Portchester Castle is reputed to be haunted by several ghosts, a black monk, and a spectral horseman seen riding through the grounds. There has been evidence of satanic witchcraft rituals found within the graveyard, inside the castle walls.
The medieval Portchester Castle is set within the walls of a 3rd-century Roman fort, the most completely preserved example north of the Alps. It stands imposingly on a low lying tongue of land that projects out into the natural harbour of Portsmouth.
The castle was established after the Norman Conquest. Surviving medieval structures include the 12th-century great tower and a royal residence of the 1390s. Portchester remained important for medieval English kings because of its position by Portsmouth harbour, and was occupied into the 17th century. It then served as a prisoner-of-war camp, holding over 5000 French Soldiers after Britain was stirred to action during the Napoleonic Wars, until 1814.
The ghost of a monk dressed in a black robe and hood has been seen on many occasions in the castle grounds and is often seen walking around the outside of the castle walls. The apparition will often just fade away into the distance when he is seen. Witnesses have described the sightings as being mysterious, but not at all frightening.
An English Heritage employee working at Portchester Castle reported seeing a spectral black horseman riding towards her late one summer evening inside the castle grounds. Sheila Sayce said that "As the apparition grew in size, it started to come towards me and I screamed and ran away. My colleague saw it too over my shoulder, it was a long, low, jet black shape with four legs and a horse's head, and it projected a very bad feeling".
The following year a young boy came into the shop with a video for Sheila. He had been walking around outside the castle late one night and wanted to know if she could identify a strange sound on the tape. It was the sound of horse's hooves galloping on concrete. But of course, there were no horses anywhere to be seen outside of the castle.
Many locals and tourists have claimed to have seen the ghost of The White Lady, thought to be Charlotte White. During the Victorian era, Charlotte is said to have drowned in the moat surrounding Portchester Castle in an attempt to save her baby who had fallen in. Ever since, Charlotte's spirit has wandered the castle's grounds looking for revenge. Sightings of her ghost have often been reported alongside feelings that a malevolent spirit is present. Sometimes her ghost has been seen prowling the battlements before throwing herself from the Keep.
To this day the graveyard of St. Mary's Church, which is contained within the castle grounds, attracts occult activity including animal sacrifice. There is also a spectral dark haired lady seen searching amongst the gravestones of the 12th century church.
The ghost of a Roman Centurion has also been seen guarding the outer gates of the castle by numerous visitors, along with a large, looming black figure that has been witnessed on a few occasions at Portchester Castle. Both staff and visitors to the castle have witnessed this figure.