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Castle Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

Falling Pictures

Location: Newbury (Berkshire) - Highclere Castle
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: 2012
Further Comments: Newspapers reported that Shirley MacLaine claimed to have had paranormal experiences while filming Downton Abbey at Highclere, although the experiences appear to be 'pictures falling from walls'.

Evil People

Location: Newcastle (Gwent) - Site of old castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This site of a former motte and bailey castle is said to be haunted by the spirits of all those who have committed evil deeds.

Impenetrable Dragon

Location: Newcastle Emlyn (Dyfed) - Ruined castle in the area (may no longer be standing)
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A dragon whose armoured scales rendered it virtually invincible was killed by a soldier who managed to shoot the creature in its one weak spot - up the bottom. When the dragon's body hit the nearby river venom gushed out, killing all fish.

An old postcard showing Newcastle Keep in Newcastle upon Tyne.

Black Shadow

Location: Newcastle upon Tyne (Tyne and Wear) - Newcastle Keep
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: May 2006
Further Comments: A four foot tall black mass was photographed here during a ghost hunt, seemingly coming out of a wall.


Location: Newmarket on Fergus (County Clare) - MacAulliffe's Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Holding a bright lantern to lure passing ships onto the rocks, the repulsive ghost of Carrickogunnel lurks around the castle. The other phantom found here is that of a bride who mysteriously vanished shortly after being married.

Robert FitzHamon

Location: Newport (Gwent) - Newport Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The protective structure is haunted by the giant figure of FitzHamon, the castle's builder.

Castle Inn, Newport Isle of Wight.

Whistling Shape

Location: Newport (Isle of Wight) - Castle Inn
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: The phantom whistling was heard several times by staff at the pub, once coming from a strange white shape that passed through the bar.

Figure in Ruff

Location: North Berwick (Lothian) - Tantallon Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: May 2008 (Wiseman image taken), circa 1978 (earlier image)
Further Comments: A photograph released in March 2009 by Richard Wiseman purports to show a ghostly man wearing a ruff. Another photograph was released a few days later, taken thirty years previous, showing another ghostly figure.

Norwich Castle, Norfolk.

Old Lady in a Black Dress

Location: Norwich (Norfolk) - Norwich Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1820 onwards
Further Comments: The earliest ghost sighting here dates to 1820 when several prisoners were scared 'half to death' by something indescribable. In 1844 the Devil, dancing away on the walls, was seen by two witnesses. More recently, staff at the castle museum have reported watching an old lady float around the grounds. There are rumours that the hill on which the castle stands conceals the grave of an old king, together with his hoard of silver and gold.

An old postcard of Nottingham Castle.

Regent Mortimer

Location: Nottingham (Nottinghamshire) - Nottingham Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Heard pacing in his former cell, Mortimer appears not to understand that he was executed in 1330. Queen Isabella has been heard screaming, the way that she may have done when they dragged Mortimer off to his death. A phantom child is also said to haunt the site, and finally the gallery is reputedly haunted by the Countess of Nottingham, who only appears to people who will die within a year.

Old postcard of Dunollie Castle, also known as Dunolly Castle.


Location: Oban (Argyll and Bute) - Dunollie Castle, aka Dunolly Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1971
Further Comments: This ghostly, semi-transparent piper appeared before half a dozen witnesses visiting the castle grounds. Folklore says another entity, a Glaistig, also haunted the site. She would be seen moving towards the castle in the evening and would sweep the floors at night.


Location: Oban (Argyll and Bute) - Dunstaffgne (or Dunstaffnage) Castle
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Prior to major news
Further Comments: The Glaistig is a fairy-like guardian entity that follows a family, only becoming apparent when good or bad news is heard (that is when she bursts into song, cheers, or cries). Dunstaffgne's Glaistig would also be heard stomping around and on one occasion, pulled the sheets off a guest's bed. The creature has not been heard since the castle burnt down.


Location: Odiham (Hampshire) - Oliham Castle, also known as St John's Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom voice accompanied by a stringed instrument is sometimes heard to sing away in the ruins. Balls of light and wispy figures have also been reported drifting around the site.

An old postcard of Okehampton Castle.

Lady Howard

Location: Okehampton (Devon) - Okehampton Castle
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: Midnight (reoccurring)
Further Comments: This large black dog is reportedly the ghost of Lady Howard, who walks from here to Tavistock. Some say it is a separate entity, and Lady Howard really travels by a coach made from the bones of her dead husbands.

The sea off Orford Castle, Suffolk.


Location: Orford (Suffolk) - Coast near to Orford Castle
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Circa 1167
Further Comments: Fishermen caught a naked, hairy man just off the coast. The man did not speak, even when hung upside down and tortured. His diet considered of fish, which if given to him raw, he squeezed with his hands and drank only the liquid. He was held at the castle for a while (some sources say six months) before being allowed to swim in the sea, albeit guarded in a netted enclosure. The wild man managed to escape the enclosure and played in the waves, occasionally disappearing under the sea. Just as the guards had given up of hope of recapturing him, the wild man returned and was taken back to the castle. As he had returned voluntarily, the wild man was not guarded as intensely as previous and stayed at the castle for another couple of months before once again escaping into the sea, but this time never returning.

Coach and Horses

Location: Paulstown (County Kilkenny) - Shankill castle (aka Shankill Castle)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Several entities were said to have taken up residence around the castle, including a phantom coach which would arrive outside the front door, an older man seen on the first floor, ringing bells and a phantom monk. A gate on the site would open itself; even after concreate had been used, the following day the gate was found open and bent.

An old postcard showing Neidpath Castle.

White Woman

Location: Peebles (Borders) - Neidpath Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This pale creature flitters around the building, having died of a broken heart.

An old postcard of Peel Castle on the Isle of Man.

Moddey Dhoo

Location: Peel (Isle of Man) - Peel Castle
Type: Shuck
Date / Time: 1660
Further Comments: The local shuck, the Moddey Dhoo, haunted the local guardroom - appearing at night to sleep by their fire. One guard grew tired of hiding away from it and went to face the creature alone; he returned soon after, silent and dying, but the creature was never seen again.

Lost Princess

Location: Pembroke (Dyfed) - Carew Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This wandering shade, thought to be Princess Nest, known as the Helen of Wales, travels around the castle grounds as if looking for something. Another legend says that the great hall is haunted by a former owner and his pet ape, both of whom were found dead and on fire.

Lady in Black

Location: Pembroke (Dyfed) - Manorbier Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: September (reoccurring)
Further Comments: This feminine figure dressed in black seems to appear near the gatehouse.


Location: Pen-y-cae (Powys) - Craig Y Nos Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 2007
Further Comments: While on a ghost hunt, The Ghost Research Foundation International photographed a human shaped shadow standing on the staircase, although it has been suggested that this was shadow was casted from a statuette on the roof. The owners of the castle claim many ghosts haunt the building, including the composer Rossini, opera singer Adelina Patti and her husband, and the sound of children running.

Messy Bed

Location: Pencaitland (Lothian) - Penkaet (or Pencaet, or Pencait) Castle, also known as Fountainhall House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1950s
Further Comments: The ghost of Charles I is blamed for disrupting the bedding in the room that contains his death mask. John Cockburn, who committed murder here, can be heard dragging the body along various parts of the building. Finally, the castle is also haunted by a beggar, falsely accused of using witchcraft against another former owner.

White Hare

Location: Pengersick (Cornwall) - Former castle (on site of current castle)
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A former lord of the castle had an affair with a woman in a faraway land, who gave birth to a son. When the lord returned home (and back to his wife) the woman and child followed him. The lord threw his former lover and the child into the sea. The child survived and was picked up by a passing ship, but the woman drowned, returning as a white hare which haunted the lord for the rest of his life.

Lass in Apron

Location: Penhow (Gwent) - Penhow Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A phantom young girl dressed for a kitchen has been reported in the great hall.

Crested Dragons

Location: Penllyn (South Glamorgan) - Penllyn Castle, and surrounding woods
Type: Dragon
Date / Time: 1800s
Further Comments: The dragons (or winged snakes, according to other sources) here were once said to be quite common, if not a little shy. They snacked on the local produce, especially chickens, and sparkled and shimmered when escaping farmers. They were hunted to extinction. It has been suggested that the winged snakes were misidentified pheasants or peacocks and not native to the area until introduced by the English.

Records 376 - 399 of 399

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