Heritage and Culture
A Very Scottish Halloween!
Scotland has a history steeped in battle, folklore and mythology. It's not surprising that we boast some of the best spooky tales and haunted locations in the world!
On Halloween, here are some of the most notorious Scottish ghosts and ghouls. Perfect for chilling ghost stories as the witching hour approaches...
The Gorbals Vampire
In September 1954 the Southern Necropolis cemetery in the Gorbals area of Glasgow was besieged by hundreds of schoolchildren wielding knives and stakes, after schoolyard tales surrounding the "Gorbals Vampire" circulated. Said to be seven feet tall with teeth of iron, the vampire was alleged to be responsible for the disappearance of several children from the area.
The rumours of the missing children were eventually proven unfounded. Despite this, surviving members of the gang who entered the Necropolis that night still maintain they've seen the "Lady wi' the Iron Teeth".
Few streets in Scotland have the infamy of Edinburgh's Mary King's Close. However, there is one room in particular with a ghostly reputation...
In 1992 Japanese psychic Aiko Gibo visited the Close while filming a documentary. While mostly underwhelmed, one room visibly unsettled Gibo - particularly after she felt the tug of a child's hand in hers.
It was a little girl named Annie, who had been abandoned by her family after succumbing to the plague. In keeping with the Japanese tradition of honouring the dead, Gibo went to the Royal Mile and bought a tartan doll, leaving it in the room for the lost child.
Since then there have been multiple reports of people feeling unwell, a sense of dread, or the hand of a small child upon entering the room. Annie's room has become something of a shrine, with tourists bringing a variety of dolls, toys and keepsakes to leave for her.
The Ghost Road
Located in the Scottish Borders and linking the towns of Annan and Dumfries, the "Kinmount Straight" section of the A75 is notorious for being the most haunted road in Scotland, with several reports of phantom figures, stagecoaches, and even extraterrestrials.
The most famous occurrence is recorded in 1962, when lorry drivers Norman and Derek Ferguson were driving at around midnight. They reported first seeing a large chicken flying towards the windscreen before vanishing upon impact (followed by several dogs and cats who similarly disappeared).
To this day lorry drivers deliberately avoid driving this stretch of road if they're travelling through the Borders, such is its reputation!
The Green Lady
The mysterious Green Lady of Crathes Castle appears in the same room, pacing in front of the fireplace. Sighting her was rumoured to be a portent of death for the Burnett family, who occupied the castle until 1951.
Nobody is quite sure who she is - there are rumours that she is the spirit of a servant who fled the castle after falling pregnant with an illegitimate child. The uncovering of remains of a woman and child under the Green Lady's room presents a more sinister theory: that mother and child were both killed in the tower.
On one visit to Crathes Castle, Queen Victoria reported seeing a "green mist" floating in front of the fireplace, before scooping up a child-like ghostly figure and disappearing.
The Ghosts of Culloden
The Battle of Culloden is one of the most famous conflicts in Scottish history, marking the defeat of the Jacobite revolution against the English and the end of Scotland's clan way of life.
Despite taking place over 300 years ago, locals claim that on the anniversary of the battle every year, the noise of swords and crying can be heard from Culloden Moor. The ghost of a Jacobite soldier can allegedly often be seen wandering among the graves in his clan tartan, and even during the day it's reported that there is no birdsong in the area.
Have a great Halloween - and let us know if you've managed to spook your friends with our Scottish ghosts!