Romania has many beautiful sights and enigmatic places to explore. Some of the options available include places that can give you a fright – here are three of Romania’s long-standing and legendary castles which are rumored to be common sites of paranormal activity.
Banffy Castle: Nazi Hospital and Site of War Games
Banffy Castle is located in Bontida, where it was built between 1437 and 1543 by the Banffy family. In 1944, Nazis turned the castle into a military hospital. Many people died from this time until the end of the war. Later on, the castle was used as a storage place, and ultimately work began for a partial renovation. Today, only the chapel and a small part of the castle are renovated. The place is known for its paranormal activity. Local youngsters have always liked to gather inside the castle’s ruins to organize various games such as war games. Because of this, many of them got to witness firsthand some paranormal manifestations.
Banffy Castle, Bontida, Romania. ( Cristian Bortes/ CC BY 2.0 )
When they were ten years old, two local girls came across a secret underground tunnel. One end of the tunnel was at the castle, while the other was at the Greek-Roman Church, and the place was provided with some sort of transportation. Children played in the tunnel until locals decided to have it blocked. Children once encountered many bats flying in the tunnel, although there had never been any other bats in the area. The castle and its grounds are said to be haunted by the restless spirits of those who died there while it functioned as a hospital. Nazi ghostly silhouettes have also been seen wandering around the place.
Bran Castle: Well-Known Site for Paranormal Investigations
The construction of Bran Castle was completed in 1377 for military purposes. Over time, various towers were added, and in 1920 Queen Maria ordered its restoration. Probably one of the best known castles of Romania, Bran Castle is identified for its hauntings and has been visited countless times by paranormal investigators.
Bran castle, Romania. ( Mennowijnen/CC BY SA 3.0 )
Locals know that many restless spirits haunt the place and the castle has one location where a strong scent of violets can be sensed from time to time. Among the more famous spirits believed to be haunting the site are Vlad the Impaler and Queen Maria.
Hunyadi Castle: One of the Most Haunted Castles in the World
One of the main symbols of the city of Hunedoara, Hunyadi Castle (“Castelul Huniazilor”) is also known as Corvin Castle (“Castelul Corvinilor”). It was built by Ioan de Hunedoara in the 15th century as a feudal residence and for strategic purposes. There are many legends surrounding the construction, such as the one about the Turkish prisoners who built the interior fountain. The story says that they were promised freedom, but after 15 years of work, they remained slaves. For this reason, one of the prisoners added the following inscription to the fountain: “The one who wrote this inscription is Hasan who lives as a slave for the giaour in the fortress near the church”. Even today, Turkish tourists throw coins into the fountain in the memory of their enslaved countrymen.
Hunyadi Castle in Hunedoara, Romania. ( Craig Heimburger/CC BY SA 3.0 )
Another tale talks about King Sigismund of Luxembourg’s son with a commoner. He gave the woman a precious ring to give to her son upon his coming of age – when he was to go to the castle. In court his true identity could be recognized with the help of the ring, but, one day, a raven stole the ring. Ioan of Hunedoara killed it with an arrow, recovered the ring and the king heard his story in court. As a result, the raven was added on the Hunyadi family crest.
Vlad the Impaler was also a prisoner at Corvin Castle. Held in the cell below the Hall of Knights (“Sala Cavalerilor”), he had to endure harsh conditions and eat rats in order to survive. Some even go as far as to claim that, during this time, he lost his mind and became Dracula, the terrible bloodthirsty ruler.
Still, the most interesting aspect about Hunyadi Castle is represented by the hauntings. This castle is one of the most haunted castles in the world. Ghostly silhouettes appear in photographs and violent ghosts are thought to wander the halls and chambers at night. When some tourists tricked the guards to remain in the castle at night, they came out the next day bruised, beaten, and terrified – they had supposedly suffered the wrath of an angry ghost. The ghost had tortured them until the early morning.
Read more : Ancient-Origins