Scottish Ghosts

Scottish Ghosts and Phantoms - The Haunted History

Apparitions and Phantoms S - V


Sandwood Bay, Kinlochbervie
The picturesque sands here have long been reported to be haunted by a beared sailor, as is the ruin of the nearby cottage on Sandwood Loch, the apparition having been witnessed on several occasions, including in recent times.  The phantom is clad in a brass buttoned dark tunic, sailor's cap and boots.  Various visitors to the bay have reported that after encountering this apparition it is noted that there are no foot imprints left in the sand.  Some paranormal groups have spent time in the ruinous cottage and have witnessed the face of the sailor staring in at them from the window, and on investigation there is no one there.
Shieldhill Castle Hotel, Biggar
Set in rolling hills and farmland, Shieldhill, a sprawling mansion, incorporates an ancient castle at its core, and said to date as early as 1199.  The building is said to be haunted by a 'Grey Lady', the ghost of a daughter, wrapped in a grey cloak, and of one of the Chancellor lords.  It is alleged that she was raped by soldiers returning from a battle in the 1650s and became pregnant, but the child was cruelly taken from her at birth and left to die.  Another version of this story dates from the 14th century and that she was made pregnant by a gamekeeper's son, and her baby was born dead and then buried without her permission and the girl wept herself to death.  Her ghost has reputedly been seen in recent times, walking towards the burial place in the grounds of the hotel, in one of the rooms, as well as on the patio, the roof of the hotel and in the car park.  Other manifestations include footsteps and thumps reported during the night, the movement of chairs and television channels changing independently.  Her apparition is said to appear mostly to children who are staying at the hotel.
Spynie Palace, Elgin
Spynie Palace, the palace of the Bishops of Moray, consists of a massive 15th century tower 'Davy's Tower' at one corner of a large walled courtyard.  The palace was probably built by Bishop Innes, just after Elgin Cathedral has been burnt by Alexander Stewart, the wolf of Badenoch.  Bishop David Stewart, who died in 1475, excommunicated the Gordon Earl of Huntly, and built the great keep, Davy's Tower, to defend himself against any retribution.  Famous visitor to Spynie have included James IV, Mary Queen of Scots and the Earl of Bothwell.  The palace was abandoned in 1688 and became ruinous and now is the property of Historic Scotland.  The phantom of a piper is said to haunt the buildings, as is the ghost of a lion, said to have been a pet of one of the bishops, this manifestation has been witnessed in Davy's Tower and in the ruinous kitchen range.
St Andrews Cathedral, St Andrews
Standing by the sea in the historic town of St Andrews, not much remains of what was formally the largest and most magnificent cathedral in Scotland.  The building was destroyed after the Reformation and then quarried for materials although there is a fine museum of early Christian sculpture in what remains of the cloister.  St Rule founded a monastery here in the 8th century, and the stair in St Rules Tower is said to be haunted by a ghostly monk, who was murdered in the building, and to have been witnessed in recent times.  Many visitors have reported the feeling of robes swishing past them on the climb up to the top of the tower, other visitors have reported that the monk has gave them a helping hand on the worn stairs at a time when they have got themselves into some difficulty on ascending or descending the turnpike stair.  Other manifestations include the apparition of a 'White Lady' clad in a white dress and veil, she is reputed to haunt the ruins of the cathedral.
Stobhill General Hospital, Glasgow
In 1955 a student nurse was in one of the smaller wards when she saw the figure of a woman in a white uniform 'slip into a side ward near the door' and assumed it was that of the night-sister.  There was only one patient in the ward and they were to be discharged the following morning.  As the student nurse went to meet the sister a voice called out from the side ward and, on hurrying towards the patient, found her alone and unconscious.  Who had summoned the nurse was a complete mystery, but the student nurse claimed if she had not been called the patient would have died, the nurse also said that if the visitor had called from inside the room, she would have met the visitor as she entered the room to answer the call.
Tay Railway Bridge, Dundee
The first stone of the bridge was laid in 1871, and the bridge was completed and opened for rail traffic in1878.  On 28 December 1879, the Tay found itself in the teeth of a raging gale.  By the early evening, rail official's were in serious doubt as to whether it was safe to allow trains to cross the bridge in such bad conditions.  A train from Edinburgh to Dundee was due to cross the bridge and arrive at seven o'clock.  In Dundee it was hoped that the train had been stopped before it crossed the bridge and that its passengers had disembarked.  When Dundee Station made enquiries later on they discovered the horrible truth, the train had been crossing the bridge when disaster struck.  The structure of the bridge had not been strong enough to withstand the stresses that the gale had caused.  A portion of the bridge had collapsed and the train had gone down with it.  Some seventy nine people were throught to have lost their lives, but the figure could not be given accurately, for not all the bodies from the disaster were recovered.
On the anniversary of the disaster, many people have witnessed seeing a ghostly train at full power steam across the bridge only to disappear before half way and the sounds of screeching, screams and carriages falling into the water, then silence.
Thainstone House, Aberdeenshire
In 40 acres of lush meadow land, Thainstone House, a classical mansion which dates from the 18th century, was extended in 1840 by the architect Archibald Simpson and again in 1992.  An older house here was sacked by Jacobites in 1745, and it was home to James Wilson, who signed the American Declaration of Independence, and Sir Andrew Mitchell, who was ambassador to the court of Prussia in the time of Frederick the Great.  The building is alleged to be haunted by a 'Green Lady', daughter of a former owner of the house.  It is believed that she was killed in a riding accident, and sightings of her apparition describe her as wearing a green cloak.  Other manifestations include objects moving by themselves, and guests have reported that their pets will not enter one of the rooms.
Tibbie Shiels's Inn, Peebles
In the 1820's Isabella Shiel was widowed, the only way she could feed herself and pay the rent was to open her cottage to passing travellers.  Her cottage became a very popular stop for it was known that Tibbie's hospitality was great and apart from travellers many famous literary figures stayed at the cottage including Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson.  Tibbie died in 1878 and the cottage was extended over the years to become an Inn.  It is said that Tibbie's ghost haunts the Inn to this day and many visitors have claimed that they can feel her presence as she passes through the crowd to her favourite spot in the Inn.
Tolbooth Theatre, Stirling.
The Theatre once a Town hall/Jail was the subject of strange goings-on for a period of time during and following renovation.  A local medium was called into investigate and pinpointed an area which was the exact spot of the ghostly activity.  It was known that this area had at one time been a cell of a former prison.  Over a period of time employee's had heard a series of strange noises which had sounded like a body being dragged across the floor and one day they were very frightened as they witnessed a wineglass flying off the table and a door handle moving by itself.  Some research was carried out and a possible answer emerged.  In 1843, Allan Mair, a notorious murderer was hanged outside the Tolbooth for battering his wife to death with a stick.  During the renovations, an old wooden coffin was found and inside a male skeleton wearing boots which were very clearly recognised through research as having belonged to Mair.  The skeleton was removed and given a Christian burial, from that point on activity seem to calm down considerably.
Transport Depot, Aberdeen
The building here, dates from around 1861 and was used as a barracks until World War I.  It is said to be haunted by the ghost of Captain Beaton of the Gordon Highlanders, who hanged himself there.  His apparition has reputedly been seen in recent times, and other manifestations include tapping on windows, the unexplained switching on and off of lights, and areas of the offices become very cold.
Victoria Terrace, Edinburgh
The story of Victoria Terrace is rather a sad one, a sailor by the name of Angus Roy lived in Edinburgh in the early nineteenth century.  Angus had been serving on a ship that sailed out of the port of Leith, but sadly his sailing career was cruelly cut short by an accident from which he was lucky to have escaped with his life.  Angus had fell from the top of the ship's mast, and, although he survived, he was badly injured.  One leg was left virtually useless after the accident, dragging behind him as he limped along.  When Angus was discharged from the Merchant navy, he came to live in Edinburgh's Victoria Terrace in the hope to live out what remained of his life in peace.  Sadly he suffered continual torment, was teased and bullied for his disability by the local children.  Not long after this Angus died a very sad man and shortly after his death, reports started to sweep through Victoria Terrace that there had been sightings of a harmless spectre but frightening enough to have the effect of making those who had mistreated him regret their behaviour.  It is alleged that the sound of Angus Roy's damaged leg scraping the ground behind him as he makes his way along the street is still heard from time to time around the area of Victoria Terrace.
Wellgate Shopping Centre, Dundee
The Wellgate Shopping Centre opened in April 1978, and construction work started in 1975.  It is believed that this shopping centre is haunted by a couple, reports of inexplicable footsteps and the sound of voices have regularly been reported and there is no logical explanation for this.  Centre cleaners have called the police on a number of ocassions due to these mysterious noises which have disturbed cleaners while doing their work in the closed shopping centre.  The law officers found nothing to explain the phenomena.  One Tuesday night in August, 1978, a fire alarm went off on its own shortly after voices were heard and footsteps walked boldly across the upper floors.  The police were called again but that incident remains inexplicable.  Centre Manager's called in a sensitive and he stated that two people associated with the area and died recently and he was convinced they were causing the noises.  When looking back in records the police were able to verify that before construction work had started the area had been an old housing estate, is it possible that the alleged ghosts thought they were still at home!.
Western Infirmary, Glasgow
The infirmary, dating from 1871 and first rebuilt as a massive castellated building, has been much altered and extended in later years.  The buildings are said to be haunted by the ghost of Sir William MacEwan, who died in 1924.  His apparition is said to have been witnessed many times and sightings of MacEwan have been recorded in the corridors and rooms around the area of the old operating Theatre.  Another apparition that was sighted in the hospital was in 1975 when a night-sister was carrying out routine duties. As she was standing in the corridor, she was aware of a 'Tall, silver-haired man wearing a blue dressing- robe standing near the doorway to the ward opposite'.  He appeared to stand still and silent for a moment then vanished.  Another nurse approached the sister shortly after this and said that she had seen the same apparition, at the same time, but from a different angle.  What was stranger was that this apparition was recognised as a patient that had died 48 hours previously.
White Dove Hotel, Aberdeen
The White Dove Hotel, now demolished, had a haunting which was well known and still is to this day.  During a stay at the hotel a guest who it is believed was an actress became ill and the hotel management called in the local doctor.  After examination the doctor decided that she was suffering from a rare disease and that a nurse should be brought in to attend to her.  When the nurse arrived at the hotel she felt that the room had a very strange atmosphere in it, but this was put down to the condition that the patient was in.  The nurse attended to the ailing actress each day and on one particular day after making her patient comfortable, the nurse settled back into a chair beside the bed and started to read.  After a time had passed the nurse felt the urge to look up and at the opposite side of the bed sat a small girl, the nurse could not make out the features but noted that the girl was wearing a hat.  Immediately the nurse wondered how the girl had got into the room and rose out the chair but as she did this the little girl raised her hand into the air and the nurse felt she could not move any further forward, something unseen was holding her back.  The ailing actress became very distressed and the nurse again attempted to reach her patient, but on trying found herself once again being stopped by the unseen force.  The nurse sat back into the chair and fell asleep.
When the nurse woke up, the child had gone, but her patient was now delirious with a fever. In the morning when the doctor called, the nurse explained what had happened and the doctor gave her strict instructions that no one was to be allowed into the room to sit with the patient.  The following night the nurse made sure the room was locked and made her patient comfortable then the nurse fell asleep.  When she stirred she saw the little girl in the room, so again she tried to get over to the girl she was stopped in her tracks again as the girl raised her hand.  The nurse could see that her patient's condition was getting worse and the nurse was distressed by this, but she could not do anything to help her patient.  The nurse then watched as the girl rose from her seat and made for the window, finding that she was able to move, the nurse made a rush to the girl and doing this knocked the hat of the girls head and to her horror saw that the wee girls face was that of a corpse, the nurse noted that she was an indian child and had been very beautiful but her throat had been cut and her face was twisted in death.  The nurse then fainted.  When the nurse came round in shock the child was gone and her patient was dead.
When Hotel staff were packing the deceased belongings it is believed that they found a photograph of a child and showed it to the nurse, who immediately identified it as the small girl in the room.  On the back of the photograph was some words which read:
Natalie.  May God forgive us.
The nurse and the hotel staff were never able to find out anymore information about the photograph and this has always remained a mystery but the small girl was never seen again.
Windhouse, Shetland
In a desolate and windswept location, the two-storey house dates from 1707 and was remodelled with castellated wings about 1880.  It was abandoned in the 1930s and is now ruinous, and stands in a bird sanctuary.  Windhouse was the property of the Swanieson family, but passed to the Nevens in the early 17th century.  The house was sold in 1878, and during renovations a large human skeleton was found.  One apparition was reportedly that of a large man, dressed in a black cloak and hat.  The spectre was recorded to have appeared out of the ground outside the house, then walked through the wall.  Another phantom was reputedly a lady dressed in silk.  The swishing of her skirt was reported at the top of the stair.  Other manifestations include the sighting of a child, a black dog and ghostly footsteps