***Visit Chillingham Castle***

The castle was originally a monastery in the late 12th century. In 1298, King Edward I, or "Edward Longshanks", stayed at the castle on his way to Scotland to battle a Scottish army led by William Wallace. A window was specially installed for the king, a rarity in such buildings at the time.

The castle occupied a strategically important location in medieval times: it was located on the border between two feuding nations. It was used as a staging post for English armies entering Scotland, but was also repeatedly attacked and besieged by Scottish armies and raiding parties heading south. The site contained a moat, and in some locations the fortifications were 12 feet thick.

The building underwent a series of enhancements, and in 1344 a license was issued by King Edward III to allow battlements to be built, effectively upgrading the stronghold to a fully fortified castle, of quadrangular form.

In 1617, James I, the first king of both England and Scotland, stayed at the castle on a journey between his two kingdoms. As relations between the two countries became peaceful following the union of the crowns, the need for a military stronghold in the area declined. The castle was gradually transformed; the moat was filled, and battlements were converted into residential wings. A banquet hall and a library were built.

In the 18th and 19th century the grounds underwent landscaping, including work carried out by Sir Jeffry Wyattville. The once extensive park, now under a separate ownership from the castle, is home to the famous Chillingham Wild Cattle.

During World War II, the castle was used as an army barracks. During this time, much of the decorative wood is said to have been stripped out and burned by the soldiers billeted there. After the war, the castle began to fall into disrepair. Lead had been removed from the roof, resulting in extensive weather damage to large parts of the building. In the 1980s, the castle was purchased by Sir Humphry Wakefield, 2nd Baronet, whose wife Catherine is remotely descended from the Greys of Chillingham. He set about a painstaking restoration of the castle.

Chillingham Castle is widely regarded as one of, if not the, most haunted places in the country. Dating back over 800 years this castle was built for one purpose and one purpose alone, killing. In the heart of Northumberland the castle was the first line of defence, preventing the Scots getting over the border to invade England back in the days of William Wallace when the castle was ruled over by King Edward I (Edward Long shanks). It has a truly amazing, yet horrific history and that's why its one of the most haunted places on Earth. Ghost-story.co.uk decided to take a tour of the castle to see if it deserved its fearsome reputation, this is our report.

The Dungeon is a very small room with markings scratched into the mortar where prisoners have kept count of how many days they have left to live. The prisoners could expect to have had their arms and legs broken before being thrown 20ft down a hole into the Oubliette and left there to die, either from starvation or their injuries. Sometimes prisoners would start to eat chunks of flesh from others and even their own bodies in a vain attempt to prolong their life. It has been reported that if you look down through the grate covering the Oubliette you can see the remains of a young girl looking back up at you. These are the remains of the last person to be killed here. Many people have experienced things here, orbs have been seen and photographed and some people have actually picked up emotions from the room. The room has a depressing feel to it.

We took several photos using a digital camera but they did not show any abnormalities, however one of the party noticed his camera's battery had dropped to half power from a full charge in just a few minutes. One of the party had brought an EMF detector to try to find any abnormalities in the electromagnectic field, we located several hot spots where the readings would be significantly higher than the background readings.

Next up is the Torture Chamber, nearly all of the torture implements are in perfect working order and each is as sick and deranged as the next. The floor is on a slope, this was so the blood could drain away down to one side of the room. For many thousands of Scots this will have been the last place they ever saw. The torturer here was a man called John Sage, he was a major celebrity in his day. Before he was a torturer he was one of King Edward's best men in the battlefield, and had worked his way up to the rank of Lieutenant. Sage was injured one day whilst at battle, his leg was wounded and he couldn't fight anymore. Sage begged Long shanks to keep him on in some capacity and he was given the role of castle torturer. Sage was a brutal man, he hated the Scots and he revelled in the role, even devising some devices of his own.

There is a boiling pot, gadgets for gouging eyes out, barrels full of spikes that would have had a prisoner tied in and rolled around until the flesh was ripped from the body and they died in agony, there are cages that would have been attached to a prisoners stomach and a starved rat would be put inside and the only way out for the rat was to eat his way out through the victim! Some of the things the prisoners would have endured at the hands of this man are unimaginable. Sage tortured upwards of 50 people a week for the three years he held down this job. There are many torture devices on show. The guide tells us he never comes down here on his own as he has felt a malevolent presence here on more than one occasion

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