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St Andrews

St Rules Tower

St Andrews Cathedral, dating from the twelfth century, lies in ruins now but was once the largest cathedral in Scotland and a powerful and influential religious center. In all, building work took almost two hundred years. The royal burgh of St Andrews, in which the cathedral stands, is a very old and beautiful university town, of great interest both to the historian and the ghost-hunter.

The cathedral has two ghosts that are particularly well known, one a woman, the other a man. In the grounds of the cathedral at St Andrews is St Rule's Tower, a remnant of St Rule's Church, which was build before the cathedral and used to hold the relics of St Andrew. It is here that the male ghost can be seen. The tower is quite high, and the view from the top, looking over the town, is well worth seeing, so it is quite a popular visiting place. One visitor to the tower several years ago was startled by a figure in a cassock who appeared as he was climbing to the top. The tourist lost his footing on one of the steps and stumbled. Far from wishing to frighten the tourist, the cowled figure had genuinely intended to be helpful, for the tourist heard him offer to give him his arm on the way up the stairs. The tourist, swiftly recovering his balance, refused politely, and the figure stepped to one side to allow him to pass and then vanished without trace. When the tourist came out of the tower at the end of his visit, he asked the man at the door whether anyone else had been in the tower at the same time as himself. The man at the door said there had been no one else there, but he knew who, or what, the tourist had seen. The tourist discovered that the figure he had seen was well known to those who knew the tower. He was a monk who would appear from time to time at St Rule's - not a malevolent spirit at all, it would seem, but a kindly ghost who liked to make sure that visitors made their way safely to the top of the spiral staircase.

The female ghost is a white lady who has been seen in the grounds of the cathedral. The ghost was observed to be wearing white gloves. Some of the sightings may well have been fanciful, perhaps fuelled by alcohol, as they were made by students returning from late-night revelries. Nevertheless, the White Lady has also been seen by more sober citizens of the town from time to time over a period of nearly two centuries. The identity of the White Lady is not known, but it may be that her burial place is very near. In 1868, historians investigating the tower opened a sealed vault there and discovered it to be a burial place. There were six or so coffins inside it. They also found, it is claimed, the mummified body of a young woman wearing white gloves. The vault was re-sealed, but it appears that the historians had discovered part of the answer to the mysterious appearances of the White Lady of St Andrews.



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