Bratislava is one of the oldest cities in Central Europe. In case you’re visiting for the first time make sure you know something about its rich history. However, only few people know that almost all the important sights have their mysterious residents: ghosts. Which are the most popular haunted places in Bratislava? Let’s do a little ghost hunting together.
1 – Black Lady from St. Michael’s Tower
No tourist has ever missed it and you can find it on every postcard of Bratislava: St Michael’s Tower. If you happen to be in this area at night you might spot the Black lady that has been living in the tower for centuries. Her story reveals why she is not able to find peace. The Christian name of the Black lady was Ursula. Ursula and her friend Agata fell in love with the same man. Unfortunately for Ursula, the guy chose Agata.
The jealous girl accused her friend of being a witch. You can imagine what happened to Agata in the dark times of the Inquisition. The poor innocent girl burned at stake. After her death Ursula realized what she had done. Since then she has been appearing in the tower tortured by her guilt. Be careful, you might not notice her in the dark!
2 – More ghost ladies
In the Main Square of Bratislava stands the Green House. It is not just another pretty building for your pictures. Its mysterious inhabitant has an honorable place in the local folklore. The Green House used to be the most important pub in the city. Every day at midnight the white lady Lucia appeared there. One of the tapsters working in a local taproom felt pity for her and gave a barrel of Malvasia to the ghost. Lucia thanked him by helping him get rich. She appears every year right before her name day.
3 – Vodník from the Duck Fountain
Vodník is a water creature from Slavic legends and fairy tales. He often lures people close to the place where he lives and then drowns them. One such monster, whose name is Zeleniak, resides in the Duck Fountain close to the Šafárikovo Square. The fountain depicts three playing boys and ducks around them. The legend says that these boys used to take their ducks close to the Danube and leave them there to graze.
Zeleniak befriended the boys and took them to the bottom of the river. One of the boys overheard the magic formula to open the underwater cave full of gold. He wanted to share the secret with the other two friends. As soon as he opened his mouth they all turned to stone.
4 – Mysterious handprints at St Martin’s Cathedral
One of the most popular haunted places in Bratislava is certainly St. Martin’s Cathedral. Those who enter might come across something really strange: handprints burned in the wood. Their story dates back to 1641. Regina Fischer, a young girl from Hallstatt, was visiting Bratislava. During her stay a ghost appeared to her about 100 times. He introduced himself as Jan Clement Zwespenbauer.
He asked Regina to fix the crime that he committed while he was alive. The proof of the ghost’s presence were the handprints burned into various wooden objects. Nobody had any doubts about Regina’s words. Even the archbishop from Esztergom was investigating the case.
5 – Čert drowning ships on the Danube
It wouldn’t be correct to say that čert is a Slovak equivalent of the word “demon”. In the Slovak mythology čert is not necessarily an evil creature. He is often depicted as a hairy man with hoofs, tail and horns. He can be both mischievous and smart, many times trying to punish evil people. The legend says one čert used to live on the hill where St. Nicolas’ Church stands now.
Once the church was built the čert started to drown ships sailing on the Danube. One day the captain of one of the ships fooled him and gave him a ride. Since then the čert has only been appearing on St. Nicolas’ day to scare small children.
6 – Perjurers, beware!
Even the Town Hall had its share of scary stories. One of them says that a widow with children lost a piece of field to a rich man. The rich man lied that the widow’s husband could only use the field while he was alive. After his death it had to go back to the rich man.
The widow asked him to swear on the Bible and the perjurer didn’t hesitate. That very moment a demon flew inside and took the rich man away. The only trace that remained after the perjurer is a picture hanging on the outer wall of the Town Hall.
7 – The first witch of Bratislava
Not even Bratislava could have escaped the frenzy of the Inquisition. Around 400 innocent women burned at stake. The first one to die was Agáta Tóthová-Barabášová in 1602. Between the Župné and the Hurbanovo squares there used to be an epitaph of her death. Unfortunately, it was stolen some time ago so you can only find it on the internet. Moreover, it is said that her ghost can be sometimes seen crying at the place.
8 – Executioner’s House
In this case we cannot really talk about one of the most haunted places in Bratislava but the story of his past inhabitants still scare people to death. In Baštová Ulica there is a house where executioners used to live. The last executioner was Augustín Spindler who executed people until 1849.
Do you know about any other haunted cities in Europe? Let us know in the comments and share this post on your socials!