Ancient castles with crumbling, moss-covered stone walls, or turreted strongholds in mist-shrouded forests make for the perfect fantasy setting. Just looking at them can give locals and travelers chills, but some have such dark pasts that people believe lonely spirits still walk their dank halls. Here are Europe’s 7 creepiest castles:
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Bran Castle – Transylvania
The setting of the gothic horror novel Dracula, 1000 year old Bran castle in Transylvania was once the home of Vlad III Dracul, also known as Vlad the Impaler. Not so different from Count Dracula in terms of cruelty, Vlad the Impaler was known for his favorite method of punishment: impaling. Vlad’s cruelty didn’t end there, however; he was also known to have nails hammered into the heads of thieves, lopping off limbs, blinding, strangulation, burning or boiling alive and scalping or skinning alive.