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Scotland and Her Ghosts

Hello to you all, my lovely GP friends. As you all know I am a very patriotic person and I love the country in which I live (Scotland). Now Scotland has many ghost stories attatched to it, and I am familiar with a lot of them. So, what I thought I might do, is make a thread here, where I, theburningred, will tell you all of the stories I know, city by city.
So, sit back, switch off your lights, and enjoy the tales I will tell, from Bonnie Scotland.

The City Of Stirling, Stirling, Central Scotland

I thought I would start off with Stirling, the city in which I attend University and live during term times. i feel it appropriate to start with Stirling as it was here in 2006/2007 that my interest in all things paranormal was really sparked off. Stirling is a lovely old city, packed full of old buildings, and complete with Stirling castle, at the top of the city's old town.

Stirling Castle

Stirling Castle has many ghosts present, but there are two who are seen more than others. These are the Green Lady and the Highland Ghost.
The Green Lady appears to many people as a hazy sort of green mist, with the features of a young woman. She is often seen engrossed in the everyday lives of the people in the castle. It is said that a chef, working in the castle, once felt a feeling of being watched. He turned round to see the hazy green woman totally hypnotized watching him cooking and promptly fainted.
It is thought that the ghost was once an aide for Mary Queen Of Scots, who, in life had a vision in her dream that the queen was in grave danger. She rushed to the bedroom of the Queen, to find her four poster bed on fire with the Queen asleep inside. The Queen was pulled to safety. People think that this is she, because at times when the green lady appears most often, and looking sad, rather than interested in people, it has often been followed by fires or other disasters within the city itself. For this reason, the people in charge of the castle take all sightings very seriously and document them all.
The castle's other famous resident is known as the Highland ghost, and is more mischevious than his green counterpart. The Highland ghost is spotted very frequently, as he chooses to stand around the castle, easily mistaken for a tour guide. When people approach him to ask for directions etc, the Highland ghost will simply turn and walk away. The castle often gets complaints from tourists of a tour guide who has been blatantly ignoring them. On more mischevious days however, he will lead following tourists to dead ends and then disappear through walls.
In 1935 this particular spirit was captured on film by a builder, who was maintaining the castle. He wanted a picture free of tourists and the like so took one at night when no one else was around. However, when he got it developed, a man was standing under an archway looking straight at him.

The Settle Inn Pub

The Settle Inn is the oldest pub in Stirling, dating back to 1733. It is a pub I have drank in only once regretably, as it is a cosy, quaint old pub with great atmosphere. It is also, however, said to be one of the most haunted pubs in the world. Regulars at the Settle Inn often talk of freezing "cold spots" around the place, which come and go all the time. Bar staff report uneasy feelings down in the cellar of the pub, and one or two female mmebers of staff have also reported being pushed down the stairs. As a consequence, a number of members of staff have refused point blank to go to the cellar alone, especially at night.
Phantom drinkers have also been seen often in the pub, usually by people who are not regulars. There are one or two men reported as having been standing at the bar wearing clothes from a different age, who then mysteriously vanish when people look away.
It is also said that if you drive past the Settle Inn at night, you can sometimes see lights flickering and shadows through the frosted windows of the bar. I myself have never seen this when driving past, but it has been reported many times by locals.

The Tollbooth Theatre and Old Town Jail

Situated in Jail Wynd, both of these local attractions have had high level of hauntings reported in the last few years.
The Old Town Jail is a museum, in the shadow of the castle, which was formerly the jail of the city of Stirling. It now shows the old cells as well as methods of punishment. In 2001, the old jail was closed for a multi million pound renovation, but when it reopened in 2002, the Tollbooth theatre next door, reported very bad cases of ghostly goings on.
Bar staff at the tollbooth have reported bottles smashing and wine glasses flying past and narrowly missing their heads when no one is around. They also claim that the gas in the cellar is switched off at frequent intervals, meaning that someone has to go down to turn it back on. The situation got so bad in 2002 that staff refused to enter certain parts of the building and bosses had to call in an exorcist.
The reason behind all of this may have been due to a discovery during the renovation of the old jail. Workers dug up a cracked concrete floor near the entrance of the jail, only to find a cracked and broken wooden coffin, in which lay a fully intact skeleton, still wearing the boots in which he died.
After research, the skeleton was discovered to be that of murderer Allan Muir, who was hanged at the jail in 1843 for beating his wife to death.
The day after the discovery, a postman was delivering to the tollbooth theatre, and saw a man wearing 18th century clothing at the door. As he apporached the door he said "hello" to which the man replied "and good day to you, sir" before disappearing completely.
To this day, staff at both venues still report eery goings on and some still refuse to work in certain parts of the buildings.

King Street

Situated a mere fifty yards down the hill from the old town jail, is King Street, the street in which i lived, and have personal knowledge of ghostly goings on.
We moved into the flat in King Street in the summer of 2006, (me and my flatmates, Alan and Doug.) The building we lived in was built in 1863, and we quickly realised that hauntings here would be commonplace.
Only two days after we moved in, I was sitting in the kitchen having my breakfast, when Doug walked in. He said to me "Were you in my room about an hour ago". I enquired as to what he was talking about, and he informed me that an hour before, when we were all still asleep, he had felt as if someone was standing beside his bed looking at him (he was facing the wall). He is blind without his glasses, so asked the person what they wanted, at which point he felt a hand on his shoulder. Doug's room was always the draftiest in the flat and also had a blocked up old fireplace, which always made me feel uneasy.
A week after this incident I was home for work at the weekend. Doug and Alan and his girl Corrine were sitting in the living room, when they heard a faint tapping. Doug called out "If thats you ghostie, tap five times." at which point the window was tapped, hard and clear five times.
Without a shadow of a doubt though, the scariest incidents I ever encountered were both when we were sitting in the living room watching a film. First time, my then grlfriend Sam was sitting on the couch which sat adjacent to the door, and looked out into the hallway. She looked out the hall a couple of times and I asked her what was wrong when I saw the look on her face. "There's a man out there" she said. She had real fear in her eyes and I felt scared but by the time I looked he was gone.
Months after this incident, we were again in the living room, and Corrine was sitting on that couch, when all of a sudden she jumped up screaming and ran across the room. When we asked her what was wrong she told us that a man had walked up the hall, and he turned to look at her and half his head was missing.
I believe the man to be a soldier who died in one of the many battles which occured around Stirling in the last few centuries.

So, as you can see, the city of Stirling has many exciting ghost stories. I hope you enjoyed them. Up next is the city of Dunfermline in Fife. I hope you will come back to read the next installment.

City Of Dunfermline, Fife, Central Scotland

Next up on our tour of Scotland’s haunted cities, is the city in which I was brought up, Dunfermline, the ancient capital city of Scotland. Dunfermline is like Stirling in many ways. Both are small cities, with old town areas, and an extensive history that lends itself to the many, many ghost stories.

Dunfermline Abbey and Palace

Because Dunfermline was formerly the capital of Scotland, the Palace and Abbey were originally built to house the Royal Family and to provide a church for them, all in the same grounds. Building began on the two glorious structures in the year 1072, although the highest turret which reads “King Robert The Bruce” was not built until after his death in 1372. The abbey is also the resting place of the famous Scottish King who fought for Scottish Independence at the Battle of Bannockburn, and gained official recognition from the Pope of Scotland’s independence in 1327, known as the declaration of Arbroath.
Dunfermline Palace sadly however, lies in ruins. It was founded by Queen Margaret and housed many Royal Families. It was last occupied by Charles II in 1650, but was abandoned after the battle of Pitreavie. All that remains now is the south wall and the kitchen.
As you may expect, with two buildings that are nearly 1000 years old, a number of ghost stories have crept through over the years. Stories about the Palace are few and far between, but those of the Abbey are told more frequently and with more belief.
The couple of stories I have heard from the Palace are unconfirmed as the sightings are few and far between. It is not a place I have visited often, and on my few visits have seen nothing. However, one or two people have said that a lady walks the grounds of the former Dunfermline Palace, a lady who is dressed as beautifully and royally as ever you will see. Some believe her to be the first Queen live at the Palace after it’s rebuilding, Anne Of Denmark, who was given the Palace as a wedding gift, having married James I in 1503. She is reported to say nothing at all, or even notice what is going on around her. She merely walks around what was previously her home, perhaps sad at the fact it is now in such disrepair.
The first story I heard of the Abbey itself, was from a curator at the old place itself. I was visiting there with my grandmother at the age of about 9, and the man was telling my gran the story, and they both didn’t know that I was listening in. He told her that in the main Hall of the Abbey, in which there is a sort of upstairs/balcony area, there is a white, glowing lady, who often visits to overlook the tourists. She will stand in the upstairs area of the building and will look down. He told us that not many people see her because a lot of people will fail to look up at the roof, merely because it is so high. A similar lady has been spotted by others, standing at the top of the stairs to the resting place of the Bruce, as if to block it off. No one however, knows who she is.
Another ghost story I have frequently heard about the Abbey, is that of a hooded figure who walks the cemetery at night. The figure only arrives for about a week or so, once a year and walks slowly around, stopping at certain intervals. It is believed that this person lost someone unexpectedly in their natural life, and doesn’t know where they are, and have been destined to look for them in the cemetery forever.
I visited the Abbey recently and took a number of photos of the place. At the time when I took them I hadn’t been reading pictures and so had no practice and didn’t really know what to look for. However, now that I have, when I look at my pictures of inside the main hall, I sense a very sad woman. She is dressed all in black and has a lace veil over her face, as if she is attending a funeral. Her head is constantly bowed and she feels alone. I sense that this could be the woman, who looks after the Bruce.
It is also worth saying as a final note on these fine structures, that within the Abbey itself, there are a huge, and I mean huge number of cold spots around the place.

The Abbott House

The Abbott house is an award winning national heritage site in Dunfermline dating back to 1450, it is the oldest house in Dunfermline and was one of the only town centre buildings to completely survive the great fire in 1642. The House’s pink exterior makes it an iconic piece of Dunfermline’s history.
There is really only one ghostly tale relating to the Abbott House, but I thought I would include it anyway, just because it has been experienced by such a vast amount of people. I have never come across a place where so many people have had experiences.
The ghost in question at the Abbott House is a Benedictine Monk. He is not shy nor scared of visitors, and in fact has been known to tell some people about the history of the House, without them knowing he was a ghost. He has been seen on a huge number of occasions, sometimes as a solid figure, but more often as a semi transparent figure who ascends the stairs of the house. It is on these stairs that most people have experiences of the monk. Some people feel uneasy and can’t climb the stairs, whereas a greater number normally just feel cold and hear the sound of sandals walking up the dusty old stone staircase. The monk himself has become one of the main attractions of the Abbot House and is the reason for many a visitor.

The Creepy Wee Pub

Just down from the Abbot House, sits the Creepy Wee Pub, an incredibly small pub which is hidden from the view of most tourists. The pub as a consequence, is most often populated by locals. However, a small number of tourists have visited in recent years due to it’s rising tales of haunting. Like the Abbott House, The Creepy Wee Pub has only one ghost who hangs around, a ghost who is well known to regulars and staff, who are so comfortable with him that it’s even written about him on the board outside.
The ghost of the pub has curiously never been seen, although he is almost constantly felt or heard by someone or other. His favourite trick appears to be annoying the new members of staff. The ghost is known to touch them with his cold hands on the way downstairs, or whisper in their ear, giving them a hell of a fright. As far as I know, the Creepy Wee Ghost has never harmed anyone, perhaps because of the fact that he is so openly embraced by those in the pub.

Andrew Carnegie Birthplace Museum

The next, rather short Dunfermline ghost story comes from the birthplace of Andrew Carnegie. I am sure you all know Andrew Carnegie, the great businessman, who gave us things such as the Carnegie Hall in New York, and made his fortune in America. Well Mr Carnegie was born right here in Dunfermline. He made money and bought Pittencrieff Park for the people of Dunfermline, before travelling to the USA, and he loved Dunfermline so much, that following his death, the Carnegie Trust was set up in Dunfermline, using his money, to help underprivileged people.
The museum of Andrew Carnegie’s birth is at his genuine birthplace in Dunfermline, and is a very small museum. The ghost story from here is a very small one, but I have heard many people say that when visiting the museum, the face of Andrew Carnegie often appears on the back of door into the house, where it was not before. I know this isn’t much of a story, and told it more to show the heritage of Dunfermline and relationship to Andrew Carnegie.

I hope once again that you have enjoyed reading my stories from my hometown. I have many, many other tales about Dunfermline but I think I shall leave it at that for now. I hope you all come back for the next stop on my tour, when we visit the capital of Scotland, Edinburgh.

Scott