Top five most haunted places in Scotland

1. The Balmoral Castle, Aberdeenshire

The Aberdeenshire Balmoral castle was built from granite in the 14th century Scotland and later given to Queen Victoria as a gift. Belonging to The Royal Family since 1948, the castle boasts having its own ghost. John Brown, a close friend of Queen Victoria, her loyal servant and alleged lover is rumoured to be seen wandering through the corridors of the Balmoral. It is said that Queen Elizabeth has seen the ghost of Mr. Brown and felt his presence herself. Despite having loved an English woman Brown’s ghost is said to be a loyal Scotsman by always wearing a kilt.

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2. Cawdor Castle, Nairnshire

William Shakespeare’s Macbeth was awarded a title of a Thain of Cawdor after fighting with him in a battle. Infamously it is said to be cursed by a group of witches after Shakespeare used one of their spells in the famous opening scene.

It should not be a surprise to hear a legend similar to another of Shakespeare’s works, the iconic Romeo and Juliet. Legend has it that in the late 19th century the castle was resided by the Earl of Cawdor and his family, when his daughter fell in love with a son of the enemy. One day when the Earl found his daughter and her lover in a secret hiding place, he chased his daughter through the castle until she had nowhere to run. As she was trying to escape through the window The Earl has slashed off her hands with a sword.

To this day, those who have visited the castle say they see a handless girl roaming around the castle in a blue velvet dress.

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3. Dryburgh Abbey Hotel, Scottish Boarders

The hotel might offer peace and quiet however the original Dryburgh Abbey, a monastery grounded in the 11th century, located on the same grounds offer tourists paranormal sightings. It is said that the hotel is built on the ruins of an ancient house. According to several myths, the owner of the house was a woman who entered into a passionate relationship with a monk. On finding out about their explicit relationship, the monk’s peers conspired against him and sentenced him execution for failing to stay loyal to his wows. On hearing this, the desperate woman drowned herself in The River Tweed.

Visitors of the Dryburgh Abbey Hotel have reported seeing a woman walking around the hotel and named her The Grey Lady.

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4. Niddry Street Vaults, Edinburgh

Believing in Ghosts is a matter of one’s personal perception, but this place is historically known as a cache for murderers Burk and Hare who used to hide dead bodies in the very heart of the capital before selling them off. Quietly shut off in the mid 19th century, the vaults were only rediscovered in the 1980s. They have since become home for a modern witches’ coven.

The members of the coven claim that after one of their rituals, they saw a shadow of a man looking at them from a mirror hanging in the room.

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5. Mary King’s Close, Edinburgh

Originally, Mary King’s Close was a number of closes, connected by narrow streets and with tenement buildings reaching as high as seven stories. Not far from Edinburgh Castle, it was once a place full of noise and the epicentre of Edinburgh trade. The close was abandoned due to the plague outbreak in 1645 and therefore was sealed under the Royal Exchange. For many years, Mary King’s Close was forbidden for the public.

Thomas Coltheart, a respected lawyer and his family refused to leave the close. It is said that The Coltheart family was driven mad by sightings of disembodied limbs, and a ghost of a child.

In 1992 the site was visited by a Japanese psychic who claimed to have seen a young girl named Anne who suffered from a plague and was left to die by her family. She was said to be distraught that she could not find her doll. The psychic, feeling bad for Anne, left a doll in the corner where the girl has been. Although it is solely a tourist attraction now, visitors from around the world bring dolls for the little girl.

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