by Pippa McGonigal


We’ve all heard of Raby Castle, but have you heard of the ghost that lives there? It all started in 1368 when Raby Castle was first being built.

They got the stone pillars from The Maco and Sons’ Stone Works; a factory that makes stone monuments and stone pillars. Raby Castle ordered some pillars. These weren’t just any pillars because the owner of the factory (Maco) was jealous of his friend Lord Raby I. He thought that because Lord Raby was having a castle built for himself (it wasn’t open to the public then) he would be all high and mighty.

Well, Maco was actually an evil sorcerer and the factory was just his cover. So he managed to put a dark spell on one of the stone pillars he was sending to Raby Castle. Lord Raby had no idea what was coming his way. Maco’s sons delivered the stone pillars having been told of the spell and thought it was a great idea. (They had once been told off by Lord Raby for bumping into him and wanted revenge on him). Lord Raby thanked and paid them for their troubles. The brothers smiled and walked away with a horrible, evil grin on their chubby faces.

A few months later Raby Castle was all built and Lord Raby was happily living like a king. Even though the ghost had not emerged yet, the lord suspected something was going to happen sooner or later. He was right. About 5 weeks into the castle being built the ghost made itself known. But maybe not in the way Maco hoped.

Lord Raby was happily eating his porridge with honey when there was a piercing yell from the hallway. Next thing that happened was a little wisp of grey smoke came floating into the great dining room. It was wearing a buttoned tunic tightly fitting its waist. On its feet were tight shoes with a buckle, which would have been gold if it hadn’t been a ghost. The fanciest thing this ghost was wearing was a ridged ruff around its neck. Lord Raby looked at it but then just turned back to his porridge. Strange things were always happening here. A maid came running in whimpering about a ghost.

The ghost come floating over to the opposite chair from Lord Raby and sat down – well, more like floated above it. Later that day Lord Raby asked the maid where it came from and she said it had just appeared from the stone pillar. Then Lord Raby had a few quiet words with the ghost, who said his name was Nicholas. Lord Raby guessed who had done this and thought they needed a surprise visit.

Nicholas floated off to Maco and Sons’ Stone Works and gave them a fright to remember but he always lived in Raby Castle from that day on. Each Lord Raby after the first Lord Raby has always made sure that the stone pillar was spotless.

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