9 Haunted Places in Scotland
Stewart | On 19, Apr 2017
Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh
The historic Edinburgh Castle sits on Castle Rock and dominates the city’s skyline.
The oldest part of the castle is the St Margaret’s Chapel which dates back to the 12th century.
The Great Hall was built in 1510 whilst the Half Moon Battery was constructed in the late 16th century.
Most of the castle you see today was built after the Lang Siege of the 16th century which destroyed most of the medieval parts of the fortress.
Over the centuries the castle has been involved in many conflicts, it’s been besieged and was used in the Wars of Scottish Independence in the 14th century and also the Jacobite Rising in 1745.
Today the castle is run as a tourist attraction by Historic Scotland so you can have a look around it if you fancy.
With such a long and eventful history you probably won’t be too surprised if I told you that Edinburgh Castle is said to have the odd ghost or two knocking about the place…
Dark shadowy figures, eerie green lights, strange mists and sudden temperature drops have all been experienced at the castle.
Members of the castle’s staff and visitors alike have reported being pushed and touched by unknown forces whilst walking around the castle.
Poltergeist activity has been reported in the castle dungeons too.
Ghostly apparitions of a headless drummer boy, a piper and an old man in a leather apron have been seen by terrified witnesses within the castle’s walls.
Visitors to the castle’s dog cemetery have also reported seeing apparitions of ghostly dogs with the most famous being the ghost of Greyfriars Bobby.
He was a Skye Terrier from the 19th century who was said to have loyally guarded his owners grave for fourteen years!
Blackness Castle, Blackness
The 15th century Blackness Castle is an imposing structure located near the village of Blackness on the south shore of the Firth of Forth.
Built by Sir George Crichton in the 1440s but later passed to King James II of Scotland in 1453 the castle has remained in the hands of the crown ever since.
Over the centuries it’s been used as a prison and in times of war an artillery fortress and an armaments depot.
In the late 1990s a lady was visiting the castle with her two young sons when she decided to climb the Central Tower aka the Prison Tower.
Well, saying she got the shock of her life would be an understatement…
You see, as they climbed the winding staircase of the tower a ghostly apparition of a knight in full armour appeared before.
And he wasn’t happy.
He literally chased her and her sons from the tower before disappearing into thin air!
The other spooky tale to come from the castle happened one dark cold Halloween night…
A group of ghost investigators stayed in the tower.
They didn’t have to wait long before they all heard the sound of furniture being dragged about on the stone floor of the room beneath them.
Now the room should’ve been empty so they plucked up some courage and went to investigate who had been moving the furniture around.
As they entered the room all was quiet and strangely nothing in the room had been moved.
The weird thing is, as soon as they left the room and returned to the room above it all hell broke loose again!
Auchen Castle Hotel, Moffat
Sir Humphrey de Kirkpatrick built the Auchen Castle Hotel back in 1220…
Of course it wasn’t a hotel back then!
Over the centuries the historic castle came under the ownership of the Clan Johnstone and the Youngers brewery family.
Today, the castle is a luxurious hotel in which many famous and important people have stayed.
The hotel is said to be haunted by a young girl…
Members of staff and guests alike have reported seeing a ghostly apparition of a small child running along the hotel’s corridors, on the staircase and in the hotel’s grounds.
These sightings all happened in the early hours of the morning!
Drumlanrig Castle, Queensberry Estate
The category A listed Drumlanrig Castle is located on the Queensberry Estate.
It’s the Dumfriesshire home of the Duke and Duchess of Buccleuch and Queensberry.
The 17th century Renaissance castle was built in 1679 from distinctive pink sandstone which lead to it being referred to as the Pink Palace of Drumlanrig.
The house was built on the site of a 14th century castle by the first Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas.
Mary Queen of Scots stayed at the original 14th century castle in 1563…
All that remains of the first castle is the cellar!
With such a long and ancient history, it’s no wonder that the castle is rumoured to be haunted by three ghosts…
Strangely, there’s a room at the castle called the Yellow Monkey Room which is said to be haunted by a large yellow monkey!
The ghostly apparition of Lady Anne Douglas has been seen by terrified witnesses walking around the castle with her bloodied severed head in her hands.
Now there’s another female phantom at Drumlanrig.
Her ghostly apparition is said to be wearing a long dress.
Sanquhar Castle, Sanquhar
Today, the 13th century Sanquhar Castle is sadly a ruin.
It was built by the Crichton family and in its time was visited by many historical figures such as Robert the Bruce, William Wallace, Edward I, Mary, Queen of Scots, and James VI.
In the 17th century the castle was sold to Sir William Douglas, 1st Duke of Queensberry who sadly let the castle get into a state of disrepair.
In 1895, John Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute bought the castle and tried to restore it to its former glory.
Unfortunately, today the castle is now in a ruinous state.
The castle ruins are said to be haunted…
Most of the ghost stories date back to the period when it was owned by Robert Crichton.
Apparently, it’s said he was a very cruel man!
Terrified witnesses have seen a ghostly apparition of a beautiful lady dressed in a white flowing dress walking around the castle’s grounds.
It’s believed that the ghostly White Lady is the spirit of Marion of Delpeddar.
It’s said that she was murdered by Robert Crichton at the end of the 16th century.
Strangely, in 1875 a skeleton of a young girl was unearthed in the castle grounds which many people believed was the murdered Marion!
Another skeleton was discovered in the 19th century under the castle vaults of a decapitated man.
Robert Crichton locked up a servant of Thomas Kilpatrick in his prison to spite him because he was in dispute with a close friend of his.
The man was called John Wilson and unfortunately for him Crichton had him hung when the dispute intensified.
Today, it’s said that the ghost of John Wilson roams the castle late at night!
Edinburgh Vaults, Edinburgh
In 1788, a series of chambers were created in the arches of Edinburgh’s South Bridge.
At first the chambers were used by tradesman, as taverns and for storage space.
By 1820, the chamber’s conditions were pretty bad forcing most of the tradesmen to leave and set up their businesses elsewhere in the city.
For a short time, Edinburgh’s poor move in and the area became slum dwellings but the damp air and poor condition in the chambers even forced them to move out.
History is a bit sketchy, but it’s thought that the vaults were closed down somewhere between 1835 and 1875.
The vaults were sealed up and made inaccessible by pouring tons of rubble into them.
The rediscovery of the vaults is an interesting one…
In 1980, the former Scottish international rugby player Norrie Rowan found a tunnel leading to the chambers.
Together with his son, Norrie excavated tonnes of rubble from the vaults and all by hand!
Now the vaults have a reputation for being very haunted…
In fact both the American Ghost Adventures and the British Most Haunted TV paranormal shows have investigated the vaults with great success.
Dark figures, strange mists, phantom footsteps and an eerie voice saying ‘get out’ have all been experience within the vaults.
Balgonie Castle, Milton of Balgonie
You’ll find the 14th century Balgonie Castle on the south bank of the River Leven near Milton of Balgonie.
The restored keep is the oldest part of the castle.
Unfortunately the remaining 18th century part of the castle is in a ruinous state.
The Sibbald family built a fortified structure at the castle location around about the 1360s.
This building was later extended by Sir Robert Lundie in 1496.
The castle was then sold a couple times more and ended up in the hands of Sir Alexander Leslie in 1635.
He also extended the castle during his ownership.
Further additions were made to the castle by John Leslie, 7th Earl of Rothes in 1664 and David Melville in 1706.
In 1824 the castle was sold to James Balfour of Whittingehame at which time the castle slowly started fall into disrepair.
Luckily, in 1971, a restoration project began on the property by its then owner David Maxwell.
Today, the keep and chapel have now been fully restored.
And the good news is, it’s open to public if you fancy having a look around.
With such a long and interesting history you probably wouldn’t be too surprised if I told you the castle is reported to be haunted…
The most infamous ghost at the castle is that of Green Jeanie.
Her ghostly figure has been seen by terrified witnesses wandering around the castle as far back as 1842.
She said to be dressed in a hooded green outfit which hides her face!
Now, the Great Hall is said to be the most haunted part of the castle…
Extreme drops in temperature have been reported and ghostly disembodied voices have been heard in the hall by scared visitors.
On other occasions, frightened visitors have reported seeing grey and white phantom figures walking about the place.
And on one occasion, a gruesome apparition of a severe head was seen floating out of the great hall by a terrified witness.
A ghostly apparition of a 17th century soldier has been seen by scared witnesses in the courtyard and walking through the castle’s gates.
There have been many more sightings of ghostly apparitions at the castle…
The ghost of Alexander Leslie the first Earl of Leven, a medieval man, a hooded figure and a man with his dog are just a few which have been reported!
Kellie Castle, Arncroach
Kellie Castle is located near the small village of Arncroach.
The old parts of the castle are said to date back to the 14th century although if you visit the castle today what you’ll see will be mainly from the 16th and 17th century.
The first owner of the castle was Robert of London, then the Siward family, the Oliphant family and then Sir Thomas Erskine who became Earl of Kellie in 1619.
The lineage of the Earls of Kellie ended in 1829.
Sadly the castle was left abandoned until the Lorimer family moved in and started to restore it in 1878.
In 1970, Hew Lorimer sold the castle to the National Trust for Scotland.
If you fancy having a look around Kellie Castle, you’ll be pleased to discover that it’s now open to the public.
Kellie Castle is said to be haunted by a couple of ghosts…
The first is that of James Lorimer who rented the property in 1878.
Witnesses have been scared witless by seeing his ghostly apparition sitting in one of the castle’s corridors.
The other ghost often heard at the castle is that of a lady called Ann Erskine.
Apparently, in bygone times, she fell to her death from one of the castle’s windows.
It’s said that her ghostly footsteps can be heard walking around the castle in the middle of the night!
Balcomie Castle, Crail
The original Balcomie Castle dated back to 1375 when it was owned by John de Balcomie.
The structure you see today is a five floored 16th Century L-plan tower house and garret with an 18th century house attached.
Through the centuries the castle has had many owners.
In 1526 it was owned by the Learmonths of Clatto.
The castle was then passed to the Hopes in 1705, then later the Scotts of Scotstarvit and then to the Erskine Earls of Kellie.
Balcomie Castle has a reputation for being haunted.
There’s a story associated with the castle that many centuries ago a young minstrel boy angered the general at the castle early one morning by playing a small flute loudly…
The general throw him into the castle’s dungeon as a punishment but unfortunately he forgot about him.
A week later the poor boy had starved to death!
It’s now said that the ghost of the young minstrel boy haunts the castle.
Sometimes his ghostly apparition is seen wandering around the castle but more than often it’s his ghostly flute playing in the dead of night which can be heard.