Your Shopping Cart

It appears that your cart is currently empty!


Scotland's Spooky History

Scotland is full of rich tales, myths and legends but some of Scotland’s history is down right spooky. With Halloween around the corner, we thought it would be a good idea to take a look back at some of Scotland's most haunted stories. Halloween after all, was invented in Scotland. 


Samhain (translation: Summer’s End) was a Gaelic festival that symbolised the end of the harvest season. It was believed that the link between the dead and living during Samhain was so strong that the dead could mix with the living and would disguise themselves as children. The dead would then visit people's homes asking for food or money and anyone who turned them away empty-handed would be at risk of a curse. Sound familiar? Maybe it’s time to stock up on sweets, just in case.

“Tam O’Shanter”

“Tam O’Shanter” by the famous Robert Burns is another spooky Scottish tale that deserves a mention. The story describes one market day where Tam stayed well into the “Witching Hour”. On his way home, as he reached the Alloway Auld Kirk, he encountered a coven of witches dancing in the grounds of the Kirk, around the Devil himself, who was playing the bagpipes. Drunken Tam alerted the witches to his presence and a chase ensued. Tam headed for the River Doon knowing witches couldn’t cross water but during the chase one of the witches was able to grab his horse's tail and blasted it off with a bolt of lightning before he was able to cross the river. It’s said that the horse's tail never grew back. Many doubt the story of Tam O’Shanter, people claim that Tam was just too drunk and made up a story his superstitious wife wouldn’t question. Either way, the story has survived the test of time and thanks to Burn’s poem, we have Tammy hatsSpooky Scotland - MacGregor and MacDuff

Supernatural Highlands

The highlands were the place of many of Scotland's bloodiest battles and as a result, are said to be rife with supernatural activities. The Glencoe massacre is one such event that has spawned a ghostly tale. Following the first Jacobite Uprising, a platoon of government soldiers were staying the night with Clan MacDonald who had graciously provided them shelter from the Scottish winter. During the night the platoon of soldiers were ordered to murder the Clan members while they slept. Some MacDonalds managed to escape but succumbed to the elements a short time later. It’s said that Glencoe visitors have been witness to ghostly apparitions re-enacting the horrors of the massacre. It’s also said that on a quiet night, you can hear the screams of the MacDonalds. Similarly, visitors to Culloden battlefield as well as staff are reported to have seen a lonely highlander haunting the moor where 1250 Jacobites died. It’s said that on a quiet night you can also hear the screams and clashes of swords from that fateful day. 

Greyfriars Kirkyard

The highlands aren’t the only place in Scotland with spooky stories. Edinburgh is considered one of the worlds most haunted cities and possibly the spookiest of all is the story of Greyfriars Kirkyard. Sir George Mackenzie was infamous for his brutality and gained the nickname “Bluidy Mackenzie” after he tortured and killed hundreds of people in the name of the King. The Black Mausoleum that looms at the back of the yard contains Mackenzie’s remains and, if the stories are to be believed, his poltergeist. Visitors to the graveyard have been physically pushed to the ground when walking past Mackenzie’s tomb, as well as scratched, bruised and been the recipients of objects thrown at their heads. A homeless man was even swallowed by a sinkhole that opened up as he walked towards MacKenzie’s coffin, seeking shelter from the weather. A section of the Kirkyard has been sectioned off to the public and the Mackenzie Mausoleum has been padlocked to the public ever since. However, the Mackenzie poltergeist is said to still haunt the graveyard. 

Jenny wi’ the Airn Teeth

Maybe not as famous for its ghostly tales but Glasgow still has plenty of unexplained happenings. ‘Jenny wi’ the Airn Teeth’ was a demonic hag from the 19th century who haunted Glasgow Green for centuries. Armed with metal fangs, “Jenny” would attack unsuspecting children and drag them back to her lair in the Necropolis. One night in the 1950’s hundreds of children marched into the Southern Necropolis, armed with whatever they could find, looking for the seven-foot-tall vampire. The children believed this vampire was responsible for the disappearance of two young boys in the area. Despite nights of searching, the children never found Jenny and the incident was put down to the children being heavily influenced by a comic book, despite no comic at the time ever featuring such a monster.

What’s your favourite spooky Scottish story? Will you be dawning a kilt outfit this Halloween and going to the par​​ty as a ghostly highlander? Let us know. 

Haunted Scotland - MacGregor and MacDuff