Crathes Castle

Region : Grampian
Location : 7 miles W of Ballater

Details : A 16th-century tower house granted to the Burnett family in 1323 by King Robert the Bruce. Later, in 1553, they begin to build the castle proper, and not completed until at least 1596 with the east-wing added in the 18th century. The castle stayed in the hands of the same family until 1951 when Sir James Burnett presented Crathes to the National Trust for Scotland. The current visitor centre stands in place of the Queen Anne wing which was destroyed by fire in 1966

Paranormal Phenomena : The Green Lady who is supposed to haunt this castle is said in local folklore to be the ghost of a young woman killed when her father found that she was carrying an illegitimate child. A child’s skeleton was discovered under the hearth stone in the mid-1800’s. this ghost was allegedly sighted by none other than Queen Victoria – The spirit is of a youthful woman and her infant and appears only in a fireplace in one tower, then hastily vanishes. Recently, it seems, she has faded somewhat and only her `presence is felt` for some have heard the sound of `light footsteps` near the fireplace.

Another Green Lady has allegedly made frequent appearances and is said to have first appeared in the mid-18th century. “The Green Lady’s Room” is said to be quite spooky. Folklore tells of one Alexander, heir to Crathes, who fell in love with a beautiful young woman named Bertha – a guest of the family who was not of similar social rank. He returned from a trip abroad eager to greet his ladylove. This was not to be as his beloved had died on his long journey.

His glacial mother, Lady Agnes, made an effort at solace and offered a grand meal to ease her son’s pain and welcome him home. Alexander, while reaching for a goblet, was shocked when the object was hurriedly snatched and tossed into the loch adjacent to the castle. His mother had made a grave error indeed in failing to remember to rid the castle of the poisoned chalice she’d used in Bertha’s death.

The parents of the deceased Bertha came to retrieve their daughter’s remains and were met with a gaunt, anxious Lady Agnes screaming ‘She comes, she comes!’ Within moments of their arrival Agnes was struck dead. Sightings of Bertha are said to be on the anniversary of her death,