There is a reason why Black Sabbath, fronted by Ozzy Osbourne, was a great success. The Prince of Darkness has a notorious reputation for living one of the most extravagant lifestyles, which often caused him quite the trouble in his personal life and affected the band’s success.
While it’s often Osbourne’s fault, as he’s a troublemaker due to his substance abuse problems, there was one time when he almost died, and it wasn’t entirely his fault. When his band members decided to spend their time in a haunted castle, they almost lost their mind after seeing hallucinations, and the details of this story may pleasantly surprise you.
Black Sabbath Recorded Their Album In A Haunted Castle
At the beginning of the ’70s, Black Sabbath started to work on their fifth studio album, ‘Sabbath Bloody Sabbath,’ and they tried to create it in numerous locations. After spending months with no results, they returned to the UK and rented Clearwell Castle in the Forest of Dean, where legendary bands like Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, and Mott the Hoople have written and recorded.
While the medieval theme of the castle may have contributed to Black Sabbath musically, it also affected the band’s psychology due to the rumors about it being haunted. Guitarist Tony Iommi admitted seeing a ghost while he was with Ozzy Osbourne and stated that the owners accepted that the castle is haunted.
According to the liner notes of the live album ‘Reunion,’ Iommi recalls:
“We rehearsed in the armory there, and one night I was walking down the corridor with Ozzy, and we saw this figure in a black cloak… We followed this figure back into the armory, and there was absolutely no one there. Whoever it was had disappeared into thin air! The people that owned the castle knew all about this ghost and they said, ‘Oh yes, that’s the ghost of so and so. We were like ‘What!?'”
In his autobiography, the Black Sabbath singer admitted it was stupid to record in Clearwell Castle since they were all frightened to be there. During the whole time, all Black Sabbath members couldn’t sleep just because of how much they were scared of ghosts who may kill them in their sleep.
Osbourne stated in his book:
“We weren’t so much the Lords of Darkness as the Lords of Chickenshit when it came to that kind of thing … We wound each other up so much none of us got any sleep. You’d just lie there with your eyes wide open, expecting an empty suit of armor to walk into your bedroom at any second to shove a dagger up your arse.”
All band members were expecting to be murdered by some sinister soul, and drummer Bill Ward would even go to bed at night with a dagger. However, the danger came from no other than trouble-magnet himself, Ozzy Osbourne.
Ozzy Osbourne Almost Burned The Castle Down
Ozzy Osbourne also wrote in his autobiography that he nearly burned the castle down one night while sleeping in a room with a big fireplace. After falling asleep near the fireplace, a piece of coal tumbled onto the carpet, which started a huge fire.
After realizing the castle was on fire, the band members immediately tried to rescue the lead singer. Apparently, Osbourne’s foot caught fire, but he managed to survive another shocking event. The incident contributed to the band’s decision to stop doing drugs, especially cocaine.