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READ POST FIRST!
Glynnis “Alexandrite” Campbell
WHY, YES, I DID SPEND THE NIGHT
IN A HAUNTED SCOTTISH CASTLE
For a hunky, caber-tossing Highlander, the castle is only a stone’s throw from Rosslyn Chapel, the mysterious church made famous in “The Da Vinci Code.” It’s located above beautiful Roslin Glen. And it’s haunted.
Roslin (or Rosslyn—the locals can’t agree) Castle was originally the seat of the Sinclair family in the 14th century. After the Rough Wooing, when Henry VIII attempted to gently convince the infant Mary Queen of Scots to wed his son Edward by, oh, pulverizing every Scottish castle he could get his hands on, Roslin was RE-built in 1544, and so it stands today, fairly intact.
But get this: You can stay there…all by yourself!
So a few years ago, with my BFF and Jewel sister Lauren Royal, our trusty chauffeur Karen Nesbitt, and a Scottish phrasebook in hand, I embarked on a trip to this relic of a bygone age to do research for my Scottish Lasses series set in the time of Queen Mary.
We arrived at our private castle in the afternoon, crossing a perilously narrow bridge with a 200-foot drop on either side. As for the groundskeeper skulking about the courtyard with a shovel when we drove up, I’m sure he didn’t mean to look sinister. But I still don’t know what he was planting…or burying.
Giddy with anticipation, we newly dubbed Ladies of the Manor entered our five-story keep, comprised of two upper stories of finely furnished halls and wood-paneled sleeping quarters…and three lower stories of crumbling, bat-infested ruins. We quickly made ourselves at home in the top levels, lit a peat fire, sipped a little local hard cider, and read up on Roslin’s illustrious history in the castle library.
I quickly discovered that Roslin Castle is supposedly haunted by not one, but three ghosts. Most well-known is The Hound of Roslin—a medieval war dog slain defending its English master in battle—which can be heard howling at night. Another is The White Lady, a nursemaid who perished in a fire she accidentally set in the castle. And the third is a black knight on a black horse, spotted by several motorists.
Now I don’t believe in ghosts. But creepy ruins are creepy ruins. So, since I’d missed my cardio workout for the day, I suggested we grab a “torch” (that’s a flashlight, according to my Scottish phrasebook), and go explore the lower levels…at midnight.
Believe me when I say there is nothing quite as excitable as a trio of slightly tipsy women with jet lag and vivid imaginations on a descent into the dark depths of hell…oh, excuse me, lower levels…of a purportedly haunted castle in the middle of the night. The bedchambers tend to look like dungeon cells. The shadows on the walls take on ghostly shapes. The kitchens appear to be torture chambers. And the sudden flapping flight of a frightened bat is likely to send one clambering back up the steps, shrieking. Did you know shrieking was contagious?
Did we see a ghost? No. Did we stay awake all night, expecting one to appear? Possibly. And I guess we’ll never know whether it was just someone’s puppy we heard howling in the wee hours or the legendary ghost Hound of Roslin. At any rate, I’m still waiting for my “I Survived Roslin Castle” t-shirt.
Inspired? You can book your own stay at Roslin Castle here: http://www.landmarktrust.org.uk/search-and-book/properties/rosslyn-castle-13940
You can learn more about my books on my website.
IF YOU’D LIKE TO READ…
…some romantic ghost-free stories
set near Roslin Castle, check out the introductory novella for Glynnis’s Scottish Lasses series…THE OUTCAST