Scottish Lady of Carlisle Castle

More than 900 years old, Carlisle Castle is located in Cumbria, England, near the border with Scotland. Due to its location between neighboring countries, it has a long and violent history, with ownership by the English and Scots changing numerous times.

Carlisle Castle


The castle was used as a prison and barracks for the military. Its most famous prisoner, Mary, Queen of Scots, was incarcerated within the castle in 1568. Today, the castle serves as military headquarters to a Royal Regiment. However, a Scottish resident from long ago remains in the keep.

As Richard tells the story ...

In the 1830s, during the construction of a parade ground and barracks, demolition work uncovered the skeleton of a lady bricked into one of the keep's second-story walls. Three rings upon the boney digits of her fingers and remnants of her silk tartan dress were evident. There were no clues to her identity, although there was considerable speculation that she may have been walled up alive. However, the opening of her tomb appears to have roused her revenant, for in 1842, a sentry on guard duty in the keep challenged the figure of a woman who approached him in the early hours of one morning. As she ignored him, he shouted to rouse his fellow guardsmen. Then, raising his bayonet, he charged at the figure. Just as he reached her, the woman melted into thin air, whereupon the soldier fainted clean away. Although his comrades did manage to revive him, such was the shock to his system that, having told them what had happened, he promptly fell back and died.

- Richard Jones