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Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8 - Haunted Illinois goes on a Supernatural Ghost Tour of Scotland
Day 4:

After breakfast, we checked out of the hotel and headed out to the bus. As a surprise stop on our tour, we stopped at Loch Lomond. It was right along the way, so we didn't have to make much of a detour. The view of the loch was nice; however, some of the people in our tour group seemed more enthralled with the local wildlife (i.e. the baby ducks on the shore). After enjoying the view for a while, we all got back on the bus to continue to our next destination, Stirling Castle.

Stirling Castle, built in the early 12th century, was an important part of Scottish history. Many Kings and Queens have been crowned there, including Mary, Queen of Scots. Sitting atop Castle Hill, it has also served as an important defensive fortification. In fact, the castle was used by the military through 1964. Today it is managed by Historical Scotland and it has been classified as a historic landmark.

Over the years, there have been consistent reports of two ghosts inhabiting the castle. One is a “Green Lady”, who is believed to be the serving maid of Mary, Queen of Scots. The maid had a premonition that the queen would be burned to death, so that night she came in to check on her. When she did, she saw that the queen’s bed had caught on fire. The serving maid pulled off the burning linen, but as a result she caught fire herself and burned to death. Visions of the “Green Lady” are still seen in various areas of the castle. There have also been reports of a “Pink Lady” seen wandering around the corridors. Also, throughout history, three major battles have been fought near the castle. Experts believe that this violent history has fueled the supernatural flames of the region.

Sterling Castle

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On the road...
On the road...
Loch Lomond

On the road...
We made it to Sterling Castle!
Richard Felix describes the violent history of the region.


Sterling Castle Panoramic Pictures
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The next leg of our journey would take us to the RRS Discovery in Dundee, which is a famous shipbuilding town. The RRS Discovery, circa 1901, was built for Arctic travel (icebreaking) and was also the very last three-masted ship built in the British Isles. 

One of the ghosts who haunts the ship is the spirit of Robert Falcon Scott, who died in 1912. Local folklore also states that it is haunted by Ernest Shackleton, a famous Mountaineer, as well as Charles Bonner, who was one of the ship’s crew who fell to his death from the top of the rigging. The RRS discovery didn't have the most extensive haunted history of all the locations that we visited in Scotland, but it was very interesting from a nautical and historical point of view.  

 RRS Discovery

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Our next stop was Glamis Castle (pronounced "Glams"). It was nestled at the end of a mile-long drive, on a 14,000 acre estate, near the village of Glamis. The castle was said to be the setting for Shakespeare’s MacBeth. It was also the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth and the birthplace of her daughter, Princess Margaret. In fact, it has been a Royal residence since 1372. These days it looks more like a French Chateau than a Medieval fortress, because of the extensive restorations that were done in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Along with the castle’s Royal background, it also has an extensive haunted history. It is supposed to be haunted by several ghosts, which may make it (according to Richard Felix) the "Most Haunted" Castle in Scotland. Actually, that got to be a pretty popular joke by the end of the ghost tour… calling every castle the “Most Haunted”. Ha ha! 

One of the ghosts that haunts Glamis is linked to a vampire tale. According to the story, a serving girl was caught on the grounds, sucking the blood of her victim. Afterward, she was taken away and executed. A stake was driven through her heart and she was buried in the woods. Her ghost can be seen wandering through the woods and also inside the castle, wearing a white dress with blood dripping from the corner of her mouth. 

Another one of the ghosts is commonly referred to as the “Monster of Glamis”. This ghost is reportedly a son of the family, who they held in a secret room. Back then, it was common practice for parents to isolate mentally disadvantaged and/or disfigured children, out of embarrassment and shame, especially if the family was of high social standing. When the child died, they bricked up the entrance, to hide their secret. According to the story, one evening party guests decided to find the secret room. They put up a towel on every window, in every room of the castle. When they went outside to check, they found the location of the secret room; it was the only window without a hanging towel. 

There is also the ghost of a “Gray Lady”, who is said to be the wife of the Earl of Glamis. When the Earl died, King James V concocted a story that she was a witch, in order to take the castle estate for himself. She, along with her son and servants, were tortured until they confessed that she was a witch. She was imprisoned for a year before she was burned at the stake. Her ghost is often seen in the Chapel, kneeling before the altar.

There have also been reports of a “Green Lady” at Glamis. Nobody knows who she is, but she can be seen wandering the corridors of the castle. 

Another ghost haunts the “blue room”, which had been the sitting room of the Queen Mother for a period of time. The spirit would regularly knock on the walls. It disturbed the Queen so much that she had to change rooms.

The Castle staff gave us a very informative and entertaining guided tour. Unfortunately photography was not allowed inside the castle, but the gift shop did have a great book explaining the history of the region, as well as several large picture postcards, which were available for purchase. 

After the tour was over, I took some time to explore the beautiful countryside surrounding the Castle. There were a number of fenced off areas. It was there that I saw the highland cows. While similar in name, these animals looked much different than the cows I am familiar with. They had long, red wavy coats. The breed was developed in Scotland to be rugged, in order to withstand the harsh conditions of the Scottish Highlands, with its abundant rainfall and strong winds.

After exploring the countryside and buying souvenirs in the gift shop, everyone went back to the bus. We were in for a surprise, though, when we tried to leave. When we got to the exit, we found that the gate was locked. After our bus driver Bob made a quick call, one of the Museum staff came to unlock the gate for us after about five or ten minutes.

 Glamis Castle

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On the road...
On the road...
On the road...
On the road...
Arriving at Glamis Castle!

Highland Cows
Highland Cows



From there, we continued on to Dunnottar Castle. This castle is perched atop a three acre, rocky headland along the northeast coast of Scotland, near Stonehaven.

The site on which the castle sits has been inhabited since Pictish times (around 500 AD) and the name Dunnottar stems from the Pictish word "Dun" which means hill fort or place of strength. Due to its impregnable nature, throughout history the castle has been used as a very effective stronghold. In fact, it safeguarded the Scottish Crown Jewels during the English Scottish civil war.

There are a number of supernatural tales associated with this castle. A "Green Lady", who is rumored to be an Earth spirit, has been seen in the brewery of the castle. There have also been reports of a ghostly gray wolfhound that appears and disappears. On more than one occasion, the curator of the property encountered the ghost of a 13-year-old girl wearing Scottish plaid. Each time he tried to approach her, she vanished. She has also been seen by several other witnesses.

Unfortunately by the time we got there, the castle was closed. Even so, we were still able to do a little exploring near the castle grounds. The picturesque view of the castle and high cliffs along the shoreline was absolutely amazing. The pictures on this page don't do it justice, I assure you. You have to be there in person to take it all in and get the full effect. It was definitely one of the most visually stunning and unique locations that we visited in Scotland. 

Dunnottar Castle

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Dunnottar Castle Panoramic Picture
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Our final stop of the day was the Mercure Ardoe House Hotel in Aberdeen. With its design inspired by the nearby Balmoral Castle, this 19th century mansion house was built for Alexander Ogston and family. 

The hotel is haunted by a “White Lady”, who is believed to be Kathleen Ogston, the daughter of Alexander. She is most often seen standing near her portrait, by the hotel's main staircase.  

 Mercure Ardoe Hotel

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