Brave enough to visit these gorgeous paranormal active castles?
In the spirit of an upcoming holiday and a growing travel desire, dark tourism as it is known, seeks out the most unparalleled and the uncanny aspects of destinations to truly discover what is hidden in the mundane. From seeking historically haunted houses to historically tragic and death-ridden landmarks like Auschwitz, Chernobyl, insane asylums, and especially castles. Hollywood’s magic lures our deepest fears into houses like no one else, focusing on the innocent connection established between the security of having a roof over our heads, and what can linger in the deepest corners of our own homes. Pack plenty of positivity and hasten the heart for a courageous adventure, these are the top five haunted castles that will make any dark tourist shiver in delight.
1. Chillingham Castle
Dating back to the 13th century, the Chillingham Castle has kept much of its traditional medieval strength, solely gaining the ghostly grim energies that are witnessed today. Inside authentic to the time decor is preserved alongside vast galleries and yet, the castle is recognized as one of the most haunted places in the United Kingdom.
While the castle is open to hosting a specialized ghost tour as long as visitors plan ahead by checking their website, visitors can prepare their cameras and an extra pair of socks in case of an encounter with the infamous White Pantry Ghost, a ghostly figure first seen by a guard assigned to protect the pantry where the silver was kept. Many have claimed the ghost seeks a cup of water, adding to the idea of the woman’s death as having been poisoned.
Don’t forget to listen extra quietly for the voices in the chapel, an experience so bizarre it leaves many visitors confused for trying to make sense of the hushed conversation.
2. St. Briavels Castle
Currently functioning as a Youth Hostel, St. Briavels Castle has withstood the test of time since the early 12th century and holds the title of being the most haunted castle in England. Having hosted many royals and many lives, the castle’s infamous King John’s Bedroom maintains odd ambiance, perhaps the heaviness of those waiting to carry out their death sentence during the 17th century.
While many visit the hostel for a good night’s rest in the solitude of the rural country, it is common to be woken up by the raw cries of an upset baby echoing from King John’s Bedroom. Prepare for a restless night if this castle is on the list to check-in, only the brave explore the castle after dark with a handful of ghostly sightings reported throughout the stone-cold walls. Plan ahead to schedule a night tour with the castle.
3. Craig y Nos Castle
Explore the intricate corridors of the former home of world-famous Opera Singer Adelina Patti at the Craig y Nos Castle. An incredibly gorgeous wedding venue during the day, many visit unfamiliar with the dark history of the castle and its other-worldly residences. After the death of Adelina Patti in the early 20th century, the castle became a hospital for tuberculosis patients where many of the patients were treated in innovative yet gruesome methods that were believed to be scientifically advanced; some continue to hear the cries of the patients while exploring the Treatment room.
Recognized as the most haunted castle in Wales, Craig y Nos hosts their own ghost tours examining the abnormal history of the grounds and even created a separate sight for the grand amount of paranormal investigation calls the castle was receiving, visitors can expect tour through some of the same rooms that were used during the filming of the Most Haunted Craig y Nos episode.
4. Hampton Court Palace
Glorious enough to be fit for King Henry VIII as his grand home, the Hampton Court Palace continues to be beloved by visitors for the incredible insights to this famous king’s way of life. From luscious gardens to the King’s famous Great Hall, and even the legends of two of the king’s wives continuing to haunt the grounds well-beyond their time of reign.
Book a ghoulish tour with the palace to encounter the tragic tales of Henry VIII’s wife Catherine Howard and her final moments after being accused of adultery while keeping an ear open to Catherine’s popular yet terrifying screams. Greet, who Henry VIII nicknamed the ‘perfect queen’ as she is said to have passed from post-birth complications. Jane Seymour, mother to the later King Edward has been sighted on the Silverstick stairs, not far from the room she passed in. Or The Grey Lady, often referred to as Sybil Penn, a servant that nursed Elizabeth I as she developed smallpox in the 16th century. Later, Sybil Penn passed away from contracting smallpox from the young future queen and instead haunts the palace to date.
5. Glamis Castle
Popular for its literature appearance in Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the Glamis Castle is home to legends and tales that surpass the initial construction of the castle in the 11th century. Many paranormal lovers and dark tourists seek out the castle not for the literature, but for the ghoulish sightings and reports that have long been attached to the castle, starting with The Monster of Glamis.
According to the legend, a dreadfully deformed child was born to the family residing in the 19th century, it was kept inside the castle its entire life and its rooms sealed up with bricks after its passing. Another infamous ghost in Glamis Castle is no other than Earl Beardie who is said to have become so upset when no one would play cards with him, that he declared that he would even play against the devil if he appeared. Apparently, a stranger arrived later that night to play against the Earl, and upon winning, the stranger identified himself as the devil and whisked the Earl’s soul.
While there are many versions of the legend, it has been proclaimed that there are over nine other ghoulish energies making the castle their eternal home. Visitors can book a night tour in Scotland’s Most Haunted Castle.
It doesn’t have to be a spooky season to enjoy a good freight, nor does one have to be outside in the middle of the night to encounter an unexplainable event like coming across with a ghost or a dark shadow peering over the corners. Keep an open mind and an even wider open eye to the stillness of the atmosphere, someone or something may be sharing the same energy with you in any of these spectacular castles.