It’s a well-known fact Scotland is one of the most haunted places on Earth! Its long colourful history has provided some of the most tragic episodes in human existence. From bloody wars and deadly plagues to magnificent castles and old ruins, Scotland is rich in all the ingredients needed for some of the most terrifying ghost stories ever told.
Many of Scotland’s ancient castles have turned to ruin, but thankfully many of them remain, and you can book to spend the night!
Here are some of Scotland’s creepiest haunted hotels!
1. Auchen Castle, Dumfries & Galloway
Built in the early 1300s, Auchen Castle has quite a history and has truly stood the test of time. The original castle lies in ruins, but a home farm was built in 1849.
The castle has played host to many famous guests over the years, but one infamous guest gets notoriety from many hotel visitors.
The ghost of a young child looms in the hotel’s hallways. This little girl’s spirit is seen chiefly walking the corridors and descending the main staircase during the early hours of the morning.
Not as common, the ghostly image appears playing in the formal gardens during twilight or early morning hours. If you are lucky, the child’s spirit might appear in a photograph taken on the grounds.
Borthwick Castle is a beautifully restored 15th-century castle located 12 miles from Edinburgh. The hotel was renovated in 1913 but was not converted into a hotel and conference centre until 1973, which remains today.
As for a haunted history, there are said to be a few spirits that roam the hallways. The most prominent is a servant girl who gave birth to Sir William Borthwick’s son outside of wedlock.
Both mother and baby ultimately faced execution, but the woman still haunts the infamous Red Room. Another spirit that haunts this room is the Borthwick’s chancellor.
The chancellor was caught embezzling money and was later burned to death for his wrongdoings. He and the servant girl are seen walking down the spiral staircases and are sometimes seen in the Great Hall.
The Cathedral House Hotel has quite a crazy history. Built in 1877, the hotel started as a hostel for inmates released from the nearby Duke Street Prison.
The prison was demolished in 1958 to make way for the Ladywell housing scheme, which was built between 1961 and 1964, leaving only the boundary wall of the former prison.
The Cathedral House became a hotel roughly 30 years ago when Shane and Laurie McKenzie purchased and renovated it in 2018, making it the hotel we know and love today.
Duke Street Prison hosted many executions, 12 of which happened in the 20th century. The most prominent ghost is Susan Newell, imprisoned and executed for allegedly strangling a paperboy.
It is said that the ghost of Newell, a small-statured woman, will appear quickly and then vanish into thin air. There are also reports of two children playing on the hotel’s top floor and furniture being moved unexplainably.
The rumour is that a woman drowned her children in a bathtub on one of the higher floors, and many guests seem to hear them giggle, see them play, and feel them brush against them on the stairs while staying at the hotel.
Built in 1881 on the Pitfodels Castle site, which was in itself constructed in the 15th century. The Norwood Hall Hotel is only about a 10-minute drive from the Aberdeen city centre and maintains much of its Victorian features, such as sweeping staircases and collonaded entrances.
There are said to be three ghosts on the premises of the hotel. First is James Ogston, the hotel’s previous owner, his wife, and his mistress. It is said that Ogston purchased Norwood Hall in 1872 and rebuilt it in 1881 so he could meet up with his mistress undetected by his family, who lived across the river.
After years of the relationship, his wife found out about the mistress, and both women urged him to leave the other.
Ogston is standing in front of the log fire in the dining room, while his mistress’s ghost is usually haunting the main stairs looking for her love. Ogston’s wife has been seen in numerous locations, including the hall, kitchen, and dining room.
This historic hotel has been around for over 700 years and is brimming with history. Many think Dalhousie Castle itself could have been plucked straight out of the pages of a fairytale, but some hauntings happen behind these mystical walls.
Alleged to be haunted by several spirits, Dalhousie Castle’s most prominent spirit is the “Grey Lady,” or Lady Catherine, who was locked up in one of the castle’s many turrets by her lover, where she died of a broken heart. Many say they can hear rustling noises like a skirt that is being fixed and unexplained tapings on doors.
Tulloch Castle has a history that spans back to the twelfth century. Today, the castle welcomes visitors to witness the charm this hotel has to offer and experience the hauntings that go on behind its walls.
The “Green Lady” is said to haunt the castle. Her name was Elizabeth Davidson, whose portrait hangs in the Great Hall. She is one of the few ghosts to be caught on film, getting many ghost hunters interested in the property.
Guests have also seen balls of light orbs, felt cold patches, and heard many unexplained sounds through the hallways.
Located at the northern tip of Loch Lomond, The Drovers Inn is one of Scotland’s oldest licensed locations. The hotel was opened in 1705, and guests have experienced many hauntings during their stay at the inn, particularly in room 6.
A small girl haunts the hotel, and many guests have experienced her by a drip of icy cold water on their bed in the middle of the night. Local lore states she drowned after attempting to fish her doll out of the nearby river.
There are also reports of a young family that haunt the grounds. Legend has it that the family froze to death while aimlessly lost, looking to get to the hotel.
8. Airth Castle, Stirlingshire
Airth Castle was built during the fourteenth century and was once owned by Robert de Bruce’s family. Today it is a bustling site for weddings and parties and boasts beautiful al fresco dining during the warmer months.
A few hauntings going on behind its walls, as several people died in a fire and have not moved on since.
The most haunted rooms are rooms 9, 21, and 24. Room 9 is haunted by a nanny who died in a tragic fire, and the children she cared for run playfully down the corridors.
Room 24 is home to a child ghost that is heard but not seen, as many guests report hearing the child, looking for them, and finding nothing.
Finally, room 21 is where the maids used to stay, and one maid, in particular, was raped and killed by the master of the castle, so her ghost still lingers in the room.
Unexplained screams have also been heard from rooms 2, 3, and 14.
Sir Duncan Campbell, 3rd Baronet of Barcaldine, restored this 400-year-old castle in 1897. Barcaldine Castle sits on the beautiful shores of Loch Creran, boasting panoramic views and snow-capped mountains.
This castle also offers hauntings by Donald Campbell, the Laird of Barcaldine. Campbell was brutally murdered by his archenemy, Stewart of Appin, inside the castle in the 1600s during the Massacre of Glencoe, who fled to Campbell’s brother’s home to avoid punishment.
Campbell then haunted his brother from then on out. Various guests see Campbell roaming the hallways and report unexplained noises throughout the hotel.
Known to be a trendy wedding venue in Scotland, Dornoch Castle sits peacefully in the historic town of Dornoch. Dornoch Castle was built in the 1500s as the home of the bishops of Caithness. It eventually became a school, jail, and, more recently, a hotel. Today, the hotel has 24 rooms refurbished in the 1970s, but there is a haunted history to the hotel.
The hotel is haunted by Andrew McCornish, executed because he stole sheep. In 1922, the building was exorcised to no avail, as McCornish still roams the halls today. Many guests say they see a man walking the hallways with a weird-looking face, grey stockings, and breeches.
Located in the Royal Burgh of Tain, this hotel sits in the very heart of Scotland. This Victorian building is nestled in sprawling and picturesque 3.5 acres of land and boasts 19 spacious rooms for guests to enjoy.
In 1902, the castle was given a major facelift as the Fowler family refurbished it. However, Mrs Fowler never left the grounds, as guests report having run-ins with her while staying in the hotel.
Many say she seems concerned with the well-being of the castle and tends to the grounds as if she was still in the middle of the building’s rehabilitation.
Many say the building will never be up to her standards, and she will never leave the grounds.
The impressive Scotsman Hotel lies in the Old Town area of the city on North Bridge. Now a luxury 5-star hotel, the building used to serve as the offices for the Scotsman newspaper and the Edinburgh Evening News.
From its busy days at the heart of Edinburgh’s news industry, the luxurious hotel still harbours several spirits from its past. Several keen reporters and staff remain at the hotel today, going about their business in death as they did in life.
One of the ghosts said to haunt this city centre hotel is a printer who died in an accident in the building. His apparition has been seen countless times, roaming the corridors and rooms of the hotel.