Castle Stuart

Journey beyond the map

Inverness, scotland

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(The Castle has a spiral staircase which might not be suitable for guests with reduced mobility)

Nearby Ghosts: The Battle of Culloden 1745

If you’re looking for a haunted Scottish castle to stay in, this comes close to being the ideal. Castle Stuart stands alone, about five miles east of Aberdeen not far from the haunted battlefield of Culloden. (see below). Castle Stuart was started by the first Earl of Moray, half brother of Mary Queen of Scots, in or around 1561. However, he was brutally murdered and so the castle was not finally completed until the time of the Third Earl of Moray in 1625. 

Not long after it was completed it was attacked by the Clan McIntosh as part of the perpetual feuding that went on in those times. The Stuarts decided that the wisest course was to flee Castle Stuart and never return. After this, the Castle began to fall into disrepair. After the Battle of Culloden, the clans were defeated and the Stuarts were able to return to the castle. However, in the mean time the place had started to get the reputation of being haunted. In 1798 a storm of terrible ferocity struck the castle and tore off the roof of the East Tower. It was easier to block off the main part of the castle from its broken wing; so the East Tower with its staircases and attics was sealed off. 

In the 1930s a Canadian man called John Cameron made an attempt to repair it. He tells how he was up on a ladder, working alone at the castle after all the workmen had departed. He found an area of the plaster that seemed different to the rest and after knocking it came to the idea that it was a closed up doorway into the sealed up wing. He was so keen to find what was behind the wall that he worked on alone. He soon found that he had exposed some steps. Then his chisel struck through into a void behind the wall. At that moment he heard a voice cry, “No!” in a half strangled wail. His heart started to hammer, but he stood there, chisel in hand at the top of his ladder. He managed to convince himself that the voice was his imagination and he worked on. But then as he struck again, he was pushed full in the chest and fell backwards off the ladder. The air was filled with a strange force and a fetid smell. He ran out of the building to where his car was. But as he stood there, breathing heavily, he knew he had to go back; he’d left all of his tools there, including his torch and all the temporary electric lights were blazing. What would people think if he admitted he’d fled because of a ghost? 

So, he went back in, wedging the door open. He’d left his car headlights full on, pointing at the door so that when he switched out the castle’s lights, he wouldn’t be left in complete darkness. The castle was silent. Mr Cameron soon found his tools, and his torch, broken as he’d dropped it or kicked it. He took a few breaths and then switched off the lights. Instead of still being in the bright beams of the headlights, he found he was in utter darkness. In a panic, he felt his way, stumbling towards the door. It had closed, despite the wedge. Suddenly he felt icy fingers grab him, and pull him back into the castle. His fear gave him strength and he pulled away, making it to the door and outside. He never entered the castle again. 

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