Five Most Haunted Places in Scotland

Maddie MacKenna

Scottish Highlands. Image source:

Hello, my wonderful readers,

Old castles and archaic legends are the perfect background for a Scottish ghost story…and while it’s not Halloween yet, a good ghost story will leave you terrified and unable to sleep at night!

And have I mentioned that I really do love a good ghost story? Call me crazy, but these legends and myths are what make Scotland seem like a fairytale to me… “Fairytale” is a very positive word, but alas! 

Despite the mist surrounding the castles, the chills you might feel in the air, and a certain affinity for the paranormal, Scotland is the perfect place to relive your fairytale dreams. But be careful! Because ghosts don’t get on well with strangers…

Let’s read about the most haunted places in Scotland, shall we? 


 Culloden Battlefield

Sunset over Culloden Battlefield, near Inverness. Image source:

If you’ve seen Outlander, chances are you know exactly what happened in the battlefield of Culloden. In case you haven’t (and you should!), here is some information about it.

During the uprising of 1745, the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie (the so-called Jacobites) engaged in war with the British army. This specific battle took place on the 16th of April of 1746, near Inverness. 

Thousands of Highland clans were slaughtered by heavy artillery fire; they were vastly outnumbered, and the ground was too boggy – not suited for their Highland charges. In 40 minutes, the battle was over, the army of Bonnie Prince Charlie dramatically defeated, and the future of the Jacobite cause demolished. 

It is said, that until today, the birds never sing around this area. Every year, on its anniversary, ghosts of fallen soldiers rise again with cries of battle and clashes of swords being heard around the area. Others have reported a tall man with drawn features, roaming around the area, murmuring the word “defeated” again and again. 

I don’t know about you, my lads and lasses, but I am downright spooked! What an awful fate these great Highlanders faced!


Cawdor Castle

Cawdor Castle. Image source:

This story might be a little less chilling, but probably as sad as the previous one. This ghost story is about a pretty lass, who met her untimely end at the hands of her father. 

This castle has been there since the 14th century. It is said that it was originally built around a holy tree by the Thane of Cawdor as a private fortress. Reports have been made about apparitions of a handless girl wandering the halls, seeking revenge. 

The wayward lass insulted her father by entertaining an enemy chieftain’s son. Her father, in his rage, chased the girl toward the highest tower of the castle. She attempted to escape through the window, but as she lowered herself from the hedge, her father severed her hands with his sword, sending her plummeting to her death.

Her ghost still wanders the castle, a reminder of an injustice received so many eons ago. 


St. Andrews Cathedral

St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Image source:

The ruins of the 11th century Cathedral can only bring awe to the onlooker. It went through a lot of disasters – fires, the harsh climate of the Highlands as well as the stripping of its roof for ammunition. But what contributed to the decline of what could be the biggest church in Scotland was an orchestrated attack of a protestant mob in 1559. But this is not why it is so spooky. Rather, it’s the ghost of a Lady.

The ghost of the White Lady is said, according to some versions of this myth, to wear white gloves, while according to others, to wear a white dress. A benevolent creature, it is said to never have caused anything but simple unease to those who have seen her wandering the grounds before vanishing in the church’s east tower. 

Her true identity is unknown, but the mystery was partially uncovered in 1868. Stonemasons, when repairing the haunted tower, broke into a sealed chamber, which held numerous coffins. One of them was unopened, and inside lay a well-preserved lady wearing white gloves (or a white dress, depending on which tale you hear first). 

I wish I knew who she was!


Edinburgh Castle

Edinburgh Castle. Image source:

One of Scotland’s most famous castles, Edinburgh castle has the reputation of being amongst the most hunted ones. There have been numerous reports of paranormal activity over the years. But one tale that is often repeated, is that of a headless drummer boy. 

He was first seen in 1650, right before Oliver Cromwell and his British army attacked the castle. Most people usually hear the drumming of his musical instrument, but some have reported seeing his apparition. The vision of the headless drummer boy is rare, and it is said to foretell that dangers are coming to the castle.

If you ever find yourself at Edinburgh Castle and see a headless boy with his drum, better find someone to inform quickly! Who knows what could be coming…



Glencoe. Image Source:

One of the bloodiest incidents in Scotland took place on the 13th of February 1692 (I do hope it wasn’t a Friday…). On this day, almost 400 years ago, the MacDonald clan found its untimely destruction. 

A troop of soldiers, acting on government orders, posed as friendly visitors to the MacDonald clan. During the night, they attacked their hosts while they were sleeping in their beds. They murdered 38 men, women, and children. The rest of the members of the clan fled for their survival, only to die of exposure to the bitterly cold mountain climate. 

To this day, people claim to have seen re-enactments of the slaughter, or to have heard screams coming from the glenn, on the anniversary of the massacre. What an awful deed, to massacre sleeping bairns and people, who were only kind to you, offering their hospitality!

I don’t know about you, but I won’t be sleeping tonight after writing this! 

Which one is the most chilling to read, do you think?

Let me know in the comments!

Until next time…

Written by Maddie Mackenna

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