Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mysteries - 2) Dragsholm Slot

The Earl of Bothwell and a few Ladies.

A grey and a white lady, a nobleman, strange noises and ghostly scenes take place repeatedly at Dragsholm Castle in North Zealand. Some of the ghosts are very peaceful, others scare people out of their minds. The grey lady is an old baroness who isn't able to let go the contact to her dear castle. She walks around night after night securing that everything is in order. She's of the peaceful kind like the strange noises from a carriage in the courtyard at night. Nothing is seen and no traces are found on the ground after the wheels the following morning. No one has found an explanation of this phenomenon.

A white lady is chasing young lovers at night. She is said to be the ghost of a miss Sechmann who danced herself to death at a ball in the castle. An accident like this was not rare in the 1500s and 1600s. Many suffered from tuberculosis, and a weak patient might easily get a violent haemorrhage at a lively ball. The white lady follows the young people around in the park at night, and many have told they felt an icy coldness in the air and then saw her sitting next to them on the bench. They all got terribly scared and hurried away as fast as possible.

The most famous ghost at Dragsholm is James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, who died at Dragsholm in the last half of the 1500s. He fled to Scandinavia in 1567 in hope of raising an army to put his new wife, Mary Tudor, Queen of Scots, back on the throne. But the result was that king Frederick II of Denmark heard that England was seeking Bothwell for the alleged murder of Mary's former husband Lord Darnly, and he decided to take him into custody. First he treated his important prisoner with respect, but later Bothwell had appalling conditions in his imprisonment at Dragsholm, where he was kept in chains in the cellar. He died ten years later some say insane.

Bothwell is not a shadowy ghost like the ladies. He is said to look like a man of flesh and blood, and if someone addresses him he'll give response. A chambermaid, who was cleaning the rooms for guests, met a tall man dressed in a long cloak in the corridor. She thought he was one of the guests and asked him who he was. He just took a fierce look at her and said: "You wouldn't want to know!" And then he disappeared in the thin air. The Earl is also said to be responsible for the noise from the wheels in the court yard which might come from the carriage that brought him to Dragsholm in 1567.

One of the strangest things at Dragsholm is a dramatic scene taking place time after time. People open a certain window and then they see another window opening in the castle and a human figure is being thrown out from the window landing in the court yard. But in the next minute everything is back to normal. No one knows which event is being repeated like this. Just one of the mysteries. And maybe it is more thrilling not to know.............

Dragsholm Castle is situated between Holbæk and Kalundborg, North Zealand. Today the castle is a combination of a hotel and a restaurant. Regularly guided tours.

Dragsholm Slot

Next: 3) Voergård Slot, The Hovering Ghost

Source :
"Det mystiske Danmark", en rejseguide til spøgelser, uhyrer og andre mærkværdigheder.
Lars Thomas, Aschehoug Dansk Forlag, 2005.

photo 2004: grethe bachmann, Dragsholm, Zealand

No comments: