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Ghosts of the Trust

The Headless Horseman of Dun
With so many ancient buildings in our care, it's no surprise that some are filled with spine-chilling tales of witchcraft and the supernatural, ghosts and ghouls, torture and murder most foul. Here are 10 haunted properties that play host to a few ghosts...

1. The Green Lady – Crathes Castle

The Green Lady of Crathes Castle

The Green Lady’s Room at Crathes is named after the spirit of a young woman who has often been seen by the fireplace wearing a green dress and cradling an infant in her arms. When the castle was renovated in the 1800s, the bones of a child – presumed murdered – were discovered under the hearthstone of the fireplace.

Queen Victoria is counted among those who have witnessed her at the castle, but the true identity of the Green Lady remains shrouded in mystery.

Crathes Castle

2. The Laird’s Piper – Culzean Castle

The Laird’s Piper of Culzean Castle

For many years, it was thought that spirits lived in the caves below Culzean Castle. One day, the Laird’s piper was sent into the caves to prove to local residents that they weren’t haunted. As he marched inside, the howling of the pipes could even be heard from the castle, high above the cliffs. Suddenly, to everyone’s surprise, the piping stopped. He didn’t emerge from the cave that night, and he was never seen again.

Every so often, the sound of pipes can be heard emanating from the caves below the castle and a lone figure can be seen standing on Piper’s Brae.

Culzean Castle

3. ​Little Alexander – Drum Castle

Little Alexander of Drum Castle

Drum Castle is home to several ghosts, and is a hotspot of supernatural activities. Perhaps the most frequent sighting is of young Alexander Irvine, son of the 20th Laird of Drum, who died aged just six in 1865.

Over the years, many people have reported seeing the ghost of Little Alexander, and hearing his haunting laughter throughout the castle. It’s thought that he returns there to play with his brothers and sisters.

Drum Castle

4. The Grey Lady – Falkland Palace

The Grey Lady of Falkland Palace

Similar to Drum Castle, Falkland Palace has been visited by a number of ghosts over the years. The Tapestry Gallery within the palace is frequented by the ghost of the Grey Lady. She has been seen pacing and down, anxiously awaiting the return of her lover – a soldier who bade her farewell, then rode off to battle and never returned.

Will they ever be reunited, or is she doomed to wander the castle forever, waiting?

Falkland Palace

5. Lilias Drummond – Fyvie Castle

The ghost of Lilias Drummond at Fyvie Castle

Tales of murder and betrayal cast a spine-chilling shadow over this 800-year-old Scottish Baronial fortress. When the room temperature drops suddenly and the air fills with the scent of roses, it’s said that you are in the presence of the ghost of Lilias Drummond.

Legend tells that Lilias was starved to death by her husband, Alexander Seton, for failing to provide a son and heir. On the night of his second marriage, her ghostly laments were heard outside the marital bedchamber – in the morning, and still visible today, her name was found freshly scratched into the castle walls.

Fyvie Castle

6. Sir Tam Dalyell – House of the Binns

The ghost of ‘Bluidy Tam’ at House of the Binns

During the 1600s, the House of the Binns was occupied by General Sir Tam Dalyell, who earned the nickname ‘Bluidy Tam’ thanks to his feared reputation of violent suppression. Evidence of his dealings with the Devil can still be seen at the house today.

It was after Dalyell’s death in 1685 that the legends surrounding ‘Bluidy Tam’ really began to develop. They include accounts of the General’s cavalry boots marching round the house on their own at night, and of a ghostly Dalyell on a white stallion galloping across the grounds.

House of the Binns

7. The 12-Year-Old Girl – Greenbank Garden

The ghost of a young girl at Greenbank Garden

The wonderful, idyllic oasis of Greenbank Garden hides a disturbing secret – it’s home to the spectre of a young girl who was tragically killed in the courtyard in the early 20th century.

Despite her gruesome fate, she still enjoys coming back to Greenbank to play, and can be seen skipping throughout the walled garden and beside the burn.

Greenbank Garden

8. The Fiddler – Craigievar Castle

The ghost of a fiddler at Craigievar Castle

Behind the enchanting façade of this pretty pink castle lies a dark history, filled with ancient clan feuds and murder most foul. Despite this, the most frequently sighted spirit of Craigievar is a simple musician – the castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a fiddler, who fell into the castle well and drowned many years ago.

If you hear the eerie strings of the violin coming from inside the castle walls, you know who it is!

Craigievar Castle

9. Lizzie Robertson – Moirlanich Longhouse

The ghost of Lizzie Robertson at Moirlanich Longhouse

Lizzie Robertson lived at Moirlanich Longhouse for many years in the late 18th and early 19th century. She would often sit on the stool by the fire, stirring the cooking pot and baking scones on the girdle.

Although she died in 1940, she still likes to visit her old home now and again. She’s often spotted wearing a white apron, sitting on her favourite stool by the fire, or in the kitchen busily mixing something in a bowl.

Moirlanich Longhouse

10. The Headless Horseman – House of Dun

The Headless Horseman of House of Dun

This stunning Georgian mansion and its surrounding estate hold many a dark secret, including tales of murder. However, the most frightening tale is that of the Headless Horseman, who roams the lanes of Dun at night, seeking retribution on unwary travellers.

House of Dun

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