Friday, December 30, 2011

Most Haunted Castles


Windsor Castle, England:
Is a medieval Castle and royal residence in Windsor in the English county of Berkshire, notable for its long association with the British royal family and its architecture. The original castle was built after the Norman invasion by William the Conqueror. Since the time of Henry I it has been used by a succession of monarchs and is the longest - occupied palace in Europe. The castle's lavish, early 19th century State Apartments are architecturally significant, described by art historian Hugh Roberts as "a superb and unrivalled sequence of rooms widely regarded as the finest and most complete expression of later Georgian taste". The castle includes the 15th century St George's Chapel, considered by historian John Robinson to be " one of the supreme achievements of English Perpendicular Gothic design". More than five hundred people live and work in Windsor, making it the largest inhabited castle in the world. The castle is almost one mile in circumference and is the largest in Britain.
    Since it was built, the Castle has been embroiled in legends of suicide, witchcraft and demonic ghosts. The list of ghostly sightings reported at the Castle is huge.    
One of the most famous ghosts reported at the Castle is that of King Henry VIII. Guests staying at the castle have reported hearing the king's footsteps along the long hallways of the Castle. Some have even claimed to hear moans and groans coming from the hallway. One of his wives, Anne Boleyn, has been seen standing at the window in the Dean's Cloister.
    Queen Elizabeth I haunt the Royal Library and is said to have been seen by several members of the Royal family. The sounds of her high heels are heard on bare floorboards, before her imposing figure appears and passes through the library and into an inner room. She has also been seen standing at the window in the Dean's Cloister. She is always dressed in a black gown with a black lace shawl draped over her shoulders.
    There is a demonic horned being said to bring death and disease to those who are unfortunate enough to see it, especially the Royal family. Other legends tell of witchcraft and suicide.
    In the last 250 years, hundreds of people have claimed to have seen the spirit of Herne the Hunter, who was the favourite huntsman of King Richard II. He is often seen accompanied by his pack of hounds, careering across the Great Park searching for lost souls.
    The story is that Herne was one of the Royal keepers in the time of King Richard II (1367-1400). Herne had two large black hounds and was hated by the other keepers because of his great skill. One evening King Richard was hunting a stag in the grounds of Windsor Park, but the stag turned on him and he would have been killed if Herne hadn't stood between the enraged animal and Richard.
    However, Herne was fatally wounded and fell to the ground. At this point a strange dark man appeared and said he could cure Herne. Richard asked him to go ahead and the dark man cut the stag's head off and put it on Herne's body. The Dark Man then took Herne away to his hut on Bagshot Heath some miles away, to complete the cure. The King was so grateful to Herne that he swore that if Herne recovered he would make him his chief keeper.
    The other keepers disliked Herne so much that they wished that he would die. The Dark Man overheard them and offered them a bargain - if they would grant him the first request he made, he would ensure that, though Herne would recover, he would lose all his hunting skills. They agreed and everything happened as the Dark Man said. Herne was so distraught at the loss of his skill that he found a mighty oak in Windsor Park and hanged himself from it. Instantly, his body disappeared.
    The other keepers weren't happy for long though, because they too lost all their hunting abilities. They found the Dark Man and asked him to help them. He said that if they went to the oak the following night, they would have a solution to their problem. When they went to the Oak, the spirit of Herne appeared to them. He told them to go and fetch his hounds and horses for a chase.
    This they did and when they returned, Herne took them to a Beech tree. There he invoked the Dark Man who burst from the tree in a shower of sparks and flame. His first request of the unfortunate keepers was that they form a band for Herne the Hunter. Bound by their oath, they had to swear allegiance to Herne. After that, night after night, they hunted through the forests.
    The ghostly hunt's approach is presaged by flashes of lightning, wind in the tree tops, the rattling of chains and tolling of bells and the terrible din of a pack of dogs in mad pursuit. As the legend goes, if you hear the baying of the ghostly hounds in the sky, run away, because if they catch you, you too will be forced to follow Herne and his Wild Hunt, ranging across the night skies for eternity.
    In the early 1860's the tree from which Herne was found hanging, was cut down, and Queen Victoria kept the oak logs for her fire "To help kill the ghost". Her plan didn't work however.
    King Charles I has often been seen in the library and the Canon's house. Although he was beheaded during the English Revolution, his ghost is seen as a whole. It is reported that he looks exactly like his portraits.
King George III had many bouts with mental deterioration. During these times he was kept out of the public's eye. He has been seen looking out the windows located below the Royal Library, where he was confined during the recurrence of his illness.
    Sir George Villiers, The first Duke of Buckingham, is said to haunt one of the bedrooms of Windsor castle.
The Deanery is haunted by a young boy who shouts, "I don't want to go riding today". It is probably his footsteps which are heard in the same building.
    The 'Prison Room' in the Norman Tower is haunted, possibly by a former Royalist prisoner from Civil War times. Children playing there have seen him and adults have felt him brush past.
    Ghostly footsteps are often heard on the staircase in the Curfew Tower. On one occasion, the bells began to swing on their own while the temperature became distinctly chilly.
In 1873, a night-time visitor to the castle noticed an interesting new statuary group had been erected near St. George's Chapel: three standing figures, all in black, and a fourth crouching down. The central standing character was in the act of striking with a large sword. The sentry knew nothing of this artwork and when the visitor returned to re-examine it, it had gone!
    Many spirits haunt the Long Walk, one of whom is a young Grenadier Guard who shot himself while on duty there in the 1920s. During his guard watch, he saw marble statues moving "of their own accord." He was seen by at least two of his colleagues, immediately after his death.

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire scotland:
It is the former home of the Marquess of Ailsa but is now owned by the National Trust for Scotland. 
    Culzean Castle was constructed as an L-plan castle by the order of the 10th Earl of Cassilis. The castle was built in stages between 1777 and 1792. It incorporates a large drum tower with a circular saloon inside (which over looks the sea), a grand oval staircase and a suite of well appointed apartments. 
     Several ghosts haunt Culzean Castle one of whom is believed to be and actual Kennedy ancestor. There is also a legend about a supernatural knight and direct ties with the roasting of the Abbot of Crossraguel.
    A ghostly piper has been heard on the castle`s grounds; he plays apparently to the celebration of marriage of Clan family members. He has also been heard playing at a spot between Happy Valley and the ocean. It is said that on stormy nights, you can hear his ghostly pipes playing mixing eerily with the howling wind and crashing waves.
    The spirit of a woman dressed in a ball gown haunts Culzean although no one knows who this young woman was.
    In 1976, two tourists visiting the castle witnessed a "peculiar misty shape" moving up the oval staircase. Apparently this is not an uncommon sight, several people have seen it. It is thought to be the ghost of a Kennedy. It is also reported that younger members of the staff are warned about `a wee ghost` near the dungeons.
    The castle`s legend tells of a ghostly knight who abducted a young heiress and held her captive in the castle. The knight tells her how he plans to kill her, but she manages to lull him to sleep and stabs him to death with his own dirk. Later this legend comes to life, when May Kennedy from Culzean was abducted from the castle by Sir John Cathcart. Cathcart is supposed to have murdered his wife and apparently was planning on murdering May Kennedy. Luckily May discovered his murderous plans and managed to push Cathcart to his death from cliffs near Carelton Castle, where he lived and still to this day haunts it`s ruins.

Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh Scotland:
Is a fortress which dominates the skyline of the city of Edinburgh, Scotland, from its position atop the volcanic Castle Rock. Human habitation of the site is dated back as far as the 9th century BC, although the nature of early settlement is unclear. There has been a royal castle here since at least the reign of David I in the 12th century, and the site continued to be a royal residence until the Union of the Crowns in 1603. From the 15th century the castle's residential role declined, and by the 17th century its principal role was as a military base with a large garrison.
    Edinburgh Castle is reputed to be one of the most haunted spots in Scotland. And Edinburgh itself has been called the most haunted city in all of Europe. On various occasions visitors to the castle have reported a phantom piper, a headless drummer, the spirits of French prisoners from the Seven Years War and colonial prisoners from the American Revolutionary War even the ghost of a dog wandering in the grounds' dog cemetery. 

Ballygally Castle, Northern Ireland:
Is in the village of Ballygally, County Antrim, Northern Ireland.
    The castle overlokks the sea at the head of BallyGally Bay. Now run as a hotel it is the only 17th century building still used as a residence in Northern Ireland.
    The castle was built in 1625 by James Shaw, of Scotland, who had come to the area and rented the land from the Earl of Antrim. The castle did come under attack, from the Irish garrison at Glenarm, several times during the rebellion of 1641 but each assault was unsuccessful. The castle was owned by the Shaw family until it passed into the hands of William Shaw in 1799. He sold the estate. In the 1950s the castle was bought by the carpet tycoon Cyril Lord and was extended and renovated. It is now owned and run by the Hastings Hotels Group.
    The castle is reputed to host a number of ghosts, the most active of which is the former resident, Lady Isobel Shaw, who has a habit of knocking the doors of the rooms and disappearing.  She had reportedly fallen to her death from the window after her husband had locked her in her room and starved her. Madame Nixon is another ghost who lived in the hotel in the 19th century and can be heard walking around the hotel in her silk dress. The small room in the corner turret of the castle is known as "The Ghost Room" and is not used as a room in the hotel.
    In 2003, owner Olga Henry had said after spending some time in the hotel, "I'm sort of very skeptical about the whole supernatural thing and ghosts. But the more I stay here and work here, the more I think there's definitely something in this hotel." According to Henry, one guest was staying in one of the rooms in the tower beneath the "Ghost Room" and in the middle of the night he awoke and thought he was at home and one of his children had laid a hand on his back. He woke up and said that he could a hear a child running about the room and laughing but nothing could be seen so he ran into the lobby in his boxers shorts in fright.

Neuschwanstein Castle, Bavaria Germany:
Is a 19th century Romanesque Revival Palace on the rugged hill above the village of Hohenschwangau near Fussen in southwest Bavaria, Germany. The palace was commissioned by Ludwig II of Bavaria as a retreat and as a homage to Richard Wagner. Contrary to common belief, Ludwig paid for the palace out of his personal fortune and extensive borrowing, not with Bavarian public funds.
    The palace was intended as a personal refuge for the reclusive king, but it was opened to the paying public immediately after his death in 1886. Since then over 60 million people have visited Neuschwanstein Castle.
    The palace has appeared prominently in several movies and was the inspiration for Disneylands Sleeping Beauty Castle and later, similar structures.
    It is claimed to be very haunted by people who visit it, some have claimed to feel uneasy and yet others claimed they would feel a guest of ice cold air when there shouldn't be.  

Doorwerth Castle, Germany:
Is a medieval castle situated on the river Rhine near the city of Arnhem, Netherlands.
    The original castle, probably wooden, is first mentioned in 1260 when it was besieged and burned to the ground, after which it was rebuilt in stone. In 1280 this second castle was again besieged and this time the bailey was burned down.
    During the 14th century was continually enlarged. Doorwerth Castle was originally the property of the Van Dorenweerd family. Doorwerth Castle reached its largest form just after the middle of the 16th century under Daem Schellart van Obbendorf, the 15th Lord of Dorenweerd.
     The castle changed ownership due to financial problems and was granted in fief to a German Count, Anton I van Aldenburg. His successors did not alter the castle or bailey but did acquire more land. At the end of the 18th century the castle was no longer inhabited, but was looking after by a steward for its owners who now lived in England.
    As a result, the castle was in a neglected state when it was bought, in 1837, by the baron JAP. van Brakell. He carried out a thorough restoration and a complete modernization of the castle. This revival of the castle only lasted for a short time; after the baron's death in 1844 the castle again fell into neglect. It remained neglected until 1910, when it was bought by retired artillery officer Frederic Adolph Hoefer. Again the castle was thoroughly restored, undoing some of the 19th century alterations and additions. After 1913 it was used as a Dutch Artillery Museum.
    The castle suffered heavily in 1944 as a result of German destructiveness and Allied shelling during World War II. Directly after WWII a lengthy restoration began that lasted until 1983. By then the castle was back into its 18th century state and was owned by the "Friends of the castle of Gelderland" foundation who now maintain the castle as a museum. 
    Among the ghosts that are said to exist on the castle ground are the figure of what could possibly be a father who cast off his daughter, and locked her up in one of the dungeons. The misty apparition of one of the castellans, who killed his friend because he wanted his wife for his own. The unhappy ghost of of a witch like woman, in a carriage pulled by headless horses. People report feeling extremley uneasy while there and employees have claimed to her footsteps when no one is there or seen.  

Burg Wolfsegg Castle, Germany:
Wolfsegg lies about 17 kilometers North West from Regensburg close to the "Naabtal". Among this little Bavarian village stands a castle that was built in the 1300's.
Originally, this castle was supposed to be a place of calm and tranquility, but it is known and famous for its history of hauntings.
    The most popular one would be the legend of the white woman from Wolfsegg. This legend was even confirmed by a parapsychologist and a professional Medium in 1969.
The roots of this haunting were originating from the 1500's. At this time, Graefin Klara von Helfenstein and her husband Ulrich von Laaber were living in "Burg Wolfsegg. Ulrich, the knight, did not stay at Wolfsegg very often at that time, so his wife Klara needed a man in the house to support her for protection, or if problems occurred. Her choice ended up being "Georg Moller" who owned the Hammermuehle in Heitzenhofen. Klara did not only take advantage of Georg's support as protection, but also started an affair with him there closely after hiring him. Georg Moller was also an arch enemy of Klara's husband. Ulrich von Laaber did not waste any time and hired two young farmers to kill his wife immediately. Not much later, Ulrich and his sons also suddenly died. Therefore, the family history of the Laaber's expired in1475.
    It is not completely clear, if the sudden death of the Laaber's was an act of revenge through the adulterer, Georg, or if it was done by the hands of Klara herself, who is now restlessly haunting the castle since she was murdered.
For a long time, Klara, who is haunting the castle as a woman dressed in white, was not the only paranormal occurrence and partially unexplained phenomenon of the Wolfsegg Castle. There is a large cave in Wolfsegg, which has not been completely discovered to this day. There have been strange noises coming out of the cave area, which have been described as very haunting. There were several expeditions into the cave, where many skeletons were found. Including the cadaver of a big cave bear and many other animal skeletons. People decided, that the noises coming out of the cave were from hunters, who were hiding their pray. Still, people were avoiding the cave area. The strange noise coming out of the cave may have been solved by the findings of the expeditions, but this has not been the case of the haunting, "White Woman" who is still restlessly making her rounds.

                                                                      Klara Von Helfenstein

Burg Stockenfels, Germany:
Nobody exactly knows who built the Stockenfels Castle 30 kilometers north of Regensburg, between Maxhuette and Nittenau. Humongous and five stories high at one time. The emperor Ludwig from Bavaria may have been involved in building this powerful castle. It was also him, who equipped it with a chapel. Owners changed very quickly after the death of Ludwig from Bavaria during the following centuries. Among others were feared knights, who made the castle their own, and also made it famous for their crude deeds.
    At the castle of Stockenfels, people who have done the third crime of Bavaria will be punished every night. After murder and arson, the third crime would be "Pouring Water into Beer", decided by the folks of Stockenfels and the legends and stories around the haunted castle of Stockenfels. This is also called the "Bierpantscher-Walhalla"! Deceiving waiters and waitresses, who did not pour the beer right, or who cheated their customers will also have to join the" Beer Pantscher".
    At midnight, the usually covered with dirt castle well will open. A shiny latter will reach down to the seemingly groundless bottom of the well. The devil of Stockenfels will round up every soul of the third crime and lead them to the latter, until every step will be taken, from the bottom to the very top. Another devil will fill bucket after bucket with water from the very bottom reaching them up to the sinners one by one, who will hand them on to the ones above them. At the top, the main devil will take the buckets of water and pour them out over the castle wall.
    This will go on forever, every midnight! This sinners work will go into eternity. He has to suffer for all the water that he has poured into the beer, and the guests that he has cheated. A lot of these sinners are still known by name. Like the Schwodlbrau von Zangenstein, the waitress from Stadtamhof and a few brewers from Munich.
    Many of them are suffering for over 300 years now, and there will be more daily. Therefore, even the dry and deep ponds at the foot of the castle will never dry out. Even in the hottest of summers. But no wonder, knowing about the floods of water that will pour down the castle every midnight. There have been many nosy and involuntary nightly witnesses at the Stockenfels Castle. Their nosiness has cost them their lives. They will be watching the spectacle every midnight from that point on!

Schloss Nordkirchen, Germany:
The Nordkirchen Castle was built between 1703 and 1734. There used to be a big water tower in its place in the 1600's.
    The castle is surrounded by two water ditches; therefore the castle sits on a square island. Four pavilions are located in each corner. The architecture is a barock style by Johann Conrad Schlaun.
    According to the legend, there used to be a bill collector named Schenkewald, a guy that did not take no for an answer and did not feel sorry for anybody. Words and meanings of giving somebody a break and kindness were unknown to him. Everybody hated him and he only had a few friends. Even after his death, people were still talking ill of him.
    Only the rich and owners of large pieces of land came to his funeral to show their last respects. But as soon as the poor heard of Schenkwalds death, they were relieved, happy and invited everybody to celebrate. Just a few days after the funeral, everybody realized that they had been happy too soon. It was said that Schenkewalds soul had found no peace, but was haunting the castle from now on.
There were more and more rumors about Schenkewalds soul. A few saw him sitting at his desk as a ghost, going through his work. The owner of the castle grew very tired of the ghost and his hauntings and started praying to god, to please rescue him from this burden. The poor farmers also started to pray of fear that they would never get rid of the haunting bill collector. As the legend says, they were heard......
    A most luxurious carriage stopped in front of the castle one night. It was pulled by four gorgeous stallions. Two monks were getting out of the carriage. As soon as their feet hit the floor, the clouds got dark and the whole area was covered in darkness. They supposedly entered the castle quietly and grabbed the ghost of Schenkewald. They lead him to the carriage without any words and left.
There was quiet, night after night. Schenkewalds ghost has never been seen again. But at full moon, and if there are dark clouds in front of it, people still see a luxurious carriage with snorting stallions running through the night.

Bran Castle, Transylvania:
In 1212, Teutonic Knights built the wooden castle of Dietrichstein as a fortified position in the Burzenland at the entrance to a mountain valley through which traders had travelled for more than a millennium, but in 1242 it was destroyed by the Mongols. The first documented mentioning of Bran Castle is the act issued by Louis I of Hungary on November 19, 1377, giving the Saxons of Kronstadt the privilege to build the stone citadel on their own expense and labor force; the settlement of Bran began to develop nearby. In 1438-1442, the castle was used in defense against the Ottoman Empire, and later became a customs post on the mountain pass between Transylvania and Wallachia.
     In 1920, the castle became a royal residence within the Kingdom of Romania. It became the favorite home and retreat of Queen Marie. The castle was inherited by her daughter Princess IIeana and was later seized by the communist regime with the expulsion of the royal family in 1948. It is now a museum.
    The Castle is linked to Prince Vlad Tepes aka Vlad the Impaler, he was dubbed so because his favorite form of torture was to impale people on tall stakes and watch as the slowly slid down the stake, suffering slowly and painfully until they died which lasted anywhere for a few hours to seven or more.
    It is side that for this reason the Castle is haunted by the souls who suffered so terribly.

Dragsholm Castle, Denmark:
Dragsholm Slot is one of the oldest secular buildings in Denmark. The original Dragsholm Castle was built around 1215 by the Bishop of Roskilde. During the middle ages, the building was modified from the original palace to a fortified castle. 
    In connection with the Reformation, Dragsholm was passed on to the crown. As crownland during the period from 1536 to 1664, Dragsholm Castle was used as a prison for noble and ecclesiastical prisoners. In the large tower at the northeast corner of the medieval castle, prison cells were made and equipped with toilets and windows depending on the prisoner's crimes, behaviour and the seriousness of his insults towards his Majesty, the King. 
    Some of the most well known prisoners at Dragsholm Castle include the last Catholic Bishop in Roskilde, the former owner of the castle, Joachim Ronnow; the 4th Earl of Bothwell, third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots; and the seemingly raving mad squire, Ejler Brockenhuus. 
    In recent years, the Bottger family has managed the running of the castle after a number of minor restorations, which in addition to general conservation of the building has had the prupose of raising the level of quality of the castle as a hotel, restaurant and attraction. The hotel rooms at the castle have been refurbished and modemised, and more rooms have been added in the porter's lodge on the other side of the moat.
    Numerous witnesses and psychics have claimed that there are three ghosts who are residents at the castle: a grey lady, a white lady and the Earl of Bothwell. The Earl is said to ride through the courtyard with a full horse and carriage.
    The White Lady has the most tragic story of the three, its said to be a story of young love. It involves a young girl (a daughter of the one of the Dragsholm castles former owners) who for her sins fell in love with a worker at the castle. Due to their birthrights, she of noble birth and he a commoner, had to keep their love for each other a secret from her father. This went on for some time until one day the girl's father found out about the whole affair.
    He went into a violent rage and ordered his servents to lock his daughter away and imprison her within the walls of the castle.
    During the early part of the 20th century workers were tearing down some old walls for a new toilet complex. To their horror they came across a small recess in one of the walls which contained a small skeleton wearing a white dress.

Chillingham Castle, England:
Is a medieval castle in the village of Chillingham in northern part of Northumberland, England. It was the seat of the Grey family and their descendants the Earls of Tankerville from the 12th century until the 1980s. 
    The castle known to be extremely haunted. Most of the Chillingham Castle ghosts are not "tortured souls", that one might expect to find given the atrocities that went on there. Built over 800 years ago to stop the Scots from invading England. Anyone captured would find themselves in the Dungeon with its Torture Chamber, the floor of which slopes to allow the blood to drain away. 
    There was no escape except death and prisoners made marrks on the walls, which can still be seen, counting off the days until this merciful release from their unendurable suffering. If a prisoner was really unlucky then he came in for the attention of John Sage.
    John Sage's spirit is said to haunt the castle. He was a cruel and sadistic torturer, who died about 1200, he has often been seen wandering around the castle. He used to take great pleasure in his grisly work, even devising new and imporved methods of inflicting pain on his victims. During the three years he held the job, he is said to have tortured to death over 7,500 people and killed several hundred others in various ways. 
     At the end of the war with Scots, wanting to rid the castle of the prisoners, he rounded up the Scottish adults and older children being held and burnt them to death in the court yard. He then took and axe, which can still be seen, and hacked to death the smaller children in the Edward room. The chandelier in that room sometimes swings by itself and people report a foul smell and strange atmosphere. 
    John's undoing was when he accidentally strangled his girlfriend to death during rough sex on the torture rack in the castle dungeon. Unfortunately for him his girlfriends father was a Border Reiver who said that he would gather a great army and attack the castle if Sage was not put to death. John Sage was publicly hanged from a tree in the castle grounds in front of a very large crowd. And as he slowly died, people cut off pieces of him as souvenirs. So ended the life of a truly detestable man. 
    Radiant Boy or Blue Boy 
Is the most famous of the Chillingham castle ghosts. The sound of a young child in absolute terror or fear can be heard at the stroke of midnight in the Pink Bedroom coming from a point where a passage had been cut through the 10 foot thick walls. The sound would suddenly cease and the wraith of a young boy, dressed in blue and surrounded by a bright aura would approach the old four poster bed. 
     In the 1920's, building work was being carried out and the bones of a child were discovered along with scraps of blue bones were discovered. These were interred in the local graveyard and the Radiant Boy ceased making his appearances.
However, people who sleep in the bed in the Pink Room, report that one wall of the room still lights up with bright flashes of blue light.
    Two Lady Ghosts
A Chillingham Castle ghost who can be seen today haunts the 'Inner pantry'. She is very frail and dressed in white, hence the name by which she is known. A watchman who slept in the room to guard the silver that used to be store there, saw the woman whom he assumed to be a guest. She asked him for water and as he turned to get her some, she disappeared. It has been suggested that the reason the spectre was so thirsty was that she had been poisoned.Lady Mary Berkeley is another Chillingham Castle ghost. She is not seen but the rustle of her dress is heard by visitors or they feel a sudden cold chill as she endlessly searches for her husband. He scandalised the area when, in the 1600's, he seduced and ran off with his wife's younger sister. Poor Lady Mary was left all alone in the castle with just her small baby girl for company.

Leap Castle, Ireland:
Is in the County Offal, about four miles north of the town of Roscrea. It was built in the late 15th century by the O'Bannon family and was originally called Leap of the O'Bannons. The O'Bannons were the "secondary chieftains" of the territory, and were subject to the ruling O'Carroll clan.
    Earl of Kildare, Gerald FitzGerald, tried unsuccessfully to seize the castle in 1513. Three years later, he attacked the castle again and managed to partially demolish it.
    Following the death of Mulrooney O'Carroll in 1532, family struggles plagued the O'Carroll clan. A fierce rivalry for the leadership erupted within the family. The bitter fight for power turned brother against brother. One of the brothers was a priest. The O'Carroll priest was holding mass for a group of his family (in now what is called the bloody chaple). While he was chanting the holy rites, his rival brother burst into chapel, plunged his sword into his brother and fatally wounded him. The butchered priest fell across the alter and died in front of his family.
    In 1659, the castle passed by marriage into the ownership of the Darby family. The central keep was later expanded with significant extensions. However in order to pay for these extensions, rents were raised and much of the land accompanying the castle was sold. This is one theorised motivations for the burning of the castle during the Irish Civil War in 1922.
    While renovating the castle, workers found an oubliette, a dungeon where people are locked away and left to die. There are spikes at the bottom of this shaft, and when it was being cleaned out, it took three cartloads to carry out all the human bones at the bottom. A report indicates that these workmen also found a pocket watch dated to the 1840s amongst the bones, it is unknown who it belonged to. These series of spikes are now covered with a vast amount of twigs, grass and dirt, to protect anyone entering it. 
    Since 1991, the castle has been privetly owned by Sean Ryan, who is undertaking restoration work. 
    Many people were imprisoned and executed in the castle, and it is supposedly haunted by several spectres. The most terrifying of these beings is thought to have been summoned by Mildred Darby's occult activities. "It", the name given to the creature, is a small grey humanoid, about the size of a sheep, with a decaying face. The apparition is said to be accompanied by the stench of a decomposing corpse and the smell of sulphur. This particular spirit is called an elemental. "It" is thought to be a primitive spirit. An elemental is a manifestation believed to occur mainly in country areas and attach itself to a particular place. They are often malevolent, terrifying, and unpredictable. "It" appears to keep itself relatively hidden in comparison with the other spirits at Leap Castle. On occasion visitors will see the creature, and in few incidences be attacked. 

Poenari Castle, Romania: 
Is a ruined castle in Romania, notable for its connection to Vlad III the Impaler.
 It was built during the beginning of the 13th century by the rulers of Wallachia. Around the 14th century, Poenari was the main citadel of the Basarab rulers. In the next few decades, the name and the residents changed a few times but eventually the castle was abandoned and left in ruins. 
    However, in the 15th century, realizing the potential for a castle perched high on a steep precipice of rock, Vlad III the Impaler repaired and consolidated the structure, making it one of his main fortresses. Although the castle was used for many years after Vlads death in 1476, it eventually was abandoned again in the first half of the 16th century and was in ruins by the 17th century. 
    It is considered one of the most haunted places in the world. It has been reported that many people have ran out of the castle screaming in terror. Yet many others claim to feel pain or sorrow when in the castle. 

Glamis Castle, Scotland:
Is situated beside the village of Glamis in Angus, Scotland. It is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, and is open to the public. 
    Glamis Castle has been the home of the Lyon family since the 14th century, though the present building dates largely from the 17th century. Glamis was the childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, who married King George VI, and was later known as Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother. Her second daughter, Princess Margaret, was born there. 
    In 1034 AD King Malcolm II was murdered at Glamis, where there was a Royal Hunting Lodge.
    By 1376 a castle had been built at Glamis, since in that year it was granted by King Robert II to Sir John Lyon, Thane of Glamis, husband of the king's daughter. Glamis has remained in the Lyon (later Bowes-Lyon) family since this time. The castle was rebuilt as an L-plane tower house in the early 15th century.
    There is a small chapel within the castle with seating for 46 people. The story given to visitors by the castle tour guides states that one seat in the chapel is always reserved for the "Grey Lady" (supposedly a ghost which inhabits the castle), thought to be Janet Douglas, Lady Glamis. According to the guides, the chapel is still used regularly for family functions, but regardless, no one is allowed to sit in that seat.
    Other than the Grey Lady, there is a ghost called the White Lady, no one knows who she is but many report seeing her.  There is a legend about there being a hidden room, where a deformed child was said to have been born to a previous Earl of Strathmore and kept hidden. Other than sightings there are also mysterious knocking noises, said to emanate from the ghosts of some clansmen who were seeking refuge from their enemies. When admitted to the castle, they were walled up in one of the rooms and simply left to die.

Chateau de Saumur, France:
The Chateau was originally constructed in the 10th century by Theobald I, Count of Blois, as a fortified stronghold against Norman predations. It overlooks the confluence of Loire and the Thouet. It is located in the French town of Saumur, in the Maine-et-Loire departement.
    In 1026 it came into the hands of Fulk Nerra, Count of Anjou, who bequeathed it to his Plantagenet heirs. Following its destruction in 1067, the Chateau was rebuilt by Henry II of England in the later 12th century.
    In 1621 the castle was converted into an army barracks. Nearly two centuries later it was converted into a state prison under Napoleon Bonaparte. 
    The Chateau De Saumur is said to be a very haunted place in France, the Chateau is said to be haunted by the Marquis de Sade, who was imprisoned there. He is most well known for his writings in which he wrote about the link between sexual gratification, torture, and pain. His name is the origin of the word sadism. The Marquis spent most of his life in prison, for the writings but continued to write while there. It is said that his spirit continues to haunt the Chateau to this day. 

Brissac Castle, France:
Is a noble mansion in the commune of Brissac-Quince in the departement of Maine-et-Loire, France. It was originally built as a fortified castle by the Counts of Anjou in the 11th century. After the victory over the English by Philip II of France, he gave the property to Guillaume des Roches.  
    During the French Wars of Religion, chateau Brissac was made a possession in 1589 by the protestant, Henry of Navarre. Severely damaged, the fortress was scheduled to be demolished. However, Charles II de Cosse sided with Henri of Navarre who soon was crowned King of France. In gratitude, King Henri gave him the property, the title Duc de Brissac and the money to rebuild the chateau in 1611.
    The descendants of the Duc de Brissac maintained the chateau un 1792 when the property was ransacked during the Revolution. It layed in waste until 1844 when it was restored.
    Today, the Chateau Brissac is still owned by a de Cosse family member. It has seven stories altogether, making it the tallest building in the Loire valley.
    For a short period the Chateau was owned by Jacques de Breze and his wife, who was less than faithful to her husband, she even slept with her lovers in a bedroom next door to her husbands keeping him up all night with her moaning. One night her husband couldnt take it any more and murdered her and her lover in cold blood. Shortly after her spirit came back to haunt him and he eventually lost his mind and ran out never to return again.

Château de Versailles:
Pronounced "verse-eye".
    Sometimes known as The Palace of Versailles or simply Versailles, is a royal Chateau in Versailles, (and my absolute favorite palace on the list, mostly for the once famous Queen who lived in it, Marie Antoinette, who just so happens to be a distant relative of mine.) 
    The court of Versailles was the centre of political power in France from 1682, when Louis XIV moved from Paris, until the royal family was forced to returned to the capital in October 1789 after the beginning of the French Revolution. Versailles is therefore famous not only as a building, but as a symbol of the system of absolute monarcy of the Ancien Regime. 
    Under orders from Louis XIII, who was pleased with the forests surrounding the area, a royal hunting lodge was built in 1624 by then it was a small Chateau. Louis XIV grew up at the site and played on grounds as a boy. This structure would become the core of the new palace. Over the following decades it had expanded into one of the largest palaces in the world.
    The palace underwent four major building campaigns. The first taking place from 1664 to 1668 involved alterations in the Chateau and gardens.
    The second building campaign took place between 1669 and 1672. During this campaign, the chateau began to assume some of the appearance that it has today. This modification enclosed the hunting lodge on the north, west, and south. The new structure provided new lodgings for the king and members of his family.
    The third building campaign that lasted from 1678 to 1684 was to build the Hall of Mirrors and the north and south wings, which were used, respectively, by the nobility and Princes of the Blood. Landscaping in the gardens was done during this time as well.  
    And finally the fourth building campaign during 1688 and 1697, concentrated almost exclusively on construction of the royal chapel and some modifications in the appartement du roi, namely the construction of the Salon de l’œil de bœuf and the King's Bedchamber.
    The crowning achievements of Louis XV's reign were the construction of the Opera and the Petit Trianon
     Much of Louis XVI's contributions to Versailles were largely dictated by the unfinished projects left to him by his grandfather. Shortly after his ascension, Louis XVI ordered a complete replanting of the gardens with the intention of transforming them. In the palace, the library and the salon des jeux in the petit appartement du roi and the decoration of the petit appartement de la reine for Marie Antoinette are among the finest examples of the Louis XVI style. 

    The Palace of Versaille is said to be one of the most haunted chateau's in france. It is said that the spirits of King Louis XVI and his wife Queen Marie Antoinette haunt this palace. 

Fraser Castle, Scotland:
It is the most elaborate z-plan castle in Scotland and one of the grandest "castles of Mar". It is located near Kemnay in the Aberdeenshire region of Scotland.
    Construction of the elaborate, castle began in 1575 by the 6th Laird of Fraser, Michael Fraser, on the basis of an earlier tower, and was completed in 1636.
    Legend has it that a young princess was once staying at the castle when she was brutally murdered while asleep in the "Green Room". Her body was dragged down the stone stairs, leaving a trail of blood stains. As hard as they tried, the occupants of the castle could not scrub out the stains, and so were forced to cover the steps in wood panelling, which remains today. Over the years many people have reported seeing her ghost roam the halls.









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