Castles have an almost magical influence on us. Their fascinating gothic allure makes us think about stories with knights and ladies, about medieval drama and about a glory long gone. Some of these castles are famous not only for their appearance, but also for the ghost stories that haunt their rooms. Whether true or not, we like to hear about them and imagine the events behind the alleged phenomena.
1. Berry Pomeroy Castle
Considered the most haunted castle in Britain, it hosts two phantoms each having a tragic story. The castle was built in XII century and given as a present to Ralph de Pomeroy by William the Conqueror. In 1549, the castle was surrendered to Sir Edward Seymour after Thomes Pomeroy attended a religious rebellion.
It is believed that one of the ghosts of the castle comes from this family. Mrs. White is considered the ghost of Margaret Pomeroy, closed by her sister, Eleanor, in one of the rooms of the castle and left to die of hunger. Legends say that the two sisters were in love with the same man and Elenor, out of jealousy, wanted to make her sister disappear. The second ghost of the castle is Lady Blue. It is assumed that this is the daughter of a Norman lord who had been raped by her father. After the incest she had a child whom the Lord strangled. Another version is that she would have killed the baby girl with her own hands. Even today the grieving ghost of the girl haunts the castle.
2. Castle Brissac, France
Also called ”The Colossus of the Loire Valley”, this magnificent castle came into the possession of de Brissac family in 1502 and was renovated in 1633. The extraordinary building has 7 floors and 204 rooms. The castle’s sinister reputation is given by the fact that, at some point, there had been a double murder. In 1477, the castle master Jacques de Breze, Count de Brissac, found his wife one night, Charlotte de Valois, the illegitimate daughter of King Charles VII, with another man and he killed them both. Shortly after the assassination, Jacques de Breze sold the castle because he got scared of the moans of the two ghosts. The ghost of Charlotte, known as Mrs. Green, continues to haunt the castle.
The castle now converted into hotel, guests are invited to convince themselves the beauty of the place and look for the ghost.
3. Tower of London, U.K.
The fortress on the banks of the Thames river was a royal palace across the time, a building of the British government, and even royal prison. Built in 1078 by William the Conqueror, the Tower of London was for many a death sentence. It is known that whoever entered the fortress wouldn’t come out than with his feet first. Henry VI was murdered here on the orders of Edward VI, although the documents of the time say he died of “melancholy”. The same fate had Lady Jane Gray, Queen with the shortest reign in English history (a little more than a week) deposed and beheaded because of her alleged involvement in Wyatt’s rebellion. Here the two princes Edward V and Richard of Shrewsbury, Duke of York, sons of King Edward VI have disappeared at an early age, their bones being found 200 years later.
It is said that the Tower of London is haunted by many ghosts, the most famous being that of Anne Boleyn, one of the wives of Henry VIII, beheaded in the citadel in 1536. It was seen on several occasions in the Green Tower and in The Tower of the Royal Chapel, often carrying her head in her hands. Among the ghosts of the tower were included Henry VI, Lady Jane Gray, Thomas Becket, Sir Walter Raleigh and the Countess of Salisbury. The story of the Countess is one of the most awful. She was sentenced to death in 1541, accused for having been involved in criminal activities (however, she is believed to have been innocent). On the way to scaffold, the Countess managed to escape but the executioner followed her until he caught her and and slaughtered her on the spot. According to the stories, this episode is often reconstituted by the spirits of the Green Tower.
4. Predjama Castle, Slovenia
The castle was built on rock in the opening of a cave and dates from 1274. Situated on the cliff like a nest of eagles, Predjama Castle is relatively isolated. In addition to the official entry, there is a cave system that connects the castle to the foot of the cliff. In the tumultuous history of the castle are part sieges, ad hoc processes in which the accused found guilty were thrown in a vertical cave of 63 meters, stories of torture, etc. The fifteenth century castle hosted a robber baron, who ran from the Holy Roman Emperor’s wrath of the German nation, which led to the siege and destruction of the castle. It was rebuilt and turned into a fearful fortress.
Stories of ghosts that haunt the castle are tied mainly to the fact that, 400 years ago, the castle belonged to Countess Elizabeth Bathory considered a vampire. In order to maintain her youth and beauty, the countess ‘hunted’ younger women who lived near the castle.
5. Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Edinburgh Castle was built on an extinct volcano in the XII century. Over the time, the castle was besieged, destroyed and rebuilt. It often used as a prison. During the Seven Years’ War the castle ‘hosted’ French prisoners and during the American War of Independence, prisoners from the colonies were imprisoned here. Below, the castle has a system of crypts which were also used during outbreaks to isolate the sick. But, most often, these crypts became tombs for those affected by disease.
The castle has its own series of ghosts that have their origin in these tragic events. The most famous of them are the Lonely Piper, who can be heard singing in the galleries of the castle and the Headless Drummer, who rarely appears, more often hearing his drums. They say it makes its appearance only when the castle is about to be attacked. The Headless Drummer first appeared in 1650, before Oliver Cromwell attacked the castle. They also say that sometimes you can see the ghost of a dog that haunts the dogs graveyard near the castle.