Spooky season is well underway, making now a great time to add some of Europe’s creepiest villages to your touring trip. If you’re taking the caravan or motorhome to the continent for October half term, it’s the perfect opportunity to get into the Halloween mood.
To help you find the scariest locations, StressFreeCarRental.com has put together a list of creepy villages to explore.
Nowhere conjures up Halloweeny thoughts quite like Transylvania, which is home to the iconic Dracula Castle. The imposing structure looms over the village and can be seen dominating the countryside. Celebrate Halloween in its shadows or explore the castle’s hidden passageways and discover its medieval torture instruments.
The Italian village of Triora has a dark history. After the poor harvest of 1587 was blamed on a group of women who lived secluded lives and understood the benefits of medicinal herbs, more than 300 of them were tried as witches. Some 50 individuals were tortured and killed as a result, giving it the reputation as the Salem of Italy. Visit the Museum of Etnografie and Witchcraft to discover this gruesome past.
If the Guinness Book of Records suggests a village is the most haunted in England, then you take note. No fewer than a dozen ghosts are said to be resident in the Kent village of Pluckley. Look out for the likes of a drowned gypsy woman, a hanged schoolmaster and a woman who haunts St Nicolas’ churchyard before you try to cosy down in your caravan or motorhome and get some sleep.
Upon first sight, the abandoned village of Ochate feels spooky simply due to the potential for anything to be lurking around each corner. When you add to that the fact it was deemed cursed after three epidemics – smallpox, typhoid fever and cholera in 1860, 1864 and 1870 respectively – hit the village without affecting surrounding areas, things get even creepier. There have been reports of strange lights and mysterious voices telling those who explore Ochate to get out.
The Midlothian village of Roslin is famous for the late-gothic Rosslyn Chapel, which was featured in the Da Vinci Code. Its original crypt has been sealed off for many years, only adding to the mystery and allowing numerous rumours to take hold. Among them are that inside you’ll find the Holy Grail or the mummified head of Jesus Christ. Also, watch out for the ghosts of a knight on horseback and a woman in white.
Be careful towing your leisure vehicle in the vicinity of the Croatian village of Skrinjari, as it’s renowned for being the site of many traffic accidents. Not only this, but the Skrinjari House, which has now been abandoned, is said to be cursed after builders constructed the edifice on top of a cemetery, allegedly waking the dead. Many who visit say they feel an unidentified sense of unease around the property.
Locals are said to stay away from St Mary’s Church in Tintern, as the ruins have a looming presence. Evidence of satanic rituals has been uncovered at the site in the past and ghosts of monks seen roaming around. Perhaps these lost spirits are visiting from the nearby Tintern Abbey, which was once home to some 400 religious men, many of whom died from the Black Death.
Photo credit: Unsplash/Anna Mircea