Region : Dumfriesshire
Location : Situated on the southern approach to the former royal burgh of Sanquhar
Details : Known as Crichton Castle it consists of ruinous ranges of buildings from the 14th to 16th centuries, enclosing a small courtyard. The castle was a property of the Crichtons, and probably first built about 1370. Sir William Crichton (Willian de Kreitton), Chancellor of Scotland, entertained the young Earl of Douglas and his brother before having them murdered in 1440 at the ‘Black Dinner’ in Edinburgh Castle. John Forrester slighted the castle in retaliation. The Crichtons were forfeited for treason in 1488, and the property later passed to Patrick Hepburn, Lord Hailes, who was made Earl of Bothwell. Crichton passed through the hands of many families, was abandoned, and became a romantic ruin. It was put into the care of the State in 1926. For more details see the undiscovered scotland feature page.
Paranormal Phenomena : Two ghosts reputedly haunt the castle — one is a “White lady”, a spirit of a young woman, allegedly Marion of Dalpeddar, who disappeared in 1580 and may have been murdered by one of the Crichton lords. A woman’s skeleton was found in a wall during excavations in 1875-6, which might support this story.
The other ghost is that of John Wilson, hanged by another of the Crichtons, who manifests himself with groans and rattling.