Scottish Castle Ghosts

No website about Scotland would be complete without a mention of Scottish castle ghosts, and there are many. Ranging from grey ladies, white ladies, and green ladies to misty shapes and mysterious pipers. With the bloody history surrounding some of our castles it’s no wonder the spirits and apparitions are quite restless.

GhostAdd to that the vast number of castles in Scotland with their dungeons, secret tunnels and passageways, real estate here is surely worth looking at if you’re a ghost.

Forgive me, I mock. In the technological age of the twenty first century, it’s easy to dismiss such paranormal activity without unquestionable scientific proof. However, centuries ago, ghosts were very real to those people claiming to have witnessed the unexplainable, and like everything else, an increased number of “sightings” only serves to add weight to the argument of whether such ghosts exist.

There have been “sightings” as recently as the 1970s.

OK, no more rambling, lets have a look at our Scottish castle ghosts……

Edinburgh Castle
Our most famous castle reputedly has more than one ghost :

The Drummer is said to be the headless form of a small boy. Who he is, nobody knows but apparently his drums were heard when the castle was about to come under attack, so he hasn’t been heard for some time.

The Piper is one of the most famous Scottish castle ghosts. Edinburgh Castle has a number of secret tunnels leading to the Royal Mile. When these tunnels were first discovered, a piper was sent down to explore.

The idea was that he would play the pipes as he went, so that his progress could be tracked from above. Everything was going well until the pipes suddenly stopped. When a rescue party went down to investigate, the piper had vanished and has never been seen since, but today his music can still sometimes be heard from the castle.

Stirling Castle
There are many ghosts in Stirling. Here are the two most sighted :

The Green Lady is Stirling’s most famous ghost, thought to be a maidservant to Mary Queen of Scots, who was crowned here.

The Queen almost died when, asleep in her bed, her bedroom curtains caught fire from a candle. She was saved by the maidservant, who died in the fire. Since then, the phantom of the Green Lady has appeared unexpectedly in different parts of the castle, as if checking for fires.

The Pink Lady is a beautiful apparition dressed in a pink gown. Some say she is the ghost of Queen Mary, and other stories suggest she is a young widow searching for her husband who was killed in battle. The Pink Lady is usually seen walking from the castle to the nearby church.

Glamis Castle
Could lay claim to being top of the Scottish castle ghosts charts :

Earl Beardie was what we may call a compulsive gambler who liked playing cards. As a guest of the castle one Sunday he was losing heavily and demanding that more people play cards with him. He was quite drunk and became aggressive, claiming that he would play with the devil himself. There was a knock on the door and a strange dark figure entered. The servants heard strange rantings from the Earl. He died a few days later!

No one knows who the dark stranger was, but the story goes that Beardie plays cards with the Devil for all eternity, in a secret room in the castle.

The Grey Lady is thought to be the spirit of Lady Janet Douglas, burned at the stake as a witch in 1537, on charges of plotting to poison the King. To this day, in the family chapel at Glamis Castle there is always an empty seat, and staff will tell you it’s reserved for the Grey Lady.

Culzean Castle
There have been many sightings here over the years :

The Ghostly Piper is believed to be an ancester of the Kennedy Clan. Whenever a Kennedy is getting married, the Ghostly Piper’s music can be heard throughout the castle grounds, in celebration of the wedding.

The Supernatural Knight could be a fantasy that has been confused with a true story. The knight is said to have abducted a young heiress and held her captive in the castle. What is factual is that one May Kennedy from Culzean was abducted from the castle by Sir John Cathcart, but escaped by pushing him to his death from the cliffs.

As recently as 1976, two tourists staying at Culzean Castle reported seeing a strange misty shape moving up the oval staircase. This is thought to be the ghost of a princess who was killed in the Green Room, and the “misty shape” has been a common sighting over the years.

Eilean Donan Castle
Who could believe such a lovely place is haunted :

The Spanish Soldier is believed to be the ghost of one of the fifty soldiers beheaded here during the Jacobite rising of 1719. His tormented spectre has been seen holding his head under his arm in the room that used to be the gift shop, but is now used for the introductory exhibition.

See the Scotland Travel Information page for all the information you need for travelling to and within Scotland. helful advice on passports and visas, currency, weather, holiday extras, useful travel links and much more.

Whether or not you believe in Scottish castle ghosts, one fact remains : There have been too many sightings to dismiss the notion completely. Many people believe in paranormal activity and many ridicule the idea as being old wives tales. Me? I’ll keep an open mind.

Related Posts :

Castle Hotels
A stay in one of our Scottish Castle Hotels is the ultimate when it comes to treating yourself to something a little bit special. Explore Scotland in beautiful surroundings and a relaxed atmosphere.

Castle Weddings
Imagine the many banquets, stately dinners and balls that have taken place in these great halls, not to mention tales of castle ghosts. You can have a traditional wedding with a formal white dress and veil.

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