In the wee small hours of
the morning the tragic figure of Janet Dalrymple haunts the ruins of her
death place. Her nightgown splashed in her bridegroom’s blood, she
wanders the ancient castle, perhaps reliving the path to her insanity and
trapped within its horror.
had loved the penniless Archibald, third Lord Rutherford though her
parents forbade a union. Forced
by duty to her parents to marry David Dunbar, the heir to Sir David Dunbar
of Baldoon, she acquiesced in a ceremony at Carsecleugh Castle, her family
honeymoon couple didn’t quite hit it off, though there are rumors of
what actually happened that night the facts are that the door was broken
down by relatives when hearing screams from the bridal chamber.
Inside, they found Dunbar lying on the floor, blood streaming from
his body from stab wounds and Janet huddled in a chimney corner.
Her bedclothes had been drenched in blood and her mind tortured
with madness. Did she stab her husband when he had forced his “rights as
husband”? Did the lovelorn
Archibald attack Dunbar after hiding in the shadows?
Or is it possible that local tradition is correct when saying the
Devil had stabbed Dunbar and drove Janet to insanity?
While Dunbar recovered from his wounds, Janet did not escape the shock of the night. She died shortly afterwards on September 12th, 1669. Dunbar refused to discuss the night’s tragedy so we are left with a mystery and madness to walk the silent ruins of Baldoon Castle on soft summer nights.