The Ghosts Of Chepstow Castle
Chepstow Castle in Monmouthshire is the oldest surviving post-Roman stone fortification in Britain and also boasts the oldest surviving wooden castle door in Europe, dating back to the 12th century.
The castle is perched on cliffs in the middle of the town of Chepstow overlooking the River Wye and like any 900 year old castle, it echoes with the ghosts of its past. Having played an important role in the Norman invasion of Wales and the English Civil War, it's no surprise that the castle is said to be haunted.
Today the castle is in ruins, however most of it is still intact and the remains are open to the public as a Grade I listed Welsh attraction. Visitors and staff working at the castle have reported plenty of paranormal activity, including unexplained cold spots, strange noises and even ghostly visions.
In the castle's gift shop visitors have reported smelling the unmistakable scent of onions being cooked. The gift shop is built right next to the site of the castle's former kitchens. Staff locking up alone have heard heavy knocking on the castle's large wooden doors.
There's also been sightings of the ghost of Henry Marten, an English lawyer who was sent in to exile at Chepstow Castle by King Charles II in 1668. He remained here for 12 years until he died at the castle after choking while eating his supper. He is buried beneath the floor at the nearby Church of St Mary.
There's a story of a caver encountering the sleeping spirits of King Arthur and his knights, where legend says they are napping until the day they're needed again to save Britain. The explorer fled after making a noise which made the knights stir. The cave is said to be in the cliff below the castle, but it's not known exactly where the cave is. However, the whole area is known for its caves. The impressive Otter Hole Caves are located less than a mile away further along the bank of the Wye and spreading under Chepstow Racecourse.
There's also an odd tale of an ornate chess set that was for sale in the gift shop. The staff noticed that despite being locked in a glass display cabinet, on several occasions the chess pieces moved to different squares of their own accord. As the movement always happened over night the staff decided to try to get to the bottom of the mystery and set up trap.
The staff member sprinkled talcum powder around the case, put a dot of petroleum jelly in the cabinet's lock and placed a piece of hair in the path of the door. The next morning there were no footprints in the talc, the petroleum jelly was still in the lock and the hair hadn't moved, but the chess pieces still had moved during the night.
This Halloween, Chepstow Castle is hosting a ghostly-themed event which promises a day of thrills and chills for the family. Children can earn a treat by completing a fiendishly fun family Halloween trail around the remains. The spooky days take place between 27th October and 4th November.
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