Vacations are supposed to be relaxing — but sometimes it’s fun to submit yourself to a little scare, too. Ghost chasers and fright fanatics should head to Europe, since the Old Continent’s centuries of often-bloody history mean many countries can lay claim to some pretty scary landmarks.
Here are five of Europe’s spookiest spots; do you dare to visit on your next vacation?
Catacombs of Paris:
The City of Light has a dark side, and you have to go underground to find it.
The labyrinth of tunnels and crypts that run underneath the city are the final resting place for some six million former inhabitants of Paris, and the creepy catacombs have actually been open for tours since the 1800s. If you do choose to take a stroll among the skulls down below, make sure you give yourself time to recover from fright afterwards — maybe with a sweet trip to a Paris café for a macaron? Yes, sweetness and spookiness co-exist in Paris!
Capuchin Crypt, Rome:
Who knew human remains made for such striking decorating accessories?
Rome’s creepy Capuchin Crypt causes a fright for visitors, when they realize the intricate patterns on the crypt wall are actually made with the bones and skulls of thousands of Capuchin monks. While the crypt will surely send shivers down your spine, it may also inspire reflection on life’s fleeting nature. A ponderous sign in the crypt reads: “What you are, we once were. What we are, you someday will be.”
The Ancient Ram Inn, England:
This Gloucestershire B&B’s charming façade of white-washed brick and climbing ivy belies a distinctly sinister side.
Built way back in 1145, the inn boasts a long history of spooks haunting its halls, and the owner purports that the inn is built on an ancient burial ground and was once the site of child sacrifice and devil worship activities. Still, the inn has a long list of paranormally-inclined tourists begging to be guests for a few days — but are you brave enough to spend the night?
Dublin Castle, Ireland:
Any old castle has its share of spooky secrets, and Dublin Castle in Ireland — which was first built in the 13th century — is no exception.
Beneath the stately walls and gardens of this iconic castle you’ll find the corpses of defeated invaders, whose heads were cut off and mounted around the castle as a warning to anyone else thinking of doing a little invading of their own.
Bran Castle, Romania:
Yes, Dracula exists — or at least, he was based on a real person.
The 15th-century emperor Vlad the Impaler is said to have inspired the character of Count Dracula thanks to his particularly evil ways — like cruelly impaling his enemies. Vlad ruled Romania from Bran Castle, a beautiful stone structure turned creepy tourist attraction. You can pick up masks dripping blood and wooden daggers at the market set up below the castle.
Have you had any spooky experiences on your vacations, or visited any of the places above? Share them with us on Southern Travel Agency’s Facebook page!
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