Muncaster Castle in Cumbria, England is said to be haunted by the ghost of a court jester. Paranormal researchers often come to the Castle to seek rational explanations of the strange happenings, without success.
Tom Skelton (also known as Tom Fool) was a court jester and he was held in high regard around Muncaster Castle during the late 16th and early 17th century, up until his death sometime in 1600. He was a spiteful character though, who would direct people towards the quicksand when they were looking for directions, if he didn’t like the look of them.
He was also believed to be behind the beheading of a local carpenter, who’s only crime was to fall in love with Sir Ferdinand Penningtons daughter, Helwise. The murder was thought to be under Sir Penningtons orders, and Tom, who was keen to increase his status was keen to oblige.
The current owners of the castle believe Tom is still residing in the castle, and they attribute most of the strange happenings to him, especially the more sinister activities. He’s often felt or heard, but he’s never seen.
The White Lady (also known as the Muncaster Boggle) is a ghost who haunts the gardens and roadways around Muncaster Castle. She is supposedly the ghost of Mary Bragg, a young girl murdered in the early 1800s on the road near the Main Gate.
Mary Bragg was a housekeeper in Ravenglass. She fell in love with a footman at Muncaster Castle, but unfortunately for her so was one of the housemaids. She would meet regularly with the footman, but on one particular night, she was approached by two men who told her that her lover was ill stricken and was requesting her at his bedside. She never did make it though as the two men reportedly took her to the side of the road and murdered her. Her body was found weeks later floating down the Esk River. Her body in such a bad state from the eels in the river, finding a cause of death was impossible. She is now often seen wondering the castle gardens and local roads, perhaps searching for her lover?
The most haunted area in the castle is the Tapestry Room. There have been many reports over the years and visitors complain of the disturbed nights. Those who stay in the room claim to hear footsteps and dragging sounds outside. Some have seen the door handle turning and shaking, and the door opening although nobody is there. A child is frequently heard crying towards the window end of the room. It was once the nursery. Sometimes a lady is heard singing, comforting a sick child. Visitors have also felt cold in the room for no apparent reason and some have experienced the feeling of someone sitting down on the bed, unexplained drops in temperature, and an overwhelming feeling of someone else being in the room.