Eastern Europe has its share of fun and creepy places to make your skin crawl. If you want to experience some of the creepiest places in Eastern Europe, work some of these creepy sites into your next Eastern Europe travel itinerary.
Ivan Petaev © 2007
The Sedlec Ossuary (located in Sedlec, near Kutna Hora) is one of the Czech Republic's creepiest tourist attractions. This Roman Catholic Chapel is decorated almost entirely with human bones, and the effect is both beautiful and spooky. Of particular interest may be the delicate-looking chandelier made of human skulls, long bones, and shoulder blades of the deceased.
While the Kunstkammer has more to it than anatomical exhibitions, it is the "scientific" collection of skeletons from siamese twins and giants, preserved animals and human body parts, and early medical instruments that ranks it among the creepiest attractions in Eastern Europe. The collection dates back to Peter the Great's time. May viewing it in person send more shivers down your spine than even the photos on the official Kunstkammer website.
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Seeing Lenin's body at Lenin's Tomb in Moscow is not necessarily scary, but it is creepy. The tomb itself is of black stone that seems to absorb light instead of reflect it, and the solemn soldiers that stiffly and silently guard the tomb seem as waxen as the body of Lenin. Lenin himself is shrunken, tucked in as he is under a fold of fabric, his gray suit neat and tidy. Lenin appears to be a seriously spooky version of Sleeping Beauty underneath the glass that allows visitors to observe without disturbing the preserved body.
Kerry Kubilius, licensed to About.com
Prague's Torture Museum is sure to give visitors the creeps. This small museum exhibits actual historical torture devices that were used throughout Europe. The lack of limitations for human cruelty is the most startling issue that the museum addresses - next to the suffering endured by the victims who were subjected to the torture devices themselves.
Vlad the Impaler, commonly known as Dracula, was a ruler in medieval Romania
who loved to punish his enemies in various ways, including running stakes vertically through their still-breathing bodies. Legends surround the historical Dracula figure, and the sites that are connected with Vlad the Impaler may be considered particularly creepy. Don't forget, too, that some Romanians still believe in vampires, and that this superstition is a part of the local folklore.
At the Karosta Prison Hotel in Latvia, prisoners - I mean "guests" - can subject themselves to the bleakness and dankness of a former Soviet prison, as well as verbal abuse from the prison "guards." Comfort certainly isn't the goal of this hotel, and the creepiness factor is not only apparent in the physical surroundings but also in the memory of the actual prisoners who paid for their stay with suffering instead of with cash.
View the mummified bodies of influential and religious individuals when you visit the crypt at the Capuchin Monastery in Brno, Czech Republic. The creepy remains are surprisingly intact - and visitors can view the sunken cheeks and leathery skin of those who found their final resting spot in the crypt.
8. Creepy Eastern Europe: Museum of Medical History in VarnaThe History of Medicine Museum, alternately called the Museum of Medical History, in Varna, holds a collection of early medical tools, antique dental tools, and some medieval skulls that had once been subject to ritual drilling (presumably when the individuals were still alive). The creepiness of this museum lies in your ability to imagine how medicine was practiced in the days before pain killers, anesthesia, and antibiotics.