4 Scariest Places in Europe

categories: europe travel

People always tend to go on and on about the hundreds of marvelous destinations as well as the many romantic getaways ideal for a holiday with your beloved one. However, since I’m more of a solo traveler, I love to travel alone, so these romantic places are of pretty much no interest for me. On the other hand, being an avid backpacker, I’ve pretty much covered all the places that are worth visiting in my home Europe. That is why, I started thinking about something along the lines of the unusual. Not the average traveling ideas you can find in all guidebooks. And then, I finally got it! Since I’m going to be on my own, why not find some places where I can be scared out of my wits?

I’m usually into extraordinary types of adventures and, being a big fan of horror movies, consider myself not easily scared. That is what actually made me embark on a journey to visit the top four most terrifying places in Europe. However, note that some of the places are not particularly scary. What actually makes them give you chills down the spine is the mystery and legends they are shrouded in.

1. Catacombs of Paris

I decided the first stop of my horror journey to be France and to gradually advance east. That’s why my first destination was the Catacombs of Paris. Filled with genuine human skulls and bones, the Catacombs have been created in the eighteenth century. It is basically situated under the city center streets. I had been to Paris before but never have I given it much of a thought what is there under my feet.

What led to the ‘building’ of the Catacombs is the fact that the Parisian cemetery that had been used for nearly ten centuries became a source of infection and got many people seriously sick. Therefore, in 1786 the removal of the bones was performed.

Nowadays, the Catacombs are an alternative tourist attraction where you can walk around the maze-like corridors along with the remains of about six million Parisians. I definitely found the place worth the visit, especially if you have nerves of steel and the sight of millions of human bones doesn’t make you nauseated.

2. Auschwitz

Now, the next one really made me shiver. The Auschwitz concentration camp. We have all seen movies about World War II and archive footage of the so-called ‘camps of death’, but experiencing everything firsthand gives you a whole different feeling than watching it on film.

The Auschwitz concentration camp is situated in Southern Poland. It consists of hundreds of wood-houses where, during the Second World War, German Nazis would keep hundreds of thousands of Jews, gypsies and others who they considered ‘inferior’.

Walking around these places, where people literally starved and toiled to death gave me a feeling I had never experienced before. The grimmest one you can imagine. Millions of people were executed in these camps. Those interested can now enter the grounds of the camp and, while following an expert guide, explore this terrifying place. I took advantage of that opportunity, and I strongly advise you to do so, too, because having a guide contributes to the better understanding of what had been happening there. The very thought of it can scare you stiff.

3. Bran Castle

Bran Castle is one of the places I had in mind when mentioning sites that are shrouded in mystery and legends. Located in the Transylvania province in Central Romania, near the city of Brasov, the Bran Castle is known to have been home to the infamous Vlad the Impaler, also known as Count Dracula. Now, this is something that cannot be proved for sure, but it is widely claimed.

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This historic figure made famous by Bram Stoker’s novel is known to have been very strict and to have impaled criminals for even the smallest felony. This led to the belief that he was blood-thirsty and that is why he was portrayed the way he was in the aforementioned novel.

Precisely because of these legends, I literally consider the castle to be one of the creepiest places one can visit. Especially if you have seen the movie or have read the novel, like myself, you will constantly look behind your back scared that a vampire might appear silently from one of the dark and narrow passages. As if century-old castles aren’t spooky enough in the first place.

4. Prypiat

The last site is really different from all the rest and quite unusual. Not a specific ‘attraction’ but rather a whole town, Prypiat is an abandoned town, the one which is closest to the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant. It has been uninhabited since 1986 when the Nuclear Disaster took place. Prypiat used to be home to the hundreds of workers and scientists that worked in the factory. However, due to the extremely high levels of radioactivity, all people were moved from the town.

Nowadays, the levels of radioactivity have dropped significantly in comparison to 1986, and the place is basically safe to visit, but with a guide. Since I was on my own, I had to join a group of fellow travelers in order to be able to visit the radioactive ground. After the Chernobyl disaster, Prypiat was cleared of its inhabitants, everything was left intact and up to this day stays where it has been once left – household furniture, everyday items, even the nursery’s beds, and an amusement park’s bumper cars and Ferris wheel are still there. I felt like an intruder in some ghost town. The feeling of the place being haunted is extreme.

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So next time you feel adventurous, why not test your courage by visiting one of these, instead of climbing a mountain? If you have the guts, that is.

You can read more from Grace at http://www.vacation-rentals.com/.

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Grace Bailey

by Grace Bailey

Grace is an addicted traveler, passionate to share adventures and experience with you.

2 Responses to “4 Scariest Places in Europe”



Only earlier today I read a post titled ‘The four safest places to visit’ – what are the chances? Certainly difficult to narrow down to four, but you did a great job, there’s something here to scare everyone. I think I’ll stick to avoiding all of them!

Si @thedepartureboard.com


I visited Prypiat a couple of years ago, fascinating! So many photo opportunities. Very haunting!

Love the blog, kind regards, Si

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