It’s Halloween and we’re taking a look at some of Europe’s spookiest castles. They’re all within reach of Canvas campsites, so it’s easy to add a spine-chilling twist to a day of sightseeing!
1. Brissac Castle, Loire Valley, France
With soaring gothic towers, Brissac Castle is the tallest castle in France and the most haunted! It was owned by nobleman Jacques de Breze and his unfaithful wife Charlotte in the late 15th century. Charlotte was so indiscreet with her affair that on discovering her transgression, Jacques murdered both her and her lover. Jacques was said to be driven so mad by the moaning of the lovers’ ghosts that he soon sold the castle and fled. They say the two lovers can still be heard today, moaning as they roam the castle towers.
2. Château de Châteaubriant, Loire Valley, France
Fancy a pre-Halloween scare? On every October 16th at the first stroke of midnight, legend has it that a ghostly procession of knights and monks can be seen at Châteaubriant. They’re following the spirits of Francoise de Foix, his wife Jean de Laval and her lover, King Francis I as they slowly climb the main stairs before disappearing at the last stroke.
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3. Burg Eltz, Germany
This impeccably preserved 12th century castle is surrounded on three sides by the Elsbach river, and nestled in the Mosel foothills. It’s said to be haunted by the ghosts of medieval knights, and also roamed by the ghost of Agnes, a previous occupant who died defending her honour from an undesirable suitor.
4. Mont Saint-Michel, North Brittany, France
The ancient monastery on Mont Saint-Michel is one of France’s most iconic landmarks, but did you know about its creepy beginnings? According to the legend, the Archangel Michael had to burn a hole in Saint Aubert’s skull before he was persuaded to start building. And apparently the ghost of Captain Louis d’Estouteville also stands guard on the mount, overlooking the site of his victory against the English in 1434.
5. Castello di Bardi, Italy
This imposing landmark from the Middle Ages is in the heart of Bardi, a small town in Parma province. The legend goes that in the 14th century a young officer called Moroello fell in love with Soleste, a beauty from a local noble family. The couple couldn’t display their love in public as Soleste’s family would never have approved. When the young officer left for a battle, Soleste awaited his return on the walls of the castle. A year later, Soleste saw soldiers returning to the town and believed Moroello must have died in battle, so she threw herself off the wall. Moroello later returned and learned of her death, he too plunged to his death. Moroello now wanders the castle in search of Soleste.