Bran Castle, Transylvania
“There are darknesses in life and there are lights, and you are one of the lights, the light of all lights.”
― Bram Stoker,
Bram Stoker’s Dracula is something I have read more times than I can count. I grew up marvelling at the wonder’s of what could exist within Bran Castle should I ever make it there.
- Would there be Vampire’s lurking around every corner in which you stumbled past?
- Would I meet the legend of Dracula in the flesh even through I knew he didn’t actually exist?
- Would I ever make it out again?
While Bran Castle may not actually contain real life Vampire’s, it certainly has a certain awe of haunted goodness about it and is an absolute must for every Halloween lover!
Sedlec Ossuary, Czech Republic
Czech airport transfers
“The muses are ghosts, and sometimes they come uninvited.”
― Stephen King,
In the late 13th century – when Sedlec was a part of the Kingdom of Bohemia – an abbot from the town’s Cistercian monastery set upon a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. He visited Golgotha, the hill outside Jerusalem where Jesus Christ was said to have been crucified. The Bible translates Golgotha as, ‘the place of the skull’; and according to some Jewish and Christian traditions, the skull of Adam himself is believed to be buried here beneath the mound.
When the abbot sprinkled soil from Golgotha on the cemetery back home in Sedlec, this grand blessing served to promote it to the most fashionable burial site in all Bohemia.
Word spread throughout Central Europe, and the cemetery at Sedlec Abbey expanded at a rapid rate. When the Black Death arrived in the 14th century, killing thousands in its wake, the monks at Sedlec were being delivered more corpses than they knew what to do with.
The ossuary was constructed sometime around 1400, a small chapel beneath the gothic-styled Church of All Saints. It was common practice in those years to relieve burial space by stacking bones closely in dedicated vaults; and the Sedlec Ossuary was just one of many such repositories built across Europe in the late medieval period.
Over the following century this ossuary would fill up fast. Even after the plague had passed, thousands of new interments would arrive following the 15th century Hussite Wars. In the 16th century, the role of bone collector was passed to a half-blind monk of Sedlec’s Cistercian order.
Working alone, this man would spend the remainder of his life preparing the bodies. The process would typically involve burying a corpse for several years, to allow the worms to remove its flesh. It was then exhumed and the bones were cleaned, polished, then stacked into great pyramids in the semi-subterranean chapel. Here they would remain for almost half a millennium, whilst empires rose and fell above.
Today – it is unknown quite how many bones reside within the Sedlec Ossuary, however it is estimated as somewhere between 40,000 & 70,000 souls…
Highgate Cemetery, London
“What could you possibly hope to find in a cemetary?” The women said. “The dead tell no secrets and the living seldom come to visit them.”
― Felix Alexander,
During its heyday, Highgate cemetery was one of the most sought after burial places for London’s elite. Anyone who was anyone and could rub together a good couple of pennies wanted to be buried here in the Victorian century, but by the time we hit world war 2, it had completely fallen into neglect and far from the wondrous place it once was, so it is little wonder why so many paranormal stories have come from here.
From tales of ghosts and ghouls all the way to tales of the legendary Highgate vampire, any fright finder wouldn’t be disappointed with a visit here.
Burg Wolfsegg, Germany
“Now I know what a ghost is. Unfinished business, that’s what.”
― Salman Rushdie,
To set foot here is a feat I would only say would favour the bravest of the brave. “A White Woman” is said to stalk its hallow halls ready to spook any visitors to Burg Wolfsegg that cross her path.
The ghost is said to be Klara von Helfenstein who was thought to have been murdered by her jealous husband. They once lived there in what could have been thought to have been a lovely old fairytale from outsiders had it not been for the fact that Klara’s husband travelled a lot. Whilst he was away, Klara had some transgressions with a local, who also just so happened to be one of her husband’s biggest rivals. He came home and uncovered her affair and well… I’ve already told you the ending to that one!
City of the dead, Russia
“Some love is so powerful after all, that it must always include sadness, because encrypted within it is the knowledge that someday it will come to an end.”
― M.T. Anderson,
Situated in Russia, its a 3 hour long drive that will take you all the way to the city of the dead. From a distance it looks like a regular, run of the mill village. A few stacks of houses and there’s gotta be a pub hidden somewhere, amirite?!
Wrong. The twist on this is that instead of the cute little houses being filled with different happy people and families going about their day-to-day life, they’re filled with mummified bodies that are dressed in their best get-up, shoes and hair combed fit for a first Tinder date.