Castles are exciting places to visit and to learn about older ages in time but haunted castles are even more fun because they often are home to a resident ghost or two. These castles may still be intact and often rebuilt through the centuries or they may only be the picturesque standing walls which are still haunted castles as a ghost perches on one of the walls. But no matter where in the world they are located it is fun to plan a visit or to read about them and enjoy the story.
1) Edinburgh Castle, Scotland
Originally built by a 6th century Northumbrian king it is said that long ago a hidden tunnel was found that appeared to go deep into the depths of Castle Rock, a long extinct volcano in the basalt core which is the rock Edinburgh Castle sits on. At times can be heard a lone lost bag piper who had ventured to discover what was in the tunnel but he never reappeared. Today it is said if you listen closely you can still hear that lone piper under one of Scotland’s haunted castles halfway down the Royal Mile.
2) Glamis Castle, outside Forfar, Tayside
This example of the haunted castles in Scotland has an outline of a Loire Valley chateau and began as a royal hunting lodge in the 11th century. The Widow of the Lord of Glamis was burned at the stake as a witch, Satan is said to play cards with Count Beardie and the oldest hall in the castle – Duncan’s Hall - is the setting for Shakespeare’s ‘Macbeth’ and the murder of the king certainly making it one of the haunted castles in Scotland.
3) Arundal, Sussex
The ghost of King Charles is said to still be seen browsing in the library and is often referred to as the Blue Man making this one of the haunted castles in Sussex. It has a restored Norman shell keep with Arundal’s towers looking dramatic in the background. Once home to the Fitzalan and Howard families who had their fingers involved in the deaths of Princes in the Tower and other colorful escapades, which makes it one of the haunted castles in Scotland.
4) Windsor Castle
Windsor Castle is the sometimes home of the current Queen of England and probably one of the most famous castles in the world but it is said that Queen Elizabeth the 1st ghost is seen in the library so indeed it is one of the haunted castles. And she lived there about 1580. Windsor Castle is one of the oldest royal residences, circa 1080 for the earliest structure, to have remained in continual use by various British monarchs. It contains a collegiate church and St George’s Chapel where rests the vault of Henry VIII and also the Queen Mother tomb which alone could make this one of the most haunted castles in Britain.
5) Tower of London
Not exactly a castle but it does have one of the goriest histories of buildings in Britain thus making it one of the most haunted castles around. In 1078 Henry VI was murdered before midnight on 21 May 1471 while praying. On every anniversary of his murder he appears at about midnight and paces until the final stroke of midnight when he fades away. Add the numerous inmates who inhabited the towers or others executed there during its long 900 year history and you have one of the most haunted castles in London and it is said if the ravens desert the Tower the kingdom will fall.
6) Sherborne Old Castle, Dorset
This one of the haunted castles of Britain is said to have the ghost of Sir Walter Raleigh perching on the masonry walls. Just a silhouette really it is also said the grey lady wanders the kitchen then disappears. But it is worth a visit because the remains in the middle of the castle looks like a beautiful sculpture with the oldest part built between 1107 and 1135. At one time it was owned by Sir Walter Raleigh and you may sight him when visiting one of Britain’s haunted castles.
7) Bran Castle, Transylvania, Romania
This is a fortress between Transylvania and Wallachia. It is considered to be one of the haunted castles merely by association with Bram Stoker’s Dracula and often called Dracula’s Castle. It was first used in 1378 as a fortress against the Ottoman Empire. It belonged to Vlad III in 1386 who was father to Vlad II – Dracul and grandfather to Vlad the Impaler, Dracula who impaled his enemies which makes it one of the haunted castles in the world especially coupled with the vampire legacy.
8) Brissac Castle, Loire Valley, France
One of the haunted castles in France Brissac Castle is a noble looking, fortified castle built by the Counts of Anjou in the 11th century. It is the highest chateau in France at seven stories with 204 rooms. There was a double murder that took place when Jacques de Breze found his wife with her lover and murdered them and they still wander throughout the castle at night. It is a lovely chateau with Baroque architecture in an area of beauty.
9) Cathor Castles – Castle of Queribus, France
The Cathors lived in the middle of the 10th century and believed everything in the world was evil. The ghosts of the martyred still haunt the Cathor castles, citadels and medieval villages. They took refuge in defensive castles and were besieged for ten months during the Cather Crusades after which 200 men and women were led down into the meadow and burned en masse. The castle is on an uninviting mountain top 2,297 feet in the air and the rock is sheer and exposed if you plan to visit.
10) Versailles, France
It is said Marie Antoinette’s ghost still wanders the gardens here. This is a beautiful location yet also one of the haunted castles in France which beckons visitors from afar every day of the year that it is open.