Today most Germans are usually not very superstitious, black cats, broken mirrors, or Friday the 13th doesn’t faze them anymore. Nevertheless, Germany is a place where you often feel, time standing still. Town centers can take you back to the middle ages and dark forests and hidden castle ruins might remind you of times long ago. Still, some ghost stories and legends have survived over the centuries and are still told today. Recently ghost hauntings and paranormal research has spiked in popularity, and so people are once again flocking back to these ancient spots in hopes of catching a glimpse of “the other side...”
So, why not you? Lets head out on a foggy fall night and get to ghost hunting. I have searched through insider forums, newspaper articles, and books in order to bring you some of the most haunted spots inside of Germany:
• Unterdeufstetten (74579 Fichtenau)
The apparition of a man riding a horse is said to be seen along the river of the town Unterdeufstetten. The legend goes, that the river watchman was out in the local pub drinking before his guard shift at the river. By the time he finally headed out for work, he was quite drunk. When he did not return the next day, search and rescue was dispatched and finally found him dead on the banks of the river. He must have passed out, fell of his horse and drowned in the water. To this day the watchman is said to patrol the river.
• The Witches Tower and Nazi Amphitheater in Heidelberg
Many have heard strange wails and seen unusual apparitions. It is said that those that visit on moonless nights have the sudden urge to run away as quickly as possible in order to get away from some unseen fear.
• Weilheim Plague chapel (82362 Weilheim)
Ghosts and apparitions are some of the many phenomenon reported in and around the Pollingsrieder Chapel. Located about 4 kilometers south of the city of Seeshaupt, in the middle of the dense Lauterbacher forest, the little chapel sits quietly all by itself. Dedicated to Saint George, the original chapel was first mentioned in 1162. In 1633, when the plague raged through Europe and people started dying in the little village, the priest and the villagers made a promise to pray. Legend says that after mass on the eve before St.Sebastians, no one else died in the area where the church bells were heard.
The little chapel was later destroyed in a fire and then rebuilt in 1657.
Several creepy ghost stories originate from this area, one is of a little girl murdered in a well. Her large black dog waited at the well for days and finally a local priest came by to see what was going on. The dog attacked the priest and fatally bit him, while succumbing to his wounds the priest admitted to killing the little girl. Another one is that the bodies of the plague victims were dumped in the wells around the chapel, which happen to form a pentagram around the chapel. Last but not least, the many paths and trails that lead to the chapel are said to drive you insane and staying in the chapel overnight will also do the trick.
• The castle Wolfsegg in Regensburg (93195 Wolfsegg)
Here you might see the apparition of a white lady that can’t find peace until she finds her body. People have reported hearing footsteps, feeling cold drafts and seeing the shadow of a lady. The origin of this lost soul is not entirely clear, however, she is either the young wife of a Baron that was tricked into an affair and then killed or the Countess Klara of Helfenstein that was killed by her scorned husband. He found out about her affair and hired two young farmers to dismiss of his cheating wife and get rid of her body.
• Monastery Wessobrunn (82405 Wessobrunn)
A ghostly nun that is often observed on the monastery grounds. Founded in 753 the monastery has been a big part of the Christian life in the area. Back in the 12th century nuns lived and worked in the monastery, when Knight Joseph Diethalm of Wileyhin died in 1211, his sister that was serving at the monastery, and is said to have hid in the cellars below the buildings and died of heartbreak down there. To this day she is said to roam the halls and weep for her long long brother.
• Schweinfurt’s Conn Barracks (97424 Schweinfurt)
Here you‘ll find the site of an old Nazi hospital, psyche ward, and Nazi dining facilities, these buildings were also later used as barracks for US troops. On two separate occasions, at least two years apart, two people (unknown to each other) used the same room and had the same haunting dream. The soldiers were asleep in their beds. The room right above theirs, which they did not know at the time, was a drainage room (what they used to do with the bodies before there was embalming) both soldiers saw a Nazi soldier standing over their bed looking down at them and making comments to a nurse that was standing beside him covered in blood. She had a sad face. The Nazi ordered the nurse to do something in German so the soldiers did not know what was said and the nurse then choked the US soldier who then woke up out of the dream. These two soldiers never met before they confessed their story and swore the truth behind the stories. Other rumors mention an anti-abortionist nurse or woman who carried around an unborn child in the hallway.
• The Pfaueninsel (peacock island) (14109 Berlin)
This island is located in the river Havel, and reachable only by ferry. Back in the 18th century the house of Hohenzhollern turned the island into a beautiful English garden with stunning architecture. The isle was named after the peacocks that were set loose for a hunting expedition in the 1700’s. On the east shore you can find the Kunckelstein, a reminder of the first resident of the island. The alchemist Johann Kunckel von Loewenstein lived on the isle while researching the creation of gold. He was said to have made a deal with the devil and was accused of being a warlock. He fled the isle, after setting of an explosion and never returned. But to this day, a black figure with glowing red eyes is seen wandering around the island.
• Tegel Palace (13507 Berlin)
Towards the end of the 17th century, this castle was converted into a hunting lodge by the ruler at the time. That transformation seemed to have awaken something that was described by the residents back then as a being straight from hell. It seemed like a Poltergeist had made himself at home in the palace and word of the haunting spread quiet quickly then. It is said that out of nowhere hot stones appeared in the middle of the night, and where thrown at the terrified residents, burning everything, they touched. The spirit seemed to really have a thing for fire, and flames would start burning out of nothing, glowing hot projectiles where thrown all over and you could also hear the sound of whips being cracked. They tried everything to get rid of their unwanted company, but nothing helped. Then one day, all of a sudden it stopped...time will tell if this evil apparition will stay away for good.
• Citadel Berlin (13599 Berlin)
Built in 1560 by elector Joachim II, the Italian style fortress was used as a prison during the 15th century. Prisoners were housed in the Julius tower, the gate house and other areas of the fortress. One of the inmates was Joachim’s mistress, Joachim asked his son, to take care of her after he passed away. But his son had other plans and had her thrown into the basement jail, where she perished. It is said that she still haunts the castle today as a “white Lady” seeking her revenge.
• Castle Koepenick (12557 Berlin)
Located on the shores of the river Dahme, this beautiful hunting castle was built in the 16th century, right on top of the ruins of an old Slavic castle. There are many ghostly legends surrounding this castle. One of them talks about a young royal girl that had fallen in love with the wrong man and ended up taking her life by jumping of the bridge in the castle garden. Since then she is said to haunt the castle, people have seen a white veil blowing in the wind on the balconies of the castle.
The other one talks about a black dog that is supposed to wander Koepenick and guard several houses. It is described as large black dog or beast with red glowing eyes, by stunned folks. He is often encountered on the pyramid bridge in the castle garden.
There is also a headless horseman that is followed by headless dogs seen in the streets of Straussberg and other areas of Berlin.
• Friedland castle (15848 Friedland)
This castle is reportedly haunted by a violent ghost. One of the rulers had a beautiful daughter that was very proud. All the men that asked for her hand in marriage, she turned away. Her father was enraged by his daughter‘s vanity and when he was laying in his deathbed, she ran away. Her father was so mad that she did not give him a successor, that he cursed her under his dying breath. Since then she is said to wander the hallways during a full moon. She is on the lookout for suitable men and will follow them. If the potential suitors don’t act right she will jump on their back and strangle them.
So, what do you do when you encounter this ghost with a vengeance?
*Do not talk to the ghost
*Do not use curse words or vulgar language
*Do not overreact or start hitting the apparition
*Calmly keep walking
*Do not look at her or turn around for her
Stick to those rules and you can get away from this cursed Lady
• Rabenstein Castle (14823 Rabenstein)
This 750-year-old castle is keeping a creepy secret...
During the crusades the castle was ruled by a knight that lived there with his wife and daughter, the girl was said to be very beautiful and many knights were trying to ask for the daughter’s hand in marriage. She fell in love with the Knight of Waldenburg, and while her father was not happy with that at first, he finally gave in. However, another knight, the Knight of Neukirchen was very interested in the daughter and fell into a jealous rage when he heard about the planned wedding. He lured the Knight of Waldenburg into a trap and threw him in jail, where the prisoner ended up starving to death. The daughter was so grief stricken and sad that it made her mother ill with worry. The mother ended up dying and the daughter would not leave her mother’s graveside and died of grief shortly after. When the Knight of Neukirchen then decided to raid the castle, he was met by a white apparition on the bridge, the ghostly figure reached for his horse. The horse reared in fear and threw the knight off its back, and the fall killed the knight.
The father ended up leaving the castle and never returned. The ghostly white Lady is still said to be guarding the castle.
• Lake Madlitz (15518 Briesen (Mark) OT Alt Madlitz)
It is said to be haunted by a young woman, that took her own life on the lake. About 200 years ago the daughter of the forest master had fallen in love with the son of a local royal. But when the marriage was not allowed to happen, she took a boat out onto the lake and disappeared. Only her empty boat was found. The white woman is still out there today.
• British soldier cemetery Stahnsdorf (14532 Stahnsdorf)
This cemetery is one of the largest in Europe, it opened in 1909, because the cemeteries in Berlin city were overflowing. There are even some celebrities buried here, names you may recognize, like Siemens or Langenscheidt. Back then the city had its own train that ran out to the cemetery to transport the coffins and people that were coming for funerals. To this day you can find pieces of train rails in the woods. There are also parts of the cemetery that are dedicated to English and Italian soldiers that died in the first world war.
When entering the graveyard, it is said that you will start feeling gloomy and as though you were being watched. There is supposed to be a guardian that especially watches the English part of the graveyard. So, beware while wandering the beautiful grave sites with their exquisite statues and crypts.
• Hohenburg, Homberg (34576 Homberg)
It is said that the Hohenburg was built in 1190 and was later rebuilt, after it had laid abandoned for many years, in 1508. Legend talks about a white woman that haunts the castle ruins. The castle was under siege and one of the castle guards that was to warn the people in the castle got paid off to stay quiet, however one of his servants saw the approaching threat and warned the people of the castle. The guard was furious and threw the maid out of the window into the moat of the castle. The ghost is said to return every 7 years to remind the city and to shame the traitors.
• Babenhausen Barracks (64832 Babenhausen)
German: Babenhausen Kaserne – now a museum – The ghosts of German soldiers, some in World War II era uniforms, have been reported here. Lights are said to turn on and off by themselves and voices are heard in the basement. Footsteps and commands are allegedly heard at night, supposedly without physical cause. Legend has it that if a soldier happens to visit the museum and pick up a telephone, a woman will at times be heard “talking backwards”, unintelligible, in neither German nor English. The town was the site of a witch burned at the stake in the 19th century, and her ghost is said to have seduced, and then killed, several German soldiers since then.
• Frankenstein Castle near Darmstadt (64367 Mühltal)
Local legend claims that Johann Konrad Dippel’s ghost along with others haunt Frankenstein Castle. Johann, is said to be seen most often between Christmas and New Year’s Day sitting on the roof of the chapel. Visitors to the castle have included numerous groups of paranormal investigators and ghost hunters, hoping to unravel the mysteries surrounding Frankenstein’s home.
• Kelley Barracks in Darmstadt (64283 Darmstadt)
In one of the old barracks, a ghost enjoys turning water faucets on and off. Many visitors feel as though they are being followed through the hall.
• Kranzberg Castle in Usingen (61250 Usingen)
Hitler’s Headquarters during World War II – Visitors and workers alike have seen strange occurrences throughout the castle.
• Nienhagen (18211 Nienhagen)
The “Ghost woods” near Nienhagen has been the scene for a many strange and fascinating events.
• Schwerin (19055 Schwerin)
There are tales of a little man that haunts the castle in Schwerin. Locals call him the “Petermaenchen”. There are several recorded hauntings up to 1930, and it is said you can still see the flickering lights of a candle moving around at night in the castle, that may be little Peter.
Reports of people seeing the ghost of a priest in the church, the Stadtkirche (City Church), although the priest had passed away about 20 years prior.
• Iserputt (17237 Hohenzieritz)
For centuries, pathways have formed in the countryside of the area, just from people and wildlife using them. Many of the old pathways have disappeared over the years, but the legends and stories around them have not. One of them tells the story of the pathway Iserputt. This path is located between Penzlin and Hohenzieritz. At midnight, it is said that you can see 12 white men carrying a black coffin.
• B215 (27313 Dörverden)
Between Stedebergen and Dörverden, and near Verden/Aller this road is known to be a road filled with strange happenings. To this day it is a fact, that this stretch of road has had more accidents (with deaths) than any other area of this road. Witnesses tell of a white lady appearing on the road between 2 and 3 am if you are driving too fast. It is however, unknown if this apparition is supposed to be a warning to drivers, or if it actually what caused the accidents.
• Emden (26721 Emden)
The Ghost ship of Emden, Legend tells that on one stormy night the city gathered at the docks to welcome their loved ones back from a fishing voyage. The dock master was also waiting on his son that worked on the deck of this ship. The people could already hear the captain and crew yelling orders on board, but the waves got so strong and the wind so bad that the ship was lifted of the water for a moment. The night was dark, only lit by a full moon and the people started yelling at the dock master to let down the rescue boats. the dock master decided that he was not going to let the boats down, because he hated the captain of the ship. When the scared folks on the dock reminded him, that his son was on board, he finally budged, but it was too late. the ship and everyone on board disappeared into the ocean. Not one soul was saved. To this day on a full moon, the ship is said to return to the dock.
• Osnabrück, Haste (49090 Haste)
Die Karlsteine (the stones of Charlemagne) – In ancient times, this location (which is now Osnabrück) was the site of a large pagan temple and burial area. When Charlemagne mustered the strength to force the Christian faith upon the Germans in the area, his forces killed the priests and desecrated the graves; it is rumored that he himself broke the largest altar stone to prove the supremacy of the Christian God over the Pagan Gods. According to stories, the magic remained infused in the site and on the winter solstice and summer equinox strange orbs of light have been seen over the centuries, screams are heard, and stains appear on the stones in the apparent absence of physical cause. This has been attributed in local legend to the murders of the priests.
• Tholenswehr (26725 Emden)
(Subburb of Emden) Legends of the black Man with glowing red eyes are still told to this day.
Verden/Aller (27283 Verden)
The “Allerwiesen” are an idyllic area between the rivers Old Aller and New Aller. No one would guess that this place harbors strange secrets. In the summer, they are used for camping and the locals like to let their dogs run loose there. But if you ask the older locals they will be happy to change the subject quickly or not answer at all. Luckily some campers are happy to tell the stories of the white Lady that’s known to float over the grassy landscape. There is also the “ Alte Villa” or Old Villa in Verden. Located on the Burgberg Street behind a hospital, is an abandoned house that seems to be haunted by strange people and flickering lights. It is also known to be a meeting spot for some Satanic groups.
• Fühlingen House, Cologne (50769 Cologne)
What was once the majestic stables of Eduard Freiherr von Oppenheim, is now a mere reminder of times long lost. The house does have one of the most mysterious pasts and is now slowly but surely crumbling into nothing. It is said to be haunted by several ghosts, one of them a worker searching for his long-lost love and the other a judge that hung himself in one of the rooms.
• Schwalmtal Waldniel Hostert/Kent School (41366 Schwalmtal)
Is said to be haunted by the ghosts of mentally disabled children and young adults that were murdered here during the Nazi regime. At night you can hear the wails and screams of the poor children through the hallways and dorm rooms. The complex was last an English School and is currently empty and for sale.
• Boeddeken (33142 Büren)
Located near Paderborn this village sits smack dab in the middle of the woods, although, village may be a bit of an overstatement considering its consists of two whole houses and an old monastery. Close by is the so-called Valley of peace, a warrior grave site with old oak trees and the former royal family’s graves are solemn reminders of times long past.
The royal family of Malinckrodt that used to live in the buildings, was said to have lived there with their 4 daughters and they all died fairly young. After all her children passed away and her husband had also died the Lady of the house supposedly took her own life. To this day she is said to be haunting the area as white woman. She either warns people of a dangerous turn on the road, or scares people that are camping out in the woods.
• Gut Scheifenhaus, Duesseldorf (42781 Haan)
This old ranch was first historically mentioned in 1387, a beautiful farming area that has been visited by a female ghost for a long time now. The ghost is called “die Hexe” the Witch by the locals and is well known. Since 1975 this witch has been haunting the residents of the home, by pulling the covers of them when they were sleeping, or disturbing the peace with running sounds and steps that can be heard from the cellar to the attic of the house. The ghost was repeatedly seen pointing to a certain wall in the home, and the owner opened it up to find an empty room behind the wall. It is assumed that the female ghost is a former patient of a healer that lived right in the area or even in the house. She seemed to wanted to warn the residents of the house. Since 1990 the hauntings have reportedly stopped….who knows for how long.
• University Bochum (44780 Bochum)
Lovingly named the “eternal student” this ghost is said to be haunting the building of the spiritual sciences at the Bochum University. As a creepy shadow, he spends his days dashing around the dark hallways. Legend says this student named Hajo started studying back in the 1970’s and he took so long that he was still at in in the 90’s. Dishearted and unmotivated he started writing but he ended up losing his apartment and died in poverty and alone. As soon as sun sets he is said to run through the hallways looking for books to finish his doctor’s degree. There is at least some truth to this story, since Hajo really did exist and passed away about 12 years ago.
• Bernkastel-Kues Cemetery (54470 Bernkastel-Kues)
At this cemetery, you may see The White Lady of Bernkastel-Kues wearing a long white dress floating from one grave to another, crying at times. However, another story about this ghost concerns a hunter. He was so terrified when he saw the ghost, that the next day he was taken to Koblenz and admitted to a military hospital, with swollen legs and a high fever. He was rambling on and on about a white lady that attacked him. He ended up dying there.
• Bitburg Air Force Base (54634 Bitburg)
The French Casern is nearby this air force base. The French Casern was a popular meeting place of the Nazis. Here you will hear doors slam shut and lock and see furniture moved in front of doors so they cannot be entered from the outside.
• Eltz Castle (56294 Wierschem)
This castle is still an insider tip in Germany, and rumor has it that the ghosts of medieval knights still haunt the castle grounds. The Eltz Castle closes for winter break on November 1st, so hurry up and pay this great castle a visit.
• Reichenstein Castle (55413 Trechtingshausen)
According to local legend, Dietrich von Hohenfels and his nine sons were robber barons who used the castle as a stronghold. His sons were caught by the authorities and killed; Hohenfels himself was captured the next day. He asked that he be hanged and his sons’ lives be spared. One story says the king offered his life in exchange that of his sons, if he can save them by walking past them after he was beheaded. The executioner chopped his head off and the headless body walked past all nine of his sons. The shocked king spared the sons lives. Another story says the king killed them all and all ten bodies were buried in St. Clement Chapel, in the castle, and the ghost — headless — is said to haunt the castle. Reichenstein Castle was visited by the Ghost Hunters International team where, while several had personal experiences, they caught no “ghostly activities” with their equipment.
• Villa Rasselstein, Neuwied/Andernach (56567 Neuwied)
This villa was originally build in or around the 1900’s, with quite a large living area this mansion was meant to house the family of the director, but was later used to hold the laboratories for the Rasselstein plant. The house itself was built on the site of an old Jewish graveyard. The villa was occupied by several families up until 1955, when less and less interest kept potential buyers away. After that the house slowly started crumbling and eventually became condemned.
The house is said to be haunted by several different ghosts, some being members of the family Remy that passed away in a house fire, a traffic accident, and one who was the victim of a violent crime that was committed in 1989 on the premises. In 2002 the state decided to demolish the villa since it was too expensive to renovate it and no one had shown any interest in buying it. Today the area is a parking lot for the Rasselstein plant, and the only thing left of the house is a little bit of wall of the old villa. To this day paranormal things are going on in the parking lot.
• Rotenfels/Ebernburg by Bad Muenster (55583 Bad Münster am Stein-Ebernburg)
These beautiful cliffs are the highest between the Alps and Scandinavia, and the red lava rock gives the stunning cliffs their name. This area is not only popular with hikers that love the admire the gorgeous sights and nature, but also with people that seek to end their lives. The locals have dubbed the area suicide cliffs, since every year several suicides happen out there. While the area is beautiful during the day, the mood changes when night falls. Hikers have talked about being followed or feeling watched, and the villagers talk about a mountain ghost troll that watches the cliffs. There is a well-documented story about a run in with this ghost that Franz von Sickingen (a famous German knight) had.
• Castle Lahneck, Lahnstein (56112 Lahnstein)
According to the newspaper “Kreis and Wochenblatt” of the city Adenau, dated October 26, 1863 a young English woman named Lady Idilia Dubb went missing along the Rhine river while sightseeing. She ended up climbing the ruins of the Lahneck castle and climbed up the remaining stairs of the main tower. The crumbling stairs collapsed under the weight of the young woman, dumping her onto a platform high up in the tower. When the Lady did not return from her trip, search and rescue teams were dispatched, but they did not know the woman had crossed the river to check out the ruins. After many long searches, the family of the young woman went back to England. Many years later workmen crews cleaned up the rubble in the tower and started renovating the castle. The removed the broken stairs and that’s when they discovered the remains of the woman. To this day the white Lady is said to be walking around in the castle.
• Former Abby, Tuensdorf (66693 Tuensdorf)
This former Abby is now owned by private hands and no longer used as an Abby or a school. The beautiful garden is still open to the public though. Former occupants and nuns from the Abby did witness strange paranormal phenomenon, like the sounds of rattling chains and heavy dragging footsteps through the halls. It is said that former residents are haunting this place and that the rattling chains can still be heard today, especially during a dark night, right around midnight.
• Castle Hirschstein (01594 Hirschstein)
This stunning castle was built right on the shores of the Elbe river. The castle was meant to commemorate a white stag that had been reported and was eluding hunters since the middle of the 11th century. Legend says the stag tried to escape from hunters chasing it and jumped the cliffs right where todays castle is located. Several folks, among them the royal owner of the castle, have seen a white woman that haunts the castle, pulls of the bed covers, but to this day it’s not clear, who the woman could be.
• Falkenstein Castle (06543 Falkenstein/Harz)
Falkenstein was built between 1120 and 1150, and the castle has its origins in a murder: around 1080, the Saxon nobleman Egeno II of Konradsburg slew Count Adalbert II of Ballenstedt in a fight. The story talks about a cursed hidden room, and once it was open, terrible things happened to the occupants of the castle.
Stories of lost souls that haunt the Island are often told by locals; these lost souls are called Gongers. Legend says these Gongers are the ghosts of people that drowned in the sea, either by choice or by accident. The Gongers later return to their family members, but not until 3-4 generations have passed. They will still be dressed in their soggy clothes, can open doors and will return to their old homes, enter the bedrooms and pray besides their family members. These visits can be marked by the watery trail left behind as well as the salt water remnants on the wet bed sheets. The Gonger will return until the family is convinced of the visitor... but beware, don’t hold out your hand for them for when they touch it, the hand will burn, turn black and fall off.