Scariest spots in Europe
Hubble bubble toil and trouble - it’s that time of year again, where we celebrate with cauldrons, cobwebs and candles and get to scoff a whole load of sweets and chocolate guilt free!
But if you can’t get enough of Halloween, or you just love to be spooked, why not plan something a little different for your next getaway by heading to one of Europe’s scariest spots.
If you’re looking for inspiration the Citybond team has come up with five spine tingling locations – visit them if you dare!
Think Halloween, think vampires. And not the good looking, glittery ones from the young adult book series Twilight, but the bloodthirsty monsters of eastern Europe. Discover the gory legend of Vlad the Impaler - thought to be the inspiration for Bram Stoker’s Count Dracula – at Bran Castle in Romania’s Transylvania region. The ruler of Wallachia in the 15th century, sadistic Vlad was notorious for his favourite torturous punishment: impaling his enemies on large spikes and leaving them to die. But today, you can tour Bran Castle and enjoy a luminous red ‘Dracula beer’ in the bars that surround it. Other Dracula-inspired attractions include the Dracula House of Terror Escape Room in nearby Brasov, which is itself a spellbinding city offering endless restaurants, bars and great hiking opportunities too.
The setting for many gothic novels, Edinburgh is also home to much reported paranormal activity - particularly in Edinburgh Castle and the city’s streets and chambers, where spirits such as Wee Annie - the ghost of a little girl quarantined within the walled-up vaults during a bubonic plague outbreak - are said to roam. Not even the Victorian theatre of the Playhouse is safe from spookiness: a frosty presence is said to roam the upper floors, believed to be the spirit of Albert, a stagehand who befell an accident at the theatre. Unsurprisingly, ghost tours take place throughout the year, and are one of the more popular attractions in the Scottish capital.
By day, Bruges is nothing short of a fairytale city, but it’s also a prime spot for ghost hunting, especially for the monk and nun who feature in the city’s most famous ghost story. The tale goes that the monk was in love with the nun, but murdered her before burying her body in a secret tunnel. It’s believed they now haunt the streets of Bruges before disappearing at midnight. To find out about the city’s numerous legends and myths, take a medieval tour of Bruges at night, or pay a visit to the gruesome Torture Museum, housed in one of Europe’s oldest prisons.
With its rich pagan history and strong connection to the spiritual, Ireland is teeming with ghost stories, but nowhere more than Glin Castle in Co. Limerick. Now a luxury hotel along the Wild Atlantic Way, it has not one, not two, but three uninvited guests in its midst. The first is a poltergeist who lives on the third floor (fellas fear not: it only appears to women), and the second is Henry, a builder from the 19th century who fell to his death during renovations, but still appears fully-formed on the stairs. There’s also a ghost in the smoking room, believed to be the 20th Earl of Glin.
If you identify more as a witch than a vampire then the Italian city of Corinaldo could be the Halloween destination of your dreams… or nightmares. Corinaldo citizens are claimed to be descended from witches and on Halloween they hold a festival to honour their supernatural ancestors. In the last weekend of October beautiful Corinaldo is transformed into a place of sublime horror. Wander the streets amongst the pumpkins, candles and cobwebs, watch fire shows and experience the tunnel of terror and haunted house, and - if your heart is beating too fast - dip into one of the many heavily-decorated taverns for a drink. Don’t forget to cast your vote for Miss Witch, or if you’re feeling brave, take part in the competition yourself. Benvenuti all'inferno!
Wherever you’re planning on heading to it’s good to know that Citybond Suretravel is committed to providing you with the highest level of protection to ensure you are safe and secure 24 hours a day when away.
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