Arundel Castle, located in West Sussex, England, is believed to be the home of four otherworldly beings who have called the castle home for centuries. Each alleged spirit has its own history, which has been told throughout the decades. The imposing structure looks like a scene right out of medieval history books, which somehow seems fitting considering the stories its paranormal profile hints at. As the years go by, remnants of Arundel Castle’s past seem to cling to it, regardless of any changes that occur around or within it.
The History of Arundel Castle
The castle was founded in 1067 on Christmas day. It underwent many renovations and expansions throughout the medieval era. The Empress Matilda was a guest for a long period during her journey to claim the English crown. In 1139, apartments of stone were added to the structure to house the Empress and her attendees. Over thirty years later, in 1176, Arundel Castle became property of the crown after the death of William d’Aubigny. During this time, Henry II spent significant resources restructuring the castle. Arundel passed on to Richard the Lionheart after the death of Henry II.
It continued to change hands through the decades, becoming a possession of Richard, the seventh Earl’s five year old son, in 1272. Just thirteen years after, Richard was granted the right to collect taxes and hold two fairs each year at the castle by Edward I. Today, most of the castle and surrounding grounds have been opened up to the public.
The Four Ghosts of Arundel
Stories have circulated that Arundel Castle is home to four lingering apparitions, however some report that there are far more than these four present. One is believed to be the first Earl of Arundel himself, who was responsible for the original construction of the castle. He is said to roam the keep, possibly watching over the structure he played such a significant role in founding.
A second spirit seems to hail from a more common story. It is believed that a young woman committed suicide by leaping from Arundel’s Hiornes tower (positioned behind the castle within Arundel Park) after her love affair ended tragically. The story claims that grief pushed her to commit the act however she still remains and is sometimes reported as a woman dressed in white. The figure is said to appear most often during moonlit nights.
The Blue Man is the third noted ghost said to still reside in Arundel Castle. He seems to favor the library and has been reported since the 1630s. Considering the time period, some believe he may be a Cavalier from the period of King Charles I. It is assumed that he may be the ghost of someone who once lived in the castle.
The fourth and final spirit often noted at Arundel is not of the human variety. Reports have been made that a strange spirit resembling a white bird, very similar in size and shape to an owl, is sometimes seen in one of the windows. The owl has earned a bit of a stigma as a sort of harbinger of death because each time it appeared, there was a death of either someone who lived in the castle or an individual closely tied to the building and its inhabitants.
Along with these four, another unearthly being is believed to appear in the castle’s kitchen. He has been viewed scrubbing pots and pans, and was possibly a servant boy during his lifetime. Some believe he was poorly treated and beaten until his short life ended from the abuse. In 1958, a footman in training was headed across the ground floor to turn off the lights on the drawbridge. Something caught his attention, which looked much like the top half of a man, specifically a head and shoulders. He could tell that the figure had long hair and appeared to be wearing a grey tunic with loose sleeves. As he neared the apparition, it began to fade until it disappeared entirely.
Arundel Castle Today
It is difficult to prove or disprove the stories behind Arundel Castle’s ghosts. Many of these apparitions have been reported throughout centuries, making it impossible to confirm each sighting. The castle has survived many changes, including severe damage suffered by a fire that broke out inside it during the 17th century. Although there are no Dukes of Norfolk or other royal individuals living in Arundel castle today, many believe that it may still house more than its impressive collection of priceless artifacts.
Tour the castle
The Duke (Earl March) and the Duchess (Georgina) do live inside the castle… Has been the case for several years
I was there just last week with my family. My wife was touched on the arm by someone/something while in the library. I wonder if it was the Blue Man?
BTW, if you are ever in the Sussex area of England, this is a must see. The bedrooms and weapons/armor gallery are spectacular.
Thanks for sharing the personal experience, Jim! Did your wife handle it ok? I think many times these types of things are very personal and difficult to fully understand (or quantify) unless you are the one there experiencing it!
I will definitely keep that in mind. It sounds like an awesome destination!
UPDATE: From what I have been able to find out, Arundel Castle is now the home of The Duke and Duchess of Norfolk and their children.
More information can be found at the official castle website:
I wonder if they have encountered any of previous inhabitants? And if they did, would they say as much?
hi, i like ur blog and the way u explained this mystery in detailed and comprehensive manner…. 🙂
Some of those castles have such a long reaching recorded history that it can be overwhelming to take it all in. Still, some of the tales are very interesting to explore – especially if pieces of that history are still hanging around! 🙂