Glamis Castle is regarded as one of the most haunted castles in Britain. It certainly has more ghost stories and legends attached to it than any other castle within the British Isles, with up to twenty different spirits residing in the castle and it grounds.
The Castle is located in Scotland near the village of Glamis, 5 miles west of Forfar. The main keep of the castle dates from the 14th century, and the majestic towers and turrets were added in later years.
Glamis Castle is the ancestral home of the Earls of Strathmore, the Bowes Lyons, It was given to the family as a gift in 1372 by Robert the Bruce. The main keep of the castle dates from the 14th century, and the majestic towers and turrets were added in later years. The Bowes Lyons family is still the present owners of the castle, its members included the Queen Mother, who was born at Glamis and gave birth to Princess Margaret there.
There have been numerous sightings of ghosts at the property over the last century, with up to twenty different spirits residing in the castle and it grounds. Some believe the reason for all the paranormal activity at the castle is down to a "secret room" within the castle that contains a terrible secret. There are several different stories regarding the room and what it contains.
If you stand outside the castle and count the number of windows, and compare them with the number of windows inside the building, you will always be two windows short; supporting the theory of the secret room in Glamis, and what this room contains has been the subject of much debated for over 600 years. Some of the members of staff believe the secret room is on the top story of the castle inside a tower, here they have claimed to have heard strange thuds and bangs coming from within the walls of the building. One theory is that of enemies of the Bowes Lyons were slaughtered in the secret room; others believe that the room had black magic and occult rituals performed in it.
In 1532 Lady Janet Douglas Lady was accused of witchcraft by friends of James V and imprisoned. After several months in a dark dungeon, she was burned alive at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Even her young son was condemned to death and imprisoned only to be released after the king had died. Lady Janet Douglas's ghost is known as "The White Lady" she has haunted Glamis Castle for hundreds of years. The apparition has been seen relatively recently in the chapel by a number of witnesses. She is also said to appear above the Clock Tower.
One of the more infamous ghosts is known as Earl Beardie, or Earl Crawford. Allegedly he was a cruel and wicked man, probably stemming from his rebellion against James II. His spirit is said to wander the castle, and there have been reports of children waking to find the figure leaning over their beds. One guest was staying in the Blue Room, when she was awakened by a hand being brushed against her cheek. She awoke to see a ghostly face of a man with a beard hovering over her. Terrified she closed her eyes and when she opened them again the ghostly face had disappeared.
In the 17th century, it was said that a black slave was stripped naked and hunted by the Earls and their hunting dogs. The slave was repeatedly impaled with lances and the dogs literally ripped him apart while the ladies of the castle looked on in laughter. The murdered slave's ghost may be the strange figure known as Jack the Runner, who has been seen darting about the castle as he screams in agony.
One guest at the castle was woken in the early hours by a chilly blast of air; she looked around her room and saw the figure of a man in a suit of chain mail armor, silhouetted against the glow of the candle burning in her daughter's room. The specter seemed to be seeking some way into the child's room, and on finding the door it went in. Seconds later, the mother heard her child scream with terror. Frantically the mother rushed into the room, the child was alone, crying out something about a giant who had come into the room and leaned over her face.
There is a ghost known as the Grey Lady who roams the castle and the grounds, her identity is unknown. Several years ago at a function held at Glamis Castle over 100 guests out on the castle lawn saw her glide past. A prominent Edinburgh lawyer was driving to Glamis on a visit a several years ago, he and some friends had been invited to dinner there. As they drove into the castle grounds they saw the shadowy figure of a woman dressed in grey. To their astonishment she glided along so swiftly she kept pace with the car, and accompanied them right up to the castle doors, before vanishing.
The ghost of a woman with no tongue is said to haunt the grounds, blood still spatters her face as though her tongue has been cut from her mouth. She runs about the grounds pointing at her mutilated face. There is no suggestion as to who she might be. The ghost of a young black boy, who was badly treated around 200 years ago, haunts a stone seat by the door of the Queen's bedroom.
A guest was gazing out of his bedroom window on a moonlit night when he noticed a face gazing back at his from one of the opposite windows. He knew there were other guests staying at the castle, but when he took a second look at the face he noticed that the face was too transparent and misty to be that of another person. The face then disappeared several seconds later the sound of terrified scream came from the area of that window; he thought that it sounded like a man being tortured. He then saw a bent figure of an old woman carrying a heavy bundle across the grounds below. The woman walked a few steps then vanished.
Other paranormal activity includes banging noises, sheets being ripped off beds in the middle of the night, and doors that mysteriously open even though they are locked and bolted.