Mythical Monday: The Cold Ghost of Gilsland Castle by Mae Clair

I’m closing out my ghostly Mythical Monday posts for the month of October with the tale of an unfortunate boy who met his demise in Gilsland Castle, a forbidding stronghold located in northern England. What the poor lad did to deserve punishment has long been forgotten, but as a lesson for some misdeed, he was locked away in an empty upstairs room. Perhaps the austere atmosphere of the fortress itself was to blame, as you have to wonder about the type of parent or disciplinarian who would forget a child.

Sadly, the boy was kept in that frigid place too long, and froze to death.Castle Steps

For centuries afterward people have told of seeing a small nightgowned figure who roams the hallways, stopping at each chamber and seeking entrance. Still freezing, his teeth chattering and body trembling, the boy endlessly searches for an open door. When he finds one, he has been known to hover at the bedside of the occupant, whimpering softly as they sleep.

Should the person be ill, he is quick to end their suffering. Placing a small cold hand upon their flesh, he whispers “Cold, cold, forever cold. You shall be cold forever more.”  With these words, and the ghostly touch of the child, the sufferer peacefully surrenders, eased from pain by the Ghost of Gilsland Castle.

Perhaps he worries they have been forgotten and neglected too…

16 thoughts on “Mythical Monday: The Cold Ghost of Gilsland Castle by Mae Clair

  1. Mae – I visited this castle during my higher education period at Nottingham University. I remember the old time exploring such places like Gilsland Castle, Longest stretch of Hadrian’s Wall and extensive remains of the Roman fort including a complete circuit of Walls and gates, granaries and parade block, and, at over two metres high, the longest continuous stretch of the Wall


    • I know. What wretched parents to forget their CHILD!!! Seriously, who could do that? It’s almost better to think something dire happened to them, preventing them from reaching him, then to think they just abandoned him.


  2. That is so sad. Poor kid. I can’t believe parents could forget a child, but it happens still today where they leave kids in an overheated car. Maybe those parents should be sent to Gilsland Castle. Lovely post to end October with, Mae.


  3. That poor boy, though I couldn’t help but think freezing to death might be a better way to go than rotting away in a room without food or water for weeks.. Morbid isn’t it?
    The image of him still roaming the halls, his teeth chattering, is heartbreaking.


    • It is heartbreaking. I feel so badly for him and so angry at the parents. You’re probably right about freezing vs. dying of thirst though. What a dreadful choice to have to make!


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