The White Lady

At the time when the castle was subject to the authority of Saaremaa’s bishops, one of the canons ignored the strict rules of convent life and brought a beautiful young maiden to the castle. It was a secret for a long time, as the woman wore boys’ clothes and roused no suspicions with her lifestyle or demeanour. Eventually, however, the secret was uncovered. When the bishop came to Haapsalu Castle, having heard about this grievous disregard of the convent’s rules, he unexpectedly requested that the “boy’s” rooms be searched. Instead of a boy chorister, the searchers found a slim and pale maiden. The cathedral chapter was quickly convened, and it was decided that the canon would have to starve to death in prison while the maiden was closed up in the walls of the church chapel under construction at the time. Hence, on moonlit August nights, a white pale maiden – the eternal lover, the White Lady – appears on the middle window of the round chapel built alongside the cathedral.

The drunken ox

A long time ago, the Poles laid siege to Haapsalu Castle. Although there was an underground tunnel between the castle and Uuemõisa, it was still difficult to obtain food, as the country was stricken by famine and the siege was already in its seventh year. The residents decided to rely on their wits. Using the last bit of hops they had, they brewed strong beer and gave it to the last remaining ox until it had had its fill, and then walked the ox past the castle walls. Of course, a single drunken ox made more noise than an entire herd usually would. When the Poles heard the bellowing of the ox, they concluded that there were still plenty of food reserves in the castle, and put an end to the siege.

A black dog

There is a great deal of hidden treasure in Haapsalu Castle, guarded by a large black dog. Many brave men have attempted to retrieve this treasure, but ghosts have extinguished their lanterns or they have been scared them off by other apparitions.

A Swedish man came to Haapsalu in 1773, and was employed as a watchman. One night, he was walking through the castle gardens at midnight when he saw a big black dog with flaming eyes the size of dinner plates. The dog was sitting on a money chest. What the watchman and the dog discussed is not known, and the contents of the chest remain likewise unknown. But immediately afterwards, the watchman became a businessman, bought houses in town and gained the trust of several farmers, who brought their money to him for safekeeping. After a certain period of time, he went to the woods and hanged himself.


A knight had two sons that had been away at war for a while. The younger son enjoyed war so much that his father was barely able to keep him at home, and resorted to plying him with money and treasures. When his father reprimanded him for his lavish and profligate way of life, the son resented this treatment, and he developed a burning grudge against his father. One day, his father went hunting, and the son followed him. After a brief exchange of words, the son killed the venerable old man and hid his corpse in the woods. After a long search, the dead body was found, and both sons were suspected of murder. The sons were summoned to the church in Haapsalu, where they had to proclaim their innocence. With their hand on the dead man’s chest, both brothers swore that they did not kill their father. The younger added that if he were guilty, he would not be able to take more than thirty paces away from the altar. Although the corpse’s wounds started bleeding after this, the younger brother remained steadfast and left the church. No sooner had he taken thirty steps from the altar than he dropped to the ground as if struck by lightning, and startled, confessed his guilt to the bishop. He died as soon as he had finished, and was buried on the same spot.