Sunday Brunch: Helen George on staying in a ‘haunted castle’
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The UK is home to thousands of castles. While castles are popular attractions with something to offer at any time of the year, Halloween is a special time to explore a castle or two.
A new study found 33 percent of Britons believed in the paranormal.
The study also revealed 1 in 11 Britons has seen a ghost and communicated with them.
The chilling findings by tombola have come at a great time.
With Halloween just around the corner and half-term in full swing, a spooky break could be on the cards for many Britons.
For maximum scares, which are the best castles to visit?
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Top of the list was the aptly named Chillingham Castle in Northumberland.
The words spooky, scary, ghost and haunted appeared repeatedly on Tripadvisor reviews.
There were also reports of a pantry ghost begging visitors for water and men’s voices singing in the chapel.
Vince H said: “Tucked away off the beaten track, miles from the nearest main road, Chillingham does indeed fill you with an air of mystery as you approach up the long driveway. Once inside, the first thing you are struck with is an atmosphere and layout quite unlike other castles.
“The rooms, although not large, were crammed with family possessions dating back hundreds of years. Each one added to the awe and mystery of the place.
“There were two very informative guides who were very happy to share their experiences of life and goings-on at Chillingham, furnishing you with all the grisly details of death and torture and other misdemeanours that have taken place in the castle’s dark history.
“Little wonder it is haunted. This is also ‘enhanced’ by the addition of a torture chamber with gruesome exhibits and I would caution allowing young children to go in there as it really does show how dark human nature can be!”
Luke J wrote: “While I didn’t see or feel anything other than the usual “oooh it’s a dark creepy castle” vibe, my partner, also a sceptic, told me at several times during the tour she felt something tugging at her and pressing against her.
“Another guest on the tour also felt something tugging at her leg. Overall it was a good night spent in a stunning if creepy area.”
Second on the list of scary castles to visit was Tulloch Castle in Dingwall.
Tripadvisor user Sheepdog10 wrote: “We stayed in room 10, and yes we had a visit from something paranormal. Our TV came on twice in the early hours and the bedside lamp was also on when we were woken by the TV. I didn’t sleep well after that even though the bed was comfortable.”
Third on the list was Treasurer’s House in North Yorkshire.
User Philmex wrote: “Eerie National Trust property in York.
“I felt really uncomfortable (a sense of being watched) in one of the rooms with a staircase, but then the house is supposed to be haunted! I didn’t visit the famous cellar where the ghosts of Roman soldiers appeared.”
Get tickets to Treasure’s House here.
The fourth scariest UK castle was Craig y Nos Castle in Swansea.
Mr-MrsB wrote: “Everyone in the group had one experience or another in different places of the castle and all left with absolute conviction that the castle is indeed haunted. We didn’t do the Ouija at the end through choice. Stanley one of the resident ghosts took great pleasure in scaring the bejesus out of us.”
Fifth on the list was Alnwick Castle in Northumberland.
Alnwick is reportedly the home of the Grey Lady ghost, and of a vampire.
The Alnwick vampire was rumoured to be a servant of the lord of Alnwick Castle.
Suspecting his wife of having an affair, he tried to catch her in the act and fell to his death.
Dead and buried, the servant was still seen around town and illnesses spread.
When the villagers dug up the vampire’s corpse, it was engorged with blood.
Illnesses stopped when the body was disposed of.
Scariest UK castles
1. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
2. Tulloch Castle, Dingwall
3. Treasurer’s House, North Yorkshire
4. Craig y Nos Castle, Swansea
5. Alnwick Castle, Northumberland
6. Muncaster Castle, Cumbria
7. Glamis Castle, Angus
8. Dalhousie Castle, Midlothian
9. Berry Pomeroy Castle, Devon
10. Ruthin Castle, Denbighshire
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