The 12th century Norman keep is said to be haunted by Queen Isabella, mother of Edward III. She was the lover of Roger Mortimer and had her husband, Edward II, murdered in order to secure power for herself and Mortimer.
Edward III eventually seized power from his mother and had Mortimer executed. It's claimed that following the execution, he had Isabella imprisoned in the castle. She eventually went mad and supposedly died there in 1358. Since then, her tortured screams have been reported echoing from the upper rooms of the keep.
Sadly, much of the legend surrounding this tale is untrue! Isabella did indeed live at the castle but was free to travel to her other properties and actually died in Hertford in 1358. She was buried in Greyfriars by Newgate in London. Her ghost is said to haunt the site of the graveyard, holding the heart of Edward II in her hands.
However, people still claim to hear screams and maniacal laughter coming from the castle in the early hours of the morning. So if not Isabella, who or what is behind the terrifying sounds?
To catch a falling leaf in Autumn means good luck as every leaf caught means a lucky month in the year ahead.
Barsham's main claim to fame is that Lord Nelson's mother, Catherine Suckling, was born here in 1725. It can also claim a haunted church!
Footsteps have been heard in the chancel and the apparition of a lady dressed in Georgian clothes has been seen in the building. Lights have also been known to switch themselves on and off on their own. Some claim the phantom to be the ghost of Nelson's mother. Why she should haunt the church - if it is indeed her - has yet to be explained.
The churchyard is also haunted by the figures of people in medieval dress. A nearby plague pit is held to be the reason why the spirits still linger here.
The nearby rectory has a room, with a priest hole, which is claimed to be haunted by ghostly lights and footsteps. A poltergeist also moves objects in other parts of the rectory.
Finally, a phantom coach and horses, headless of course, is said to appear in the village every Christmas Eve. It makes for Hassets Tower in Norwich and is said to carry members of the Blennerhassett family. The coach returns to the village before sunrise.