One of my favourite things to do while traveling is to discover local legends and tales, especially haunted ones. I am always on the lookout for those Haunted Tours that exist in many cities and have been on quite a few. I used to do a feature on my blog called 'My Obssession with Castles' that focused on haunted castles and I've been thinking about starting it up again. Here are a few that I would like to visit when I am again in Europe next year.
1. Chillingham Castle, England
Chillingham Castle has the reputation of being one of the most haunted castles in England. Originally a monastery in the 12th century, King Edward I stayed there on his way to battle William Wallace, and was seen as a strategically important location. The monastery officially became a castle in 1344 when the owners received a License to crenellate, which is a license to fortify, usually by adding battlements. The castle grew and expanded during the next few centuries, and even included a visit by James I. During World War II, the castle was stripped of many of its original wood decorations to use as fuel for the army stationed there. Today, parts of the castle are open to the public, and even apartments can be rented for holiday outings.
For those of you interested in the haunting aspect of this castle, apparently the most famous ghost is a "blue boy' who announces his presence after a loud wail. There is another ghost - John Sage - who was hung during the war with the Scots. He can apparently be heard dragging bodies around the castle. Renovation work a few years ago revealed two bodies, a man and a boy, bricked into a wall, although apparently the haunting continue to this day. Ready for a night of fun and mayhem, anyone?
2. Moosham Castle, Austria
Moonsham Castle was first established in the 12th century and is most famous for its witch trials in the 17th century. Thousands of people were imprisoned, tortured, and killed during these trials. It is not known exactly how many people were involved but one of the methods of torture was to cut off the hands of the guilty and to brand them as witches, a mark they were to wear for the rest of their lives. Many of the victims were beggars and homeless children, not just women. There is one women who is particularly aggressive as a ghost and is said to try and haunt everyone who enters the castle.
There is another legend attached to the castle though. During the 19th century, many of the cattle and other animals had been viciously attacked and it was said the castle now harboured werewolves. Naturally, many people who lived around the area were found to be guilty of being a werewolf and were put to death.
The castle today is known as the Witches Castle.
3. Dragsholm Castle, Denmark
Dragsholm is one of those castles that I featured in my blog feature "My Obsession with Castles" a number of years ago. You can check the post HERE.
Dragsholm is one of the oldest buildings in Denmark, being built during the 13th century. After becoming a fortified castle, it eventually turned over to Crown land and became a prisoner, holding such notorious people as James Hepburn, the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.
Although it is said to have over one hundred ghosts, the most famous of these are: James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell; a grey lady, a woman who apparently worked at the hotel and couldn't leave it behind when she died; and a white lady, a woman who was murdered due to her illicit love affair with the owner's son.
I think it might be fun to start the "My Obsession with Castles" feature again, although I may not do it weekly, just monthly. I always enjoy taking a trip to my bucket list and dreaming about those places I would like to visit. My obsession with ghosts began so long ago I can't even remember how it started, but I have been obsessed for so long and enjoy the thrill. Could I last in one of these castles? Absolutely!!!