Aberdeenshire’s Haunted Houses
20 October 2015
It seems to me that it’s always nice to do something different on Halloween, and I’ve never been one for costume parties.
Aberdeen is celebrated for its beautiful architecture and stunning castles so I thought I’d do some investigation into our haunted houses. By houses, I of course mean castles, but a girl can dream right?
Here’s a run down of my favourite Halloween hotspots! They are frightfully good (I’m so sorry - it wouldn’t be a VisitAberdeenshire blog without a pun in the opening paragraphs).
The Legend of “The Weeping Stones of Fyvie”
If you’re looking to visit a haunted castle, look no further than Fyvie. It has had its share of misfortune over the years, in particular murders. Many say that some of the castle’s historic tragedies are down to a curse bestowed on the castle.
Fyvie Castle awaited the arrival of Thomas the Rhymer (a prophet) for seven years. He arrived with a storm around him and he cast the following curse:
"Fyvie, Fyvie thou'se never thrive,
Lang's there's in thee stanes three :
There's ane intill the highest tower,
There's ane intill the ladye's bower,
There's ane aneath the water-yett,
And thir three stanes ye'se never get."
Two of the mentioned stones were found, but the third is likely to never be discovered and is thought to be in the nearby River Ythan. As Thomas' rhyme states that until all three stones are reunited and removed from the castle, Fyvie will continue to be cursed. In fact the Leith family who were the last owners of the castle never had a first born son to survive in success of his father. “Fyvie thou'se never thrive”, indeed. Spooky stuff!
The Grey Lady – Lady Meldrum
Lady Meldrum (who had lived in the castle during the 13th century) requested that when she died her remains be buried within the walls at Fyvie.
Her remains were placed inside a secret room that was then closed by a wall. It is said that prior to her death she had placed a curse on anyone who violated the enclosure where she laid to rest.
Workmen discovered the secret room when renovating that area of the castle in the 1920s. Lady Meldrum's remains were then taken to the churchyard and given a proper burial.
Since that time the figure of the “grey lady” has been seen at the castle and is thought to be the ghost of Lady Meldrum.
The Green Lady – Lillias Drummond
The Green Lady is the most famous of the ghosts in residence at Fyvie Castle. She is said to be the ghost of Dame Lillias Drummond who lived in the castle during the 17th century. Lillias’ husband (Sir Alexander Seton) was said to be incredibly cruel to her and had hoped for a younger bride to provide him with sons upon Lillias’ death.
In order to solve his problem he locked her in the upper chambers and starved her to death. The night of the wedding to his new bride, Sir Alexander Seton and his wife heard scratching on the walls of their bedroom. They woke to find “D Lillias Drummond” scratched into the window ledge. Her name appears to be written from the outside, as the letters are upside down (and can still be seen today!). Many visitors and staff have claimed to see her in the form of a green lady throughout the building.
The Princess in the Green Room
I know it sounds like an elaborate take on a round of Cluedo, however, it is said that Castle Fraser is haunted by a princess who was murdered while she slept in the Green Room. It was claimed that her body was dragged down the stairs and that her blood could not be cleaned away and regularly materialised on the stairs. As a result the staircase was covered in the wooden panelling that is visible today.
Lady Blanche Drummond
The ghost of Blanche Drummond is believed to be the figure dressed in black who is often claimed to be seen roaming the grounds and inner staircases. She married Frederick McKenzie Fraser in 1871, she died a few years later of consumption.
John Brown was a companion of Queen Victoria whom she grew a friendship with following the death of her husband Prince Albert. Allegedly, Queen Victoria saw the ghost of John Brown following his death in 1883, in the grounds wearing his kilted dress. Though this could have been conceived as grief she is not the only person whom has reported seeing the image of John in the grounds.
Laird John Leith III
The tragic tale of Laird John Leith III occurs on Christmas Day 1763. He met his untimely end during an altercation in Archie Campbell’s Tavern on Castle Street, where a patron accused him of underhand dealings with the grain leaving Leith Hall. He was shot in the head during the brawl that followed the accusations. Allegedly he now haunts Leith Hall.
Delgatie Castle is rumoured to be haunted by a young woman of the name Rohaise. She is described as having red hair and is thought to have once defended the castle. Rumour has it she also appears in the same room each time and only when a man is present.
I’m yet to decide what my favourite ghost story is, but if you’re looking for an alternative to “guising” this Halloween weekend, why not take a trip to one of these castles (and perhaps give your friends a fright!)