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Ghost sightings have been reported in many castles and manor houses. Few old castles do not boast the shade of a jilted lover tumbling from the battlements, a ghostly White Lady, a demonic Monk who vanishes if challenged, a poltergeist, a headless phantom, a spectral coach and horses or disembodied wailing. An especially common theme is that of a victim walled up alive within the castle, whose ghost haunts the castle for centuries afterwards, until the victim's body is found and properly buried. Some stories tend to be regional - spectral pipers on the ramparts of Scottish castles or demonic Black Dogs known as Shucks in the South of England.

Stories of supernatural omens are attached to many castles and the families that own them, generally warning of a forthcoming death in the family, sometimes specifically the lord, chatelain or clan chief. The omen typically takes the form of an unusual animal such as a white deer, a white owl, or a white fox.

In Scotland over a dozen castles claim the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots. In England several castles claim royal ghosts including the Tower of London, Windsor Castle and Berkeley Castle. Many of the best stories have an historical events underpinning them: often an execution or a murder, with supporting detail such as names and dates. There are also a smaller number of reported supernatural creatures that inhabit castles: fairies, banshees and goblins; giants and vampires, and elemental sprites. There are also a large number of ancient legends and curses associated with castles.

On the right you can select ghost hauntings associated with castles in particular countries, or those of a particular type (ghosts, omens, poltergeists, legends, etc). You can also select the best ghost hauntings selected by the webmaster.

These are all well-known and widely reported supernatural visitations. The webmaster (a rationalist) does not warrant the factual accuracy of any of them.

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Ardvreck Castle      Inchnadamph, Highland, Scotland
Legend, The Devil      
According to legend the Devil himself assisted in the construction of the castle


Bransil Castle      Bransil, Herefordshire, England
Legend, Demon Bird      
A large black bird protects a pile of hidden gold within the castle grounds. The hoard cannot be moved except by a treasure hunter.in possession of the bones of Lord Beauchamp, former owner of the gold.


Brougham Hall      Penrith, Cumbria, England
Legend, Wailing Skull      
A skull is walled up somewhere in the walls of the hall. Its spectral screams can be heard wailing on dark nights. It is said that great evil will befal the hall if the skull were ever removed from the Hall.


Callaly Castle      Callaly, Northumberland, England
Legend, Warning Voice      
During the castle's construction on its original site, the stones kept collapsings. A disembodied voice announced that it should be built elsewhere, The voice was heeded and the castle building work went ahead without difficulty.


Cardiff Castle      Cardiff, , Wales
Legend, Giant      
A three metre tall giant walks the castle park


Cardoness Castle      Anwoth, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
Legend, Curse      
After a curse was placed on the castle three owners went bankrupt. The forth and his family were drowned in the nearby loch when the ice cracked while they skated on it.


Chepstow Castle      Chepstow, , Wales
Legend, Sleeping King      
A cave under the castle was once explored by a man who claimed to have seen King Arthur and his knights. He fled after making noise which made the knights stir.


Castell Coch      Tongwynlais, Cardiff, Wales
Legend, Three Eagles      
There is a hoard of buried treasure at the castle, protected by three supernatural eagles


Denbigh Castle      Denbigh, Clwyd, Wales
Legend, Dragon      
Local legend says that a dragon once resided in the castle. It was killed by a man with eight fingers on each hand.


Dinas Powys Castle      Dinas Powys, Vale of Glamorgan, Wales
Legend, Man in Gold Laced Suit      
A spectral Man in Gold Laced Suit appeared to a poor spinning woman and guided her to a hidden box. She was instructed to send it to the Earl of Powys in London without opening it. She did so, and in return the Earl paid her rent for the rest of her life. The contents of the box were never revealed.


Dobb Park Castle      Weston, Yorkshire, England
Legend, Cerberus      
This three headed hound stands guard over a hoard of treasure hidden somewhere under the castle


Castle Dore      Pridmouth, Cornwall, England
Legend, Holy Grail      
According to Arthurian legend the Grail was once housed at this hillfort.


Dover Castle      Dover, Kent, England
Legend, Sir Gawain      
The Arthurian hero Sir Gawain is buried here according to tradition


Dunbarre Castle      Alyth, Perth and Kinross, Scotland
Legend, Modred's House      
This castle is said to be the former base of Modred (or Mordred), the nephew of King Arthur. He was killed when the fort was overrun by Scots and Picts. Guinevere may have also been killed here, and is reportedly buried at nearby Meigle.


Dunvegan Castle      Sligachan, Isle of Skye, Highland, Scotland
Legend, Fairy Flag      
The Flag of the MacLeod's was given to them by a fairy that changed herself into a mortal and married into the family. Each time the flag is waved, it grants the MacLeods victory over a foe, but the flag can only be used three times. It has been used twice so far, in 1490 at Glendale and and in 1580 at Trumpan, both times with success.


Finavon Castle      Finavon, Angus, Scotland
Legend, Rhyme      
A local rhyme states that when the castle is reduced to dust, the world will end.


Hermitage Castle      Hawick, Borders, Scotland
Legend, Hidden Treasure      
There is a hoard of hidden treasure under the ruins of the castle, but the Devil watches over it. When people have tried to dig for the treasure, violent storms have always driven them away.


Knepp Castle      West Grinstead, Sussex, England
Legend, White Doe      
A ghostly white doe seen at the castle is said to be a maiden, turned into a doe by a witch in the 1400's.


Lambton Castle      Fatfield, Durham, England
Legend, The Lambton worm      
The Lambton worm, (a dragon), took up residence on Worm Hill and terrorised the local area. On returning from the crusades, a young member of the Lambton family fought the creature and defeated it by wearing spiked armour that impaled the dragon as it wrapped itself around him.


Middleham Castle      Middleham, Yorkshire, England
Legend, Buried Treasure      
Treasure is believed to be buried in the grounds of the castle.


Norwich Castle      Norwich, Norfolk, England
Legend, King's Treasure      
According to legend the hill on which the castle stands conceals the grave of an old king, together with his hoard of silver and gold.


Pennard Castle (ruins)      Penmaen, Caerphilly, Wales
Legend, Fairies      
The owner of this former castle once refused the local fairies the right to dance at his wedding party. The upset little people conjured up a massive storm which then destroyed the building. The site is now home to a Gwrach-y-rhibyn.


Penyard Castle      Weston Penyard, Herefordshire, England
Legend, Hideous Bird      
A cave hidden under the castle contains a vast collection of gold and lewels. This treasure is protected by a large bird which never sleeps, and which attacks anyone who comes close to discovering the cave.


Castle Rushen      Castletown, Isle of Man , England
Legend, Sleeping Knight      
Under the castle, a knight sleeps with a huge sword by his side.


Sewingshield Castle ruins      Sewingshield, Northumberland, England
Legend, Sleeping Knights      
Legend says the site of King Arthur's hall. A local farmer once claimed to have discovered the location deep underground, a cavern full of sleeping knights, dogs and two royal looking figures.


Thirlwall Castle      Greenhead, Northumberland, England
Legend, Gold Table      
A table of solid gold is said to be hidden somewhere under this castle, protected by a gruesome dwarf.


Tintagel Castle      Tintagel, Cornwall, England
Legend, Merlin      
A place featuring in Arthurian legend (Arthur is said to have been born here), the cave under the castle was the home of Merlin. His spirit is reluctant to leave the place


Castle of Vayne (ruins)      Fern, Angus, Scotland
Legend, Guardian Beast      
Protecting a wealth of gold and jewels, this monster remains hidden unless threatened by treasure hunters.


Warwick Castle      Warwick, Warwickshire, England
Legend, Shuck      
After being caught stealing from her customers, an old servant at the castle was dismissed. In revenge, she bewitched the castle, after which a shuck (supernatural large black dog) appeared and created havoc. The creature was defeated by quotes from the bible read aloud by a local holy man.


 

 

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