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Revealed: the spooky Halloween presence that lurks in the cellars at BALMORAL! (And it’s not Prince Andrew…)


It’s often been suggested that the royal palaces contain some pretty spooky residents, but there is one who’s a great deal spookier than most, according to a former royal butler.  

Grant Harrold, etiquette expert and one-time butler to Prince Charles, believes the  cellar at Balmoral Castle is haunted by a giggling ghost and claims to have encountered it in person. 

‘I remember when I used to go down to the cellar, things would move. You would have bowls and chairs that would move,’ he said.

Finished in 1856, Balmoral Castle is from from ancient. Yet there is said to be paranormal activity within its walls

Finished in 1856, Balmoral Castle is from from ancient. Yet there is said to be paranormal activity within its walls 

One of the Balmoral cellars had formerly been a well - where a young boy had fallen to his doom....

One of the Balmoral cellars had formerly been a well – where a young boy had fallen to his doom….

King Charles pictured earlier this year in pensive mood...

King Charles pictured earlier this year in pensive mood…

‘One day, I went down with a housekeeper, we turned off the lights and we could hear a little boy giggling.

‘It’s safe to say there are ghosts within royal residences to this day.’

 Legend among Balmoral staff is that the cellar had formerly been a well and that a century ago a boy had fallen down, ‘

‘He sadly drowned and he was buried in one of the local churchyards. Since then, there have been stories that his ghost haunts the cellar, which used to be the well.

‘In the many residences and houses I’ve worked in, things have happened that you can’t explain. I remember staying in a house in Scotland and I was working upstairs in one of the rooms. 

‘I went out to get something from another room, I came back in, and all the chairs were moved on top of the table. I was the only one in the house. There have always been lots of things like that happening from time to time. 

‘I also remember staying at Highgrove one year and one of the police officers saw a ghost-like figure walking across the grounds. Luckily I never saw anything like that. I’m easily scared of things like that, so at Halloween, I try to stay away.’

‘But Balmoral was said to have ghost happenings, as well as the other residences. I was told that Queen Elizabeth was in the library one evening and one of the corgis could sense something around the curtains next to the window.

 ‘I can’t imagine the late Queen being phased though. But Sandringham was where her late father died, and I have found Sandringham to be an eerie house. 

‘It would always feel a bit strange when wandering around in the night. It has a lot of history behind it and it’s had a lot of Royal deaths there. George VI died there, as well as George V and even the Duke of Clarence. 

King Charles's former Royal Butler, Grant Harrold, says a young ghost haunts the Scottish castle to this day

King Charles’s former Royal Butler, Grant Harrold, says a young ghost haunts the Scottish castle to this day

‘So, it’s hardly surprising there have been paranormal sightings. I’ve also worked at the Castle of Mey in Scotland alongside the King, and people have said they have seen ghosts there, and people would tell ghost stories a lot of the time.

‘ I didn’t see anything myself, but it wouldn’t surprise me. The first night I stayed there, the staff hid a manikin behind my door to give me a fright – and it worked! 

‘Personally, I don’t think the late Queen would have believed in ghosts, but with King Charles, you never know. He’s quite an open person, so it wouldn’t surprise me if he did.’

Younger royals are more likely to get into the spirit of the occasion. 

In their 2022 Netflix documentary, Harry & Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex shared previously unseen photographs as they partied with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Halloween.

The Duchess previously revealed how she and the Duke went out incognito in Halloween costumes with his cousin and her then boyfriend for a final night out before their relationship was revealed on the Ellen DeGeneres show.

In one snap, Meghan and Harry can be seen crowding in for a photograph with Eugenie and Jack.

The Queen pictured in the Drawing Room at Balmoral in Scotland shortly before she passed away

The Queen pictured in the Drawing Room at Balmoral in Scotland shortly before she passed away

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared previously unseen photographs as they partied with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Halloween in their new Netflix documentary

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle shared previously unseen photographs as they partied with Princess Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank on Halloween in their new Netflix documentary

Harry, Meghan and Eugenie in spooky form

Harry, Meghan and Eugenie in spooky form

Speaking about the event in 2016, she told Ellen: ‘He came to see me in Toronto and our friends and his cousin Eugenie and now her husband Jack, they came as well, and the four of us snuck out in Halloween costumes to just have one fun night on the town before it was out in the world that we were a couple. 

‘It was a post-apocalypse theme, so we had all this very bizarre costuming on, and we were able to just have one fun final night out.’



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