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Halloween in Scotland

Children of Canna dressed up for Halloween

Scotland's Halloween traditions

Hallowe’en, All-Hallows’ Eve, All Saints’ Eve, Allhalloween ...

However it’s known to you, Halloween has its roots in the Gaelic festival of Samhain, first attested in the 16th century. The word Halloween itself is Scottish, and derives from the Scots shortening of All-Hallows Eve. 

Robert Burns, whose ‘Halloween’ poem was published in 1786, said this time of year was ‘thought to be a night when witches, devils, and other mischief-making beings are all abroad on their baneful midnight errands’.

While today it conjures up images of pumpkins, the Halloween traditions of Scotland included the carving of a very different foodstuff. Find out more in our list of 6 Scottish Halloween traditions, some of which may be a bit of a surprise!

The Trust cares for many objects associated with some of Scotland’s spookiest stories. From the portrait of Lady Margaret Duff at Brodie Castle to the bone-chilling bezoar of Brodick Castle, discover these petrifying pieces that our curators have uncovered in the darker corners.

Ghosts of Scotland

Watch out! There are ghosts about! 

We’ve got lots living at our places (they’re all very friendly, of course!), and many members of our staff have revealed their own eerie encounters with the spirits of Scotland.

Will you spot the ghosts of Clan MacDonald on the dramatic mountain landscape of Glencoe? Or be haunted by the Grey Lady in the Tapestry Gallery of Falkland Palace?

Plan your ghost hunt today at one of our many haunted houses!

Ghost of fiddle player at Craigievar Castle

Halloween recipes

In the mood for some wicked Halloween food? Then you’ll love trying these hauntingly healthy and ghoulishly good recipes!

If you’re carving a Halloween pumpkin this year, use the flesh and seeds to make this delicious Creamy Pumpkin & Lentil Soup.

For a spooky sweet treat, these Bone-chilling Boo-nana Lollies, coated in coconut, are a healthier Halloween treat for children – and they’ll have lots of fun making them as well.

Need something to wash it all down? This Eerie Eyeball Punch is a great Halloween party idea that’ll definitely prove a hit!

Halloween recipe – Bone-chilling boo-nanas

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