[[quoteright:300:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/HauntedCastle_7993.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:300:Reichsburg Cochem. If it isn't, it should be.]]
->''Last Chance Not To Go Near The Castle''
-->-- '''Sign outside [[IDontLikeTheSoundOfThatPlace Dontgonearthe Castle]]''' in ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', a Literature/{{Discworld}} novel set in {{Uberwald}}

''This is the article for the trope Haunted Castle. For the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' game of the same name, click [[VideoGame/HauntedCastle here]].''

On a foggy mountain peak in a [[{{Uberwald}} spooky land]] looms the '''Haunted Castle''' -- and who knows what manner of beast lurks within its walls? It could be [[OurVampiresAreDifferent some sort of vampire]], FrankensteinsMonster, the MadScientist, the WolfMan, or even Characters/BugsBunny. Or maybe [[MonsterMash all of them at once]].

The protagonist will be [[ClosedCircle driven to the castle]] by a thunderstorm, running out of gas, or by [[CuriosityKilledTheCast his own curiosity.]] In the valley below, the villagers will have warned the hero against spending the night in the castle, but he presses on into the night. His beautiful bride will question his decision, but will reluctantly accompany him.

Once the couple have arrived at the castle, the monster will take a liking for the bride. Perhaps she resembles some long-lost love of the monster, or he desires her for some mad experiment.

It will also typically be AlwaysNight, with the sun never rising until the evil is vanquished. Expect DramaticThunder, GraveClouds with a [[HostileWeather Chance of Rain]], OminousFog, CobwebOfDisuse, and your typical [[ItWasADarkAndStormyNight Dark And Stormy Night]].

In a North American setting, instead of a haunted castle, the HauntedHouse will be the monster's home, since actual castles are in short supply in the United States and Canada. They are plentiful in {{Transylvania}}.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder:Comics]]
* Castle [=McDuck=] in Disney's ''DonaldDuck'' and ''Uncle Scrooge'' comics: When first introduced in CarlBarks' "The Old Castle's Secret," it was purportedly haunted by the ghost of Sir Quackly [=McDuck=], who sealed himself in its walls along with a chest full of treasure. In DonRosa's comics, it's apparently haunted by every member of the [=McDuck=] clan, who watch over their descendants and help scare off enemies; Sir Quackly is the one who shows himself the most often. There was also a ScoobyDooHoax launched by their rival clan the Whiskervilles involving a ghostly hound.
* Rueben Rueben, from ''Zip Comics'', stumbled on a haunted castle with benevolent ghosts who gave him powers.
* DoctorDoom's castle in Latvaria. The only monster is the human monster of Doctor Doom.
* Baufort Castle in the ''ComicBook/JohanAndPeewit'' comic book story "The War Of The Seven Springs" (and its AnimatedAdaptation counterpart "The Haunted Castle") is haunted by its ancestor Aldebert Baufort, because he had caused the seven springs surrounding his castle to dry up due to his selfish desire for more wine to drink, and thus is BarredFromTheAfterlife until the seven springs are restored and a true Baufort descendant who carries the family seal comes to reclaim the castle.
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[[folder:Film]]
* Any {{Dracula}} movie, or FrankensteinsMonster movie.
* Played straight in the ''Film/{{Underworld}}'' movies with Kate Beckinsale. A gothic mansion and a haunted castle both make appearances.
* ''Film/TheRockyHorrorPictureShow'' is an AffectionateParody of this trope, among others.
* The ensemble comedy ''[[http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0095304/ High Spirits]]'' (1988) was set in a haunted castle.
* ''Film/VanHelsing'' plays this straight but also kind of lampshades it since the whole movie is a deliberate mash-up/tribute to Universal Horror Classics.
* ''Film/ManosTheHandsOfFate'' played this exact trope, except they couldn't get a castle, so they used a smallish and rather boring house.
* ''Castle of Blood'' depicts Edgar Allan Poe being challenged to reveal the inspiration of his stories. Big mistake--it leads to a night in a haunted castle. The film claims to be based on a story of the real Poe but nothing he wrote in our world really fits the bill. The movie was remade in 1971, titled ''Web of the Spider'' and was allegedly based on Poe's famous story ''Night of the Living Dead''. Uh, yeah.
* Many of Vincent Price's movies were set in haunted (or supposedly haunted) castles, ''The Pit and the Pendulum '' probably being the best example. Although P&P was directed by Roger Corman, other of Price's vehicles were directed by William Castle.
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[[folder:Literature]]
* OlderThanRadio: Literature/TheStoryOfTheYouthWhoWentForthToLearnWhatFearWas features a youngster spending three nights in a haunted castle to try and learn what fear is.
* Walpole's ''Literature/TheCastleOfOtranto'' (1764) initially gave rise to this trope in popular culture, not to mention to GothicFiction in general.
* Bram Stoker's ''Dracula,'' of course. Dracula greets Jonathan Harker: "Welcome to my house! Enter freely and of your own will!"
* Played with in the Literature/{{Discworld}} novel ''Discworld/CarpeJugulum'', where the ancestral {{Uberwald}}ean home of the Magpyrs is actually called Dontgonearthe Castle, and the Old Count would advertise it as if it were a tourist trap using ReversePsychology ("Last Chance to Not Go Near The Castle").
** And it worked. People would come in for MILES just so they could Notgonearthe castle. And when, every few decades, the vampire there rose again [[spoiler: ([[GenreSavvy and was quickly quelled, of course]])]], it just added to the interest... and the local economy. It helps even more that there's something with the roads that causes all traveling coaches to break a wheel as they near it.
* Present in Christopher Stasheff's novel ''[[Literature/WarlockOfGramarye The Warlock's Companion]]''; it's the location where half the story takes place. The other half is flashbacks, including one that plays with the trope by referring to an ancestor a few centuries ago who, seeing that haunted houses were becoming all the rage, but owning only a fairly recent mansion, instructed the house butler/majordomo to go out and ''buy'' an ancestral ghost from somewhere.
* In Creator/JamesThurber's ''Literature/The13Clocks'', the Duke finds his castle haunted by the children he locked in the tower: that is, he hears their laughter, and children's balls come bouncing down the stairs. Cold as he is, he finds this more horrifying than the ordinary sort of ghosts.
* The neo-Gothic Wyrdhurst Hall in ''[[AuntDimity Aunt Dimity Beats the Devil]]''. It comes complete with local villagers who tell visitors the place is haunted.
* Harrenhal has this reputation in ''ASongOfIceAndFire'', partially because the Targaryens used dragons to roast the castle's holders alive centuries ago, and partially because most of the people who hold the castle end up experiencing misfortune ([[spoiler: Janos Slynt got sent up to join the Night's Watch, Amory Lorch got thrown in the bear pit when the castle was taken, Vargo Hoat had his limbs chopped off and ''fed to him'' by Gregor Clegane, and so on]]).
* ''Literature/HarryPotter'': Hogwarts Castle is a unique form of this trope: the castle is indeed haunted by several ghosts, but most are perfectly nice (well, except Peeves, but he's a pest rather than an actual threat, and not even really a ghost; he's a poltergeist; the Bloody Baron is pretty terrifying, though, but harmless), and the castle is, of course, also a [[WizardingSchool school]]. Most of the ghosts just hang around and give advice when asked, but one of them is actually teaching classes, and no-one's sure if he's even noticed he died.
* ''Literature/TheReynardCycle'': The palace of Carduel has this reputation due to all the horrible things that happened there over the years: Mass poisonings, cannibalism both accidental and deliberate, people being entombed alive behind the walls, etc., etc. Even Madam Corte, a born skeptic, is convinced the place is haunted.
* ''Literature/SeptimusHeap'': The Palace is inhabited by mostly benign ghosts and has a generally run-down appearance, also because the Heap family is too small for it.
* A few pop up in the Middle-earth works of Creator/JRRTolkien: Minas Morgul and Dol Guldur in the Third Age (both literally haunted, being the lairs of the Ringwraiths and the Necromancer respectively) and in the First Age, when Sauron captures Minas Tirith (no, not the one in Gondor) on Tol Sirion, and turns it into Tol-in-Gaurhoth (the Isle of Werewolves) with a similar reputation for unquiet souls.
** And of course Barud-dur by definition.
* The eponymous building in ''Literature/SonicTheHedgehogInCastleRobotnik'' is a purpose built one so Robotnik can shoot a film. Was apparently constructed in under 4 months.
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[[folder:Live Action Television]]
* Castle Forrester in ''Series/MysteryScienceTheater3000''
* Subverted and played for laughs in an episode of the Canadian reality series ''Series/KennyVsSpenny''. The two title characters have a competition to see who can stay inside an abandoned house the longest without getting scared. Kenny (the member of the duo that always cheats) tries a number of tactics to scare his friend Spenny, who's easily manipulated. In the end, Kenny is spooked out of the house by a loud noise, which he believed to be a ghost. It was actually a construction crane that fell on the house, making Spenny win the competition.
* Also played for laughs in the ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer'' episode "Buffy vs. Dracula:"
-->'''Riley:''' I've lived in Sunnydale for a couple years now. Know what I never noticed before?
-->'''Giles:''' Uh, a castle?
-->'''Riley:''' A big, honkin' castle.
* ''Series/StarTrekTheOriginalSeries'' episode "Catspaw".
* Taskerlands in ''Film/TheStoneTape'' only dates back to the 1890's, but it turns out the foundations are a lot older. Much, much older...
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[[folder:Pinball]]
* ''[[VideoGame/ThreeDUltraPinballCreepNight 3-D Ultra Pinball: Creep Night]]'' takes place in and around a castle that's infested with ghosts, goblins, and other supernatural creatures.
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[[folder:Tabletop Games]]
* ''TabletopGame/{{Warhammer}}'' has several, mostly concentrated in [[{{Uberwald}} Sylvania]].
* ''DungeonsAndDragons'' has too many examples to list, but the {{Ravenloft}} campaign is setting is especially full of them, due to its Gothic horror inspirations. Most notable is Castle Ravenloft, after which the setting is named.
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[[folder:Video Games]]
* Fighting your way through such castles is the very premise of the ''Franchise/{{Castlevania}}'' series. In fact, ''VideoGame/HauntedCastle'' is the actual title of one of the arcade games in the series.
* Keith's castle in ''ShadowHearts'' is both a straight example and a subversion. It ''is'' haunted, as is only appropriate for a castle owned by a vampire, but the owner himself is a very nice guy; all the ''real'' trouble in the area is being caused by the mayor of nearby Bistriz.
* ''VideoGame/WorldOfWarcraft'' has two haunted castles, Shadowfang Keep and Karazhan. Groups can assault these castles to kill their EvilOverlord. Also, the Forsaken hometown of the Undercity is the dungeon of a Haunted Castle.
** Only because the Undead killed everyone there, razed the surface, and moved into the basement, of course...
*** But other than that they're okay people.
**** Or to be exact, "normal" people with undead bodies, at least if you don't count Varimathras and the evil royal apothecary society
**** To be fair, the city was razed by the faction that made them rather than the splinter group that lives there now.
** Another haunted castle in the game in Icecrown Citadel which outclasses all the others in size.
* Foe Mansion in ''LaTale'', complete with Frankenstein-esque monsters and ghosts.
* ''{{Kuon}}'' features a cursed medieval Japanese mansion.
* Castle Brennenburg in ''VideoGame/AmnesiaTheDarkDescent'' is located in thick Prussian forests which the locals are afraid to enter as it is supposedly haunted by the deserters of wars. And that's ''before'' the Shadow shows up...
* Soldier's Peak, the former headquarters of the Grey Warden Order in Ferelden as seen in the ''Warden's Keep'' DLC expansion for ''VideoGame/DragonAgeOrigins''. It's an abandoned fortress inhabited by roaming undead, demons, ghosts and a centuries-old [[BloodMagic blood mage]], trying desperately to hold back a [[HellOnEarth demonic invasion]] from the Fade.
** The Adamant Fortress mentioned in ''Literature/{{Asunder}}'', a Grey Warden outpost built into the side of the [[BottomlessPits Abyssal Rift]], a chasm believed to lead right down to the Deep Roads. After being abandoned by the Wardens, it fell under the control of the Tranquil Pharamond, who's [[MadScientist experiments]] accidentally tore the Veil, leading to every building but the Keep being burnt to the ground, the inhabitants killed and their corpses possessed by demons.
* Mundus's castle in the first ''VideoGame/DevilMayCry''. Dante's not spooked easily, but the place is filled with eerie contraptions and horrific demons.
* ''FatalFrame'' features Himuro Mansion for the first game and the Mansion of Sleep for the third. Both are big. Both are spooky. Both are designed to make sure you never come out again, dead or alive.
* ''QuestForGloryIV'' has Castle Borgov, home to ghosts, vampires, ogres, and Toby.
* The ruins of New Londo in ''DarkSouls'', the remains of a once-great city flooded to seal away the Darkwraiths. It's now filled with ghosts, who are quite nasty,requiring the player to either be cursed or use special weapons to hurt them.
* Almia Castle from ''Pokémon Rangers: Shadows of Almia'' is completely devoid of human life and crawling with ghost and psychic type pokemon. It's also covered in ice.
* Hang Castle in ''VideoGame/SonicHeroes'' is filled with pumpkin-headed ghosts and robotic wizards and witches and sprawls out as far as the eye can see. The following stage, Mystic Mansion, is set on the inside, with the final area on the roof at dawn, having survived the many traps within. The reason Sonic is here is because he's spotted a Chaos Emerald in the castle.
* Osohe Castle in ''VideoGame/MOTHER3''.
* The Covenant Manor from ''VideoGame/CliveBarkersUndying''.
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[[folder:Webcomics]]
* ''Webcomic/GirlGenius'' has Castle Heterodyne. The ruined {{steampunk}} castle may not actually be haunted, but it's stuffed full of deathtraps, and its broken [[AIIsACrapshoot artificial intelligence]] tends to kill the people who enter, and/or press-gangs them into repairing it.
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[[folder:Web Original]]
* In ''Roleplay/TheGamersAlliance'', the palace of [[HeartbrokenBadass Daisuke Hyuga]] in Yamato is covered by a dark forest and becomes haunted after Lord Daisuke, in despair after having lost his wife Matami in a raider attack, makes a [[DealWithTheDevil blood pact]] with the demon [[OmnicidalManiac Yurius]].
* ''GraveAcademy'' is a Forum/RPG that centers on a school for monsters which is based in such a castle.
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[[folder:Western Animation]]
* Ghosts always seemed to love that old haunted castle on the outskirts of town, in ''The Ghost Busters''.
* Subverted in many ''WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes'' cartoons.
* Bender's uncle Vlad's castle in the ''WesternAnimation/{{Futurama}}'' episode "The Honking". Near the village of Thermostadt, it was "haunted" by holograms of his dead ancestors.
* And, of course, many adventures of Franchise/ScoobyDoo and friends.
* Richard Tyler in ''WesternAnimation/ThePagemaster'' has to go through Dr. Jekyll's 'spooky' mansion (complete with dark clouds, lightning, bats, a full moon, and a kind of gravestone in the front saying that it belongs to him).
* The Beast's castle in ''Disney/BeautyAndTheBeast''. As the Beast gradually gets nicer, the action takes us further and further into the section of the castle that has pretty neo-classical architecture, until the [[spoiler:curse is cured at the end and the whole building is like that]].
* Castle Wyvern in ''WesternAnimation/{{Gargoyles}}'' has this reputation, although we never see any ghosts in the castle itself.
* Quarrel Castle in ''WesternAnimation/TheSmurfs''; also Castle Captor.
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[[folder:Real Life]]
* Given that castles' whole purpose was to provide strongholds for military authority, the abundance of ghost stories which arise from their typically bloody histories is hardly a surprise.
* Windsor Castle is supposed to be haunted by the sad and shabby ghost of King George III who spent his last years there chatting up the shrubbery under the impression it was brother monarchs and being tormented by the doctors trying to cure him. And the ghost of Queen Elizabeth I still briskly walks the gallery she built for exercise on rainy days which is now the library.
* The Tower of London is even more haunted for obvious reasons. The murdered princes Edward V and Richard Duke of York are seen playing around the White Tower, the headless ghost of Anne Boleyn stalks the halls terrifying the Yeoman Warders and so on.
* Scotland is full of them. ''Most'' Scottish castles seem to have at least one ghost, though three standouts are Edinburgh, Glamis and Fyvie. [[http://www.rampantscotland.com/features/haunted.htm Here]] is a ''very'' incomplete list.
* [[UsefulNotes/{{Moscow}} The Kremlin]] is no less fun, being perhaps the one castle in Europe with the bloodiest history. The ghost of Ivan the Terrible is said to appear before terrible catastrophes; two last alleged sightings are before RedOctober and just before WWII. Other recognizable ghosts in these stories are of Pseudo-Demetrius (last sighting: just before the fall of the Union), the ill-fated Tsar Boris Godunov, Nikolay Yezhov (the Peoples' Commissar of NKVD, who enacted the Great Purge of 1937-1939), Fanny Kaplan (Lenin's assassin) and Lenin himself. The oldest ghost allegedly seen in the Kremlin is the medieval prince Ivan the Moneybag, and the youngest is Marshal of the Union Sergey Akhromeev, who committed suicide there during the fall of the Union (1991).
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