Warwick Castle has a rich and dark history, including plenty of ghosts says RICK HALE, as he presents this low-down on one of England’s most fun tourist (and spooky) tourist attractions…
Warwick, England CV34 4QU
Britain is famous the world over for its many castles, palaces and noble manor houses.
Only a small number of castles in Britain can boast that they played significant roles in the history and destiny of this ancient land.
Warwickshire’s Warwick Castle’s very foundations saw the birth of an empire.
Warwick Castle is a castle that has seen more warfare than most of the castles in England combined.
Those episodes being recorded on the very walls of this ancient castle. And the ghosts said to haunt it are a testament to the history made there.
Warwick Castle History and Paranormal
As a lifelong student of psychic phenomena, I have always maintained the belief that only through the study of history can we understand the finer points of a haunting.
And nowhere is this more true than Warwick Castle.
In order to truly understand what is happening at this castle, paranormally speaking, you must take a look back at the events that shaped not only this castle, but the country as a whole.
When was Warwick Castle built?
Warwick Castle, a Grade I listed building, was built by William the Conqueror, England’s first Norman King in 1068 CE along the River Avon.
However, long before William first laid his eyes on the land, an earlier fortification stood there.
Ethelfleda, daughter of Alfred the Great, built a fortress here in 914 CE.
It was established to protect the kingdom of Mercia against the invading armies of The Danes.
“Ethelfleda’s Mound” can still be found on the grounds of the castle.
Following the Norman conquest of England, and William the Conqueror becoming William I, all the focus was placed on building Warwick Castle into the fabulous piece of architecture it is today.
In 1088, Henry Dr Beaumont was made the 1st Earl of Warwick and established the Church Of All Saints within the castle in 1119.
The Bishop of Worcester, was not keen on the idea of a church being in a castle had it removed in 1127.
An act that pitted the nobility against the established church.
The first known conspiracy to take over Warwick Castle occurred in 1153.
The wife of Roger de Beaumont, 2nd Earl of Warwick, was tricked into believing her husband was dead.
Upon hearing the news, she surrendered the castle to the army of Henry of Anjou, later King Henry II.
Roger de Beaumont dies of shock
In a bizarre turn of events, De Beaumont died from shock upon learning the grave mistake his wife had made.
After ascending the throne, King Henry II, returned the castle to the Earls of Warwick.
They had supported his mother, Empress Matilda during The Anarchy of 1135-1154.
Jumping ahead to the summer of 1469, Richard Neville, the husband of the Countess of Warwick, rebelled against king Edward IV imprisoning him in Warwick Castle.
Neville attempted to rule in the rightful king’s place, but protests from Edward’s supporters forced him to release the king.
Richard Neville, was later killed in the Battle Of Barnet by the King’s forces in 1471, during the War Of The Roses.
Civil War seige of Warwick Castle
In 1642, the first English civil war broke out, and Royalist forces laid siege to Warwick Castle that was under control of Robert Greville.
The Royalist forces broke off their assault due to the castle being far to fortified and a lack of adequate firepower.
The 19th and 20th centuries saw the end of conspiracies and castle sieges. Warwick Castle was now a tourist attraction.
Although the castle played host to many visitors throughout the 18th century, it wasn’t till 1858, when Queen Victoria payed a visit to the castle.
Following that historic event the castle experienced a boom in tourism.
Warwick Castle becomes tourism attraction
In 1885, the Earl had grown annoyed by all the people coming and going through the home he closed the castle’s doors to tourists.
Today, the castle is owned by The Blackstone Group, a multinational company based in New York, USA and the castle is operated by Merlin Entertainments.
Every year, Warwick Castle welcomes thousands of tourists to its doorstep.
Because of this, stories of encounters with supernatural entities at the castle numbers in the hundreds.
But, who are these ghosts? And what do they want?
The Ghosts and Spectres of Warwick Castle
With a history as long and tumultuous as Warwick Castle it should come as no surprise that the castle is extraordinarily haunted.
And these ghosts that are believed to haunt this castle are just as bizarre and malicious as you might expect.
Sir Fulke Greville
Sir Fulke Greville, a former owner of Warwick Castle, met a violent end in 1628 at the hands of one of his most trusted servants.
Ralph Haywood, confronted Greville over his belief that his employer was attempting to cheat him in his will.
Haywood and Greville were involved in a heated argument when Haywood grabbed a knife and viciously stabbed Greville to death.
Since his brutal slaying, the apparition of Fulke Greville has been sighted wandering the halls of his former home.
Greville has also been witnessed in the Watergate Tower where he spent the final moments of his life.
Greville has been experienced here so frequently, the tower has been nicknamed, “The Ghost Tower”.
The Presence In The Warwick Castle Dungeon
In the deepest, darkest recesses of the castle, a dark entity is said to haunt the former Warwick Castle dungeon.
This malevolent spirit is believed to be a sadistic jailer that delighted in torturing the prisoners that he once watched over.
The sinister apparition of the jailer has been seen glaring out from behind a metal grate yelling at whomever approaches.
He has been known to violently assault people by shoving and scratching them.
Growls and screams of anguished souls being tortured have been heard.
As well as the pitiful pleas of prisoners to be set free. Needless to say, the dungeon is not for the faint of heart.
The Horror Of Moll Bloxham
According to legend, Moll Bloxham was a witch who got caught stealing from the Earl of Warwick.
After a swift trial, Moll was subjected to humiliating torture carried out in public.
Before succumbing to her injuries, Moll Bloxham placed a curse on Warwick Castle. A curse that would affect it for many years to come.
Following Bloxham’s death, a great black beast with fiery red eyes was seen prowling the grounds of the castle.
Fearing the creature would kill someone, a quick witted servant lured the beast to the river Avon and drowned it.
Thinking this ended the terror the beast caused was a grave mistake.
The spirit of Moll Bloxham only returned to terrorise the castle under a new manifestation.
The apparition of a grey lady believed to be Moll Bloxham, has been witnessed floating around the castle.
Causing misfortune wherever she may go and taking great joy in scaring anyone that encounters her in a darkened corridor.
Warwick Castle Events: Sounds And Shadows
The paranormal activity within the walls of Warwick Castle is not just limited to slain nobleman and vengeful wraiths.
Disembodied footsteps of long dead soldiers have been heard marching about the castle.
The shadow of a woman believed to be Frances Greville has been seen following visitors throughout the building.
And the mournful wails of a distraught woman believed to have been walled up with her infant is still heard two centuries after the unspeakable act.
Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, has become a popular destination not only for ghost hunters but history enthusiasts as well. And Warwick castle is well known for being very family friendly.
Warwick Castle features, The Mighty Trebuchet, the world’s largest siege machine.
Visitors can launch a projectile over 150 metres into the air.
Warwick Castle Halloween
The best time to visit Warwick Castle is around Halloween and not just to experience the ghosts.
Between 20 October and 4 November, the castle puts on its greatest production, The Haunted Castle.
For two weeks, visitors are entertained by a variety of spooky shows, creepy games and spine tingling ghost stories.
Families can journey through the Haunted Hollows or be entertained by the magical ladies of The Witches’ Tower.
And, if you’re lucky enough, you may just experience one of the real ghosts that has stalked the castle for centuries.
Warwick Castle in Warwickshire, may have a long and tumultuous history, and the ghosts to prove it.
However, it offers a good time for whomever pays this historically significant castle that shaped the destiny of England a visit.
Warwick Castle Facts
Where is Warwick Castle?
Warwick Castle is in Warwick, England CV34 4QU.
You can find directions and how to get to Warwick Castle here.
Warwick Castle Opening Times and Prices
Warwick Castle opening times varying depending on the time of the year, so it’s best to check its website here. You can also find prices there.
I have always been Fascinated with Warwick Castle, my Grandmother worked at Warwick Castle as a young women. (I am not sure, but I think kitchen) She told us that a certain time of the year, they would all go to a Parapet, & wait for the headless man to go by (has anybody else heard of this?) It around the time of 1903- 1911 . She came to Canada in 1912, ( She would have gone on the Titanic , but didn’t have all her papers ready at the time. She must have been brave since she did go a couple of months later , by herself to meet her Fiance.
Would love to hear from someone else if they heard about the headless man.