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Belvoir Castle

Three "witches", Joan Flower and her daughters Margaret and Philippa haunt the grounds of the castle. Francis, the Sixth Earl of Rutland, suffered a number of tragedies when his two sons died and in an effort to blame someone, remembered Margaret Flower who had worked briefly at the castle but been dismissed for stealing food. The three Flowers ladies were arrested and questioned, accused of witchcraft and, while the mother died in prison, the daughters were hanged.

Update: 21/7/21: Senior Guide at the castle, Christopher McCallion informs me, "I have experienced two incidents and I know of a few other instances.

When I was up in the Shepards Tower cleaning the Dukes silver on a warm summer’s afternoon. I had all the windows open and distinctly heard the sound of horse's hooves on cobbles coming from the castle’s court yard. I know that this could not be actually happening as there are no cobbled areas within the castle or its court yard, the court yard hasn’t been open to traffic, as in there is no way of getting into it with a horse and hasn’t been for about 200 years and finally, there were no horses about the place. I chalked it up to be as one of those odd Belvoir things until I learnt that the central court yard used to have a cobbled surface.

The second occurrence happened not long before the horses' hooves. Again, it was a warm summer’s day and the castle was open to the public, but it was late in the day and we were just about to start closing up. I walked down the staircase from the ball room and was making my way towards the forty-acre landing stairs when I had a sudden intense smell of flowers, my thought was 'ooh the castle smells nice today' and carried on. Another guide was a couple of minutes behind me also mentioned that she had smelt the same thing in that spot. When we both returned to the spot, the smell was now faint and then vanished. The other guide then told me that she knew exactly what it was and it was the 5th Duchess’s perfume. She knew this, as the 5th Duchess’s dressing table set is in the silver vault and still has some of her perfume in one of the bottles. She had been shown and smelt this due to the Butler showing her it when he was cleaning the castle’s silver.

Since then, I have smelt the scent in several places around the castle and after investigating the immediate area for possible sources, such as pot pouri or flowers and finding none, its left me with a smile knowing that the castles architect, who died before seeing the finished castle, is still about her masterpiece.

Several of the guides and other castle staff has heard a crying boy within our dooms (cellars) Again, after further investigation they haven’t found any source and the sound isn’t confined to one particular set of dooms and has been heard within multiple locations.

The children have experienced voices and the sensation of being pinned down. This occurred when the present family moved into the castle, so everything was quite new to them. Lady Alice and Violet have said that they had been pinned down in bed and a voice saying "this is not your castle." After several months, this activity died away and there have been no occurrences since.

I have found the castle to be a warm friendly feeling place, with the exception of the Earls Landing. The light for this has been wired in a unique way, that it has 3 light switches in different locations, one by the picture gallery door does the whole chandelier on two switches, the one by the Regent's gallery door does one half of the chandelier and the one at the bottom of the stairs also does the same half too. So, when I have had to close up after a wedding and its late at night and half the lights have been left on, I have had to go to the far end of the landing, turn off all the lights and then run down the stairs guided by the light on the forty-acre landing below. In doing this, I get a sense of it being very close and being watched. I cannot explain the reason for this, but there being 9 full length portraits of the Earls may not have helped."


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