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9 Most Haunted Castles in Scotland

Scotland is home to numerous ghosts who love haunting old castles. Whether you are a sceptic or a believer, the stories behind the hauntings will surely send a shiver down your spine. Get your favourite bag of snacks, turn off the lights and let’s dive into the haunted stories surrounding the top nine haunted castles in Scotland.

Duntrune Castle

Duntrune Castle
Château de Duntrune, Loch Crinan, Crinan, Knapdale, Argyll and Bute, Ecosse, Grande-Bretagne, Royaume-Uni.”, by Bernard Blanc, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Abode of the Malcolm clan since the late 1700s, the 12th-century Duntrune Castle is situated high above the breathtaking rugged shoreline of Argyll. It is enclosed by the pristine scenery of the ancient realm of Dalriada.

The current chief of the Malcolm family, Robin Malcolm, is a staunch believer that the castle is haunted by the ghostly apparition of the piper whose life came to an abrupt, violent end in the scuffle between Clam Campbell and Macdonalds during the civil war.

Many can still hear the piper playing his music late at night, warning visitors about the dangers that lurk in this haunted Scottish castle.

Hermitage Castle

Hermitage Castle, Scottish Borders
Hermitage Castle, Scottish Borders”, by Gary Denham, is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0

The semi-ruined haunted castle in Scotland, Hermitage Castle is well-known for its sinister history and is popularly called “the guardhouse of the bloodiest valley in Britain”. Nicholas de Soulis built the typical Norman Motte-and-Bailey castle in 1240.

The castle’s haunted tales and the history behind them are perhaps more wicked than all your bad dreams combined. The most popular among the multitude of the haunted castle’s past inhabitants was Sir William de Soulis, who possessed it during the rule of Robert the Bruce. Sir William was captured and executed for plotting the death of Bruce so that he may himself be delegated King of Scotland.

Legend, in any case, has decided to give an undeniably more sensational end upon the awful master de Soulis. Legends say that this individual was an expert of Witchcraft, who seized the kids of the area and used their blood in his evil customs, during which he would evoke his devilish counterpart, Robin Redcap.

His apparition aimlessly roams the castle corridors, a vindictive phantom whose appearance is regularly joined by the terrible cries of youngsters reverberating along the decaying corridors.

Barcaldine Castle

Barcaldine Castle
Barcaldine”, by jbdodane, is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

Located amidst the romantic setting of the pristine Scottish countryside, Barcaldine Castle is now a famous luxury bed and breakfast place. It is also open for weddings and exclusive get-togethers.

If you are looking for a ghost, you’ll surely find one in this Scottish haunted castle hotel. The ghost of Donald Campbell, laird of Barcaldine, met his gruesome end in the hands of Stewart of Appin during the Massacre of Glencoe in the 17th century. He continues to haunt the castle premises searching for his brother, Sir Duncan, who had unknowingly sheltered the murderer.

Inveraray Castle

Inveraray Castle
Inveraray Castle”, by Daniel Tam, is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

The abode of the Duke of Argyll and the seat of the Clan Campbell since the 18th century, Inveraray Castle is the oldest example of Gothic Revival architecture. Situated on the shore of Scotland’s longest sea loch, Loch Fyne, the haunted castle is a treat to behold for its visitors.

Some of Scotland’s most famous ghostly apparitions have made this castle their home. The grey lady who is only visible to the daughters of the Duke, a floating ghost boat in the middle of nowhere, and a noisy kitchen maid are some of the castle’s most well-known ghosts. Some visitors have also heard sweet harp music coming from MacArthur’s room of the castle.

Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle
Culzean Castle”, by gordontour, is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0

Currently owned by the National Trust for Scotland, Culzean Castle was home to the Marquess of Ailsa in the past. The gorgeous castle overlooks the mouth of the River Clyde, thus providing a breathtaking view to its visitors.

Culzean Castle is filled with some magnificent and wicked history, and there will undoubtedly be a couple of accounts of paranormal happenings. Perhaps the most popular apparition story associated with Culzean is that of the flute player who, along with his dog, was sent into the caverns underneath the castle. However, he never made it out.

Some ghosts are known to move around the haunted castle. A little kid is said to run along the passages near the kitchen. There are additional accounts of visitors seeing a dark phantom climbing the steps late at night.

Baldoon Castle

Baldoon Castle
Baldoon Castle”, by Andy Farrington, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

At present, very little remains of the 16th century Baldoon Castle. The picturesque ruin is perhaps one of the oldest examples of Renaissance architecture.

Several accounts of local people have seen the phantom of a little girl living there. As per one legend, that is the phantom of Janet, the successor of the popular aristocrat, James Dalrymple.

She gave her consent to marry David Dunbar, the child of Baldoon Castle proprietor, while she was in love with someone else. Nonetheless, the arranged wedding didn’t occur. On the wedding day, the youthful lady of the hour was found murdered in one of the rooms of the haunted castle.

Fernie Castle

A romantic hideaway for Kings and Queens, Squires and Ladies.
Fernie Castle”, by Simon Johnston, is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

A famous Scottish Castle Hotel, Fernie Castle is currently a popular spot for elegant weddings. The castle was probably constructed during the 13th century under the MacDuff Earls of Fife.

Its western tower is haunted by a ‘Green Lady’, a young lady who escaped with her sweetheart, who her father disapproved of. They looked for asylum in this Scottish haunted castle, yet were found by her dad’s men and executed.

Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle
Edinburgh Castle”, by Graeme Pow, is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

One of Scotland’s most incredible and popular historic sites, Edinburgh Castle has a rich history as it has served as a royal residence, military garrison, prison, and fortress. It has seen the arrival of famous historical figures like King Henry VIII, King James V, and Mary of Scots, among others.

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most spooky urban communities, bragging a huge number of apparition stories, a considerable lot of which are set in and around Edinburgh Castle. One such story tells the story of the lonely flute player who haunts the concealed passages that run from the haunted castle to the Royal Mile.

Tantallon Castle

Tantallon Castle
Tantallon Castle”, by Malcolm Manners, is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The mid-14th century Tantallon Castle might be in ruins today, but it still looks like it has jumped out from a fairytale. It was home to the strong Red Douglas family, which frequently conflicted with the Crown. This is probably one of the most haunted castles in Scotland with photographic evidence.

A picture, called one of the world’s scariest pictures, shows a figure wearing a ruff and exceptionally old dress, looking from a destroyed window of the haunted Castle.

Scotland’s splendid landscape has its fair share of spine-chilling hauntings that add to the place’s serene beauty. These haunted castles and the stories behind the hauntings serve as excellent bedtime horror stories. Some of these ghostly happenings even have photographic pieces of evidence that may be the stuff of your nightmare. Are you spooked yet, or should we say more?

If you liked reading about Most Haunted Castles in Scotland, you should definitely check out our article on Most Haunted Castles in Ireland!

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