Some people just love a good scare, whether that’s watching a scary movie or staying at a haunted hotel. The following are some of Portugal’s supposedly haunted destinations, and several are now hotels where you can spend a jittery night.
Bela Vista Hotel, Praia da Rocha, Portimão
Situated on the promenade near the beach, this otherwise tranquil hotel is believed to be haunted by the previous owner. Sightings are common in room 108, the room where the landlady supposedly died.
According to the book, Histórias de um Portugal Assombrado, there are numerous accounts of groans, unexplained whimpers, and the sound of someone or something pounding on the walls at night. Paranormal investigators have even spent the night in the hotel, and many of the recordings apparently show evidence of life on the other side.
All of these late-night noises haven’t affected business, however. The hotel has almost a perfect 5-star rating on both TripAdvisor and Booking.com. Either the ghost moved out after the hotel’s recent refurbishment, or the hotel guests come home so drunk that they don’t even notice her.
- Room prices are around €160 per night via booking.com. Be sure to ask for room 108.
Tivoli Palácio de Seteais Hotel, Sintra
Another hotel with a guest who has long overstayed his welcome, the Tivoli Palácio de Seteais Hotel is an otherwise beautiful 5-star hotel. But although guests will spend €300+ per night to stay here, very few will stay in room 18. Those that do will have to bunk up with one of the previous guests, and who wants that on a holiday?
- Room prices are around €344 per night via booking.com. Be sure to ask for room 18.
Pousada Serra da Estrela, Covilhã
Formerly a sanatorium that housed tuberculosis patients, the Pousada Serra da Estrela is now a beautiful 5-star luxury hotel offering breathtaking views of the surrounding Serra da Estrela, both an indoor and outdoor swimming pool, and complimentary Wi-Fi access.
But, although this hotel offers 5-star luxury getaway, the Pousada Serra da Estrela hasn’t been able to escape its own deadly past. Thousands of tuberculosis victims are believed to have died here, and their spirits now wander the corridors at night.
- Room prices are around €100 per night via booking.com. No need to ask for a specific room: just poke your head out into the corridor late at night.
Quinta da Juncosa, Penafiel
Situated in a small town in the Porto region, the Quinta da Juncosa in Penafiel is believed to be haunted by the Baron of Lages, his wife, and his children.
The Baron believed his wife was cheating on him and the only suitable punishment would be to tie her to his horse and drag her along the ground until she died. Unfortunately for the Baron, it turned out that all of her protests were legitimate and she hadn’t been unfaithful at all. He was so stricken with grief that he not only decided to kill himself, but his kids as well.
Despite even killing his children, this move doesn’t seem to have absolved the baron of all his guilt. There have been frequent sightings of the baron and his wife, neither of whom seem to have been able to find eternal rest.
You can watch a video of some paranormal investigators trying to communicate with the Baron here on YouTube.
Beau-Séjour Palace, Lisbon
The Beau-Séjour Palace, a 19th-century manor house in Lisbon, is said to be haunted by previous owner: the Baron of Glória. Both employees at the Beau-Séjour Palace and visitors have reported all kinds of strange occurrences, including non-existent bells ringing, windows opening and shutting, and objects disappearing.
- The house is open Monday – Saturday, 09:00 am to 06:00 pm, and entrance is free. You can find the palace on Estr. de Benfica 370, 1500-409 Lisboa (map).
Other spooky places to visit
- Capela dos Ossos in Evora (bone chapel) or in Faro – Portugal has several bone chapels, including a very large one in Evora. Although the Capela dos Ossos in Evora is probably the largest, the one in Faro may be easier to get to for most people to get to.
- Águas Livres Aqueduct – The stomping ground of serial killer Diogo Alves: Lisbon’s equivalent of Jack the Ripper. Alves would rob guests who were walking along the aqueduct late at night before throwing them to their death.
- Faculdade de Medicina da Universidade de Lisboa – Even more creepy than Alves’ stomping ground is his actual head which has been preserved in a jar and can be seen at the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Lisbon.
- The Cemetery of Pleasures, Lisbon – A unique cemetery where many of the tombs have windows, allowing you to peer in and maybe even catch a glimpse of a decaying corpse.
- Projecto Casa Assombrada, Sintra (haunted house project) – Experience the thrill of a haunted house at the Haunted House Project in Belas, Sintra. Perfect for Halloween!