Castle Spirits – Haunting Halls Into Eternity
Castle spirits and their appearances are interwoven into the history of hundreds of former fortresses and palaces around the world.
As castles served as homes, prisons, palaces and keeps, their occupants varied greatly in station and that variety, too, is seen in the apparitions that are reported to haunt them to this day.
Whether one believes in castle spirits or not is a personal choice, however, paranormal investigators have taken serious notice at many of the grand castles kings, queens and bishops of old once called home.
Take the castle spirits of Dragsholm Slot in Denmark for example. This 12-century structure, now used as a hotel, is said to boast three individual castle ghosts: the white lady, the gray lady and the Earl of Bothwell. Reports of the gray lady are rare, but it is believed she is the ghost of a woman who once worked in the castle, fell ill, was cured. This castle ghost is believed to return to this day to show her gratitude.
The other two castle spirits of Dragsholm have been more widely reported. The white lady is said to be the daughter of one of the castle’s former owners. She haunts the halls out of lovesickness. It seems the noblewoman fell in love with a common man and when her father discovered the truth of his daughter’s heart, he imprisoned her within the castle keep.
The last of Dragsholm’s known castle spirits, the Earl of Brothwell, is said to have been captured there in the 1500s. He was imprisoned within the castle for five years before his death. Madness, it is said, took over him and he now wanders the castle in the afterlife.
Within merry old England stories of castle spirits abound from the famous former prisoners of the Tower of London to the hauntings of Windsor Castle. The stories of England’s castle sprits are as rich as the history of the country itself.
Leeds Castle in Kent is said to be the afterlife home of a large black dog, believed to be an omen of death. The original manor house of Leeds was the home of Saxon Kings and was built in 857 AD. The castle itself was mentioned in the Doomsday Book of 1086.
Leeds’ famous castle spirit is once said to have saved a woman’s life. The woman, the story goes, was sitting in a window when the dog appeared. Startled, she moved away. Within seconds the window collapsed into the moat.
Stories of castle ghosts similar to these could fill pages. Scotland’s haunted castles, for example, include such names as Aldourie, Dunrobin, Duntrune and Heritage castles. In Barcaldine Castle Donald Campbell is said to wander the grounds in search of his murderer. Hermitage is famous for its group of castle spirits – a band of goodwill ambassadors sent to end a feud. The lord of the castle imprisoned the men and starved them to death. Their ghosts are said to stalk the ruins of this castle in Borders.
It matters little if one believes in castle spirits or not, what is evident is the impact they have had on the history of these famous structures. The tales of the keeps’ lost souls are forever intertwined in the stories of the castles themselves.