Are you brave enough to meet ghosts, ghouls and even a headless horseman? Read on to learn more about Scotland’s haunted castles!
Scottish literature and folk stories often include tales of good and evil spirits that swim in our lochs, wander our hills and linger close to the living in the many castles that feature on the landscape. As Hallowe’en approaches, here are some majestic locations and Scotland’s haunted castles to connect with the supernatural.
Tantallon Castle, East Lothian
A ruin since the 17th century, this keep is perched on a clifftop overlooking the Firth of Forth. A mysterious figure is said to roam the corridors and has been spotted standing in ancient doorways. For sure one of the spookiest of Scotland’s haunted castles.
Culzean Castle, Ayrshire
The original castle was built by Sir Thomas Kennedy, who was murdered near the town of Ayr in 1602. It has been told whenever a member of the Kennedy castle is to get married, a ghostly piper is heard playing in the grounds. The sound of the pipes chills anyone who hears it. The piping is also apparently heard on stormy nights.
House of Dun, Montrose
Beware the Headless Horseman who roams the lanes of Dun at night, seeking retribution on unwary travellers. This stunning Georgian mansion and its surrounding estate hold many a dark secret, including that of the harpist murdered at the Den of Dun on the very spot where his ghost has been seen playing musical laments. You may also encounter the phantom of the night who, upon returning from the Crusades, discovered his wife had been tricked into marrying his friend. A sword fight ensued and the usurper was run through and impaled on an ancient yew tree.
Baldoon Castle, Galloway
This is now a ruin but formerly owned by the Dunbars of Westfield from 1530 to 1800. The castle’s ghost became the subject of Sir Walter Scott’s novel, The Bride of Lammermuir. A young woman was forced to leave the man she loved to marry David Dunbar but on the might of her wedding she murdered her fiancé in a desperate manner. Ever since, she has reportedly roamed the castle dressed in white.
Sanquhar Castle, Dumfries
The castle is said to be inhabited by the spectre of John Wilson, who was wrongly imprisoned and hanged there in the 16th century. Locals claim you can still hear Wilson’s groans and rattling chains. Now a ruin, the castle can be seen along the Southern Uplands Way footpath.