Haunted Carisbrooke Castle: Isle of Wight’s Fortress of Death


Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight has many notable hauntings and is not for the faint-hearted…

Carisbrooke Castle, Isle of Wight
Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight has notable hauntings and is not for the faint-hearted…

The stronghold at Carisbrooke Castle changed hands many times throughout the tumultuous early Middle Ages in England.

It was first a Roman fort, later a Saxon stronghold, before finally a lasting structure was built by a Norman after the conquest of England. Such was the case with many similar sites in the country. The castle is also notable for being the prison which held King Charles I before his trial, and ultimately his execution in 1649.

Like almost any castle, there has been no shortage of hauntings and paranormal encounters over the years at this Isle of Wight fortress. 

Tragedy and calamity have struck residents of the castle many times, and it seems for many, that pain still lingers on today.

There are two deep wells at the castle, and it was in one of them that a woman named Elizabeth Ruffin tragically drowned.

To this day, many report seeing her face in the water. 

Grey Lady of Carisbrooke Castle

Another woman trapped in time is the Grey Lady of Carisbrooke Castle, who has been seen in a long, dark cloak, shadowed by as many as four ghostly hounds.

Little is known about who she might be—her clothing is not easily placed in a time period, so she could have lived at any time during the last fifteen hundred years or so of the castle’s history. Her spectre is a powerful thing to behold, in any case. 

Near the moat of the castle, there is often a man seen in a brown jerkin. His presence is felt strongly, and, again, it’s difficult to say whom he might be. His dress perhaps suggests a soldier or some other castle worker.

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He is plainly a man out of time, though, and witnesses report he still goes about his business as though nothing were wrong. 

The Carisbrooke Reaper

Undoubtedly the most chilling tale from this island castle, though, is of the so-called Carisbrooke Reaper.

A group of friends were exploring the castle one night, having heard of the spirits that continue to haunt it.

After a long night and into the early hours of the morning, the group was preparing to call it a night after seeing nothing. 

As they walked the grounds beside the castle walls, though, their eyes were drawn upwards to the walkway at the first level of the castle wall.

Illuminated only be a nearby traffic light, they saw a man in all black, carrying a great scythe, and, most chillingly of all, warning them to leave this place.

He was, by their accounts, the classic reaper figure — cloaked in black and with a dark shroud hiding his face, his voice was deep and unsettling, and he seemed to produce a lit candle from beneath his cloak. 

Who this man is, again, is unknown. He plainly wielded great power at the castle at one time, and the fact he spoke in something approaching modern English suggests he may only have died a few centuries ago. 

Carisbrooke Castle is a place where the veil between this world and the next seems its weakest. 

Tragedy and death are no strangers in this place, and though we may not know much about them, it is plain to see in the ghosts that still haunt it today. 

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Have you seen a ghost at Carisbrooke Castle? Tell us about it in the comments section below!

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