Alexander Lyon, maybe better known as Earl Beardie had a serious drinking and gambling problem, which paired well with his rude and cruel attitude.
Legend has it, Beardie was playing cards on a Saturday night with his friends at Glamis Castle in Scotland. There was lots of shouting and swearing coming from the chamber room that was heard throughout the castle grounds.
One of the servants came into the room and suggested they should stop gambling before midnight to not play into the Sabbath. The servant was met with Beardie allegedly shouting at them. This is where the story slightly differs slightly…
In one version, his friends left, but upon returning to his room, Beardie wanted to continue playing cards and he was said to shout ”I would even play the devil himself” or something to that affect in a drunken rage.
Another version states that the servant returned five minutes before the stroke of midnight and warned that Sabbath would start in five minutes, but the servant was met with another abusive roar from Beardie saying he would ”play until doomsday” if he wished.
Whichever version is true, it is said that the castle bell rang to announce the stroke of midnight. Afterwards, there came a knock at the chamber door. It was a tall stranger dressed all in black who wanted to join the card game.
It is said the two played until the early hours. There was more shouting and swearing coming from the room, being scared, and since the Beardie had already betrayed the Sabbath already, the servant didn’t interrupt again.
Though, another version claims the servant looked through the keyhole and was blinded by a bright flash of light.
Following the dawn of the morning, the servant returned to see if Earl Beardie required anything, but when they opened the door, they saw Beardie still sat at the card table, engulfed in a ball of flame.
The mysterious man was still there, but he was not burning to death. He was sneering in amusement. Suggestively, he was actually the devil.
This is where the story varies again. In one version, Beardie gambled his soul away in the card game while another suggests his wish was granted and his would would play card until doomsday.
Earl Beardie’s ghost is said to be one of the most present at Glamis Castle and it is still believed that there is a secret chamber somewhere on the ground where Beardie’s soul is playing card with the devil.
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