Well, this begins on the grounds around Carisbrooke Castle on the Isle of Wight. The castle is reputed to have a number of ghosts, so together with three other friends we were exploring the castle late at night when we witnessed an unexpected late night visitor.

We'd been messing about on the moats and surrounding grounds of the castle for hours and it was well into the early hours of the morning. We were making a lot of noise and could have been the brunt of a quite eerie practical joke, but there were unexplainable details. We were walking past one of the four corners of the castle (for people who know the castle, the corner with the mini traffic light and steps down into the village), when a figure appeared on the first level of the castle, the first of a set of walls approx 3 meters above us.

Carisbrooke Castle

The figure was all in black, the head covered by a shroud and a cloak covering the length of the figure. The only illumination was from the mini traffic light used on that corner (because of a small side road leading to the car park) and the moonlight. Details of the figure were difficult to make out but a voice stated at us to leave this place and produced a small illuminated object (maybe a candle) from under its cloak.

The voice was unusually low and unsettling. Naturally, being young we taunted the figure to come and get us etc. (but using more expressive language). As we did so the figure revealed a 2 meter scythe and waved the illuminated object in front of it.

At this point we had come to two conclusions: firstly, it could be a ghost/spirit/grim-reaper, and secondly, it could be a man dressed up. Either way we decided whatever it was had a massive offensive weapon so within moments we were off and ran down the length of one side of the castle to the next corner (approx. 400 meters to steps leading to entrance to the shrubbery). Once we reached this corner we turned and faced the same figure. It was still on the upper level looking down on us as before and at the corner we'd reached. We then fled the area and agreed to return the next day.

Carisbrooke Castle

After a careful look at the upper level which the figure was on we concluded that it would have been impossible to have reached the second corner at the same time as we had and face us again. This was based on the fact that all four of us were sprinting on flat open ground on the moat bank whilst the figure (if a man) would have had to negotiate several tall walls, lines of bushes and ditches on his upper level to reach the second corner. This made our practical joke theory sit uneasy and still makes us wonder what we really saw. I would like to hear from anyone who's had a similar experience at the castle.

The castle is reputed to have a number of ghosts, befitting its long history. The deep well was the scene of the tragic drowning of Elizabeth Ruffin, her disembodied face is reputed to have been seen in the well water. The castle also has a Grey Lady, a phantom wearing a long cloak accompanied by four dogs, the ghosts of a man in a brown jerkin and trousers - seen near the moat, and other presences that have been felt by castle visitors.

Story sent in by Andy from Southampton

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