‘Haunted’ Scottish castle put up for sale

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A historic castle which is claimed to be one of the most haunted places in the UK has been put up for sale after the company which owned it went into administration.

Birkwood Castle, near Lesmahagow in South Lanarkshire, was due to be redeveloped as a luxury hotel as part of an £80m development which included holiday chalets and news homes built on the surrounding estate.

Birkwood Castle, which dates to 1860, was used as a mental hospital for 80 years. Picture: Wikicommons

Birkwood Castle, which dates to 1860, was used as a mental hospital for 80 years. Picture: Wikicommons

The substanital mansion, which sits in 86 acres of grounds, was originally built in the 1860s for the McKirdy family but was donated to the local council in 1923 and converted into a psychiatric hospital. It remained as a health facility until 2005 and has lain derelict since.

Former owners, residents and staff say the Gothic castle is stalked by ghosts including a cigar-smoking spook and the spirit of a man stabbed through the throat.

Part of its walls collapsed in 2015 with such force that some people in the area reported hearing an explosion. Local paranormal experts blamed the collapse on high ghostly activity at the site.

The castle was threatened with demolition until South Lanarkshire Council approved in 2016 an extension and gave the green light to the early sale of 50 houses at the site in order to pay for the £1.4 million of repairs needed to the building.

The castle’s owners, Birkwood Estates, received planning permission for the site before administrators Johnston Carmichael were appointed.

In 2013, ghosthunters Glasgow Paranormal Investigations filmed an episode of their series Haunted Planet TV there with the crew saying it was one of the most active locations in which they had filmed.