Saturday, February 21, 2015

Dragsholm Castle

This castle located in Odsherred, Zealand, Denmark is named after a “drag” which is a narrow stretch of land that the Vikings used to “drag ships across” in order to avoid the dangerous waters north of Zealand Island.

Dragsholm Castle in 1896
Dragsholm Castle is near several lakes so its full name means “islet by the drag.”

In the 12th century Peder Sunsen, the Bishop of Roskilde designed Dragsholm.

Today, 100 ghosts haunt Dragsholm. Its long tragic history is believed to be the reason for this.

In the Middle Ages Dragsholm was used as a fortification by its noble owners.

After the Protestant Reformation, in 1536 King Christian lll degreed Denmark a Lutheran state--all monasteries, abbeys, church schools and cathedrals were ordered to denounce their Catholic beliefs for Lutheran ones.

For the next 128 years, 1536-1664, Dragsholm was used as a prison for ecclesiastical and noble prisoners.

Bishop of Roskilde during
Joachim Ronnow, the last Bishop of Roskilde was imprisoned within his own castle in 1436. It is said he haunts Dragsholm’s tower where his captivity began.

Ejler Brokenhuus, a nobleman known as the “mad squire” was also imprisoned in the castle’s tower room. He was chained to one wall. It is not known if he became mad before or after his imprisonment.

Today, Dragsholm hosts two restaurants, conference rooms and a hotel.

Visitors to the castle report hearing moaning as well as Catholic chanting coming from this haunted tower room.

Mary, Queen of Scots third husband James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell, was captured in Norway in 1573. King Frederick ll of Denmark had him imprisoned at Dragsholm.

Earl of Bothwell--James Hepburn
One report states he was given only enough food and water to keep him alive. He then was chained to a pillar and left. Before he died in 1578, he went mad.

Witnesses state they have seen the Earl of Bothwell riding into the castle courtyard in his carriage. Several reports state people have heard his horses’ hooves hitting the cobbled yard late at night.

One female ghost that haunts Dragsholm is nicknamed the White Lady. It is believed she was Celine, a daughter of the noble Bovles family. She fell in love with a commoner that worked at the castle. She then became pregnant.

When her father discovered her secret he ordered servants place her in one dungeon, chained to a wall, they then bricked her in while she was still alive.

This story is believed confirmed because in the 1930s workmen at Dragsholm repairing the plumbing found a skeleton enclosed in a small space, wearing a white dress.

The White Lady‘s apparition has been seen at night wandering about the castle. Not surprising, it is stated that she is looking for her lost love. Other witnesses have reported hearing her moan.

Dragsholm Castle today.
Another ghost seen is that of a young “fair maiden.” She worked at the castle and finding herself with a painful toothache she approached the castle’s noble owner. He had a poultice made which helped.

She unfortunately died after this but it is believed her ghost lingers because she is still grateful for her master’s help. She is seen at night--on a regular basis.

Many believe she is a protective spirit--still watching over Dragsholm out of gratitude.

The White Lady, the Earl of Bothwell and the Grey Lady are said to be the most active of all the ghosts at Dragsholm Castle.

No comments: