Haunted Castles to Stay Overnight in Scotland

Haunted Castles to Stay Overnight in Scotland

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Abandoned Castle at night

Have you ever wanted to visit a haunted castle and possibly meet the castle ghosts of Scotland? Or better yet, have you ever wanted to stay in a haunted castle overnight in Scotland?

With a richly historic landscape full of imposing medieval castles that witnessed perilous wars, The Great Scottish Witch Hunt and a deadly Black Plague, Scotland has an abundance of castles with a dark history.

Here’s my list of 9 haunted castles in Scotland so you can fulfill your dreams to stay in a haunted castle.

Airth Castle Hotel – Stirlingshire

With ties to Robert the Bruce, the 14th century Airth Castle is the place for you if you want to stay in a haunted castle overnight. Once owned by the family of Robert the Bruce, the castle has several rooms dedicated to some of Scotland’s most historically significant figures.

Paranormal tales, including one of a ghostly dog, run rampant throughout the haunted Scottish castle. According to legend, a fire devastated the castle and caused the death of a nanny and two young children.

Many say this terrible event is the reason behind the sounds of children playing that can be heard throughout the renovated castle today. Although the spine-chilling sounds have been heard in several different rooms, room 9 is said to be the most haunted.

As well as the sounds of playing children, heavy footsteps, unaccounted for screams and intense crying can also be heard throughout the castle.

There’s a hotel located directly next to Airth Castle Hotel and it’s easy to mix the 2 up. Be sure to book a room inside the Airth Castle hotel for a spooky experience!

Address: Airth, Stirlingshire FK2 8JF, United Kingdom

Book here: Airth Castle Hotel

Dornoch Castle Hotel – Dornoch Scotland

Large Castle Hotel with lights on inside rooms at night. One of the places you can stay in a Haunted Castle Overnight in Scotland
Image used with permission from Dornoch Castle Hotel

Dornoch Castle, located just north of Inverness, was built in the 1500s and was formerly a castle, a school and a jail before it was transformed into the hotel it is today. It’s a great choice for anyone who wants to stay in a haunted castle overnight in Scotland.

The eerie rumours which revolve around Dornoch Castle Hotel involve Andrew McCornish, a thief who was hanged for stealing sheep. His spirit is said to roam around the hotel, quietly watching people as they sleep. According to legend, the ghost was identified as Andrew by the local sheriff after he heard a detailed description.

The castle was exorcised in 1922, but many say it was unsuccessful. Would you stay at Dornoch Castle Hotel, one of the most haunted castles to stay in Scotland?

Address: Castle Street, Dornoch IV25 3SD, United Kingdom

Book here: Dornoch Castle Hotel

Related: Haunted Hotels in Scotland

Barcaldine Castle – Oban

Noted for being one of the most haunted castle hotels in Scotland, Barcaldine Castle has a seriously dark past.

The Laird of Barcaldine, Donald Campbell, was one of the victims of the brutal Glencoe massacre between Clan Campbell and Clan MacDonald. The Campbells ruthlessly slaughtered the MacDonalds as they slept. You can read more about the horrific Massacre of Glencoe in my post on dark tourism sites in Scotland.

Donald Campbell was murdered in Barcaldine Castle during the massacre led by Stewart of Appin. After Donald was murdered, his brother Sir Duncan Campbell offered Stewart of Appin a place to stay.

Don’t be too hard on Duncan though, he had no idea his brother was dead. I can’t imagine he would have been so accommodating if he did know!

Rumour has it that the spirit of Donald Campbell haunted his brother at the Barcaldine Castle out of anger after taking in his murderer.

If you want to stay in a haunted castle overnight in Scotland, be sure to stay in The Caithness Room at The Barcaldine Castle. Guests of that room often report seeing ghostly apparitions or the sensation of someone sitting on their bed!

Address: Benderloch, Oban PA37 1SA, United Kingdom

Book here: Barcaldine Castle

Fernie Castle – Fife

Large castle covered in vines, bushes and green and red leaves. Stay in a Haunted Castle Overnight in Scotland
Image used with permission from Fernie Castle Hotel

Once owned by the MacDuff Earls of Fife, Fernie Castle was built in the 15th century and has a horrible past filled with dismal tales. Now known as one of the most haunted castle accommodations in Scotland, Fernie Castle is the home of an apparition also known as The Green Lady.

The Green Lady is tied to a girl who ran to the castle in an effort to escape from her enraged father. Stories say that she was in love with a man her father did not approve of. Her father caught up with her at Fernie Castle where she later fell to her demise down three storeys.

Not only can The Green Lady’s spirit be seen wandering the west tower of Fernie Castle, one of the haunted castles to stay in Scotland, but she has also extended her turf to cover several hotel rooms. Guests say her spirit interferes with the lights and electricity in their rooms.

Address: Cupar Road, Letham, Cupar KY15 7RU, United Kingdom

Book here: Fernie Castle

Dalhousie Castle – Edinburgh

Dalhousie Castle is known for being the most haunted castle in Scotland. As it’s Scotland’s oldest inhabited castle, Dalhousie has its fair share of guests who have never left.

Once surrounded by a moat to protect it from ground attacks, the lowest level of the castle back in the 15th century was a dungeon only accessible by rope. Prisoners used to be lowered into the dungeon where they served their sentences in the damp darkness with no hope of escape.

One of the most famous ghosts of Dalhousie Castle is Lady Catherine. A former mistress of a laird from Ramsay, she was said to be locked up by the laird’s jealous wife when she discovered her and left to die in one of the castle’s turrets.

The ghost of Lady Catherine is known as The Grey Lady, who’s often seen in the same place she died. Look for her in the windows of the turrets when you’re admiring the castle from the outside.

Address: Edinburgh EH19 3JB, United Kingdom

Book here: Dalhousie Castle

Related Post: Spooky, Scary and Haunted Attractions in Edinburgh

Mansfield Castle Hotel – Tain

Large castle with turrets surrounded by a lush green garden

If you’re looking to stay in a haunted castle overnight in Scotland but don’t want too much of a fright, consider staying at Mansfield Castle Hotel.

The Fowler family purchased the castle from the Ross family in 1890 and began some significant renovations in 1902. Although the Fowler family’s bodies left the castle after their deaths, the spirits of the family are said to have remained.

Mrs. Fowler is rumoured to linger in the hotel whenever renovations are taking place. Her ghostly apparition has been seen by many staff and guests. But instead of haunting those spending the night in a haunted Scottish castle, she’s always more concerned with the changes that are happening within what used to be her home.

Address: Scotsburn Rd, Tain IV19 1PS, United Kingdom

Book here: Mansfield Castle Hotel

Tulloch Castle – Dingwall

Located in the Scottish Highlands, Tulloch Castle dates back to the 12th century and is home to several ghosts who linger within its ancient walls. Highly regarded as one of the most haunted Scottish castle hotels, Tulloch Castle gives anyone interested in after-dark paranormal activity the chance to sleep in a haunted castle.

Formerly the home of Clan Davidson, the castle features a secret tunnel connecting the basement of Tulloch Castle to Dingwall Castle. Although it’s inaccessible due to the collapse of the haunted castle in Scotland, its dungeon remains intact and you can visit it as part of a tour.

Tulloch Castle’s, one of the haunted castles to stay in Scotland, room 8 is reported as being the most haunted room at Tulloch Castle. Rumours of icy cold spots, disembodied loud footsteps and mysterious rattling doorknobs are all commonly experienced by most guests who stay in that room.

The famous ghost at Tulloch is known as The Green Lady. She’s said to forlornly roam the halls, following her fatal fall down a flight of stairs during the time Clan Davidson lived in the castle.

Address: Tulloch Castle Drive, Dingwall Ross-Shire, Scotland IV15 9ND, United Kingdom

Book here: Tulloch Castle

Related Post: Top 10 Seriously Spooky Places to Visit in Scotland

Culzean Castle – The Eisenhower Hotel – Maybole

Large castle surrounded by a walled path

Culzean Castle in Ayrshire is said to be haunted by a number of ghosts. Guests of the Eisenhower Hotel at Culzean Castle have heard the faint sounds of ghostly bagpipes during stormy, tumultuous nights.

Similar to the story of the piper ghost at Edinburgh Castle, the piper at Culzean Castle ended in a similar sad way. The piper and his dog were sent through the tunnels of the caves below the castle leading to the cliffs’ edge. Unfortunately, after entering the caves, the piper and his dog were never seen again.

Address: Maybole KA19 8LE, United Kingdom

Book here: Eisenhower Hotel

Borthwick Castle – Gorebridge

Do you want to spend the night in a haunted castle that has connections to Mary Queen of Scots? Borthwick Castle took in the infamous Scottish queen when she sought refuge in the late 1500s.

The Red Room in the castle is rumoured to be haunted by a young woman who fell pregnant by one of the Lords of Borthwick. Legend says she was gruesomely stabbed with a sword to her pregnant belly and left to die.

As one of the Haunted castles to stay in Scotland, several guests have reported the sensation of being watched and regularly leave feeling sick.

Address: North Middleton, Gorebridge EH23 4QY, United Kingdom

Book here: Borthwick Castle

Related Post: Spooky Travel Destinations Around the World

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Comments 6

  1. Ooh! I mean, if you’re going to stay at a castle… might as well be a haunted castle in Scotland, right?

    I love the Barcaldine story about the brother being haunted because he unknowingly offered his brother’s murderer a place to stay. Poor guy, brother murdered, betrayed by a friend and then haunted by brother because of said betrayal.

    Also, I love just how Scottish some of these hauntings are. Eerie bagpipes? Only in Scotland…

    1. Post
      Author

      Exactly! I loved staying in Castles that were converted into hostels and hotels while in Scotland. Closest way that I am going to feel like a Princess!

      I feel so bad for Donald and Duncan! I mean how could he know that he was housing his brother’s murderer!

      There are a surprising number of haunted tales in Scotland involving the playing of bagpipes! I love it!

  2. Scotland sure has its fair share of haunted hotels.
    Very cool!

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      Author
  3. Oh man, I can’t think of anything more eerie sounding than faint bagpipes in the distance. They’re beautiful but they already have a forlornness to them, in a creepy setting it’d be unsettling.

    That’s messed up about Duncan letting Stewart of Appin stay without knowing what had happened; if I had to do a Haunted Rating Scale I’d think that one has to be the most haunted of them all. Although Dornoch and Culzean really look the part. Have you stayed in any of them overnight? I’d love to hear if you had any strange experiences! I’ve had a couple weird ones in my life but nothing that was 110% unexplainable. I have a tentative plan to stay in a haunted house on Halloween this year though so we’ll see…

    1. Post
      Author

      DO IT! If you do, let me know allllll about it! I have stayed at a haunted castle but couldn’t remember the story behind it so I didn’t include it here. It definitely made me feel creepy and uneasy when I was in the room alone as all my friends ventured out to explore the island at night. I have also stayed at some haunted hotels but never experienced anything spooky. However, just the thought of them being haunted creeps me out enough! I haven’t stayed at the others but cannot wait to stay at them in the future! I want to set up cameras and see if I find anything creepy on my photos!

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