Ghosts of Wales Castles

There are many castles in Wales that have acquired a reputation for being haunted. These castles were often the settings for terrible crimes and immense suffering, their long and troubled histories inevitably providing fertile ground for paranormal phenomena. The following looks at some of the hauntings associated with these castles, including Margam Castle, Powis Castle and Gwydir Castle.
 
Bodelwyddan Castle
An entry in the diary of John Hay Williams from 1829 relates how a human skeleton was once discovered during renovation work at Bodelwyddan Castle in North Wales. No one could ascertain the identity of this skeleton so it was re-interred into the walls of the castle, where it remains to this day. The unsettling presence of this walled-up skeleton has led to it becoming connected with two phantom females occasionally seen at the castle, one called the Blue Lady and the other the Victorian Lady. Among the other ghosts at Bodelwyddan is the 'Cellar Man', a malevolent spectre believed to reside in the castle's labyrinthine basement. Apparently this ghost is of a somewhat misogynistic bent, being in the habit of regularly terrorizing the female staff at Bodelwyddan Castle.
 
Margam Castle
Margam Castle near Port Talbot in South Wales has a reputation for all manner of unearthly happenings. This distinctly Gothic mansion is situated in Margam Country Park, sharing land with the ruins of a 12th century abbey, itself reputedly frequented by ghostly Cistercian monks. The house itself is rumoured to be haunted by the vengeful spectre of a former gamekeeper who was murdered on the grounds by a poacher in 1898. His ghost has been witnessed ascending the central staircase. The spirit of Emily Charlotte Talbot, a former owner of Margam Castle, is also said to still walk the grand halls and eerie corridors of this creepy Victorian mansion.
 
Gwydir Castle
A powerful family in Welsh history was the Wynn dynasty whose ancestral home was Gwydir Castle, a fortified Tudor manor house in North Wales. A Wynn baronet is said to have made a startling deathbed confession where he admitted to having murdered a young woman in his youth, burying her remains behind a wall at Gwydir Castle. This unnerving revelation relates to accounts of a Grey Lady who has been occasionally glimpsed at the castle since the 19th century, one of a number of phantoms said to haunt the castle. Witnesses describe encountering this apparition within a room known as the 'Ghost Room' as well as an adjoining corridor. They say that she is accompanied by a severe drop in temperature and the most unholy stench, like that of a decomposing corpse.
 
Powis Castle
There have been numerous reports of supernatural activity at Powis Castle over the years, although arguably the most intriguing story is that of an interactive ghost. In 1780, an itinerant spinner was staying at this 13th century stronghold. The woman had been lodged in a large room on the ground floor and soon after she had finished admiring its handsome furnishings, a well-dressed man suddenly entered her chamber. He walked around a while before exiting the way he arrived, leaving the woman somewhat confused as to his identity - the family being currently away from the castle. When the mysterious stranger reappeared the woman became convinced he was an apparition. On the third time he entered she apparently mustered the courage and actually spoke to the spirit, claiming he answered back. Other hauntings at Powis Castle include a sinister woman in black and the dulcet tones of an unseen piano.
 
Regarded as one of the most haunted buildings in Britain, the huge Victorian-Gothic mansion, Craig-y-Nos, is allegedly home to numerous ghosts. The main part of the castle was built in the early 1840s for the Powell family who were plagued with illness and tragic accidents. In 1878 Craig-y-Nos was purchased by the acclaimed soprano Adelina Patti whose ghost has apparently been witnessed throughout the whole property. The castle is also supposedly haunted by the opera singer's second husband, as well as the Italian composer Gioachino Rossini. Patti died in 1919 and the property became a sanatorium for tuberculosis sufferers a few years later. Some of the spectres at Craig-y-Nos are thought to be the ghosts of former patients who perished at the castle.
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