10 Haunted European Hotels Where You're Likely to See a Ghost
You may not be the only guest staying the night in your room at these haunted European hotels.
Photo By: Joe Sills
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Hotels Built on History
In Europe, hotels are often built on foundations that date back nearly 1,000 years. Castles, churches and grand estates are often converted into functional overnight lodging. And in the case of these hotels, former owners, guests and even historic figures appear to be trapped inside of their walls.
The Mermaid Inn, England
Strange lights, phantoms and sudden temperature changes proliferate at the Mermaid Inn in Rye, England. The Inn was a documented hangout for 17th century smugglers, and it’s presumed that some of their spirits are still hiding out there. Guests and staff members have reported rocking chairs moving on their own, bottles flying off of shelves and a man walking between walls. At least five rooms at the Mermaid Inn are associated with ghost stories, and you can book one for yourself for around $160 per night.
Toftaholm Hherrgård, Sweden
A stay at Sweden’s Toftaholm Hherrgård comes with a three-course dinner, a full country manor breakfast and — if you’re booked into Room 324 — a spectral host. The hotel’s ghost is said to date back centuries to a local peasant who fell in love with the property owner’s daughter. Enraged by his daughter’s romance with someone of lower social status, the owner ordered her to marry a wealthy, older man. Heartbroken, her lover hanged himself in Room 324, where his spirit is said to have remained ever since.
Dragsholm Slot, Denmark
This house of 100 ghosts is said to contain the spirit of the 4th Earl of Bothwell. The former Scottish nobleman and husband to Mary Queen of Scots was once imprisoned inside the castle’s walls. Today, his ghost is rumored to roam the grounds atop a full horse and carriage, mingling with 99 other spirits who reportedly call this 13th century Danish stronghold home. Dragsholm Slot is located about an hour outside of Copenhagen.
Roch Castle, Wales
Legend holds that in the 12th century, a witch's prophecy led a Welsh nobleman to construct Roch Castle high atop a hill in Pembrokeshire. The castle spent much of the last three hundred years in a state of abandonment before being converted into one of the top luxury hotels in Wales. It's said that a lady in white passes silently through the thick, stone walls at night, and you can roam the halls of Roch Castle, too, for about $238 per night.
Spitbank Fort, England
An active, unpredictable ghost is rumored to roam the halls of Spitbank Fort. Though the property is now a luxury hotel, it served as a defensive position for the Royal Navy for more than 100 years. Legend has it that a terrible tragedy rocked the fort in the early 20th century, when one of its massive guns exploded during a drill, instantly killing members of the crew. Today, ongoing poltergeist activity has been pinned on the ghost of one of those crew members, and you can experience it for yourself from around $650 per night.
Castello Dal Pozzo, Italy
At Italy’s Castello Dal Pozzo the specter of a young woman has been appearing in a tower window for centuries. The woman is thought to be the lingering presence of Barbara Alberto, a former resident who, in 1467, fell in love with a soldier who was unable to return for her. Guests tell stories of Alberto’s frail frame, peering out of a window with eternal longing for her love. Today, Castello Dal Pozzo is a five-star hotel overlooking spectacular Lake Maggiore, near the Swiss border.
Foyers Lodge, Scotland
The former owner of this bed and breakfast on the South shore of Loch Ness has reported seeing the ghost of a small dog scurrying around the house. However, the real spirits surrounding Foyers Lodge are located outside. The winding lane in front of Foyers Lodge connects the structure with Boleskine House, a former home of Led Zeppelin guitarist Jimmy Page and British occultist Aleister Crowley. Some say that Crowley attempted to raise the dead on the lands around his home, and that he was successful in releasing — but not containing — more than 100 spirits in the woods around the hamlet of Foyers. Rates at the lodge start at $126.
Ross Castle, Ireland
Spirits at Ireland's Ross Castle have been known to get too friendly with guests. One woman reported being groped by a spirit before fleeing the hotel in terror, while other guests have awoken to see a dark figure sitting on the foot of their beds. The hauntings here are pinned on the castle's former owner, the infamous Black Baron of County Meath, Richard Nugent. Nugent was a famously cruel nobleman who apparently had his daughter's lover drowned in nearby Lough Sheelin. You can book an overnight stay in the Baron's room for around $200 per night.
Chateau de Brissac, France
More than 560 years after it was founded, Chateau de Brissac still houses gold ceilings, a rich antiquities collection and — if legends are true — the haunting remnants of a grizzly double murder. Visitors to the hotel report feeling touched by invisible apparitions, sightings of phantoms and the unnerving sounds of wailing echoing through the Loire Valley night. The source of the hauntings is said to trace back to a 15th-century couple who were murdered with a sword while locked in an adulterous embrace. Room rates start around $400 per night.
Chillingham Castle, England
Even a hundred years ago, this 14th-century castle near the Scottish border with England was known to be haunted. In the 1920s, workmen cut a passage between two of Chillingham Castle’s rooms. Inside, they found the remains of a young boy alongside fragments of blue fabric. Today, a dazzling blue flash is said to wake guests at the stroke of midnight. Could it be an echoing reminder of the mysterious boy once trapped inside the castle walls? You can spend the night for yourself and find out for about $350.