Ghostly Attractions

26 October 2017


Photo: Ardvreck Castle by Bob Hall via CC

Some people come to Scotland to spot dolphins or whales, others come to catch a glimpse of a rare bird of prey, beaver or wildcat. As Halloween approaches it seems like the perfect time to take a light hearted look at some of the more supernatural sights that visitors can come to try and see.

Scotland has a rich history of ghostly myth and legend and Skye in particular has more than its fair share of apparitions, and hauntings. One of my favourites however is relatively recent and is the story of a cursed 1934 Austin that sounds like something from a Hollywood B movie. This malevolent machine cruises up and down the Sligachan to Portree road in the dead of night, forcing unsuspecting motorists to pull over before disappearing from view. Sightings have diminished since the old single track road has been replaced but, nevertheless, stories of this ghost car, driven by a minister insane from guilt over a fatal traffic accident, refuse to fade. If you don’t want to risk any encounters on your way up to Saltwinds then best travel by daylight just to be on the safe side. It’s a fantastic drive and this does give you the added advantage of taking in the spectacular scenery of the Cuillins on your way.

Finding reliable builders in the north west of Scotland is not a new problem. A 16th century Macleod chief faced with just this conundrum employed the devil himself to aid in the construction of Ardvreck Castle. The cost? His daughters hand in marriage!  It was only after their wedding night that she realised this and promptly threw herself from the castle tower. Her ghost weeps and wails to this day. It is relatively easy to visit the atmospheric remains of the castle as they sit just off the road, not far from Inchnadamph. The tower as mentioned above is still visible but should you get spooked out by the screaming then it’s just a short drive to the more modern comforts of An Nead where a quiet night’s sleep is hopefully guaranteed.

The Gray Train of Dunphail has had numerous sightings over the years and such is its notoriety that there is now a bi-annual Ghost Train Walk to celebrate its legend  The old Dava railway line which, until 1965, ran between Granton on Spey and Forres, crossed the bleak and menacing Dava moor. Since the railway closure the track has been ripped up and the route has been turned into a long distance walking route to rival the West Highland Way. The absence of rails has seemingly had no effect on the number of sightings and for those wishing to risk a night time adventure across the moor, the Ghost train walk which starts at dark and finishes at breakfast time offers safety in numbers. The route goes very close to Clashindeugle Farmhouse, a great spot for exploring on foot and bike, day or night.

Mallachie has lots of brilliant walking available from just outside the front door. Caution should be exercised, however, when crossing a secluded area of the Rothiemurchus forest on your evening stroll. Here lies the burial place of Seath Mor Sgor Fhiaclach, a 14th-century chief of the Clan Shaw and renowned warrior. If disturbed, the gigantic figure will challenge you to battle and it is essential that, regardless of how you rate your chances of victory, you must accept whereupon the apparition will depart and allow you to continue unharmed. Cowards who show fear and attempt to flee will be hunted down and never seen again. The legend is unclear as to what fate will befall your dog so it’s probably safest to keep them on a lead just in case. The tomb itself is guarded by five cylindrical white stones. Such is their power that, in order to protect local youths or unsuspecting visitors from the retribution meted on anyone who tampers with them,  a wrought iron gate is in place, making their removal impossible.

Call LHH now to arrange your next stay in one of our huge selection of mansions, castles and luxury houses. We cannot facilitate any ghostly sightings but we can guarantee stunning properties in some of the most memorable locations in the country.