Creepy Crypts and Catacombs Worldwide

A chandelier made of bones, skulls on altars, hanging skeletons -- enter the creepy world of crypts and catacombs for a look into burial practices of the past. Warning: Images not for the squeamish.

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Alleged burial site of Vlad the Impaler
Snagov Monastery

Snagov Monastery

On a tiny islet, surrounded by a lake, stands Snagov Monastery. Vlad enthusiasts have been claiming since the 19th century that Vlad himself is buried inside this monastery, more than 300 miles from Bucharest. While there’s no definitive proof of it, it sure makes for an intriguing story. 960 1280

fusion-of-horizons, flickr  

Count Dracula Club

Count Dracula Club

Inside this 19th-century house in Bucharest, visitors encounter a Dracula-inspired restaurant with some, um, newfangled twists. Dine on menu options like “Count Dracula’s Beefsteak” and the “Van Helsing Plate,” in honor of Dracula’s biggest enemy. But beware -- someone might sneak up on you, and take a bite out of your tasty neck! 960 1280

Count Dracula Club   

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

Brasov, Home to Dracula’s Castle

The medieval fortress, about 100 miles from Bucharest, was invaded by Vlad back in the day. Perched atop a 200-foot-tall rock, overlooking the village of Bran, Bran Castle yields panoramic views of the village below. 960 1280

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Poenari Fortress

Poenari Fortress

This weathered, cliff-side castle was Vlad’s main fortress. Built between the 13th and 14th centuries in south-central Romania by the rulers of Wallachia (a principality in what is now Romania), the castle was later abandoned and fell into ruin, until Vlad stepped in and oversaw its repairs. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com  

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

Chindia Tower in Targoviste

This military tower, in the Romanian city of Targoviste, was built by Vlad in the 15th century. Construction began during Vlad’s second reign (his first reign had been interrupted by a political coup and subsequent exile). Vlad came back strong with Chindia Tower, which stands at more than 88 feet. 960 1280

RomaniaTourism.com
  

Vlad's Old Princely Court

Vlad's Old Princely Court

This place of residence, located in Bucharest’s historic center, was built during the rule of Vlad III. But don’t let its regal arches and (1 remaining) Corinthian column fool you; the princely court was also likely a house of horrors. Local lore has it that Vlad kept his political enemies in dungeons beneath the court’s grounds. 960 1280

Nicubunu, Wikimedia Commons  

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Sibiu, Where the Impaling Began

Vlad’s gory legend was born in the Transylvania city of Sibiu. In 1459, thousands of people were impaled in the city, at Vlad’s orders, on St. Bartholomew’s Day. Vlad’s victims included women and children, along with merchants and the local aristocracy. While some justify Vlad’s gruesome acts as a defense of nationalism (many of his victims were German Saxons), his detractors note that many of his victims were also from his native Wallachia. 960 1280

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Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

Vlad's Birthplace, Sighisoara

See where Vlad III was born. In the winter of 1431, the future Prince of Wallachia was born in the present-day city of Sighisoara -- this yellow building is his supposed birthplace. Vlad’s father was Vlad II Dracul, who went on to become the voivode (warlord) of the area. No one really knows who Vlad III’s mother was; some speculate it was a princess from Moldavia, but Vlad’s father had several mistresses. 960 1280

Aleksandar Cocek, flickr  

Borgo Pass

Borgo Pass

This high mountain pass, roughly 309 miles northwest of Bucharest, is actually known as the Tihuta Pass. Located in the Eastern Carpathian Mountains, the area was made famous by Bram Stoker’s Dracula -- in the novel, he rechristened the area, “Borgo Pass,” depicting it as the gateway to Count Dracula’s lair of horrors.

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Richard Mortel, flickr  

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Hotel Coroana de Aur

Once you’ve checked out the Borgo Pass, settle down for the night at Hotel Coroana de Aur. The property comprises 109 rooms and 4 suites, with air-conditioning, mini-bars and free Wi-Fi among the amenities, making for a clean, streamlined environment to kick back and read up on Vlad and Dracula’s bloody exploits. 960 1280

Iván Vieito  

Ross Castle - Lough Sheelin
Ross Castle

Ross Castle

Ross Castle
This 5-bedroom stone castle, built in 1536, is now run as a B&B. But beware: Guests often wake at night hearing voices and doors banging and shutting on their own. Paranormal believers say the spirit of an English lord’s daughter haunts the castle. So does the ghost of Myles “The Slasher” O’Reilly; the Irish folk hero spent his last night here before dying in battle, in 1644.
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Thinkstock  

Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

Glasnevin Cemetery, Dublin

More than 1.5 million people are buried in Dublin’s Glasnevin Cemetery, so tales of spooky ghosts shouldn’t come as a surprise. But it’s the story of one Newfoundland dog that steals the show. When his master died, the faithful canine companion refused to leave the gravesite, eventually starving to death. The dog’s apparition has been spotted at the tombstone. 960 1280

flickr, infomatique  

Loughcrew, Neolithic Cemetery

Loughcrew, Neolithic Cemetery

Loughcrew, Neolithic Cemetery
The Loughcrew Cairns are passage tombs, built 5,000 years ago. The Irish name for the cairns is Sliabh na Cailli, or “the Hills of the Witch.” Legend has it that a witch jumped from one hill to the next, dropping stones from her apron to form the cairns.
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flickr, irishfireside  

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan

Castle Leslie, County Monaghan

Castle Leslie in County Monaghan
Castle Leslie’s Red Room is supposedly inhabited by Norman Leslie, who died abroad in 1914 and returned to the castle as a ghost. You be the judge.
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flickr, smemon  

Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara

Hill of Tara
The Hill of Tara was a stomping ground for the kings of ancient Ireland. Locals say you can feel a vibration of energy from this stone.
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flickr, dylerpillar  

Lady's Lake, County Cavan

Lady's Lake, County Cavan

Lady's Lake, County Cavan, Ireland
A ghost of a lady – who, nobody knows – is said to be a frequent visitor to this artificial lake. Maybe you'll see her in a stroll around the grounds in County Cavan, Ireland.
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Thinkstock  

Charleville Castle, County Offaly

Charleville Castle, County Offaly

Charleville Castle
Singing in the middle of the night, screams, laughter -- this strange mix of sounds has been reported by visitors to Charleville Castle, in County Offaly, Ireland. Psychics and paranormal investigators say the ghost of an 8-year-old girl named Harriet is the source; the youngest daughter of an earl, she died in the main staircase of the castle in April 1961.
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flickr, irishfireside  

Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow

Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow

Wicklow Gaol, County Wicklow, Ireland
This early 18th-century jail might make your skin crawl. Ever since a paranormal group visited and broadcast their investigation on TV, Wicklow Gaol has become known as one of the most haunted places in Ireland. Paranormal enthusiasts routinely visit from around the world; you can even join them for a night at the jail.
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Getty  

Leap Castle

Leap Castle

Leap Castle
Fierce family feuds have plagued this 15th-century castle. Brother turned against brother; one was killed as he held Mass in the chapel. Centuries later came a gruesome discovery: a dungeon filled with human bones – the remains of those imprisoned and executed in the castle. Today, several apparitions have been reported. Among them is “It,” a small grey human figure, with a skeletal face.
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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Castle_Leap,_Birr,_Ireland.jpg  

Athcarne Castle

Athcarne Castle

Athcarne Castle
Six miles from this 16th-century castle, the tortured cries of soldiers once rose up: At the Battle of Boyne, 1,500 men -- and King James -- died in a bloody sectarian conflict. Today, the ghost of the fallen king supposedly haunts Athcarne Castle; he stayed here shortly before his defeat in battle.
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Getty  

Kilmainham Jail, Dublin

Kilmainham Jail, Dublin

Kilmainham Jail, Dublin
The halls of this Dublin prison, built in 1796, are eerily quiet now. Back in its day, it was crammed with every type of human misery: men, women and children, 5 at a time, shoved into 1 cell. Among them were Irish nationalists; some were executed. And what remains? Bold gusts of wind, heavy footsteps, lights that turn on -- inexplicably -- have all been reported.
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Haunted Ireland  14 Photos

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