The Radiant Boy (or Blue Boy)
Perhaps our principal and most famous apparition was known as the 'Blue Boy', or 'Radiant Boy', which used to be seen in what is now called the Pink Room (not open to the public). There, when from the Clock tower the hour of midnight sounded, were heard the cries and moans of a child in pain and in an agony of fear.
Always the noises came from a spot nearest to a passage cut through the ten feet thick wall into the adjoining tower, and as the blood-curdling cries died slowly away a bright halo of light began to form close to the old four-poster bed. Anyone sleeping there saw, gently approaching them, the figure of a young boy dressed in blue, and surrounded by the light. Witnesses say his clothes were like those seen in paintings dating from the Restoration period of the 1660s, when Charles II was on the throne.
It was in this wall, during the 1920's, that the bones of a boy of tender years, and some fragments of a blue dress, were discovered. It was found alongside the skeleton of a man where the fireplace now is, close to a trap door that opened to the stone arches of the vaults below. These poor remains were reverently removed and decently interred in consecrated ground, since when the figure has never been seen again.
However, to this day occasional guests in the Pink Room claim to be awakened by strange blue flashes in the middle of the night. Any explanation of an electrical fault can be counteracted by the fact that there are no electrics of any kind in the wall where the flashes were seen.
Lady Grey - The Ghost in the Portrait
Our next best known and authenticated ghost is that of Lady Mary Berkeley, wife of Ford, Lord Grey of Wark and Chillingham and Earl of Tankerville, still looking for her errant husband. That gentleman ran away with her own sister, Lady Henrietta, thus giving rise to a great scandal and a lawsuit before the famous, or shall we say infamous, Judge Jeffries in the reign of King Charles II.
The end of it all was a heartless desertion. The poor lady was left in her dark and lonely Castle with only a fatherless baby girl as her companion.
To this day the rustle of her dress is sometimes heard along the corridors and stairs and, as the disappointed and anxious wraith passes by, a chill, as of cold air, seems to sweep through one's very marrow.
There have also been claims of her ghost 'escaping from her portrait' to wander the the castle in search of her errant Lord. It was said that the nursery where it hung had been disturbed by its restlessness and children and their nurse declared that she stepped out of her frame and frightened them by following them about.
The White Pantry Ghost
In what is called 'the inner pantry' there has been seen a frail figure in white. This was where the silver in use was stored and a footman was once employed to sleep there to safeguard it.
One night the footman had turned in when he was accosted by a lady in white, very pale, who asked him for water. Thinking for the moment it was one of the visitors he turned away to obey her behest, when he suddenly remembered that he was locked in and that no visitor could possibly have entered. On turning round he found the figure had vanished.
This same figure was seen also by a guest who made notes of her psychic experiences in the various rooms of the Castle without having been told of the Castle's claimed hauntings beforehand. It was surprising to see that she alluded to the longing for water of a female ghost who 'must have been slowly poisoned in olden times.'
The Ghost in the Chamber
Not all the ghosts are those we see, some are merely felt. 'Impalpable impressions on the air,' the poet says -'A sense of something moving to and fro,' a chill dark thing that creeps, or an oppressive atmosphere, as in an upper chamber, overlooking the dell, where the sensitive cannot remain.
A lady's maid who had been given this room was found next morning on the sofa in the dining hall. She had quitted her bed in a panic and nothing would induce her to return. It is said that a former chef, who occupied the room, was driven to commit suicide there, and we no longer use it as a bedroom.
Voices in the Library
In the Library, underneath the upper chamber, the voices of two men are often heard talking, but it is not possible to follow what they say and they seem to cease at once if one stops reading or writing to listen to their discussion. It disturbs no one and many have heard it but none has accounted for the fact.
Ghosts in the Courtyard?
It is not difficult to imagine spectres, standing in the stone Courtyard where, surrounded by the strong old towers, the moonlight casts shadows of the battlements across the worn flagstones.
Many a revel took place there where the hundred horsemen, who formed the Castle Guard, caroused in the fitful glare of the flares whose iron brackets are still not rusted away. And if indeed it is true as, Mons. Coue tells us, that where the imagination and the will come into conflict imagination always wins the day, then many an old-time scene must have been re-lived before more modern eyes, in spite of the will to disbelieve