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'Downton Abbey' castle haunted?

New cast addition Shirley MacLaine thinks so

By Corey Levitan Jan 3, 2013 10:54AM


"Downton Abbey" may not be the only series filming in England's Highclere Castle. According to new cast member Shirley MacLaine, the 400-year-old family estate also hosts its own live-action version of "Scooby-Doo."


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"Highclere was haunted and the pictures came off the wall,” the Oscar-winning actress and spiritualist told the New York Daily News. "The energy of the castle, grounds, (its) past and the hauntings was inspiring."

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In Season 3, which premieres Sunday on PBS, MacLaine plays the scrappy American mother of Elizabeth McGovern's Lady Cora.

Parts of King Tut's tomb once occupied Highclere's bowels, a fact of which MacLaine was keenly aware, according to the story. They were stored in the castle following the mysterious death of its master, the fifth Earl of Carnarvon, who famously bankrolled archeologist Howard Carter's 1922 discovery of the tomb. (Four months later, the Earl was found dead of a mosquito bite in Egypt, and the curse of Tutankhamun was born.)

MacLaine, 78, said the ghosts of Highclere were apparently "Downton Abbey" fans, however, since they never interfered once cameras started rolling.

Do you think this could be true, or is MacLaine one sandwich short of a picnic?

Season 3 of "Downton Abbey" premieres Sunday, Jan. 6, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on PBS.

Jan 7, 2013 10:13PM
Yes, I do believe.  If Ms. MacLaine says says she thinks the place has spooks, it most probably does.  I didn't appreciate the disrespectful attitude of the author, either.  I guess we'll have to read the original NY Daily News article to hear all of what Shirley had to say.  She was wonderful on "Downton Abbey" by the way.  LOVE that program.  Free John Bates!!!
Jan 7, 2013 7:30PM
Hey, you're the one who posted her interview information.   Weird things happen all the time in old houses, probably castles are no different.  It's kinda rude, to use her interview, then insult her when she gives an interesting answer.  Too bad, she didn't just give them  a blunt "no."  Or say," hey when you get to be an oscar winning actress, and are invited to stay in castles, you can answer that question for yourself."  In fact I think whether or not it's true, it makes her smart for attracting interest to Downton Abbey, and definitely NOT one sandwich short.
Jan 7, 2013 5:04PM
Of course it's possible and very probable! Shirley is just turned in more than most. I thought the sandwich comment was just plain funny! Why are so many of you putting down the author? Shirley probably laughed too!!
Jan 4, 2013 2:12AM
Shirley MacLaine is an intelligent,, strong charactered woman who is quite simply remarkably ahead of her time.  She is intuitive and not afraid of stating what she knows to be true.  Shirley simply displays her expanded awareness of all that surrounds us...I'm sure that's intimidating to a snarkly, little 20-something, wannabe 'hip journalist.'  What IS a Corey Levan, anyhow?  I know what Shirley MacLaine is:; Singer, Dancer, Academy Award Winning Actress, best selling author, Adventurer, Sojourner and Intuitive.  'Nuff said?  
Jan 3, 2013 5:05PM
I believe in energy.  Theses buildings are older than dirt, and certainly capable of absorbing (for lack of a better word) energies.  I believe I have seen a spirit or two.  The way I see it, is too much energy has withered on this planet to just be gone.  I believe it sticks around or is reincarnated.
Jan 3, 2013 5:00PM

We all have the right to believe what we want. Also everyone has something that they feel very strongly about. There is nothing wrong about believing in ghosts, spirits, etc.

Give this woman a break..... she's earned it and deserves respect.

I think that corey levitans remark is rude  "Do you think this could be true, or is MacLaine one sandwich short of a picnic?


With all the crap going on in this country, your time was spent trying to disgrace someone for their beliefs?

I hope you got a kick out of it ....



Jan 3, 2013 4:07PM
I believe it.  Ghosts, spirits, haunting... they're real.
Jan 3, 2013 4:03PM
She IS one sandwich short of a picnic, but she's always been that way
Jan 3, 2013 3:16PM
I know it's true. The same thing happens here at my home. I saw the pictures fly right off the wall in my hall. I cant list how many things happen. I have two children who have passed. One has been seen right here. They are loving Spirits..
Jan 3, 2013 3:08PM
I believe anything is possible. Ghosts, spirits, and even reincarnation all fall into my Deist beliefs. Ironic that an Atheist would consider me to be close-minded, even though they  refuse to accept any other possibilities other than "there is no God." I don't get how that makes me the close-minded one.
Jan 3, 2013 2:47PM

How rude!  Next time, Corey, interview someone in your own age / IQ group such as Bieber or Scooby Doo.  Shame on whomever @ MSN allowed this "amateur"'s opinion to post online. 

Jan 3, 2013 2:40PM
I agree with MarieAlexander. I am a believer in that stuff and as old as that place is, it's got to have a few spirits roaming around if not several.
Jan 3, 2013 2:16PM
I love Shirley.  I am a firm believer in ghosts and hauntings.  It is true, and asking if she is one sandwich short of a picnic is insulting and ignorant on your part.
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