Haunted Powis Castle’s Spooky Secrets

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Powis Castle in Wales has many hauntings and legends that will send a shiver down your spine, writes RICK HALE

Powis Castle

Throughout the history of organised psychical research, there have been plenty of theories offered to explain why someone would shuffle off this mortal coil and remain in this plane of existence. 

For example, violent unexpected death is believed to be a big one. And the person may not even realize they’ve passed from this world.

A second popular theory is, imparting a message to the living. Someone might die with something they need to get off their chest, but death came knocking before they could do so. As an investigator, I’ve come across this a few times.

And a third, unfinished business. Perhaps you had something overwhelmingly important to do but got cut off by the end of your life. I think this might be a cause of an extraordinary amount of hauntings.

And if one of the many ghost stories is to be believed, perhaps this is why the man in the gold laced suit put in an appearance at Wales’ Powis Castle.

History Of Powis Castle

Sitting atop lovingly maintained gardens, overlooking Welshpool is Powis Castle, a Grade I listed country home in northern Wales.

Constructed during the 13th century, Powis Castle is unique because it wasn’t built by a Norman nobleman, but rather by a Welsh Prince, Gruffydd ap Gwenwynwyn. 

Gruffydd was a Prince of the ancient kingdom of Powys and kept close ties with Edward I of England. 

Such an alliance was unheard of, but it was more than likely politically motivated so he could secure a position for his son, Owain.

Centuries later, in the late 16th century, the castle was purchased by Edward Herbert the son of the Earl of Pembroke.

With the purchase of Powis Castle, this cemented the hold the Herbert family has on the house. A hold the Herbert family has maintained into the 21st century.

Today, the Herbert family has an agreement with the National Trust to reside in the house and maintain its seat.

The Trust has been quite successful in keeping Powis Castle in its current state.

A number of renovations have been done over the years. And one of the major draws to its door is its remarkable gardens.

The gardens at Powis Castle have their own Grade I listing. And they are considered by many to be the most important and magnificent in Wales. And after studying photographs of these extraordinary gardens, I can understand why they are so loved.

The Haunting Of Powis Castle 

Although you should be compelled to visit this grand country home for its stunning architecture and beautiful gardens.

It is the ghosts of this ancient northern Wales castle that is one of the draws at Powis.

And although it has many spectral inhabitants, it’s one legendary ghost that is just so damn interesting. 

The Man In The Gold Laced Suit

Our story begins in 1780, when an elderly woman, a seamstress by trade came to live in the castle. More than likely to plied her trade with the Herbert family.

When she arrived she was shown to her room. A room too large, and too opulent for a person of her station in life.

Certainly a room this grand could only be meant for a Lord or Lady. She couldn’t understand why she was given this room. She would soon find out.

On her first night, she fell asleep reading the only possession she had, her Bible.

As she slept soundly on her bed, she was awoken by a most peculiar sight.

Powis Castle Gardens

A tall man dressed in a gold laced hat and suit entered her room three times.

He walked over to the window, peered out the window, and politely left the room with a nod.

The woman, not in the least bit afraid, finally questioned the well dressed phantom the third time he entered the room.

The ghost seemed surprised that anyone could see him and gestured for her to follow him. And throwing caution to the wind, she followed him out of the room.

The ghost led her to a small room where he began pulling up the floorboards. Under it a simple wooden box.

The ghost then directed the woman to take the box and a key to the Earl in London.

Now, we don’t know what was in that box. But whatever it was overjoyed the Earl so much, he gave the woman her own house and enough money to set her up for life.

All I can say in response to this legend is, hey spirit world. How about sending a little bit of that my way? No. It was worth a shot, I suppose.

This legend is of course one of the most wonderful, but are there any other ghosts that haunt this ancient castle?  This wouldn’t be Wales if there weren’t. 

The Woman Black

Powis Castle appears to have its very own woman in black. A ghostly figure that is seen in many castles across Britain.

Powis Castle’s woman in black is typically seen hanging out at the castle’s fireplaces.

She doesn’t really do much and seems to be somewhat aloof as she rarely interacts with those who see her. Leading many to believe she is nothing more than an echo in time.

Tickling The Ivories

The grand ballroom is another notoriously haunted area of Powis Castle. 

In the ballroom is a piano where people claim a ghost likes to tickle the ivories as the saying goes.

Whenever someone enters the room, the ghostly pianist takes exception to the intrusion and abruptly stops playing. All the person finds is a quiet room.

Powis Castle

The Horseman

Lastly, a ghostly horseman has been glimpsed riding along the lane leading to the castle. 

Whoever this ghostly rider is never makes it to the castle.  He fades away mere feet from the entrance.

Powis Castle and its gardens are considered to be a national treasure by the people of Wales.  And it’s lovingly maintained by the National Trust. 

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

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