If you enjoy a spooky edge to your autumn travels – and beautiful surroundings too – Scotland makes the perfect holiday destination.
But where to go? There’s no shortage of creepy castles, scary streets and monstrously bleak moors across the land, so we’ve picked out some of the best locations for travellers (which are also fantastic for non-spooky reasons)...
Scotland’s capital city offers a veritable feast of creepy goings-on. Its most famous landmark, Edinburgh Castle, has been the scene of plenty of battles and other dramatic events across its 2000-year history – and visitors have reported the sounds of drums and knocking, as well as unexplained sightings of orbs. Meanwhile, Mary King’s Close is said to be Edinburgh’s most haunted street. Located below the City Chambers and sealed for a long time after many of its 17th-century inhabitants died in squalid living conditions, its many reported ghosts include a little girl named Annie.
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In 1692, the troops of Clan Campbell visited Clan McDonald. Everything was very friendly... until the guests attacked their hosts in the night and murdered 38 men, women and children in their beds. Some survivors ran away into the mountains, where they died of exposure. Known as the Glencoe Massacre, this Game-Of-Thrones-esque historical event has inspired reports of screams and misty visions of the slaughter. It’s still a lovely place for a walk, however...
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Home to many past royals of Scotland, Stirling Castle boasts several well-documented ghosts. The appearance of The Pink Lady is said to be heralded by the scent of rose blossom – and she’s apparently either the spirit of either a heartbroken noblewoman who lost her love; or a victim of grave robbers who’s keen to find her mortal remains. Maybe the Green Lady, another of the castle’s female ghosts, might help her out. Several visitors have also claimed to have seen a Highlander in traditional costume, who appears to be a tour guide but then mysteriously vanishes.
VISIT STIRLING CASTLE >
A visit to the village of Roslin will also bring you to Rosslyn Chapel, made famous by novel The Da Vinci Code for its links to the Holy Grail legend. The holy building is also known for its ghostly sightings, which include robed monks, knights and a large hound. The chapel was created for the Sinclair family in the 15th century – and it’s said that when a Sinclair is about to die, flames flicker in the burial vault. Some visitors have also reported seeing or hearing an apprentice who was murdered by his teacher. And if that’s not enough, nearby Roslin Castle is also a hotbed of hauntings.
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Bonnie Prince Charlie’s rebel army was defeated by government troops in this bleak location in 1746 – and it was an extremely bloody event. Clans including the Stuarts, Macdonalds and Frasers were not only slaughtered in battle, but also afterwards, leaving disturbed souls in their wake (or so it is claimed). There are memorial cairns to many of these men, where apparitions have often been seen.
VISIT CULLODEN MOOR >
Travel in comfort before scaring yourself silly
As you’ll be struggling to get a good night’s sleep while you’re ghost-hunting (and feeling terrified for several nights afterwards), you’d better stock up on some sleep before you arrive. MegabusGold’s sleeper service has cosy individual bunks, free wi-fi and a dedicated team of staff, so you can arrive in Scotland feeling relaxed and refreshed.
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