I Spent the Night in a Haunted Spanish Castle
When given the opportunity to stay in a Spanish castle, the answer is usually a resounding hell yes.
After living in the chaotic Barcelona for a couple of months, we couldn’t wait to get a break from the city. Laura and I came prepared with a backpack full of clothes and the chance to live like royalty for a couple of days.
Upon arrival, we were a bit disappointed at the lack of moats and drawbridges, but nonetheless walked hopefully through the huge gates. We walked in to see a terrace with a small swimming pool, trees, tables and chairs. The air was fresh, there were mountains in every direction, and only the odd car could be heard whizzing past. We were in love, and hadn’t even stepped through the front door yet.
A wander around revealed four levels with countless living rooms, dining rooms, and bedrooms, all filled with antique furniture and random shit like teapots and jugs on every patch of counter. We made our way to the top of the tower where we literally felt like queens. Well, queens who watched the sunset in folding chairs while sipping on cheap beer. Surely Queen Lizzie does this at least once a week?
At this point we were stoked to be staying for the next few days.
But, as we soon found out, it was too good to be true. These things usually are, aren’t they? After a chat to an older American dude who’d been living at the castle, we learnt a bit about the history of this grand place. On the first level, where the windows were barred, was where the prisoners used to be kept. Clearly a history fiend, James’ eyes were glowing and he was spurting all sorts of facts that I later forcefully removed from my mind. He then showed us to a door that had been screwed shut. Inside, he told us, was the torture room.
“I can undo the screws if you want to have a look?”
Inside, the contents of the torture room included a ‘rack’ and a trap door. The rack was where victim’s ankles and wrists used to be tied while the torturer used a pulley and lever system to stretch them apart. Eventually, you would hear popping noises – the sound of the victim’s ligaments and bones snapping. The trap door, which had a noticeable lack of windows and doors, wasn’t anymore cheerful. It was a solitarity confinement den. Prisoners were kept for months or even years.
“Just the thought of how many people died in here!” James’ enthusiasm continues.
“So… Is it haunted?” I ask. He hesitates, and tells us that there’s a typewriter upstairs. Sometimes late at night when he’s in bed, he can hear someone typing on it.
In the light of day, I thought this was all pretty cool. I ran downstairs and relayed the stories to the other girl staying with us. It wasn’t until that night, when I was having a shower and the door started shaking back and forth, that I realized this wasn’t just some cool story. I could feel it in my bones – this place was haunted.
It was only the three of us girls and we were all a bit freaked out when I told them about the incident. So, like mature and responsible adults, we agreed to go to the bathroom in pairs. The next time the need to urinate visited us, Laura was mid-pee when the door started shaking again. I’ve never known someone who was able to stop mid-stream, but Laura managed. It was after we ran out of the bathroom that we noticed the handprint marks on the mirror in the hall.
Just like little kids, we sprinted back to our bedroom, got under the covers, and hid from whatever was outside.
I don’t know if you believe in that kind of stuff – maybe if we hadn’t heard the stories, we would’ve been fine. Maybe we just have overactive imaginations. Or maybe all the horrific things that happened there left a mark on the old castle. Either way, I lay awake in bed that night, unable to sleep over the sound of unidentifiable noises and the thudding of my heart.