds Soleste again.
10. Dragsholm Castle, Denmark
Many ghosts have been reported to lurk around Dragsholm Castle, but most notable is that of a so called White Lady. She is allegedly the ghost of a girl who’d been locked by her father in her own room, because she had fallen in love with a commoner. This theory was supported when a group of construction workers uncovered in the 20th century a recess, where they found a small skeleton wearing a dress.
What do you say? Would you be willing to book tickets to one of these destinations and pay a visit to one of the castles mentioned above? If it’s of any comfort, most of the reported happenings show that there is no real malevolence in the ghosts present between the walls of their respective castles. Except for the Houska Castle; a gate to hell built underneath it? Even I have my limits. Whether these 10 Most Haunted Castles In The World give you chills or raise your adrenaline, there is definitely something spooky going on with them, regardless of its nature.
Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10