From medieval fortress to stone keep castles, the English has relied on its many castle during various historical conflicts from the Norman invasion to the English Civil War, but these battles have left their mark and many of these castles are now said to be haunted.
Below are the ten castles in England that are best known for their current and historic ghostly residents.
10. Hylton Castle, Sunderland
A castle has stood on this site in the North Hylton area of Sunderland since the 11th century, originally the site of a wooden castle, but later rebuilt in stone. It's claimed that the poltergeist that haunts the historic castle has at times so been so active that past residents have been unable to sleep in the property. The ghost, nicknamed Cauld Lad, is believed to be the ghost of a stable boy, Robert Skelton. The story goes that Skelton was killed after being struck by a pitchfork when the castle's Baron when he caught him taking an unauthorised nap.
9. The Castle Keep & Black Gate, Newcastle
The castle keep is the oldest part of the castle from which the city gets its name. It dates back to the 12th century and was once part of a larger medieval fortification. It is the oldest building in Newcastle, one of the best surviving examples of a Norman Keep and also the most haunted location in the city by far.
The keep's most famous ghost is known as the "Poppy Girl". She's said to have been a flower girl who was imprisoned in the castle and eventually died in incarceration. Her ghost has been sighted around the building and coincides with the smell of fresh flowers.
The Black Gate was added to the castle by Henry III between 1247 and 1250, serving as an additional barbican in front of the earlier north gate of the castle, this part of the castle is also said to be haunted. Its two most famous ghosts are that of a woman seen standing on a balcony watching visitors pass by below, and an apparition seen holding a baby.
Other paranormal activity in the old castle buildings includes the sounds of ghostly chanting coming from The Queen's Chamber in the keep, where a female apparition has been seen, and unexplained screams from the gallery, as well as disembodied voices and footsteps. Visitors to the castle have reported seeing black mists, feeling like they've been pushed or touched by unseen hands and even reported being scratched. Unexplained cold spots have been recorded around the building and dark shapes, light anomalies and strange mists have been captured in photos taken in the keep.
8. Warwick Castle, Warwickshire
The castle as it stands today was built in 1068, but settlements on the site date back more than 150 years before this. The castle saw its fair share of battles, it was attacked in 1264, besieged in 1642 and damage by fire in 1871. And of course with an interesting history comes interesting spooks.
Probably the castle's best known ghost is that of Sir Fulke Greville, who is said to haunt the tower. Greville is a former resident of the castle who was murdered within the castle's walls in 1628 by a servant. There's also said to be a negative entity that resides in the dungeon, poltergeist activity has been witnessed, as well as extreme temperature changes, light anomalies, and the sensation of being physically pushed or grabbed.
7. The Tower Of London
Millions of tourists flock to London every year to uncover its history and one of the city's busiest and most famous attractions is the Tower Of London, it's regarded as one of the most haunted buildings in London and with a history of over 900 years of torture and execution, it's no surprise.
The most notable spook visitors to the historic castle hope to spot is that of Anne Boleyn, the wife of King Henry VIII. She was beheaded in 1536, and her headless body has been seen walking throughout the building, often near the place of her execution.
6. Pengersick Castle, Cornwall
This fortified Manor House located between the villages of Germoe and Praa Sands is sand to be one of the most haunted buildings in Cornwall. It's been occupied by the Pengersick family since the 12th century and boasts quite a haunted past with over 20 resident spooks.
Sightings include the ghost of a monk who has been seen wandering around the medieval gardens, guests have reported seeing a woman standing at one of the windows staring out at night. There's also the ghost of a young girl who haunts the basement, strange light anomalies have been caught on camera, electrical equipment inexplicably fails, and there's even said to be the ghost of a cat and a dog.
5. Muncaster Castle, Cumbria
Muncaster Castle, located near the coastal town of Ravenglass, is said to be haunted by Tom Fool, AKA Thomas Skelton. His spirit is rarely seen, but is blamed for poltergeist activity in the castle, he plays tricks on staff and visitors in the castle.
One of the most haunted area is the tapestry room, where people have reported hearing footsteps, seeing the door handle turning, and even witnessed doors opening seemingly on their own. Other guests have reported hearing children crying in the dead of night, as well as the sound of a woman singing as if to comfort a poorly child. Could these sounds be connected with a young girl called Margaret Pennington who died as a child in the castle.
4. Windsor Castle, Berkshire
Windsor Castle dates back to the reign of William the Conqueror and is said to be home to many ghost, as well as plenty of monarchs throughout British history.
The notable ghosts that haunt the castle include that of King Charles I who haunts part of the castle. Elizabeth I haunts the royal library and has been spotted by many members of the royal family. The groans and dragging footsteps of King Henry VIII have also been heard around the castle, the face of King George III has also been seen peering out of the window in the room where he was often detained.
An area of the castle known as the Deanery is said to be haunted by the spirit of a young boy. The Norman tower is said to be haunted by a former Royalist prisoner. In the kitchen the ghost of a man with a horse has been seen who walk straight through a solid wall.
The long walk is also supposed to be haunted by the spirit of grenadier guard who killed himself here in the 1920s, he's been spotted at least twice since his death.
3. Dover Castle, Kent
Records show that a settlement has existed on the site of Dover Castle since Saxon times, it has a history of involvement in pirates, Napoleonic battles, and even housed a secret underground command centre in the Second World War.
The battlements are said to be haunted by a the ghost of a headless drummer boy who's believed to have been decapitated when he was attacked for the riches he was carrying while on an errand for his master. The castle is also said to be the home of a woman in red who has been spotted around the castle, as well as a cavalier.
Meanwhile below ground in the WWII tunnels, the ghost of many soldiers have been seen and their presence felt. Visitors have reported hearing disembodied voices, loud screams, and doors slamming, as well as experiencing sudden drops in temperature.
2. Dudley Castle, West Midlands
The ruins of the castle stand in the town of Dudley, fortification on this site dates back to 1071 following the Norman invasion in 1066. The castle is said to be home to many spirits including the Grey Lady who is believed to be the ghost of Dorothy Beaumont, who once lived in the castle and died there following complications after giving birth to her daughter. Her ghost is most often reported at the castle's keep in the form of unexplained sounds, and icy blasts of air which are often accompanied by a strange blue mist.
However, the most haunted part of the castle is the chapel undercroft, where you'll find a stone coffin which is said to have once help the body of one of the castle's most infamous residents, John Somery. His ghost has been spotted as disembodied legs legs beside the coffin. Others have reported feeling him tug at their clothing as they walk through this part of the castle.
Like Dover Castle, Dudley also has the ghost of a drummer boy who was said to have been killed by a stray bullet during the Civil War. He's mostly heard at night beating out drum rolls as if in battle. People have also reported seeing dark shadowy figures, hearing strange sounds throughout the castle, and even witnessed a chair flipping over during a paranormal investigation.
1. Chillingham Castle, Northumberland
The medieval castle in the village of Chillingham, was the seat of the Grey and Bennet families from the 15th century until the 1980s when it became the home of Sir Humphry Wakefield Bt. Sir Humphry has spent the last few decades restoring the Grade I listed castle, it is now a hotel.
The castle's haunted reputation is well known and it has played host to the 'Most Haunted' team as well as other paranormal television shows. The most prevalent at the castle include the ghost of a Spanish witch who is said to have put a curse on the castle which is said to bring bad luck on anyone who steals from the castle.
There's also the ghost of Lady Mary Berkeley, she was a former resident of the castle whose husband had an affair with her sister, she died of heartbreak in the Grey Apartment. There's now a painting of her in the room which guests have claimed to see her come out of, other visitors to the castle say they have heard her grey dress rustling in the dead of night.
You might also want to look out for the ghost of a little girl who has been caught on camera in the castle's great hall. And the ghost of John Sage, a soldier who served under King Edward, but after taking a spear to his leg in battle with the Scots, was forced to retreat from the frontline and took up the role of the castle's torture in its fully equipped dungeon.
The castle's most famous ghost is the Blue Boy, it's said that guests see blue flashes of light above their beds or coming from within the castles walls. It turns out that these flashes are the ghost of a boy who was bricked up alive inside one of the walls.
During renovations at the castle the skeleton of a boy with blue clothes was found inside a three meter thick wall, the bones on his fingers were worn away from his attempts at scratching at the wall in a desperate bid for freedom.