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Glamis Castle

By Saoirse Redgrave

The home to the Earls of Strathmore for more than 600 years, Glamis Castle is reputedly Scotlandâ??s most haunted castle. But even before the beautiful castle began its dramatic rise, the foundation of it had been laid as a hunting lodge for members of Scottish royalty. Over the years it grew into something far more spectacular, and with its many connections to royalty and power, it is no strange thing that it is haunted today.

Earl Beardie (whom some sources claim was the Earl of Crawford and a visitor to Glamis, while others say he was the 2nd Lord of Glamis) loved to play cards. Two popular versions of the tale exist… According to one legend, Beardie was so intent on playing that one Saturday night the game approached midnight. A servant came in and twice warned Beardie that midnight was fast approaching and it was a sin to play cards on the Sabbath. In a second version, Beardie was drunk and wanting desperately to play cards but could find no willing partner because of the time and approaching day. Either way, it seems Beardie became so outraged that he proclaimed something like, â??Iâ??ll play until Doomâ??s Day if I wantâ??Iâ??ll play with the Devil himself!â?

At exactly midnight there was a knock at the door and a stranger, dressed elegantly in black, entered and asked to play cards. Beardie was thrilled! Suddenly an argument broke out and the servant rushed to the door to peek in. He was astounded to see the two men engulfed in flames. Supposedly Beardie lost a game to the Devil who won his soulâ??sentencing Beardie to play cards until Doomâ??s Day. People have reported the sound of heavy footsteps, cursing and the rolling of dice in the tower where Earl Beardie still supposedly plays cards nightly with the Devil.

Perhaps the most well known ghost in Glamis is the Grey Lady. She is often spotted kneeling in prayer at the foot of the chapelâ??s altar. More than 400 years ago, Lady Janet Douglas married the 6th Lord of Glamis. They lived happily, having one son. In 1528, Janetâ??s husband died, leaving her vulnerable to the increasing hatred King James V bore for her family due to his loathsome feelings for his stepfatherâ??Janetâ??s brother. In King Jamesâ?? eyes, the Douglas clan was full of enemies. Seeing Janet no longer had a husband to protect her, James struck a blow close to his stepfatherâ??s heart and accused Janet of creating potions to try and kill him. In brief, King James V accused the widow of Glamis of witchcraft. Accusing both she and her sonâ??and imprisoning themâ??was not difficult. So James took Glamis as his own, locking Janet and John in the dungeons of Edinburgh Castle. But actually convicting them of witchcraft was more difficult than James imagined.

Janet was respected and loved by manyâ??her character was beyond reproach. So James did what he had to in order to appear in the rightâ??he resorted to torture of her family members and servants in order to extract evidence. Placed on the rack, they finally broke and gave the precious false testimony James needed. Even 16 year-old John was tortured, after being forced to watch his loved ones being stretched.

Lady Janet and John were convicted of witchcraft and sentenced to death. Lady Janet Glamis was led to her death, nearly blind from her imprisonment. The crowd was silent as she was burned alive. None among them seemed to doubt her innocence, but none felt they could stand against Jamesâ?? selfish rage. Not long after her execution, her ghost began appearing in Glamis. Knocking was also heardâ??and some speculate it is the noise of the unearthly construction crew putting together the site of her execution. Luckily for John, James died before he could be executed and John became the 7th Lord of Glamis.

Glamis also supposedly has a vampireâ??a servant woman caught sucking a victimâ??s blood. According to legend she was walled up alive in a secret chamber and she can still be heard wailing for freedom.

Other strange occurrences have been reported at the Castle, but perhaps some are best to experience firsthand…

The Castle hosts a special Halloween event each year at the end of October, and other events and tours are also available year round.

7 comments on this haunted house. Share your story »


Leave a comment

Jessie says:

January 31, 2009, 10:57 am

This was a pretty scary story and i love to be scared!!!

matthew says:

May 18, 2009, 11:50 am

I wonder why the story stops i really want to hear it! 8^)

Cheyenne says:

September 3, 2009, 8:07 pm

I love this story. I want to go there now and see if i can see all of the ghost and the vampire. Hmmmmm but the vamp would be in wall so that would be difficult.

melody says:

October 1, 2009, 6:27 pm

well is seems so cool but theres this ***** that i wanna fight but she scared i love u matthew

chrislyn says:

October 28, 2009, 11:47 pm

this story was comepletely a waste of my time but a littl3e frecky but domb

liz says:

November 3, 2009, 6:58 pm

i wander if there are huntaed houses in the 209

Alex says:

July 3, 2010, 11:26 am

I like the one where they played cards. The guy asked for it!

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