Castles are some of the most fascinating places in the world. They're great tourist spots, but not only for their historical significance, sheer beauty and impressive architecture, but also because they have endless stories to tell us.
In every culture, from ancient times to the present, people have believed in ghostly spirits. After having witnessed bloody battles, murders, brutal witch hunts and other horrific events, these castles hold so many secrets that have seeped through time in the form of myths, legends and even tall tales. Here are some of the most haunted castles in the world...
1. Houska Castle, Czech Republic
Located in the forests north of Prague, Czech Republic, Houska Castle was built in the 13th century. The castle never had a strategic battle location and was used as an administration center, but it had an even creepier reason for being built: it was constructed to cover a hole that was believed to be Gateway to Hell where people allegedly witnessed half-man half-animal creatures crawling out.
The hole reportedly went so far down the bottom couldn't be seen and the castle was built to keep the evil spirits from getting out. The castle was also a "gatweay to hell" in more than one way -- it is said the Germans conducted a lot of inhumane testing here during WWII.
2. Dragsholm Castle, Denmark
While many places are believed to be haunted by one or two ghosts, this castle, built in 1215, is allegedly home to 100 ghosts. All ghosts have different stories, but it's the story of The White Lady that is most popular. She was a girl who was imprisoned by her father after she fell in love with a servant.
Witnesses claim that there are currently three ghosts residing in the castle and one of them is James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell, who is said to still ride though the courtyard in his horse and carriage.
3. Warwick Castle, England
Warwick Castle was build from scratch by William the Conqueror in 1068. The castle has been a witness to more deaths than perhaps any other castle in Europe. The Ghost Tower is believed to be the most haunted area, but the main story is that Sir Fulke Greville was given the castle by King James I in 1604 and it is his spirit that lives in the tower.
Greville had no family, so he drew up a will one day bequeathing 8,000 pounds to his servant, Ralph Haywood. Haywood wasn't happy about such a small amount being that Greville had no family to will his belongings to, so he stabbed him while dressing him at his London home.
It took Greville a month to die from his wounds and witnesses now say he can be seen staring at them from the dark corners of the ghost tower.
4. Bardi Castle, Italy
Castle of Bardi, also known as Landi Castle, was built over the Emilia-Romagna valley in the 10th century. The castle got its name from an elephant named Bardus, who was a war elephant of Hannibal's cavalry. The ghost of Moroello, the captain of the knights then, haunts the castle in search for his lost love.
5. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Build in the 12th century; Edinburgh Castle is one of the oldest structures in Scotland. The castle has witnessed many violence instances, battles and executions. The spirit of Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis, who was burned at the stake and died in front of her son, still haunts the castle.
6. Leap Castle, Ireland
Leap Castle was built in 1250 and was the home for Ely O'Carroll clan in Ireland. The castle has been witness to many horrific and violent deaths among which the tale of The Bloody Chapel is very popular. The ghost of Thaddeus O'Carroll, who was murdered by his little brother, still haunts the castle.
7. Moosham Castle, Austria
Moosham Castle was built by the Prince and Bishops of Salzburg in 1208. The castle, also known as the Witches Castle, has witnessed hundreds of women accused of practicing witchcraft being beheaded within the walls of the castle. Moreover, several local residents accused of being werewolves were also executed.
8. Castle Bran, Romania
Built in 1212, Castle Bran is actually the world famous Dracula's Castle. Vlad III Dracul was a Wallachian prince whose father was assassinated and brother was buried alive. He became so ruthless that he arrested all the nobles in his court and even earned the nickname of Vlad the Impaler.
9. Chateau de Brissac, France
The Brissac Castle was built in the 11th century in France and is over seven stories with 200 rooms. Charlotte and her lover were murdered in the castle by Charlotte's husband Jacques. It is said that even today the lovers' moan can be heard in the early morning.
10. Eltz Castle, Germany
Built in 1157, Eltz Castle is a picturesque castle with one of the richest interiors in all of Deutschland. This is one of the only few castles in Germany that is supposed to be haunted. The castle has been owned by the same family for 33 generations and the ghosts of the medieval knights still allegedly patrol the castle.
These castles are just breathtaking, look at the views surrounding them