5 of the most haunted places in Amsterdam

What are the most haunted places in Amsterdam? Here are our top five spooky locations in the beautiful Dutch capital.

You’re in the city, your backpack is on, and your feet are ready to go, but don’t get too comfortable yet. We’re touring Amsterdam, horror edition. 😱

We are going on an entirely different journey today — a journey through the scariest places of Amsterdam.

This city has many stories about tortured souls of past lives who roam restlessly around Amsterdam’s most haunted places.

After all, the history of Amsterdam stretches back almost 800 years, and these old and narrow streets have many spooky tales to tell.

Spooksteeg (Ghost Alley)

First stop: Spooksteeg, the oldest part of Amsterdam in the area of the Red Light District, where one of the city’s oldest ghosts is said to reside.

They speak of the ghost of a woman called Helena who lived here in the 18th Century with her sister Dina and her father.

shadow-woman-scary-ghost-haunted
Feeling a chill down your spine yet? Image: Depositphotos

One day a sailor fell in love with Dina, which infuriated Helena. Out of jealousy, she threw her sister into the family’s tannery cellar, making it seem like an accident — when in reality, she killed her. 🤭

Then, Helena married the sailor, but in 1753 she admitted to the murder on her deathbed, begging her husband for forgiveness.

Sure enough, he was outraged to hear this and cursed her soul to roam restlessly in misery for all eternity.

One hundred years after her death, people would hear screams at Spooksteeg and catch a glimpse of Helena’s ghost whining and moaning in the dark alleys near Zeedijk…😳

Bloedstraat (Blood Street)

We’re staying in the Red Light District and walking to one of our next haunted places, which is Bloedstraat. 🩸

This street connects the market square Nieuwmarkt to one of the oldest canals of the city, Oudezijds Achterburgwal.

It is said that the name of the street stems from the blood of executed prisoners draining down to the canal from Nieuwmarkt.

Another legend has it that ghost sightings are linked to the Franciscan monastery that was located on this site in the 16th Century where the famous Bloedraad (Blood Council) took place under the reign of the Duke of Alba.

And, many have claimed that the spirits of those accused of heresy and subsequently killed are still roaming this street.

Dam Square

From Bloedstraat, we’re taking a journey over to Dam Square in the centre of Amsterdam where the Royal Palace is located.

During the day you can enjoy the hustle and bustle of this busy square. There are lots of tourists taking pictures and creative street artists trying to earn a bit of money.

dam-square-night-scary
BOO! Did we scare you? 😉 Image: Depositphotos

At night, however, this historic square has a completely different vibe to it. During the Spanish Inquisition, many public executions took place here and the thousands who were accused of witchcraft were burned at the stake.

Many believe that some tortured souls still haunt this place in the heart of Amsterdam. They remind visitors as well as locals of its gruesome past.

The Amsterdam Dungeon, built on the site of a 16th Century cemetery, is located nearby the Dam and has loads of information about these horrific scenes.

The Spinhuis

From the Dam, we move to Singel to the old spinning house (Het Spinhuis). It was founded in 1597 as a penitentiary for “troubled” women.

Today, it’s a popular hotel but back then, it was a place where convicted women were kept and forced to sew garments.

The most famous story surrounding this place is the story between the priest and a young girl, who were not able to see each other after falling in love.

The priest was devastated and ended up committing suicide — and, the girl had to spend the rest of her life at the Spinhuis.

woman-behind-bars-penitentiary
Locked and forced to sew clothes forever… Image: Depositphotos

It is said that one of the hotel rooms is haunted by the priest’s ghost. Even staff members are spooked by this and refuse to enter it. 😟

The ghost of Black Matthew

After visiting all these haunted places during our nightly walk, you’ll probably want to warm up in a bar.

But, beware! When going back home, you might bump into the notorious spirit of Black Matthew…👻

This creepy story dates back to the 13th Century about a shady character called Matthew.

He was a magician, a highwayman and a thief who spent his days gambling and using dark magic and trickery to make sure he’d always win his bets.

His luck lasted until one fateful day when he met his match in form of the devil. Now his ghost is roaming the narrow streets of Amsterdam hoping for some luck.

Well, you better watch out because he is said to appear all over the city!


Have you visited any of these spooky locations? Or do you know of any other haunted places in Amsterdam? Tell us in the comments below!

Featured Image: Depositphotos
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published in November 2016 but was updated in May 2022 for your reading pleasure. 

Alexandra Huetter
Alexandra Huetter
Alexandra Huetter is a native Austrian with a passion for traveling. Having worked in tourism, marketing and sales she finally decided to exchange her 9-to-5 job for the unpredictable yet rewarding world of freelancing. She has been working as a freelance copywriter in Amsterdam since 2011.

2 COMMENTS

  1. Going to Amsterdam for four days the end of April! Thanks for this informative article. Hoping to experience some of these ‘Ghostly’ happenings.

  2. This is a nice and spooky article, though maby you could add more places to it? I’m living in Amsterdam for 3 years now and have not seen any of these creepy ghosts. Not to judge though! It could be just my experience!

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