Our picks of some of Europe’s most poignant locations.
Looking to do a spot of ghost hunting when Interrailing? Then you my want to add the German city of Hesse to your itinerary.
The Babenhausen Barracks located near the city were used to house soldiers for combat during numerous wars, including World War II. After the war, the barracks fell into disuse with the exception of part of the facility, which was turned into a museum. What makes the barracks of interest to dark tourists however is the alleged paranormal activity.
Apparently ghosts of German soldiers have been seen in uniforms, lights are known to turn on and off by themselves, voices and German commands are often heard being shouted out in the middle of the night, and disembodied footsteps are a common experience. 💀💀💀😐😱👻👻 Soldiers who have visited the museum and picked up a telephone have reported hearing a woman talking backwards, it’s not clear whether it’s in English or German.
As if that wasn’t spooky enough, a witch was allegedly burned at the stake in the town of Babenhausen sometime in the 19th century. Her ghost is said to have seduced and killed several German soldiers.
Pompeii was an ancient Roman town near modern Naples in the Italian region of Campania. Founded in the seventh or sixth century BC, the town was destroyed and buried under up to 20 feet of ash and pumice in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.
The eruption killed many of the town´s 11,000 population and the site was lost for about 1,500 years until it was rediscovered in 1599. The objects that lay beneath the city have been well preserved for centuries because of the lack of air and moisture. During the excavation, plaster was used to fill in the voids between the ash layers that once held human bodies. This allowed us to see the exact position the person was in when he or she died.
Today, Pompeii is UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most popular tourist attractions in Italy.
A village about 25 miles southeast of Zaragoza, Belchite (pictured) is a ghost village with a disturbing war-torn past.
In June 1809, French and Spanish forces in the Peninsular War fought the Battle of María near Belchite. Between August and September 1937, loyalist Spanish Republican and rebel General Franco’s forces in the Spanish Civil War fought the Battle of Belchite in and around the town.
After 1939 a new village of Belchite was built adjacent to the ruins of the old, which remain a ghost village as a memorial to the war. The ruins of the old village with the eerie atmosphere became a popular tourist attraction and have been used as filming locations in several movies.
The Somme Battlefields, France
Between 1 July and 18 November 1916, during the First World War, The Battle of the Somme was fought by the armies of the British Empire and France against the German Empire. It took place between in rural landscape, on the upper reaches of the River Somme in France.
Taking place between 1 July and 18 November 1916 the battle, one of trench warfare, was one of the largest and bloodiest of World War I and saw more than one million men wounded or killed.
Visitors to the Somme battlefields can visit a number of private and public museums, preserved battle sites and many cemeteries and monuments to those who fought and those who died in action.
Dracula’s Castle, Romania
Situated almost in the middle of Romania, this mysterious stronghold was, allegedly, a seat of Vlad III – a cruel Romanian ruler from 15th century, also known as Vlad Dracula or Vlad the Impaler.
During his lifetime, his reputation for impaling his enemies and excessive cruelty spread abroad, to Germany and elsewhere in Europe. The name of the vampire Count Dracula in Bram Stoker’s 1897 Gothic horror novel Dracula was inspired by Vlad.