rooms, bloodstained stones and pacts with the Devil have shrouded
Scotland’s Glamis Castle in mystery and hauntings.
Shakepeare’s Macbeth is rumored to have murdered King Duncan
within its walls and Malcom II’s bloody death had stained the floor so
violently that the room was bricked up.
Did the echoes of these events leave a residue that walks at night?
brutal history may have partly stemmed from its own lords misdeeds with
the Devil. One legend tells
of a secret room. The second lord of Glamis, in the fifteenth century, was
well known for his debauched lifestyle.
Famous for gambling, wenching and drinking, he earned the nickname
“Earl Beardie” or “the Wicked Lord.”
One evening, after failing to find someone to play cards with him
on Sunday, he announced that he would play cards with the Devil himself.
The knock on the door immediately afterwards was too much of a
coincidence but he opened it anyway to admit a tall bearded man wearing
asked if he would still like a partner in which to play cards, Earl
Beardie welcomed him into a small room and closed the door. Servants outside could hear shouting and furniture flying as
the men gambled away the evening and into the dark night. At one point, the stranger made a suggestion to which Earl
Beardie agreed. One of the
servants crept close to the door to see what was happening, at which point
the Lord discovered he was being spied upon through the keyhole.
He burst from the room to yell at the servant and when he returned,
the stranger had left and taken Earl Beardie’s soul with him.
Beardie died five years later, his ghost still drunkenly roaming
the halls trapped for eternity to return to the room to play cards with
rooms exist to taunt the curious. During
the eighteenth century, a legend started saying that a room held secret so
horrible that only the earl of Strathmore, his heir and the steward of the
castle would be allowed to view it. The
secret so changed the manner of the lords after seeing it on their 21st
birthday, some refused to acknowledge the room fearing their sanity would
be lost. The most popular
theory today is that the room held the remains of a rightful heir born
deformed and locked away. The
subsequent heirs of his brother, who assumed the title, were shown the man
who grew to adulthood within the tiny room, their earldom resting on the
belief that they were the true inheritors of the title.
Ghost rumors were brought in as a distraction away from the truth
of the room, they were more palatable than what was locked inside. In order to find that hidden room, towels were once hung in
every window of the castle only to find one that had no towel.
No amount of searching has produced a secret entrance to that room.
has its own white or gray lady. She
is believed to be the ghost of Janet Douglas, the wife of the sixth lord
of Glamis, James. After his
death one morning, she was suspected of killing him but in the absence of
evidence, the charges were dropped. She,
however, had gained the reputation of being a witch.
There was no evidence needed for a trial of that kind, so when she
came under suspicion for plotting the murder of the King of Scotland, she
was tried, condemned and executed in Edinburgh in 1537.
Her ghost returned home and now wanders the halls of Glamis,
looking for justice. She is
often seen praying in the small chapel she took refuge in those many years