Through the power of spiritualism, the bereaved father built a castle designed by the ghost of his dead daughter. And today, the Iulia Hasdeu Castle still stands as a mysterious and haunted place. 

Iulia was the beloved daughter of Bogdan Petriceicu Hasdeu (1838-1907) in Romania. He was a Romanian scholar of both history, philology and a great writer. Iulia was somewhat of a prodigy child as well and read by the age of two. Like her father, she was fluent in many languages and spoke French, English and German fluently by the time she was eight. At only 16, she got her degree in philosophy with plans to continue her studies in Latin and Greek Languages at the prestigious University of Sorbonne. 


But then on the 29th of September 1888, just a month before her 19th birthday, she tragically died of tuberculosis, a tragic but common way to die in this time. She left behind her many poems, manuscripts and plays to her father who couldn’t move on with his life. That is when he turned to less common ways to keep in contact with his dead daughter.

The Seances to Get in Touch with her Spirit

He was deeply in grief and turned to spiritualism to get in contact with his beloved and missed daughter. There are recordings of over a hundred summaries of these sessions, saying something about his obsession with it.

File:Iulia Hasdeu.jpg
The Ghost: Portrait of the young prodigy Iulia Hasdeu.

And after he moved to Câmpina which is a bit further north from Bucharest , he spent the time at seances together with the metropolitan bishop, three generals and a processor. All in hope to get a glimpse of his daughter.

He also built an altar for her in their family vault at the Bellu Cemetery in Bucharest that looks more like a Greek temple to pay tribute to her. But this altar was not enough for him to keep as a memento and after six months of trying to reach her in the spirit world, he made contact, and she gave him instructions to build a castle that would later be known as Iulia Hasdeu Castle. 

Together with his wife, they went to a mansion in Câmpina they decorated as almost a temple to their dead daughter to sort of keep a part of her with them in this world after it was built. He named it Second of July after his two Iulias as his belated daughter was named after his beloved wife.

Then the plans of the castle started to take form. Hasdeu claimed that he had received messages about the building plans for it through the spiritualism seances he took part in. 

The Building Designs of Iulia Hasdeu Castle from Beyond

Work on the Castle began in 1893 and took a lot of Hasdeus’ time, energy as well as wealth. It is more of a folly house than a full fledged castle. She would advise him to use the numbers three and seven, something she considered to be magical numbers. That is why these numbers repeat themselves throughout the building with three underground rooms, three towers and seven steps to every staircase. 

The building was completed in 1896 and has since seen its fair share of tragedy befall it. It required a lot of reparation, even when Hasdeu was alive. During the first world war as well as the second world war, the earthquake in 1977 where it suffered many damages. But the castle fought back. There even is a legend to this that during the second world war, the Germans tried to loot the place, but failed as they were ‘struck by some mysterious force.’

1920s Spiritualism Revival | The British Newspaper Archive Blog
Spiritualism: During the turn of the century, seances and spiritualism was a big thing. This is a Seance scene in the classic German silent film Dr Mabuse (1922). People would get together with a medium in hope to make contact with a spirit beyond the grave.

Today the Iulia Hasdeu Castle is still a sort of altar in Iulias memory. With her personal belongings as well as transcripts of the seances that her father attended. The castle itself is described to have a spooky vibe over it, perhaps because there are entire rooms designed specifically for spiritualists rituals, with seats made for the attending ghosts. A shrine like this was bound to get more sinister rumors about it, and it was claimed that Hasdeu used it to worship Satan rather than memorializing Iuelia. 

The Ghost of Iulia 

The Iulia Hasdeu Castle is not the only place she is reported of haunting. Also back at the cemetery in Bucharest, the ghost has been spotted, dressed in all white while walking through the cemetery in Bucharest holding daisies. 

Back In Câmpina at the castle they have also felt her presence. In the night there is the sound of piano playing with the applause and cheering from an old man. So many rumors that the museum itself had troubles finding someone to take the nightshift at the museum. 


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