Scotland isn't all Loch Ness monster mysteries; this county is a spooky place even when it is not Halloween. The long, bloody history of Scotland has made its remote forests, castles and glens the ideal fodder for gruesome tales of ghosts and other ghouls. Of course, with a penchant for storytelling, there is no way to tell if these ghost stories are just stories or the real deal. The only sure way is for the paranormal-oriented visitor to know is to check them out for themselves.
Edinburgh Vaults in Edinburgh
By Kjetil Bjørnsrud (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Edinburgh Vaults are one of the most famous haunted places in Scotland. Even without the ghosts, the vaults are a pretty creepy place in and of themselves, but factor in that there have been so many paranormal experiences here that it is the constant subject of ghost hunting shows, and the Edinburgh Vaults become downright terrifying. The vaults were originally built to serve as storage places and workshops for South Bridge businesses, but due to rushed construction, the vaults were not sealed against water. Later, they came to be inhabited by the disenchanted of Edinburgh, becoming a booming red light area for the city. After years of lust, murder and hordes of crime, the vaults were finally cleared out and sit abandoned today. One of the most common paranormal experiences in the vaults comes in the form of sudden gusts of wind surprising visitors. Needless to say, there are no open windows or doors in this underground area.
Fyvie Castle in Aberdeenshire
Until it came into the possession of the National Trust 30 years ago, the Fyvie Castle was passed down through the hands of various families since it was built in 1211. The drama of so many different people living here has sunk into the stones and manifested itself as ghosts of the past. The majority of the spiritual sightings that visitors encounter here stem from two long-dead women, Lady Meldrum and Dame Lilias Drummond, referred to as the Grey Lady and the Green Lady respectively. Lady Meldrum requested her remains be locked away in a secret room in the castle, putting a curse on anyone that disturbed the room. After workmen accidentally opened the room in 1920, she has been haunting the castle ever since. Dame Lilias Drummond has a crueler story in which she reportedly starved to death in the castle at the hands of her husband Sir Alexander Seton, who wanted to marry her cousin. As the story goes, Seton and his new wife heard scratches and moaning outside the windows where they slept together, the next morning they discovered his name carved upside down into the stone sill. The carving still remains today.
Culloden Moor in Inverness-shire
The Battle of Culloden was the last pitched battle that was fought in Scotland as well as one of the country's bloodiest. The conflict ended the Jacobite rebellion and successfully extinguished the Stuart claim to the British throne but claimed the lives of over 2,000 Jacobites that fought even though they were greatly outnumbered. With such a bloody history, it is only natural that Culloden has a few scare stories. It is said that around the graves of those who fell in the field, the birds do not sing. There is also a legend that says anniversary ghosts arrive on the field on April 16th to re-enact the clash. The piercing ring of broadswords can apparently be heard in the field as they fight with each other. The most frightening legend is the Great Scree of Culloden, a spectral black bird that was sighted by a Jacobite commander and deemed a bad omen of the battle. Needless to say, any who spots it on the moor will have some gruesome luck to come.
The Royal Mile in Edinburgh
The Royal Mile is Scotland's most haunted street. Each year, millions of visitors come to partake in various ghost tours and to try and get a paranormal experience of their very own. The area of Mary King's Close is one area that is of particular interest as it has the reputation of becoming haunted after it was shut off after its residents were overcome by the plague. The most common ghost story of this thoroughfare is that of the Death Coach. It is said that on the eve of a disaster, a driverless carriage drawn by flaming headless horses makes its run down the Royal Mile. Of course, a similar tale also exists in Irish folklore as well.
Boleskine House in Loch Ness
Much of the paranormal lore of the Boleskine House comes from its previous owner, the occult dabbler Aleister Crowley. However, the old hunting lodge was already pretty famous for being haunted before Crowley moved in 1899. Crowley purchased the house to carry out a series of rites called the Sacred Magic of Abramelin The Mage, which is popularly said to be a demon summoning ritual. It is believed that Crowley did not close the ritual properly and some of the demons still prowl the grounds. Those who ignore the general advice of "don't go there" have reported hearing phantom footsteps and feeling cold draughts. It's also worth noting that new owner Major Edward Grant killed himself after living here for several months in the 1960s and the next owner Jimmy Page, a rock star who was also fascinated by all things Aleister Crowley, ended up spending very little time at Boleskine for unknown reasons.