Downton Abbey

Shirley MacLaine: 'Downton Abbey' castle is 'haunted'

Jan. 3, 2013 at 9:53 AM ET

The drama at the English estate kicks off on PBS on Jan. 6, 2013. Get a sneak peek at some of the photos from the new season!

Could "Downton Abbey" be haunted by more than just the ghosts of romantic yearnings and gilded eras past? Shirley MacLaine seems to think so: The Oscar winner, who joins the cast of the hit series and whose (in)famous otherworldly pursuits have included ramblings about her past lives, says that the show's iconic manse, Highclere Castle, is bursting with spirits.

"It was a fantastic experience; Highclere was haunted, and the pictures came off the wall," she tells the New York Daily News.

"The energy of the castle, grounds, (its) past and the hauntings was inspiring. I am very much into that stuff," adds the 78-year-old actress, who plays the feisty American mother of Elizabeth McGovern's Lady Cora.

(Lotsa spiritual juju in that joint: King Tut's tomb was once reportedly stored in Highclere's basement.) 

Check out "Downton Abbey's" biggest OMG moments

"Shooting there was a once-in-a-lifetime experience," she muses.

Then again, if you've got multiple lives like MacLaine, it's a once-in-every-lifetime experience. 

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