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. 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 in Chillingham Castle 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 in Chillingham Castle 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 of Chillingham Castle tells us he never comes down here on his own as he has felt a malevolent presence here on more than one occasion.