St Briavels Castle Gloucestershire is a haunted YHA hostel where the dead outnumber the living, says RICK HALE
St Briavels Castle Hostel
Lydney, Gloucestershire GL15 6RG
Gloucestershire in the southwest of England is considered to be one of the oldest counties in Great Britain.
Perhaps due to this long history there are many haunted places to explore.
St Briavels Castle, a hostel in Lydney may just be the most haunted of all.
St Briavels Castle, the History Of A Haunted Hostel
Built in 1075, as a Norman castle, St Briavels was originally used as the administrative office for the Forest of Dean.
King John, occupied the castle and held court there in the early years of the 13th century.
Throughout the next two centuries, the castle transferred in ownership between several noble families.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, it was used as a debtors prison. However it had to close down after several riots due to poor conditions and horrible treatment of inmates.
The castle sat empty for well over a century, until 1948 when it reopened its doors as a hostel. That’s when stories of vengeful wraiths and restless spirits filtered out from the castle.
The Dead Outnumber The Living
Since opening its doors as a hostel, the castle has become a popular destination for ghost hunters and people looking for a cheap bed to sleep in.
Several rooms in St Briavels has a ghost, sometimes more than one.
Guests in the Solar Room have reported the sound of a baby crying at night. When the castle was recently renovated, workers made a shocking discovery.
The corpse of an infant was found in the rafters. The child who had been dead for centuries was given a proper burial.
A knight in shining armour has been glimpsed by the keen eyes of guests in the former Castle Keep area. He vanishes as soon as he’s seen.
The ‘Hangman’s Room’, the scene of unnerving encounters
Unsurprisingly, the Hangman’s Room has been the scene of several unnerving encounters.
A large black mass has appeared in the doorway barring people from leaving.
Several people who have tried to get past the mass have found themselves violently pushed to the ground.
In the old debtors prison, guests have reported the hushed tones of unseen people talking.
Others have reported footsteps and the feeling of a rough, strong hand grasping their arm.
Visitors to the Chaplains Room have reported nightmarish experiences.
Sinister dark shadows are seen wandering the room accompanied by unexplained flashes of light.
Guests have further reported an unseen person sitting on their beds leaving an impression on the mattress.
In the Constables Room, guests have reported feelings of lightheadedness and hands on their throats.
The Porters Lodge is home to a mist that manifests in front of the fireplace and hangs in the air.
One male guest reported being pinned to his bed and being unable to move.
Beware the ‘Scary Bed’!
The “Scary bed” occupies the Oubliette. It’s called this because several guests have reported the blankets yanked off them as they sleep and thrown across the room.
Lastly, in the State Apartment, guests have reported footsteps by their beds as they sleep.
The apparition of a little girl dressed in white is seen standing in the corridor.
And another shadow entity is seen walking across the room.
With all this ghostly activity, it’s little wonder why this hostel is so popular with guests and ghost hunters alike. (Gloucestershire is easily one of the most haunted places in the UK to visit!)
As a hostel, St Briavels Castle offers reasonably priced beds and facilities.
I warn you, stay there if you dare.