If you’ve ever visited Scotland, you know this: If ghosts exist, this is where you’ll find them. (Edinburgh, for example, tends to be named as one of the most haunted cities in the world.)
The Scots certainly agree. Many misty Highland moors, ancient battlefields, and old, spooky castles have spectral stories and creepy legends that are as scary as they are mysterious. Let’s explore some of our favorite ones.
10Lady Catherine Of Dalhousie
Photo credit: Roger W. Haworth
When you visit Scotland, you may not even need to leave your hotel to witness ghosts. In fact, if you’re staying in the Dalhousie Castle Hotel and Aqueous Spa, you might have an old-timey ghost hanging out in your room. The ghost rumored to haunt the place is Lady Catherine, a 16-year-old noblewoman who was banished in a castle tower in 1695 after getting caught with a stable hand. The poor, lovelorn Catherine died in her tower, and it is said that her spirit never left the castle, even when it was converted to a hotel in 1972.
Lady Catherine’s ghost leads a fairly active afterlife, which has led to multiple sightings over the years. The hotel is a popular wedding site, and the specter has been known to attend the festivities. She walks the castle’s turrets and corridors and even appears in people’s rooms. Sometimes, she waves at the guests from a window. Other times, you might find her sitting on your bed. According to eyewitnesses, her grey dress, sharp features, and small feet could make you believe that she’s perfectly alive . . . that is, until she walks right through a locked door.
Here’s an interesting anecdote: In 2007, American writer Kate Bolick visited the castle to learn about Lady Catherine, who, at this point, had picked up the popular ghost moniker “the Grey Lady.” Although she was unsuccessful, she discovered that Catherine does not like the sound of bagpipes. Whenever the castle steward tries to play his instrument while she’s around, he’s unable to play properly.