Is spooky season around the corner or do you just want to get your freak on? No matter your reasoning, we’ve gathered a list of some of the spookiest places in Europe to plan your next trip or just to read late at night under the covers. From ghostly sightings and abandoned buildings to witch trial locations, there is something for every inner goth at heart. Let’s ghoul!
This article was contributed by one of our St Christopher's Innsiders , Hayley. Do you want to see your work featured on our travel blog? Get in touch at SCInnsiders@bedsandbars.com to pitch your idea. We can't wait to hear from you!
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1. Greyfriars Kirkyard, Scotland
Kicking off the list is a classic graveyard (and my personal favourite on the list) – Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh, Scotland. Not only does the cemetery date back to the 16th century but it’s allegedly crawling with ghosts and regular apparition sightings. The George Mackenzie Mausoleum gives the Kirkyard its frightening reputation, as the tomb reportedly houses an evil poltergeist that has been said to have caused visitors to leave with strange bruises and scratches (this part is locked up now!). If you’re a regular old adrenaline junkie, the kirkyard is open 24 hours, so you're free to roam whenever you please, as long as you be respectful of the dead. While you’re there, find the statue of the Kirkyard’s most famous (and beloved) ghostly resident – Bobby the dog!
If you need some comfort after the spooky walk, is only a short walk away. On your way back, why not jump on one of the town’s many ghost tours or explore the notorious underground tunnels?
2. Chernobyl, Ukraine
The once infamous and unnerving location of the 1986 nuclear disaster is now frequented en masse by dark tourists. In 2019 around 124,000 people went to visit! This town is an abandoned playground of sorts, as its residents were forced to flee when radiation levels became lethally high. Now overrun by nature and graffiti, Chernobyl is one of the only places in the world now untouched by modern civilisation – unnerving in its gothic beauty. You’ll need to book a tour with an approved guide though. Gas masks, rusty swing sets and broken furniture are just some of the things you might spot along the way…
3. Tower of London, England
One of the most famous landmarks in London isn’t only the most popular, it’s supposedly the most haunted! This hair-raising former royal residence, battalion, prison, mint and jewel vault was originally built in the 1070s by William the Conqueror. It has some famous ghosts roaming their walls – apparently even Anne Boleyn and the ‘Two Princes’! At night the castle is spectacularly lit up continuing its domineering presence within the London skyline. But having briefly worked there, I know it’s a place not for the faint-hearted once the sun sets!
To get rid of the tingling down your spine, head to St Christopher’s Inn for the night. has 8 hostel locations!
Check out these to get your thrills in the Big Smoke...
4. Corinaldo, Italy
Corinaldo is an Italian medieval village located in the province of Ancona. What makes it so spooky you ask? Every October in honour of Halloween, the town holds The Witches Festival that has run for over 20 years. Open for people of all ages, you can find food stalls, craft markets, concerts, decorations and even the “Miss Strega” (Miss Witch) elected on behalf of the festival every year. Sign me up! (Seriously, I want to be Miss Witch)
5. Paris Catacombs, France
Hardcore horror fans need to put the Paris Catacombs on their list of spooky places to visit in Europe. Human skulls lining the walls, pitch-black tunnels and eery noises. It’s no wonder it has been featured in so many films and documentaries over the years. Created in the late 1700s, the catacombs were made to curb the health problems that arose from Paris’ cemeteries, so they chose to discard bodies underground, leaving mountains of bones over time. You’ll have to book a ticket through the official website – it’s illegal to go in alone!
Shake off the spooky vibes with a dance and a drink at and their fabulous Belushi’s.
6. Poveglia, Italy
The island of Poveglia is famous among locals, and not in a good way. With a history of housing a mental institution and a hospital for the terminally ill, it’s no wonder this island is notoriously known for its hauntings. Stuff made of nightmares, right? During the plague times, this was where terminally ill patients would be abandoned to die (roughly around 160,000 of them). From the 1920s to the 1960s it was used as a mental hospital, where conditions were said to be torturous. There are even rumours that 50% of the soil is made up of human remains!
Even now, the island hasn’t even been fully explored, and the buildings stand abandoned. You can’t actually visit this one, but you can spot it from the beautiful island of Venice. The nearby San Servolo Island is open to visitors though, and it has a museum about the region’s sordid history of plague islands.
7. Bran Castle, Romania
Grab your garlic, silver and stakes, the home of the legendary vampire Dracula awaits your visit! Bran Castle in Romania was the inspiration for Dracula’s castle in the titular novel by Bram Stoker. Fit with its dramatic cliffside location, it’s easy to feel transported to the pages of Stoker’s book. In real life, Bran Castle’s walls have a history of violence and gore and it’s well-worth uncovering its history with a visit. It was even home to the notorious Vlad the Impaler.
8. Moosham Castle, Austria
Photo credit: Bernd Thaller
From the outside, it’s hard to imagine this picturesque, fairytale-like castle holding anything sinister. But inside its walls roams a dark history of witch trials and werewolf hunts – plus it’s said to be the most haunted castle in the world. Between 1675-1690 it was the location of the Salzburg Witch Trial, which claimed 139 lives. In the 1790s, locals believed there were werewolves in the castle, to which residents of Moosham were rounded up and murdered. It’s now open to the public , where you can decide for yourself what lives inside!
If the darkness has been a bit too much, fear not! St Christopher’s Inns keep the lights on and the pints flowing. If you’re keen to go to some of these sights on Halloween (or just on a casual weekend trip), check out St Christopher’s Inn , or !