The secret history of Closeburn Castle, one of the oldest continually inhabited houses in Scotland~

Closeburn Castle is a tower house and one of the oldest continually inhabited buildings in Scotland. It is located 1 km east of the village of Closeburn, in the historical county of Dumfriesshire. The lands were granted to the Kirkpatrick family back in 1232, with the likelihood that the ancient fortalice was built thereafter. The tower house was probably built in the late 14th century, although some sources give a date as early as 1180 or as late as 1420. In any case, everything about the building was designed for…

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Cereseto castle and its secrets

Cereseto is about 50 kilometres east of Turin and about 30 kilometres northwest of Alessandria, Northern Italy. Probably established around 500–600 AD. and mentioned in records of the Bishop of Asti from around 957 AD., it is perched on a hill, and is dominated by its castle. The town was the property of the Graseverto family of Asti, who probably built the first castle around 900–1000 AD, but completely demolished in 1600. It was 1910 when the financier Riccardo Gualino and his wife launched construction of a new castle with…

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The princes in the Tower of London: one of the great mysteries of English history

In the White Tower, the old keep at the Tower of London, there is a small staircase tucked away near the entrance. Called the Two Princes Staircase, it’s where the skeletons of two young boys, one aged about 10 and the other 13 were found during renovations in 1674. It’s widely believed the skeletons are of the two princes who disappeared at the site in the late 15th century. And this is one of the great mysteries of English history. Though there has yet to be any scientific evidence to…

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Diósgyőr Castle | Hungary

We are in the historical town of Diósgyőr which is now part of the Hungarian city Miskolc. Diósgyőr castle is a window into the traditions and history of this often-forgotten section of Northern Hungary and, in fact, It’s unlikely that you will find many tourists in this part of country. Its walls were likely constructed around the 13th-century upon a rock hill elevating from the valley of the Szinva stream, and the castle itself has a complicated history, as it was destroyed not long after its construction during a Mongol…

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Squire’s Castle: the only structure from a huge mansion that was never built

The so-called Squire’s Castle sits upon a slight hilltop right off of Chagrin River Road just north of Route 6 in Willoughby Hills, Ohio. Its massive stone walls, arched doorways and larger tower have enchanted visitors for generations. However, It isn’t actually a castle, but rather the gatehouse to a castle that was never built. And apparently there are two versions of why the building never materialized…. In the late-19th century, such a Feargus B. Squire (1850-1932), attracted by the beauty of the scenic Chagrin Valley purchased 525 acres there.…

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The “curse” of the Wooden Man of Egeskov Castle

We are on the Danish island of Funen (Fyn), near Odense. Hidden among the dusty rafters beneath Egeskov Castle spire is a curious wooden doll. No one knows to whom it belonged, how old the doll is, how long it has been there, or how it came to be left in the dark attic of the imposing 16th-century castle. The dust-covered figure is the size of a child and has been left, as if asleep, on a old pillow. Egeskov Castle is one of 123 manor houses and castles on…

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Voergaard Castle: a Danish castle supposedly haunted by a woman too independent to not be a witch….

In short, it is said that the lady of this Renaissance castle had the architect thrown into the moat and left to drown, so that he could never build another one like it… Voergaard Castle, locally know as Voergaard Slot, is popular both for its art collection and for its ghost stories, and it is located in Drottninglund, in northeastern Denmark. It houses works by artista like Goya, Rubens, and Raphael, as well as furniture belongining to both Louis XIV and Louis XVI and, with its oldest part dating back…

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Larnach Castle: a haunted castle high on a hill

Larnach Castle, one of only two castles in all of New Zealand, has a rich history, spotted with family drama, death, and a variety of ghost stories and, given the facts, It’s unsurprising then that its owner’s ghost is said to be a bit tetchy. The interior is filled with vintage furniture, beautiful designs, and cat artwork. However, this architectural oddity would be difficult to stumble across, unless you knew it was there. Hidden in the South Island is the city of Dunedin. Wandering through its streets, you’ll find dozens…

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Corenno Plinio: enchanting medieval hamlet on the eastern branch of Como Lake

Corenno Plinio is a small and charming medieval settlement just few minutes far from Dervio, on the eastern branch of Como Lake, Italy. It is an enchanted place that few people know, that stands atop a stone spur overlooking the waters of lake.Walking through its narrow streets and along the stairs built in the rocks, from the castle to the lake, it is impossible not to be charmed by this small hamlet that sweats history in every corner.Not by chance, it is also know as “The village of a thousand…

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The legend of the ghost playing the bagpipe at Edinburgh Castle

Every self-respecting Scottish castle has its own ghost, whether scary or melancholy, based on the history of each individual manor. In Edinburgh Castle, the best known in Scotland, a ghost (and maybe even more than one) could not be missing. As story goes, on a summer night of an unspecified year a few centuries ago, a red-haired boy dressed in a worn kilt probably left by his father, and with even more worn-out shoes, was chosen for a mission that did not seem so dangerous. The access to numerous tunnels…

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12 Ways Halloween is celebrated around the globe

In America, people associate Halloween with pumpkins, costumes, candy, and spooky stories or ghosts but, around the world, it could be a little different. The holiday might look slightly different this year since we are still in the midst of a global pandemic, but we can reminisce on years past. If most places in the U.S. celebrate Halloween in much the same way, one city that stands apart is New Orleans. This town loves both to party and voodoo, so one can find things here they couldn’t anywhere else, from…

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Saint Marcel, a castle haunted by hooded souls

In Surpian, a small hamlet of the municipality of Saint-Marcel, 12 km from italian city of Aosta, stands an imposing castle, Saint Marcel (in french château de Saint-Marcel), probably built in the fourteenth century by Giacomo di Challant and now in a state of complete abandonment (with the exception of some recent restoration interventions). It is located on a plateau at a crossroads of paths leading along the valley bottom and the roads towards the larger valley located to the south, known since Medieval times for the presence of iron,…

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Pidhirtsi Castle: one of the most valuable palace-garden complexes in the Ukrainian’s eastern borderlands—and one of the most haunted!

We are in Pidhirtsi, Ukraine. For believers, the country itself is filled with legends and mysticism, and Pidhirsti castle (Ukrainian: Підгорецький замок; Polish: zamek w Podhorcach) is also known as one of the most haunted castles in Ukraine. Tales surround Maria Zhevusska, the wife of Vaclav Zhevussky, a mysterious lady in white whose spirit is said to still wander around the castle. According to the legend, Vaclav Zhevussky, a former owner of the castle, walled up alive his young wife in the castle’s basement. The reason for such a terrible…

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Łapalice Castle – The never completed derelict mansion of a Polish artist.

This eerie castle rots within the small village of Łapalice, Poland. It was abandoned before it was even completed, essentially doomed to exist as a shadow of what it could have become. However Zamek Łapalice, in Polish, isn’t an ancient castle or medieval fortress at all: Its construction began in 1979, and it was meant to be a studio for local artist Piotr Kazimierczak, who was granted permission to build a 170sq/m work studio on a patch of ground overlooking the lake. But he planned for it to be a…

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The abandoned Spitzer Castle in Beočin – Serbia

We are in the town of Beočin, on the slopes of Fruška Gora mountain, where rests a peculiar building, in ruins and long forgotten. Locally known as Spitzer Castle, the mansion was built in the late 19th century by Eduard Ede Spitzer, co-owner of the Beočin cement factory. The building is one of the rare examples of the eclectic architecture in Serbia’s northern province of Vojvodina. Spitzer hired the famous architect Imre Steindl, best known for his work on the Hungarian Parliament Building in Budapest, to design and engineer the…

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Sinhagad: the lion’s fort in Pune – India

We are in Thoptewadi, India. Here stands a fort that for centuries was called Kondhana, named after the monk Kaundinya. The nearby temple and cave carvings indicate that the building is around 2,000 years old, despite it changed hands several times over the years as different factions controlled the region during the middle ages. The fort was important because of its strategic location, perched on an isolated cliff in the Bhuleswar range of the Sahyadri Mountains, 1,312 meters above sea level, and it is ‘naturally’ protected due to its very…

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Maglič fortress: a mysterious 13th century piece of serbian history

Maglič is a 13th century medieval castle about 15 km southwest of the town of Kraljevo, in central Serbia, located on a hilltop surrounded by the curvy Ibar river. It is said that its name, Maglič, come from the Serbian word “magla” meaning fog, as the hill underneath often disappears in the mist. It is the best preserved and one of the finest examples of the Serbian medieval fortifications, built along the important Medieval roads for protection and control of traffic and trade. It’s unknown when the castle was constructed,…

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Paronella park: a castle hand built by a Spanish dreamer in the Australian tropical jungle.

In Queensland, Australia, lies an old castle built by a Spanish immigrant that, for a while, had one problem after another. Abandoned for several years, it has now become one of the most popular tourist sites in Queensland. Its story began when a young native of Catalonia, Spain, José Paronella, moved to a nearby town and became a baker. He discovered it was much harder than he had imagined, and, when he saw an advertisement for work in Australia, he took a chance and arrived in Sydney in 1913 at…

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Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel – the splendid “Castle in the Rockies” and all its stories~

Even if you’re not from Canada, you’ve likely heard about “The Castle in the Rockies”. Fairmont Banff Springs is one of the world’s most iconic hotels, and it is located high in the Rocky Mountains in Alberta. It was built in 1888, because this area was a stop along the Canadian Pacific Railroad, and this turned out to be a wise decision, in fact the regions’ natural beauty attracts thousands of tourists from around the world every year. The first structure was built of wood and tragically burnt down in…

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Burgruine Gösting: the castle ruins over Graz – Austria

Sitting in a valley surrounded by rugged hills, Graz is the second largest city in Austria and has historically been an important point of passage between Western and Eastern Europe. In medieval times, the hills around the city were fortified with watch towers and castles for defensive purposes. Few of these fortifications remain today, but one of the highest peaks still boasts the eerie ruins of one Gösting Castle, as a relic of the Holy Roman Empire. Due to its good strategic location, the castle controlled the narrow Mura valley…

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Edward Leedskalnin and the mysteries of Coral Castle

Coral Castle is one of the most visited places in Florida and is the most modern monolithic complex in the world, made with calcareous oolite. Commonly mistakenly believed to be made of coral, it is made with oolite, a sedimentary rock composed of small spherical grains of concentrically layered carbonate that may include localized concentrations of fossil shells and coral. Castle’s story is very interesting, still today shrouded in mystery. It all began in 1923 when Edward Leedskalnin, at the age of thirty-eight, moved to Florida in search of a…

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The battle of Frangokastello -Crete- and the Drosoulites

We are in Greece: Frangokastello, located in the south west coast of Crete, is a beautiful Venetian castle that was built in 1371 as a garrison to impose order on the rebellious Sfakia region and to deter pirates. It is just another testament to the Venetians desire to impose their rule, as the castle was never used by them. The castle has a rectangular shape, with a tower at each corner and the remains of a Venetian coat of arms above the main gate. The buildings within the walls and…

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In the Footsteps of wizard Merlin: Tintagel castle and underneath cave

High on the jagged cliffs of England’s southwestern coastline lies not only the remains of an abandoned castle but the mythical birthplace as well of one of most popular legends: King Arthur. And in the coastal cliffs beneath Tintagel Castle in Cornwall, lies an echoingly atmospheric cave. But, if the stories of old are to be believed, the cave may once have been home to Merlin, the popular wizard of Arthurian legend. Tintagel Castle has long been linked with King Arthur, as far back as Geoffrey of Monmouth wrote his…

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Georgetown Castle: an allegedly haunted mansion with a tragic, tawdry past.

Victorian house in Georgetown looked like a dream home to me at first. But after the stories I heard, I probably wouldn’t even spend a night alone in the “Georgetown Castle.” In fact, it seems that the house is home to a healthy population of ghosts! In the Georgetown neighborhood of Seattle, most of the buildings are single story homes and, of course, house shaped. But if you’re searching for something different wherever you go, look no further than this building, located in the old, industrial area of Seattle, WA,…

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Menlo Castle: an Irish abandoned castle claimed by nature

We are in Ireland, just outside of Galway City on the banks of the River Corrib that flows through the city into Galway Bay. This mysterious abandoned castle is visible right from across the river from the National University of Ireland, Galway and it is so thoroughly overgrown with vegetation it is almost disappearing into the scenery. The 16th-century castle, not by chance known also “Blake Castle”, was the ancestral home of the Blake family, English nobles that inhabited the Menlo estate from 1569 up until a fire destroyed the…

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Lakewood, Washington: Historic Thornewood Castle and its ghosts

This magnificent three story manor home was built by Chester Thorne, who was one of the founders of the Port of Tacoma (a major seaport and top 10 U.S. container port), as a gift to his bride, Anna. After almost four years of works, the 2.500 square meters manor was finally ready in 1911 and only the very best went into its building, including 400-year-old bricks from an original English castle. Designed by a famous architect, Kirkland Cutter, this English Tudor/Gothic mansion, having 54 rooms, including 28 bedrooms and 22…

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