Dragsholm Castle and its One Hundred Ghosts

Dragsholm Castle is a stunning castle located on the west coast of Sealand, just an hour’s drive from Copenhagen. The stunning white castle looks like something out of a fairytale and has stood for more than 800 years. It was built in 1215 by the Bishop of Roskilde. It was later modified in the middle ages to be a fortified castle. In fact, the castle was almost impenetrable and said to be the only castle on Zealand to withstand the brutal armies of Count Christoffer.  Today, the castle boasts a Michelin star restaurant, gorgeous suites, rave reviews, and over one hundred ghosts. Yes, you read that right...one hundred ghosts.

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Dragsholm is said to be home to over 100 spirits who are not quite ready to leave this world. One of the reasons Dragsholm is so haunted is because it once served as a prison space for very special prisoners. When the castle was given to King Christian III in 1536, it was modified to become a prison for noble and high-ranking ecclesiastical prisoners. Many of the ghosts are believed to be from these prisoners and the staff that tended to the castle, which remained a prison for almost 100 years. There were several notable prisoners, including the Mad Squire. In life, he was known as Ejler Brockenhuus and was a former confidant of the King. When he was imprisoned and his life coming to an end he began length and incomprehensible diatribes. It is said that you can still hear him rambling in the corridors near his cell.

Another infamous prisoner-turned-ghost was James Hepburn, an Earl. He was the third husband of Mary, Queen of Scots. However, he had previously jilted a Danish fiancee before marrying Mary and when he fled Scotland he sought solace in Denmark. Seeking solace here was...not the best idea. Why? Well not only had he jilted a member of a powerful family, he also ran off with a sizable dowry that her father had given him for his ex-fiancee, Anna Rustung. For this, he was captured and imprisoned in Dragsholm. It was said he went insane while imprisoned and died at the young age of 44. His ghost has frequently been spotted amongst the castle’s grounds and entering the grounds in a ghostly horse-drawn carriage.

Dragsholm is also home to its very own Women in White (or, in this case, Lady in White). It is believed that this ghostly woman was once Celina Bolves, daughter of the powerful and noble Bovles family. Unfortunately for Celina, she fell in love with a laborer far below her own rank. Disregarding her family’s pleas to leave him she remained with him and soon became pregnant with his child. Her father discovered what his daughter had done and imprisoned her in the castle’s dungeons. It was there she died.

Those who have experience the White Lady say that she appears to be looking for someone (perhaps her lover) and often moans or sighs in sorrow because she is never able to find him. Though beautiful, she is often described as a tragic figure who brings a sense of sadness to those who see her.

The most surprising thing about the Lady in White of Dragsholm castle? In the 1930s when workmen were busy repairing the basement plumbing at the castle they discovered a skeleton wearing a white dress imprisoned in a wall.

There is also a happy ghost that haunts the merry halls of Dragsholm. She was a maid that worked at Dragsholm but did not live on the property. One day, after her commute to work, she began complaining of a painful toothache. The generous master of the castle at that time gave her a poultice to help soothe her toothache. Soon enough, she began feeling better and was very grateful. Sadly, shortly after this good deed her life was cut short and she died. It seems her spirit returned to the castle to eternally show her gratitude. She is often seen at night and appears to be a protective and helpful spirit that happily guards Dragsholm.

These are just a few of the ghosts that haunt what is potentially the most haunted castle in Denmark. Do you know of any other hauntings at Dragsholm?


The above image is of Dragsholm Castle taken by Bococo it is licensed under CC-SA 3.0.