Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

HALLOWEEN COULD BE SPOOKY
At Highclere and other British Castles

For Downton Abbey fans, Highclere Castle is almost as familiar as home. Used as the main house in the tv series, we have walked through the glorious rooms and long corridors and have been up and down stairs numerous times as we have followed the antics of Robert Crawley, Earl of Grantham, Anna Bates and the rest of the cast.

But it is not just for Downton Abbey that Highclere Castle has attracted fame. The lovely country house, built on the foundations of a medieval palace, is renowned for its supernatural and ghosts.

Oscar winning actress Shirley MacLaine is a recognised Hollywood spiritualist, and when she was involved in filming at Highclere Castle, she noted that the building had terrific “energy”. “It was a fantastic experience,” she said. “The energy of the castle, grounds, its past and its haunting were inspiring. Pictures came off the walls.” Ms MacLaine also said that a possible source of the castle’s supernatural energy may have come from the time that King Tut’s tomb was once stored in the castle.

It is an ancestor of the current Lord and Lady Carnarvon that helped to pay for the expeditions that finally found the tomb of Tutankhamen. The then Earl of Carnarvon died mysteriously from a mosquito bite and this sudden death sparked a legend of the mummy’s curse. Pieces from the pharaoh’s tomb were transferred to Highclere and a few of the ancient Egyptian relics still remain.

The current Lady Carnarvon has confirmed there are a few different ghosts at Highclere and she says they even know who most of them are. She says that most of the staff at Highclere have a story or two, including the castle manager who regularly hears footsteps walking along a corridor when locking up at night.

Click here for a short video clip of Lady Carnarvon discussing ghosts.

CASTLE KEEP IN NEWCASTLE

But it is not just Highclere Castle that could be spooky at Halloween. Castle Keep in Newcastle is also renowned for its haunting.

Stories range from the sounds of ghostly footsteps on narrow corridors to unexplained mists which have been captured by visitors on camera. Visitors have also felt sudden cold spots appear and disappear and people claim they have been touched by invisible hands. The Queen’s Chamber is said to be at the centre of the haunting at the Castle Keep, and many people have reported hearing chanting in the chamber which could be heard echoing around the walls of the keep. The sounds is said to be made by chanting monks of old and some even claim to have recorded it. However, the Keep’s most famous ghost is called the “Poppy Girl” because it is said she is the ghost of a flower girl who was sent to prison because of debt. When she appears, she is usually accompanied by a floral scent in the air.

For more information about visiting Castle Keep Click Here

TUTBURY CASTLE, STAFFORDSHIRE

Tutbury Castle, Staffordshire, is more than just a haunted old building. There are claims that Tutbury is haunted by the most famous ghost of all – Mary, Queen of Scots!

The Queen hated Tutbury, where she was imprisoned. Just a few years ago a group of 40 men who were visiting the castle all claimed they saw the Queen, standing at the top of the South Tower peering down at them. She was dressed in a full white Elizabethan gown and at the time the men laughed as they thought it was a special enactment put on for them. It was only later that they found this was not the case and no members of staff or the organisation knew anything about it. There have been many other sightings of the Queen – even a group of archaeologists who were digging at the castle and were very practical men said they witnessed an appearance from the Queen.

If you fancy a spooky walk around Tutbury, the castle is holding a special event on Monday October 26th which includes a Halloween buffet, terrifying tales from the castle and the chance to spot the ghosts yourself.

Call 01283 812 129 for more information, or visit the website.

GLAMIS CASTLE

Glamis Castle, west of Forfar in Scotland, is thought to be one of the most haunted castles in Britain. There are a host of fascinating tales and legends about ghostly happenings at the castle, and accounts of around 20 different spirits residing in the castle and the grounds.

The castle dates from the 14th century and is associated with some famous names including Robert the Bruce and the Earls of Strathmore. Key to the number of sightings is said to be a “hidden room” in the castle that contains a terrible secret. Whatever happened in a possible secret room, there are a number of main ghosts that are associated with Glamis.

The White Lady is said to have haunted the castle for hundreds of years after her young son was condemned to death; albeit being released later after the then king had died. The White Lady usually appears abot the Clock Tower. Then there is the spirit of Earl Crawford who rebelled against James II and said to wander the castle.

There is a ghost of a young black boy, who was badly treated around 200 years ago and haunts a stone seat by the door of the Queen's bedroom and there are Jack the Runner, who has been seen darting about the castle screaming in agony.

Then there is the “Grey” lady who roams the castle and was once seen at the same time by over 100 guests who were attending a function on the castle’s lawns.

More information vist their website

PORTCHESTER CASTLE

Portchester Castle in Portsmouth can’t rival Glamis in the number of different spirits, but it makes up for this by some significant characters.

This castle, which borders the natural harbor at Portsmouth, has an ancient history as it is set within the walls of a 3rd century Roman fort. The castle was started after the Norman conquest and once held over 5000 French soldiers during the Napoleonic wars.

The main ghost at Portchester is a monk; a mysterious but benign character who often appears, dressed in a black robe with hood, walking calmly around the outside of the castle walls. When he is spotted he simply fades away to appear later.

The castle is also home to what is thought to be the ghost of Charlotte White and is now known as the White Lady ghost. Charlotte is said to have drowned in the castle’s moat after her baby fell into it, and her ghost has been seen prowling the battlements.

For more information Click Here

MARGAM CASTLE

In recent years there has been a high number of reports of paranormal activity at Margam Castle, in West Glamorgan, Wales and psychic investigations have been carried out in recent years.

One apparition they were particularly interested in was thought to be that of Robert Scott, a gamekeeper who worked at the castle for many years before being murdered by a poacher.

The ghost of Robert is often seen climbing the Gothic staircase at the castle, and the psychic investigators say his spirit is consumed with rage over his murder. Along with characters, other ghostly indications at the castle include the noise of running footsteps and chattering voices with no sign of anyone else in the building, and certain cold spots that occur at regular intervals.

For more information Click Here

In fact, many castles all over the UK have unexplained occurrences going on regularly; castles such as Muncaster Castle in Cumbria, Edinburgh Castle, Dover Castle in Kent, Chillingham Castle in Northumberland and even the Tower of London.

If you want to frighten yourself at Halloween – and indeed on any other dark winter evening – check out HAUNTEDROOMS.COM

Back to LaterLife Interest Index


Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this

Latest Articles:

Health food of the month - Mascarpone

mascarpone

Mascarpone is an Italian cheese made with the addition of certain acidic substances including lemon juice or vinegar. It is thought to originate from an area southwest of Milan over 300 years ago.

AXA Health: Top 10 exercises for a healthy back

family walking

Modern life doesn't lend itself to having a healthy back. Long hours sitting all day at a desk or on the road can take its toll. Add to this a whole host of other sedentary behaviours like TV viewing, sitting at a computer, and game console use – and it's no wonder that our bodies start feeling the strain.

Give your feet some TLC!

happy feet

Feet are often underestimated yet they are just so important. These tiny platforms at the bottom of our legs carry our whole weight as we stand or move along.

New understanding on how cancer starts

lab tests

The latest news is from researchers at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute  who say for the first time ever, scientists have manage to work out the number of mutations needed for cancers to develop.

Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site

Bookmark


Advertise on laterlife.com



LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti