Culzean Castle

Region : Strathclyde
Location : 8 mile’s N of Girvan

Details : Overlooking the Firth of Clyde, Culzean was originally a rambling fortified L-shaped tower house. It had been built by the Kennedy family in the late 1500’s, but it was Sir Thomas Kennedy in 1762 who embarked on repairs and renovations to make it more comfortable.

Paranormal Phenomena : Apparently the phantom piper of Culzean pre-dates the building of the eighteenth century castle. The piping is usually said to be heard on stormy nights on Piper’s Brae, within the castle demesne. Whenever one of the Kennedy family is about to get married the ghostly piper is said to play in the grounds.

Culzean Castle was the scene of the roasting to death of a member of the Stuart Clan in 1570 and echoes of this gruesome act have been witnessed even in recent years. It was Gilbert Kennedy, fourth Earl of Cassillie, who had Alan Stuart, Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey, seized. Stuart was then taken to the Black Vault, stripped naked and bound to a spit and then roasted in front of a great fire. Under such pressure he signed a document giving the lands of Crossraguel Abbey to the Earl, but six days later was roasted again before he could sign a confirmation document. For this act, which nearly cost Alan Stuart his life, Gilbert Kennedy was fined the sum of £2,000 by the Privy Council but kept the lands he had forcibly acquired. He paid Alan Stuart a life pension.

It is said that since that time the crackling and roaring sounds of a great fire have been heard coming from within the walls of the castle, accompanied by screams and sobs that fade away into the silence. Strangely enough the sounds have been heard mainly on Sunday mornings. the Ghosts of Scotland page details that In 1972, three servants of the castle independently saw an indistinct shape in the dungeons but it is though that this is the ghost of a Kennedy piper who was murdered at the castle.

There is also supposedly the ghost of a young woman in a ballgown (reported as recently as 1972) but no-one seems to know who she is.

The ghostfinders investigation can be viewed here.

The Most Haunted investigation may be summarised as Derek takes the crew straight to the most haunted room in the house, the Earl’s bedroom, where he sees a ghost, hears bagpipes and tells the crew the name of the legendary piper! Later in the Earl’s bedroom, flashes of light on a painting spook Marcel, and Yvette

Sources :
rampant scotland / Ghosts of Scotland / paranormal-alliance
Brooks. J. 1994

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