Is Svojanov Castle Haunted?

Hrad Svojanov

I love ghost tours and haunted castles and tend to find one in almost every place I visit. What made this particular haunted castle special is that I was staying in it! Hrad Svojanov (Svojanov Castle) is one of the oldest royal castles in Czechia, established around 1224. With that age, it has to have some good stories! But, is Svojanov Castle haunted?

Walking the Ramparts at Svojanov Castle - Is Svojanov Castle haunted? image courtesy of @DrifterPlanet

Night Tour of Castle

I was a guest of CzechTourism for a week in which they showed me the best that the East Bohemia region had to offer. Which included a fantastic stay at Svojanov Castle overnight. After a fabulous dinner prepared for our small group of travel bloggers, we headed over into the castle for an exclusive night tour. The castle regularly gives tours during the day of the interior, gardens and even the cellars that you can sign up for. Our tour consisted of the interior and a bit of the balcony area. I asked our guide if there were any ghost stories about the castle and he mentioned that there were several that he planned to tell us about Svojanov Castle being haunted.Svojanov Castle tour guide

The history of this castle is unique since it is situated on the Bohemia and Moravia border and was used as a fortress to protect the national trade route between Brno and Litomyšl. Because of its strategic position, Svojanov was one of 11 Czech castles named in the Land Code Majestas Carolina by King Charles IV (1355) that they should never be separated from the Crown under any circumstances. Unfortunately, over the years, the castle has had many owners, fallen to ruin, neglect and even was damaged twice by fire. But, in 1910, the castle began to be restored by the town of Polička which was fully completed in 2013. Our tour guide did mention that ghost hunters visit Svojanov 1-2 times per year. Why do you ask? Here are the two big ghost stories that he told us. Is Svojanov Castle haunted? You decide…

The Old Woman

In a little room off the woman’s sitting room, is a painting on the wall of an old woman that has been on the wall for 12-13 years. Her eyes were opened when it was originally painted. But, now the old woman’s eyes are closed. He told us that before 2009 the woman’s eyes were opened and then after 2009 the woman closed her eyes. The copy below the painting is what the original artwork looked like prior to 2009. The guide says that this painting on the wall is the original (he has seen the back of it). There has been no repainting and no identical paintings made. He then offered us all a copy of the painting, and we all quickly said “No Way!” None of us wanted to take a ghost back home with us. He says there is a couple of rumors on why the old woman closed her eyes in 2009. 

  1. The old lady closed her eyes because she cannot see the situation in their country.
  2. She is satisfied with today’s situation for the castle/country.

In our guide’s words, “In 2008, we started presidential elections, and just one year later she closed her eyes.” Old Woman painting in Svojanov castle - Is Svojanov Castle haunted?What do you think?

Little Kateřina 

As we were going through the rooms and hearing the history of the castle one particular room seemed a bit different. Or maybe we were observing the guide’s change in behavior as he entered into the women’s living area. This room is where he began the story that genuinely creeped me out. In 1800, a new owner Mr. Haissler arrived to find the castle in ruin. He started to renovate it. Construction was still going on when he moved into the palace with his wife and daughter. Cue tragic theme music.Katerina's bedroom in Svojanov Castle

One day, little Catherine (Kateřina in Czech) was playing in her room, and a big stone fell from the wall on her, injuring her severely. She began wandering/marching through the entire upper floor looking for her Papa to help her. She marched through the woman’s sitting area all the way to the men’s rooms. Women's living area in Svojanov Castle

Catherine made it to the far south wall of the men’s room and leaned up against the wall. She had both of her arms stretched out with her little hands touching the wall and her head down. This is the position that they found her. She died utterly exhausted from not seeing her papa. Since then, she appears in the female bedroom at night and is heard walking/marching through the upper floors.  Behind cabinet is where Katerina placed her handsThe cabinet above in the men’s living room is placed in front of where little Catherine put her hands. They say that sometimes you can see the impression of her little hands on the wall. If you are up for it, you can lean your head up along the wall to look behind it.

Seven years ago, a Slovakia ghost hunter team came to the castle and made a video of their time investigating the castle. It is in Slovak but, you can hear in the video a little girl marching. The team spent the entire night trying to film her, and they caught a shadow by the wall in the men’s living room. Do you believe this story? Is Svojanov Castle haunted?

If you saw the above pictures, you might notice that there is nobody else in the photo of the little girl’s bedroom. I tend to linger in the back of tour groups to get pictures once everyone leaves the room. I did that here until I realized where I was and what story I just heard. If you had a video on me right then, you would be in stitches laughing. The moment I realized I was utterly alone, I started walking really, really, fast to get to the other side of the castle where the group was. I did not like being alone in those rooms one bit. 

Even though I do freak out when I go on these ghost tours, and yes, I’m the one who will jump and scream if you come up behind me, I love going on them. You hear so much local lore that it brings the town or place to life that photos alone can’t do. I highly recommend looking for these type of tours in towns you are visiting in Europe or even in the United States. Interested in hearing about others I have been on, check out my post on the Best Ghost Tours Around the World

Accommodations

If you are interested in coming to stay at Svojanov Castle, accommodations are very affordable. My travel roommate on this trip, Heather Olson (hautetravelgirl), and I stayed in one of the bigger rooms in the castle. We were in a 4-bedroom room for just the two of us. We did have to share a bathroom with another room but, we never saw anybody. This room is one of the higher priced rooms at a whopping USD 84/night. Traveling to the Czech Republic from the States is surprisingly affordable, where else can you can stay overnight in a castle for less than $84!Bedroom at Svojanov Castle4-bed Bedroom at Svojanov Castle

If you aren’t scared of a couple of ghosts and are interested in staying overnight or just visiting/touring Svojanov Castle, here is all the info you need. Plus, Svojanov Castle is less than 3 hours east of Prague. Perfect day trip to see a great castle and surrounding area. Check out my posts on Castles and Chateaus in East Bohemia for more castle day trips from Prague.

Well, after hearing the ghost tales from  Svojanov Castle, are you a believer in the paranormal? Is Svojanov Castle haunted? I would love to hear your thoughts on this or any other awesome ghost tours I need to add to my future travels. 

Stay fearless my fellow travelers!

 

Thank You to CzechTourism & East Bohemia for hosting me during my stay in the Czech Republic. As always opinions are 100% my own.

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