All posts in Haunted Castles

Scarborough Castle. Scarborough

Scarborough Castle dates from the 12th century.

Scarborough Castle dates from the 12th century.

It was severely damaged during the English Civil War but remained usable long after as a prison and then a military barracks right up until the end of World War I. It is still home to a 14th century spirit. In 1312 a favorite of King Edward II named Piers Gaveston was captured at Scarborough Castle and taken to Warwick Castle where he was held prisoner and then executed. It is said that the headless spirit of Gaveston returns to Scarborough Castle to haunt the ruins. In fact he is said to lure people over the edge of the castle down the cliffs to their deaths. There have been countless reports from the public of feeling like they are being pushed or shoved, some have even reported hearing an unusual laugh!

Abbey Ghost Hunters have looked into many of these reports and found that most have been reported to have happened on the outside wall of the castle rather than inside, even local tales are reported to have happened outside the castle mainly at two specific locations. Gaveston was reported to be a joker and often hid in the dark along the castle wall and would push and shove Barons and Earls who had decided to stroll along the wall late at night.

Edward II (1307-28) was thought to be incompetent and frivolous by his father and his people. He was thought to be largely under the influence of his favourites, especially the Gascon squire, Piers Gaveston (and later Hugh le Despenser and his son).

Edward II was not as politically astute or as militarily capable as his father and soon lost many of the strongholds taken by Edward I during his campaigns. Throughout his reign as King, Edward II struggled with discontented barons, who particularly objected to Gaveston’s influence – he was widely considered the king’s lover.

In 1312, the barons seized Gaveston and executed him at Kenilworth. Edward II’s wife, Isabella, (daughter of Philip IV of France), left Edward, and took their son (the future Edward III) to France. In 1326, she returned with her lover, Roger de Mortimer, to depose and murder Edward.

A Gascon by birth, Piers was the son of Sir Arnaul de Gabaston, a soldier in service to King Edward I of England. As a boy he entered the royal household, where he became a companion of Prince Edward in 1300. Prince Edward was delighted with the bold and witty Gaveston, and gave him many honors and gifts. This did not sit well with the king, who did not approve of his son’s choice of such a low-born companion. When Prince Edward asked to bestow Ponthieu upon Gaveston, the king flew into a rage. “You wretched son of a whore!” cried King Edward. “Do you want to give away lands now? You who have never gained any? As God lives, if not for fear of breaking up the kingdom, I would never let you enjoy your inheritance!” Then he grasped Prince Edward by the hair, flung him to the floor, and kicked him until he was exhausted.

King Edward then banished Gaveston, with the intention of punishing his son more than Gaveston. He forced Prince Edward and Piers to swear an oath never to see one another again without his permission. Then Piers set sail for France, loaded down with many rich gifts from the prince. But as soon as his father died in July 1307, the new king recalled his “Brother Perrot” and endowed him with the county of Cornwall.
Gaveston was married to Margaret de Clare a granddaughter of King Edward I and was created Earl of Cornwall by the king. He was made guardian of the realm when Edward had to leave the country in 1308 to marry Isobella of France Gaveston was unpopular with the new queen as well as with the nobles, and the two men, who were approximately the same age, are believed to have had a homosexual relationship.

Following his bungling of the coronation arrangements, Gaveston was sent away to Ireland as regent. He returned within the year, and made more enemies, the most powerful of whom was Thomas earl of Lancaster a cousin of the king, whom Gaveston defeated in a tournament. Lancaster led opposition to Edward, forcing him to send Gaveston into exile yet again. When he had the temerity to return, he was captured and executed by his rivals. He would shortly be replaced in the king’s affections by Hugh le Despenser.

More Information About Scarborough Castle

Windsor Castle. Windsor

The ghost of King Henry VIII has been seen walking the halls of the castle and his footsteps and agonising moans have been heard by castle visitors.

The ghost of King Henry VIII has been seen walking the halls of the castle and his footsteps and agonising moans have been heard by castle visitors.

Anne Boleyn’s ghost has also been witnessed standing at the window in the Dean’s Cloister. The spirit of Queen Elizabeth I dressed in a black gown has also been seen in the Royal Library. Also the library is haunted by the ghost of King Charles I who has been seen frequently. Other royal spooks haunt Windsor, mad King George III’s spectre has been seen looking out the windows below the Royal Library, where he was confined during his illness.

Powis Castle. Welshpool

An elderly woman staying at the castle saw a figure of a man in gold-laced suit enter her room.

An elderly woman staying at the castle saw a figure of a man in gold-laced suit enter her room.

The ghost motioned her to pick up a candle and follow him. Leading her to a small room the spirit lifted one of the floorboards and there beneath was a locked chest. He then showed her a crevice in the wall where its key was hidden. “Both must be taken out and sent to the Earl in London,” the ghostly figure told her. “Do this and I will trouble the house no more.

Bramber Castle. Sussex

The ghosts of William de Braose are seen here crying for food. The ghosts normally appear in the month of December.

The ghosts of William de Braose are seen here crying for food. The ghosts normally appear in the month of December.

King John besieged the castle and captured his de Braose’s children and imprisoned them where they starved to death.

More Information About Bramber Castle

Donnington Castle. Berkshire

Built in 1386, Donnington has several ghosts.

Built in 1386, Donnington has several ghosts.

In 1990 a ghoulish white dog was seen running down the hill from the castle towards the woods where it vanishes into the air. The gatehouse is home to the ghostly figure of a guard who appears in solid form and suddenly vanishes. Continue reading →