Im A Celeb Gwrych Castle secrets – from hidden heating to spooky ghost stories

I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here! is back on our screens and viewers are preparing to watch a string of new celebrities take on the various and gruelling challenges set by ITV.

However, aside from bushtucker trials, it seems there are some challenges from being in the castle – with a haunted history surrounding the area.

There are some positives too, with viewers adamant that there is a secret heating system inside the castle alongside hot water, though there are still challenges to face.

I'm A Celeb will take place once again in Wales this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic, with the celebs usually jetted off to the Australian jungle to put themselves forward for the ultimate test.

Haunted History

If you thought the Bushtucker trials were tough, think again.

Throughout its history, several incidents of spooky activity and a haunted presence have shadowed the reputation of Gwrych Castle.

Legend has it that the 19th century fortress is haunted by the ghosts of its former residents, including a betrayed Countess who patrols the castle at night looking for vengeance.

From horrifying shadowy figures in the windows, chilling screams in the darkness and floating woman in white, these are just some of the terrifying incidents recorded by visitors of the castle and the incoming celebrities will have to endure.

Rumours from last year’s series suggest that staff refused to stay overnight in the castle and did not want to work certain “creepy areas” during filming.

Back in September 2018, a volunteer was flung up the stairs on the staircase where a butler had met his end.

"The handrail gave way to nothingness and I felt something propel me up the top three stairs," she said on the castle's website.

"Seconds later, my colleague told me the butler died right there on that same staircase. I hadn’t told her what just happened!"

And a Duty Manager felt a horrifying presence approach him in the darkness – but when he flashed a light there was no one to be seen.

"Terrified, I heard the chain on the main gates rattle slightly and then the footsteps began to advance towards me," he recalled.

"The footsteps grew closer and closer…barely able to take a breath, I got out my phone and flashed its torch… but there was nobody there."

Castle Comparisons

ITV may have filmed in North Wales instead of Australia due to the coronavirus pandemic, but producers ensured that the set had similarities such as the iconic red phone box and the campfire for celebs to sit around and to cook on.

The infamous jungle shower has been replaced with a watering can, beds will be scattered around the ruins – a world away from the accommodation the celebs will be used to with no heating, broken windows and moss growing on the stone walls.

Speaking about the infamous I'm A Celeb shower, Executive producer Tom Gould told the Mirror: said: “It is not a one man job in the castle, you need your friend to pump and it comes out of a watering can.

"You have got a bit more privacy than you have in the jungle with a modesty screen, but not a huge amount of privacy.”

Fire lanterns will guide the campmates will be guided down stairs and into trials and thick thermals will be provided to protect them from the freezing temperatures.

But just like Australia, the stars will still have to empty the loo – with the Castle Privy taking the place of the Dunny, so it will certainly not be glamorous for the stars.

Trials and Tribulations

The famous trials will take place in a variety of places including the dungeons and the crypt after the live show at night.

Whatever food the contestants win will be brought swiftly in to camp, with celebs expected to do their own washing up, laundry and drying in the castle's courtyard.

The stars will also be collecting wood and operating a wood splitter to give them access to lukewarm water.

Executive producer Tom Gould said: “We want to retain what I'm A Celebrity is but wanting to draw on the castle and the setting to give it that unique new feel. I hope that is what we have done.

"Once we decided and committed to it, doing this has been a labour of love and a chance to reinvent but also keep the parts we know viewers know and love and recognise.”

Hot water and heating

I’m a Celebrity viewers last year accused show of having a secret central heating system after stars were spotted wearing T-shirts around the freezing castle.

As the UK was particularly cold given the time of year, viewers were sceptical about the authenticity of the desolate castle setting with some convinced of a conspiracy involving a secret central heating system.

One viewer tweeted: “Do they have secret heating on in this castle? Everyone wearing T-shirts, it should be freezing.”

Someone else wrote: “I am convinced that this castle has central heating. They are walking around in short sleeve T-shirt’s half the time.”

Another wrote: “I’m sure they have bloody heating in that castle as no one looks cold!”

Although the heating system wasn't confirmed, it's likely the celeb stars have a a hand in keeping warm while they flog around in T-shirts rather than padded jumpers like most viewers at home.

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