WES McDERMOTT picks some of his favourite haunted hotels in the Scottish Highlands
Home to the one of the world’s most famous folktales – the Loch Ness Monster, the Highlands’ other paranormal goings on are perhaps sometimes forgotten. In fact, the Highlands contain the highest number of reportedly haunted locations in Scotland. As we’re all about haunted accommodation at Haunted Rooms, I simply had to do find some of the most haunted in the Highlands.
Ord House Hotel, Inverness
Ord House is a pretty 17th century hotel with views over the rolling hills surrounding it. It’s a light, bright hotel – so what you might not realise is that it is also home to a rather mischievous ghost. The ghost is thought to be that of a woman – she’s often heard roaming the corridors of the hotel late at night, and has actually been seen sitting on the end of one of the guest’s beds. She’s also known for rather mischievously removing pictures that she doesn’t like from the walls of the hotel – but instead of discarding them or damaging them, she props them up against the walls, unharmed.
Barcaldine Castle, Oban
Barcaldine Castle is a tower house castle that was built by Sir Duncan Campbell, a man who was known for his “black” heart between 1591 and 1601. It’s said to be haunted by the ghost of Donald Campbell, Duncan’s brother. The Campbell clan were embroiled in a bitter dispute with the MacDonald clan for hundreds of years and there were many murders on either side. None of those who were murdered haunt the castle besides Donald Campbell, who started haunting the castle to chastise his brother Duncan. The man who had murdered Donald, Stewart of Appin, stayed at Barcaldine Castle, and as was customary in the Highlands, Duncan gave his guest free food and board. This angered Donald and so he haunted his brother in an effort to make him realise that his guest was actually his murderer. Donald has remained at the castle since then, haunting guests and staff alike.
Tulloch Castle, Dingwall
Tulloch Castle dates back to the 12th century, constructed for the Bains clan, and later owned by clan Davidson. It’s had a long and somewhat tumultuous history, which has led to the number of ghosts you are likely to come across if you choose to stay here.
The most prominent of which is the Green Lady, believed to be Elizabeth Davidson. The only ghost at the hotel caught on video, prompting many ghost hunting experts to investigate the castle. She has been witnessed on so many occasions, the bar in the hotel is actually named after her, and you can see her portrait hanging in the Great Hall.
The Lodge at Edinbane, Isle of Skye
Located on the Scotland’s stunningly beautiful and romantic Isle of Skye, is this quaint 16th century hunting lodge and coaching inn. Ghosts have been seen and felt at The Lodge at Edinbane for many years. With a building such as this, with a long and varied history, it should come as no surprise that guests of another world may be sharing a drink or two with you.
All of the ghostly activity (described as harmless by the inns’ owners) is centred around the ground floor. A man in black is often seen at the entrance, and an elderly woman can often be seen knitting by the fire in the bar area. If you see here, you may also catch a glimpse of her spaniel, who she is often accompanied by.
The most active spot is said to be the passage behind the bar, where an elderly woman in her nightgown has been seen walking.
Dating back to the 17th Century, Castle Stuart was once the home of the James Stuart (Earl of Moray), the half brother of Mary Queen of Scots. This glorious castle was once in ruin, but has since been restored to its original splendor.
The story goes, a long time ago, the Earl of Moray was so adamant the room at the top of the East Tower was haunted, he wanted someone to spend the night in the room to prove him correct. He asked the minister at the local church to spread the word of a £10 reward for anyone that would spend the entire night in the room. Anyway, a poacher, known as Big Angus, took him up on his offer. The next morning, the Earl made a gruesome discovery on the courtyard below, it was the dead body of Big Angus, with a expression of sheer terror frozen on his face. The mystery remains to this day, did he jump or was he pushed? One thing is for certain, staying in what is now know as the Three Turret Room, is not for the faint of heart.
Wes McDermott is the owner and editor of www.hauntedrooms.co.uk and www.hauntedrooms.com.