Dean Castle

Region : Ayrshire
Location : Kilmarnock

Details : In 1350 work began on the keep, a solid defensive building, in the 1460’s the palace was built.

Paranormal Phenomena : A few years prior to the 1745′ uprising William Boyd was ‘treated’ to the grisly sight of a head rolling along the floor which had appeared out of nowhere. It is thought that it was a harbinger of his own execution. The Earl’s head is alleged to have been seen on many occasions around the floor of the castle.

A tour guide has often seen the figure of an old woman, especially on or near the walkway, describes as “As an evil old biddy” dressed in a long black skirt reaching down to her ankles, a rough grey top, her head always covered in a shabby plaid shawl which reached down to her shoulders where she wraps it tightly around her. Tatty brown boots on her feet which look a few sizes too big. The last sighting of the woman is believed to be in February 1995, seen by a tourist but this time in the kitchen area.

The .highlander web site had the following account

August 1992 during a jazz festival held in the courtyard. Margaret [pseudonym] along with other members of staff attended, but as a social event and they were not on duty. The whole courtyard was lit making the castle look quite impressive as it cast its eerie shadow over the proceedings. During the evening Margaret again saw the old woman watching the festival from the walkway. She beckoned Margaret to follow and against her better judgment she foolishly did so. Margaret walked up the stairs and found a door to a colleagues room open. Stood next to the desk was the old biddy’ smiling at her, she cannot remember much about the evening after that. Margaret was told that she returned to the festival looking deathly white and ill, she had to be helped into a car and taken to the near-by conservation offices. There she spent most of the time in the bathroom vomiting violently. It came out of her mouth with such speed that it reached the ceiling, everywhere was awash with vomit. Her friends told her that she had been whimpering like some kind of wild animal and all the time shouting, “Get out of me,” Get away from me,” “Leave me alone.” Heather who stayed with her the whole time said that at one point the sickness just seemed to ooze out of every pore of Margarets body, “The bathroom being awash.”

They eventually managed to get Margaret home a little later on, Heather stayed with her all night to keep an eye. In the morning the doctor had to be called as Margaret began to “hyperventilate.” The doctor could not explain the bluey black marks all over her body, “Like water marks on silk,” nor could he explain or figure out what exactly was ailing Margaret.

In addition voices have been heard and paranormal activity interfered with the palace door and locks. Music has been heard emanating from the minstrels gallery. The portrait of William Boyd in the study has jumped off its mountings and landed face up on the other side of the room at the feet of two sightseers.

The castle has a bottle dungeon and an oubliette and from this area feelings of terror have been described. One woman was suddenly seized with a great feeling of terror. Her chest tightened and she felt as though she was going to suffocate right there and then. The lady is convinced that she took on the condition of some one who had died in the hole.

Delgatie Castle

Region : Aberdeenshire
Location : Turriff

Details : main tower dates from about 1100, while its final extension with the battlement walk above the string course was completed in 1579. Both wings were added in 1743 with the chapel and dovecote on the west and the kitchen and servants’ quarters on the east.

Paranormal Phenomena : The castle is reputed to be haunted by a red haired woman, called Rohaise, who appears in one of the bedrooms, but only appears when men stay in the room. During the Second World War an entire detachment of troops who were billeted there fled from the castle in bare feet as they were confronted by the ghostly apparition

Doune Castle

Region : Stirlingshire
Location : In Doune, 10m NW of Stirling – see also website
Details : built in the late 14thC by Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany. King James confiscated the castle which became a Royal hunting lodge. In 1528 it was given back to the descendant of Albany and from him to the earls of Moray who still own the property. Mary Queen of Scots used the castle and forces loyal to her held the castle until 1570. It was occupied by Montrose in 1646 and by Williamite forces in 1689. During the Jacobite rebellion of 1715 government forces held Doune. However, in the 1745 it was taken by the Jacobites of Bonnie Prince Charlie and used as a prison.

There is a detailed page about Doune on the undiscovered scotland website

Paranormal Phenomena : The Castle is alleged to be haunted by Mary Queen of Scots who was exiled there. Photographs have periodically revealed “spirit balls” that appear associated with an outcast woman in blood velvet looking out a window according to a spiritual “sensitive.

Drumlanrig Castle

Region : Dumfries & Galloway
Location : 3 miles NW of Thornhill

Details : Built on the site of a 14th century castle the present castle was perhaps built between 1679 and 1691 probably by James Smith. The house is built around a courtyard, with a circular tower in each corner. see further details

Paranormal Phenomena : Allegedly an enormous yellow ape has haunted this castle for three hundred years. It haunts the Yellow bedroom. Nobody really knows where does this strange animal comes from but a lot of people have allegedly seen him.

A female ghost that walks with a fan in one hand and her head in the other is supposed to be that of Lady Anne Douglas.

In addition a girl has been seen in a bedroom, floating a few feet off the floor.

Duart Castle

Region : Argyll
Location : Lochdon Isle of Mull

Details : Constructed with a 13th century curtain wall around a courtyard, The keep is 14th century and was built outside the wall to protect the well. There are ranges on two sides that were built in the 16th century – abandoned in 1745 the roof was removed and was no longer used as a residence. Duart was acquired in 1911 and restored.

Paranormal Phenomena : During an internal clan feud, Ewen MacLaine of Lochbuie was killed in battle and beheaded. His ghost now rides in Glen Mor as the Headless Horseman.

Dunnottar Castle

Region : Kincardineshire
Location : two miles S of Stonehaven 15 miles from Aberdeen

Details : see the impressive site

Paranormal Phenomena : Said to be haunted by a legacy of restless spirits from an event in 1685 when over 160 men, women & children were kept in the dark dungeon, fed on a diet of rotten meat, raw fish & salt water as they huddled together for warmth, their skeletal bodies clothed in rags. It is alleged to be their screams and cries which are said to emanate in the dead of night.

Dunollie Castle

Region : Argyll
Location : Outskirts of Oban

Details : see rampant

Paranormal Phenomena : At Oban is the thirteenth century ruined castle of Dunollie, once the family home of the Lord of Lorn who, centuries past owned a third of Scotland.
Few visitors are allowed to view the area but in July 1971 having already gained permission from him to camp in the grounds, a group of scouts were taken by the chief scout to see the home of his forefathers. `It was about seven in the evening when we arrived`, one of the scouts recalled, `and we were looking in what had been the armoury. Suddenly we were distracted and about six or seven of us saw, passing outside the window, the figure of a piper in full Highland dress. He appeared to be semi-transparent and we could see the trees behind him. The plaid was very noticeable but none of us were frightened at the appearance, just rather intrigued. None of us were interested in ghosts anyway`.

When the incident was mentioned to the owner however, they learnt that the phantom had been ` frequently witnessed` and was, ` quite accepted by the family`. There are many similar cases of genuine ghosts fully accepted by house-owners as being merely `shades of the past` As one gentleman commented, `They cause no harm, so why should be bother about them

Dunrobin Castle

Region : Sutherland
Location : Golspie

Details : Created in about 1235, In 1845, Sir Charles Barry was employed to re-model the early Castle into a massive baronial residence inspired by Queen Victoria’s new house at Balmoral. However, much of Barry’s interior was destroyed by fire in 1915 and the leading Scottish architect of the time, Sir Robert Lorimer, re-designed all the main rooms.

Paranormal Phenomena : The upper floors are allegedly haunted by a young girl who fell to her death from a window attempting to escape from her imprisonment by her father. Apparently one of the rooms she supposedly haunts has since been abandoned.

Duns Castle

Region : Berwickshire
Location :  Duns
Details : Built around a 14th century Pele tower given by King Robert the Bruce to the Earl of Moray, it was bought for William Hay of Drummelzier by his father the Earl of Tweedale in 1696. The Hay family have lived there in unbroken succession ever since. Considerably enlarged and embellished the building is today of Gothic Revival architecture, designed and completed by the celebrated architect James Gillespie Graham between 1818 and 1822.
Paranormal Phenomena : Alexander Hay was killed at the Battle of Waterloo in 1815 and is alleged to have returned to Duns Castle and makes a ghostly appearance every now and then.

Dunstaffnage Castle

Region : Argyll.
Location : 5 miles north of Oban

Details : According to legend there has been a fort on this promontory since the first century BC. As a Dalriada stronghold the Stone of Destiny was held there at one stage. The present castle dates from the 13th century. Early in the 15th century it became one of the strongholds of the Campbells. Punitive raids against the MacDonalds and the Macleans were mounted from here and in the 16th century Cameron of Lochiel was beheaded there. Flora MacDonald was imprisoned in the castle for a short spell after she had helped Prince Charles Edward Stewart to escape back to France in 1746.

Paranormal Phenomena : allegedly a shadowy figure in a green dress known as “The Scanniag” or “Elle Maid” foretells events, good or bad, about to befall the Campbells. It is also said that she also pulled off bedclothes, especially to children. and often woke up family and guests by stamping up and down the floor. Reports of re-enactments, and phantom soldiers sparked an investigation into this site by the This haunted land paranormal investiogations group