Nightbringer | The Arthurian Online Encyclopedia

Castle Rushen

Castle Rushen is a medieval fortress located in the town of Castletown, which is on the southern part of the Isle of Man. The castle was built for Norse king Magnus Olafsson in the late twelfth century, and over centuries, it underwent various expansions and modifications. The castle served as a royal residence, a fortress, and a seat of government for the Isle of Man.

According to local folklore, the castle was originally built by a race of giants, and they ruled the Isle of Man with their strength and might. The giants were oppressive and terrorized the local people. In their time of need, the islanders sought the help of Merlin.

Merlin, known for his magical powers and wisdom, accepted the challenge to rid the island of the giants. He used his sorcery and cunning to outwit the giants and eventually defeated them in a great battle. Some versions of the story suggest that Merlin used his magic to bind the giants, either imprisoning them deep within the earth or turning them into stone, thus ending their reign of terror. After the giants were defeated, Merlin is said to have been the instrumental in the construction of Castle Rushen, transforming it from a stronghold of giants into a medieval fortress for the people of the Isle of Man.

Like many legends and folklore tales, variations exist in the retelling of the story, and the details may vary.

Another version is that the castle was built by a giant named Finn MacCumail, who was renowned for his great strength and abilities. Legends claim that Finn built the castle as his stronghold and residence. The tales often speak of the giant’s feats, which include carring massive stones to construct the fortress.

As for the caves, it is said that there are hidden underground passages and caverns beneath Castle Rushen. Some versions of the legend suggest that these cave were used by Finn MacCumail to store his treasure or as secret escape routes during times of danger.

Haunted Castle Rushen

The Grey Lady
One of the most famous ghosts said to haunt Castle Rushen is the Grey Lady. She is said to be the ghost of a former Lady Isabella Shaw, who lived in the castle during the sixteenth century. According to legend, Lady Isabella was involved in a forbidden love affair with a servant, and when their relationship was discovered, she was walled up alive in a hidden chamber as punishment. Her presence has been reported by numerous witnesses.

The Lady and the Boy
A lady was arrested and found guilty of murdering her own son. She was hanged for the crime. Afterward, it was revealed that the boy had died of natural causes. The mother and son is sometimes seen walking the drawbridge.

The Footsteps
Visitors have reported hearing unexplained footsteps echoing through the corridors and chambers of the castle. These footsteps are often attributed to the lingering spirits of former residents, guards, or prisoners who once inhabited the fortress.

The Cellar
The castle’s cellar is another area rumored to be haunted. People have reported feeling an eerie presence or sensing a cold, oppressive atmosphere when venturing into this part of the castle.

Apparitions and Shadowy Figures
Some visitors claim to have witnessed apparitions or shadowy figures moving about in the castle, particularly in dimly lit areas or during the twilight hours.

See also
Cave Legend | The Legend of King Arthur