I'm a Celeb 'ghost' is not alone – UK's most haunted castles boast serial killer jesters, devil dogs and witches' curses

I'M a Celeb fans have been freaked out this week by some unexpectedly spooky additions to the camp at Gwyrch Castle.

A ghostly figure was spotted in the window at of the Welsh ruin during the show's launch, and it's been reported that production staff are too spooked to stay there at night. 

The website for the ITV series' latest venue says that "real life ghost encounters by visitors are commonplace" and workers claim to have seen a floating woman in white and the figure of a servant girl.

Now the mysterious sightings at the castle – the former home of the Countess of Dundonald who is said to roam the corridors – has prompted a renewed interest in Britain's haunted manors.

From the poltergeist of a murdered chambermaid to the spirit of a jester serial killer and a devil dog with burning red eyes, the nation's tourist attractions are bursting with spine-chilling stories.

Here are Britain's most haunted castles, with ghastly ghouls and bloodthirsty battles adding to their spooky history. 

Ghostly 'legs' and screams from the battlements

Visitors to Dover Castle in Kent have reported seeing the "lower half of a man" walking through doorways, including that of the King’s bedchamber.

No haunted castle is complete without a screaming spirit, and a crying woman in a red dress has also been spotted in the west stairway. 

One American couple visiting the castle supposedly heard screams and cries that were extremely realistic, but the staff said there were no recreations on the site that might have made the noise.

The whispering voices heard at night – and doors opening and closing of their own volition – is enough to send shivers down visitors' spines.

Richard Jones writes in his book Haunted Castles of Britain and Ireland: ''Heed the experience of two television researchers who, while walking past the keep, heard a scream from above, as though someone had just flung himself from the battlements.

''Convinced that a suicide was plummeting toward them, they leapt for cover and waited for the impact. Moments later, the screams ceased – but nobody made contact with terra firma (the ground).''

Devil dog with burning red eyes

Warwick Castle is steeped in history, torture and punishment, so it’s no wonder it's one of the most haunted in the country. 

The most frequent sighting is a ghostly figure of a black dog, which is thought to have be the result of a curse laid on the castle by Moll Bloxham – a woman publicly shamed for stealing. 

According to the legend, when Bloxham disappeared, a dog with evil red eyes began stalking the grounds and terrorising its residents. 

While the dog was killed, its ghost still continues to stalk visitors to this day.

Another famous ghost is that of Sir Fulke Greville – brutally stabbed by his servant Ralph Heywood.

Moans are heard in the South Tower, where Greville died, and people have claimed that they’ve witnessed a ghost stepping out of his portrait. 

Jester serial killer walks at night

Scientists have been researching the ghosts in Muncaster since 1992 and they’re still unable to explain many of the castle’s strange occurrences. 

The Cumbria site's most famous ghost is that of Tom Fool (Tomas Skelton), who was a renowned court jester and serial killer. 

Tom was often found under the chestnut tree, just outside the castle doors where travellers came by and asked the way to Ravenglass.

If he didn’t like the look of them he’d direct them to quick sands over the ford, where many would have perished. 

He is also thought to have murdered a local carpenter, decapitating him under the order of Sir William Pennington. 

Skelton died in 1600, but visitors have reportedly heard him walking along the stone flooring, even though the stairs and corridors are carpeted.

A lesser known ghost, Mary Bragg, is thought to be another spirit inhabitant. 

Bregg was murdered by another housemaid after becoming besotted with a footman at the castle. 

Her body was found in the River Esk, with horrendous injuries and decapitation due to the eels in the river. 

Her ghost has supposedly been seen wandering the grounds of the castle and along the local roads, dressed in white.

However, her form varies – some report a misty figure, others a solid form, or a darting figure jumping out in front of cars before vanishing.

'Green lady' died of a broken heart

Built during the 13th century, Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire now belongs to the National Trust for Scotland – but it harbours a dark past. 

Baroness Fyvie, Lilias Drummond, is thought to be the ghostly Green Lady who found her husband having an affair whilst living there.

When Sir Alexander Seton revealed the affair, in 1601, she is thought to have died of a broken heart.

But hell hath no fury like a woman scorned, as her name has been carved into the castle walls, with speculation that her angry ghost is to blame.

The castle is also home to its own Grey Lady, who is thought to be the ghost of Lady Meldrum. 

Her skeleton was found in 1920, and after being given a traditional grave her ghoul started to make an appearance in the castle along with a ghosty trumpeter, another victim of a broken heart. 

Although not supernatural, the castle has three ‘weeping’ stones that always stay wet even when the rest of the stones are dry. 

A 13th century psychic Thomas the Rhymer claimed these were sacred stones which should never have been used in the castle’s construction and meant the castle was cursed never to have a male heir live to maturity.

Gripped by the throat in 'hanging room'

A magnet for ghost hunters, St Briavels castle, Gloucestershire is thought to be one of Britain's most haunted castles.

The castle is home to a ‘hanging’ room where prisoners who had been sentenced to death waited for their upcoming fate.

People have reported feeling like they were physically gripped by the throat whilst in the room.

Some castle visitors have also reported unseen hands tugging at their clothes. 

King John's bedroom is home to one of the castle's most persistent ghosts, with those who have entered encountering pitiful cries resembling that of a baby.

Curse of a Spanish witch and grasping hands

With a fitting name, Chillingham Castle in Northumberland has even prompted poets to wrote about its supernatural nature.

Poet Longfellow wrote:"Through the open doors the harmless phantoms on their errands glide, with feet that make no sounds upon the floors.”

The castle's website asks any potential thrill seekers "Are you brave enough?"

Visitors have reported a Spanish witch who curses those who steal any belongings from the site with bad luck, as well as the rustle of a dress late at night.

Another ghost story tells of an injured soldier who is thought to have lived in the castle’s torture chamber. 

Guests in this castle can stay in Grey’s apartment where Lady Berkeley, like Baroness Fyvie, is thought to have died of heartbreak after hearing about her husband's affair. 

It's not for the faint-hearted as there have also been sightings of the Blue Boy – a skeleton found with blue clothes when the castle walls were renovated. 

With moans coming from the courtyard and unseen hands grasping visitors' arms, this spooky manor wouldn’t disappoint ghost lovers. 

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