If we continue with our travels into the dark abyss of haunted casstles, we will come acrosss Chillingham Castle, which serves the word chilling quite eloquently, given it has quite the chilling past.
This castle is steeped in history. It was a 12th century stronghold which became a fully fortfied castle in 1344. Chillingham Castle occupied a strategic position durin Northumberland’s bloody border feuds. It was often under attack and often basked in the patronage of Royal visitors, a tradition that still remains to this day.
Chillingham Castle has some of the highest levels of paranormal activity in the country. The poet, Longfellow begins an apt description of the castle with the following verse:
"All houses in which men have lived and died are haunted houses: Through the open doors the harmless phantoms on their errands glide, with feet that make no sounds upon the floors."
THE WHITE PANTRY GHOST
A space called “The Inner Pantry” is occupied with a frail figure in white, who still appears. This is the room in which the silver was stored and a footman who was employed to sleep here and guard it. As history would have it, the footman had turned in to sleep one night when this lady in white attacked him. She was very pale and had begged him for water. The footman, thinking it was one of the castle guests, turned to obey. The footman remembered that he had been locked in this room, and that no visitors could have entered. This same pale figure is still seen today, and it is thought that the longing for water suggests poisoning.
For the writer within you, this would make for a great story, as with little information, the setting is ideal, the white ghost, could be a man or woman, and if our imaginations incline us, we could turn this into a love story gone wrong, one poisoning the other.
THE GHOST IN THE CHAMBER
This ghost is one that is unseen, it is merely felt as as “Impalable impression on the air”, the poet Tennyson says. In this chamber there is a sense of something unseen, yet distinctly moving. It could be as little as a chill, or as intense as something dark, and a creepy sensation. It could also be that of an oppressive atmosphere.
An extract from a recent visitor said, “I felt this hand on my arm. It was a most friendly feeling and I believe, someone was trying to guide me to see something.” Now whether it was the chamber in which this sensation was felt, it is unknown. But, I personally am not letting anyone, that I cannot see, lead me anywhere.
If we take this one room and try to write a story that surrounds just what could have taken place in the Chamber, what would your story be? Where does your imagination take you? What could this ghost have been leading the visitor towards? What was there the presence wanted to be seen?
VOICES IN THE CHAPEL
The Chapel is beside the Great Hall. If we were to travel inside we may hear the voices of two men who are often heard here. We may not be able to understand the words, and if a serious attempt is made to do so, the voices will cease.
GHOSTS IN THE COURTYARD
If we travel into the courtyard, moonlight casting shadows of battlements across worn flagstone, it is not impossible to see the shades and shadows come to life here.
The most famous of these ghosts is the “Blue (or radiant) boy” who according to the owners, used to haunt the Pink Room in the castle. He is a childish wraith whose heart rendering cries of either fear of pain echo through the corridors upon the stroke of midnight. In the past, it was said that the cries always seemed to emanate from a spot near where a passage is cut through the 10-foot thick wall into the adjoining tower. As the cries fade, a bright halo of ligh would appear, and the figure of the young boy, dressed in blue, would approach those sleeping in the room.
As the story goes, the bones of a child, surrounded by decaying fragments of blue cloth, were found behind the wall. His bones were given a Christian burial, and the “Radiant Boy” was seen no more, that is until Sir Humphrey began renting the room. There are guests who complain of a blue light flash that shoots our of the wall in the dead of night.
THE walls of this castle are full of stories that could immediately fill the pages of a book if the right story teller were to grab hold and write their tales.
Take Lady Berkeley for instance. She was the wife of Lord Grey, who ran off with her sister, Lady Henrietta. Lady Berkeley was left abandoned at the castel , with only her baby daughter for company. It is said that sometimes the rustle of her dress is heard as her invisible revenant sweeps along the rambling corridors in search for her husband, leaving a cold chill in her ghostly wake.
If you are so inclined, the author Richard Jones, tells these stories in his book Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland. You can purchase it on Amazon. And I remind you I am an Amazon affiliate. I will earn a commission from the sale if you so choose to buy it. It could possibly be the book you need to read for inspiration to write your next best seller.
I hope you enjoyed these haunting tales and return for more.