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The History Behind Scotland's Most Famous Haunting's

Updated on July 26, 2017

It has been said that Scotland is one of the most haunted places on Earth and with the history it is steeped in, it's not difficult to see where this reputation originated from in the first place. For the most part Scotland presents itself as gloomy and foreboding; the perfect concoction for the beginnings of any cliche ghost story.

Are the following tales just fiction or is there some dose of truth behind Scotland's most chilling ghost stories?


Edinburgh Castle

Perhaps one of Scotland's most widely talked about haunting's is Edinburgh Castle. Located in the heart of the countries capital city, it's no wonder that there would be at least some lore surrounding this eerie building with some parts dating over 900 years old.

Many visitors have reported an all manner of spooky occurrences, from the spirit of a dog wandering through the cemetery to the gruesome ghost of a headless drummer.

Eager to investigate these reports was skeptic Professor Richard Wiseman who in 2001, led a paranormal experiment inside the Edinburgh Vaults. Aside from his team, Wiseman used sophisticated equipment in an attempt to gather solid evidence to support his findings. His team included those who knew nothing of Edinburgh's history or it's haunted reputation. The results he found shocked many, as visitors described feelings of fear and anxiety as well as those who claimed sightings of ghostly apparitions.


Greyfriars Kirkyard

Also located in Edinburgh, is Greyfriars Kirkyard which dates back to around the 1560's. The cemetery is said to be home to many violent spirits which often cause visitors to run hysterically screaming from the site after being scratched, bitten and pushed and 170 people alone have fainted from the fear. There have even been accounts of burns, bleeding noses and broken bones as well as those who have died while visiting this terrifying location. However there is one ghost in particular that has people feeling uneasy: the ghost of George ''Bluidy'' Mackenzie.

Mackenzie was a lawyer in the 17th Century and was single-handedly responsible for the deaths of approximately 18,000 enemies of King Charles the Second.

Many of these prisoners were held captive within Greyfriars Kirkyard much to the delight of sadist Mackenzie, who loved nothing more than to watch as they were starved and tortured before finally being decapitated. This was not to be the end of their humiliation though as their heads were then to be displayed on the spikes surrounding Greyfriars Kirkyard.

It is said that through chanting a simple children's rhyme near his tomb will cause the spirit of Mackenzie to become enraged and lash out at those who do. For those who are brave enough the rhyme goes as follows “Bluidy Mackingie, come oot if ye daur, lift the sneck and draw the bar!”


Royal Theatre

Glasgow's Royal Theatre is a 150 year old building situated on Hope Street and it is said to be home to a few spooky figures. After dark and everyone has headed home, this theatre is said to come alive with the ''things that go bump in the night.''Many tour are held at this time and those who are brave enough to visit often report wailing's, slamming doors and temperature changes but one of the most popular tales surrounds Victorian cleaner and aspiring actress, Nora.

After apparantly having an affair with one of the theatre's managers, Nora fell pregnant and jumped to her death inside the theatre. Some claim to have seen her appear to them on their visits to the building or hear footsteps behind them.


Dryburgh Abbey Hotel

Dryburgh Abbey, situated on the Scottish Borders was built in 12th Century but by the 19th Century it was nothing but ruins. Since then the land has been built on and is now home to a country house hotel. There are many legends surrounding this haunted land but one of the most notable is that of ''The Grey Lady Ghost.''

Originally Dryburgh Abbey was the location where monks resided but in the 16th Century, a woman who lived close by fell in love with one of them. They began their secret love affair but unfortunately as with all tragic love stories, their relationship was to come to an end. The Abbot found out and the monk was sentenced to death for breaking his religious vows.He was hanged in view of his lovers home.

Heartbroken she threw herself off of a nearby bridge and drowned in the waters below. Her spirit is still seen wandering the bridge and even in the new build hotel.

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© 2017 BunnyClaws


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    • BunnyClaws profile image

      BunnyClaws 5 weeks ago from Scotland

      Sarah Sweet-Lensing, I hope you manage to visit in the future, especially these amazing places! :)

    • Moonlight Owl profile image

      Sarah Sweet-Lensing 5 weeks ago from Haslett

      I've always wanted to visit Scotland, it would be awesome to visit these places!