James Hepburn, the Earl of Bothwell, is one of three ghosts who are said to haunt the old Dragsholm Castle on Zealand, Denmark. The Earl's earthly remains are entombed in a crypt under the nearby Faarevejle Church. Faarevejle, Denmark. 22/10/2010
The old and majestic Dragsholm Castle in the beautiful north-western part of Zealand is now a world famous hotel. James Hepburn, the 4th Earl of Bothwell - a Scottish nobleman (abt. 1536 to April 14 1578) - ended his life as a prisoner of State in Denmark locked up in this castle from 1573 until his death.
James Hepburn had probably a great deal on his conscience. He is supposed to be the murderer of Lord Darnly, Henry Stuart, the husband of Marie Stuart. He later married her. However, this created so much civil discord that she had to abdicate. James Hepburn, now a fugitive and an outlaw, fled to Denmark. From 1567 he was imprisoned in Denmark in various prisons, but mainly in the Dragsholm Castle. In 1578 he died mentally deranged in the dungeons of the castle and was entombed in a crypt inside the nearby Faarevejle Church. For a number of years he was exhibited in a glass coffin, but in 1976 moved to an oak coffin in a crypt under the right wing of the church. In May 2006 there was a disagreement on the Earl's last resting place as a Scottish descendant wished to bring back the Earl's remains to his country of birth. However, this was not considered a good idea in Denmark as the Earl of Bothwell had become an important part of Danish history and culture.
It is said that this probably most famous ghost in Denmark haunts the castle. The Earl is told to appear and ride in the courtyard on many a night. Several guests and visitors have heard the footsteps of his horse echo from the cobblestones and castle walls, but when they look out, no-one is there. Dragsholm Castle - a few hours drive from Copenhagen - is truly one of the best known haunted castles in Denmark, and consequently an attractive hotel for daring guests who are attracted by such creepy experiences. As a bonus you may also encounter the grey lady or the white lady, who are also said still to reside in this old castle from the 12th century.