Wednesday, June 1, 2016

The Ghosts of Tutbury Castle

Since Bound by Oath and Honour begins in a creepy (inspired by Cannock Chase) forest in beautiful county Staffordshire, I thought it appropriate to write 
a little something paranormal in the castle for instance.

Photograph of Tutbury Castle by Dave Harris

For a time, the great de Ferrers family called this castle home. Later it became a center for some very powerful earls and dukes, such as the great John of Gaunt, 2nd Duke of Lancaster. 

What? You don’t recognize the name? Well somewhere along the way you might have heard of his son, King Henry IV; his grandson, King Henry V; and his great grandson, King Henry VI.

Ahem... moving right along...

Perhaps Tutbury’s biggest claim to fame is as the prison for Mary Queen of Scots. During her lifetime, the castle walls held her captive four different times. No wonder she grew to hate it. Here her nefarious enemies hatched the plot that would lead to her death.

The castle saw more than its fair share of sieges over the centuries. Many times it suffered horrendous carnage. Despite the damage, they would rebuild the castle and it would live on to fight another day—until 1647. During the Civil War surrounding Charles I, Parliament finally had enough and ordered the complete and utter destruction of the castle. Even then it wasn’t entirely annihilated. To this day remains of the castle still stand.

So, despite the ruins, how about those ghosts...

Should it surprise you that Mary Queen of Scots is supposed to haunt the castle? Over the centuries, numerous witnesses have reported seeing her ghostly form. Some have seen her standing in the Great Hall near the window; others have seen her as she flees across the grounds. If that isn’t enough for you, we had a group of about forty no-nonsense men who swear they’ve seen her as well. They said she stood at the top of the South Tower, dressed in a white, flowing gown, reminiscent of the period. At first they thought it was a joke. At. First.

A small boy also calls the castle home. He’s not your usual pasty, translucent ghost either. Witnesses think he’s just as mortal as anyone else. Most of the time one can find him in the Great Hall, near the area of the stairs. He is said to be wearing a shirt that is white in color. They say he’s a playful spirit that does nothing more than drain your batteries and interfere with your electrical equipment. Maybe he needs a toy train or something.

Oh, and our little boy ghost has a playmate. She is known as Ellie and likes to hang out in the King’s bedroom (who wouldn’t). She’ll take hold of your hand when you least expect it. One more thing, if you’re wearing a ring, she may grab it, so watch out!

Finally, we have the phantom known as “The Keeper.” You can’t miss him. He wears  a full suit of armour—and more often than not—is seen in John of Gaunt’s Gateway. He’s also known to yell at the tourists. He’ll say something like, “Get thee hence!”

I don’t know, but maybe that’s our cue to leave! What say you?



  1. I loved your ghost stories. I don't know which ghost I would love to see most..Maybe the Knight that yells "get thee hence lol". Just love all your books Debbie I'm your number 1 fan..

    1. Awwwww! Thanks Tammy! I kind of have a soft spot for knights too....

  2. If a suit of armor in an old castle told me to "get thee hence!" I'd be scrambling out the door, LOL! Another nice "ghostly" post, Debbie. I loved Bound by Oath and Honor. Wishing you an awesome tour!

    1. Yeah... no warm welcome there! Thanks Mae! I love your visits!

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  4. We were at Tutbury castle a few weeks back, at a wedding. My daughter was outside playing with friends. She told me the next morning she had seen a monster running up and down the stairs to the ruin on the hill. It had balls for legs and a mouth that was bigger than its head. She said it kept jumping into the bushes. We asked her to draw a picture. It was then we realised she had drawn a man in armour. It was only when we googled Tutbury ghosts that we realised there is actually a man in armour. She is 5.