Spooky thrills in a 13th century castle
s you might expect from somewhere called Chillingham Castle, there’s more than a few ghosts knocking about here.
Perhaps the most prolific is the “blue boy”, the figure of a young child who’s been seen by several guests wandering the corridors at night, wailing in pain. The howling was traced to one particular bed, where the bones of a boy were found behind the wall – along with a pile of blue clothes. Yikes.
Mind you, when you take a look at the castle’s oft-gruesome history, it’s no surprise that there are a few tortured souls knocking about. This has been the home of the Earls Grey since 1246, and like all good castles it has battlements – and dungeons.
Eight executions have taken place here (hangings, drawings and quarterings – the ‘usual’), not to mention numerous torture sessions – all of which you’ll hear about on the guided tour. It was also base camp for the attack on William Wallace (the warry Scottish knight played by Mel Gibson in the film Braveheart) in 1298, and has made on-screen appearances in films including Elizabeth – starring Cate Blanchett.
But it’s not all ghosts, death and destruction – as you’ll see when you take a wander round the tranquil gardens, designed by Capability Brown of course. You’re just down the road from the seaside, too, so why not book yourself into one of the self-catering apartments. If you dare…