Have you ever dreamed of living in your own castle? Perhaps you’ve imagined yourself gliding down the elegant stairs with a shawl around your shoulders just like a Disney queen? Or maybe you’ve dreamed of dancing in the great hall with Dumbledore and Hagrid? Well, there are countless castles around the world for you to peruse… but only for the day. You know, unless you marry a prince or princess. One of the most famous castles in the world is Edinburgh Castle, but did you know this fortress holds deep secrets within its walls?
It has a checkered history
Although we now accept witches, wizards, muggles, and squibs – there have been some members of the royal family who haven’t been so accepting of witchcraft. During the reign of King James V, witchcraft was considered one of the biggest sins in the world and was associated with evil. Because of this, society would burn witches at the stake in an attempt to rid them from our world, and that’s exactly what happened to Janet Douglas. Although it was clear that Janet was not a witch, the speculation was enough for King James V to take her and her family at the stake.
There’s a high chance it’s haunted
Do you believe in ghosts? Well, even if you don’t, you might change your mind after visiting Edinburgh Castle. Underneath this huge castle are large tunnels that snake their way around the castle and into the surrounding area. When they were first discovered, the royal court decided to send a bagpiper down into the tunnels to see what was down there. The idea was that those above the tunnels could track where he was using the sound of the instrument. However, the bagpipes soon went silent, and the body of the bagpiper was never found. To this day, visitors to the castle report that they can often hear the faint sound of bagpipes underneath the floor…
The royals lost the crown jewels within the castle
When England, Scotland and Wales joined forces, there was no longer any need for the Scottish crown jewels to be on display in the castle. So, the royal family decided to lock up the jewels in a chest and place it in a safe place in Edinburgh Castle. However, they soon forgot where this safe place was, and they were lost for more than 100 years! It wasn’t until Sir Walter Scott, and a few of his merry men made it their mission to find the jewels once and for all. Luckily they did, and the jewels have been out for the public to see ever since.
There’s a myth surrounding university students
As well as being famous for its castle, Edinburgh is also famous for its prestigious university – but the two rarely mix. In fact, there has been a long-held myth with the university students of Edinburgh that if they were ever to set foot inside the walls of the castle, they will fail all of their exams. While there is obviously no evidence to suggest that this is true, almost all of the students here avoid the castle like the plague, at least until they graduate completely.
The KGB altered the structure of the castle
Scottish castles and the KGB don’t seem like a great mix, but it seems as though Mikhail Gorbachev of the KGB actually altered the structure of the castle in 1984. During King James IV’s reign, he used a small window in the Great Hall to spy on those who walked inside of his home. When Gorbachev was set to visit the castle centuries later, he asked for this window to be filled in – for his safety. Although they did do this, Gorbachev later canceled his visit.
Edinburgh Castle is steeped in history, but we have a feeling you probably didn’t know all of these secrets they try to cover up…