Prague is well known for its sinister charm and dark gothic architecture, but you may not know that it’s also incredibly haunted and full of mysteries. From the Charles Bridge which was once lined with heads on spikes, to the ominous Prague Castle entombing Good King Winceslas, there is no shortage of spooky fun to be had.
First, let’s start with little hometown murder history, with the story of mass murderer Olga Hepnarová.
Olga Hepnarová was born in Prague on June 30, 1951. Olga suffered from mental health issues while young, and attempted suicide by overdosing on medication at the age of 13. She spent a year under psychiatric care at a hospital in Opařany, and it was reported that she was possibly hearing voices. In hear early life, she had a hard time keeping employment, and ended up working as a truck driver.
On June 7th, 1973, Olga sent the following letter to two newspapers:
“I am a loner. A destroyed woman. A woman destroyed by people… I have a choice – to kill myself or to kill others. I choose TO PAY BACK MY HATERS. It would be too easy to leave this world as an unknown suicide victim. Society is too indifferent, rightly so. My verdict is: I, Olga Hepnarová, the victim of your bestiality, sentence you to death.”
Unfortunately, due to inefficiencies in the postal service at the time, Olga’s letter didn’t arrive to the newspapers until over a month later, and two days too late. Because of this, the police were not able to stop her attack.
On July 10, 1973, Olga rented a truck and circled around a tram stop in Prague 7 waiting for a crowd to accumulate, Once there were about 25 people waiting at the stop, Olga drove her truck into the crowd of people killing three at the scene, five more who died in the hospital, and injuring six more.
Once arrested, Olga told the police that it was her intention to kill as many people as possible. She was found guilty of the eight murders, and was sentenced to death by hanging. Olga is known for being the last woman prosecuted in Czech Republic, and also the last person to be executed by the use of a short-drop hanging.
The square where Olga’s murder took place has now been renamed after a local hero, Milada Horáková.
After you visit M Horáková square, here are 5 spooky things to do in Prague:
1 Go on a Ghost Tour
There are so many haunted places around Prague that you honestly might want to sign up for more than one ghost tour to hear all of the local legends. There are stories of golems, headless templars, ghostly nuns, water sprites, and even begging skeletons! There are quite a few ghost tours to pick from, but our top picks are the following:
Mental Asylum Graveyard Tour: This tour is only available in the Month of October, but they had us at Graveyard! What else could possibly be better for SpoooOOOoooky Halloween?
Ghosts and Legends of Old Town: This is a great tour to take if you are just visiting Prague for a quick trip to get some of the history highlights of the old town area–with a ghastly twist!
Prague Castle After Dark: This is also a great opportunity to hear all of the local legends about the castle which you of course want to see while you’re visiting anyway!
2 Nightmare Prague Horror Bar
Horror fans, rejoice! This little kitschy paradise is part bar and part horror museum. The signature drinks are based on classic horror films and all decked out for the perfect insta shot. Trust me, everything will start to look a little scarier around town after a couple of monster themed cocktails!
Location: Záhořanského 2007/7, 120 00 Nové Město, Czechia
More Information: https://www.nightmare-bar.com/
3 Museum of Alchemists and Magicians of Prague
Raise your hand if you thought the concept of the philosopher’s stone was invented by JK Rowling! Well, the concept of a stone bringing immortality to its owner has outlived all of the alchemists (that we know of), but Alchemy was a huge trend in Prague during the Renaissance. Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II was a big proponent of the movement, and helped fund a laboratory in Prague in the hope of his alchemists discovering the philosopher’s stone to bring him more riches and eternal life. Learn more about the history of Alchemy in Prague, and let us know if you get any ideas for discovering that formula!
Location: Jánský vršek 8, 118 00 Malá Strana, Czechia
More Information: https://magisterkelley.com/
4 Old Jewish Cemetery
If you like cemetaries, but aren’t ready to commit to an evening in a haunted asylum graveyard, the Old Jewish Cemetery might be a better alternative. The cemetery was founded in the 15th century, and houses over 12,000 tombstones. Some of the notable graves are those of David Gans, Mordecai Katz ben Gershom, and David Oppenheim. Tickets for the cemetery can be purchased through the Jewish Museum.
Location: Široká, 110 00 Josefov, Czechia
More Information: http://jewishmuseum.cz/
5 Sedlec Ossuary
The Sedlec Ossuary is located about an hour outside of Prague, but if you are into decorating with skeletons, it is absolutely worth the trip! The Ossuary contains the skulls of about 40,000-70,000 people. The story behind the Ossuary is that in the 1200s, and abbot named Henry returned to Sedlec from Calgary with holy dirt from the site of Jesus’ execution. He then sprinkled the dirt at the abbey cemetery, making the site a very popular burial spot for loved ones. The process of burial at the time was to bury a body in dirt instead of a coffin so the tissue would decompose quickly and you would be left with just the skeleton. This process took up less space so more people could be buried in what was believed to be a holy place. Once the remains were cleared of tissue, the bones were organized in a decorative way by a monk at the abbey. The result is chandeliers of our nightmares or dreams depending on just how spooky you are.
Location: Zámecká, 284 03 Kutná Hora, Czechia
More Information: http://sedlec.info/