Halloween is fast approaching so here’s our pick of the spookiest places in Scotland to go guising.

The Coffin Route

This scenic path in south Harris has a dark history which dates to the 15th century when funeral parties carried bodies along the rocky land to the west coast for burial. Bill Lawson’s book, Harris in History and Legend, shares the story of coffin bearers who were startled by a noise, before realising the body they were carrying wasn't dead at all. This route is also the inspiration behind Peter May’s best selling book, Coffin Road.

Melrose Abbey

Melrose Abbey is a Victorian-style monastery in Roxburghshire. Founded in 1136 for the Cistercian Order, it has impressive architectural qualities, curved arches, pillars and unusual goblin statues. Robert the Bruce requested that his heart be buried here and this was mentioned in John Barber’s poem The Bruce. The Abbey never fully recovered from English attacks during the Middle Ages which left it a crumbling ruin. It was burned by King Edwards II’s army in 1322 and was later set on fire by King Richard II, killing many of the monks.

Dunnottar Castle

On the north east coast at Stonehaven, Dunnottar resembles the asylum from Martin Scorsese’s thriller Shutter Island. A meandering path leads visitors towards the medieval fortress which stands tall against the lapping sea current. A Pictish fort was established here in the 3rd century, and it was liberated by Sir William Wallace in 1297, with its English defenders burned to death. The castle’s gory past and dramatic scenery make it a ghostly spot.

Fairy Glen

Skye is home to the unique miniature landslip known as Fairy Glen. The crooked trees leading up to the landslip are coated in a thick green moss and look as though they have sprouted from another world. Some folklore stories suggest the land was made by fairies and visitors often leave coins or tokens for the fairies in hope of good luck. The area has a supernatural and mystical feel.

Reverend Kirk

One of Scotland’s most riveting tales is that of Reverend Kirk. Legend has it that he ventured to Doon Hill near his home village of Aberfoyle one evening, and shortly after he was found dead. Kirk was a folklorist, famed for his book, The Commonwealth of Elves, Fauns, and Fairies, which purported to reveal secrets about the existence of mythological creatures. Some believe his soul was ‘stolen’ to Fairyland for betraying them. Rev Kirk’s grave has become a popular local attraction.

New Slain’s Castle

This impressive ruin near Cruden Bay in Aberdeenshire is the original inspiration behind Bram Stoker’s movie Dracula. Its tooth-like spires, fragmented rock, and gaping windows give the place an eery and sinister feel. It’s possible to imagine a bloodthirsty Count Dracula chasing intruders in the maze-like courtyard. The building was created in the 16th century by Francis Hay to replace Old Slain’s Castle, which was destroyed by James VI’s forces after a rebellion. The dramatic cliff-top setting and sea views make it a must-see spot.

St Kilda

On a volcanic archipelago on the furthest point of the British Isles lies the crumbling remains of St Kilda’s main settlement on Hirta. The choppy blue waters and swirling mist transport visitors to a pre-historic era as birds circle the island’s peaks. St Kilda was once home to a community of crofters, though disease and emigration led to its demise and the remaining 36 islanders were evacuated in 1930. The cottages made of stacked rock are still present today as a spine-chilling reminder of a lost past.

Loudoun Castle

Loudoun Castle and Theme park in Ayrshire was a magnet for visitors during the early 2000s with its looping roller coasters and petting zoo. It is now ghost-like and the Do Not Enter notice at the park’s entrance is enough to drive trespassers away. The castle was used during the Second World War as a camping ground for soldiers, long before it became a theme park. A lack of funding led to the park’s closure in 2010. Today, the weeds, crumbling castle and rusty rides provide a glimpse into the park’s past life.

St Peter’s Seminary

This structural wonder in Cardross was once a Roman Catholic Seminary. It was used as a college to train Catholic priests in the 1960s before its closure in the 1980s. From the outside, this building doesn't look anything special, yet it is considered to be one of Scotland’s most important buildings. Inside, unique semi-circular ceilings and swirling staircases have become a flower bed for weeds and the walls a canvas for graffiti artists. The building was to be given a new lease of life and be transformed into an arts venue, but the plans were unsuccessful and it has since remained derelict.