ABBEY TOWER, St Andrews, Fife Region, Scotland
One often hears stories of hauntings without much evidence to support them Having been told on numerous occasions of the ghost that frequents the Round or Abbey Tower of St Andrews it was with considerable interest and pleasure that I met Ian MacDonald and his wife in June, 1979, for they had both actually see the apparition. They were on a visit to the golfing centre in 1975 and decided to spend some time looking round the ruins of the cathedral. On nearing the tower in the Abbey Wall they noticed the figure of a woman in `alight grey dress` moving towards them. But what puzzled them was not the fact that she was carrying something that `looked like a prayer-book` but the fact that she was wearing light veil. `You don't see that these days` Ian said to his wife. At that moments the ghost vanished leaving the couple open-mouthed with astonishment.
BEDLAY CASTLE, Chryston, Glasgow, Strathclyde, Scotland
Is it Bishop Cameron or James Campbell who `pounds the floors` of this ancient building? The walls date from 1175 when it was constructed as the manor house for he bishop of Glasgow, but in 1350 the then Bishop died mysteriously in a nearby lake. Captain Alex McAdam told me in `972 that both his children saw the figure of a man in what they took to be ecclesiastical robes, and his wife felt something unseen touch her hair. Noises `just like heavy footsteps` have also been heard but Gordon Irving writing in the 'Daily Telegraph' feels that the regular thumping is caused by the invisible phantom of a landlord Campbell, who died in the 1700`s.
CARTLAND BRIDGE HOTEL, Lanark, Strathclyde, Scotland
Once a Georgian private house but now classified as a country house hotel, the Cartland Bridge lies within a stone's throw of the Cartland Crags which forms a mile long gorge along the Mousewater. In the twelfth century the town boasted of a castle built by David 1 but although nothing of this remains the town itself is still considered an important and attractive shopping venue. John Ferla of Glasgow told a colleague in January 1978 of the time when, within the last couple of years he was working at the Cartland Bridge and experienced a series of incidents which are, unfortunately, scorned by some who were not present. He was, he claims, a sceptic himself before he actually saw the phenomena in the building. A few days after starting work, he suddenly heard a scream coming from the hallway and ran out of the kitchen to find the cause. Floating down the stairway was the apparition of an old woman wearing a pale blue dress and what appeared to be a head veil. The figure was, `In no way transparent but looked completely solid`. The shrieks had come from the night porter and the chef. When they calmed down, John was able to establish that they had witnessed the same apparition as himself. What is extremely unusual about this case is that three witnesses saw an identical ghost at the same time, and that two of them were scared. Some three weeks later the same figure was seen in the private lounge by a number of guests. Because of this the manager called upon the services of a priests and two expert researchers to investigate the matter. It was claimed by the priest that the ghost of an unknown woman had been known to haunt the hotel for some time, but this was the first instance to his knowledge of it actually being seen. What the outcome of the investigation was is still unknown but it sounds as if the old lady, possibly a member of the Scott family, is still occupying her former home.
CRATHES CASTLE, Near Banchory, Grampian Region, Scotland
Years ago the phantom of a young woman in a green gown and carrying a baby in her arms used to be seen in the Green Lady's Room. Now, it seems, she has faded and only her `presence is felt` be sensitive visitors though some have heard the sound of `light footsteps` near the fireplace.
CULZEAN CASTLE, Maybole, Strathclyde, Scotland
Stated to be one of the finest Adam houses in Scotland, Culzean Castle, which overlooks the Firth of Clyde, offers both the delights of a country park and the sighting of a ghost. Some claim that a piper is also heard at the spot between Happy Valley and the sea, but the most recent factual incident occurred near the unique oval staircase. Two of the many visitors to the castle in 1976 saw a ` peculiar misty shape` travelling up the stairway and on commenting on it to a member of the staff was assured that `its not uncommon. Several people have seen it. It's thought to be the ghost of one of the Kennedys but the part that they occupied is an old tower in a different part of the building. Whatever, or whoever it is must have been here since 1777 for that's when the castle was constructed.` On further enquiry the tourists were told that younger members of the staff are warned about ` a wee ghost near the dungeons, but` said the guide, 'I think that's a bit of a tall story'.
DALMARNOCK ROAD BRIDGE
One of the eight bridges over the Clyde in Central Glasgow has long been known to be haunted by the ghost of a suicide. One man, unable to cope with his personal problems chose the Dalmarnock Road Bridge from which to end his life, but was that the answer?. He still haunts the site and has been seen by a number of reliable witnesses. According to a Glasgow-born friend, Mr. David Haggerty, an income tax inspector of Rutherglen, wrote to him relating his experience in 1972. He was walking along the Dalmarnock Road in July when he saw, `A normal looking young man, standing on the bridge looking towards the Clyde. Thinking it may be a suicide attempt, I suddenly found myself shouting, 'No, don't' but when only three yards from him, the man jumped, but as I looked over the bridge in horror, I was utterly amazed to see the figure vanish into thin air`. The incident was so mystifying, yet frightening, that the inspector thought he was going to faint or `even be sick`. Up to that time, Mr. Haggerty had always believed ghost to be a result of imagination. No `vague, misty shape` is this ghost, for numerous other witnesses have described an identical experience having seen the victim as, 'A youngish man of about 30 wearing a navy-blue three-quarter length coat, and coal black trousers. He has his hair in a crew-cut style'.
A short distance from the small cathedral of the Isle on the outskirts of Oban one finds the thirteenth century ruined castle of Dunollie. This magnificent building was once the family home of the Lord of Lorn who, centuries past owned a third of Scotland. Few visitors are allowed to view the area but in July 1971 having already gained permission from him to camp in the grounds, a group of scouts were taken by the chief scout to see the home of his forefathers. `It was about seven in the evening when we arrived`, David Howling of Leeds told me, `and we were looking in what had been the armoury. Suddenly we were distracted and about six or seven of us saw, passing outside the window, the figure of a piper in full Highland dress. He appeared to be semi-transparent and we could see the trees behind him. The plaid was very noticeable but none of us were frightened at the appearance, just rather intrigued. None of us were interested in ghosts anyway`. When the incident was mentioned to the owner however, they learnt that the phantom had been ` frequently witnessed` and was, ` quite accepted by the family`. There are many similar cases of genuine ghosts fully accepted by houseowners as being merely ` shades of the past` As one gentleman commented, `They cause no harm, so why should be bother about them?
The most recent witnessed ghost in the 'haunt of haunters' is the 'Grey Lady' who is always seen only in the chapel, kneeling at one of the pews. She has been observed by a large number of people including the renowned James Wentworth Day, but her appearances seem to be less frequent. Another genuine phantom is that of a woman ` who looks terribly ill peering from a window halfway up the tower. The face vanishes and seconds later `horrifying shrieks` are heard, but mystifying not by everyone who sees the ghost
GRETNA GREEN, Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
In October, 1957, Hugh Watson Reid and experienced lorry driver from Livingstone in West Lothian, was driving his articulated vehicle with a 32 ton load towards Carlisle. In a fully detailed letter, he admits the night was misty, though visibility was `not all that bad at approximately 40 feet`. He emphasises the fact that he is neither religious nor imaginative, and despite his experience, still finds ` the ghost thing` unbelievable. Just as he reached a left-hand bend in the road, near Sark Bridge, at the junction with the A75 to Annan, a middle-aged couple walked in front of his lorry. He slammed on the footbrake and the `dead man` to brake the trailer and switched on the hazard warning lights.
Outraged at their gross stupidity, he jumped from his cabin intending to provide them with some good advice about walking aimlessly across a main road at 10.45 at night. However, as soon as he reached the road he realised the weird-dressed pair had vanished. The man was wearing a `High Tile Hat, short double breasted jacket and tight trousers, whilst his companion was in a crinoline ankle length gown and a large hat of the sun bonnet type`. This is not the sort of clothing one would expect a couple to be wearing in October in the 1950`s. They could not have jumped clear of the vehicle in time for they were strolling across the road, quite casually arm-in-arm. For a second Hugh feared they might be under his cabin, but, thankfully, there was no sign. An extremely thick and impenetrable hedge borders the road at the spot and nothing other than a heavy vehicle could break through that. Hugh drove to Carlisle that night, more than a little disturbed by his experience. However, he was to learn, months later that he had not been the only witness to the sudden and potentially dangerous manifestation. Other night drivers have experienced an identical incident at the same spot. Perhaps that driver is the owner of a ghostly car which also travels the same road at night with dipped headlights, and then suddenly disappears. One couple and their two children were nearly killed when this phantom vehicle seemed to drive straight at them before vanishing, as they landed in the ditch. Local police, frequently called upon to investigate reports of the dangerous and maniacal driving of the vanishing car, have stated that there is no question of reflection from a driver's own headlights and are still unable to offer any rational explanation for the haunting, except accepting that it exists.
HUNTINGTOWER CASTLE, Perthshire, Scotland
There is a rather mysterious haunting here, for the ghost is that of a woman in ` a greenish dress` yet one would have assumed that an incident in 1582 would have been more likely to have created an apparition of a man. No clues are available as to the identity of `the lady in green` who was seen by two visitors in 1973 in a small bedroom on the second floor. In the sixteenth century a group led by the Earl of Gowrie kidnapped the future James 1 and held him prisoner in the castle until he agreed to change the constitution of his court.
KIWI LODGE HOTEL, Fenwick, Strathclyde, Ayrshire, Scotland
Seen here by several guest, including Helen Blanchfield from New Zealand, and the owners` daughter. Anne Eadie, is the phantom of a man who seems to prefer the restaurant and a certain bedroom in which to make his appearances. Helen was playing the piano in the restaurant one evening in March 1977, when she heard floorboards creaking behind her. She turned and saw the figure of a man standing silently as if watching her. The shape disappeared as she greeted him. `It was Anne who witnessed the apparition standing at the end of her bed. As she switched on the main light it vanished. The owner of the hotel, an airline pilot, admitted that one area of the restaurant always remains `deathly cold` despite double glazing and a large log fire.
LINLITHGOW PALACE, Linlithgow, Central Region, Scotland
Although ruined, this birthplace of Mary Queen of Scots retains a charm and attraction and, it seems, the ghost of a woman. The custodian told me in 1973 that he and his wife as well as a few visitors had seen the shape of a woman near the main entrance. `She is in a bluish gown` he told me ` and walks purposefully towards the nearby church. She disappears within a few feet of the wall`. Her appearances normally occur in April though she has been witnessed in September, `But always in the mornings about nine o'clock` Some people have also reported hearing a rustle of clothing at the same time.
MUCHALLS CASTLE, Stonehaven, Grampian Region, Scotland
A tourist visiting the castle in the 1970`s assured me that, when in an upstairs dining room she saw a girl facing a wall. 'As if looking into a mirror and patting her hair into place. Her dress was terribly old-fashioned and was an unusual lime colour'When the visitor entered the room the apparition vanished. Years earlier Mr. Maurice A. Simpson, the owner of the castle, told me that he has on one occasion experienced ` a frigid icy atmosphere, nothing to do with the heating system` when in the same room. The room has a history of being haunted by a young woman in a green dress. One of the first authentic reports was in 1906 when a guest of Lord Robertson saw her.
ROYAL HOTEL, St. Catherine Street, Cupar, Fife, Scotland
When the golfing centre of St Andrews gets over-crowded, Cupar, the county town of Fife, becomes an 'overspill area'to accommodate the supporters of the game and the Royal Hotel rings with the sounds of voices talking of `birdies` `putts` and `par. Some guests staying in this 150 year old building and using the Functions Room for meetings have been puzzled by the occasional drop in temperature but have usually ignored the cold sensation accepting that radiators and central heating thermostats are not always reliable. However, one evening in October 1978, Mr. Watson of Dunfermline who is a regular guest at the hotel, passed the empty room and purely our of interest, peered in. The room was 'icy cold'and what intrigued Mr. Watson even more was seeing a figure of a tall hooded monk walk slowly and silently across the floor. The guest stood in the doorway for about half a minute puzzled by the appearance of another visitor in the empty room, especially as it was quite late in the evening. Still wondering about the incident he walked on to his bedroom and went to sleep. A few weeks later one of the assistant managers of the hotel was switching off the lights prior to closing down for the night when he reached the Functions Room Noticing that one of the lights was still on, he began to open the door wider to go in, but was shocked by the freezing metal of the handle. So intense was the feeling that he was unable to move but through the partially opened doorway he saw the identical figure seen earlier by Mr. Watson. When the apparition reached the outer wall it vanished and the light suddenly went out. There is only one door way to the room and that was occupied by the assistant manager.
This was the third occasion when the mysterious monk has been seen in the same locality and has been associated with the inexplicable movement of cutlery when the room was used for a special gathering. A brief comment from a local provides the probable answer to the haunting. `The hotel is built on the abbey's burial ground`.
ST ANDREWS BAY,
When on an assignment here in 1973 I was assured by a local historian, a Mr. McKenzie that one, `The road down to the bay one or two people, including some golfers, have seen what appears to them to be a coach drawn by two horse. There is on record an incident in the 1800`s in which a coach travelling up to the cathedral tipped over and the passengers and the driver were killed. As far as I know the last time it was seen was last year, in 1972, But people are a wee bit canny about talking on such things`. The time the vehicle was seen was somewhere between four and five in the afternoon.
Dumfries and Galloway,
A sad and gruesome tale surrounds the haunting of the sixteenth century tower where in the 1650`s Sir Alexander Jardine imprisoned a miller for making bad bread. Shortly after incarcerating the inefficient fellow in one of the dungeons, Jardine left for a length stay in Edinburgh. IT was some months later that the prisoner was remembered by which time of course be had died of starvation. Sir Alexander found the rotting remains on his return and was sickened to find the hapless victim of his inhumanity and forgetfulness had, in a desperate attempt to reach the door of the prison, literally torn his hands from the manacles which bound him to the wall. In an effort to ensure that the ghost of the victim was `laid` a bible was built into the wall of the dungeons. This was discovered many centuries later and removed to a local museum but there were so many catastrophes which followed this that the book was returned to the castle. At least, so the story goes. Nevertheless, several people visiting the derelict tower have heard human moans and felt ` the presence of an unseen entity` Also according to Mr. Lawrence, who I met in 1979, several of his friends have actually seen the apparition of a tall white haired man in the region of the original site of the dungeon. He looks `distraught as if suffering from pain` The figure has no hands.
Standing on a sheer 250 feet crag of solid basalt overlooking the Forth Valley this royal castle blends so well with its surroundings it could be taken as an outcrop of rock itself, though it was built in the fifteenth century. Adjoining the gateway is the Church of Holy Rude where Mary, Queen of Scots was crowed in 1543, and one wonders if any of her ladies-in-waiting wore a pink or red gown. The reason for this question is that the ghostly figure of a woman in a long pink dress had been seen on several occasions during the last 25 years walking from the castle to the church. Some seem to think that the gown is of silk and as this was not introduced into Europe until the 1500`s it could well be that the phantom is one of Mary's retainers. Her last reported appearance was in 1976.