Ghosts of Cardiff Castle

Cardiff Castle has existed since the Normans, when a wooden motte and bailey style castle was erected by Robert Fitzhamon, Norman Lord of Gloucester, in the 11th century. The keep was eventually rebuilt in stone and still stands guard at the center of Cardiff Castle. Besides the Norman keep and some rampart walls, the present-day Cardiff Castle dates back to the Victorian era when it was rebuilt in a gothic style.

Cardiff Castle


The 2nd Marquess of Bute turned Cardiff into the world's most important coal-exporting port. Cardiff Castle and the family fortune passed on to his son John, 3rd Marquess of Bute, who by the 1860s was reputed to be the wealthiest man in the world. John and the architect William Burges transformed Cardiff Castle into the opulent and lavish castle that exists today, with some unfinished projects being completed by the 4th Marquess years later. Legends suggest that one of the Marquess of Bute still calls the castle home.

Occasionally, the 2nd Marquess of Bute appears at the library fireplace (in his time, a doorway), then passes through a 6ft thick stone wall to a corridor, then through another wall into the chapel. And perhaps to commemorate the time of his passing, at 3:45 am, the doors of the main dining room open and shut by themselves, and the lights in the room turn on and off.

The 2nd Marquess appeared most notably in 1976 when a young couple told the castle custodian, "A tall man in a cloak pushed past them in a great hurry." The woman, standing at the top of a stairway and turning to her right, witnessed a tall figure in a red cloak. The man seemed to be scowling at her and then vanished. The figure matched the painting of the 2nd Marquess hanging on a nearby wall.

In addition to his Lordship, a faceless figure in a grey and white skirt is sometimes seen in a stockroom near the chapel, which is often found with its contents disorganized without explanation.

Strange happenings also occurred during the time of the 3rd Marquess of Bute. In November of 1868, Mr. John Boyle, a trustee of Lord Bute's father, was seated in the library and distinctly heard a carriage roll through the courtyard and stop at the castle's door. After thinking the doorbell must have been broken, he left the library and entered the hall, where the butler informed him that no carriage had come. He heard that the arrival of a spectral carriage was said to be the forewarning of the death of some member of the Hastings Family, friends and relatives of the Crichton-Stuarts, the ancestral family of the Marquess of Bute. At the same time, Lady Margaret MacRae, the 3rd Marquess's only daughter, declared that she heard precisely the same ghostly carriage on the eve of her father's passing at Dumfries House in Scotland.

In 1975, Derek Edward's also experienced his first ghostly encounter at Cardiff Castle after working there for about a year. After a luncheon in the dining room, Mr. Edwards was cleaning up when he noticed a man standing at the other end of the hall. Mr. Edward's walked toward the man and asked, "Can I help you sir?" The man turned to face him, then vanished.