Lady Ghosts of Crathes Castle

Crathes Castle was built in the 16th century by Alexander Burnett on lands that were once the Royal Forest of Drum in northern Scotland. It is a classic Scottish Tower House-style castle. Construction began in 1553 but was delayed several times due to political problems with Mary, Queen of Scots, and finally completed in 1596.

Crathes Castle


The Burnetts of Leys originally had a house on a nearby Loch before building Crathes Castle. The move was said to have been made to distance themselves from a horrific event, resulting in the death of a woman whose spirit followed them to Crathes Castle.

The laird of Ley died, leaving his son, Alexander, in the care of his domineering mother, Lady Agnes. Alexander fell in love with a distant cousin, Bertha, who had been entrusted to them for a time. Alexander was away for a time, and when he eventually returned, he found his beloved Bertha on her deathbed. In his grief, he reached for a nearby goblet of wine, perhaps to share the last drink of his love, when his mother grabbed the goblet from his hand and tossed it out the window before he could drink. Then, Alexander realized his mother had poisoned the girl, wanting Alexander to marry into a Noble family.

Months later, Bertha's father arrived to take Bertha home, only to find out about her death. Lady Agnes tried to explain, and the room turned cold. Then Lady Agnes started to point and screamed, "She comes! She comes!" And then fell dead to the floor. The Ley family abandoned the old house on the Loch and moved to Crathes Castle to start anew, but on the anniversary of Bertha's death, a phantom spirit crosses from the old home of Leys to Crathes Castle. Some say it is Bertha, and others, Lady Agnes.

A second female spirit calls Crathes Castle home as well. A Burnett daughter in the 18th century had an affair with one of the castle servants, resulting in a child. The servant was dismissed and sent away, but the girl and her newborn child vanished from history. It was in the mid-19th century that the mystery was solved when a worker doing some upgrading in the Green Room moved the fireplace hearthstone and discovered the skeleton of an adult girl and her newborn child. The ghost of a Green Lady holding her child roams the castle ever since, being seen walking across the room and vanishing into the fireplace, giving the room its name. It is said her appearance is a precursor to troubled times or death for a member of the Burnett family.