Here are the 11 Most Haunted Castles in Scotland
Scotland is famed for it’s haunted houses and castles and it’s very much part of our folklore. Some haunted Scottish castles can actually be stayed in and there are numerous old country manor houses or lodges with their own alleged ghost ‘in residence’. Others can be visited for a tour and for lovers of Halloween and the whole ‘spirit’ world, there are numerous amazing castles to choose from. The ghosts are often ladies and whether it be Cawdor Castle’s ‘handless ghost’, Fernie Castle’s ‘Green Lady’ or Glamis Castle’s ‘Grey Lady’, the female sex seems to make up a high proportion of ghosts wandering the corridors. Many of course were put to the stake as witches or slain by jilted lovers. Some were even killed by furious fathers!
1. CAWDOR CASTLE
Built around a 15th Century tower, Cawdor Castle, near Inverness, is reportedly said to be cursed by witches who were said to be enraged when the playwright, William Shakespeare, used one of their spells in the opening scene of Macbeth. It wasn’t only Macbeth that has had an effect on the paranormal at Cawdor; Romeo and Juliet also has played it’s part in the castle’s history. In the 1880’s, the daughter of the Earl of Cawdor, fell in love with the son of a rival family and was caught in their secret hiding place by her father. The furious Earl then chased his daughter through the castle until she had nowhere to go and so climbed out of a window, dangling by her hands which he chopped off with his sword. Various visitors to the castle have reported seeing a handless young woman in blue dress wandering through the castle.
2. FYVIE CASTLE
The curse of Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire is a chilling tale. Thomas the Rhymer, upon visiting the castle, told of a prophecy known as ‘The Weeping Stones of Fyvie’. Until the three stones, supposedly taken from a sacred burial site, are returned, no male heir shall ever inherit the castle. One of the stones was found in The Charter room and can be seen on display there today, another in the Preston Tower and the third is said to be in the Ythan River, and to find that, would be like looking for a needle in a haystack. Fyvie Castle also has both a ‘Green Lady’ and a ‘Grey Lady’ to boot!
3. FERNIE CASTLE
Fernie Castle is a 14th Century castle in Fife, which has now become a hotel. The ‘Green Lady’ of Fernie Castle is reportedly a young woman who had married a man of whom her father disapproved. She was hiding in the castle to get away from her father and when she was found, there was a struggle to bring her downstairs and she fell to her death. There has always been the question of whether she was pushed or fell of her own accord. The ‘Green Lady’ has been seen in the guest bedrooms in the west tower.
4. GLAMIS CASTLE
One of the most haunted castles in Scotland, is Glamis Castle in Angus, the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother and ancestral seat of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorn. With no less than 9 ghosts, the castle is a busy place even when the family are away! Glamis Castle is another Scottish castle to have a minor feature in Macbeth but also Royal connections, as before it was granted to the Lyon family in the 14th Century, it was in the hands of Scottish Royalty.
5. INVERARAY CASTLE
Inveraray Castle in Argyll, sits in a magical position overlooking Loch Fyne. Legend has it that it is haunted by several ghosts including a young Irish harpist, who was killed by the Duke of Montrose’s men in 1644. The harpist can be seen in the MacArthur Room and there is also a ‘grey lady’ that has only been seen by daughters of a Duke of Argyll. Very spookily, when a Duke dies, the ghostly ‘Galley of Lorne’ can be seen sailing away into the distance on Loch Fyne.
6. DRUM CASTLE
Drum Castle in Aberdeenshire, is one of the oldest tower houses in Scotland. It was given to the Irvine’s in 1323 by Robert the Bruce and has lots of supernatural activities going on. Anna Forbes Irvine who died in 1900, haunts the castle along with the eerie laughter of her son, Alexander, who died in 1865 aged six. Family heirlooms move about in the night with great regularity and when night falls footsteps can be heard.
7. CRATHES CASTLE
Crathes Castle is situated near Banchory and has enchanting turrets, towers and ornate rooms. Built for the first time in the 1500s by the Burnett family the foreboding tower house is still standing. There are most certainly spirits inhabiting this castle within the walls. The Green Lady, dressed in a green robe, roams the castle and it is said that she was a either a servant girl or the ward of the Laird and that she had a child and then disappeared. There was a discovery in the 1800s of skeleton remains, from behind the fireplace in a room that has been seen in.
8. DUNROBIN CASTLE
Dunrobin Castle near Golspie is a huge Scottish castle. Apparently, in the 15th Century, the Earl of Sutherland wanted to marry a beautiful young girl from a rival clan and so he locked her away until such time as he could marry her. Her spirit is said to haunt the Seamstress’s Room in the upper floors of Dunrobin Castle. The beautiful woman tried to escape from the castle by amking a rope out of her sheets, but sadly, fell to her death. She can still be heard crying from the same room, today.
9. STIRLING CASTLE
Stirling Castle is one of the most important castles in Scotland and has witnessed a colorful history. It is said that the castle is haunted by a ghostly Highlander, dressed in full traditional costume. Visitors to the castle have sometimes approached this ghostly figure expecting him to be a tour guide and answer their questions but he merely turns away from them and disappears completely.
10. CULZEAN CASTLE
Situated on the Ayrshire coast, Culzean Castle is a dramatic and imposing building that looks as if it could be home to several spirits. One such spirit is a young woman who wears a ballgown and is frequently spotted gliding up the grand oval staircase. There is another story that whenever a member of the Kennedy family is about to get married, a ghostly piper can be heard piping away to the in the grounds. He also plays on stormy nights, and you can hear his music mingling with the sound of wind and the rough sea launching it’s waves on the shore.
11. EILEAN DONAN CASTLE
Eilean Donan Castle near Kyle of Lochalsh, has to be one of the most well-recognized castles in the whole of Europe, if not in the world because of it being a photographers paradise. In 1719, during a siege in the first Jacobite rebellion, a Spanish soldier was killed and is said to haunt the castle. There is also ‘Lady Mary’ who has been seen on occasion in one of the castle bedrooms.
The Scots love these tales and are happy to regale others instilling a certain nervous tension into the room, usually just before guests retire for the night and often on a wet and blustery night. Candles flicker and doors slam but if you hide under your duvet until daybreak, you should be alright. For guests that enjoy things that go ‘bump in the night’, LTR has some magical homes for them to hunker down and wait for the late night appearance of the Green Lady … or is the Grey Lady?
If you are planning a trip to Scotland, even if you would like to avoid the haunted Scottish castles, we would love to help you make the most of your time here. Do contact us on + 44 (0) 1835 824642 or firstname.lastname@example.org.