Travel Till You Drop Logo

1 Critical Dark Tourist Site in Germany; Frankenstein; The Myth, The Legend, and The Castle

Frankenstein myth, Mary Shelley, castle travel

Frankenstein is a name that has become synonymous with horror, science fiction, and even Halloween. Many movies, books, and plays have been inspired by the story of a scientist who uses modern science to create a monster. But did you know that there is an actual Frankenstein Castle in Germany, which served as the inspiration for Mary Shelley’s famous novel?

The Frankenstein Castle is located in Odenwald, overlooking Darmstadt city in Germany. It is said to have been built before 1250 by von und zu Frankenstein, who was also the founder of the three imperial Barony of Frankenstein which answered only to the emperor.

Frankenstein Castle

The name “Frankenstein” is derived from the German words “The Franks” (the name of a tribe in Germany) and “stein” (which means “stone”), so the castle is known as the “Stone of the Franks”.

Legend has it that Mary Shelley was traveling through Europe and stopped in Gernsheim, close to Frankenstein Castle, where a couple of centuries before an Alchemist had engaged in scientific experiments. The location of the castle is surrounded by narrow valleys and dark forests, shrouded by legends and myths, which could have easily inspired the story of Frankenstein. Keep in mind that while the castle is connected to the Frankenstein legend, Mary Shelley likely never visited it herself. The association between the castle and the novel has grown over the years, contributing to the castle’s mystique and its popularity as a tourist destination.

Annual Halloween Events

Datei:Burg frankenstein blitze.jpg

Frankenstein Castle has embraced its connection to the legend, and it hosts popular Halloween events and haunted castle tours. These events attract visitors from around the world who come to enjoy the spooky atmosphere and the castle’s connections to the Frankenstein tale. Visitors to Frankenstein Castle can join guided tours to learn more about its history, the legend of Frankenstein, and the region’s alchemical past. The Halloween events and haunted tours are particularly popular during the spooky season.

Themed Events

Halloween isn’t the only party this place throws! Get ready for renaissance fairs, medieval festivals, and all sorts of shenanigans inspired by Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Seriously, this castle knows how to keep things interesting.

The castle’s versatile spaces provide the perfect backdrop for these events, allowing organizers to unleash their creative powers and bring different historical periods and fictional worlds to life. It’s like stepping into a time machine and teleporting yourself to a world of knights, princesses, and perhaps a bit of Frankenstein’s monster. Who said mixing historical accuracy and literary imagination wasn’t a good idea?

Visitor Engagement

Picture yourself engaging in interactive experiences like costumed performances where you can actually become a character in the unfolding narrative. You can unleash your inner thespian, participate in themed workshops to master the art of archery or potion making, and even join in on activities that transport you straight into the realm of the fantastical. It’s like stepping out of reality and immersing yourself in a world where dreams come true. Well, maybe not all dreams – let’s not forget that Frankenstein’s monster can be a bit of a handful.

These events aren’t just about a good time – they’re educational too! Frankenstein Castle understands the power of combining entertainment and learning. So, while you’re having a blast, you’re also gaining a unique perspective on the castle’s multifaceted identity. Through spooky tales, period reenactments, and thematic celebrations, you’ll get to engage with its history and legends in a way that resonates with modern audiences. It’s like unlocking a whole new level of knowledge, wrapped up in a bow of epic fun.

The Castle Today


Today, the castle has been partially restored and serves as a tourist attraction. Visitors can explore its medieval architecture, including the tower, courtyard, and dungeon. The castle also offers scenic views of the surrounding Odenwald forest. In addition to its historical and literary significance, the surrounding Odenwald region offers hiking opportunities and natural beauty, making it an appealing destination for outdoor enthusiasts.

Current State

Listen up, fearless travelers! We’ve got ourselves a one-of-a-kind destination that’s all about that perfect blend of historical charm and partial ruin. I’m talking about Frankenstein Castle – and no, it’s not where they stitched together bodies and brought them to life (although that would be pretty badass).


This place has got it all, my bold explorers. We’ve got ruins that scream “antiquity” with their ancient walls and remnants of structures. Seriously, just being in their presence makes you feel like you’ve stepped into a time machine. It’s like having a front-row seat to the history that unfolded within those very walls.

Restored Sections

Efforts have been made to restore and preserve parts of this castle, because hey, we want to show off some of that former grandeur, right? So while you’re wandering around the crumbling ruins, get ready to stumble upon beautifully restored sections that take you back to the castle’s glory days.

Open to the Public

This castle is not just some secret lair – it’s open to the public, baby! Frankenstein Castle knows it’s got something special, and it’s embracing its role as a historical and cultural attraction. So, fearless females, get ready to explore the castle grounds, stroll through courtyards, and soak in those jaw-dropping scenic views of the Odenwald region.

Castle Grounds

We’ve got a towering tower (say that three times fast) that’s just begging to be climbed. Ascend that bad boy and not only will you be treated to a panoramic view of the surrounding landscape, but you’ll also get a glimpse into the strategic importance this castle held back in the day.

Interior Spaces

Frankenstein Castle opens up its doors and invites you to step back in time by exploring the interior spaces. Yes, you read that right – you’ll get to wander through the rooms and chambers that were once inhabited by real-life historical figures.

Here are some of the legends associated with the castle:

Alchemist Dippel and the Frankenstein Monster

Johann Konrad Dippel was born in the castle in 1673, where he later engaged himself as an alchemist professionally. Apart from practicing alchemy, Dippel was also involved in anatomy, and it is said that he conducted experiments on dead bodies.

A local priest warned that Dippel’s experiments had resulted in the creation of monsters that were brought to life by a lightning bolt.

A Guide to the Best Things to Do in New Zealand

Lord George and the Dragon

According to legend, long ago, a dangerous dragon lived in the garden near the well at Frankenstein’s castle. The dragon would invade the village at night and eat the children and adults in their sleep. When Lord George, a brave knight, heard the cries of the villagers, he went to the garden and attacked the dragon.

Lord George and the dragon battled for hours until both were exhausted. The knight plunged his weapon into the beast’s underbelly, but the dragon stung the knight’s belly with its poisonous spine as it struggled in agony. Lord George and the dragon both died. I hate it when that happens. 

The villagers gave him an honorable burial and built him a marvelous tomb. To date, people still visit and pay respects to the knight who slew the beast in the 11th century.

Haunted Reputation

Apparently, this place has a reputation for being haunted – cue the ominous music. According to local folklore and stories that have been tossed around like a hot potato from one generation to the next, the castle is like a paranormal playground where spirits kick it and creepy occurrences are as common as a sneeze in allergy season.

Knights and Medieval Lore

Now here’s the medieval twist, my brave knights and warrior princesses. Frankenstein Castle is the canvas for tales of knights and chivalry. We’re talking stories of heroic knights who once called this place home, going on valiant quests and defending the realm. Can you say “EPIC”? I don’t know about you, but the castle’s architecture and historical context have my imagination running wild with visions of medieval life. Swords, armor, and dragons… well, maybe not dragons, but you get the idea.

Cultural Significance

This castle isn’t just a spooky, medieval time capsule – it has become a cultural symbol that ignites the collective imagination of the region. The legends and myths surrounding Frankenstein Castle have elevated it to a whole new level. It’s like a magnet for storytelling and folklore, bringing together the factual history of the castle and the imaginative narratives that have been woven around it.

Gold Rush

In the year 1763, the visions and legends of fortune tellers made the villagers believe that near the castle was some hidden treasure. The visions caused a series of chaotic scenes that not even interventions of the priests could stop. Although no gold or anything valuable was found, the villagers kept on digging till one villager, Johann Drott Heinrich, died when his mining dig collapsed on him. The local government later banned the digging of gold in the year 1788.

Today, Frankenstein Castle is a well-known attraction, but no major developments have been made to turn it into a commercial tourist destination. However, parking and admission to the castle are free to the public except during the Halloween festival and other special occasions.

If you’re a fan of horror and myth and are visiting Germany, then you need to go see Frankenstein’s Castle as it is definitely worth a visit. Who knows, you might just run into a monster or two!  But no matter where you go, always remember to Travel Till You Drop!



About Jill

Hi, Jill Here

Hi! I’m Jill, a Dallas, Texas girl traveling the world. After a career in the Air Force and touring over 50 countries later, my need to explore keeps going! It’s time to rock & roll and find all those places I never knew I was missing.

Join me to get exclusive travel tips, giveaways and more!

I only recommend products I would use myself, and all opinions expressed here are our own. This post may contain affiliate links that, at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission.