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In his The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891), Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following description of a Changeling in Dumfries and Galloway. ‘In Nithsdale the elf-child displays a superhuman power of work. The mother left it on one occasion in the charge of a servant-girl, who sat bemoaning herself. Read More »
Hauntings on the A75 Kinmount Straight in South West Scotland have led to it being called 'the Ghost Road.' Here is a brief list of some of the more famous sightings along this route.
A lorry driver ran into a couple crossing the road arm-in-arm in front of his lorry, but when he stopped the accident victims had vanished: sometime in 1957. Read More »
Built by General Johnstone of Corehead, Auchen Castle Hotel is a Victorian mansion dating from 1849. General Johnstone, served under Sir Ralph Abercromby (Abercrombie) (Born 7 October 1734 – Died 28 March 1801) in Egypt against the French in 1801 and it is thought that the plantations on the estate were laid out to show the positions of units in the Battle of the Nile. Read More »
Edwin Sidney Hartland gives the following account of Dumfries and Galloway Changelings in his ‘The Science of Fairy Tales’ (1891). ‘A Kirkcudbrightshire tale represents a child as once left in charge of a tailor, who "commenced a discourse" with him. "'Will, hae ye your pipes?' says the tailor. 'They're below my head,' says the tenant of the cradle. Read More »
Many ancient families are associated with omens and signs that traditionally tell of death or illness in the family line. These omens range from radiant boys, banshees, phantom drummers and various animals. The Kirkpatrick family who inhabited Closeburn Castle have their own specially symbol of misfortune: that of a swan with a bloody breast, relating to an old family story. Read More »
Many strange things are alleged to have happened here in modern times, with doors opening and closing, floorboards creaking and lights going on and off in empty rooms. Read More »
Every last Friday in July is the Common Riding in Langholm. The festival dates back to the 1700s when rights to common lands were awarded to the burgh of Langholm - although it takes place on the date of an earlier fair. These lands were marked out by ditches cairns and beacons, which originally fell to the responsibility of one man. Read More »
Only the cellars remain of the original 14th century castle in which Mary Queen of Scots stayed in 1563. The mansion, which now stands on the site, was built in the 1700s for William Douglas, the first Duke of Queensberry. Bonnie Prince Charlie stayed at the castle in 1745, after his unsuccessful invasion of England. Read More »
Confronted by a ghost: The other night (a correspondent of the Daily News writes) A young man had an extraordinary experience near Lockerbie. The Dryfe Bridge beside which is the old cemetery---has long been notorious as a haunt of ghosts. Having to cross the bridge going from the town the young man happened to glance to the right and saw a tall and white ghostly figure. Read More »
On 31st December 1978 an object was seen hovering in the sky above Dumfries by numerous witnesses, the incident was explained as a meteorite, but many eyewitnesses were adamant it was not.
Corrie Water is a stream running seven miles from Eskdalemuir to the Water of Milk near Lockerbie. The stream runs through Corrie, an ancient parish annexed to Hutton in 1609. It is here, according to a story by George Douglas in his Scottish Fairy and Folk Tales (1901) that fairies lived. Read More »
The name Gretna derives origins from ‘Gretenhow', an Angle term meaning gravel hill. Of course the Angles were not the first settlers in Gretna, they had been preceded by both the Romans and Norsemen. The area surrounding Gretna has seen many battles between the English and Scots as they invaded each other. In 1376 Gretna was completely destroyed during one such battle. Read More »
In the early 1800s Allan Cunningham described his experiences on the Solway Firth and stories around what he referred to as Blawhooly Bay. His piece below entitled 'Haunted Ships' has been reproduced many times throughout the 19th and early 20th century.
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Dating from the 13th century, Lochmaben Castle, which is now a ruin, was built by King Edward I of England (Born 17 June 1239 – Died 7 July 1307) replacing the earlier 12th century Bruce motte and bailey castle. The de Brus or Bruce family, the Lords of Annandale, moved to Lochmaben following the ruination of Annan Castle. Read More »
The Lochmaben Stane (or Lochmabenstane, Lochmabenstone, Clochmabenstane, Old Graitney Stone, Lowmabanstane, Loughmabanestane) stands in a farmers field near where the Kirtle Water enters the Solway Firth. Made if granite, it measures 7-8 feet in height and has a girth between 18 and 21 feet (depending upon your source). Read More »
Robert the Bruce arranged to meet then stabbed Red Comyn to death 10 February 1306 in the Franciscan friary in Dumfries. Local lore says Bruce haunts the site where the building used to stand.
O, that I were where Helen lies!
Night and day on me she cries;
O, that I were where Helen lies!
In fair Kirkconnel lee.
O Helen fair! beyond compare,
A ringlet of thy flowing hair,
I'll wear it still for evermair
Until the day I die.
Curs'd be the hand that shot the shot,
And curs'd the gun that gave the crack, Read More »
The following article by Sue Crawford entitled 'Ghost hunt at Gretna's famous Blacksmiths Shop' was published in the News & Star on 8 August 2013.
Paranormal investigators are to hold a vigil after reports of “terrifying” incidents at Gretna Green’s famous Blacksmiths Shop Read More »
The ghost of James Mounsey, builder of the house and former physician to the Russian Royal family, haunts Rammerscales Mansion . Mounsey gained fame and wealth as doctor to Czar Peter, but when Czar Peter III was murdered Mounsey fled Russia and returned to Scotland. He became convinced that secret agents were trying to kill him and faked his own funeral. Read More »
Robert Burns was born on the 25th January 1759 during the ‘Age of Enlightenment’ but also in a time when the country superstitions and supernatural beings were an integral part of folk belief. The landscape of Burns’ was one where the natural rhythms of nature were much more intertwined in the day to day of working life. Read More »
The tower house, now a hotel, is an altered 17th century tower-house built by Sir William Grierson. The tower-house reputed to be haunted by the spectre of a whistle-blowing monkey, the spirit of Sir Robert Grierson's pet, which was killed by servants after his death. Read More »
The cross is thought to date back to the late seventh century, an early period in the development of Christianity in the area, which spread here from Northumberland. It has been recognised as one of the most important early Christian crosses in Britain. Read More »
Sanquhar castle is now a gaunt ruin visible from the West Coast main line from Scotland to England. The castle was constructed in the 13th century and belonged to the Crichton family from the 14th century, eventually being abandoned to the elements in the late 17th century. Read More »
According to local lore the ghost of Abraham Crichton, who died in 1745, haunts the Sanquhar churchyard despite an exorcism by a minister. Read More »
The story of Sawney Bean is one of the most gruesome Scottish legends, the plot of which would not look out of place in any modern horror/slasher movie. Evidence suggests the tale dates to the early 18th century. Read More »
The King's Arms Hotel, which was demolished in 1973, was reputed to be haunted by a woman in her early twenties. Traditionally she was the widow of Captain Robert Stewart, who died during the French revolution. She pined away after his death and died of heartbreak at the age of 24. Read More »
The tower dates from the 15th century, became ruinous in the 19th century, and was later restored in the 1960's to its present state. The tower was the occupied by the Jardine family until they moved to a nearby mansion. Read More »
Dating from 1734, Springkell House was built by the Maxwell family, Barons of Kirkconnel and Springkell since 1609. The mansion passed into the hands of the Johnson-Ferguson family in 1894 when Springkell was sold to Sir Jabez Edward Johnson-Ferguson (Born 27 November 1849 – Died 10 December 1929), Director of the Bolckow Vaughan mining company and Member of Parliament for Loughborough. Read More »
The water was believed to have healing properties and is dedicated to a 9th century saint. Proof of a long tradition of leaving items at the well was discovered when the well was cleared in 1870: hundreds of coins, bent pins and other objects were discovered beneath the mud. Some of these can still be seen in the Dumfries Museum.
The hotel is said to have been haunted by the ghost of Bonnie Prince Charlie, who stayed here in 1745. Charlie is said to haunt many places in Scotland. Read More »
Established in 1610, The Globe is traditionally haunted by a barmaid called Ann, who had an affair with Robert Burns. Burns made her pregnant and she bore him a child that she named Elizabeth. While Robert Burns was well known for his womanising ways it is not know if there is any truth in the story. Read More »
"Gude folks, heir at my Archibischop of Glasgwis letters under his round sele, direct to me or any uther chapellane, makand mensioun, with greit regrait, how hevy he beris the pietous, lamentabill, and dolorous complaint that pass our all realme and commis to his eris, be oppin voce and fame, how our souverane lordis trew liegis, men, wiffis and barnys, bocht and redeimit be the precious blud Read More »
An extract from The Newgate Calendar Part 1 concerning Sawney Bean. Read More »
The twelve apostles, although the largest stone circle in Scotland and the fifth in Britain, tends to be overlooked because it is not visually that impressive. The circle consists of eleven squat boulders of a probable twelve, constructed in a flattened circle, some 88M in diameter at its widest. Read More »