Craigievar Castle, Aberdeenshire

Craigievar Castle

Description: This seven-storey castle in Alford is an L-shaped tower. With its little turrets and pinkish hue, it looks very much like something out of a fairytale!

Era: It was built in the early 17th Century and has been called the “epitome of the Jacobean Renaissance in Scotland”.

Craigievar was completed by William Forbes, otherwise known as Danzig Willie, in 1626. It was built next to his family’s estate, Fintray, to show off his wealth and status — he’d made a fortune as a merchant in Baltic trade. He created the new castle from an already-existing castle half built on the site, sold to him by the Mortimer family.

– The first William Forbes died in 1627. His son was also called William and was made a Baronet of Nova Scotia by Charles 1st in 1630. In turn his son Red Sir John succeeded him in 1648. He was nicknamed Red because of his complexion and fiery hair colour

– During his residency, Red apparently forced a member of the rival Gordon clan out of the window in The Blue Room, where he fell to his doom

– Queen Victoria visited the castle twice and she signed the visitor’s book on her second visit in 1879

– In 1963 the castle was bought from the Forbes-Sempill family by a consortium of benefactors and presented to the National Trust for Scotland

Ghost ratings:
– The most frequently sighted spirit is rather selective in his choice of when to appear. He is the ghost of a musician, a fiddler who fell into the well at the castle and drowned. He is said to appear only to those who bear the name Forbes

– The Blue Room is known as ‘the ghost room’ on account of the frequent disturbances. Dark figures have been seen here, particularly by the window where one of the Gordon clan fell to his death

– A mysterious apparition has been seen on the stairs, waiting expectantly for someone who never comes

– A man has been spotted in the Great Hall, wandering aimlessly

Spooky experiences:
Many of the supernatural happenings take place in The Blue Room:

– There have been countless testimonies of the temperature dropping suddenly and music coming from within

– Disembodied footsteps have been heard climbing the staircase to this room

– The door often opens and closes on its own

– One of the guides witnessed his torch move 4 or 5 feet across the floor of the room by itself

– On the 4th floor the carpet is said to move erratically

– In the School Room there have been reports of a ghostly pair of hands touching guides and tourists

– Throughout the entire castle, footsteps echo around the corridors and larger rooms

 First Broadcast: 28th June 2005

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