Spooky Places in Scotland

Steeped in a history prolific with clan battles, bloodshed and monarchs in exile, it's little wonder that Scotland is the self-proclaimed 'most haunted country in Britain.' Her spectral moors are littered with ruinous forts of a forgotten age; her city streets darkened by grisly tales of body snatching and her most beautiful scenery marred by the bloodshed of Jacobite Rebellion. Teeming with eerie castles, haunted inns and ancient burial grounds dating back to Pictish occupation, you're never far from a spooky place in Scotland - if you know where to find them!


Memorial stone - flckr - spentrailsCulloden Moor, Inverness
Hemmed by the wild and beautiful moorlands of the Highlands, Inverness bears little semblance to a city once embroiled in the Jacobite Uprising of 1745. Just miles beyond these city walls lies Culloden Moor; a vast expanse of boggy lowland and marshes - the epitome of Scottish wild country. Sightings of spectral figures and headless horsemen have fed many a local yarn, yet none are quite so chilling as that of the phantom army; ghosts of the last Jacobite Rebellion to be fought on British soil. Legend has it that every year on 16th April, the tortured souls of 2,000 men return to Culloden Battlefield, tormented by their 18th Century defeat at the hands of the English. Locals tell of deathly wails and angry chants, carried downwind to the tiny villages of Balloch and Little Cantray, as well as a haunting mirage of the Rebellion, primed and ready to charge. cottages.


Goblin Ha, Gifford, East Lothian
Enshrouded by a pocket of dense woodland mere miles from historic Edinburgh, lies a formidable 13th Century castle with a disturbing satanic past. Commissioned by the Spiritualist baron Lord Hugo de Giffard in 1273, it is alleged the crumbling fortress may have been the handiwork of hobgoblins, with whom the practising warlock supposedly struck a deal for his soul. Little remains of the original fortress, however, at the heart of these gloomy ruins lies a subterranean network of passageways and chambers, leading to a grandiose Gothic hall. During the 15th Century, it is said a group of local children ventured into the chasmic tunnels keen to explore. They were never seen again.   Holiday rentals in East Lothian.


Glamis Castle - flckr - Ed.wardGlamis Castle, By Forfar, Angus
Seat of the Bowes Lyon family for over 600 years, stately Glamis Castle (near Angus) is reputed to be a hotbed for ghostly sightings and things that go bump in the night. Allegedly the inspiration for Shakespeare's murderous curtain-raiser 'Macbeth', Glamis was also the setting for the mystery disappearance of 'Earl Beardie' in 1453. It is alleged he retired to a secret room following an argument with his host, there to begin a game of cards 'that will last until Domesday, or until the Devil himself comes by'. A hooded figure is said to have came a knocking at the house that very same night - supposedly the devil with whom Beardie gambled his soul. Little is known of the secret room's location, however a strange knocking, laughter and barely audible muttering have been heard echoing throughout the castle. Reasoning for the strange paranormal phenomena has also been attributed to the first son of the 11th Earl, locked away at birth due to horrible deformity. Some say the heir remains confined to his cell crying for freedom, even in death. Holiday cottages Angus.



hermitage castle - flckr - xiffyHermitage Castle, Roxburghshire, Scotland
A strategic Border stronghold from the 13th Century, Hermitage Castle still evokes a sense of awe from every aspect. Hermitage is dogged by tales of many a spectre said to haunt the keep, notably that of William de Soulis, a warlock executed at nearby Nine Stane Rigg Circle for crimes of witchcraft and regicide. De Soulis' familiar Robin Redcap is said to have cast a spell for the warlock, protecting him from being bound by rope, or harmed by cast steel. By order of King Robert I, William de Soulis was wrapped in lead at Nine Stane Rigg and boiled to death within a cauldron. Locals affirm his chilling screams have been heard echoing within the castle walls - even to this day.

If the cries of a ghost once burnt alive aren't enough to chill the marrow, Hermitage Castle also boasts a famous royal resident - none other than Mary Queen of Scots. Her links with Hermitage date back to the 1560's when her third husband James Hepburn acquired the estate. Upon her return to Jedburgh after visiting one weekend, the Scottish Queen was thrown from her horse, subsequently suffering a head injury and a bout of pneumonia. She also lost a gold French watch in the bog and it is said her headless ghost still wanders the lonely marshland, searching for her prized possession.  Roxburghshire cottages.



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