The Arizona ghost hunters and the rest of the crew on the Ghost Tour of Scotland woke early to continue their journey to the highlands of haunted Scotland. Follow the Haunted Ghost Tour of Scotland presented by GHOSTours.com.
Day 3 Loch Lomond—Stirling Castle—RRS Discovery ship—Glamis Castle—Dunnottar Castle—Ardoe House
Loch Lomond is a quaint little area and no visit would be complete without a stop at the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National park. We spent a few minutes gazing out into the water and taking pictures of baby ducks. The famous song about Loch Lomond is reputed to be about two of Bonnie Prince Charlie’s soldiers who were captured after the rising in 1745. Jailed in Carlisle, one of the soldiers was to be executed and the other released. The ghost of the spirit of the dead soldier would make its way home to Loch Lomond on the “low road” before the solider that was pardoned. He would have to take the long way home over the hills and mountains—or the “high road.”
The first castle stop of the day was Stirling Castle built high upon an extinct volcano. During its long and bloody history, Stirling Castle has been attacked or besieged at least 16 times. Three of these battles were fought in its immediate vicinity, two of which were turning points in Scottish history. Of all the Scottish Castles, the magnificent fortress of Stirling Castle is probably the most important in terms of its position. It has been fought over and has changed hands more than any other Scottish castle.
Of course, Stirling castle sports an array of ghosts. One of these ghosts is known as the “Pink Lady” who appears in the form of a beautiful woman dressed in a pink silk gown. It is believed she is the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots. Mary made frequent visits to Stirling Castle, and this was the place she sent her son James to be raised. Another ghost seen is that of a “Green Lady”, who may have been a Lady in waiting to Mary Queen of Scots. It is said she saved Mary when the Lady’s bedclothes caught on fire. Any sighting of the Green Lady is taken very seriously by the authorities at the castle. Many of her appearances have been followed by a disaster of some kind and indeed several fires at the castle have followed a sighting of the silent figure. In the early 19th century, a guard was found dead at his post in the Governor’s Block. It is not known exactly what happened to him, but apparently he was found with his mouth wide open and a look of terror on his face. During recent times, soldiers based in the castle have reported hearing footsteps in the Governors Block.
Stirling castle was under renovations in several areas which usually enhances spirit activity. The ghost hunters split up with some of the group taking the guided tours while others explored on their own. A cemetery in the valley below the castle provided a great photo opportunity.
Soon the tour was off to the city of Dundee to visit the RRS Discovery ship featured on TV’s “Most Haunted.” After a quick lunch in the Discovery Point Visitor Center, Richard Felix accompanied the group on board the Discovery. He told some of the ghost stories related to the ship, and about the reported activity during the late night filming with “Most Haunted.”
RRS Discovery was built in Dundee in 1901 and was designed for research. It was the last three-masted ship built in Britain. In 1901 the Discovery sailed to Antarctica with Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton where it became icebound for 26 months. An attempt by the expedition to reach the South Pole failed, but the rescue made Scott and the ship famous all over the world. Scott eventually reached the South Pole, but died on the return trip during a blizzard in 1912.
There have been strange happenings on board the Discovery and many visitors have a tendency to avoid certain rooms. A light bulb above Ernest Shackleton’s bed kept blowing out and an electrician could find no explanation for this. Some say Shackleton loved the ship so much what he never left. Ghostly footsteps have been heard on the wooden decks late at night. Some say the footsteps belong to Shackleton—but others believe it is another sailor—Charles Bonner—who fell to his death from the crow’s nest in 1901.
Ah, but there were more castles to explore. Just a short distance away was the majestic Glamis Castle—also known as the setting for Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”. Glamis is the ancestral home of the Lyon, now Bowes-Lyon family. This was the childhood home of Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, Duchess of York, who became Queen of England, and later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.
The castle has many legends and secrets surrounding it. The first and most well know legend is the secret room or chamber that is hidden deep within the castle walls. It is said that the Lord of Glamis and Earl of Crawford played cards with the Devil himself on the Sabbath. So great were the resulting disturbances that the room was sealed up 300 years later—permanently!
One of the known ghosts of the castle is Lady of Glamis who became Lady Campbell after her husband’s death. A trumped-up charge of witchcraft was brought against her by the wicked Monarch James V. Although she was a woman of flawless character and a very popular woman, she was imprisoned. After a long sentence in a dark dungeon, she was almost blind. She was burned alive at the stake outside of Edinburgh Castle. Her ghost known as “The White Lady” has haunted Glamis Castle for hundreds of years.
Other ghosts seen are a small boy servant waiting patiently on a stone seat just inside the Queen Mother’s Sitting Room. A Gray Lady has been seen gliding across the castle and the grounds. One guest witnessed a shadowy figure of a ghost wearing armor near her room. Perhaps a peek into the concealed room would be worth an investigation of some fearless ghost team in the future!
Just when you thought there could not possibly be time for one more castle, the group was on the way to Stonehaven and the picturesque Dunnottar Castle. The dramatic ruined cliff top fortress is truly a stunning setting against the sea.
We arrived shortly after the castle had closed for the day, but that did not stop us from accessing the footpath—and several stairs that brought us close to the ruins. Some of the group tried to gain entrance to the castle from the side paths only to find dangerous sheer cliffs keeping them from the buildings and unique surroundings.
The site on which the castle sits has been inhabited since Pictish times (5000 BC to 700AD) although an exact date is not known. The importance of the site to the Picts stems from their religion. They are believed to be similar to Druidism, which worshiped masculinity, femininity, and nature spirits. The site of Dunnottar Castle and the area has a strong feminine nature and takes on the form of the “green lady”. The spirit of the green lady has been seen in the brewery at the Castle. She is said to be looking for her “lost children”.
Back on the bus, the “lost ghost hunters” headed for their next hotel, Ardoe House, a 19th Century Mansion House in Aberdeen. This stunning hotel and spa boasts many original and historical features and retains an old world feel to it. The property is rumored to be haunted by the daughter of a former owner who met her death as she fell from the grand staircase. After dinner, many of the ghost hunters chatted in the dining room—then moved to the lounge where other sorts of spirits were encountered.
For more information:
Debe Branning [email protected]