While this castle bills itself as the “most haunted castle” in the country, the only spectres that seem to roam these halls are ghosts of the past and rare wild cows.
Chillingham Castle was originally built in the 12th century as a monastery. It was turned into a royal castle over the centuries, and held a strategically important position in medieval times. Grander additions were eventually made to the estate, such as a banquet hall and a library. During World War II the castle was commandeered as a barracks, but the estate was eventually purchased by a baronet who set to work restoring the fortress to its former opulence, bringing the castle to the state it remains in today.
The park surrounding the castle is notably home to a herd of about 90 wild cows that have lived on the land since medieval times. Remarkably the small group of animals has managed to thrive despite centuries of inbreeding. Even today the wild herd remains untouched, and according to the Chillingham website, it continues to grow.
Cows aside, according to the current marketers behind the castle the real draw is the ghosts. The castle claims to be the most haunted castle in the United Kingdom. It is said to be haunted by the former torturer who still lives in his torture chamber, a lady in white (classic), and a “blue boy” that floats above the bed in the “Pink Room.”
Visitors can access a number of sections of the castle including the torture chamber and many of the bedrooms. Just look out for ghosts. And inbred miracle cows.
Visit England with Atlas Obscura Trips
London Science Weekend: Medicine and Science in the Press
Join New York Times Journeys and Atlas Obscura for three days of scientific learning, special access and exploration in London. Accompanied by Times journalists and scientific experts, meet people contributing to the history of medicine and scientific journalism. This two-track program includes panels, exclusive visits and access to some of the best scientific minds available to concentrate on science reporting or medical history.