Even though they can be visited all year around, these haunted places in Portugal go perfectly with the spooky spirit of October, Halloween and the fall season. Being a very old country, Portugal has many tales of haunted buildings and spirits, and a long history with mysticism. This makes our country a world-class destination for those looking to get real-life spooked! Come find out the top 10 ‘haunted’ places in Portugal!
This was a building constructed in 1910 to house tuberculosis patients. More than 350 people were admitted at the same time, despite the fact that its initial capacity was only 50 beds. Many of those people ended up dying and those who visit nowadays say that you can still hear murmurs from those who died there.
This courtyard right in the heart of Lisbon is now quite dilapidated, but it was here that Luís António Alves dos Santos, known as “the Negro” – Portugal’s last executioner – lived temporarily. Legend has it that there was an underground tunnel leading from the Pátio do Carrasco to the Limoeiro Prison, right next door, which was used so that the executioner could more easily carry out his duties. They say you can still hear the screams of Luís himself, tormented by the deaths he caused.
In Faro, a dancer is said to have taken her own life by hanging herself on stage at the theater. Rumor has it that she killed herself out of exhaustion related to her profession, or because of heartbreak. The consensus is that her soul remains in the Lethes Theatre, making itself heard via footsteps and the creaking of wood. In addition to the legend of the ballerina, the building is said to be haunted by a Napoleonic soldier, whose corpse was found walled up in the place where the electrical booth now stands.
“Nós ossos que aqui estamos pelos vossos esperamos” (Us bones who lie here, for yours we wait) – this is the phrase you can read at the entrance to the chapel in Évora. You only have to look inside to realize that this is a place worth visiting. The walls, columns and even the ceiling are covered with the bones of around five thousand people from the cemeteries in the area! Truly spooky.
Legend has it that the spirits of workers who lost their lives in the construction of the enormous building, as well as the ghost of a headless captain, roam the Mafra Convent. And because hauntings weren’t enough, rumors have been circulating for decades that there are mutant rats – albino and as big as rabbits – in the convent’s tunnels, which are closed to visitors.
It is said that there are ghosts in various houses along the Cascais coastline. But none like Castelinho Nossa Senhora de Fátima, which draws attention for its peculiar architecture. Some tell the story of a little blind girl who lived in a house near the castle and accidentally fell from the cliffs. Legend has it that the child continues to wander around the walls of the property with a doll in her hand.
At the beginning of the 20th century, Manuel Marques Gomes, an important man in Vila Nova de Gaia, made his fortune in Brazil and returned to Portugal, where he had this mansion built on the banks of the River Douro. After his death in 1932, his 13 children couldn’t agree on the inheritance and the house was abandoned.
Today, it is part of the Quinta Marques Gomes housing complex. But it is said that the spirit of the first owner haunts the palace. People who have been there say that voices and disturbing sounds are heard.
Sintra is a place closely linked to mystery and the supernatural, with many legends of haunted houses and spirits roaming the town. One of these places is the Palácio de Valenças, the former residence of the Count of Valenças. It is said that the ghost of Palmira, a servant of the Count, who fell in love with him, committed suicide there. Apparently, Palmira still wanders around the house, crying for the love she never had.
Quinta das Lágrimas (Tears Manor), in Coimbra, is a beautiful but also mysterious place. This manor was the scene of the famous love affair between Pedro, heir to the throne, and Inês de Castro, his wife’s maid, and there are countless references to this story around the property.
King Afonso IV disapproved of this relationship and therefore had Inês de Castro murdered. The place chosen was Quinta das Lágrimas and, according to legend, the tears she shed gave rise to the Fonte das Lágrimas (Tears Fountain, pictured). At the bottom of this fountain there are peculiar red algae that give the stones a reddish hue. Legend has it that her blood still paints the rocks of the fountain.
The sea itself inspired the construction of Casa das Pedras. Its walls are covered with shells and stones. Visitors say that strange noises and figures can be heard in the windows. But the current residents deny any kind of unusual activity.
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