Castles have a reputation for being haunted and there are several reasons for this. First off it is because they actually might be haunted. Yup, maybe so. I don't know for a fact but we should keep an open mind about it. After all, some of these castles are more than 500 years old. And any building that is that old has seen some very creepy things including deaths, executions, tortures. And well you get the idea. And it just seems like these extremes in life tend to stir up mysterious happenings.
Anyhoo, here is a list of some of the most famous haunted castles in the world. You be the judge of whether or not they are actually "haunted". I will just give you the stories.
Chillingham Castle UK - They say this is the most haunted castle in the world. And there is some merit to that. There have been many tv shows and documentaries done about this castle. It is located in northern britain in Northumberland. And it is a very square looking rectangular shaped fortress. Rather plain and creepy. There are documented executions in the castle and a real torture chamber. There is also a story of the remains of a man and a boy being found walled in. Very spooky. I have more about this castle right here: The Ghosts of Chillingham Castle
Leap Castle Ireland - This is definitely a very creepy castle. It has a dungeon, an oubliette and a place called "The Bloody Chapel". It has a very long history of violence, treachery and murder. There is a story of a little girl named Emily who fell from the top of the castle in the early1600's and now it is said that she and her sister Charlotte haunt the castle. There is also a story of an elemental that haunts the castle. It is half sheep and half human. (Mostly sheep with the face of a human). It's apparation is purported to be accompanied by a horrible smell. This castle is definitely very creepy and and one point in the past the oubliette was cleared of two horse carts full of bones. An oubliette typically was an underground chamber where people were put to simply wait and die. yikes. There is a nice youtube video on this castle: The Ghosts of Leap Castle
Charleville Castle - Ireland - This is a gothic style castle which just adds to the creepiness factor. It is built on an ancient burial site sacred ground which is always a bad idea. Can you say poltergeist?
The Castle does have a prison and it is rumored that tortures took place. This would explain some of the angst. But there is also a story of a little girl who upon sliding down a bannister fell to her death. So, maybe she haunts the castle.
There is a tower with a staircase called "Harriet's staircase". This might be where the child fell to her death. I haven't verified that though.
The Tower of London - Great Britain - This castle is 900 years old and it has quite a history including many very famous stories and creepy ghosts. There are stories about hundreds of executions that have taken place in the tower of london over the centuries but only 7 executions are officially recorded. There have been over a hundred executions in the nearby Tower hill though. That might still count.
The picture shown here is only part of the actual fortress of the Tower of London.It is the White Tower and it is here that one of the most famous ghosts makes her appearance. Queen Anne Boleyn was beheaded in 1536 for treason against the king and it is said that she has been seen roaming around this tower with her head tucked under her arm. Yikes! Of all the castles in the world this one probably has the most ghost stories. This may be partially due to the age of the castle and partially due to the fact that it has been inhabited all this time.
But then again, when you are talking about all those centuries and all those monarchs, kings, lords and what not there really was a lot of crazy stuff that happened.
There is the story of two princes who disappeared (Edward the 5th 12 years old and Richard the Duke of York age 10) and are purported to still haunt the grounds of the tower. And the story of the old Countess of Salisbury who was sentenced to be executed. But she refused to put her head on the chopping block. She ran away from the executioner who chased her and chopped at her until she died. Yikes, now that is a gruesome story and is good cause for a haunting.
Edinburgh Castle - Scotland
The Castle itself is not so much purported to be haunted although there are stories of this. Where the real story of the ghosts of Edinburgh lies is underneath it. There are a series of tunnels under the castle called "The Screaming Vaults". OMG!
It is in these corridors, tunnels and rooms under the castle where there have been reports of paranormal activity including ghostly apparitions.
The Piper of Edinburgh - There is a terrific story of a bag piper who disappeared in the labyrinth under the castle. The story goes that the tunnels under the castle were a secret but were discovered a couple hundred years ago. In order to explore the tunnels a piper was sent down. He played his pipes as he progressed through the tunnels. Then the playing just stopped. They sent a search party in to get him but they never found him. He simply disappeared. The story goes that he now haunts the rooms and corridors under the castle and sometimes his piping can be heard by the living!
Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire Britain
This castle supposedly has a ghost that haunts one of its rooms. The story goes that an illegitimate child was born to one of the ladys and it was murdered and buried under the hearth in the Green Room. It is said that sometimes moans and wails can be heard in the halls.
A Bonus Haunted Castle Right here in America
Belcourt Castle in Newport RI
When we talk about the haunted castles of Europe we are talking about castles that are typically 500 years old or more. And during those centuries a lot of crazy stuff happended like beheadings, oubliettes, betrayals, uprisings, torture and more.
Well, here in the USA we pretty much missed all of that. Nothing here is that old because the country itself isn't that old. But....
An important thing to think about when it comes to hauntings of these old castles is that the spirits have attached themselves to the castle and seem to stick with it. But spirits have been known to haunt objects other than castles. And this is where the interesting story of Belcourt castle comes in to play.
Belcourt Castle in Newport RI was built over a three year period from 1891 to 1894 and the wealthy owners of the castle, over the following years traveled the world and collected a wide variety of antiquities to place in the castle. Among these are objects that are purported to be haunted.
The most remarkable of which is probably the screaming suit of armor. The owner (wearer) of the suit of armor was killed by a spear that entered through the eye slit. YIKES! It is said that sometimes in March his screams can be heard. March was the month that it happened.