Culcreuch Castle

Region : Stirlingshire
Location : Culcreuch Estate, Fintry

Details : originally a property of the Galbraiths of Culcreuch, but sold to the Setons in 1630, then to the Napiers two years later. In 1796 it was acquired by Alexander Speirs, who built a large and profitable cotton mill on his estate, but had passed from the family in 1875. The building is now a hotel.

Paranormal Phenomena : Culcreuch Castle is reputed to have several ghosts. The Phantom Harper of Culcreuch relates to events believed to have taken place in 1582. One of the Buchannan family was mortally wounded by Robert Galbraith, son of the 16th chief. The dying man was taken to what is now the Chinese Bird Room, accompanied by his mistress. When he died, to comfort herself she began to play a wire-strung harp, known as a Clarsach in Gaelic – and it is said that her soft music has often been heard since, particularly in the dead of night. The music has been reported from this and its adjoining room and also in the Laird’s Hall.

Sightings of a severed animal head have also been reported, which apparently flies around the battlements.

Another manifestation is that of a cold grey mass, about the height and proportions of a human. This has been reported in all areas of the castle. Other activity which was kept back from the investigation flyer included, feelings of depression in the bar area, customers who refuse to sit in the end room of the bar and feelings of being touched

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

Carbisdale Castle

Location : Sutherland
Details : (YHA) The Castle was built between 1906 and 1917 for the Dowager Duchess of Sutherland. In 1933, the castle was bought by Colonel Theodore Salvesen, the wealthy Scottish businessman of Norwegian extraction and head of the Christian Salvesen shipping and whaling company of Leith. After Salvesen’s death his son inherited the castle and in 1945 he gifted the castle, its contents and the estate to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association. Carbisdale Castle opened to YHA members on 2nd June 1945.

Paranormal Phenomena : The room in the castle which has been the spot of the majority of ghost sightings is termed the old Nursery or Schoolroom or as is commonly referred to as The spookroom. In this room apparitions have walked around beds which were against the wall, rain has fallen on people, many reports of children’s voices and crying have been made and beds have even been turned right round.

A phantom bagpiper and organist are said to have been heard in the former ballroom,
On Saturday 27th April 1650 General James Graham, the Marquis of Montrose fought his last battle defending the Royalist cause on the hill behind the castle. A sighting of an “angry and distressed” apparition carrying a sword has been reported in the link corridor of the castle. The style of dress seemed to tie in with the Battle of Carbisdale. This corridor of the castle has long been considered haunted having an ‘eerie’ atmosphere commented upon by many visitors

The apparition of a lady in white is alleged to have been seen in the grounds. George Murray, an employee, is said to have looked up one summer’s day and there standing beside a whin-bush in front of him was “the figure of a lady clad in white dress which seemed to fall as if draped from her shoulders. In a nonce she was gone. He venturing closer to where he had seen her he could find no one there. Two or three times that summer Murray at least two others reported seeing the apparition

Sources :carbisdale

Carleton Castle

Region : Strathclyde
Location : 6 miles SW or Girvan Off the A77

Details : One in a link of Kennedy coastal watchtowers now a ruin.

Paranormal Phenomena : Phantom screams are alleged to occasionally issue from the ruined Castle. In folklore they are said to derive from the time when the local laird (an early serial killer) disposed of his wives by pushing them from the Gamesloup Crag. However The eighth wife, called May Cullean, suspecting something feigned shyness when it came to her turn to strip off her clothes and jewellery, and made him turn his back as she took off her gown. Then quickly she pushed him to his death.

Sources :
paranormal database
Brooks J. 1994

Castle Cary

Region : Stirlingshire
Location : Castlecary village off the A80.

Details : Built in 1478, the castle is in two halves : an old tower which is a classic Scottish tower house, and a new (1679) extension that was built after the original wing fell down some years before.

Paranormal Phenomena : General William Baillie of Letham, was a noted Covenanter. When Baillie died is not known, but his ghost has been reported at Castle Cary. The haunting at the castle is said to be a rather noisy spirit, and most of the strange noises heard in and around the castle are attributed to him. A few folk have seen the ghost of Baillie. Most sightings are made from the garden. Visitors have looked up at the tower and seen his figure looking back at them from an upper window.

It is also claimed to have a White Lady in residence. folklore tells that one of the Lairds called Baillie had a daughter known as Elizabeth, or Lizzie. He discovered that she had fallen in love with a young laird from the Lennox. He was the proprietor of just a few acres, and worst still, his surname was Graham. It was the Grahams under Montrose who had been responsible for setting the castle alight during the years of persecution. Baillie was so angry that he ripped up the letter and sent for his daughter. He took his daughter up to the uppermost garret in the old tower where he locked her up. Feeding her only on bread and water, he intended keeping her there until such time as she saw sense. In an attempt at escape Lizzie climbed on to the parapet of the castle and jumped over the edge. She fell four storeys down to the sheet where she was safely caught. Lizzie and the young Graham then stole away into the night. It is her spirit that is believed to return to Castle Cary as a White Lady. She has been reported in various parts of the castle, most sightings, however, seem to have taken place on the principal stairway.

Sources : castle-cary

Castle Fraser

Region : Aberdeenshire
Location :
3 miles S of Kenmay. 16 miles W of Aberdeen on the A944-B977

Details : Crow-stepped gables and turrets adorn grand Baronial tower house, built 1575. Originally a rectangular tower castle in the 15th century it was converted to a z-plan tower (by adding round 4-storied towers on opposite corners) in the 16th century. The central tower was enlarged in the early 17th century.
The castle also has a luggie or “Laird’s Lug” a chamber in the vaulting of the hall that allowed an eavesdropper to go behind a window shutter on the parapet, slip inside, and listen to conversations in the hall, very practical.

The site is owned by The National Trust for Scotland and is open daily, Easter to September and weekends in October, 1:30-5:30pm. There is a car park.

Paranormal Phenomena : Stairway from smoking room leads to Green Room, said to be haunted by ghost of a murdered princess. It was during the tenure of Frederick MacKenzie Fraser that a princess was killed in the castle’s Green Room and dragged down the stairs, which thereafter could never be cleansed of the bloodstains. According to the paranormal database the stairs were covered in wood to hide the stain. The ghost of the princess reportedly haunts the castle and is blamed for rearranging the furniture.
There has also been ghostly piano music and voices heard in the empty great hall and witnesses have alleged to have seen the ghost of Lady Blanche Drummond (D.1874) in a long black gown.

Sources :paranormal database / phouka / castle uk / borntoloaf / catrionafraser

Castle Grant

Region : Nairnshire
Location : Stands a mile north of Grantown on Spey.

Details : Castle Grant was originally called “Freuchie”, which means “Heathery Place”, and the Chiefs of Grant were styled “of Freuchie”. The original building, a Z-shaped tower house, is typical of many that exist in Scotland and is dateable to the 15th century. The castle has undergone a number of modifications the largest taking place in the 1750’s.

Paranormal Phenomena : The ghost is said to appear of Lady Barbara Grant, a daughter of a 16th century laird, who expired while she was locked in a cupboard by her father, because he did not agree with her choice of suitor.

Sources : clan grant

Castle Guthrie

Region : Angus
Location : Forfar
Details : The Castle, as built originally by Sir David Guthrie in 1468, consisted only of the square tower, the current site of the castle’s library, Guthrie suite, ancient bedroom, and snooker room. It is believed that the house was built close by around 1760. In 1848, John Guthrie, with the help of architect David Bryce, connected the tower and the house. The tower has walls fourteen feet thick see also Guthrie Castle website:

Paranormal Phenomena : It obtained its reputation after a visit by the Bishop of St Andrews in 1620, who witnessed the ghost of a former Lady Guthrie – allegedly to make sure he was comfortable. Since which time it is said, she has returned to look after whoever is sleeping there. Castle Guthrie is now a hotel and visitors can opt to stay overnight in the “Ghost Suite”. The ghost is believed to have been last witnessed by one of the present members of the Guthrie family when she was a little girl. However, there have been other experiences since the Peña’s bought the Castle in September 1984.

Castle Levan

Region : Renfrewshire
Location : Stirling Drive, Gourock.
Details : The Castle has its origins in the late 14th century but was subject to an exhaustive restoration project through the 1980s. It still possesses the hallmarks of a 14th century castle, including turnpike staircases, parapet walkways, turret, crow step gable and gun loops. For further details see castle levan history page.
Paranormal Phenomena : Alleged to be haunted by a former keeper of Castle Levan, one Lady Marion Montgomery who was convicted and sentenced to death by Mary of Guise for torturing and murdering her tenants.

This sentence was later commuted to house arrest – but as a twist, on her husband’s return from military service, he was so appalled to hear of his wife’s behaviour that he imprisoned and starved her to death. The sightings of the white lady are alleged to have started in the 17th Century, when the castle came into the hands of the Semple-Stewarts of the neighbouring Ardgowan estate.
The current website states “Castle Levan is reputed to have a ghost – not that we’ve ever seen her! “

Castle of Mey

Region :Highland
Location : 15 miles N of Wick
Details : Originally known as the Castle of Mey, the name was later altered to Barrogill Castle. Built by the 4th Earl of Caithness it started as a typical 16th century Z-plan structure with jutting towers, corbelled turrets, and a great hall with numerous gun-loops. It came into the possession of Captain F B Imbert-Terry in 1929, who then sold it to the Queen Mother in 1952.
Paranormal Phenomena : This is allegedly haunted by a Green Lady type of ghost. The local folklore tells of how the daughter of a former laird was thwarted in her love for a ploughboy and committed suicide by jumping from an upper window.