Scotland is famous the world over for its castles - the fortified homes of the great (but not necessarily good) of times gone by - and each one of them has at least one ghostly story to tell.
Braemar Castle is a possession of the chief of the Farquharson Clan but it has been leased to the local community since 2006.
The female ghost that haunts Braemar is thought to be a particularly tragic figure who lost her life through a simple misunderstanding. It is said that over two hundred years ago a young couple came to the castle to spend their wedding night.
The story goes that a young bride at Braemar woke quite early on the morning after her wedding night to find that she was alone in bed. She got up and searched the apartments surrounding the bedroom but could find no sign of her new husband.
Overcome with shame and confusion the distraught young woman thought he must have left her and she flung herself to her death from the window.
She was sadly mistaken as the young groom had gone hunting at the crack of dawn while she was still sleeping.
The ghost of the young bride is said to return to the castle whenever newlyweds come to stay there. Whom does she wish to warn? Does she urge young brides not to jump to hasty conclusions, or does she want to remind their grooms that thoughtless behaviour will only lead to heartache?
Craigievar Castle is home to a number of ghosts, so it is said.
The Blue Room in the tower is reputedly haunted by a member of the Gordon Clan who fell from the window there. He was forced to his death at sword-point by ‘Red’ Sir John Forbes, a man of some notoriety. People have heard the footsteps of the unfortunate Gordon climbing the step to the Blue Room, as if re-enacting the moments before his death.
One of the other ghosts at Craigievar is said to be very selective in his appearances. It is thought that he is the ghost of a musician, a fiddler who fell into the well at the castle and drowned. He is said to appear only to those who bear the name of Forbes.
Fyvie Castle was once the haunt of a Green Lady who is now, it is thought, finally at peace in the afterlife.
Her appearances began sometime around 1920 after a strange and unpleasant fungal mass appeared on one of the walls in the castle’s gun room.
The laird of the castle brought in builders to put matters to rights, and when they removed part of the wall, they discovered a skeleton.
The skeleton was removed from the area and the haunting of the Green Lady began.
Anxious to put a stop to the disturbing appearances of the Green Lady, the laird insisted that the skeleton be replaced behind the wall, which was then rebuilt.
This might have seemed bizarre, but it turned out to have the desired affect. Behind the wall was just where this mysterious phantom wanted to be, it would appear, for she stopped causing any trouble to the inhabitants of the castle from that time onwards.
In days gone by, Linlithgow was a much favoured royal palace.
King James V of Scotland, who was born at Linlithgow in 1512, was said to have been particularly attached to the place and he stayed there for long periods during his reign.
Linlithgow Palace is said to be haunted by the ghost of James V’s wife, Mary of Guise.
The ghost is seen in Queen Margaret’s bowet.
Spedlins Tower in Dumfriesshire was once haunted by a particularly hungry ghost.
At the end of the seventeenth century, Spedlins was the property of Sir Alexander Jardine, brother-in-law of the first Duke of Queensberry, William Douglas.
One of the laird’s tenants, a miller by the name of Dunty Porteous, fell out of favour with his master.
The laird, having right of pit and gallows, took him to Spedlins and set off to Edinburgh for business - taking the keys to the dungeons with him.
Unfortunately Duntry was abandoned and died of starvation and as soon as his spirit was released it started to run riot at Spedlins.
Dunty’s ghost was persistent and troublesome, running though the tower in pain and hunger, crying for mercy and food. An attempt to exorcise the ghost was not successful, but in time a minister and his family were able to confine his raging spirit back to the dungeon.