Riber Castle & Ghost, Matlock, England

Known locally as “Smedley’s Folly” because of the difficulty of getting water to the hill summit, Riber Castle was built by John Smedley in 1862 as his private home. His wife lived in it until her death. After that, the castle became a boys’ school until this became financially unsustainable in the 1930s. With the coming of WWII, the Ministry of Defense used the site for storage. The MoD left following the war and the castle remained unused until the 1960s.

From the 1960s to September 2000 it was home to a wildlife park. Riber Castle Wildlife Park or “Riber Zoo”, as it was known, was eventually sold by the owner, but they were unable to sell it as a going concern, and so the park eventually closed.

It is reported that a lady in blue wanders throughout the castle, apparently oblivious to a soldier ghost which also haunts the site. Perhaps the lady is the specter of Smedley’s wife.

Riber Castle  is located in the hamlet of Riber on a hill overlooking Matlock, Derbyshire, England.