How Haunted is Bolsover Castle?

Bolsover Castle

The Chilling History Of Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle is a historic building with a rich and macabre history. It’s changed hands many times since its construction by the Peveril family around the 12th century. After they built it, it became the crown’s property in 1155. Construction finished shortly after the untimely death of William “the Younger” Peveril. Then, in the 13th century, the Peveril Castle property was purchased by the Earls of Derby.

During this time, the castle experienced a siege in 1215 as part of a baron’s revolt against King John. And although there were some surviving parts, it slowly fell into disrepair.

In 1553, the castle got purchased by Sir George Talbot. He married a young lady named ‘Bess of Hardwick.’ Later, in the 17th century, Bess’s step-brother, Sir Charles, took ownership of the ruins. He acquired them from Earls of Shrewsbury in 1608. It was during this period that the real work on the castle began.

The expansion of Bolsover Castle

Sir Charles began working with a renowned architect named Robert Smythson. And the two built an entirely new castle that they completed around 1621. This new building would become known as ‘Little Castle’ but only stayed ‘little’ for a while.

Under the continued guidance of Sir Charles’ sons, additional construction carried on. John and William Cavendish kept expanding the home. Then, it fell into ruins once again during the English Civil War. The brothers had added new halls just before its demise. And a stateroom to the iconic and romantic ruined Terrace Range.

Bolsover Castle today

Once again, the castle was reconstructed and passed from owner to owner. Until finally, it came under the care of English Heritage.

Today, it is still under its care and has become a tourist attraction that draws in crowds from all over the globe. The attraction has plenty to offer guests, including educational visits. And facilities like a gift shop, public toilets, and much more.

You can find this magnificent testament to old English history in Castle Street in Derbyshire.

Despite everything, Little Castle remains a highlight of Bolsover Castle. It has well-preserved interiors, including the carved marble fireplaces. And it has richly coloured wall paintings and beautifully painted ceilings. William Cavendish and architect John Smythson completed all of these. It may be a surprise (given its horrible history), but they retain their original beauty.

The Ghosts Of Bolsover Castle

Bolsover Castle’s undeniably haunted. Guest and staff have reported Numerous ghost encounters over the years. Not only have apparitions been bold enough to appear in daylight here. But unexplained events around the grounds and old buildings have caused visitors’ hair to stand on end!

So, what lurks behind the walls surrounding this lavish party palace? Some lucky few have had face-to-face encounters. But you may be the first to record concrete evidence of these rumoured hauntings. Of course, you’ll need some high-quality ghost-hunting equipment to do that. So remember to check out our site before your next visit to Bolsover!

Apparitions and spooky spectres

One of the most commonly encountered ghosts at Bolsover Castle is that of a young boy. The boy is said to enjoy holding the hands of women as they stroll through the castle’s gardens. So if you’re visiting the gardens and are easily frightened, beware. You may want to keep your hands tucked into your pockets!

Another well-known apparition is the Grey Lady, who patrols the castle’s fountain, garden, and grounds day and night. There are many reports of eerie moans, mournful sobbing. And bone-chilling disembodied screams around the riding house and parapets, we can’t help but wonder. Do these haunting sounds come from the infamous Grey Lady?

Paranormal Activity

There are more than just the two ghosts who enjoy the spectacular surroundings of the castle’s gardens. Other supernatural occurrences seem familiar around the castle.

Even some previous (and current) staff have reported experiencing the otherworldly hauntings first-hand! Many claim that seeing apparitions and experiencing poltergeist activity is part of daily life. So be prepared if you decide to take up a job at the notorious Bolsover Castle.

Some other paranormal phenomena at the castle include frequent sightings of orbs. There are balls of white light and disembodied voices. You can hear the sounds of ghostly footsteps up and down the stairs around the property. The castle’s history has seen ruin and neglect over the years. And unsurprisingly, more than a few lost souls have claimed the grounds as their eternal resting place.

Additionally, the security guards who protect the castle at night have claimed to see unexplained lights. And movement through the windows while out on their patrols. And while this may not seem creepy initially, they always claim to see these shadows and flickering lights. Long after, the castle’s locked up for the day.


Can visitors spend the night at Bolsover Castle?

Unfortunately, guests can only visit the castle grounds during visiting hours. The visiting hour is between 10 am and 5 pm. That means there’s no chance of overnight stays or spooky midnight ghost hunts. Still, there are some late-night events and ghost tours. During one of these late-night events, you can try to snap a picture of the famous ghosts here.

Is there accommodation close to Bolsover Castle?

You can’t stay on the castle’s grounds. But there is plenty of nearby accommodation you can rent out if you want to extend your trip.

Several hotels and bed and breakfasts are within walking distance of the castle, including Bolsover House. Its self-catering accommodation is charming and perfect for amateur ghost hunters. You’ll be close enough to pick up on some activity on the castle grounds.

Can I explore the haunted areas of Bolsover Castle?

Of course, you can explore the more haunted areas of the castle. And if you like, you can join in on a paranormal investigation with other ghost-enthusiast groups.

Guided tours are available at certain times of the year. And offer you the chance to explore the castle in the dead of night when all the ghouls and poltergeists come out to play. Just remember your torch! If you forget it, you’ll be alone in the dark with some of the castle’s most notorious spectres.

What are the most haunted castles in the UK?

There are many haunted castles in the United Kingdom. Some of the commonly known haunted castles are Glamis Castle, Dover Castle, and Eilean Donan Castle.


Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!