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.

Cawdor Castle

Region : Highland
Location : 5 miles SW of Nairn

Details : Dating from the late 14th century it was built as a private fortress by the Thanes of Cawdor. The ancient medieval tower was built around a legendary holly-tree. The House has evolved over its 600 years history and later additions of the 17th century were all built in the Scottish vernacular style having slated roofs and crow-stepped gables of mellow local stone.

Paranormal Phenomena : A ghost wearing a blue velvet dress has been reported being seen in the castle : this is locally assumed to be Muriel Calder,an heiress who was kidnapped at the age of 12 and married to the Earl of Argyll’s son, Sir John Campbell in 1511.

Alternatively : The alleged ghost of a handless girl walks the environs of this castle. In local folklore she is claimed to be the ghost of a daughter of an earl of Cawdor, who defied her father’s will by courting the son of the chief of an enemy clan . When the earl discovered this he chased her to a chamber in the highest tower of the castle, where as she lowered herself from the window, her father severed her hands with his sword and sent her plummeting to her death.
In addition the apparition of John Campbell, 1st Lord of Cawdor is alleged to haunt the castle.

According to the Aberdeen Press and Journal of August 8, 1997, Alison Clark, the dowager’s personal assistant, said that many inexplicable things have been seen and heard there. In one recent episode, observed by two female tourists, the apparition, clad in a long blue dress made of velvet, put a hand on a railing in the gallery atop the drawing room. This could not have been a visitor as that would have tripped the security alarms. The episode occurred in early August 1997, as a mother and daughter, both English, had visited the drawing room for some four minutes. Becoming aware of a “presence,” they saw the blue-clad woman standing/floating in the minstrels’ gallery above. After approximately a minute, the thing disappeared. Other people in attendance did not spot anything. They reported the sighting to Alex Boyd, a security person.

The present dowager has seen Cawdor’s ghost. She considers any ghosts in residence to be friendly.

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! “