Galgorm Castle is a castle near Ballymena, County Antrim, Northern Ireland. It was built in 1618 by Sir Faithful Fortescue. Fortescue was a Jacobite and became unpopular with the locals. They attacked his castle and succeeded in burning down the chapel. The Fortescue family then decided to extend their castle in order to protect it. After the Fortescue family moved out, the castle was sold to an English family, the Colvilles. The Colville family where also unpopular with the locals but they were more kind, and many servants lived within the castle at this time.
The Colville Family owned the castle until the 1800's, since then it has changed hands many times. Today it is a listed historical building, the estate surrounding the castle is now used as a golf club.
Galgorm Castle is also interestingly haunted.
Alexander Colville was the man who bought the Galgorm castle, he was very wealthy when he bought the castle and this made people suspicious of him. Colville was involved in 'black magic' and legend has it that he once used this to contact the Devil. The Devil and Colville appareantly met by the River Maine.
Colville told the Devil that he was short of money, and a deal was struck, so that the Devil would go to Colville's house and fill up one boot with gold. However, in return, Colville would forfeit his soul to the devil, and would have to leave the earth come twenty-one years.
Before the Devil arrived at his two-story house, Colville got his boot, carried it to the top floor, and cut off the heel. Then he cut a hole in the floor of the bedroom and nailed the boot to the floor over the hole. When the devil came to fill the boot with gold, he would be tricked into filling the entire bottom floor of the house with gold, before being able to fill up the boot. According to legend, this trick worked and was how Colville came by his vast fortune.
Colville used his fortune to buy Galgorm castle. He moved some of his family members in with him, and filled the castle with servants. Colville got some of his servants interested in black magic, and it is said that when one of his serving-girls left to live in Scotland, a burglary took place in her town. In order to find the thief, it is said, she summoned the Devil and asked him who the burglar was. The Devil told her and the burglar admitted to the crime. When she was asked where she had learned such magic, she told the people that she had learnt it from Alexander Colville of Galgorm Castle.
As word spread about Colville's dealing with the Devil, Colville became shunned, some people even attacking him. However, Colville was not that bothered and went on with his life. Colville was however blamed for any bad luck that happened around Galgorm Castle.
After twenty-one years had past, the Devil went to Galgorm Castle by night to take Colville away. When he entered the room, Colville was reading his Bible by the light of a candle. The Devil told Colville that his time had come. Colville asked to be allowed to read his Bible until his candle had completely burnt away. The Devil was compelled to agree. At this, it is said, Colville blew out the candle, placed the candle in the Holy Book and shut it. Since the Devil could not touch the Bible, the Devil had been tricked. The candle was never to burn out and so he was never to take Alexander Colville away to hell. For this reason the Devil left Galgorm Castle and Colville be and never bothered him again.
Whether or not the legend is true, people still report that the ghost of Alexander Colville haunts Galgorm's halls. His ghost is said to wander the castle and his footsteps in one boot can be heard. Occasionally, you may even hear or see him. There is a painting of Colville in the castle. It is rumoured that if the painting were to leave the castle, disaster would strike.