America is nearing the 250 anniversary of becoming a nation. That means we’ve really only had 250 years to come up with haunted houses. We’re not talking about the professional theme park haunted houses but the real deal ghost locales. Sure, we have our fair share of abandoned lunatic asylums, prisons and homes built on Native American burial grounds but nothing compares to the spookfest that has been going down in Europe for over a thousand years. Yes, if you really want to get scared by some old world ghoulies, then you need to hop across the pond and check out these haunted destinations:
The Tower of London, London, England
If you want to find ghosts, then you need to go where people died horrible deaths. Say hello to the Tower Of London. This fortress has a nine-hundred year history of torturing and bumping off enemies of the crown. Among the most infamous apparitions reported at the Tower is the headless corpse of Anne Boleyn who met Henry VIII in 1536 only to end up on the receiving end of the chopping block. There is also the White Lady who lives in the White Tower and likes to wave to children. Then there are the two little Princes who were rumored to have been put to death by Richard III to clear his path to the throne. Basically, you can’t swing a black cat in here without hitting a ghost.
The Paris Catacombs
When a city runs out of cemetery space, the best option is to bury the dead right underneath your homes in a series of winding catacombs. That’s how the Parisians of the late 1700s took care of their dead. It is estimated that the catacombs contain the remains of up to 7 million former residents of the City of Lights. The potential for ghostly sightings is off the chart.
Poveglia, Venice, Italy
Not every haunted hot zone in Europe is found in tunnels or castles. Poveglia is an entire island that is haunted. It’s only 17 acres but that was big enough for a quarantine station back in the 14th century. Ships suspected of carrying the plague were forced to disembark at Poveglia before sailing into Venice. That left a lot of folks waiting around to die. In 1922, they opened up a hospital for the elderly, which was rumored to conduct experiments on mentally ill patients. That is just asking for ghostly trouble. Good news: the island is up for sale. Yeah, that’s going to happen.
Tokat Castle, Turkey
Here’s a fun little stop to make on your haunted European tour. This is the castle where archaeologists believe Vlad the Impaler was once kept as a prisoner. In case you don’t know, Vlad was the real-life person who inspired gothic horror master Bram Stoker to write Dracula. History tells us that Vlad or Dracul (the family name) was kept in this castle by the Ottomans around 1442. After he got out, he started his hobby of impaling his enemies on spikes. You can bet that anyplace where Vlad went is haunted.
Have you ever seen a ghost?