A Spooky Trip : Scotland’s Most Haunted Castles
Scotland’s castles have a rich history, from bloody battles and ruling royals to feuding clans. With all that drama and intrigue, it’s no wonder that the tales of the past have grown into legends today. Discover the ghosts stories that accompany the legends and read on as we look at Scotland’s most haunted castles, where the spirits of the past are said to roam endlessly (and scare a few tourists along the way).
Cawdor Castle isn’t just well-known for its tenuous Shakespeare connection. It’s a co-incidental link that the Bard named Macbeth ‘Thane of Cawdor’, but the castle itself has plenty of spooky happenings that are far more creepy than the three witches of the play. A common legend from centuries back is about the daughter of the Earl of Cawdor, who fell in love with the son of a rival family. Upon hearing the news, her father chased her upstairs and finding her dangling from an upstairs window, slashed off her hands. As a result, the ghost of a handless woman in a blue velvet dress has been said to roam the castle.
This stunning castle on the cliffs of the Ayrshire cost has long been known as one of Scotland’s most haunted places, with numerous sightings reported over the years. The most renowned ghost is that of the Piper, the ghost of a musician who went wandering in the tunnels below the castle and never returned. He’s been seen around the castle church and can be heard playing his pipes through the grounds on stormy nights.
It’s not quite a castle, but when the Scottish Borders town’s castle had fallen down, the Jedburgh Castle Jail was built in its place in the 1820s. It was notorious for brutality and terrible conditions, and was eventually closed down in 1886. However, the noises of doors banging, rattling chains and screams have been reported in recent years and shadowy figures have been seen in the corridors. To add to its spooky credentials, it even starred on an episode of Living TV’s Most Haunted.
Stirling Castle has been the site of many dramatic moments in history, from sieges to the coronations of Scottish kings. It’s also reportedly haunted by the Highlander, an apparition dressed in a kilt and full traditional clothing. Tourists have allegedly even mistaken him for a tour guide, approaching the Highlander whereupon he simply vanishes into thin air. For those evidence hunters, he was even reportedly captured on camera in 1935, when an architect was surveying the castle for building work.