WITH Hallowe'en just around the corner, the mind turns to ghost stories and spine-tingling tales. Scotland has no shortage of spooky locations. Here we list our 20 favourite spots with a reputation for eerie, unexplained happenings and things that go bump in the night.

Glamis Castle, near Forfar, Angus

With a history dating back centuries, it is little wonder that Glamis Castle – the childhood home of the late Queen Mother – is reputed to have a long list of resident spooks and spirits.

Among them is the Grey Lady, believed to be Lady Janet Douglas of Glamis, who was burned at the stake for witchcraft in 1537 and is said to haunt the chapel.

Another supernatural phenomenon is linked to King Malcolm II of Scotland who was wounded in battle near Glamis in 1034 and died in the Royal Hunting Lodge, which sat at the site of the present castle, leaving a large bloodstain.

It is claimed that no matter how many times the floor was scrubbed, the bloody mark would always reappear and eventually had to be covered over.

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Then there is Alexander Lindsay, 4th Earl of Crawford, aka Earl Beardie. While visiting the castle, the Earl – known for his cruel streak and heavy drinking – became angry because no one would play cards with him on the Sabbath, declaring he would happily have a game with the devil himself.

HeraldScotland: Glamis Castle. Picture: Steve Cox/NewsquestGlamis Castle. Picture: Steve Cox/Newsquest

Shortly afterwards a tall gentleman in a long dark coat knocked at the door and asked if the Earl still needed an opponent. They retired to a room and played cards long into the night. It is said that a servant who peeked through the keyhole to watch their game was blinded.

Some believe that Earl Beardie remains holed up at Glamis Castle, gambling with the devil for all eternity. Shouting, stomping feet, banging doors and swearing are all reported to come from the west tower – the alleged site of the card game.

The castle and grounds are closed to the general public until next year. A private tour costs £320 for up to six people. A two-night stay at Glamis House starts from £1458. Visit glamis-castle.co.uk

A75, Dumfriesshire

The Kinmount Straight on the A75 in Dumfriesshire has been described as Scotland's most haunted highway. Paranormal activity on this stretch between Carrutherstown and Annan is said to include ghostly hitchhikers, shrieking hags and a spectre that walks out in front of cars.

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A menagerie of unearthly creatures, including cats, goats and a large hen, have allegedly appeared and vanished again, with one couple saying they witnessed a phantom furniture van. Other unexplained sightings include a "medieval camp" with bedraggled figures pulling handcarts.

Cathedral House, Glasgow

The hotel lies directly opposite Glasgow Necropolis, the sprawling Victorian cemetery known as the "city of the dead". It was built in 1877 as a hostel for inmates released from nearby Duke Street Prison, which housed some of Scotland's worst criminals.

The male prisoners were transferred to Barlinnie when it opened in 1882, yet Duke Street remained as a women's prison until 1955, infamous for its terrible living conditions. During this time, Cathedral House was used as a halfway house.

Today, it is run as a boutique hotel. Many visitors have reported experiencing a presence which brushes up against people on the stairs. There have been reports of ghostly children being heard on the top floor and items of furniture that appear to move on their own.

Visit cathedralhouseglasgow.com

Skye, various locations

The ghost of the villainous outlaw MacRaing, a thief and murderer, is said to roam high in the Cuillins on Skye, while shadowy soldiers are seen near Harta Corrie, home to the Bloody Stone that marks the site of a fierce battle between the MacDonalds and the MacLeods in 1395.

The ruins of Duntulm Castle on the Trotternish Peninsula are supposed to be haunted by Hugh MacDonald who, after being starved and tortured in its dungeons, became so maddened by hunger that he attempted to eat his own hands.

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The headlights of a ghost car, believed to be a 1934 Austin, are said to come racing out of the dark on the A87 between Portree and Sligachan. On one occasion, a policeman reportedly tried to give chase, only for the car to vanish into thin air.

Abbotsford, Melrose, Roxburghshire

The former home of novelist and poet Sir Walter Scott, author of Waverley and Rob Roy, was built in 1824. Not long afterwards, Scott found himself faced with huge debts after the printing business he had invested in collapsed.

The author vowed to write himself out of debt, working prodigiously to produce a raft of novels, short stories, plays and volumes of non-fiction, in addition to several unfinished works.

However, Scott suffered a series of strokes and his health declined. His ghost is said to be seen in the dining room at Abbotsford House, where he died in 1832.

Visit scottsabbotsford.com

The Real Mary King's Close, Edinburgh

Some erstwhile residents of this warren of plague-ravaged streets in Edinburgh's Old Town are said to have lingered for hundreds of years, seemingly trapped or reluctant to leave.

Perhaps the most poignant story is that of Annie, a little girl who is believed to have been abandoned by her family and left alone to die. When Japanese psychic Aiko Gibo visited in 1992, she felt unable to enter a 17th-century room due to the overwhelming sadness emanating from it.

Aiko claimed she felt a child's hand clutching her trouser leg and later returned with a tartan-clad doll in the hope of comforting the stricken presence. It has since become tradition to leave dolls, toys and teddy bears in the cramped, bare-brick space known as Annie's room.

During renovation work in 2003, it is rumoured that workers tidied the toys into a neat pile. When they returned later, the items had been strewn around by an unseen hand. The doll left by Aiko – dubbed "Tartan Barbie" – went missing in 2019. Despite a global appeal, it was never recovered.

Visit realmarykingsclose.com

Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire

Bram Stoker drew inspiration from the ruins of Slains Castle near Cruden Bay for his gothic horror novel Dracula. He wrote the early chapters while staying at the Kilmarnock Arms in 1895. We're not saying vampires roam these parts, but would you take the risk on a dark and stormy night?

Visit kilmarnockarms.com

HeraldScotland: Slains Castle, near Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire. Picture: GettySlains Castle, near Cruden Bay, Aberdeenshire. Picture: Getty

Theatre Royal, Glasgow

A foreman overseeing a refurbishment at the Theatre Royal some years back recalled how two joiners refused to work up in the Gods saying a ghost kept appearing each night. Even when threatened with the sack, they were adamant that they wouldn't return.

A second pair of workers volunteered, but by the next night they too were begging to be excused. It is said that Nora, a cleaner and aspiring actress who jumped to her death from the balcony after being rejected at an audition, is often spotted in this part of the building.

Another ghost is believed to be Archie McLay, a fireman who died in a blaze at the theatre in 1969, who has been witnessed in his now outdated uniform, staring at musicians in the orchestra pit.

Comlongon Castle, Dumfriesshire

A Green Lady, believed to be Lady Marion Carruthers who perished in 1570, is regularly spotted at Comlongon Castle. Her death was recorded as a suicide and it is stated that she "did wilfully take her own life by leaping from the lookout tower".

Not everyone buys that version of events, instead suggesting Lady Marion's untimely demise came at the hands of the henchmen of Sir James Douglas of Drumlanrig after she fled to escape marrying him. According to legend, no grass has ever grown on the spot where she fell.

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Ghostly lights have been witnessed around the castle and there are several photographs which purport to show manifestations, including a misty shape hovering by the fireplace in the Great Hall. The castle went on the market this summer with a price tag of £1.1 million.

Rosslyn Chapel, Midlothian

The 15th-century chapel gained worldwide fame thanks to Dan Brown's novel The Da Vinci Code. Yet, if the walls could speak, they would have their own tales to tell.

Not least the story of the Apprentice Pillar. It is said to be carved by a young apprentice who did such a wonderful job that he was killed by the master mason in a jealous rage. The spot is reputed to be haunted with a pale face seen peering around the pillar.

HeraldScotland: Rosslyn Chapel. Picture: Gordon Terris/The HeraldRosslyn Chapel. Picture: Gordon Terris/The Herald

Other ghostly sightings include a monk praying at the altar within the crypt, surrounded by four knights. The bloodcurdling howls of a slaughtered war dog are said to be heard in the grounds.

Visit rosslynchapel.com

The Drovers Inn, Inverarnan, Loch Lomond

This secluded hotel, which dates back to 1705, has welcomed countless guests over the years. Some of them, it seems, are reluctant to leave.

Visitors claim to have seen the ghostly form of a young girl in a pink dress standing on the stairs, while others report hearing the anguished screams of a young drover said to have been murdered centuries earlier by cattle thieves from a rival clan.

Guests staying in room six say they have been woken in the night by the feeling of a cold, wet form next to them in bed. This is believed to be the ghost of a girl who drowned in the River Falloch and whose corpse was laid out in the room.

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Room 115, meanwhile, is known for its eerie unexplained activity. One couple claimed they found their camera had been moved and a series of bizarre photographs taken during the night.

The images included one of them asleep with an otherworldly light above the four-poster bed. Initially the couple laughed it off as a prank by their travelling companions, only to realise the door remained locked from the inside, exactly as they had left it.

Visit droversinn.co.uk

West Port, Edinburgh

The Scottish capital has no dearth of spine-tingling spots, from the labyrinth of underground vaults beneath the Royal Mile to its creepy closes and ghoulish goings-on at Edinburgh Castle where resident spooks are reputed to include a headless drummer boy.

Yet, some of the scariest monsters come in flesh and blood form. The infamous Burke and Hare lurked in the shadows around West Port in the early 19th century, picking off their victims then selling the corpses for dissection at Dr Robert Knox's school of anatomy.

HeraldScotland: Telling ghost stories is a much-loved Hallowe'en tradition. Picture: NewsquestTelling ghost stories is a much-loved Hallowe'en tradition. Picture: Newsquest

The pair murdered at least 16 people – possibly as many as 30 – over 10 months in 1828. It was only when a body was discovered under Burke's bed that their killing spree was halted.

Burke was hanged in 1829. In a poetic twist of irony, his body was donated to Edinburgh University for "useful dissection". Hare, who escaped execution after agreeing to turn King's evidence against his partner in crime, died a pauper in London in 1858.

Mercat Tours in Edinburgh is running a series of guided Hallowe'en walks. Visit mercattours.com

Culloden Moor, Inverness

Spectral soldiers are said to appear each year on the anniversary of the Battle of Culloden, which took place on April 16, 1746. According to folklore, war cries ring out, along with the sound of clashing swords.

HeraldScotland: Culloden. Picture: Steve Cox/NewsquestCulloden. Picture: Steve Cox/Newsquest

Visitors to the moor claim to have witnessed ghostly figures near the graves of fallen Jacobites. One account describes a battle-ravaged warrior lying injured on the ground, while others speak of seeing corpses shrouded by tartan cloths. Even today, some say that the birds don't sing at Culloden.

Visit nts.org.uk

Fyvie Castle, Aberdeenshire

Said to roam Fyvie Castle is the so-called Green Lady, believed to be Lilias Drummond, who died here in 1601. Lilias was imprisoned as punishment for failing to produce a male heir for her husband, Alexander Seton, Lord Fyvie. It is thought she perished from either poisoning or starvation.

Staff and visitors to the 800-year-old fortress have reported feeling a temperature drop accompanied by an inexplicable smell of rose perfume that some reckon indicates the presence of Lilias.

Another legend is that of the Weeping Stones of Fyvie. When Thomas the Rhymer, a 13th-century seer, was denied shelter on a stormy night, he laid a curse on the male bloodline of the laird.

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It was decreed that this hex wouldn't be lifted until three stones used in the construction of the castle were returned to the church lands they were taken from. The stones are said to remain wet when everything around them is dry, hence their description as weeping.

As if one curse wasn't bad enough, Fyvie Castle is also said to contain a secret chamber that, if opened, will unleash blindness and death.

Visit nts.org.uk

The House of the Binns, near Linlithgow, West Lothian

The seat of the Dalyell family, this historic house dates from the early 17th century and was the home of former Labour MP Tam Dalyell until his death in 2017.

This particular hair-raising tale relates to his ancestor and namesake, General Sir Thomas Dalyell of The Binns, who died in 1685. Known as "Bluidy Tam" for his torture and imprisonment of Covenanters, his ghost is said to be spotted on a white horse galloping through the grounds.

The story goes that the General liked to play cards with the devil. On one occasion Tam cheated to win and, in a fury, the devil threw a marble table at him. It missed and landed outside in the Sergeant's Pond.

HeraldScotland: A portrait of General Sir Thomas Dalyell of The Binns. Picture: National Trust for ScotlandA portrait of General Sir Thomas Dalyell of The Binns. Picture: National Trust for Scotland

Almost 200 years later, during a summer drought in 1878, the water in the pond receded sufficiently to reveal an intricately carved marble table.

The table was restored to its rightful place inside the house. But, if you look closely, there is said to be a distinctive semi-circular stain in one corner, believed by some to be the mark of the devil – a satanic hoof mark seared into the marble.

Visit nts.org.uk

The Tay Bridge, Dundee

The Tay Bridge disaster took place on December 28, 1879, when a winter storm caused the structure's central spans to collapse. A six-carriage train that was crossing plunged into the icy depths of the River Tay. All 75 passengers lost their lives.

Afterwards, a new bridge was built parallel to the former site. Some believe that, on the anniversary, a ghost train can be seen crossing the river where the old stretch once stood.

Culzean Castle, Ayrshire

The skirl of phantom bagpipes is said to be heard at Culzean Castle on the Ayrshire coast. Legend has it that a piper was exploring the caves beneath the castle when he disappeared. His ghost is often sighted in the grounds at Piper's Brae and by the ruined church.

HeraldScotland: Culzean Castle in Ayrshire. Picture: Kieran Dodds/NewsquestCulzean Castle in Ayrshire. Picture: Kieran Dodds/Newsquest

Other apparitions – Culzean is said to have at least seven ghosts – include a young woman wearing a ballgown and the anguished wailing of Commendator of Crossraguel Abbey, Allan Stewart, who was roasted on a spit after being intercepted at the castle during a 16th-century land row.

Visit nts.org.uk

Greyfriars Kirkyard, Edinburgh

It is famously known for a loyal Skye Terrier called Bobby who spent 14 years guarding his master's grave, but some say that darker forces loiter in this tucked away Edinburgh graveyard.

Eyewitness accounts report that a violent entity, the so-called Mackenzie Poltergeist, is said to be responsible for scratches, burns, bite marks and people taking ill suddenly or fainting. The malevolent activity is said to centre around a tomb known as the "Black Mausoleum".

Visit greyfriarskirk.com and cityofthedeadtours.com

HeraldScotland: Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh is reputed to be haunted. Picture: Gordon Terris/The HeraldGreyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh is reputed to be haunted. Picture: Gordon Terris/The Herald

Kelvin Hall, Glasgow

The old Glasgow Museum of Transport, which was housed in the Kelvin Hall, attracted the attention of ghosthunters who believed it was a hotbed of paranormal activity.

Security guards reported hearing children laughing and screaming after hours. Strange balls of light were said to manifest on a cobbled street inside the museum, with the same stretch echoing with running footsteps or the dragging sound of someone walking with a bad limp.

A headless figure has been spotted on numerous occasions and many people attest to having felt a tap on the shoulder, only to turn around and find no one there.

Ben Macdui, Cairngorms

The highest in the Cairngorms and Britain's second-tallest mountain – just pipped by Ben Nevis – is said to be home to Am Fear Liath Mor, aka the "Grey Man of Ben Macdui".

The general consensus is that of a Yeti-like beast – tall and hairy. Many climbers on the 4,295ft peak, including the renowned mountaineer J Norman Collie, have reported hearing unexplained footsteps crunching in the snow behind them, with who – or what – it is hidden stealthily in the mist.

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Others have said they encountered the Grey Man when alone at the summit. Scientists believe that these encounters are likely hallucinations or optical illusions. We'll let you make up your own mind.