Haunted by ghosts and other supernatural creatures, Corfe Castle has been the source of many spine-tingling tales and in the night the light of the Will-o’-the-wisp flicker as the ghost roams the ruins.  

Step into Corfe Castle and explore its notorious history of hauntings, ghastly apparitions, and spine-tingling folklore in the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset, England. 

With tales of mysterious spirits walking the halls, eerie sightings on misty mornings, and other supernatural phenomena, this castle is considered to be among the most haunted places in Britain.

The History of The Corfe Castle

Corfe Castle has been both a Saxon stronghold and a Norman fortress before it became a royal castle and was established by William the Conqueror on the steep hill way back between 1066 and 1087 and saw the wars, coronation and the ebb and flow of British history take form over the years. 

Read More: Check out all of the Haunted Castles from around the world

The castle was partially destroyed in the English Civil War in 1646 when the Parliamentarians laid siege on it. They toppled the once great castle and laid it to the ruins you see today on top of the hill. Corfe castle remains now a majestic ruin and an image of how medieval castle used to be.

The Strange Lights from the Ruins

When people have walked through the abandoned ruins stripped for its royal glory, they have also encountered strange things some claim have been of the paranormal sort. 

Read Also: The Pagan Haunting of Die Karlsteine in Osnabrück for more stories of Will-o’-the-wisp

More than once there have been reports of strange flickering lights moving like pixie light or Will-o’-the-wisp around the grounds at night. Some speculate that it is the soldiers from the English civil war, some say it is something more ancient. 

Haunted by ghosts and other supernatural creatures, Corfe Castle has been the source of many spine-tingling tales and in the night the light of the Will-o'-the-wisp flicker as the ghost roams the ruins.  
Will-o’-the-wisp: In Welsh folklore, it is said that the light is “fairy fire” held in the hand of a púca, or pwca, a small goblin-like fairy that leads lone travellers off the beaten path at night. As the traveller follows the púca through the marsh or bog, the fire is extinguished, leaving them lost. The púca is said to be one of the Tylwyth Teg, or fairy family. In Wales the light predicts a funeral that will take place soon in the locality. 

The Starved Child Ghost in the Cottage

There have also been said that they have heard a child’s cry from inside a small cottage that is located next to the castle ruins and on the castle grounds. When checking both the cottage and the grounds, there have been no children to be found. 

People speculate that it is the child of the 4th Lord of Bramber, William de Braose who fell out of favor with the king and is most known for carrying out the Abergavenny Massacre where he lured three Welsh Princes and other Welsh leaders to their death. It is said that his wife and child starved to death at Corfe Castle. 

The young son William and his wife Maud de Clare were starved or possibly killed by King John in 1210 when they were held in prison in  Corfe Castle because of the crimes of his father as he fled the country and died in exile. 

The Lady in White of Corfe Castle

One of the most famous legends about Corfe Castle is that of the Lady in White. It is said that she wanders the castle grounds, clad in a long white dress. It is said to be the ghost of Lady Mary Bankes who fought through two sieges during the Civil War before being betrayed by her own in 1646 when the Parliamentary soldiers took the castle.

The most frightening thing about seeing her specter though is that she is said to be headless as she is drifting through the ruins. 

Haunted by ghosts and other supernatural creatures, Corfe Castle has been the source of many spine-tingling tales and in the night the light of the Will-o'-the-wisp flicker as the ghost roams the ruins.  
The Lady in White In Wales: Y Ladi Wen or Dynes Mewn Gwyn (Woman in white) is dressed in white, her presence most notable during Calan Gaeaf, the Welsh Halloween. Known for being a ghostly figure, sometimes terrifying, and is often invoked to caution children against misbehavior. She is characterized in various ways and may even seek help if spoken to. Y Ladi Wen is also associated with restless spirits guarding hidden treasures. Throughout Wales, places inspired by sightings and tales of Y Ladi Wen can be found. For example, Ewenny has White Lady’s Meadow and White Lady’s Lane, while St Athan also has a tradition associated with Y Ladi Wen.

Brave Dame Mary and her Defence of the Castle

Mary Bankes earned the title Brave Dame Mary and was a Royalist and defended the castle for three years under a siege during the English Civil War from 1643 to 1645 when she took control over the castle as her husband was sent to fight in London and Oxford.

Brave Dame Mary: holding the keys with Corfe Castle in the distance.

She defended the castle with her daughters, her servants and five soldiers against 600 troops as the Corfe Castle was the last garrison on the Dorsetshire coast belonging to the Royalists still standing.  

She survived the siege after being betrayed by one of her officers who led the Parliamentarians into the castle via a sally gate and she was forced to surrender. But she never gave up reclaiming the castle, and when she died in 1661, the ruins of the castle was bought on her behalf and went to her daughter, Joanna, who in turn passed it to her own daughters and the Bankes family held the castle for centuries before giving it back to the Dorset community.

Not even in her death she gave up on the castle and still roams the ground. Sightings of her have been reported by visitors and employees alike on coronation days and other special occasions. People swear they have seen her walking through walls and walking up staircases leading to nowhere, mostly by the castle gate before fading into thin air.

More like this

Newest Posts


Lady Mary Bankes and the Siege of Corfe Castle 

Mary Bankes – Wikipedia 

Corfe Castle – Wikipedia

Corfe Castle is fourth most insta-worthy haunted building in England | Dorset Echo 

The ‘haunted’ history of Dorset’s Corfe Castle 

William de Braose, 4th Lord of Bramber – Wikipedia 

Leave a Reply