With that time of year creeping upon us again, when the days get darker and shorter, the evenings get colder and the fog covers the fields below the full moon; What better atmosphere to celebrate the ghosts, ghouls and the most haunted places in the beautiful yet mysterious areas in Portugal?
On the 31st October, the eve of all saints day it is Halloween. It is said to be the day when the spirits of the dead rise and roam the land in form of ghosts, ghouls and demons, to walk amongst the living for one day. So, when you’re visiting these places, watch your step, and take extra caution in your travels…
Sanatório de Valongo
Being a Sanitarium from 1910, it was built to hold 50 patients who suffered from tuberculosis. Unfortunately this number rapidly grew to 150, as the epidemic known as the ‘white plague’ grew. This number then grew to 500, where these patients roamed the halls, lost, as there was no cure for this disease, and one by one they all died. These souls are said to haunt the corridors, with visitors and passers-by said to hear the hallow cries of pain and see swift movements in the shadows.
In 1961, with the discovery of new antibiotics, the sanitarium closed, and is now abandoned, although used as a maze for paintballing. Strange pentagon symbols can be found scribed into the stone walls. Where these meant to give blessings or invite the spirits? No one knows.
The Cemetery of Pleasures, Lisbon
As well as being one of the most interesting, and beautiful places to visit in Portugal, it can certainly be a creepy one. The name originates from the fact that the centre of the area, on a grassy plain, originally offered a fun fair, but as the urban lifestyle crept in, the fun disappeared, and much like the tombs of Paris and other cities in Europe, the tombs appeared.
The tombs are above ground, and are shaped like houses, where the dead live. Most bizarrely, some of the tombs have windows where you can see in, and with some deterioration of coffins over time, you can even see a glimpse of the dead themselves.
This village graveyard hosts many, including an entire group of fire-fighters, who passed fighting a great inferno in the city. As much as it is a lovely place to respect ones who have passed, this is definitely a spooky, and an upmost haunted area.
Sanatório da Serra da Estrela – near Covilhã
This construction was built in 1936, as a treatment facility for the staff from the Railway services who suffered from fatal illnesses. At a later date, the building was leased to the society of Sanatariums in Portugal, and became a general sanitarium for any patients needing treatment.
The facility closed in 1980 after most of the patients passed, and the building was left to deteriorate over time. Rumours have circulated that it is haunted by the souls of the patients admitted to the hospital. The building is now situated on the edge of the Serra da Estrela mountains and has been converted into a 5 star boutique hotel where you can relax on a luxury holiday.
Exploring some of the haunted places in Portugal, is a great way to learn more about the culture and history of the beautiful city. Being such an historic place, these are just a few on the long list of haunted places you could visit on your travels. By exploring these places, and more you can gain an alternative and amazing experience like never before.