Fraser Castle in Aberdeenshire is one of the most haunted castles in Scotland. Recently investigated by TV's Most Haunted, Fraser Castle is most famously haunted by the ghost of a princess who was murdered whilst staying at the castle.
Fraser Castle is one of the most elaborate Scottish castle built to the traditional 'Z' plan. Fraser Castle stands in over 300 acres (1.2 km2) of landscaped grounds, woodland and farmland which also includes a walled kitchen garden. There is archaeological evidence of an older square tower dating from around 1400 or 1500 within the current construction.
Construction of the castle began in 1575 by the 6th Laird of Fraser, Michael Fraser, on the foundations of the earlier tower, and was completed in 1636. A panel on the northern side of the castle is signed "I Bel", this is believed to be the mark of the master mason John Bell of Midmar, the castle is a joint creation over several decades with another master mason of this period, Thomas Leiper.
Fraser Castle was modernised in a classical style in the late 1700s, with a new entrance inserted in the south side and sash windows throughout. This work was supervised by Elyza Fraser, the lady laird. Elyza was also responsible for the landscaping of the grounds, sweeping away the remains of the original formal gardens and orchards. The construction of the impressive stable block was also added. Fraser Castle supported both Jacobite Uprisings though its location kept it from seeing any of the battles.
The castle was owned by various branches of the Fraser family until 1921, when it was bought by the 1st Viscount Cowdray for his son, the Honourable Clive Pearson. Extensive restoration took place during the residence of Mr. Pearson and later, his second daughter. The castle was given to the National Trust for Scotland in 1976.
Fraser Castle's most famous ghost is the ghost of a princess staying at the castle who was murdered while she slept in the Green Room. According to legend, her body was dragged down the stone staircase leaving a bloody trail. A stain which could not be removed even with repeated scrubbing. As a last resort the steps were covered in the wooden panelling as seen today. Over the years many residents have reported seeing her ghost throughout the castle.
Visitors to the castle and members of staff have heard ghostly piano music, voices and whispers have been heard in the empty hall. Witnesses have seen the ghost of Lady Blanche Drummond who died in 1874. She appears in a long black gown her ghost has been seen in the castle grounds and on the staircase.
The kitchen staff have reported hearing the sound of children laughing and singing, only to find that there were no children at the castle. Recently TV's Most Haunted have carried out a paranormal investigation at the castle.
Fraser Castle has recently been used as a backdrop for some of the scenes shot in the BAFTA, Golden Globe and Academy Award winning film "The Queen", starring Helen Mirren. The castle is open to visitors from Easter to October. The grounds and walled gardens are open year round. It can be hired for weddings and corporate events and has an apartment for rent (from the National Trust for Scotland) which over looks the courtyard.