With a deep and rich history, it’s little wonder that Scotland has more than a few ghost stories to tell. Over the past few years there have been over 1,100 ghost manifestations declared in Scotland*.
Explore the country’s paranormal side on Scotland’s Ghost Trail. We’ve picked out 15 of the spookiest stories to get you started on your ghost hunting adventure and you’ll find out about many more on an organised ghost tour or ghost walk in Scotland.
No matter which area you choose to visit, there’s plenty to do in between ghost hunting too. Start planning your adventure now…
Visit Clanyard Bay in the Mull of Galloway, near Stranraer, to listen out for the ghostly sound of the Phantom Piper playing music deep below the ground. The area is a beautiful place to go walking. Close to Clanyard Bay you’ll find the Mull of Galloway RSPB Reserve, where you can see lots of swooping seabirds, including black guillemots and puffins. In the summer months you can climb the steps of the Mull of Galloway Lighthouse for panoramic views (open March – September) or head to Logan Botanic Garden to see beautiful floral displays (open March – November).
Running from Stranraer to Gretna, join the A75 – otherwise known as Scotland’s Ghost Road – and keep your eyes peeled for anything unusual. The easternmost section of the road – the Kinmount Straight from Annan to Gretna – is said to be the most haunted. In the area you can also discover how whisky is made at Annandale Distillery, visit the Devil’s Porridge Museum and stop off in Gretna Green to see the historic marriage anvil where many runaway couples tied the knot in times gone by.
The area around Rosslyn Castle in Midlothian is believed to be haunted by a Ghost Dog whom people have heard howling from the woods that surround the castle. Book a stay at the castle to see if you can hear the hound and visit nearby Rosslyn Chapel to see the beautiful architecture. Other attractions you can visit in Midlothian include Edinburgh Butterfly & Insect World, the National Mining Museum Scotland and Dalkeith Country Park.
With buildings, streets and historic closes that date back centuries, Edinburgh isn’t short of a spooky tale or two. Head to Greyfriars Kirkyard to see the Black Mausoleum (if you dare!), which is said to be haunted by the Mackenzie Poltergeist, and visit Edinburgh Castle to listen out for the ghostly drumming of the Headless Drummer. There are lots of Edinburgh ghost tours to take your ghost hunting to the next level as well as many other great things to do in Edinburgh.
Visit the beautiful Fife town of St Andrews to see if you can spot the White Lady gliding along the walls of St Andrews Cathedral, which is also said to be haunted by a friendly monk. To find out about the other ghosts of St Andrews book a tour with St Andrews Ghost Tours. Other attractions you can visit in the town and close by include the British Golf Museum, St Andrews Aquarium and Kingsbarns Distillery. Find more things to do in St Andrews.
Set amidst the lush surroundings of Royal Deeside in Aberdeenshire, Crathes Castle is an impressive Scottish tower house and reportedly home to its very own Green Lady. Tour the castle to hear about the history, explore the beautiful gardens and have a tree-top adventure at Go Ape! in the grounds. Find more things to do in Aberdeen & Aberdeenshire.
Located atop sea cliffs, on the south west coast of Scotland in Ayrshire, beautiful Culzean Castle is thought to be haunted by a number of ghosts, including the Ghost Piper who is said to have been heard, and occasionally seen, around the country park. After touring the castle (open March – October), why not visit some of the great Robert Burns attractions that are located nearby? These include the Robert Burns Birthplace Museum in Alloway, Burns House Museum in Mauchline and Souter Johnnie’s Cottage in Kirkoswald (open March – September).
Once home to kings and queens of Scotland’s past, Stirling Castle is said to be haunted by several ghosts, including the Green Lady who is thought to have been a servant of Mary Queen of Scots. Tour the many rooms of the castle, explore Stirling city centre and visit the nearby National Wallace Monument before joining an evening ghost walk with Stirling Ghostwalk.
The ancestral home of Clan Campbell, Inveraray Castle on the banks of Loch Fyne in Argyll has been home to the Dukes of Argyll for centuries. The castle is believed to be haunted by a number of ghosts, including the Phantom Harpist who has been heard playing music there. Tour the castle (open March – October) and explore the beautiful gardens before visiting nearby attractions including Inveraray Jail, Fyne Ales and Ardkinglas Gardens.
Heading up the west coast of Scotland and into the Highlands there are a number of famous ghostly places you can visit. Stop off in impressive Glen Coe – thought to be haunted by the Ghosts of Clan Macdonald – to soak up the stunning scenery and pop into the Glencoe Visitor Centre. Afterwards visit nearby Fort William, where you can see Ben Nevis, visit Ben Nevis Distillery and explore the West Highland Museum.
Culloden Battlefield, near Inverness, is said to be haunted by the Ghosts of Culloden, while further west in Moray Speyside there have been tales of the ghostly Grey Train of Dunphail appearing from nowhere. Other things to do in Inverness include visiting Loch Ness and catching a show at Eden Court Theatre. In Moray Speyside you can tour the distilleries on the Speyside Malt Whisky Trail, visit Elgin Cathedral and much more. Find more things to see and do in Inverness and Moray Speyside.
In the north of Scotland, in Sutherland, you’ll find beautiful Sandwood Bay. The beach is believed to be haunted by Dead Sailors, possibly due to the many shipwrecks that lie off the coast of the beach. The beach is a 4 mile walk from the nearest road, making it one of the most remote beaches in the country, as well as one of the most scenic.
If an island adventure sounds like just what you need, head to Orkney where you can tour Skaill House to search for Ubby and the other Ghosts of Skaill House. The mansion house was once the home of the man who discovered nearby Skara Brae, an ancient Neolithic settlement which you can also tour. Other attractions on Orkney include beautiful St Magnus Cathedral, Highland Park Distillery and the Pier Arts Centre.
Ready to start your search for ghosts in Scotland? Download a free copy of the Scotland’s Ghost Trail map or search for an organised ghost walk or ghost tour of Scotland.
*Source: Paranormal Database