Free enamel pin when you buy any two Atlas Obscura products. Shop now.

Dronninglund, Denmark

Voergaard Castle

This Danish castle is supposedly haunted by a woman too independent to not be a witch. 

Too beautiful to be duplicated, it is said that the harsh lady of this Renaissance castle had the architect thrown into the moat and left to drown, so that he could never build another one like it.

As notable for its art collection as for its ghost stories, Voergaard Castle is located in Drottninglund, in northeastern Denmark. It houses works by Goya, Rubens, and Raphael, as well as furniture belongining to both Louis XIV and Louis XVI. With its oldest part dating back to 1480, this castle with its wide moat and meter-thick walls has had many years to accrue both art pieces and pieces of legend.

Besides an infamous dungeon without light, ventilation, or room for a grown man to sit or stand, many of the darker stories surrounding Voergaard Castle have to do with a merciless noblewoman named Ingeborg Skeel. In addition to offing the poor architect, Ingeborg is charged with continual cruelty, all-consuming greed, and thoroughly haunting the grounds – so thoroughly that a priest was called in after her death to perform an exorcism.

History, however, presents a more complicated picture. There was indeed a woman named Ingeborg Skeel, who acquired the estate in 1578, when it also received status as a local judicial unit. The highly-enterprising Ingeborg managed the estate herself, which was unusual for her time, and aroused the suspicion of the populace. In addition to accusations of various evil deeds, it was rumored that she was a witch, in a pact with the devil, and any number of other unsavory charges. Ingeborg can’t have been all bad, though – she was certainly a talented businesswoman, and gave back to the community in a number of ways, donating money to the local poor house and erecting both a hospital and school for the people living in nearby Sæby. So, if the reports of a ghostly lady making her way around the castle at night are true, she may not be out to steal souls. She may just want to be sure the finances are still in order.

Know Before You Go

You will find Voergaard Slot by exiting the motorway at junction 14 and then heading east. After approx. 2 km, there is a signpost to the castle.

Contributed by
smithtessar
Edited by