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Carlisle Castle, Cumbria

Scottish Lady of Carlisle Castle

More than 900 years old, Carlisle Castle is located in Cumbria, England, near the border with Scotland. Due to its location between neighboring counties, it has a long and violent history with ownership by the English and Scottish changing numerous times throughout the years.

The castle was used as a prison and barracks for the military. Its most famous prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots was incarcerated within the castle in 1568. Today, the castle serves as military headquarters to a Royal Regiment. However, there still remains a Scottish resident from long ago in the keep.

As Richard Jones tells the story ...

"In the 1830s during the construction of a parade ground and barracks, demolition work uncovered the skeleton of a lady bricked into one of the keep’s second-story walls. Three rings upon the boney digits of her fingers and remnants of her silk, tartan dress were evident. There were no clues to her identity, although there was considerable speculation that she may have been walled up alive. The opening of her tomb, however, appears to have roused her revenant, for in 1842 a sentry on guard duty in the keep challenged the figure of a woman who approached him in the early hours of one morning. As she ignored him, he shouted to rouse his fellow guardsmen. Then, raising his bayonet, he charged at the figure. Just as he reached her, the woman simply melted into thin air, whereupon the soldier fainted clean away. Although his comrades did manage to revive him, such was the shock to his system that, having told them what had happened, he promptly fell back and died."

Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland

This ghost story was taken from the book "Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland" by Richard Jones. We would like to thank Richard for graciously allowing us to use his text on Great Castles for some of the ghost stories presented on this site. You can find other stories by Mr. Jones on his web site, Haunted Britain.

About the Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland book: Region by region, ghost-seeker Richard Jones reveals, explains and delights in the tales of tortured phantoms eager to restage their dark and turbulent pasts. The cast of characters ranges from ghostly queens that hurl themselves from the ramparts to malevolent monks that wander the corridors. This authoritative and accessible guide to haunted sites is illustrated throughout and includes extracts from original documents.