Scotland is a country full of mystery and wonder. Many tales and myths have been passed down over the centuries but ghost stories are particularly common. What adds to this is the amount of sightings of some of these "ghosts" and it seems that nearly every castle or ruin in Scotland has a resident spirit. Here we've listed some of the haunted locations that you could visit on a tour with us if you're feeling brave!
Our Edinburgh departure point is right next to Edinburgh Castle and it is believed to be one of the most haunted buildings in Scotland. The dungeons are supposedly haunted by prisoners and a headless drummer roams the castle however sightings of the drummer are rare. When seen the drummer is said to foretell danger for the castle and although he is not often seen, he is often heard. Many have claimed to hear his drums coming from the battlements.
You can visit Edinburgh Castle on our Edinburgh City Shore Excursion Tour:
One of the most infamous incidents in Scottish history took place on the 13th of February 1692 when Clan Campbell accepted the hospitality of Clan Macdonald but then turned on their hosts and killed 38 people in what became known as the “massacre of Glencoe” or “The Glencoe Massacre.” Another 40 women and children are said to have died of exposure after their homes were burned down and from the entire massacre it is believed that there was only one survivor. Some people who have visited Glencoe have claimed to have seen re-enactments of the massacre and some have heard screams echoing through the glen.
You can visit Glencoe with us and listen out for the screams on the following tours:
In 1746 came the death of the Jacobite Rebellion and with it the deaths of thousands of clansmen in the short 40minute Battle of Culloden. There have been reports of hearing the clashing of swords and the sound of gunfire as well as sightings of a highlander that haunts the battlefield muttering “defeated” when seen.
Come and see this historic battlefield with us and hope you don't hear "defeated" whispered in your ear!
3. Eilean Donan Castle
Eilean Donan Castle is one of the most popularly photographed castles in Europe, there have been many ghost sightings here however none have been backed up by photo evidence yet! The castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a Spanish solider killed during a siege in 18th century. This was likely from when Spanish forces occupied the castle with their Jacobite allies (The Macraes & the Mackenzies) and were bombarded for days by government ships causing much of the castle to be destroyed. The ghost of “Lady Mary” has been spotted in one of the bedrooms of the castle. However other castles such as Stirling Castle and Lochleven Castle have been the sites of claimed sightings of the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots also.
This stunning castle can be visited on these 2 & 3 day tours:
4. St Andrew’s Cathedral
Multiple ghosts reportedly haunt this popular destination in St Andrews. One of which is the ghost of a friendly monk, the story goes that there was once a kind-hearted man named Robert de Montrose who was the Prior of the Monastery at St Andrews but was murdered in St Rule’s Tower. One version of the story includes one of his monks being the one who stabbed him to death after being disciplined by the Prior. The other version suggests that he used to like to climb the tower at night but was followed one evening and thrown from the tower. Sightings of the friendly monk include being offered an arm in assistance by him while climbing the stairs of the tower and seeing the ghostly monk fall from the top of the tower.
The only square tower in the grounds is believed to be the origin of another ghost commonly referred to as the “White Lady.” The crypt was opened in the 19th century by stonemasons making repairs to the tower and found several coffins. One lay open. Inside was the well preserved body of a dark-haired woman, said to be very beautiful, wearing a grey dress and white gloves. The many sightings of the “White Lady” have been reported over the past 200 years and many locals will avoid the entire area at night. She is most commonly seen on stormy October and November nights.
There are other ghosts that haunt St Andrews including a woman who is sometimes seen in a lane called Nun’s Walk. The story goes that the woman used to be very beautiful and many men hoped to impress her and win her hand in marriage. She eventually chose a suitor but he either had a change of heart or died and so she decided to become a nun as she did not want men to find her beautiful to avoid future heartbreak. She chose to take a knife and cut out her eye lids and lips, slit her nostrils and brand her cheeks with a hot poker. She died weeks later and people have since reported seeing her and it is said that if she removes her veil and reveals her face to someone they are cursed to die within the next year. This story is not based on any historical evidence but a chilling tale nonetheless!
St Andrews is known as the home of golf but it seems to also be the home to many ghosts! Check out our tour to St Andrews below!
5. Stirling Castle
As previously mentioned, Stirling Castle is one of the many that claim to be haunted by the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots. This apparition is often referred to as “The Pink Lady” as she wears a pink silk dress. She is believed to either be Mary or a woman searching for her lost husband. She is not the only lady of the castle however. The spirit of a woman who is said to have been a lady in waiting for Mary Queen of Scots lurks the castle and is called “The Green Lady.” She supposedly saved Mary’s life when her bed clothes caught fire but perished in the flames while trying to save her. Another ghost said to haunt this castle is a kilted Highlander. He has been spotted by staff and visitors alike, many think he is a tour guide at first but when they approach him he turns and vanishes.