Romania is full of haunted spots and spooky historical places notorious for its creepy vibes and eerie atmospheres. For these reasons, Romania is a haven for lovers of everything supernatural, legendary and folkloristic. Romania has some of the most haunted places in the world.
Known for being home to Transylvania, a mysterious place that inspired the creation of monsters such as Dracula, Romania is also famous for being ruled by some of the most gruesome and brutal leaders in history. These merciless and callous men who led the country would make life a living hell for their enemies and local Romanian people, with grim torture techniques and generally abhorrent treatment.
Several Romanian leaders from the past promised freedom to prisoners of war, slaves and enemies. But the promises were consistently empty, always ending up in devastating stories of betrayal.
Slaves were forced to live on false hope, spending years working in harsh conditions as they completed building renovations and dug wells. But instead of being released when the work was done, they were always brutally murdered.
They met their grim demise in all sorts of horrific ways — from being fed to hungry bears to being impaled on stakes and left in the forest as a warning for others. The captured souls in Romania had it rough and would often curse the very buildings they worked on before they were heartlessly killed.
Top 14 Most Haunted & Spooky Places in Romania
It’s this disturbing history that has resulted in Romania being the hotspot for fascinating dark tourism sites. Explore all the supernatural and creepy places Romania has to offer — everything from ghostly fortresses and decrepit castles to the world’s most haunted forest home to a Bermuda Triangle-like clearing. Romania is a great country to visit to fulfill all your spooky desires.
Here’s a list of the most haunted, spooky and outright terrifying places in Romania you’ve got to visit.
Bran Castle – Dracula’s Haunted Castle
Also called “Dracula’s Castle” and “Transylvanian Castle”, Bran Castle is the famous building that inspired the fortress in Bram Stoker’s novel, Dracula. Although many think there’s a strong connection between Vlad the Impaler and the castle, the ruler never actually resided there (except for a brief stint when he may have been held captive in the dungeon).
Are there ghosts in Transylvania?
The lore surrounding the famous novel is actually more closely linked to the neighboring countryside. So, are there ghosts in Transylvania? Local myths state that Dracula was actually inspired by the spirits of the undead that live a normal life during the day but spend the night haunting the village folk.
From Brasov: Buses (tickets cost 7 lei) leave from Bus Terminal No. 2 every 30 minutes.
Price: 40 Lei per adult
Hours: Hours change seasonally and according to the day. But for most of the year, the castle is open 9 am – 6 pm. Visit the official website and view their timetable to confirm the opening hours for your visit.
Hoia Baciu Forest – The World’s Most Haunted Forest
As well as being the world’s most haunted forest, Hoia Baciu is also probably the world’s most famous, at least for those interested in the paranormal. Stories abound of people entering and never returning. Or returning several years later, but thinking they’ve only been gone a matter of minutes.
Hoia Baciu Forest is thick and lush, with a strange bare spot known as the Poiana Rotunda. This unusual section is often referred to as the “Bermuda Triangle of Romania” or the “dead zone”. Weird lights, strange shadows, and mysterious orbs have been spotted here, leading some to believe that it could be a popular spot for UFOs. People have also reported getting weird rashes, irritations, and headaches while exploring the forest.
Several ghost hunting shows and celebrities (including my personal favourite spooky guy Nicolas Cage) have visited the world’s most haunted forest near Cluj.
Address: Pădurea Hoia, Romania
Poenari Castle (Poenari Fortress)
Situated high on a cliff only accessible by climbing up 1482 steps, Poenari Castle was the fortress owned and loved by the horrific Vlad the Impaler. The fortress was abandoned and suffered great neglect before Vlad’s arrival. But, noticing how incredibly inaccessible the fortress was, Vlad decided to take advantage and restored it to its former glory. Using slave labour from the men of his enemies, Vlad rebuilt the path and fortress before impaling the men once the work was complete.
Unfortunately for Vlad and his wife, the fortress was eventually surrounded and attacked. Vlad managed to escape, but his wife suffered a dreadful fate. Scared of being held captive, she threw herself from the tower, ending her life.
Today you can visit Poenari Castle and imagine what it was like when Vlad the Impaler lived and ruled there. The fortress is decorated with bloody mannequins impaled on huge stakes to remind you of Vlad’s cruel torture tactics.
If you visit, be careful as a portion of the castle was lost in a landslide. The remote area is also a hotspot for the many bears that live in Romania. It’s a cool place to visit but do use caution.
Book your trip to Poenari Castle here (Tour is a round trip from Bucharest)
Address: Transfăgărăşan Comuna Arefu, Romania
Visiting times: 10am & 3pm
Located in the Boldu Forest just outside Bucharest is a body of water known as the Witches’ Pond. Several supernatural stories surround its allegedly cursed waters, including it being the site where women go to bathe in an attempt to encourage a miscarriage.
The Witches’ Pond is a popular place amongst Romanian witches who practice rituals by harnessing the energy and power contained within the water. It’s also rumored to be the spot where Vlad the Impaler finally met his end by beheading. There are even reported sightings of Vlad’s spirit roaming through the forest surrounding the pond.
Rasnov Fortress (Rasnov Citadel)
Sitting atop a hill in Rasnov is the beautiful Rasnov Fortress, full of history and legends. The citadel was unlike others in Romania, as it was used to protect the entire village from attacks.
Known as the “Fortress of Fear”, Rasnov Fortress is rumored to be the place where Turkish prisoners were forced to dig a well through solid rock with the promise of freedom (seems to be a theme in Romania). Of course, they were betrayed and immediately killed once the well was completed. The best thing about Rasnov Fortress is the view of the forest leading to the Carpathian Mountains! It looks like a dream.
Book your tour to Rasnov Fortress here (As well as to Sighișoara & Bran Castle). 2 Day Tour.
Corvin Castle (Hunyadi Castle)
Corvin Castle, also known as Hunyadi Castle, is one of the largest citadels in Europe. During its heyday, the castle was used for defence, as well as a prison, which was rumoured to have held infamous Vlad the Impaler captive. There’s another, darker rumour about Corvin Castle’s prison that claims it once contained a bear pit into which prisoners were thrown when they were deemed no longer useful.
The castle was redesigned and restored in the 17th century, giving it a more gothic look. Turkish prisoners are said to have cursed the castle after they were forced to build a well on the false promise of freedom. After working for 15 years, prisoners were put to death instead. I’d put a curse on the castle after that sort of betrayal, too!
Book your trip to Corvin Castle here (From Cluj: Day Trip to Corvin Castle and Alba Carolina)
Located just outside Bucharest, the Chiajna Monastery is a desolate church thought to be cursed. Legend has it that before the church was declared a sacred location, it was bombarded by the Turks who tried to destroy it, believing it to be a military objective. They cursed the monastery (it seems those Turks were busy cursing everything in Romania!) before it was abandoned and used as a refuge for people suffering from the plague that hit shortly after.
The church’s bell fell into the nearby Dâmbovița River. But locals say on some nights they can still hear the bell tolling in the darkness. The sounds and stories surrounding the Chiajna Monastery have given the location a very creepy atmosphere, leading many to believe the area is haunted.
Address: Calea Giulesti, București, Romania
Owned since the 14th century by the Banffy family, Banffy Castle was abandoned during WWII when the family fled from the Nazis after German soldiers set it on fire. Following that, the castle briefly became a hospital for soldiers before it was neglected and left to deteriorate.
Restoration works have been underway since the early 2000s and the castle is now used as a museum, as well as the host for the annual Electric Castle music festival. There are several spirits who have been spotted roaming Banffy Castle’s halls and grounds, including those of former soldiers who perished while the castle was used as a hospital. Sightings of other apparitions, as well as sinister shadows, have been reported by guests visiting the castle.
Address: DJ161, Bonțida 407105, Romania
Hours: 9 am – 7 pm daily
Iulia Hasdeu Castle
Built by her grieving father, Iulia Hasdeu Castle is a memorial built in honour of the piano-playing child prodigy who lost her life to tuberculosis at just 19 years old. Iulia’s father, Bogdan, turned to spiritualism in search of comfort after the loss of his daughter.
He claimed he was contacted by his deceased child who inspired him to build a shrine and guided him throughout its construction. Today, people have reported hearing the faint sounds of a piano and visions of Iulia’s spirit roaming the grounds.
Hidden far below the streets of Brasov are concealed catacombs. There are several theories regarding the tunnels’ purpose, such as being used as storage for holding military supplies, while also connecting various military buildings, like defence towers, together. Another theory is that during WWII, the catacombs were used as a permanent prison for captured German soldiers who were locked inside and left to perish.
A huge section of the catacombs is still left unmapped and it’s more than likely several other tunnels will be found underneath the city in the future. Unfortunately, you can’t venture into these catacombs. But you can check out some of the sealed and blocked entrances to get a glimpse of the inside.
The catacombs have various entries around Brasov – if you want more information on where to find them take a walking tour with Romanian Friend.
Geamana bears the burden of a village turned into a lake of toxic waste. Dictator Nicolae Ceausescu discovered a huge underground copper deposit and decided to sacrifice the town to reach it. This meant forcing the townspeople to evacuate, leaving behind their homes and memories of their lives there. Geamana was then replaced by an artificial lake and used as a cesspool for the toxic sludge.
If you visit the area, you can still see the steeple from the church poking through the contaminated water. All the graves that sat around the church are still full of the bodies originally buried there, forever lost beneath a sea of toxic gunk.
Although the village has a sad and dangerous history, due to all the copper contamination, I really find the orange and red poisoned waters that have engulfed the buildings to be quite beautiful.
Address: Geamăna 517416, Romania
The Merry Cemetery
Probably one of the best cemeteries in the world, the Merry Cemetery is located in Săpânța and shows a different side to the afterlife. Now operating as an open-air museum and quite the tourist attraction, the cemetery adds a hint of dark comedy to an otherwise somber place. Rather than wallow in the sadness and gloom usually associated with death, the people of Săpânța decorate the tombstones of their passed loved ones with bright colours, hilarious poetry and painted images of the deceased, showing scenes from their lives or the tale of how they passed on.
Address: Săpânța 437305, Romania
Cismigiu Hotel started having problems in the 90s when students from the Theater and Film Academy moved in and used the establishment as a dorm. Rumour has it that one of the students fell down the elevator shaft where she screamed for help that never arrived. Her fall ultimately cost her life. People claim they can still hear screams coming from the elevator shaft to this day.
Hospital of the Posts
Located in Bucharest behind the Stavropoleos Church, the Hospital of the Posts has a very dark history. Not a place of healing like you would imagine, the hospital operated as an organ trafficking site. The ill who were committed never made it out alive, as they were immediately harvested for their organs.