The Ghosts Of Glamis Castle, Scotland
With over 20 different ghosts haunting the grounds, Glamis Castle is without a doubt the most haunted in Scotland. Pronounced “Glams”, the castle is home to many hauntings, ghosts and phantoms, which have been reported for hundreds of years. It’s rich history offers an insight into the ghost stories. Glamis was Shakespeare’s choice as the setting for MacBeth — It is said that it was the place that King Duncan was stabbed to death by MacBeth.
The real Lords of Glamis, the Lyon family, have a long and violent history. Glamis Castle was given to the Lyon family in 1372 by King Robert II of Scotland. The castle was originally a hunting lodge of the King of the Scots, and was the childhood home of her majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother.
By day the property looks beautiful, vibrant, and grand, but by nightfall, it is home to something far more sinister. The chapel promotes feelings of overwhelming sadness to visitors and the sound of a strange hollow knocking can be heard within the castle walls.
One of the better known ghosts is that of The Grey Lady; thought to be Janet Douglas, whom kneels down and prayers. Her apparition has been seem many times, but it does not seem to interact with humans or show any negative intent. The owners believe the apparition is the ghost of Janet Douglas, lady Glamis who married John Lyons, the 6th Lord Of Glamis and had their son, John. The family lived peacefully until 1528 when the Lord died.
Janet belonged to the Douglas clan and her brother was stepfather to King James V, who despised his stepfather. He carried out a ruthless vendetta against the Douglas’. Janet became his focus of hatred. As a widow, Janet no longer had the protection of being married to the Lord, and King James accused her of magic, sorcery, witchcraft and mixing deadly potions with which to poison the king. No one doubted the accusations were false, but she and her son were arrested and taken to Edinburgh castle where they were imprisoned in its dark fearsome dungeons.
Imprisoning Lady Glamis had been easy, but convicting her was more difficult — Janet’s character was without blemish and she was respected by everyone who knew her — so to force a testimony of her alleged treachery, the King had to result to torture. Lady Glamis’ faithful servants and clansman were stretched on the rack to extract false evidence against them. Her son, John (now age 16), was forced to watch the horrific torture sessions before he, himself, was brutally tortured. These savage tactics worked and the king had his confession. Janet was convicted of these crimes, her and her son were convicted to death. On the July 17th, 1537, she was led to her execution.
She was taken onto the castle hill of Edinburgh, where she was burned alive. John was reprieved until he came of age, but before this happened, King James V, himself, died. Before his death the king is said to have felt remorse.
From the time of her execution, the apparition of The Grey Lady began to appear at the castle. Although she died in Edinburgh, it is Glamis where her spirit returned. The knocking is theorized as workers building the scaffolding which was built for her execution.
Among other reports of a paranormal presence in Glamis Castle, is that of Earl Beardie of Crawford. Legend has it that in 1454, Patrick, the first Lord Glamis, invited an evil power into the castle. Patrick was a bit of a gambler and was often seen playing cards with Earl Beardie, so called because of his long flowing beard. It was a Saturday evening while the two were in a game against each other, when a servant entered the room and reminded them of the hour. It was nearly the Sabbath, and gambling was forbidden on the lord’s day, but they ignored him and played on. Five minutes to midnight the servant pointed out the time again. Earl Beardie shouted at the servant and told him that they would play until doomsday if they wished. Then, at the stroke of midnight, the door opened and a stranger walked in. Placing a handful of sparkling rubies on the table, he proposed to join them in a game.
The three men started to play, this led to Lord Glamis and Earl Beardy into a heated argument as the stranger looked on. The shouting became louder and more furious so the servant went back to check on them,. He saw them arguing with flames burning all around them, it seemed that they were oblivious to the blazes and they burned to death. That night is said to be one that entertained the prince of darkness, Lucifer, himself. The two were said to be have been condemned to play until doomsday, just like Beardie had said he would.
One account recorded in the 1870’s was by the wife of The Archbishop of York, a guest who was staying in the room. She awoke to the feeling that someone had brushed her cheek, suddenly a terrifying face appeared over her with a look of death and a long flowing beard. This was thought to have been the ghost of Earl Beardie.
Over the centuries, many reports have been documented, from the sightings of The Grey Lady to the ghost of Earl Beardie and the infamous Lady with no Tongue. People have also reported the rattling of dice and men’s voices shouting in anger from a bricked up chamber. It is said there’s a secret room that was blocked up, but even the descendants don’t know exactly where it is in the castle. It may be housing all the spirits that possess the property to this day.