Fyvie Castle is an 800 year old fortress located in the village of Fyvie near Turriff. Over the years the Castle was residence to a succession of clan families, consisting of Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Leith. During the course, each clan had constructed a new tower to the Castle, making it one of the largest and most magnificent castles in Scotland, with a total of 109 rooms. Fyvie Castle is also home to the widest turnpike staircase at 10ft wide, which is rather impressive.
Within the walls of the Castle, you will find an incredible collection of antiquities, armour and an impressive portrait collection adorning the walls, including works by Raeburn, Batoni, Romney, Gainsborough, Opie, Lawrence and Hoppner. While walking the corridors and exploring the rooms, you can almost feel the presence of its past come alive. Perhaps the reason for this is that nowadays it is said that the only residence of the Castle, are the ghosts that haunt it.
There have been so many sightings and reports over the years that it is very hard to disagree that this Castle is haunted, it is ranked amongst the most haunted castles in Britain and has appeared on the TV series ‘Most Haunted’. When speaking with Leslie at Fyvie, she informed us that they have recorded nine different ghosts. Some have been sighted by the staff, the public and by the attendees of paranormal nights that take place within the castle.
The most popular occurrences are with ‘The Green Lady’, who is the ghost that communicates the most, and is even referred to as ‘head ghost’, who keeps the others in check. The Green Lady, was once known as Lilias Drummond who was married to Alexander Seton. It is said that her husband cruelly held her captive in ‘The Chartered Room’ to punish her for failing to provide a son and heir. A rescue was attempted but failed and instead Lilias was forced to watch her family members being killed and their body parts being flung past the window in the room in which she was held. Lilias eventually starved to death. This room is now referred to as ‘The Murder Room’.
Alexander Seton went on to remarry, and on the night of his wedding, ghostly screams were heard and scratching from outside the window of their marital bedchamber. When morning rose, they looked outside the window, where they found ‘Lilias Drummond’ scratched into the stone window sill, which can still be seen to this day.
On many of the paranormal nights that take place, the mediums have successfully communicated with her and during this conversation The Green Lady was asked “Do you want to hurt us?”, in which she responded “no”, she was then asked “Does anyone here want to hurt us”, to which she responded “yes!”. She advised that another ghost that lives in the castle is in fact malicious and is the only harmful ghost there, and his name is John Pollock. Thankfully The Green Lady said not to worry as she wouldn’t let him harm anyone, which is where her title of ‘head ghost’ comes from. If you are brave enough and want to be in the presence of John you will find him in the library, this is also where his grisly death mask is on display, which shows the marks around his neck in which he was hung, and the reason for his hanging was for murder. For many visitors who are sensitive to spirits, before knowing of this room they find that when approaching the library they cannot go any further as the negative feelings that surround it are so strong, with some even claiming to feel sick, and refuse to go in.
Another ghost that can often be seen is Annie, she is a little girl that loves to play on the stairs, and this sighting can even be found on film. Another dark figure was sighted taking her hand and took her away up the stairs. There are no files on record of a little girl called Annie or where she came from, but she has also made contact and when asked if she liked visitors to the castle, she responded “Yes, because I’ve got people to play with,” so be sure to say hello to Annie when you are climbing the stairs.
Many of the tour guides have become familiar with the smells of the ghosts, and notice these become more apparent when they have guests on their tours who are more sensitive to spirits. The smell of roses can be smelt in the presence of ‘The Green Lady’ and there is also the ghost of a man who smokes cigars, which can also become a very strong smell. It is also very common for visitors to experience their ears popping when the spirits are around.
Fyvie Castle has a very interesting legend about ‘The Weeping Stones’. It is said that when the castle was being built, stones were removed from church lands by demolishing a chapel, but they fell into the river. A man called Thomas the Rhymer was looking to shelter in the castle and the laird at the time refused his entry, as a result of this Rhymer placed a curse on the castle and said that unless the three stones were recovered, the castle and estate would never descend in direct line – meaning there would be no first born son to be the heir. All three stones have never been recovered, there is one in the charter room, while another is reported to be built into the foundations, with the third said to still be in the river, and with that said there has never been a first born son and heir.
Also beneath the Charter Room where one of ‘The Weeping Stones’ rest, is a secret dungeon, It is said that it should never be opened for fear of the curse on the Laird. Anyone who opens the dungeon will mean death for the laird and blindness for his wife. Two Lairds ignored the warnings and opened the door. Both died, one wife went blind, and the second wife had problems with her sight thereafter. Thankfully these days the dungeon is inaccessible.