I see from the Westmorland Gazette that Appleby Castle has just re-opened to the public after a ten-year break. The castle, which dates back to the 12th century and has been lived in continuously ever since, still retains a Norman keep, as well as a medieval manor house, walls, and what look like some very beautiful gardens. And better still, it’s haunted! Well, apparently. You can visit one of the supposedly haunted rooms on the main guided tour, or organise a full-scale ghost tour of the place as a separate attraction. I feel a visit coming on!
This isn’t the only stately home/castle in Cumbria with ghostly goings-on. Both Levens Hall and Muncaster Castle boast their own ghosts. It’s a good few years since I last visited Levens and I don’t remember anything particularly out of the ordinary (although I do have vague memories of a priest hole in one of the bedrooms, which the staff there now hotly deny). However, on our last trip to Muncaster I did notice a very odd atmosphere in one of the downstairs rooms, which lifted all the hairs on the back of my neck.
Ghosts? Electro-magnetic pulse? Damp and draughts? I’m never sure, but it adds a thrill to any visit, and both Muncaster and Levens are fascinating destinations in any case. I suspect Appleby will be every bit as interesting, from both a historical and supernatural point of view. You can find out more about the castle, including its history and information about visiting, at its very nice website.