Travel to Isle of Man

Alan Shaw, a ghost tour guide on the Isle of Man, shares a chilling tale of a ghostly gathering at sea ”After one of my ghost tours last year, a young man shared his own haunting experience with me: I decided to take my dog for a walk one evening. The Moon was shining brightly as I made my way to the seashore at Niarbyl Bay. I often walk in this beautiful place; there’s a row of abandoned cottages lining the seafront, which adds to the eerie atmosphere. As I stood looking at the Moon’s reflection on the sea, I began to feel as if somebody was watching me. “I turned around to see a figure standing in the doorway of one of the cottages, the figure was wispy and indistinct and I froze on the spot. Then another figure appeared to my left, then another and another – until there were a whole crowd of ghostly figures walking towards the sea. I felt as if something momentous was happening. I was afraid and I tried not to look at them. I called my dog and scrambled back up the cliff path. When I peered back over the cliff I saw dozens of ghost people staring out to sea!’”

CASTLE RUSHEN, CASTLETOWN This well-preserved medieval castle stands in the historic town of Castletown. According to Isle of Man ghost tour guide Alan Shaw, “The ghost of a little girl haunts the guardroom of Castle Rushen. She appears near the fireplace wearing a brown, ragged dress. She has piercing blue eyes and rosy red cheeks. “In 2011, a family holidaying on the island told me about an experience that their daughter had here. She wandered upstairs into the guardroom while her parents were listening to a tour guide. Minutes later, she ran back down the stairs, screaming – she described seeing a little girl standing in the fireplace. When she said hello’, the little girl disappeared.”

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MILNTOWN HOUSE, NEAR RAMSEY Milntown House, a quirky building which looks like a cross between a fairytale castle and a novelty iced cake, is said to be the most-haunted building on the island. “The woman in white is the ghost seen most often,” explains Alan Shaw. “A lady researching the history of Milntown was sitting in the house’s gardens, when she felt as if somebody was standing behind her. She turned around to see a spectral figure of a woman in a white dress emerging from a stone wall. The ghost turned to look at the researcher. She asked if she could help and the ghost said: Yes, I’m Susan and I’m looking for Henry’, before disappearing. The researcher was later flicking through a book about Milntown when she noticed an oil painting that had once hung in the house. It was a portrait of Susan Christian, whose fiveyear-old son, Henry, had drowned in a stream in the gardens.”

PEEL CASTLE Located on St Patrick’s Isle and connected by a causeway to the Isle of Man, the sad tale of Eleanor Cobham, Duchess of Gloucester, is woven into the lore of this castle. It’s said that Eleanor was sentenced to life imprisonment here for witchcraft. A phantom black dog has been spotted stalking the castle, striking terror in all who sees it. Interestingly, a black dog also haunts Leeds Castle in Kent, where the Duchess was first imprisoned. Could the black hound be connected to the restless spirit of this unhappy woman?

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