Things That Go Bump. The End!

I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

And left the light on all night.


It’s extraordinary how many things sound like clanking chains when you’re listening out for them. The central heating pipes cooling down. Floor boards creaking as people move about in other rooms. Then there’s the wind that howls around the building. I did hear moaning. And felt an ice cold hand grip my heart.. until I remembered that the newly weds were in the room directly below.

The furniture, which gave such character by day, takes on a wholly different persona at night. Heavy oak wardrobes cast deep shadows, plenty of places for things to lurk. Draughts of air lift curtains and the drapes on the bed. Dark portraits of medieval lords adorn the walls, with those eyes that seem to follow you around the room. Dawn seemed a very long way off.


I’d booked in for two nights. A fact that I pondered long and hard over breakfast. The castle’s jovial manager came over to refill my coffee. “Aye, we’re upgrading you tonight, the Bothwell Room”. I could hardly admit that I’d bottled it.


I joined the ghost tour again. Mostly to avoid sitting in the Great Hall alone. But it held an interesting twist. As there were fewer of us, a grand total of five, the tour ended not in the dungeons but up on the roof. Captives of olde no longer deemed useful were provided the opportunity of the ‘prisoners leap’. A jump between the two towers of the castle. If they made it, they were set free. Doesn’t look much of a gap? It’s about 12 feet. So to make things more sporting, their ankles and wrists were shackled. It saved on the paperwork no doubt. Not many release passes were needed.


And so, to rest again in the Bothwell Bedchamber. A state room fit for the husband of Mary Queen of Scots. The furniture was bigger and cast deeper shadows. The bed was a four poster with thicker and heavier drapes. The eyes in the portrait of Bothwell seemed even more sinister than the last.

But I was spared the clanking chains. So that was good? Well no. The entrance to the Bothwell Room is directly off the Drawing Room, the place where Mary likes to stroll. But even that wasn’t the worst bit, oooh no. Because this room has a secret inner door. Bothwell’s escape route. Nobody was saying where the private staircase led, or what might prowl down there as darkness fell.

I didn’t get a wink of sleep.

And left the light on all night.


Things That Go Bump

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2017-11-06T22:05:12+00:00October 22nd, 2012|Tags: |


  1. BadPenny October 22, 2012 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    I don’t think I’d want an upgrade ! I’d suggest a midnight feast in the bar & made sure everyone stayed there together ALL NIGHT !!!

    Well we know you lived to tell the Tale … !

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      I’ve just been reading the reviews on Trip Advisor – most of them excellent – and one couple DID stay downstairs most of the night! I have been back since, and would go again… just not on my own!

  2. simone October 22, 2012 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    I think I would have suggested that the five of us stay up all night playing cards or something. The prisoners leap sounds horrific! I am glad the only moaning you heard was from the newly weds!!!

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      In answer to your previous question, it is the Red Room that is the most haunted. I didn’t have that one. Thank goodness! Legend has it that one of the Borthwicks got a bit too friendly with a serving wench and killed her in that room to remove the evidence. Perhaps unsurprisingly, she does not rest easy!

  3. Susan T October 22, 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

    I have some Scottish ancestors and we sometimes go up to the borders to do a bit of rummaging around. The first time we went we stopped at a ruined Kirk, and I could have sworn I could hear voices singing.. There has been a lot of bloodshed that side of the border. I am not at all surprised that some roam a bit. You were much braver than I would have been.

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 7:51 pm - Reply

      I didn’t feel very brave..
      It’s a lovely part of the world. I could easily live in Scotland.

  4. BadPenny October 22, 2012 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    One of the weirdest nights I’ve ever spent was during a Hurricaine… I was working as a nanny in the Caribbean & a massive hurricaine was due ( Hugo ) The dad was a hotel manager & some guests couldn’t get off the island… the wife ran a small school. We all camped out in the bar listening to the incredible howling winds outside & told ghost stories all night !!!
    I think I was the first to utter…” perhaps we could have a drink… pppplease ?!!!”

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Great story! And I bet really scary too. I hope that was a case of drinks on the house!

  5. finlaygrayjohn October 22, 2012 at 9:32 pm - Reply

    I hate reading ghostly stories when I need to go out with the dogs in the dark
    years ago all four (then) stopped and all looked at a point in a garden where nothing could be seen
    their eyes NEVER left one spot around 5 feet from the ground….
    very very un nerving!

    • Jessica October 22, 2012 at 9:48 pm - Reply

      Oo-er. They do say that animals are far more sensitive to such things than we are.
      Have a nice walk..
      Sorry John, I’ve stopped now 🙂

  6. Sue October 23, 2012 at 10:08 am - Reply

    That’s somewhere I don’t think I’ll be visiting.

    Nice bright cosy cottages and hotels for me everytime. You were very brave staying in a room on your own.

    Sue xx

    • Jessica October 23, 2012 at 10:38 am - Reply

      At the time I was staying in hotels most nights of the week and wanted a change. I got that!
      But I wasn’t feeling very brave..

  7. Denise October 23, 2012 at 11:33 am - Reply

    I too would have left the light on – and had a stiff brandy before I attempted sleep.

    • Jessica October 23, 2012 at 1:47 pm - Reply

      Or several wee drams!

  8. Rosie October 23, 2012 at 3:37 pm - Reply

    I’ve been known to leave the light on all night in far less spooky hotels when I’ve been on my own, I don’t think I’d have been half as brave as you in staying there. What a super story though – I can envisage the Bothwell Bedchamber from your description:)

    • Jessica October 23, 2012 at 4:19 pm - Reply

      Thanks Rosie. I went back (with Mike!) a couple of years later, and that’s a story worth telling too. But I’ve given myself, and maybe others, enough nightmares for the moment, so perhaps leave that one for a while!

  9. elaine October 23, 2012 at 4:54 pm - Reply

    A night at a Premier Inn sounds a whole better bet to me.

    • Jessica October 23, 2012 at 5:08 pm - Reply

      Guess where I went the following week?? 🙂

  10. wherethejourneytakesme October 25, 2012 at 8:19 pm - Reply

    Your story makes Ye Old Travel Lodge seem positively inviting!
    I lived in a large Regency house in Cheltenham in the seventies and there were rumours that it had a ghost but we didn’t really believe it until one night…. when all fellow students were sat around the table in the large kitchen having our tea and chatting. The door between the hallway and the kitchen was firmly shut but we could see down the hallway past the stairs to the front door through the glass panel in the top half of the door. When our friend Chris came in through the front door we all looked up but as he closed the door behind him the doorknob from the hall side of the kitchen door just flew off down the hall missing Chris by inches and hitting and denting the wall with quite a force just as if someone had thrown it We were all quite stunned at this event as we knew it wasn’t any of us! I certainly made sure that I never slept in the house on my own ever again.

    • Jessica October 25, 2012 at 9:29 pm - Reply

      OMG. I think I’d have been moving out..

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