Arundel Castle, overlooking the River Arun in West Sussex, is a popular English heritage site.
In addition, it also boasts several mysterious sightings of ghosts and apparitions throughout the centuries. This has made the Arundel Castle ghosts a popular tourist attraction.
History Of Arundel Castle:
The castle was built on the Christmas day of 1068 by Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel. Its construction was settled by King Henry I as dower on Adeliza or Louvain, his second wife.
For over 850 years, it’s been in the hands of Dukes of Norfolk, excluding a few times it was reversioned to the Crown.
Queen Victoria and her husband, Prince Albert, also visited the castle for three days in 1846. At the time, a leading London furniture designer was specially commissioned to remake the furniture in the bedroom and library for the Queen.
The 13th Duke of Norfolk also commissioned the Queen’s portrait by William Fowler, which was placed in the library.
The castle was badly damaged during the civil war in 1642-45 and in 1718. However, it was restored by Thomas, the 8th Duke of Norfolk. In the 1900s Henry, 15th Duke of Norfolk did further restoration and made the castle alive.
In fact, Arundel Castle is one of the first English country houses to have electric light, its own firefighting equipment, service lifts, and a central heater.
Eventually, the property was put in charitable trust by the 17th Duke of Norfolk in 1988. The trust is responsible for the maintenance and upkeep of the castle. It’s also what allows the castle to be open to the public as a tourist attraction.
Arundel Castle Is Filled With Ghosts:
According to reports, there are at least 7 ghosts that have been sighted in and around the castle.
The Ghostly Earl:
The most well-known ghost that has shown itself multiple times over the years is of Roger de Montgomery, Earl of Arundel.
It’s said that he never left the place and that his ghost is still haunting his beloved castle.
The Heart-Broken Young Girl:
Several reports claim that you can see a ghost of a young girl wearing white clothes on moonlit nights around Hiornes tower. The ghost is said to be of a girl called Emily who had an affair with a Bishop who lived at the castle.
However, when she told him of her pregnancy, he is said to have rejected Emily and disowned the child. Grief-stricken, Emily jumped off Hiornes tower to her death.
The Abused Kitchen Servant:
For over 200 years, a servant boy’s ghost has been seen in the kitchen. He seems to be scrubbing pots and pans as he did in his short life. Sounds of kitchen utensils have also been heard, even when the kitchen is empty.
According to the stories passed around, the servant’s master tortured him very badly until he was beaten to death. This horrific death was what triggered the child’s spirit to linger in the realm of the living.
The Blue Man In The Library:
The ‘Blue Man’ has been sighted in the castle library since the 1630s. He is said to have lived in the castle at the time of King Charles II.
The reports indicate that he floats around the library and browses through the books, looking for something. It’s unclear if he is looking for a will, answers, or a missing book.
The Ominous White Owl:
Along with the human ghosts, there’s also a ghost of a small white bird seen around Arundel Castle. According to the records, the Dukes used to keep a colony of American White Owls.
The ominous nature of this ghost is not just reserved for seeing the ghostly owl. In fact, every time someone has seen the White Owl ghost around the castle, a castle-resident or someone related to the castle dies.
Cannon Rumbles In the Night:
Some visitors have also claimed to have heard of distant ghostly rumblings of cannon fire. The sounds seem to come from outside of the castle walls, indicating the ghosts are of the invading army.
This may be related to the First English Civil War in 1643 when the castle was besieged for 18 days.
The Man In Gray:
One of the better-recorded sightings of ghosts was in 1958 by a footman in the middle of the night. According to the report, the footman was going to turn the lights off in the drawbridge when he saw the ghost.
The ghost was of a long-haired man wearing a loose sleeved gray tunic with only the top half of the body visible. This ghost was also walking ahead of the footman. But when the footman tried to get a closer look of him by stepping closer, the apparition vanished in thin air.
The Latest Sightings Of Ghosts In Arundel Castle:
While most of the ghostly sightings are difficult to prove, there is a recent sighting with photographic evidence.
In 2018, Nigel and Tracy Haynes from Kent visited Arundel Castle for a holiday.
They were sightseeing and taking photos of the castle when Nigel saw the ghost. At the time, he was in the castle gardens taking a picture of a water feature when he saw it.
He saw a man in his 20s wearing a dark jacket near the water feature with his side-profile visible to Nigel. When he saw the man, he was sure that this was a ghost and he claims it made his blood run cold.
He took the photo and later showed it to his wife, who confirmed the picture looking like that of a ghost.
The ghost in the photo seems to have a thoughtful expression, which was verified by Nigel’s work colleagues.
That said, according to the couple from Sandgate, even with the disturbingly real ghost, they had a wonderful time at Arundel Castle.
Arundel Castle As It Is Today:
These days, sightseeing tours and guides like the one the Haynes couple took are available. The property is said to be well-maintained, and their charges are very reasonable.
The Arundel Castle event tickets can be purchased online as well as when you arrived at Arundel, Sussex. Currently, tickets for Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ are also available.
Starting from just £11, you can visit the Gardens, Keep, State Rooms, and Bedrooms in the castle. In fact, if you keep an eye out and an open mind, you may be in for some haunted sightings yourself.