Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ghostly Residents of Culzean Castle

Culzean Castle with the Fair Coves engraving by William Miller

Overlooking the Firth of Clyde, in Aryshire, Scotland, stands a mighty fortress...”

First known as Coif Castle (House of Cove) in the fifteenth century, and then Cullean Castle in the seventeenth century, castle Culzean took on its present name, during the eighteenth century.

Recorded history first speaks of Culzean castle in 1569. At this time, the 4th Earl of Cassillis, member of the powerful, ancient Scottish clan Kennedy, gave the estate to his brother, Sir Thomas Kennedy.

As you can imagine, the castle is home to several ghostly residents...

Some say they have heard a piper who plays his pipes on stormy evenings, his mournful melodies mixing with the sounds of howling winds and the crashing of thunderous waves. However, he also plays when the castle folk celebrate the marriage of a clan member.

An eerie mist ascending the staircase is a common sight within the castle. There are those who believe this is the ghost of a woman, (a princess, some say,) foully murdered in the green room. There are those who have witnessed the shade of another lovely young woman, dressed in a ball gown... And have I mentioned the presence that lurks near the dungeon?

One final legend connected to a resident of Culzean, but not the castle itself... According to this story, Sir John Cathcart, reported to have murdered his wife, kidnapped May Kennedy, with the intent to murder her as well. (I’ve yet to find a reason for his murderous tendencies...) Once inside Carelton Castle where Cathcart resides, May gets wind of his plans and manages to thwart them by pushing the knight over the cliffs and to his death. Despite his mortal demise, Cathcart has refused to leave his home, and haunts its ruins to this very day...

So if you will, on those dark and dreary October nights... plan a visit to Culzean. Perhaps you'll encounter an ethereal resident or two as well.


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