Scottish Royal Phantoms Still Haunt Linlithgow Palace


RYAN O’NEILL investigates the royal hauntings of Linlithgow Palace in West Lothian, Scotland

linlithgow palace

Once the primary residence for Scottish Royalty from the 15th century, Linlithgow Palace is rich in history and even more luxurious in paranormal activity.

The palace is located approximately 15 miles from Edinburgh, in the vibrant town of Linlithgow, in West Lothian, Scotland.

Scotland’s monarchs used the palace up until around 1603, this is when Scottish royalty left for England, and we see the union of the crowns.

It was during this time frame that we see the palace scarcely used, and then in 1746, it was subject to a burn out by The Duke of Cumberland’s army.

The site of Linlithgow Palace is no stranger to important structures throughout the ages.

A royal manor existed here in the 12th century; this replaced by a fortification known as ‘the Peel’, built in the 14th century by occupying English forces under Edward I. Its position between Edinburgh & Stirling Castle is crucial as a supply route.

In 1424, the town of Linlithgow was partially destroyed by a great fire. King James I, the Scottish King, started the rebuilding of the Palace into what would become a significant Royal residence for Scottish royalty, also in tandem with this construction work was the reconstruction of the Church of St Michael, immediately to the south of the palace.
To add to the historical significance of this location, the much-seen spirit at various Scottish castles “Mary Queen Of Scots” was born here in December 1542.

Royal paranormal activity at Linlithgow Palace

Rumour has it that this location is indeed haunted by the mother of Mary Queen Of Scots, Mary of Guise.

Mary of Guise was Queen of Scots from 1538 to 1542 being the second wife of the Scottish King, King James V. As mentioned, she was the mother of Mary, Queen of Scots, and served as Regent of Scotland in her daughter’s name from 1554 to 1560.

Her politics in the 16th century was to build a close alliance between the French Catholics – as a native of Lorraine, a historical north-eastern French region – and Scotland which she wanted to be Catholic and independent of England.

She failed in her dream, and at her death in 1560 at the age of 44, the Protestants took control of Scotland, with her grandson achieving the Union of the Crowns a few decades later.

The Story Behind The Haunting

Queen Margaret’s Tower at the top of one of the stair towers, is said to be haunted by Mary of Guise, waiting for the return of her husband, James V.

In 1973 a custodian recounts that he and his wife, as well as a few visitors, had seen the shape of a woman near the main entrance. The mystical website adds that – `She is in a bluish gown` he told me ` and walks purposefully towards the nearby church. She disappears within a few feet of the wall`. Her appearances normally occur in April, though, she has been witnessed in September, `But always in the mornings about nine o’clock` Some people have also reported hearing a rustle of clothing at the same time.”

Residual energy Or visiting spectre?

It’s hard to accept that any consciousness separated from the body would linger for so long awaiting the return of their husband. It’s felt that they would realise by now – after all these centuries – that this is not happening.

What we can hypothesise, is that the actual activity and sighting are that of an energetic replay, non-sentient, and playing out regularly as if imprinted into the environment somehow.

Perhaps we do still have sentient energies at the Palace, whether this be royalty or humble servants. Visiting consciousness, the very essence that we all are, dropping into those places they felt most happy at in physical life.

Only by visiting the stunning historical Linlithgow Palace can we truly soak up the atmosphere and seek out the truth behind the Linlithgow Palace Haunting!

If you have any stories or experiences from haunted Linlithgow Palace – and the surrounding areas – please let us know and we shall add it to the extensive haunted files.

Perhaps I shall see you there too?

Read Tace Dorris’ account of seeing a ghost while working at Linlithgow Palace


  1. I visited Linlithgow Palace a couple of days ago whilst on holiday. Myself and my partner looked around the Palace clock ways starting at the northeastern quadrant, as suggested by the lady in the giftshop. When we got to the northwestern quadrant of the Palace I became aware that the atmosphere was a little different to the rest of the Palace. I can’t describe it as anymore than that..just different.
    I was in the room believed to have been the Kings Bed Chamber and I was looking out of the window across the Loch when I got the feeling that I someone was watching me. When I turned around to see who it was I caught sight of a fairly bright white lady in the window of the room above and behind me. She was definitely a lady, seemingly quite tall and slim in a long dress but she had a bright white light about her. I saw her for a second maybe and she turned to her right and was gone. At this point my partner was in the same room but around the corner looking out of the other window facing North so unfortunately he didn’t see a thing. It wasn’t a scary experience so I didn’t mention any more about it. But curiosity has got the better of me and I thought that i’d have a read on the internet and see if anyone else had experienced anything similar at Linlithgow Palace?

  2. I moved to Linlithgow 2 months ago, Around 3 weeks ago i had a friend vist and we decided to take my dog for a late walk around the palace. I had already been walking my dog there every day since i moved but thought it would be nice to show my friend.
    As we were walking i couldnt help but feel a very strange energy, im not sure how to discribe it but something felt different.
    As we were walking round the north side of the palace i heard a cannon being fired, it wasnt loud but i know what i heard, anyway this was made more alarming by the fact the church bells started sounding as soon as i asked my friend if he had ‘heard that?’
    I swear it felt like i witnessed something like history repeating itself.
    I have been back almost everyday since and nothing out of the ordinary has happened.
    This left me with a very strange feeling.

  3. During a solo visit to linlithgow i passed through the royal attention was transfixed by the fireplace,and i experienced a dark feeling strong enough to remain a vibrant memory still fresh 5 years later.


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