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Here is my other first-hand experience of haunted locations in Scotland. Once, in an open-topped car, I was driving with a companion down a far-off Highland road, late in the day, with the sun streaming low and yellow from my right. I looked up, eastwards, on my left, past my passenger, to the moorlands. Sitting on a fence and smiling down at me was a girl I had known at University and, even back then hadn't seen for some years. Now, why someone in ordinary clothes should be sitting alone, miles from anywhere, by a road in the remote north-west, I cannot say. So, I can only conclude, she wasn't there. I saw her, but she was unnoticed or invisible to my passenger.
Where, where? (I hear you ask) Well, it was on the A894 just above the junction with the road that runs alongside Loch Assynt, if you must know. It's a pretty lonely spot. So that's my own nomination amongst the many haunted locations in Scotland.
And, look, she wasn't there, OK? And I haven't seen her since. (Except, while we were both at Uni., she had once remarked to me, somewhat mysteriously, that she sometimes made trips to see her friends…….but without leaving her room. Honestly, that's what she said. You know, looking back, I reckon her room should have made it into the haunted locations of Scotland.)
Anyway, there are some more spooky places below - as well as some more haunted locations in and around Edinburgh, on that link. And here's another link to a very odd tale I heard - possibly the first time it's got into print as well - about another haunted place in Scotland. (Barrie's Birthplace in Angus.)
Meanwhile, read on - here are some more haunted locations.
I grew up with this story. Basically, it was a straightforward case. Daughter falls in love unsuitably. Father locks her in tower and bumps off lover. (Hey, it happens in folklore a lot.) Daughter kills herself in grief. In this instance, Sir Alexander Fraser's daughter Isobel jumps from the ancient Wine Tower adjacent to Kinnaird Head Castle (now the Museum of Scottish Lighthouses). The spot is still ghoulishly marked with red paint! (Or at least it was when I was a boy.) The cave below the Wine Tower was original scene of crime, though, to be honest, I never found the cave. Ghostly lover in there still plays his pipes on stormy nights. Picture (left) shows the Wine Tower on the edge of the cliff. The cave must be under water! Easy to find in Fraserburgh - follow signs for Museum of Scottish Lighthouses.
Builders always being scarce in the north-west, a Macleod chief had to do a deal with the Devil to get Ardvreck Castle built. He offered his daughter in marriage to Auld Nick - the Devil himself. She only found out after they were wed and flung herself from the tower. Her ghost is heard weeping bitterly here to this day. (And this is close to my own nominated spooky spot. Coincidence? Well, of course it is……)
Off A837, NW of Inchnadamph.
Wartime aerodromes, where so many young men left the ground and never returned to it, are often strange and atmospheric places and often develop reputations as haunted locations. Montrose aerodrome was haunted by the ghost of an Irishman whose World War I biplane had a botched repair and broke up in flight. He had no parachute. Other later hauntings have also been reported. Paranormal investigators here have photographed 'orbs of light'. Errr, guys, these were probably just reflections from the photo-flash off shiny surfaces. Oh, and if you want more down-to-earth information on flying in Scotland, then check out the pilotscotland website.
Airstation museum is at Waldron Road, Montrose, Angus
Quite well known in the league table of haunted locations, this is certainly Scotland's most haunted youth hostel, with a long record of ghost appearances. These include phantom pipe music and organ music, also a lady in white and an apparition carrying a sword. The old Nursery or Schoolroom is the most haunted part, with a long list of unsettling goings-on. (They've certainly got plenty to talk about in this hostel common room in the evenings!)
By Culrain, Sutherland
Amongst the haunted locations in Scotland, this is the one that needs the most effort to visit on foot. (It's an all-day high level excursion.) The Big Grey Man of Ben Macdhui (An Fear Liath Mor) - a modern day giant - most famously made his presence felt to Professor Norman Collie, an eminent scientist, in 1891. He (the professor)| became so spooked by being followed by something which was taking one crunching step in the snow for every three he took, that he panicked and ran for four miles down to the lower ground at Rothiemurchus. This is one of my totally favourite ghosts in Scotland. The variation in the story is the climbers who, in poor weather and in the distance, see a figure approach the summit cairn (stone marker), walk round it and then disappear. They note he is the same height as the cairn. When they, shortly after reach the summit they find the cairn is (gasp!) 10ft (almost two metres) high.
The only problem here is the last time I was at the Ben Macdhui summit, the cairn was the same height as me. Hmmm. Anyway, just above is a picture of the plateau area of the Cairngorms, with Ben Macdhui just off the right hand end of the panorama. A grey place for a grey man, I suppose. Finally, among the many Big Grey Man stories, there is also the tale of the naturalist who was ferreting around the summit area in 1943 when he encountered a looming shape that so unnerved him that he fired his revolver at 'the thing'. I love the thought of an armed nature lover wondering around the Scottish summits.
8 miles (13km) south-east of Aviemore.
A solemn place and site of miscellaneous hauntings, in spite of the tour buses and the tinkling of the visitor centre tills. A battle-worn Highlander is sometimes seen by the memorial cairn. A female visitor once looked into the Well of the Dead and saw the reflection of a Highlander looking back at her. (Or was that in Lord of the Rings?) A dark-haired Highlander in Stewart tartan has been seen on one of the grave mounds. Basically, if you are going to see ghosts anywhere in Scotland, then it'll be here. Up there in the top haunted locations in Scotland. Follow the link for the story of Culloden Battlefield.
5m / 8 km E of Inverness.
A former curator, Edith MacGregor, exemplifies the dedication of her calling and has been heard typing away in one of the rooms upstairs. This is unsettling for the other staff as she died back in the 1960s. No typewriters can be found in the building; all have been replaced by PCs and laptops. This tale definitely makes my top five spooky stories in Scotland.
Cameron Square, Fort William
Leaving no footprints as he crosses the sand (well, he wouldn't, would he?), a bearded sailor has been reported, down to the detail of the large brass buttons on his jacket. Other phenomena have centred on the old bothy near the shore, not recommended for overnight accommodation. A red-headed mermaid is also associated with this wild and lonely spot - one of these haunted locations in Scotland with a palpable atmosphere. But it's a big walk.
Access on foot north of Kinlochbervie
I love this one. In the 1920s and again in the early 1960s different members of the same local family, using the railway as a short cut in dead of night, encountered a phantom steam train complete with brightly lit but empty carriages and no-one in the locomotive cab. It appeared to be floating above the track. There is now no railway at this spot, but Dava Moor's lonely ambience would certainly place it amongst the haunted locations of Scotland. I'm sure it's where Macbeth met the witches as well.
South of Dunphail, between Grantown-on-Spey and Forres
The main road by Sligachan on the Isle of Skye has been the setting for the spectral appearance of a 1934 Austin. Driven at high speed (and no doubt fuelled by high quality motor spirits), witnesses have had to pull over to let this car overtake them as it approaches rapidly from behind. Then it vanishes. (Come to think of it, that could just be because it is going so fast. Maybe it's a real car…..you know what these island locals can be like.)
Sligachan - A850 - on Skye.
Delgatie Castle is reputed to be haunted by a red haired woman. Apparently, during the World War II, her apparition was disturbing enough to cause an entire detachment of troops who were billeted there to flee in their bare feet in a collective panic from the castle. (Perhaps significant that they had all taken their socks off at once, but I'd rather not think abut it.)
3m / 5km NE of Turriff, Aberdeenshire
Fyvie, dating from the 13th century, has multiple hauntings. These include the ghost of Andrew Lammie, a trumpeter and unsuitable suitor for the Laird's daughter. He was accordingly banished, but swore the sound of his trumpet would foretell the death of every laird of Fyvie. He turns up from time to time in rich tartan. There is also a Green Lady, a fairly usual denizen of haunted locations. She emerges from a room, known inevitably as the Haunted Chamber, and glides through the corridors.
8m / 13km SE of Turriff and 25m / 40 km NW of Aberdeen
Another castle with five stars for hauntings. The Grey Lady of Glamis hangs around as she was accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. The Monster of Glamis is a sinister legend about a family member never allowed out of the castle. Then thre is Lord Glamis and the Earl of Crawford who had a card game interrupted by the arrival of the Devil. They're somewhere in the castle to this day, still playing…...
A90, A928, 12 miles / 19km from Dundee
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Scotland in Three Days