Belief in ghosts and evil spirits has been around for many years. The Celts practiced Halloween then known as Samhain (it is pronounced sow-en) in what we now know as the United Kingdom. Halloween practices were meant to signal the end of Summer and wearing masks and costumes worn by villagers to ward off evil spirits.
Today people know Halloween as a fun day for children snag some free candy and for adults to get together and become someone else for one evening of the year. But the best thing about Halloween are the haunted house and places both real and imaginative. One haunted place I know of , my own house, where our ghosts are even more active when this time of year comes around. Yes, really, my house is active with the usual doors closing on their own, shadows passing swiftly in the blink of an eye, chairs rocking on their own, and disembodies voices and footsteps.
In the beginning it was startling to know you were alone in the house, but you weren’t. My entire household has experienced some sort of paranormal phenomenon while living in the house. Now, the sounds and poltergeist (the German word for “noisy ghost”) activity are just a normal part of our time here in Germany. The history of the area we live in certainly explains why some of these things are happening. The town we lived in was actually the housing area for SS German Officer and their families. It’s possible that some of them have lingered on and do not realize that their time has past. Of course, our family is not alone in this experience.
Germany with it’s rich history of change and violence lend the perfect atmosphere for continual hauntings. In Darmstadt, Germany sits the Frankenstein Castle, which some say inspired author Mary Shelly‘s story “Frankensein”, is used as a haunted house once a year.This year you can visit Frankenstein’s Castle on weekends from October 24th to November 9th to scare yourself silly with monsters jumping out of the shadows. Frankenstein’s Castle is also rumored to actually be genuinely haunted and was even investigated by Syfy’s popular show, Ghost Hunters.
Another place I have visited myself is the Dachau Concentration Camp which is also rumored to be haunted with the spirits of the prisoners kept there. It is located the city of Dachau, not too far from Munich, Germany and is the only concentration camp that was open through the entire WWII. The strange feelings start when you reach entrance of the iron gate which reads, “Arbeit Macht Frei“, which translates to “Work Makes You Free“. Ironically, the words meant to give hope actually was more of a reminder of the hopelessness of captivity. Inside the vistors walk the very path that Jews, and other people who opposed Germany’s position, walked and gave up everything they had. The somber cloud creates a haunting atmosphere and you never feel alone as you walk through the camp. The sadness is heavy and the tours are very quiet and the ovens are even more unsettling.
So the question is are you a believer or skeptic? Either way there are many places in Germany in which hauntings occur. Where the dead and the living intermingle, and once a year on All Hallows Eve, if we’re lucky they might show themselves to us. Take a look at some other places in Germany you can visit for a ghostly experience of your own. Happy Hauntings!
- Halloween 2010 | Top 10 Haunted Places in Wales , Bank Holidays Seasonal and Break Ideas (visitwales.co.uk)
- Samhain, Hallows’ Eve, Halloween (smarisol.wordpress.com)
- History of Halloween 2012 (maryjeans.wordpress.com)
- Celebrating Darkness and Evil? (renovationstory.wordpress.com)
- Fancy a bit of ghost busting this halloween? (visitwales.co.uk)