20 Most Haunted Places In Scotland

May 30, 2020 6:00 AM ‐ ParanormalGhostsTop 10 Most Haunted Lists
There are a number of reportedly haunted locations in Scotland, from ancient castles to famous landmarks and tourist attractions, even hotels, bars and some incredibly atmospheric graveyards.

Below are twenty locations across Scotland that are best known for their haunted reputations.

20. Edinburgh Playhouse, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Playhouse
Photo: © Enric

 

Like most old theatres, the Edinburgh Playhouse has its own resident ghost. The reports of paranormal activity date back to at least the 1950s when the police were called to investigated a reported break in. One of the officers claimed to have spoken to a man dressed in grey who identified himself as Albert, but there were no staff by that name.

The ghost of Albert has been spotted in the building ever since, especially on the sixth floor. He is though to be a stage hand who died in an accident at the theatre. Theatre-goers have also reported strange goings on, including the sensation of being touched by unseen hands and hearing unexplained noises around the building.

19. West Bow, Edinburgh

 

The West Bow is situated between Victoria Street and the Grassmarket and was where the home of Thomas Weir once stood. He was a well-respected member of the community, until he confessed to various offences including witchcraft and communicating with the dead, and was executed in 1670.

After his death the house was unoccupied for many years due to its dark past, during this time locals reported seeing the windows lit up at night and saw strange shadows moving past the windows. There's also reports of a phantom coach pulled by six horses seen outside the house. Eventually a couple did move into the property, but were driven out one night after witnessing what they described as demonic apparitions.

The house has now been partially demolished but parts of it have been incorporated in the Quaker meeting house on Victoria Terrace. It's said that the paranormal activity that was once associated with Weir's home is now experienced in the Quaker's hall.

18. University Of St Andrews, St Andrews

 

The oldest of the four ancient universities of Scotland is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including the spirit of a monk, a piper and ever a ghost ship. One of the best known spooks is the White Lady, who is thought to be a servant of Mary, Queen of Scots. It's said that she died of a broken heart after her lover was beheaded, a fate mirroring that of Mary Stuart. The woman's ghost is now said to wander around a tower in part of the ruined abbey at night.

17. Inveraray Jail, Inveraray

 

A 19th-century prison and courthouse with a reputation as one of the most haunted places in Scotland. The paranormal activity in the prison, which closed to inmates in 1889, includes a general feeling of unease, unexplained noises and even apparition captured in the form of photographs. The most active parts of the prison are said to be cell 10 and the prison's kitchens.

16. Fyvie Castle, Turriff

 

The 13th century castle is said to be plagued by an evil curse, as well as plenty of paranormal activity. The first reported ghost sighting in the castle was in 1601 and was said to be that of Dame Lilias Drummond, the Green Lady.

The castle's legendary curse dates back to a visit by the famous Scottish prophet, Thomas the Rhymer. He was approaching the castle on a dark and stormy night. As he got near, the castle door slammed closed in his face due to the wind. As a result of this he refused to enter the building and cursed it by placing three weeping stones within the grounds. He said until the three weeping stones were found, no eldest son would earn the right as the heir of the castle.

Two of the stones were never found, however one weeping stone that was found is kept in the Charter room in the castle. All that is left of the stone today is its crumbled remains, nothing more than a pile of dust.

15. The Scotia Bar, Glasgow

 

The Scotia Bar has stood on Stockwell Street since 1792, making it Glasgow's oldest pub. Paranormal investigators, who've investigated the establishment claim to have made contact with the spirit of a woman named Annie, who was allegedly able to move a glass across a table. The landlord has reported seeing the ghosts of a young child playing in a doorway. There's also a lady in a white has been seen sat in part of the bar, and a lady in a green dress who is said to parade up and down the pub.

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14. Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh
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Located in Old Town, Greyfriars Krikyard was first designated as a graveyard in 1562, and is the final resting place of many of the city's most notable former residents. Since the 1998 there have been hundreds of reports of paranormal activity occurring in the graveyard, most of which revolves around the tomb of Sir George Mackenzie, a barrister who was responsible for the deaths of thousands of Covenanters in the 17th century.

It started after a homeless man broke into Mckenzie's large, black mausoleum in the graveyard one cold night to find shelter. Ever since there has been reports of poltergeist activity by visitors passing by the mausoleum. They claim to have been pushed, scratched and even cut.

The graveyard's other famous resident ghost is that of a dog named Bobby. It's said that the loyal pooch guarded over his owner's grave for several years after his owner's death. When the dog eventually died he was buried in an unconsecrated part of the cemetery. Ever since Bobby has been seen and heard still guarding his master's grave.

13. Crathes Castle, Banchory

 

Crathes Castle was built in the 16th century and was home to the Burnett family. The castle's most famous ghost is the Green Lady, who is seen wearing a green robe and cradling a baby in her arms. She's been spotted near a fireplace in a room which is now known as the Green Lady's room. Eerily, during building works in the 1800s skeletal remains of a child were found behind the same fireplace.

The castle's tower is said to be haunted by the White Lady, she is said to be Bertha, a lover of Alexander Burnett. It's thought that she was poisoned by Alexander's mother for being unworthy of her son's hand-in-marriage. Visitors have also reported ghostly figures seen walking around the castle and its grounds, which coincide with sudden and extreme drops in temperature.

12. Tron Theatre, Glasgow

 

The city centre theatre has a long and dark history, including its former uses as a place of execution, a police station and a meeting place for the infamous Hellfire Club. The paranormal activity in the building ranges from reports from staff of the uneasy feeling that they're being watched or even touched and doors open on their own, through to visitors witnessing full apparitions.

The most active parts of The Tron is said to be the Victorian Bar and the back two rows of the auditorium. The ghostly sightings included reports of phantom children and the apparition of a man seen roaming the building dressed in riding gear. There's also said to be a menacing spirit which lurks in the boiler room, which sits on the former site of St Mary's Crypt.

11. Birkwood Castle, Lesmahagow

 

Birkwood Castle is 17th Century Neo-Gothic castle near Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire. The castle was built in 1860 for McKirdy family but was handed over to the local council in 1923 when it became a psychiatric hospital for children. It continued to be used until 2005 when it was abandoned and fell into disrepair.

Birkwood Castle is said to be haunted by the ghosts of its former patients. When the hospital was operational, visitors and staff reported plenty of paranormal activity including the sound of disembodied footsteps and electrical disturbances.

Ever since, reports of ghostly goings on have come in thick and fast, including reports of a cigar-smoking spirit whose smoke can be smelt around the castle. There's also said to be a ghost of a young boy called Michael who has been seen on a spiral staircase in the building where he is believed to have fallen to his death.

People have also reported hearing the eerie sound of a woman crying and singing from empty rooms throughout the building. The ghost of a man who was murder by being stabbed through the throat has also been spotted in the castle.

A few years later in 2015, one of the castle's exterior walls collapsed. Many blame the amount of ghostly activity at the building for the collapse, which was so loud that people in the local area reported hearing an explosion.

10. Culzean Castle, Maybole

 

This South Ayrshire castle was built in the 18th century, but a fortification has stood on the land since 1165. With such longstanding history, it's no surprise that Culzean Castle has topped out list of the most haunted castles in Scotland, especially as it is said to be home to no less than seven individual ghosts.

There is a network of tunnels which run underneath the castle that were once used by smugglers, in more recent years the ghostly sound of pipe music has been heard coming from within the tunnels. There's also been reports of the sound of guests partying loudly in various parts of the castle, but when staff investigate they find the room empty.

The castle is also said to be haunted by the spirit of a woman, believed to be a former servant, seen in the upper rooms, and the apparition of an old man seen wearing period clothing sitting in the Earl's bedroom.

9. Dalmarnock Road Bridge, Glasgow

 

Since the 1970s, many people crossing the 200 year old bridge have reported seeing a man in his thirties stood on the edge of the bridge, staring down into the waters below. He's said to be wearing 1930's style clothing including either a blue jacket and black trousers, or black clothes. When concerned passersby approach the man, he's said to have jumped from the bridge but vanished before hitting the water.

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8. Provan Hall, Glasgow

 

Now maintained by the National Trust for Scotland, Provan Hall is one of Glasgow's oldest buildings and has been home to many notable residents, including Scotland's King James IV. The paranormal activity at the hall includes reports of footsteps and disembodied voices, vanishing object and sudden extreme temperature changes.

Provan Hall's best known ghost is that of its last owner, Reston Mather. His ghost has supposedly been seen wearing period clothing roaming the corridors.

The hall is also said to be haunted by the ghost of a mother and her child. It's said that they were killed by the woman's angry husband, who returned home after some time away to find his wife had become a mother to the boy. Their spirits have been seen cowering in fear in the hall, perhaps reliving the final moments before their murder.

7. Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh

 

The Scottish capital is said to be one of the most haunted cities in the world, and the castle which overlooks it also has its fair share of spooks, many tourists have reported plenty of paranormal activity over the years.

There are several ghosts who are said to haunt this historic fortress, the most commonly sighted are an old man in apron, a piper who mysteriously lost his life after getting lost in the tunnels below the castle and a headless drummer boy.

6. Glasgow Necropolis, Glasgow

 

Glasgow is a city which is well known for its haunted locations, so it's no surprise that one of the city's cemetery on this list. Officially opened in 1840, there are around 250,000 people buried in the Necropolis, very few have gravestones, even fewer have names.

In the 1950s the cemetery made the news when a police man found a group of local children who had been roaming the cemetery for several nights armed with sharpened sticks and knives. The kids were hunting a vampire. He was said to be seven foot tall with metal teeth and had been blamed for the disappearance of two local children.

5. Balgonie Castle, Glenrothes

Help! My House Is Haunted: Balgonie Castle

 

An hour from Edinburugh, in Glenrothes, Fife, is the 700 year old former stronghold. It's survived attacks, experienced brutal murders and is now a family home, but an intimidating spirit is said to endanger its inhabitants.

The castle's owners Stuart and Kelly Morris have experienced ghostly activity including disembodied voices, the apparition of a young boy in the courtyard, people feel like they're being watched, dark shadow figures are seen and eerily, a head has also been spotted floating throughout the castle.

Kelly had one experience that felt like someone was touching and breathing on her. She felt this was an evil presence, it got so bad that Kelly has even considered moving out. It's thought that the evil presence is the malevolent spirit of a priest.

There's also the ghost of grey lady known as Green Jeanie, the owners have seen her walk past one window and look out of another. Her apparition has been reported as long back as 1842 and she's been seen throughout the castle, in the courtyard and in the land surrounding the castle. She's believed to be the daughter of the second family who owned the castle, the Lundys.

4. Skaill House, Sandwick

 

Skaill House is a manor house in Sandwick parish on Mainland, the largest of the Orkney Islands. It was built in the 1620s, it was last occupied in 1991, and was opened to the public in 1997 restored to the style of a 1950s family home.

Visitors and staff to the house have reported plenty of ghostly activity, including knocks and bangs, doors slamming, odd smells, and even the ghostly figure of a a tall man with dark hair. Another guest said she had a question about the house answered by a male member of staff in the gun room, but no males were working that day.

3. Glamis Castle, Glamis

 

Glamis Castle is situated in the village of Glamis, Angus and is the home of the Earl and Countess of Strathmore and Kinghorne, the Bowes-Lyons family. The category A listed building is said to be haunted by many ghosts, including the ghost of the woman with no tongue who's been seen walking around the grounds.

There's also said to be a Grey Lady, thought to be the ghost of a former resident who was burned at the stake for being a witch in 1537. The spirit of a young boy has also been spotted sitting on the stone seat by the door of the Queen's room, he's believed to be a former servant at the castle.

The 4th Earl of Crawford, Alexander Lindsay, is also said to haunt the castle. He was said to be cruel man in life, but since passing has been sighted as a dark figure standing over beds in the dead of night.

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2. Mary King's Close, Edinburgh

 

Nestle deep beneath the Royal Mile in Edinburgh there's a hidden a labyrinth of narrow streets and houses. The area of Mary King's Close was originally a number of streets lined with houses, taverns and shops. Buildings were up to seven storeys high and housed hundreds of Edinburgh's inhabitants, but in 1645 the city was hit by the bubonic plague and the confines of the close proved to be a fertile breeding ground for the black death.

In an attempt to stem the spread of this ravaging disease, city officials quarantined Mary King's Close, and although victims of the plague were cared for, many died in their homes.

By the mid 18th century, the council decided to build the Royal Exchange on top of the close. Residents left the area and the street became a subterranean underworld, buried for centuries, but the close was recently reopened, allowing its macabre history to be retold.

The close is said to be the site of dark shadows, strange noises and even apparitions of body parts have been reported here. Chesney's House, is said to be so scary, that some staff member refuse to enter certain areas on their own and the ghost of a man has been seen here before vanishing.

A building known as the "Murder House" is said to be the location of a killing. A woman murdered her son in law here and was executed for her crime. Since then his wounded figure has been seen and heard reenacting the moment of his death.

Annie's Room are said to be the most haunted part of the close, as well as cold spots, phantom voices and dark shadows, the spirit of a little girl has been seen wandering endlessly, trying to find her mother, who apparently left her to die during the plague. She's been seen so many times that guests often leave her toys to play with.

1. Edinburgh Vaults, Edinburgh

Edinburgh Vaults
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The Edinburgh Vaults are a network of eerie chambers which are formed in the arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh. Due to the city's growing population, the 120 rooms or 'vaults' beneath the bridge were put to use to house taverns, workshops for cobblers and other tradesmen in 1788.

The vaults were damp with poor air quality and condition were grim, which resulted in businesses leaving. This meant that the dank caverns were overtaken by Edinburgh's poorest citizens, the homeless and criminals, who carried out activities such as illegal gambling, whisky distillery and even bodysnatching.

Eventually the vaults were filled in and forgotten about, until they were rediscovered in the 1980s and eventually opened as a tourist attraction. Thanks to its depressing past, the vaults are now said to be one of the most haunted places in the UK.

Visitors report hearing disembodied voices, including the sound of children crying. The mysterious sound of feet shuffling can also be heard coming from dark corners of the vaults, and people have reported being touched. During 'Most Haunted's' investigation of the location in 2008, one of their team was scratched by an unseen force, to this day it is still one of the team's most violent investigations.

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