Castles are awesome places to stay and, if you factor in a resident ghost, they can be hair-raising places to stay!
If you are looking to stay in a castle, with something that goes bump in the night, then look no further. Here are our top 3 haunted castle suggestions:
Tulloch Castle is a picturesque castle located in the heart of the Scottish countryside in the pretty market town of Dingwall. It’s believed to have been built way back in the 12th century, although the first residents don’t appear in history until the 16th century. It was owned by the Bain family from the 16th century to the 18th century, when it was bought by the Davidson family, who owned it until the 20th century. In the 1940s Tulloch was used as a hospital for casualties of Dunkirk, and up until 1976, it was used as a hostel for students who were studying at the nearby Dingwall Academy.
Over the years, literally hundreds of people have called Tulloch Castle their home – so it is no surprise that a few of these presences still linger here. One clairvoyant who visited the castle reports being tickled on the head by a young blonde male spirit of about six or seven, who giggled as he tickled her. The clairvoyant also spotted a guard named Edmund who was “going back to the 16th century”. She said that he quite literally stopped her in her tracks.
Perhaps the most famous ghost of Tulloch Castle is that of the Green Lady – a sad, elegant lady who appears in a long silk dress. It’s thought that the Green Lady might actually be that of Elizabeth Davidson, the daughter of a former owner. The Green Lady is said to be a very sad ghost, and when guests or staff spot her, they have a feeling of overwhelming sadness. If you’re lucky enough to hear her speak, you might just catch her whispering “Why?” over and over.
Numerous orbs, said to be human souls, have also been captured on camera at the hotel. In the Pink Room, the ghost of a former maid is still said to pace the floor, and in guest room number 8, a former guest of the hotel was pinned down against his bed by an unseen force. Room 8 is also said to be home to numerous orbs and when the room was investigated, unexplained clicks, bangs and thuds were heard and recorded on camera.
Individual bedrooms, haunted or otherwise, can be booked on a bed and breakfast basis from £100 per room per night, sleeping 2 guests.
Castle Leslie is an excellent example, rather oddly as it is located in Ireland, of traditional Scottish Baronial architecture. It was designed in 1870 for Sir John Leslie, former MP, where it stands on the site of a former castle that was never used for defensive purposes. The castle is set within a 1,000 acre estate, complete with three stunning lakes, meandering streams and plenty of forestland. One of the lakes is called Dream Lake; very aptly named as the views across the lake, particularly on horseback, are stunning. Castle Leslie is also home to numerous ghosts, however, including that of Norman Leslie.
The most well-known ghost tale of Castle Leslie is that of the Red Room, which used to be where Lady Marjorie, Norman Leslie’s mother called home. Norman Leslie was killed in action during WW1 and since then, his ghost has been said to frequent the Red Room. Lady Marjorie actually saw Norman’s ghost – she awoke one night to see him standing at the foot of her bed reading through some papers. When she asked him what he was doing, he turned and disappeared through a wall.
Lady Constance Leslie, another member of the Leslie clan, passed away in 1925. She is said to still frequent the castle – in particular, the Mauve Bedroom, where she was said to levitate the bed. It’s thought that the Mauve Bedroom is where she stays most often, so perhaps this was her living quarters when she was still alive.
Numerous visitors have also reported seeing ghostly figures of grey roaming the castle’s corridors and grounds. The spectre of a monk, who is said to be a particularly noisy ghost – he is thought to create a racket wherever he goes, has also been spotted by guests and staff alike, along with the ghostly presence of a man dressed in black. Bells have also been heard ringing at the castle in the dead of the night, with no apparent cause.
Stay in the main castle building at Castle Leslie from €190 per room per night, sleeping 2 guests. Rates include breakfast plus complimentary ghost!
Ballyseede Castle has been referred to as one of the most “exquisite” castle hotels in the Ireland – and with very good reason. The bedrooms at the castle are decorated in an elegant, period style, with views across the castle grounds. Ballyseede was originally occupied by the Earls of Desmond, but because they didn’t swear their allegiance to the crown, wars broke out that were known as the Geraldine Wars. The wars came to an end when the 16th Earl of Desmond was beheaded and his head displayed at London Bridge. Step into the castle and you’ll be surprised at the splendour – especially if you know about its grizzly history.
Ballyseede is said to still be haunted by the ghosts of previous landlords of the hotel – it seems that they are still fighting for ownership of the castle, even in death. One ghost in particular, Hilda, is said to appear every year on March 24th. The first year that Hilda appeared, in 1998, the guests that were staying at the castle fled the hotel in fright, and they were last seen in a local library asking for a book on ghosts as they had “seen a spirit”.
However, it seems that the ghost of Hilda has changed – before 1998, it was said that Hilda was a friendly ghost, not known to show any malevolence towards guests. Guests at the hotel throughout the years have also reported hearing strange bangs and thuds in the middle of the night with no apparent explanation, whilst one previous worker at the hotel has reported seeing a wardrobe banging and crashing in a room that he was working in – and he refused to ever go back into the room again.
Double rooms are available in the winter season from as little as €129 per room per night for two guests on a bed and breakfast basis. We can't guarantee and encounter with Hilda during your stay, but we can guarantee a truly great castle experience with exceptional customer service.