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Cortachy Castle

Cortachy Castle

Near Kirriemuir, Tayside

The Ogilvy family, Earls of Airlie, have owned Cortachy Castle since the early 17th Century. The castle is haunted by the ghost of a drummer who is said to have been caught in a compromising situation with the then Lady Airlie and as a punishment ordered to be sealed in one of his own drums and hurled from a tower. The Earl went to the foot of the wall to make sure that the young man was dead, but found him still alive but dying fast. With his last breath the drummer cursed the Earl and his descendants and promised that the sound of his drumming would foretell the death of members of the Ogilvy family.

In December, 1844, a Miss Dalrymple, who was staying at Cortachy Castle at Christmas, when dressing for dinner one night, heard the sound of the drum that loudly that she thought it was being beaten right outside her bedroom window. When she told the Earl, on arriving in the dining room, he went pale for he knew the total significance. A short while later he was dead.

Five years later, on 19th. August 1849, the drum was heard by a guest whilst out in a shooting party. The then Lord Airlie who was at that time in London, was suddenly taken ill and died within the hour.

In 1881 the drum was heard by both Lady Dalkeith and Lady Skelmersdale and that same night the then Lord Airlie died in North America. The family were later to learn that the sound of the drum was heard exactly one hour before his death.

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