Scotland is one of the most beautiful places on Earth…and one of the most haunted! Everywhere you turn, there’s castles and keeps and ancient dwellings just bursting with ghosts and ghouls.
Here’s the top ten most haunted places to visit in Scotland:
- CASTLE FRASER
Castle Fraser (http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Castle-Fraser-Garden-and-Estate/) at Inverurie is the ancestral home of the Fraser family dating back to the 15th century.
Currently under the care of the National Trust for Scotland, the castle is haunted by the ghost of a princess murdered while she slept in the castle’s Green Room. According to castle legend, her lifeless body was dragged through the castle and down the stone staircase leaving a sticky, bloody trail. Despite repeated scrubbing by the castle’s servants, the blood could not be removed and is the reason – it is said – why the steps were covered by wooden panelling. There have been many sightings of the princess throughout the castle as well as voices, whispers and piano music.
As well as the princess, a second female ghost haunts the ancient hallways. Lady Blanch Drummond died in the castle in 1874 and her ghost, dressed in a long black gown, has been seen in the grounds and on the staircase.
Other ghostly apparitions at the castle include reports by kitchen staff of children laughing and singing. When they went to investigate, they found there was no children anywhere in the castle.
- CULZEAN CASTLE
Another of the National Trust for Scotland’s properties, Culzean Castle (http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Culzean-Castle-and-Country-Park/) is home to around seven ghosts including a piper and a servant girl.
Built by Robert Adam between 1777 and 1792 for the 10th Earl of Cassilis, Culzean Castle is situated near Maybole in Ayrshire, an area once belonging to the Clan Kennedy.
It is believed some of the ghosts are former members of the Kennedy Clan, although none have been identified. Of the other ghosts, the piper is said to appear to celebrate the marriage of Clan family members and can be heard playing during stormy nights.
The servant girl ghost has also been seen in the castle along with that of a woman in a ballgown. Other apparitions include a misty shape moving up the oval staircase.
- EDINBURGH CASTLE AND THE ROYAL MILE
Edinburgh Castle (http://www.edinburghcastle.gov.uk/) and the area surrounding it can arguably be said to be Scotland’s most haunted place.
The castle itself if connected to the Royal Mile – the road running from the castle to Holyrood Palace below – by a network of underground tunnels. Legend has it that a piper was sent to explore the tunnels. He was told to play so that those above ground could track his progress. The music stopped halfway down the Royal Mile and the piper was never seen again. There was no sign of his body, but his music can still often be heard within the castle walls.
A second ghost is thought to be a drummer who only appears when the castle is about to be attacked.
Talking of the Royal Mile, there are a number of ghosts reputedly haunting the area including in Mary King’s Close, which was shut off after plague decimated its inhabitants. There’s also the famous Death Coach – a driverless carriage pulled by fiery headless horses – which foretells a disaster coming.
Underneath the surrounding streets is a warren of vaults where the city’s poor lived and died. You can take ghost walks and visit these vaults where there have been many sightings of restless spirits.
- JEDBURGH CASTLE
Jedburgh Castle Jail and Museum (http://www.museumsgalleriesscotland.org.uk/member/jedburgh-castle-jail-and-museum) was built in 1823 and is the sight of a number of ghostly goings on including a piper on the battlements and strong presences felt by visitors. Some have also seen strange lights and it was the scene of an investigation by a television crew looking into poltergeist activity.
- STIRLING CASTLE
Dating back to at least 1110, Stirling Castle (http://www.stirlingcastle.gov.uk/) is said to house the ghost of one of Mary Queen of Scots servants who is known as the green lady. The story goes that one night a candle set fire to the Queen’s bed curtains trapping the Queen inside. The girl rushed in and pulled Mary to safety, but lost her own life as a result.
A second ghost, a pink lady, has also been sighted at the castle and is thought to be either Mary herself or a woman searching for her dead husband. The lady, wearing a long pink gown, walks from the castle to the nearby Church of the Holyrood.
A Highlander, wearing a traditional outfit, has also been seen on many occasions by staff and visitors. Some have mistaken him for a tour guide and get a shock when he disappears before his eyes.
- LEITH HALL
Built in 1650 by James Leith, Leith Hall (http://www.nts.org.uk/Property/Leith-Hall-Garden-and-Estate/) is supposed to be haunted by Laird John Leith III who was killed on Christmas Day, 1763.
He was shot in the head during a fight in Archie Campbell’s Tavern, a brawl that was started when a man accused him of adulterating grain sold at the hall.
The ghost, which walks the hall, appears with a bloody bandage covering his head, dark green trousers and a shirt. He is heard moaning and appears to be in a lot of pain.
Other ghosts at Leith Hall include a laughing lady, children playing and a young soldier and there’s been sudden drops in temperature and a strong unpleasant smell.
- DALZELL HOUSE
Dalzell House (http://www.dalzellandbaronshaugh.co.uk/story_of_dalzell.html) in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire started out as a hunting estate for royalty.
The house was built by the Dalzell (pronounce Dee-ell) family and consists of a 15th century tower house surrounded by 17th and 19th century additions.
This historic building has the distinction of being haunted by three ghosts: the green lady, the white lady and a grey lady. The first, the green lady, haunts the south wing. The white lady walks the estate and is thought to have been a maid who jumped off the battlements or was walled up.
The grey lady is thought to have been a World War 1 nurse who died in the house when it was used as a hospital for wounded soldiers returning from the Front.
- CULLODEN MOOR
Culloden Moor (http://www.nts.org.uk/Culloden/Home/) near Inverness is perhaps one of the eeriest places in Scotland.
The scene of the Battle of Culloden in 1746 where Bonnie Prince Charlie’s Jacobite army took on Government troops, the moor is the last resting place for anywhere between 1500 and 2000 men.
Lasting less than an hour, the battle was one of the bloodiest on UK soil and ended the Stuart claim to the British throne.
So what makes it so creepy? A deep sense of melancholy hangs over the moor itself and adds to the haunting feeling you get when you walk around the pathways that take you from one grave marker to another.
It is a bleak place and made more so by the various legends that have grown up around it. For instance, the water of a burn (a stream) that runs through the moor flows red and said to be that colour because the blood of the fallen that seeps into it.
No birds are heard singing near the graves of the fallen and every April 16, the ghosts of the dead are said to rise to re-enact the fighting, the sounds of broadswords clashing ringing across the battlefield.
And then there’s the Great Scree of Culloden, a spectral bird which appears on the moor to give bad luck to anyone who comes across it. A black bird was apparently seen by a Jacobite commander the day before the battle and is seen as a bad omen.
- GLAMIS CASTLE
Childhood home of Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon (the late mother of the current British queen), Glamis Castle (http://www.glamis-castle.co.uk) in Angus dates back centuries.
In 1034, King Malcolm II was brought there to die following a skirmish with Macbeth’s troops. At that point it was a Royal hunting lodge, but by the early 1300s a castle had been built and was granted to Sir John Lyon, Thane of Glamis.
The castle has a number of ghosts with some interesting names and stories. Earl Beardie – either the 2nd Lord Glamis or the Earl of Crawford – is said to have become so incensed about being unable to play cards on the Sabbath he swore he would play until Doomsday or with the Devil (depending on what version of the story you hear). A man appeared at the door and the two sat down to play. The man was the Devil and left with Earl Beardie’s soul.
There’s also the Grey Lady, a woman without a tongue and the Monster of Glamis – supposedly the deformed child of the family who was kept in the castle all his life. His rooms – now lost – were bricked up after his death.
- DALMARNOCK BRIDGE
Glasgow’s Dalmarnock Bridge (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dalmarnock) is one of eight bridges spanning the River Clyde.
Designed by Glasgow consulting engineers, Crouch & Hogg, the current bridge was built in 1891and is the scene of a ghostly suicide.
Many witnesses have reported the sight of a solid young man, thought to be in his 30s and wearing black clothes, jumping into the water. As the horrified onlookers watch, the apparition disappears before he hits the water.
To this day, no-one knows who the man is and why he jumped.
Happy Halloween!!! wooohooo hahahahahah!! (that’s meant to be my spooky laugh)