Ghosts of Corgarff Castle

Corgarff Castle is set in the remote hills of Aberdeenshire on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park. The 16th century castle has two distinct histories, the first being a comfortable residence to the Forbes family. After the Battle of Culloden in 1746, it was refurbished as a barracks to garrison Redcoats patrolling Northeast Scotland for Jacobite sympathizers.

Corgarff Castle


The Forbes and Gordon families were influential in the region and often feuded. The Forbes attacked the Gordons at Druminnor Castle, and then a battle was fought at Tillyangus, where the Gordons routed the Forbes. The Forbes returned to their castle at Corgarff, and the Gordons soon followed, unsatisfied with the victory at Tillyangus.

Adam Gordon from nearby Auchindoun Castle raided the Forbes lands, and he and his men surrounded Corgarff Castle to take Alexander Forbes of Towie to hold him accountable for the initial attack. Most of the men, including Forbes of Towie, were away and not at Corgarff Castle, but his wife Margaret Campbell was there and refused entry to the Gordons. Gordon and his men piled wood around the castle and set it ablaze. The smoke and flames killed all 27 people in the castle, mostly women and children, including Margaret and their young son. The tale is told in the old ballad of Edom o' Gordon.

It is said that Corgarff Castle is haunted. Ghostly screams and crying seem to emanate from the Redcoat Barracks rooms that used to be the hall and living area in those early years when Forbes lived in the castle. Perhaps it is Margaret and the others who perished in the fire all those years ago.

In 2014, an English couple visited the Northern Scotland countryside and came across Corgarff Castle. They stopped for a visit and explored the castle. Upon climbing the steps to the garret (attic level), the lady got a strong feeling that they were not alone. She felt uneasy and hesitated to enter the rooms on the upper floor, but her husband persisted, so they entered briefly and then returned to the first floor. She asked the castle custodian if the castle was haunted, and he said no. Then she asked again, and he asked her what she saw. She said she saw nothing but just felt a presence. The custodian then noted that on a few occasions, different custodians had gone to the garret to ensure the castle was empty just before closing time and had come across a lady standing in the corner of the room. And when they asked her to leave, she would vanish into thin air.