The Ghosts and Hauntings of Arundel Castle

Arundel Castle

A number of ghosts are said to haunt Arundel Castle, ancestral seat of the Dukes of Norfolk.

Several otherworldly residents are said to still linger at Arundel Castle. Situated in the West Sussex town of Arundel, England, this huge medieval castle dates back to the 11th century, although it has been considerably expanded and remodelled since that time. The castle is the principal seat of the Dukes of Norfolk, as well as a Grade I listed building and popular tourist destination.

Arundel Castle was founded in 1067 by Roger de Montgomery, a powerful Norman lord who was given vast tracts of land for his services to his cousin, William the Conqueror. Montgomery’s ghost is believed to haunt the castle keep. Henry I laid siege to the castle in 1102 when Roger’s son, Robert de Belleme, rebelled against the crown. The king was eventually victorious after Robert fled to Normandy and the castle came into his possession. When the king died in 1135, the castle passed to his widow, Adeliza of Louvain, who later married William d’Aubigny in 1138. In 1143, William acquired the title, 1st Earl of Arundel.

The castle has a longstanding reputation for weird and inexplicable phenomena, experienced by both staff and visitors alike. One such incident occurred in 1958, when a footman had a rather unsettling encounter. It was late at night, and he was on the ground floor near the servants’ quarters, walking down a long and gloomy corridor when he suddenly noticed a young man some distance ahead. The footman didn’t recognize this man, who he described as wearing a grey tunic, having long hair, and walking in the same direction as him. He followed the strange man for about half a minute or so before coming over extremely faint, later describing how he had panicked, and ran back the way he came after this unearthly young fellow abruptly vanished into thin air.

The pitiful wraith of a young boy is said to haunt the castle kitchens. It’s believed that over two hundred years ago, he was employed as a scullion and was severely maltreated. In the small hours of the morning, his ghost is said to busy itself cleaning pots and pans. Another ghost at Arundel has been occasionally witnessed in the library. Known as the Blue Man, he is said to resemble a Cavalier and has been glimpsed poring over old books. Also as with many ancient families, the Norfolk’s have a traditional death-omen. It takes the form of a small white bird, and is said to flutter outside the castle windows when a death in the family is imminent.

Hiorne Tower

Hiorne Tower in Arundel Park is apparently haunted by the ghost of a young woman.

Before restoration work began in the 18th century, Arundel Castle was in a profoundly ruined state, having suffered greatly during the English Civil War. It had been besieged twice, first by Royalists, and then by Parliamentarians, who successfully captured the castle from the King’s forces in 1643 by bombarding the walls from cannons placed at nearby St Nicholas’s Church. It’s said that ghostly cannon-fire can sometimes be heard reverberating around the castle; an eerie echo of those troubled times.

Meanwhile a mysterious White Lady is rumoured to haunt Arundel Park. She is said to wander forlornly within the vicinity of the Hiorne Tower on moonlit nights. Who she is, no one is really sure, although its genuinely believed she committed suicide by throwing herself from the 18th century tower many years ago. Apparently she was the victim of an unhappy love affair and, mad with grief, climbed up to the top of the tower one fateful night before hurling herself over the edge.

 

Photo Credits:

“Arundel Castle on a Sunny October Day” by Gregg M. Erickson
Licensed under CC-BY 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Arundel_Castle_on_a_Sunny_October_Day.jpg

“Hiorns Tower, Arundel Park” by Marathon
Licensed under CC-BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons –
https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Hiorns_Tower,_Arundel_Park_%28geograph_4042908%29.jpg


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