Dalhousie Castle
Dalhousie Castle

10 scary things that went bump in the night

The darker nights have arrived, and when we hear something go bump in the night, we can’t help but wonder what it was.

Here we round up 10 of Scotland’s scariest ghost stories.

1. The ghost in the bath

Blythswood Square in Glasgow was the place to live in the 1800s, but when Captain Smythe moved into his new des res he took a dislike to the bathroom, finding it dark and sinister. One night, just as he was about to enter the tub he saw the apparition of a beautiful woman strangle someone in the bath. Weeks later his son saw the bloated body of an old man in the water. The Smythes swiftly moved out, only to discover the former residents were a wealthy old man, who had been found dead in the bath, and his beautiful young Spanish wife, who inherited his fortune and was never seen again.

2. Seath Mor Sgot Fhiaclach

The burial place of Seath Mor Sgor Fhiaclach, a 14th-century chief of the Clan Shaw, lies in a secluded area of the Forest of Rothiemurchus. In life Shaw was renowned as a warrior and in death it would seem little has changed. Travellers who have had the misfortune to pass through the burial glade have spoken of a gigantic figure challenging them to a battle. If they accept, no harm comes to them and the figure disappears, but it is said that if they show fear and flee they are never seen again

3. The ghost of Lady Catherine Ramsey

Dalhousie Castle

Dalhousie Castle sits near the Midlothian town of Bonnyrigg. In the 16th century it was home to Lady Catherine of Dalhousie, who as a teenager fell in love with a young man who worked in the castle. Her parents forbade her to see him and in despair Lady Catherine locked herself in her chamber and eventually starved to death. There are reports of her roaming the corridors looking for her lost love.

4. The Black Lady of Broomhill

Legend has it that the owner of Broomhill House, Captain McNeil, was an adventurer who returned in 1902 with a beautiful Indian princess named Sita. At first they were very much in love, but she struggled to adjust to her new surroundings and became an embarrassment to the captain, who locked her away. Sita eventually disappeared in mysterious circumstances . Following many reported sightings of her ghost, the Black Lady became the subject of the first TV exorcism in the 1960s. The BBC team who visited the Larkhall site told of their cameras freezing over, despite the warm weather.

5. The Sauchie Poltergeist

Virginia Campbell was 11 when she moved to the village of Sauchie in Clackmannanshire with her mother in 1960. Strange things began to happen, with unexplained scratching noises escalating to household items moving around and doors opening . The poltergeist even followed Virginia to school and her teacher reported seeing the lid of her desk opening and closing of its own accord and her classmates’ desks levitating.

6. The hound of Roslin Castle

Roslin Castle

Deep in Roslin Glen, this 13th-century castle is said to be haunted by the ghost of a huge dog whose English master was slain in the castle during battle. The dog is said to have attacked his master’s killer and was swiftly dispatched by Scottish soldiers. Later the ghost of the dog appeared to soldiers . No one was hurt by the canine spectre until it encountered the man who had slain its master. The soldier is said to have died a long and terrifying death.

7. The Drummer of Cortachy

The appearance of the ghost who met his end in Cortachy Castle is said to portend the death of a member of the Ogilvy family, who have owned the castle for many centuries. The phantom is said to be the spirit of a drummer who was pushed into his own drum and thrown from a window in the high tower. Although some mystery surrounds the motive for his murder, it is rumoured that he was having an affair with the wife of the Earl of Airlie or that he was possibly a spy.

8. The Ghosts of Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle

This Angus castle is not a place for the faint-hearted. The ghost of Lady Janet Douglas, who was burned at the stake after being accused of witchcraft, haunts the chapel and clock tower. The ghost of Earl Beardie, a cruel man who rebelled against James II, wakes terrified guests in their beds. Jack the Runner has been seen darting around the castle and is said to be the ghost of a black slave who was hunted by the Earls and their dogs. He met his fate on the tip of their lances and was ripped apart by the hounds. And if that’s not enough, there is a secret room within the castle that is said to contain a terrible secret. If you stand outside the castle and count the windows then compare this to the number inside, it is said you will always be two short. Spooky.

9. The Death Bogle of the Crossroads

This white spectral figure reportedly haunts the crossroads in the centre of Pitlochry. Local people are well aware of the danger of the bogle and will often advise visitors to avoid the area after dark. It is said that one touch from the bogle means certain death within a year for the unfortunate victim.

10. The Grey Train of Dunphail

On a clear winter’s night in 1921, John Macdonald was heading home along a path by the Dunphail-to-Dava railway line in Moray, when a locomotive with a full head of steam, pulling four carriages, appeared and rushed past the startled local. MacDonald claims the train was travelling around 2ft above the tracks. The phantom train continued to traverse the line over the next 50 years . The line was closed in 1965 and the rails removed, but it is said the ghost train can still be seen on the former track.