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Horrifying History! The Downright Scariest History Tours You Can Take in Europe

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Written by Suzy Guese

Historical tours in Europe can all start to blur together. However, this continent’s history can scare the pants off of you if you know just where to look. From Jack the Ripper tours in East London to torture chambers buried beneath 14th century Italian churches, these tours in Europe will lend you a dose of history, intrigue and perhaps nightmares too.

Jack the Ripper Tours in East London

london-jack-the-ripper-tour 

Kicking off the scariest tours in Europe, why not follow in the footsteps of one of Europe’s most infamous serial killers? East London hosts several tours a night from various companies deemed Jack the Ripper Tours. Detailing the Victorian serial killer that roamed the streets of London in 1888, these frightening tours of Whitechapel showcase the world’s peculiar preoccupation with the still unsolved case. Gruesome tales outlined on the tours tell of the 5 women he murdered between August and November of 1888.

Paris Catacombs Tour paris-catacombs

Catacombs aren’t hard to come by in Europe, but Paris certainly has one of the freakiest. Detailing more than 2,000 years of history, this Paris tour is not for the faint of heart. You’ll get to explore maze-like tunnels littered with bones organized in designs and neat stacks. The narrated walking tours illustrate how the former quarry turned into the final resting place of more than 6 million people.

Narni Underground Tour

A medieval hilltop town in the picturesque rolling hills of Umbria, Italy might seen far from scary on the surface, but go below in Narni and you’ll find a very chilling scene. Not a conventional tour, the Narni Underground Tour takes tour goers through a series of underground rooms under a 14th century Dominican church. The collection of recently discovered rooms once held the trials, tortures and imprisonments of the Inquisition. These haunting chambers include the Tribunal of the Inquisition space where accused heretics were put on trial and an infamous cell where those who were imprisoned awaited trials. The walls adorned with strange graffiti bearing codes, prayers and symbols of those who couldn’t see the light of day.

Stasimuseum Tour in Berlin

Image via Flickr CC - A B

Image via Flickr CC – A B

Do you ever have the sinking suspicion someone might be watching you? On the Stasimuseum Tour in Berlin you might walk away with that feeling for a few days. The museum overviews the former secret police of East Germany, the Ministry of State Security. The long-feared institution boasted fortress-like headquarters that have now turned into a museum. At its peak, more than 80,000 people worked here. You’ll experience perhaps an increase in paranoia as you learn the chilling ideology and rituals of East German society. You might also have trouble looking at a rock or necktie the same way. Exhibits feature some of the surveillance items implored including the aforementioned and even button cameras. Aside from photos, documents and equipment used in surveillance, you can also roam the office of Stasi boss Erich Mielke.

Underground Ghost Tours of Prague

prague-spooky night

There is perhaps nothing more spine tingling than heading out into an old European city by lamplight to lurk around its darkest spaces. In Prague, you can hop on the Underground Ghost Tours of Prague and experience the rare chance to head beneath the Astronomical Clock — a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The tour mixes in the paranormal with Prague’s history. You’ll explore the underground beneath the Old Town Hall to see former dungeons and torture chambers. Easily considered one of the most haunted cities in Europe, you might spot Prague’s resident ghost, the headless Templar Knight who roams the streets in the evening. Not quite scared enough? You can journey a bit outside Prague to the Houska Castle, reportedly built to close up the gateway to hell. As if that wasn’t bad enough, the Nazis took over the castle in the 1930s to conduct occult experiments. It’s safe to say this historic structure is downright demonic.

Have you gone on a history tour in Europe that scared the pants off of you? Share your fright fest with us in the comments below.

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About the author

Suzy Guese

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at http://suzyguese.com.

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