We have seen haunted castles in books and movies. Since our childhood bedtime stories, we have been taught that castles often house scary ghosts. But are castles more prone to hauntings than other places? And if so, why?
As a general rule, the main cause of hauntings of castles is their long history and the vast number of people passing through. Strong emotions cause residual and intelligent hauntings. The stone tape theory might also be applicable as castles often are made of stone.
Castles are prone to ghost activity due to their mere age. The emotional connection with their owners or caretakers is also present. The fear of losing their precious possessions and wealth keeps some spirits emotionally anchored to castles.
Why castles are prone to hauntings
Castles are prone to hauntings because of their (often) long history. With age, many people have passed by and this increases the likelihood of hauntings. The walls have seen many destinies, happy and sad ones through the ages. As all historical sites, they are charged with energy.
Castles were built for protection and to show off strength and power. The architecture of castles is made to strengthen the hierarchy of the social system. Castles are practical status objects, so to speak. As life was quite ruff and violent back in the days; the owner had to protect their wealth and show off their power on a constant basis. This energy of these fears and aggressions melts into the mesh creating the perfect storm for hauntings.
As a castle is the ultimate sign of high status, it can be hard to let go of. Especially if you dedicated your whole life to hold on to it. A ghost might feed on the riches that gave them joy and benefits in life. It’s important to remember that much injustice was going on back in the day as well. On the receiving end of the show of power were the ordinary people, or even in some cases slaves. The destiny of these people is also imprinted in the mesh of the castle.
When we look at the mix of power, abuse, fear, injustice, force, brutality, and rivalry, it’s easy to understand that castles might be prone to hauntings. Not only by its owners but by its subjects as well.
As the castles often housed dungeons and prisons, it’s easy to understand that negative energy might accumulate as well. The same goes with the strict hierarchy of high society, aristocracy, and royalty. The system might have caused much pain and sorrow in the everyday life. Love doesn’t follow the rules of hierarchy. The whirlpool of emotions is a super-charger for paranormal activity.
- Emotional anchor for owners
- Long history of people dwelling inside
- Violent and turblent times – focus on keeping the wealth
- Status that is hard to let go off
- Injustace and violence
Lore and myths regarding castles
Some say that haunted castles are mostly a myth because they look airy and creepy. There are often legends associated with castles that tend to blur the truth. I’m very familiar with tales from my folkloristic studies. Many places do get a bad reputation due to the mere fact that they look airy. But many castles have recorded paranormal activity occurring, so I don’t entirely agree with this theory. When visiting castles I often feel that tingling sensation of energy. But this is of course me, again.
Another thing to consider is the possibility that the owners of the castles created myths themselves in an attempt to keep people away. In the folkloristic field, we see this all the time, with ghosts and entities luring in the woods. The aim is to keep children away from harm.
When it comes to castles we need to remember that entities and supernatural creatures were very frightening back in the day, even for adults. No one wanted to be connected to the supernatural as it staged a danger in the light of the religious laws. This is just my own reflection, from my background in history and folkloristics.
It has become very popular with paranormal tourism. When you google haunted castles the top results are for haunted travel destinations. With that said, it’s easy to understand how people might want to capitalize on paranormal activity – and even make things up. I’m not saying that everything is fake, but my gut feeling says not all is real. So in this case, I understand how some say that most castle hauntings are fake.
The stone tape theory
As most castles are constructed in stone, the stone tape theory is a cause of the hauntings. The belief is that certain stones and crystals have the power to absorb human energy and later replay it, like a tape recorder. The residents’ thoughts and emotions are thought to be recorded in the building structure and replayed when the circumstances are right. This might be why castles are prone to hauntings. Stone tape hauntings are often residual and not intelligent, though.
However, there is no evidence that the stone tape theory works. There is an in-depth clarification on why this is in the video above. There is no plausible way for human emotions and experiences to be embedded in stone as we know of. The theory is not scientific but an idea adapted by pop culture.
There are mediums and psychics that say they are able to extract information from objects and structures, also called psychometry. So there might be a way, outside of science, to retrieve recordings of the past.
It is always important to keep an open mind and challenge ideas and theories at times. In my view, the stone tape theory is something based on the psychic ether, not necessarily earthly. Let us see what the future holds.
Emotional connection to precious possessions
The most common cause of hauntings in castles is strong emotions. Many wealth and status are intertwined in the emotional mesh and can quickly become emotional anchors for the dead. Emotions are the most common reason for hauntings overall, so this phenomenon is not unique to castles.
As an art historian, I have studied the importance of wealth and status closely. Much of the art pictures glorified estates and owners. The portraits were not to look realistic, they were to look strong, rich, and powerful. Many hauntings in castles are as well connected with art and mirrors. If you start moving art or furniture, paranormal things start to happen. This is something that is well known among art historians and curators – but not always discussed in public.
Have you ever seen the airy staring portraits that piers your mind? I understand that movies have made a thing out of moving eyes in artworks. It is a twitch of truth to it! It’s more of a feeling though than true motion.
There are similar factors involved in hauntings for churches as well. The emotions are just different. If you want to learn more about emotional anchors and how they might cause hunting, please read the article below.
Why ghosts haunt: The most common reasons
Learn more about the causes of hauntings.
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