After a refreshing breakfast in a castle like setting in Aberdeen, the Arizona ghost hunters and their new friends from all around the United States, (plus Canada and Australia) loaded back on to the bus for even MORE haunted Scotland travel locations.
Day 4 The Tolbooth Prison, Inverness, Loch Ness, Urquhart Castle, and Airth Castle Hotel
The Ghost Tour of Scotland continued as the bus left the crew off at the Tolbooth Prison Museum in downtown Aberdeen. The old jailhouse is one of Aberdeen’s oldest buildings and one of the best-preserved 17th century jails in Scotland. The first building on the site of Museum was constructed in 1393 as an area for collecting tolls for goods that were bought and sold. Years later, its role changed to that of a holding place for prisoners about to be tried in court. It later developed into a general prison. The Wardhouse—now the Tolbooth Prison Museum—was built between 1616 and 1629. Several of the cells still exist in their original design. They are restored to how they would have looked when they were used as holding cells.
Over the years there have been several deaths in the jail, including executions, murders, and death from torture. With all this pain and suffering, it is not a surprise that the Tolbooth Prison Museum is considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Scotland. Several of these ghosts have made the Tolbooth their final home and serving an eternal life sentence.
The Tolbooth Prison Museum Aberdeen welcomes ghost hunters and paranormal investigators to conduct their own investigations throughout the year. TV’s “Most Haunted” filmed on location here in 2009.
A two hour journey through the country side brought us to a haunted, or shall we say, one of the most mysterious locations on the Scotland adventure. Sailing upon the Loch Ness in search of “Nessie” was on the bucket list of many of the tour members—including myself. After a quick lunch at the Loch Ness Center, the “Nessie” hunters broke up into four groups and enjoyed a one hour cruise with breath taking views of the highland hillsides and Urquhart Castle.
“Nessie” sightings have been recorded as far back as the 6th century, but it’s the modern day sightings that continue to capture the public’s imagination. In the early 1930’s, a new road was constructed around Loch Ness which enabled travelers and sightseers to get a glimpse on the allusive phenomena. “Nessie” has been spotted crossing the road and entering the water as well as swimming in the deep blue rippling waters
No official sighting of “Nessie” was made during our “watch”—although there are a few mysterious dark images below the waters in some of our photographs. You be the judge!
After shopping for the necessary “Nessie” collectibles, we headed to Urquhart Castle just down the road from the Loch Ness Centre & Exhibition.
The Urquhart Castle ruins were once one of the largest strongholds of medieval Scotland. It remains an impressive structure situated on a headland overlooking Loch Ness. It is also near this castle that the majority of the Nessie” sightings occur. The castle was built in the 1230’s, seized by the English in 1296, recaptured by the MacDonald Lord of the Isles in 1545 and left to fall in to decay and despair after 1689. During the ghost tour visit, beautiful rainbows accented the castle ruins against the background of waters of the Loch Ness—sort of a “thank you” from “Nessie.” The visitor center features an impressive display of medieval artifacts found at the castle.
Soon we were heading to the next accommodations, Airth Castle Hotel. This hotel is a 14th century castle and stables set in 14 acres of wooded parkland and landscaped gardens. It was once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce. The hotel is said to be haunted by a small group of playing children (who may have paid us a visit on second evening at Airth—stayed tuned). It seems their nanny neglected two small children while in her care and her ghost is said to search the building looking for the children after they were killed in a fire. The nanny is still around and sometimes looks after children whose parents have gone to dinner in the hotel restaurant. The most haunted rooms are number 3, 9 and 23. A few of the tour members had a room in the castle quarters while the rest of the group stayed in the renovated manor house.
The castle has its own cemetery on the grounds along with the ruins of the former parish church of Airth—an eerie roofless building that watches over the graveyard. Some of the group explored the cemetery, some took a stroll through the old roadway of the spooky forest, while others gathered in the lounge and talked ‘ghosts’ with Debe Branning and Richard Felix way into the night.
The adventure only gets better when the group heads to underground Edinburgh in the next installment!
Be sure to click on the slideshow on the left.
Be sure to click on Scotland day 1, 2 , & 3 below this story.
For more information:
Debe Branning [email protected]