AMY VAN DE CASTEEL looks at Haunted Dundee for some spooky places to visit
The Tayside town of Dundee has a veritable collection of ghoulish inmates, if local folklore is to be believed. If you want to wander a little way off the beaten supernatural track and explore the various “haunts” – both geographical and phantasmal – of Dundee, read on for the top 5 ghost-infested places to visit.
Mains Castle, Mains Loan, Dundee, DD4 9BX
Supposedly home to the spirit of a woman brutally murdered by her husband, this eerie 16th century building is the setting for a number of other paranormal experiences; in fact a visiting medium exploring the castle with a paranormal research team communicated with the spirits of several ghostly occupant,s including a very young child, servants and former prisoners.
The First Tay Bridge, (Stumps), The River Tay, by the A92
Said to be another ghostly hotspot, as a result of the tragic 19th century railway disaster which happened when a powerful storm caused the bridge to collapse and hurled a train and six carriages into the water. All of the 75 crew and passengers on board were killed during the accident. Supposedly, on the anniversary of the disaster (28th December), a ghost train appears on the bridge and then vanishes at the exact spot where the train fell into the water, while haunting screams of spectral passengers fill the night air. The stumps of the original bridge can be seen alongside the current bridge, which opened in 1966.
Royal Research Ship Discovery, Discovery Point, Discovery Quay, Dundee, DD1 4XA
The Royal Research Ship Discovery, a famous haunted ship, is docked in Discovery Quay. The first ship ever to be dedicated solely to scientific research missions; it was the vessel which took Scott on his 1901 expedition to the Arctic. Other former passengers included Ernest Shackleton and Charles Bonner, who died when he lost his balance and fell from the crow’s nest in 1901. Ghostly footsteps and other eerie phenomena have been reported on board, and the washroom is said to be haunted by a “bad presence”.
Claypotts Castle, Claypotts Castle Gardens, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5
Formerly owned by “Bonnie Dundee” John Graham, the castle is said to be haunted by the apparition of a woman garbed in white, who often appears at a window waving to passersby with her handkerchief. It is believed that she is the spirit of Marion Ogilvie, mistress to the ill-fated Cardinal Beaton who was murdered in 1546, though other stories say that she was a different woman entirely, mistress to John Graham himself, who was also killed in the 1500’s – in the Battle of Killiecrankie.
Coffin Mill, Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, DD5
Last but not least on our round-up of haunted Dundee is the rather creepily named Coffin Mill, now private flats, where a girl lost her life after her hair got caught, dragging her into the machinery where she was cruelly crushed to death. There have supposedly been sightings of her ghost crossing a metal bridge near the mill – though other accounts have it that the death took place at the Verdant Works, which is located just 500m from Coffin Mill. It is probably worth visiting both places if you hope to catch a glimpse of the unfortunate girl’s apparition.