From StrangeBlog: ARUNDEL CASTLE, WEST SUSSEX #ghosts
Posted January 8, 2013on:
Built at the end of the 11th century by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel, this huge castle has been home to various dukes of Norfolk ever since. The castle was extensively damanged by fire in 1643, and it took successive dukes several years to restore it. British castles tend to be a little goldmine where ghosts are concerned, and Arundel is no exception. There are a motley collection of four spirits wafting around this place: a girl, a boy, a 17th century dandy, and a white bird.
The boy was employed in the kitchen about 200 years ago, and was severely ill-treated by the head-cellarer, and as a consequence the boy died young. His ghost has been since since, industriously cleaning pots and pans in the kitchen late at night, which means the poor little lad gets no rest in the After-Life either!
A young girl in white roams the vicinity of Hiorne’s Tower on moonlit nights. The story attached to her is as tragic as one would expect where ghostly White Ladies are concerned. She is said to have killed herself by jumping off the tower due to unrequited love.
A spectral white bird flutters against the castle windows when a death is imminent.
The library is one of my favourite parts of the castle. It is like a very ornate railway carriage, long and narrow, decked out in red velvet. It is said to be haunted by a 17th century dandy, who has been heard rifling through the books. So many libraries in big houses can seem as soulless places, with unread old tomes locked up behind wire grilles, but this one has a very relaxed and welcoming feel. You can imagine curling up on the sofa with a book, whilst the clock chimes softly nearby. I can see why the ghost doesn’t want to vacate it in a hurry.
The sound of Cromwell’s canon has been heard occasionally as well. In 1958 a young footman was walking down a passage late at night when he saw a man in a light grey tunic slightly ahead of him. The man vanished whilst the footman watched.
The castle is a fascinating place to wander around, full of twisting stone staircases, towers and battlements, an ornate chapel, and a palatial Great Hall which makes you feel as though in you’re in a Philippa Gregory novel. There is a room in the Keep dedicated to the Empress Matilda, and another devoted to the Civil War era. The castle may have a several ghosts, but all I can say is that on a Summer’s afternoon, it was a very nice place to be.
POSTSCRIPT: According to the Paranormal Database, a ghostly woman haunts the A27 nearby. She was seen late one night in 2011. She was described as standing by a roadside, wearing a beige raincoat, smiling manically, and seemed to be brightly lit from below. The witness was sufficiently disturbed by her to call the police, but the woman couldn’t be located. We didn’t see any such person when we drove down this road in the middle of the afternoon, although I did see a man hitching by the side of the road, whose face seemed to have been painted beige! It looked like a very dodgy fake tan. I caught his eye, and he stared intently back. Frankly, I was very glad he was on the other side of the road!
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