Scotland Castle Ghosts
Ardvreck Castle on Loch Assynt in Sutherland, Highlands of Scotland. One account concerning Ardvreck castle is that of James Graham the Marquis of Montrose, who, in 1650 was captured and held at the castle before being taken to Edinburgh for trial and execution. Montrose was a Royalist, fighting on the side of Charles I against the Covenanters. The castle is said to be haunted by two ghosts, one a tall man dressed in grey who is supposed to be related to the betrayal of Montrose and may even be Montrose himself. The second ghost is that of a young girl. According to the legend the MacLeods enlisted the help of the Devil to help build the castle and in return the daughter of one of the chieftains was betrothed to him. The daughter in question only discovered the true identity of her husband after the marriage and in despair threw herself to her death from one of the castle towers.
Balcomie Castle, near Crail, Fife, Scotland. Haunted by the ghost of a boy who was starved to death here some 400 years ago.
Baldoon Castle, Wigtown, Scotland. The blood splattered bride ghost of Baldoon Castle haunts the ruins.
Brodick Castle, Island of Arran, Scotland. A Grey Lady haunts the castle, thought to be a maid from Cromwellian times.
Carbisdale Castle, Sutherland, Scotland. Scotland's most haunted youth hostel, with a lohg record of ghostly sightings and strange sounds. These include phantom pipe music and organ music, also a lady in white and an apparition carrying a sword. The old nursery and schoolroom is reputed to be the most haunted part with a long list of eerie goings-on.
Cawdor Castle, near Inverness, Scotland. Haunted by an enigmatic woman in a blue velvet dress.
Claypotts Castle, Angus, Scotland. The castle is said to be haunted by a White Lady.
Comlongon Castle, Dumfries, Scotland. Originally constructed in 1400, the castle is now a hotel. In 1570, Lady Marion Carruthers took her own life by leaping from the lookout tower, where she was being held captive. Since that day, it is said that no grass has grown on the spot where she died. Strange occurrences have since taken place and the ghostly figure of a young lady crying has been seen wandering the castle. It is thought that she haunts the castle as she was not given a proper Christian burial as suicide victims were not buried in Holy ground. Subsequently, she walks the earth looking for her proper resting place.
Craignethan Castle, South Lanarkshire, Scotland. Haunted by a headless Mary Queen of Scots along with a mystery ghost dressed in historical costume.
Craigievar Castle, Alford, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Haunted by a member of the Gordon family who was murdered here. There is also a ghostly fiddler.
Crathes Castle, Banchory, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Said to be haunted by a green-robed woman nursing a baby.
Culcreuch Castle, Stirling, Scotland. No self-respecting tower house would be complete without its resident ghost. In this case, it the ghost of lady from the Clan Buchanan. She played the harp as a farewell to her dying lover. The notes of the harp can still sometimes be heard late at night in the castle. Other spectres have been reported including the head of a boar on plate that floats around the battlements, while a grey shadow pushes past
people in the corridors and hallway.
Culzean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland. Robert Adam designed his masterpiece for the Kennedy Earl of Cassillis in the 18th century. When a member of the Kennedy family is about to get married a ghostly piper is said to play in the grounds. The spectre's music can also be heard on wild and stormy nights. There is also the ghost of a young woman in a ballgown.
Dean Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland. Prior to the Jacobite uprising, servants in the castle said they had seen their master's severed head rolling on the floor. The fourth Earl Boyd later joined the rising, and was beheaded in 1746.
Delgatie Castle, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The Castle is said to be haunted by a young lady called Rohaise. She appears in the same bedroom but only appears when men stay in the room. It is thought she may have defended the castle when alive. During the Second World War she was seen by many of the soldiers stationed there. They reported her as having red hair.
Delgatie Castle also had a ghost monk. He was buried in a wall of one of the rooms at the castle and his remains were found after Rachel, a daughter of one of the owners, had a dream about a body being buried in the castle. The wall was taken down and a
crouched skeleton with some black cloth was found. The wall was then rebuilt.
Afterwards the ghost of the monk would haunt Delgatie Castle. Rachel researched who this skeleton and ghost could have been and it is thought to have been a Monk called Joseph Hay who chose to come home to Delgatie Castle at the time of the Reformations when monasteries were being destroyed.
The Catholic family of the Hays could practice their religion in private at the castle and may have chosen to bury their relative within the castle. His ghost was haunting the castle so much that a minister from St Luke at nearby Cuminestown came to Delgatie Castle to perform an exorcism and dedicate his final resting place.
Dunnottar Castle, near Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The ghost of a young girl, a deer hound and a tall Scandinavian ghost have all been reported.
Dunrobin Castle, Golspie, Sutherland, Scotland. Haunted by the tragic daughter of the 14th Earl of Sutherland.
Duns Castle, Berwickshire, Scottish Borders. Haunted by Alexander Hay who was killed in the battle of Waterloo in 1815.
Dunstaffnage Castle, Oban, Scotland. Haunted by, a ghost in a green dress whose appearance signifies a major event for the Campbells.
Duntrune Castle, Argyll, Scotland. The ghost of a handless piper is said to haunt this ancient stronghold. A MacDonald piper was sent into the castle as a spy, but was found out. He was imprisoned, but played his pipes to warn the MacDonalds that their 'surprise' attack was now expected - the piper's hands were cut off by the Campbells for his actions. Another story tells of how the MacDonalds captured the castle. The MacDonald chieftain needed to return home and left a small band of men to defend the castle, with the piper among them. In his absence the castle was recaptured by the Campbells and they lay in wait for the MacDonalds. As the MacDonalds sailed back to the castle they heard the piper playing a tune of welcome from the castle ramparts.
As the boat grew closer they realised the tune was in fact a warning. The boat turned about and the trap failed. To punish the piper, his hands were cut off and he died of his injuries. During alterations the fingerless skeleton of man was discovered in the castle walls. Some years later workmen discovered the skeletal remains of two hands under the kitchen floor.
Many believe that this skeleton is that of The Piper Of Duntrune. The skeleton is buried near the castle. However, the burial was Episcopalian and as a MacDonald the Piper would most likely have been Catholic, and may explain why the Piper is still supposedly roaming the castle grounds: unable to rest because of his murder and burial.
Fernie Castle, Fife, Scotland. Originally owned by the MacDuffs it passed to the Fernies in the 15th century. A Green Lady, thwarted in love haunts the west tower of the castle. She is said to have plunged to her death from the tower, and notifies her presence by tampering with lights and electrical apparatus.
Fort George, near Inverness, Scotland. This imposing and bleak fortress is believed to be haunted by a phantom piper.
Castle Fraser, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Haunted by a princess who was brutally murdered in the Green Room.
Castle Grant, Grantown-on-Spey, Scotland. Haunted by the 16th century ghost of Lady Barbara Grant.
Castle Guthrie, Angus, Scotland. Now a hotel with a 'Ghost Suite' haunted by a former Lady Guthrie.
Hermitage Castle, Scottish Borders. There is a strong association with Mary Queen of Scots at Hermitage Castle. She rode from Jedburgh and back in a day to see her lover the Earl of Bothwell and inevitably her ghost is said to haunt the castle. However, the most famous piece of folklore concerns an earlier occupant of the castle Lord Soulis. Legend says he was a practitioner of black magic. Eventually the local people rebelled against him and boiled him to death in a cauldron. So, perhaps it is his ghost that is responsible for the strange noises and screams that have been heard around the castle.
House of Binns. The grounds of the Binns are supposedly also haunted by the spectre of an old man, gathering firewood. He is described in one account
as being a Pict, clad in a brown cloak; although what criteria was used to distinguish a Pict from a Scot, Angle or Briton is not recorded.
Huntingtower Castle, Perth, Scotland. The castle ghost is named 'My Lady Greensleeves'. An enigmatic presence, some legends say she is the spirit of a woman who threw herself from the roof upon learning about the death of her betrothed.
Inveraray Castle, Argyll, Scotland. Reputed to have a number of ghosts including a harpist, a young woman and a spectre who appears when a Campbell chief is close to death.
Jedburgh Castle and Jail, Scottish Borders. Ghosts abound, numerous reports of strange noises, footsteps and the sightings of former inmates.
Kinnaird Head Castle, Fraserburgh, Scotland. An open and shut case of family honour; daughter falls in love unsuitably. Father locks up daughter in tower and bumps off lover. Daughter kills herself in grief. In this case, Sir Alexander Fraser's daughter, Isobel, jumps from Wine Tower, adjacent to castle (now a lighthouse museum). The spot is still rather gruesomely marked with red paint. The cave below the tower was the scene of the crime and the ghostly lover can be heard playing his pipes on Stormy nights.
Lordscairnie Castle, near Cupar, Fife, Scotland. The 4th Earl of Crawford is said to be seen playing cards with the devil at midnight each New Year's Eve.
Meggernie Castle, Glenlyon, Perthshire, Scotland. Celebrated haunting, where two halves of a woman float through the castle, the murder victim and wife of a former laird.
Monymusk Castle, Inverurie, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The library is haunted by a man reading the books, a Grey Lady phantom appears in the nursery and a red haired ghost nicknamed 'The Party Ghost' because it appears during parties where he mingles with the guests.
Muchalls Castle, Stonehaven, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Said to be haunted by two colourful ghosts, a Green Lady and a Yellow Lady.
Neidpath Castle, Peebles, Scottish Borders. Haunted by a girl whose father would not allow her to marry her lover - she died of a broken heart.
Castle of Park, Banff, Scotland. Haunted by a ghostly servant girl and a monk.
Stirling Castle, Stirlingshire, Scotland. The Green Lady is Stirling's most famous ghost, thought to be a maid servant to Mary Queen of Scots, who was crowned here. The Queen almost died when, asleep in her bed, her bedroom caught fire but she was saved by the maidservant.
The Green Lady has appeared unexpectedly in different parts of the castle, perhaps checking for fires. Stirling Castle also has a Pink Lady, a young girl dressed in pink surrounded by a pink glow, who walks from the castle to the nearby church at Lady's Rock. Some think it is Mary, Queen of Scots or others believe that she was one of the occupants of the castle when it was besieged by Edward I in 1304. She was the only one to escape from the castle and she may return to the castle searching for her husband whowas killed during the siege.
Tulloch Castle Hotel, Dingwall, Scotland. Guests have reported a figure at the end of their bed. Door handles rattling and other disturbances. (Apparently room 8 is not for the faint-hearted). The castle is known for its Green Lady, who died after falling down a spiral staircase after witnessing her father's adultery. Should you encounter her, you will recognise her likeness from her portrait in the Grand Hall.
Castles and Houses of Scotland This book covers many ghost
stories in all their manifestations: Green, White, Grey, Pink,
Black, Brown and Blue Ladies; portents of death; gruagach and
brownies; evil lairds who dabbled in witchcraft; massacres and
bloodstains; dog, monkeys and even maybe a lion; sad stories
of children; and insubstantial phantoms, including a ghostly
cannonball. There is a separate section on Mary, Queen of Scots,
and stories about William Wallace, Bonnie Prince Charlie and
Walter Scott. The book is arranged thematically, comparing and
contrasting the many accounts, and where possible describing
who the ghost was in life, what dark deed caused their death,
and how the ghost manifests itself. Many of Scotland's most
famous and impressive strongholds have stories, such as Edinburgh,
Stirling, Holyroodhouse, Dunnottar, Crathes, Culzean, Dunrobin,
Thirlestane, Drumlanrig, Fyvie, St Andrews. There are stories
from all over Scotland - from Shetland to Galloway, from the
Western Isles to Eyemouth, covering more than 300 strongholds,
historic houses and mansions. The book also has many illustrations.
Dozens of these sites are open to the public as visitor attractions
or hotels. A handy section lists which can be visited or stayed
at, and there is visitor information, including websites and
phone numbers. A map, with grid references, locates all the
sites. Martin Coventry was born in Edinburgh, and is a writer
and publisher. He is author of many books on Scotland, and first
published The Castles of Scotland, now going into a fourth edition,
in 1995. He has been researching Scottish castles and the many
related ghost stories for more than fifteen years. Scotland Castle Ghosts.
Return To Scottish Ghosts