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  • Writer's pictureTransylvania Trips

Spooky Transylvania: haunted castles, horrible histories & terrifying attractions

No matter if you're looking for Halloween destination, a terrifying place to commemorate All Souls' Day (Dia de Los Muertos), or you're an avid fan of haunted castles, horrible histories, and terrifying attractions, we have some recommendations for you!

There is no doubt that the most popular haunted places are the Dracula's Castle and the Corvin's Castle! But there is more to see in the fang-tastic Transylvania, and our team recommends you 3 lesser-known haunted places in the Home of Dracula:

1. The Hoia Forest from Cluj Napoca aka "the Bermuda Triangle of Transylvania"

Hoia Forest is one of the most active areas in the world in terms of mysterious events and paranormal phenomena! Right in the middle of the forest, there is a Rounds Glade, called "The Devil's Heart" as it is a spookily clear of trees place right in the forest's center!

It all started with (the legend of) a shepherd who disappeared into the forest along with his 200 sheep. 200 sheep and a man who was never traced or found again.

After this disturbing happening, people who passed right through the active areas of the forest report skin burns, redness, irritations, headaches, amplified sensations of thirst, anxiety, a sensation of fainting.

And this is not all!

In the mid-20th century, a UFO was reportedly sited hovering over the forest, and other ghostly apparitions, disappearances, and other mysterious happenings continue to baffle scientists and locals.

Numerous locals and villagers mentioned peculiar physical sensations, seeing strange shapes, lights or shadows, hearing voices, and much more. Even the vegetation is often bizarre, and the trees are shaped weirdly, with human faces that can be depicted from their trunks.

Fun fact: There are lots of people going right near the forest for picnics or a run, but will you dare to visit the haunted forest of Transylvania, or just pass by and enjoy a picnic?

2. Poenari Castle from Transfagarasan. The castle adorned with impaling stakes and haunted by the wife of Vlad the Impaler

Before going deeper into the impaling stakes story, do not forget that

Count Dracula is a legend thanks to all the movies and books inspired by all the actions (and killings). - Check out the ups and downs of the history and where it met the legends in Dracula: A Legendary Profile

Now, back to the haunted castle!

Poenari Castle is located on the plateau of Mount Cetatea, facing the west side of the Transfăgărășan, on a canyon formed on the Argeș River valley, and one has to climb 1480 concrete stairs to get in!

This fortress was used by Vlad the Impaler (Vlad Tepes) during his campaigns and invaded and taken by the Turkish invaders later. When the invasion took place, the wife of Vlad the Impaler, decided to commit suicide and jumped from the cliff to her death rather than be taken by Turkish invaders.

And now, the wife wants the castle back!

Locals and those who have spent the night on the castle grounds report strange phenomena, such as floating spheres and flashing lights.

3. Banffy Castle, a haunted place by the World War II German soldiers!

The castle became an almost ruin or shell of a castle after it was entirely destroyed by the retreating Nazi soldiers in WWII. After the happening, locals reported supernatural activities, and the castle was even visited by the team of Ghost Hunters International (Season 1, ep.114).

"The Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in Word and Picture" vol 23- pg 189, Public Domain

Part of the Bannfy Family is still alive, but the castle is undergoing renovation with the help of funds of various organizations dedicated to preserving historic structures. And one of the biggest music festivals in Romania is hosted here as well: Electric Castle.

Whether its ghosts enjoy the music and the guests in tents is something for you to discover, or whether they will remain after reconstruction remains to be seen... or felt... or heard.

Photo: Andivanca

If you're on a search for a Halloween destination, just drop us a line and we will make sure to offer you a spooky trip, and an amazing guided tour through the haunted castles of Transylvania!

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