Haunted house sold after 80 years

Share this article

SCOTLAND’s most haunted house has finally been sold after lying empty for decades.

Nestled in the centre of a tiny island nature reserve, the only apparent resident of the dilapidated home since the 1920s was a ghostly apparition known as the "lady in silk".

So called because of the rustling sound of her dress and petticoats, the spectre was said to walk three times in a circle at the top of a flight of stairs, give a sigh, and then disappear.

But now a couple from England have bought the eerie home, called Windhouse, on Yell, Shetland, and plan to renovate it before moving in.

Andrew Taylor, 40, who has bought the property for an undisclosed sum with his partner Caron Reeves, 38, said it was the realisation of a dream.

Mr Taylor, who currently lives in Cheshire, added: "I was a little worried about the history of the house but it’s a splendid building.

"Renovating a property like this and moving to such a remote place is something that we have always wanted to do."

Grade-C listed Windhouse, which was first built in 1707 and then rebuilt in 1880, sits on RSPB Scotland’s Lumbister Reserve in Mid Yell - one of the cluster of islands that make up Shetland, and which are renowned for their diverse birdlife and beauty.

Looming above the main road on a hill, the imposing grey stone property looks like the archetypal house of horrors.

It is claimed that, in 1880, a woman’s skeleton was found under the floorboards.

The skeleton of a large man was also apparently discovered behind bricks in one of the building’s walls.

The "lady in silk" is believed to be the ghost of a housekeeper or mistress, whose neck was broken in a fall down the stairs after she was cast aside by the then laird.

Other ghosts seen at the site include a servant girl, who has been seen walking up an invisible set of stairs, a man in a top hat and even the unlikely spectre of a dog.

Mr Taylor, a building contractor and conservationist who is an active member of the RSPB, said he first saw the house on the internet.

He added: "I immediately thought that I had to have it. I went to see it and I fell in love straight away.

"This house has such history that I don’t want to build over it. I want to restore it to its former state and let history live on. I know it is going to take a few years before it is habitable, but the area is simply breathtaking so I am happy to wait.

"I might have some sleepless nights in the place at first but I am sure it will be alright."

A spokesman for the RSPB said: "People have used the site for 5000 years. That is plenty of time for these kind of stories to generate, but the truth behind the tales remains a mystery.

"There are plenty of people who are 100 per cent convinced the place is haunted."

Back to the top of the page