Ghosts At A Wedding

A second figure now lurks in the shadows at the back of the Great Hall. A young man. But the lady in white is still moving towards us, her long gown flowing out across the stone floor. She reaches the edge of the assembled gathering.. and holds out a hand.

“Howdy, I’m Ellen.” Another American. Of course.


They had arrived that afternoon from their marriage ceremony in Edinburgh.  Did they elope? I didn’t ask. But they had come over to Scotland alone. If the evening had started oddly, it was now just surreal. As we all sat down to dinner at the long refectory table, a wedding celebration began.

Me, in my jeans, sat next to the bride.

Iain, our business discussion over dinner indefinitely postponed.

A group of American historians in eclectic dress.

And of course, the happy couple. Whose wedding guest list had been entirely pot luck.

Stories were exchanged, toasts made and returned. The wine kept flowing and the food was superb. Remember, it’s a true story. You could never make it up. I just hope the newly weds enjoyed it as much as I.

At 10.00p.m., as promised, it was time for the Ghost Tour. It started pleasantly enough.

The castle was built in 1430 by the first Lord Borthwick: a virtually impregnable baronial keep, with walls 20 feet thick at the base. In 1567 Mary Queen of Scots, and her husband the Earl of Bothwell, sought refuge from marauding hordes with the sixth Lord Borthwick. Nearly a century later it was besieged again, this time by the forces of Oliver Cromwell. The castle walls still bear the cannonball scars.

And then the story gets weird.

A framed picture rests on a table in the Great Hall. The subject of the photograph is seated in a chair. Behind him, a woman in a white dress and a small child. But when the photo was taken, neither of the latter were actually present in the room. Then there’s the gentleman on the minstrel’s gallery who likes to just stand and stare… I try to make out any movement in the gloom.

We make our way up the stone spiral staircase, wedding dress and all, to the Drawing Room on the first floor. Where, it is said, the temperature drops to near zero when the spirit of Mary stands to look from the window. On up the stone staircase to the sinister Garrison on the very top floor, its domed ceiling completely clad in stone. And finally, down to the dungeons deep below the castle. A series of dark and interconnecting rooms where prisoners were once held, tortured and killed. The wine now kept here can be served ready chilled.

The bedrooms, of course, are haunted too. One in particular, but they aren’t saying which. Why? Because it has a guest staying in it tonight. For goodness sake, how much more. Weren’t the clanking chains enough??!


A last wee dram with the bride and groom before going up to bed.

I think I’m going to need it..


Ghosts At A Wedding

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2017-11-06T22:04:17+00:00October 20th, 2012|Tags: |


  1. Natalie October 21, 2012 at 12:56 am - Reply

    I think I’m going to need a wee dram myself before this ends!!

    • Jessica October 21, 2012 at 10:05 am - Reply

      You and me both!

  2. BadPenny October 21, 2012 at 8:32 am - Reply

    This story gets better and better – the wedding dress – the jeans …hilarious !

    We once did the ghost tour in Edinburgh – spooky !

    • Jessica October 21, 2012 at 10:10 am - Reply

      Oh, must do that next time in town. Thanks Penny!

  3. simone October 21, 2012 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    I am on the edge of my seat! Did you have the haunted bedroom? Please tell!!!

    • Jessica October 21, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

      There were plenty of noises in the night..

  4. elaine October 21, 2012 at 7:01 pm - Reply

    Hi jessica – I am still having troube with your comments box – really enjoyed your spooky post

    • Jessica October 21, 2012 at 7:13 pm - Reply

      Hi Elaine.. thanks!
      Could you let me know what the problem is? Hopefully I can fix it.

  5. Anne Dickens October 21, 2012 at 8:38 pm - Reply

    That sounds like absolutely fabulous fun! I hope I get an invite on your next ghost tour ….. 😉 P.S. The Americans must have been in their element.

    • Jessica October 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      Next? 🙂

  6. Rosie October 22, 2012 at 9:10 am - Reply

    Oo-er! shouldn’t have read that just before bedtime! I can imagine this story being made into a scene or two from a film or something like that:)

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 9:43 am - Reply

      Absolutely! The scene is different every night because so much depends on your fellow guests. Everyone is in it together. I struck lucky. I could not have arranged this one if I’d tried!

  7. starproms October 22, 2012 at 6:41 pm - Reply

    That’s a spooky story Jessica.

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Downright scary, Oma!

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