Haunted Castles and Their Ghostly Residents

Representation of a haunted castle. Source: Zacarias da Mata / Adobe Stock
By Ancient Origins - September, 26 2023

Who doesn’t love a good ghost story? Travel to any city in the world and you’re likely to find haunted landmarks and the ghost tours to go with them. Whether or not you’re a believer, the history behind the ghostly sightings at the following three castles may give you chills.

Château de Brissac, France. (Jonah Mucchiutti / Adobe Stock)

Château de Brissac, France. (Jonah Mucchiutti / Adobe Stock)

The Green Lady of Château de Brissac

Château de Brissac is a castle located in the commune of Brissac-Quincé, the department of Maine-et-Loire, France. The castle is recorded to have been built during the 11th century and has a long and interesting history. Like many castles around the world, the Château de Brissac is said to possess its own resident ghost. This is the ‘la Dame Verte’ or Green Lady, an unfaithful wife murdered by her husband during the 15th century.

The Green Lady is said to be the ghost of a woman by the name of Charlotte de Brézé, who was the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII and his mistress, Agnes Sorel. The dukes of the château and their families are said to have grown accustomed to her presence, though it is claimed that guests have been frightened by her.

Her favorite haunt is the tower room of the chapel, where she can be found in her green dress, hence the name ‘Green Lady.’ Additionally, her face is said to have holes in place of her nose and eyes, perhaps a reflection of what was done to her when she was murdered. Her moans are heard throughout the château in the early hours of the morning.

Poppi Castle, Tuscany. (Lidia Pachetti / Adobe Stock)

Poppi Castle, Tuscany. (Lidia Pachetti / Adobe Stock)

Poppi Castle and the Phantom of the Murderous Madam Matilda

Poppi Castle was built around the second half of the 13th century AD. Today, it’s commonly considered one of Tuscany’s best preserved and haunted castles. One of Poppi Castle’s most infamous residents was a woman by the name of Matilda / Matelda. She was the wife of an elderly Count Guidi or a daughter in that ruling family.

In any case, Matilda was unhappy with her marriage and sought the company of young men from the town. After inviting one of them to the castle, she would spend the night with him. Before the sun rose, however, she would send the man “home” through the back door, to avoid being caught in adultery.

But to ensure that her reputation was not soiled, she would silence her lovers for good. Unbeknownst to them, the path contained a trapdoor, which sent the lovers falling to their deaths. The disappearance of the young men soon raised the suspicion of the townspeople. In the end, an angry mob stormed the castle, caught Matilda, had her walled up in the tower, and left her to die. It’s believed the ghost of Matilda still haunts the castle.

Hunyadi Castle, Romania. (Marcel Poncu / Adobe Stock)

Hunyadi Castle, Romania. (Marcel Poncu / Adobe Stock)

Hunyadi Castle: One of the Most Haunted Castles in the World

Hunyadi Castle, also known as Corvin Castle, in Romania was built in the 15th century as a feudal residence and for strategic purposes. There are many legends surrounding the construction, such as the one about the Turkish prisoners who built the interior fountain.

The story says that they were promised freedom, but after 15 years of work, they remained slaves. For this reason, one of the prisoners added the following inscription to the fountain: “The one who wrote this inscription is Hasan who lives as a slave for the giaour in the fortress near the church”. Even today, Turkish tourists throw coins into the fountain in memory of their enslaved countrymen.

Vlad the Impaler was also a prisoner at Corvin Castle. Held in the cell below the Hall of Knights, he had to endure harsh conditions and eat rats to survive. Some even go as far as to claim that during this time he lost his mind.

But the most interesting aspect about Hunyadi Castle is the hauntings. This castle is one of the most haunted castles in the world. Ghostly silhouettes appear in photographs and violent ghosts are thought to wander the halls and chambers at night. When some tourists tricked the guards to remain in the castle at night, they came out the next day bruised, beaten, and terrified - they had supposedly suffered the wrath of an angry ghost. The ghost had tortured them until the early morning.

Discover the stories of haunted sites from around the world in the article ‘Unveiling the Eerie Echoes and Ghostly Past of 13 Historic Haunted Sites,’ available in the September - October 2023 issue of Ancient Origins Magazine. Get it here!

Featured Image: Representation of a haunted castle. Source: Zacarias da Mata / Adobe Stock

By Ancient Origins