I suppose we can't speak of spectral knights and castles inhabited by ghosts without mentioning a haunted battlefield or two, if even briefly...
And what is more appropriate to begin our July "Spirit of the Knight" book tour guest blogs than the highly revered, greatly respected, Culloden Moor, near Inverness. Here, amidst the heavy rain on this boggy day of April 16th, in the year 1746, government troops decimated every man comprising Bonnie Prince Charlie's rebel forces. These forces were made up of brave Scotsmen from clans such as the Frasers, the Stuarts and the MacDonalds, who wanted nothing more than to see a Stuart return to the throne. Fate would not will it so. Even after the bloody battle concluded, the work of death did not. The slaughter continued until every man loyal to Prince Charlie died. It took but 40 minutes.
Now they say, on each anniversary of this brutal battle, the army fights yet again. The clanking of swords, battle cries, and the moans of the wounded are heard echoing throughout the moor. Witnesses often report seeing a tall man dressed in a tartan. He is obviously distraught and just before he disappears he is heard to whisper, "defeated..."
Another story often retold is that of a woman who, over six decades ago, spied a tartan lying atop one of the graves. She said that when she peeked beneath it, she saw the ghostly form of a seriously wounded soldier. I couldn't help but wonder if he asked for or even wanted her help?
One of the more sorrowful legends of Culloden Moor is the silence that prevails over the battle site. Birds will not sing here, nor will the heather, which grows abundantly nearby, cover the graves of the Jacobites.
Given its history, I'm not so sure I'd have the heart to visit Culloden... Would you?