Thursday, December 29, 2011

Ghosts of Dragsholm Castle - Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark

Originally built as a palace in 1215 by the Bishop of Roskilde, Dragsholm Castle in Hørve, Odsherred is one of the most historic structures in Denmark.  At one point in it's long history, Dragholm Slot, as it is known to the Danish, was turned into a prison which hosted some famous residents.  It is said that a few of those prisoners who died there still haunt Dragholm to this day.

Dragsholm Castle in Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark

Early on, the Bishop of Roskilde's palace was fortified and made into a castle to be used as a fortification to defend against invading armies in the early 1500s. In the mid 16th century, Dragsholm was taken over by the Danish Crown during the Reformation period.  It was at this point that the castle was converted into a prison to house some high profile guests.  The likes of which included Joachim Rønnow who had formerly owned the castle, Ejler Brockenhuus who was known as the "mad squire", and the Earl of Bothwell, Ejler Brockenhuus who was the 3rd husband of Mary, Queen of Scots.

A moat surrounds Dragsholm Castle in Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark

Over the years there have been many reports of apparitions spotted roaming Dragsholm Castle.  A ghost known as the "white lady" is said to haunt the premises.  Believed to be the daughter of one of the former castle owners, she fell in love with a servant at the castle.  Her father, being the nobleman that he was, threw his daughter into the castle dungeon outraged at her affair with the servant.  Forever separating them.  In the early 1900s an excavation at Dragsholm unearthed the skeletal remains of a woman wearing a white dress.

Dragsholm Castle in Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark

A former servant girl who lived in the castle is said to return each night to check that all is in order within the Dragsholm castle.  It is said that she was a loyal servant who spent her entire life in the castle, and as it seems, in the afterlife as well.

Visitors dining at Dragsholm Castle in Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark

The most famous spirit that haunts the court yard at Dragsholm is Ejler Brockenhuus, the former Earl of Bothwell who was the husband of Queen Mary.  It is said that he has been seen riding into the castle grounds horses, carriage and all!  The ghostly sound of the horses hooves clopping on the stones can be heard echoing in the night.

Entry to the court yard at Dragsholm Castle in Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark

Today Dragsholm Castle still stands and now serves and a hotel and restaurant.  It is one of the only remaining Baroque style castles in Denmark and it is certainly one of the oldest.

Dragsholm Castle (or Dragsholm Slot) in Hørve, Odsherred, Denmark


  1. where is prince Philip from?and why was mary queen of scotts involved with this castle. the owners lost their castle to pirates?of course the possibility of ghost would exsist.the trama from the human struggle also helped that.

  2. . James Hepburn is the 4th Earl of Bothwell. Ejler Brockenhuus is the mad squire. You have Ejler Brockenhuus as both the Earl AND the mad squire.