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Through local legends, hauntings, and spooky stories, learn about the history of the Haunted and Spooky North East.
In ancient times folk were very superstitious and believed in many Gods. Folk believed there was a river Goddess in the River Dee, the following ancient rhyme reflects sacrifices made to the Goddess:
Bloody thirsty Dee,
Each year demands three.
- Abergeldie Castle c1905.
Abergeldie Castle was buil c1550 - A French woman Catherine Frankie known as 'French Kate' or 'Kitty Rankie' who worked at the castle was arrested and charged for suspicion of being a witch. After being found guilty she was imprisoned in the castle cellar in chains, and then burned at the stake on a nearby hill. After her death her vengeful ghost is said to have roamed the castle.
At Dickmountlaw Farm 3 miles from Arbroath the skirl of the pipes is said to have been heard underground. Legend tells us that a piper called Tam Tyne accompanied by his dog sought shelter in a cave, but were never seen again. It is thought that Tam got lost inside the cave and is still looking for the way out, perhaps playing the pipes in the hope that someone will hear him and come to the rescue.
- Ballindalloch Castle, Banffshire. (S. Bruce, September 2010).
Ballindalloch Castle in the former county of Banff is known also as the 'Pearl of the North' and dates from the 16th century. It has had several ghost sightings including a bedroom in the pink tower of the castle which is said to be haunted by a beautiful lady wearing a pink crinoline dress. This ghost who was born around 1750 is said to be a relative of the current castle owner Mrs Clare Russell, the ghost is said to have lost her child when she was only five years old. The ghost is said to be Mrs Russell's guardian angel.
The ghost of General James Grant (1720 to 1806) is said to have been seen may times riding a large white horse.
Similar to many other castles Ballindalloch also has a green lady ghost who is said to haunt the castle's dining room.
Note - Crinoline was introduced in the 1830's.
In 1896 eight crewmen of a lugger reported sighting a large sea creature or Serpent, which they described as having three large humps and being three hundred feet long. They also reported that the monster made a lot of noise, as much as a steamship.
Legend tells us that a monolith (Standing Stone) found here had a large hand-print and a large foot-print, these are said to belong to two giants who are said to have fought over the love of a maiden.
Several sightings of a large panther-like black cat with a long tail have been reported throughout Banff and Buchan, and at Bennachie.
- Burghead Well. (S. Bruce).
An underground pool in a rock hewn chamber discovered in 1809. It is thought that the pool was used in Pictish times for religious purposes including drowning.
Burghead is referred to by many as the ‘Pictish Capital’ and this may well be a suitable name for Burghead since a great fort almost three hectares in area with massive stone walls, ramparts and ditches once stood here.
Owners of the house have reported that there is a presence which turns the lights on and off, however there is no details of any ghost sighting so far.
- Cairness House. (S. Bruce).
- Castle Fraser. (S. Bruce).
A woman is said to have been murdered in the green room. A ghost of a woman with no face has been seen in the library, others have reported hearing voices in the castle.
A pregnant unmarried woman is said to have hanged herself rather than face the disgrace of being a single parent.
Sightings of a phantom monk have also been reported within the castle.
Corgarff is a mediaeval tower house built c1550 thought by John Forbes of Towie. The Forbes’ acquired the land from Lord Elphinstone. The mediaeval tower is surrounded by a star-shaped 18th century perimeter wall. The Forbes’ were supporters of the future King James VI and the Gordon’s of nearby Auchindoun were supporters of Mary Queen of Scots. This led to a feud and in November 1571 Adam Gordon of Auchindoun carried out a raid on Corgarff Castle in an attempt to capture it. Lady Margaret Forbes’ husband laird John Forbes and the other men-folk were away at the time. Lady Margaret Forbes the mistress wouldn’t surrender the castle and raised a pistol and shot one of Gordon’s men through the knee. The Gordon’s then took a torch to the castle and burned it to the ground murdering Margaret, her family, and servants, between twenty-four and twenty-seven of in all, who were all trapped inside the burning inferno. The castle is said to have been haunted ever since.
The events are recalled in the traditional ballad of ‘Edom o’ Gordon’ which has the lines:
Gi’ up your house, ye fair lady,
Gi’ up your house to me,
Or I sall burn yourself therein,
Bot and your babies three.
Another version tells that Margaret was allowed to live and she fled to Ireland.
A former un-named member of the Gordon clan is said to haunt the blue room in the tower, he is said to have fallen from the bedroom window to his death there.
The ghost of a fiddler is also said to haunt the castle, the fiddler is said to have fallen down a well and drowned, his ghost is said to only appear to people named Forbes.
The tower of this 16th century castle is said to have a ghost who appears as a green lady who moves across the room sometimes alone and sometimes she picks up a small ghostly child, said to be in the fireplace before vanishing. There has been so many sightings of her that the room is now referred to as 'The Green lady's Room'. Two skeletons one of a woman and one of a child were uncovered in the castle walls during restoration work. It is thought that the woman had found herself pregnant out of wedlock and was murdered to avoid embarrassment to the family. Although the two skeletons were buried the ghosts still haunt the castle.
- Crathes Castle. (S. Bruce).
- Crovie. (S. Bruce).
The hamlet of Crovie (Locally pronounced Crivie) was established during the Highland Clearances. Highlanders were given the piece of land near the shore to establish a fishing community. This stretch of land was of no use for argriculture, and little else other than fishermen's cottages. The early houses built here were built gable on to the sea and painted with oil-based paints for protection form storms. The fishermen of this coast have always been very religious and due to this Crovie had its own Mission Hall. This hall was said to be haunted, and locals reported that they could hear the organ playing at all hours of the night when no-one was using the building.
In 1953 there was a great storm which hit this coast and caused damage all along the Moray Firth, the storm badly damaged Crovie Mission Hall. The hall was never re-instated and after sitting derelict for many years was converted to a house let out as a self-catering holiday home. It is said that the owner of the house didn't like the idea of any spirits in the house, and had a bishop deconsecrate it.
- Cullen House.
Cullen House mansion was originally a 'L' plan 16th century castle built on the site of a much earlier monastery (c13th centrury).
In 1975 its contents were auctioned, and the house was converted into luxury flats.
James Ogilvie (1714 to 1770) the 6th Earl of Findlater and 3rd Earl of Seafield had a temper and is said to often fly into uncontrollable rages. Legend tells us that once he got in such a temper that he killed his factor. After controlling his anger he was guilt-ridden and committed suicide by cutting his own throat. Ogilvie's ghost is said to haunt the house, and he has been sighted in the library and the church rooms. Others have heard footsteps coming from rooms with no-one in them.
The Abbey of Deer was first established by St Drostan at the end of the 6th century. The Book of Deer written in the 10th century has later Gaelic additions which were written here, and is the oldest Gaelic writing in existence. The abbey was founded by William Comyn (1163 to c1233) 1st Earl of Buchan in 1219. It was a Cistercian House.
On the main road (A950) adjacent to the Abbey of Deer a ghost of a monk wearing a dark monks robe with a hood has been sighted. The face of the ghostly monk has never been seen.
- Ghostly monk at Deer Abbey (Artist's impression by Margaret Mackenzie).
This castle dates from 1050. A ghost of a woman with red hair is said to haunt one of the towers, she is also said to take great delight in making people jump. She was regularly seen during WW2 when troops were billeted here.
For more on Delgatie Castle see http://www.webhistorian.co.uk/pages/index.php?id=132
- Delgatie Castle. (S. Bruce).
In the book titled 'The world from the window' written by Kenneth Steven and illustrated by Viv Burrows it tells of the ghost of a young boy who once lived at Duff House, Banff.
A green lady is also said to haunt the grounds, and strange things have happened in the woods, a man reported that while he was sitting in his car the boot opened and shut, but when he looked round and got out of the car there was no-one visible.
- Duff House at night. (S. Bruce).
Balvenie castle is said to be haunted by a White Lady. Others have heard the sound of a disembodied voice, and also sweet flute music.
- Inside Balvenie Castle. (S, Bruce).
Not far from Dufftown there is a walk along by the Dullan water to the Giants Chair, which is a rock formation where the water flows through the gorge.
A soldier in uniform has been sighted looking out to sea as if on look-out duty, watching for an invasion.
Others have reported crying and screams of agony coming from the ruins of the castle at night.
- Dunnottar Castle and ship. (Artists' impression by Margaret MacKenzie).
- Eden Castle. (S. Bruce)
A woman had a son who was a bit wayward, not knowing what to do with him she asked the Laird of Eden for assistance. The laird took the boy to the 'Pot' in the river to teach him a lesson but things got a bit out of hand and the boy was drowned.
On hearing her sons fate the woman cursed - "Cauld blaw the win' about the Castle o' Eden.
The Bishop Hepburn is said to have studied Black Magic. The ruined palace is said to be haunted by a piper, and oddly the ghost of a lion.
- The Order Pot Stone (Witches Stone) East Road Elgin (S. Bruce).
This stone was erected in 1890 by the Elgin Council to mark the site of the ‘Order Pot’. The ‘Order Pot’ was a seventy feet diameter pond which actually stood 130feet north of where the stone is sited. It was in this pond where Witches were taken and ‘Trial by ordeal’ was carried out. Legend tells us that the pond was bottomless, however it was filled-in in 1881. An ancient prophecy said “The Order Pot and Lossie Gray shall sweep the Chanry Kirk away”.
Fasque house is said to be haunted - people have experienced strange activity in just about every room in the house, no ghosts have actually been seen, but people have reported sensing or feeling a presence, and hearing strange noises.
- Macbeth and the three witches by Johann Heinrich Fussli (1741 to 1825).
The Three Witches (or Weird Sisters) are characters in Shakespeare's play Macbeth (c1603-1607). At Forres where Sueno's Stone stands this is said to be where the three witches prophecise that General Macbeth will rise to be the king of Scotland. Upon committing regicide and then being seated on the throne of Scotland, Macbeth then hears of the witches prophecise ambiguously of Macbeth's downfall.
- Witches Stone, Forres. (S. Bruce).
The sign on the stone reads “From Cluny Hill witches were rolled in stout barrels through which spikes were driven. Where the barrels stopped they were burned with their mangled contents. This stone marks the site of one such burning”. What a gruesome way to die!
- Kinnaird Head Castle Lighthouse and the Wine Tower, Fraserburgh. (S. Bruce).
Legend tells us that Isobel the daughter of Alexander Fraser (c1536 to 1623) 8th laird of Philorth had fallen in love with a servant piper, and that the laird was not happy about this. So to separate the two the laird had the piper tied-up in the cave under the Wine Tower known as Selches Hole (Seals Hole). The laird then locked-up his daughter in the uppermost floor of the tower (The chapel) and retired to Kinnaird Castle. Unfortunately for the servant there was an abnormally high tide due to a storm, and the poor man drowned. When Isobel the laird’s daughter was informed of her lover’s fate, she was distraught and committed suicide by jumping from the top of the tower onto the rocks below. The rock that she fell on is still painted red to this day. It is said that Isobel is seen prior to bad weather, and when the weather is bad it is said that you can hear the skirl of the pipes being played by the ghost of the piper for his lost love.
The Green Lady - This ghost is said to have been Dame Lilias Drummond the wife of laird Alexander Seton. She is said to drift along the corridor to the bedroom referred to as the 'Murder Room'. Lilias had borne 5 daughters to the laird in nine years of marriage (1592 to 1601), but this gave no heir, and back in those days it wasn't satisfactory for the laird not to have a son. Foul play is suspected as the reason for Lilias' death with the laird as the prime suspect. A mere 6 months after Lilias' death Seton married Lady Grizel Leslie, and on the night of the wedding they retired to their bed-chamber only to be alarmed by the sounds of a woman sighing outside their window. When they looked out the window the saw D. LILIAS DRUMMOND carved into the windowsill.
It is though that her spirit has been laid to rest, after her skeleton was put back in a wall.
A trumpeter is said to blow a single long note on his trumpet prior to a death in the family. This is said to be the ghost of Andrew Lammie
The Ghostly Drummer.
The Grey Lady.
- Fyvie Castle (Artists impressin by Margaret Mackenzie).
Gight Castle (Meaning wind and pronounced Gecht) was also known as the ‘House of Gight’ or ‘Formartine Castle’ it was built by the Gordon family as an L-plan tower house with stables and coach-house around 1560. In 1787 Catherine Gordon (1765 to 1811) 13th Laird of Gight had to sell the castle and estate to pay debts run-up by her husband Captain John 'Mad Jack' Byron (d.1791), and it was bought by George Gordon (1722 to 1801) the 3rd Earl of Aberdeen (known in the family as the 'Wicked Earl'). The famous poet Lord George Byron (1788 to 1824) was the son of Catherine and Jack, he was deprived of his inheritance due to his father squandering all of the money.
Thomas the Rhymer phrophesised:
"When the heron leaves the the tree,
the Laird o' Gight shall landless be."
Prior to the sale of the castle a number of herons which had nested at Gight for many years flew over to the Haddo estate which was owned by George Gordon (1722 to 1801) the 3rd Earl of Aberdeen, and he said "Let the birds come, and do them no harm, for the land will soon follow", which it duly did. Today Gight is another one of the many castles in Buchan which has fallen into decay with no sign of any consolidation or restoration forthcoming.
A piper is said to have been exploring a secret tunnel at the castle, but was never seen again. His ghost although never seen can be heard playing the pipes.
Legend also tells us that some of the Gordon's dabbled in witchcraft and wizardry, and that the Devil himself still visits the castle grounds.
Thomas the Rhymer also phrophesised:
"At Gight three men by sudden death shall dee,
And after that the land shall lie in lea."
In 1791 George Gordon (b.1764) Lord Haddo fell from his horse on the Green of Gight and died suddenly. Gight Castle was abandoned after this tragedy. A couple of years after at Home Farm of Gight a servant met a similar sudden death. Prior to the farm being turned into lea, one of the farmhouses was being demolished, and a farm worker casually mentioned that Thomas the Rhymer's phrophecy hadn't come true. Less than one hour later a wall fell down on top of the said farm worker and crushed him to death, thereby fulfilling the prophecy.
- Gight Castle Phantom Piper and the Devil. (Artists impression by Margaret Mackenzie).
Gight Castle stands high on a bank overlooking the Ythan River, and below the castle is Hagberry Pot. Legend tells us that Hagberry Pot is bottom-less, and during the Covenanting Wars Gight Castle was sacked by the Covenanters (1644), and the ex-communicated Catholic 7th Laird of Gight threw his jewels into Hagberry Pot to prevent them being taken by the Covenanters. Afterwards the laird sent a diver down the pot to recover the jewels; the diver visibly shaken returned to the surface without the jewels stating the Devil himself was down there guarding them. The laird then forced the diver to go back down, and in those days you did what the laird said because he had the power to punish, and even kill you if you didn’t. A couple minutes after going down the diver’s body severed into four pieces floated up to the surface. The laird’s jewels were never recovered.
In 1372 King Robert Bruce II (1316 to 1390) gave Glamis Castle and lands to Sir John Lyon (d.1382), and it has been the family home of the Earls of Strathmore ever since. Currently still privately opened but open to the public. Many legends and myths have grown around Glamis Castle:
The Grey Lady - In 1540 King James V (1512 to 1542) cruely consfiscated Glamis Castle and had Lady Janet Douglas (Later Lady Campbell after her husbands death in 1528), widow of 6th Lord Glamis, imprisoned under suspicion of being a witch. Lady Janet, her son and many of her servants were tortured into confessing her witchcraft and Lady Janet was brutally burned alive at the stake at Edinburgh Castle on the 17th July 1537. (John her young son was also imprisoned and condemned to death, however he was freed once the king died in 1542 and becamr the 7th Lord of Glamis). Her ghost known as the 'White Lady' has haunted the castle ever since. Janet's brother was the step-father of King James V, James hated him and this led to a hatred of all the Douglas family, and hence the death of Lady Janet Douglas. There is also a mysterious 'Grey Lady' who roams the castle and the grounds, this may be the ghost of Lady Janet. It is reported that more than one hundred people who were present in the castle on one occasion all saw her casually glide past them.
Other guests at the castle have heard the sound of loud hammering in the middle of the night, this is said to be ghosts of workmen building a scaffold.
Playing Cards with the Devil - Inside the castle there is said to be a secret room where two nobleman played cards with the devil himself. It is said that the 2nd Lord of Glamis known as "Earl Beardie" and Alexander Lindsay (d.1453) the 4th Earl of Crawford known as the "Tiger Earl" played cards late one Saturday night, and played past midnight into the Sabbath. A servant is said to have reminded the Earl of the time five minutes before midnight, but Earl Beardie said he would play with the Devil himself if he had to and ordered the servant out of the room. The was then a knock on the door at the stroke of midnight and a tall stranger dressed in black entered the room requesting to play. The two earls agreed that the stranger could play and he sat down placing a handful of rubies on the table. A little while later the two earls argued and when the servant looked into the room he saw the two earls engulfed in flames. It is said that the stranger was indeed the Devil himself and the Earl Beardie for playing cards with the Devil on the Sabbath he was condemned to play cards until Dooms Day. Earl Beardie's ghost is said to haunt the halls and returns to the room to play cards with the Devil. People have heard sounds of stamping, swearing and dice rattling from the tower where Earl Beardie is said to have cursed God and played with the Devil. So great were these disturbances that the room was later permanently sealed-up, and it is said that the Earl and the Devil are still playing cards in there, and will do for eternity.
Another reported ghost is that of a small boy servant who is often seen siting just inside the Queen Mothers Sitting Room on a stone seat.
A Ghostly Knight - A ghost wearing a suit of armour was sighted one night by a woman guest. The woman reported that she couldn't sleep and left her candle burning, but during the night she felt a cold blast sweep through her bedroom, which blew out the candle. The woman then saw a large figure of a man wearing a suit of armour making way to her child's bedroom through an open adjoining door. The ghost then entered the child's bedroom only to be met by the child screaming with fear. The mother quickly got up and ran to the child only to find the child all alone crying about a man in the room looking over her.
A guest at the castle reported that from his bedroom he saw in a window directly opposite a face looking back at him, but when he took a second look he noticed that it was the sad face of a ghost, which then disappeared. A little while after he heard a faint, yet horrifying scream coming across from the direction of the same window, this he thought sounded like a man being brutally tortured. When he looked down to the ground below he saw the figure of an old woman bent over carrying a heavy bundle. The old woman walked a few steps then totally disappeared.
Toungeless Woman - Another ghostly sighting reported is that of an apparition of a toungeless woman spotted running across the castle grounds at midnight tearing at her mouth.
Glamis' Vampire - A servant woman is said to have been caught sucking the blood of her victim., and according to legend she was walled up alive in a secret chamber, where she waits to be let lose again.
King Malcolm II (d.1034) - is said to have been murdered here in the 11th century.
It is the setting for Shakespeare's play Macbeth, and in the play Glamis is referred to specifically :- "Glamis thou art" "and yet woulds't wrongly win: thou'dst have great Glamis".
Haddo House is haunted by the ghost of the youngest son of the 1st Marquis of Aberdeen, Lord Archibald Gordon, who was killed in a car accident. His ghost has been sighted in the house after dark.
- Haddo House. (S. Bruce).
1713 is the date of the tragic death of Sir George Ogilvie (Born 1649) 3rd Lord Banff. He is thought to have been murdered on his return from Ireland by his thieving domestics, who are thought to have stolen from him while he was away. They then site fire to his home ‘Inchdrewer Castle’ to try to conceal their crime. Was this justice for the Lord selling Scotland to the English in 1707? His ghost is said to have returned, but no one is sure how it manifests.
The castle is also reported to be haunted by a large white dog.
- The Ghost Dog of Inchdrewer Castle. (Artists' impression by Margaret Mackenzie).
Thainstone House Hotel is said to be haunted by a Green Lady.
Leith Hall was built in 1650 by the Leith family. The Leith family owned the castle until 1945 when it was gifted to the National Trust for Scotland (NTS).
The Castle is said to be haunted by a ghostly Victorian lady.
A dog has often been heard running across the floor.
The ghost of John Leith (d. 1763) 4th laird standing in the vicinity of the main hall stairs as if in pain with his head dressed in blood soaked bandages has been seen. John Leith is said to have been involved in an arguement with Abernethy of Mayen in an Aberdeen bar on the 21st December 1763, and was shot in the head either in the bar or during a duel. Leith was severely wounded in the Castlegate and takne to a nearby house but died a few days later.
A ghost of a young soldier has often been seen passing by the house windows, and has also been seen in the gardens.
A ghost of an unhappy young girl has been seen within the hall, she is said to have been dressed in very old clothing.
Occupiers have also experienced the noise of furniture moving - perhaps a poltergeist.
In the grounds there is also a Hanging Tree, most estates had a hanging tree usually sited on a nearby prominent hill known as the Gallow Hill.
- Leith Hall (Artists impression by Margaret Mackenzie).
Legend tells us that Alexander Skene a local wizard, once froze the waters of the Loch of Skene so he could take a short cut home.
A man referred to simply as Alex, who was a known local villain, was drowned by Old Nick as he tried to cross the waters of the Loch of Skene in his horse-drawn carriage. This coach is said to still travel the surrounding countryside, driven by the ghost of its dead master.
A large hairy monster is also said to haunt this area, someone is said to have once photographed it from a distance.
- Maiden Stone. (S. Bruce).
The Maiden Stone is a large red monolith carved Pictish symbol stone located at the Chapel of Garioch near Bennachie. Legend tells us that a maiden had a bet with the Devil and lost, and when she tried to escape the Devil grabbed her by the shoulder. The missing chunk of the stone is said to be where the Devil grabbed her.
A ghost known as the White Woman haunts the hotel, but only appears in front of children.
- Oldmeldrum House. (S. Bruce).
A ghost appears as a Green Lady, said to have been seen in the basement of the house.
Two ghosts have been seen here on many occassions. One is said to be the pilot of a plane which crashed and died here in 1913. The other is said to be an officer pilot who crashed here and died during WW2.
Muchalls Castle which is classed as on of the great baronial castles of Scotland was built c1619. It is situated approximately 5 miles north of Stonehaven, and approximately 1 mile inland; and although it lies so far inland a great view of the North Sea can be seen from here.
Legend tells us that a girl dressed in green (or possibly yellow) haunts the castle. She was the daughter of the laird, and the story tells us that there was an underground tunnel from the castle to the sea, and in days past smugglers used this tunnel. The daughter of the laird had a secret boyfriend, he was a smuggler who sailed on one of the ships that sailed to and from the continent smuggling goods such as liquor.
The young girl is said to have spotted her lovers ship in the bay and she made her way down to the sea via the secret tunnel to meet him in the cave. When she got there and was waiting for her boyfriend she slipped into the sea and was washed away with the receeding tide and strong current. Her body was found the next day.
In 1906 a weekend guest at Muchalls Castle was casually passing one of the bedrooms on his way down to dinner when he happened to notice through the open bedroom door the figure of a pretty young girl dressed in a yellowish coloured dress. He reported that she was brushing her hair in front of a mirror. The man assumed that she was a fellow guest staying at the castle, and he said to the landlady that he thought she would be down for dinner shortly, only to be advised by the landlady that he was the only visitor staying that weekend.
In the 1970's another visitor saw a young girl standing in front of a mirror, brushing her hair, only to be told there wasn't such a girl staying there. This was obviously the ghost of the lairds daughter getting ready to make her way down the tunnel to meet her lover.
South of St Drostan’s church at New Aberdour is a footpath which leads along the cliffs west to Pennan. Along this stretch of the coast there is a cave in the bay of ‘Nethermill of Auchmedden’. In times past the caves along this shore were notoroius for smugglers.
According to legend the cave was entered by a piper, who was heard playing ‘Lochaber no more’, as he entered the cave the music faded, and he was never seen again.
Soldiers dressed in World War 2 uniforms have been sighted around the grounds of the castle.
A horse and carriage is also said to haunt the castle grounds.
Bram Stoker who visited Cruden Bay and Slains Castle was inspired to write his Dracula novel after seeing the castle.
In the 19th century several mermaids were reported as being seen on the coast near this castle. One is said to have been seen pitching upon the bowsprit of a small Peterhead boat causing to boat to steer off course and smash against the rocks; all of the crew drowned except for one.
- New Slains Castle and Count Dracula. (Artists impression by Margaret Mackenzie).
I’ve heard a tale – it micht be true,
It may be ye ha’e heard it too,
That Satan on his evil way,
Once viewed Portsoy fae Langie’s Brae.
An’ lookin’ doon wi’ evil glee,
He said ”I’ll hae ye a’ wi me,
For ye are mine, that’s clear an’ plain,
Bonnie Portsoy, ye’r a’ my ain”.
An’ since the day he temptit Eve,
‘tis been his work men tae deceive,
Tae lure them wi his wiles an’ charms,
An’ fricht them wi’ wars dread alarms.
Tae lead them on in ways o’ sin,
Lest God through Christ, their he’rts should win,
An’ men still heed his subtle voice,
An’ mak his hell their final choice.
Some folks one day cam’ tae the toon,
A day when I was but a loon,
An’ on the Shorehead telt the story,
How sinfu’ man may reach the glory.
I listened, an’ my he’rt was thrilled,
An’ then wi’ joy my soul was filled,
For as I heard o’ Calvary,
I said “Twill now be Christ for me”.
So Satan’s pridefa’ boast is vain,
Bonnie Portsoy is nae his ain,
Some there tae evil still incline,
An’ some still worship at his shrine.
But there are ithers just like me,
Wha ken the Man o’ Calvary,
An’ trustin’ him through sovereign grace,
Will sure in heaven find a place.
- The Witching Steen. (S. Bruce).
Sitting high on a hill south west of Rosehearty is a large steen (stone) where the gallows once stood. Local criminals, witches, and warlocks used to be hung here. Locals have stated that part of the gallows was still standing in the 1960's.
The spirit of Old Grant is said to roam the house, it is thought he loves the place so much that he doesn’t want to leave it. (It is also said that in the late 1880’s strange and tragic events occurred here).
Glen Spey Distillery located in the Morayshire village of Rothes was founded in 1887. The distillery is reported to be haunted by a WW2 soldier who was electrocuted in the distillery. His ghost has been sighted several times.
A true story written in verse by Stanley Bruce.
St Medden's (2005)
I ventured into the ancient graveyard of St Medden’s,
surprisingly I spied a stone that was quite new,
but the place looked more like St Midden’s,
a herd o’ cattle may have recently passed through!
Alone I walked into the roofless old kirk,
there was rabbit holes and nettles everywhere,
I stood on a grave and my foot fell in,
oh what a fleg, what a scare!
I thought my time had come,
about to meet my maker,
but as I landed on my bum,
for my soul there was no taker!
So it wasn’t my time after all,
I’ll live another day,
but in my mind it was a close call,
one memory that’ll never fade away!
I reported it to the council,
they’ll check it out and get it repaired,
but will I go back and check?
No, I’m too blooming scared!
- St Medden's Kirkyard, Cothal, near Dyce, Aberdeen. (S. Bruce).
The ghostly figure of a white lady has been sighted at the beach at Sandend, she was seen walking along the east end of the beach.
In July 1992 two people who were sleeping in a car parked at a field adjacent to the Tomnaverie stone circle were both awoken suddenly as a cloaked and hooded figure passed by their car window. The dark entity then quickly vanished from sight.
Circle of Stones
I stand on this hill,
Here all alone,
But I sense a presence,
At this 'Circle of Stones’.
Is it just the wind blowing?
Or the fact that I’m here all on my own,
Or is it something more mysterious,
Coming from this 'Circle of Stones’.
Many people have passed away here,
And have been cremated on this very hill,
I feel a strange sensation, and a chill the air,
Is there something here still?
Our forefathers built this circle,
Thousands of years ago,
What exactly went on here?
I guess we’ll never truly know!
On the 1st January 1990 a sixteen year old lad while walking down the Red Well track was approached by the ghost of an old woman dressed in black. The ghost then passed straight through the lad's body. As he fled for his life the ghost passed through him again. The lad ran home and later that night while in bed he awoke choking, and saw a black cloud disappear out of his bedroom window. The ghost is thought to have once been the keeper of the well.
- Crow - The Messenger of Death.
The Messenger Of Death
I’ve just seen a crow,
with a glint in his eye,
he’s looking for someone,
whose turn it is to die.
He’s the messenger of death,
dressed in a jet black cloak,
but I’m not ready to bequeath,
I’m not ready to croak!
This world I’m not ready to leave,
I’m not ready to die,
and my family’s not ready to grieve,
so fly bird, fly!
Stanley Bruce, Feb 2007.
Still to be added:
The Devil's Footprint.
Superstitions of the NE.