Scotland: a land of rugged landscapes, ancient castles, and a history steeped in mystery, witchcraft and intrigue. But it's not just the breathtaking scenery that draws visitors; Scotland is also a top dark tourist destination, enticing thrill-seekers with its countless ghost stories and haunted locales.

In this blog, we'll unveil the most famous Scottish ghost stories proving exactly why Scotland is one of the best dark tourism destinations before unveiling the 13 most haunted Scotland hotels perfect for any dark tourists looking to get up close and personal with Scotland's most famous ghosts. But be warned, this haunted hotel experience isn't for everyone...

What are the Most Famous Scottish Ghost Stories?

Delve into the supernatural realms as we uncover some of Scotland's most infamous ghost stories, steeped in legend and lore that have haunted the imaginations of generations:

1. The Banshee of Glencoe

glencoe is one of the most haunted places in scotland
Legend has it that the rugged glens of Glencoe are haunted by the mournful wails of the Banshee, a spectral harbinger of death. Locals believe that her eerie cries foretell an impending tragedy, echoing through the mist-shrouded valleys as a warning to those who dare to tread too close to the edge of fate.

2. The Kelpies of Loch Ness

a boat on loch ness - one of the most haunted scottish places
Another famous Scottish ghost story takes us to the ever-mysterious Loch Ness. Beneath the dark waters of Loch Ness, lurk the fearsome Kelpies, shape-shifting water spirits said to take the form of majestic horses. Tales abound of unsuspecting travellers lured to their deaths by these evil mythical creatures, only to be dragged beneath the surface to a watery grave.

3. The Ghosts of Tomnahurich Graveyard

inverness graveyard is one of the most haunted places in scotland
In the shadow of Inverness lies Tomnahurich Hill, crowned by the ancient Tomnahurich Cemetery, where the veil between the worlds grows thin. Legend has it that the mist-shrouded graveyard is haunted by a myriad of restless spirits, their ethereal forms glimpsed among the moss-covered tombstones on moonlit nights. From lost souls seeking redemption to vengeful spectres bound by unfinished business, the ghosts of Tomnahurich are said to wander the hallowed grounds, their presence felt by those who dare to venture into the realm of the supernatural. Whether you believe in ghosts or not, the eerie atmosphere of Tomnahurich Cemetery is sure to send shivers down your spine and leave you questioning the mysteries of the afterlife. If you decide to visit this haunted spot, don't miss the chance to climb the hill and enjoy panoramic views of Inverness.

4. The Grey Lady of Glamis Castle

Glamis Castle is said to be home to the Grey Lady, a ghostly apparition rumoured to be the spirit of Lady Janet Douglas, who met a tragic end within the castle's walls. Her restless soul is said to wander the corridors, her presence felt by those who dare to explore the castle's haunted chambers.

5. The Phantom Piper of Edinburgh Castle

High atop the battlements of Edinburgh Castle, the haunting strains of a phantom piper are said to echo through the night. Legend has it that the ghostly musician is the spirit of a doomed piper who vanished without a trace while exploring the castle's labyrinthine passages centuries ago.

6. The Cursing Stones of Culloden Battlefield

go to culloden battlefield as one of the most haunted places in scotland
At Culloden Battlefield, where the fate of Scotland was sealed in blood, lies a circle of ancient stones known as the Cursing Stones. According to legend, those who dare to touch the stones risk invoking the wrath of the spirits of the fallen, cursed to wander the moors for eternity.

7. The Devil's Staircase of Glen Coe

Another famous Scottish ghost story takes us once again to Glen Coe. The Devil's Staircase, a treacherous mountain pass steeped in legend and tragedy, is as spooky as the name suggest. Locals believe that the spirits of those who perished in the harsh wilderness still roam the slopes, their ghostly forms glimpsed through the swirling mists of time.

These are just a few examples of the many ghost stories that haunt the ancient land of Scotland, where every shadow hides a secret and every whisper carries the echo of the past. Whether you believe in the supernatural or not, the rich tapestry of Scottish folklore is sure to captivate and intrigue, weaving a spellbinding tale of mystery and magic that transcends the boundaries of time and space. But without further ado, let's unveil Scotland's most haunted hotels, where every creak of the floorboards and flicker of candlelight tells a tale of the supernatural that covers.

The 13 Most Haunted Scotland Hotels

Haunted Hotels in Edinburgh

1. The Scotsman Hotel

one of the most haunted hotels in scotland is the scotman in edinburgh
Housed within the former offices of The Scotsman newspaper, this luxurious hotel boasts a rich history and a reputation for ghostly encounters. Guests at the Scotsman have reported sightings of apparitions and strange occurrences, including a phantom printer and phantom forger. It's no surprise given this haunted Edinburgh hotel's proximity to the historic (and famously haunted) Royal Mile. Dark tourists staying at this haunted hotel will enjoy nearby attractions like the terrifying Edinburgh vaults where you can learn more about the city's dark history of plague and persecution and offer a spine-chilling exploration of the city's past.

2. The Witchery by the Castle

Nestled at the foot of the looming Edinburgh Castle, The Witchery by the Castle is renowned for its opulent d├ęcor and eerie atmosphere. Dating back to the 16th century, this haunted Edinburgh hotel is said to be haunted by the spirits of past residents and guests. Visitors have reported strange noises, mysterious shadows, and even encounters with apparitions. With its rich history and ghostly reputation, The Witchery offers a truly unforgettable experience for those brave enough to spend the night. Nearby, the imposing presence of Edinburgh Castle adds to the hotel's allure, while the city's ghost tours offer a spine-tingling exploration of Edinburgh's haunted past.

3. Borthwick Castle

Borthwick Castle is one of the most haunted Scotland hotels

Next on our list of the most haunted hotels in Scotland is Borthwick Castle, a creepy fortress dating back to the 15th century, is steeped in history and legend. This formidable stronghold has witnessed centuries of intrigue, including a notable visit from Mary Queen of Scots in 1567. Legend has it that Mary Queen of Scots sought refuge within the castle's walls, adding to its mystique and allure. Over the years, guests and staff have reported ghostly encounters, from phantom footsteps echoing in the corridors to sightings of shadowy figures roaming the nearby graveyard. Borthwick Castle offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Scotland's rich history and uncover its haunted past. Nearby, the picturesque landscapes of the Scottish Borders provide a scenic backdrop for exploring the region's historic sites and mysterious legends.

4. Dalhousie Castle Hotel

Nestled on the banks of the River Esk, Dalhousie Castle Hotel exudes medieval charm and is steeped in history. Dating back to the 13th century, this majestic castle has welcomed a host of illustrious guests over the centuries, including King Edward I and Queen Victoria. However, it's not just the living who roam the halls of Dalhousie Castle; the spirits of past residents are said to linger within its ancient walls. One notable ghost is the "Grey Lady," believed to be the spirit of Lady Catherine, who tragically died in the castle. Guests have reported sightings of her ghostly apparition, as well as other unexplained phenomena such as mysterious footsteps and cold spots. Despite its haunted hotel reputation, Dalhousie Castle Hotel offers luxurious accommodation and modern amenities, making it an ideal base for exploring the nearby attractions, including Rosslyn Chapel with its intricate carvings and mysterious symbolism.

5. Radisson Blu Hotel, Edinburgh

Located in the heart of Edinburgh's historic Old Town, the Radisson Blu Hotel offers modern luxury with a side of paranormal intrigue. This stylish hotel occupies a prime spot on the city's iconic Royal Mile, making it the perfect base for exploring Edinburgh's haunted past. While the Radisson Blu may not boast centuries-old ghosts like some of its counterparts, guests and staff have reported eerie occurrences within its sleek confines. From unexplained noises in When staying at this haunted Edinburgh hotel, make sure you nip down to the Banshee Labyrinth, Scotland's most haunted pub. It's rumoured to be haunted by a banshee and poltergeist who throws glasses across the room, so watch out if you're brave enough to go.

Haunted Hotels in Stirling

6. Airth Castle Hotel

airth hotel - one of the most haunted hotels in Scotland
Nestled amidst the picturesque countryside of Airth, this haunted Scotland hotel offers a blend of old-world charm and ghostly intrigue. Dating back to the 14th century, Airth Castle is rumoured to be the "house" of a few resident ghosts. Among them are the spirits of a nanny and two children who tragically perished in a fire, their spectral presence still felt within the castle's walls. Guests at this haunted Scottish hotel have reported encounters with a ghostly dog and even hearing children's voices echoing through the halls. Despite its eerie reputation, Airth Castle Hotel offers a warm welcome and comfortable accommodations for those brave enough to spend the night.

7. Golden Lion Hotel

Next on our list of haunted Stirling hotels is the Golden Lion Hotel that offers a blend of traditional Scottish hospitality and ghostly tales. Dating back to the early 19th century, this haunted hotel is rumoured to be haunted by several spirits. Guests and staff alike have reported eerie occurrences, including mysterious footsteps echoing in the corridors and inexplicable cold spots in certain rooms. While the exact identities of the ghosts remain shrouded in mystery, their presence adds an extra layer of intrigue to this historic establishment. Despite its haunted reputation, the Golden Lion Hotel welcomes guests with warm hospitality and comfortable accommodations. And with its central location, it's the perfect base for exploring Stirling's many haunted attractions, including the imposing Stirling Castle and the historic Battle of Stirling Bridge site.

Haunted Hotels in Aberdeenshire

8. The Fife Arms Hotel

Next on our list of haunted Scotland hotels combines luxury with ghostly tales. The Fife Arms Hotel s home to a spectral resident known as "The Green Lady." Shrouded in mystery, her ethereal presence has been felt by guests and staff alike, adding an extra layer of intrigue to this already enchanting destination. Surrounded by the rugged beauty of the Cairngorms National Park, the Fife Arms Hotel offers a retreat like no other. Whether you're exploring the nearby Braemar Castle, with its turreted towers and imposing battlements steeped in centuries of history, or simply indulging in the hotel's luxurious amenities, every moment spent here is infused with a sense of wonder and possibility.

Haunted Hotels in the Highlands

9. Atholl Palace Hotel

atholl palace hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in scotland
Nestled amidst the picturesque Scottish Highlands, this spooky Scottish hotel is said to be haunted by a mischievous spirit known as "The Grey Lady." Nearby Blair Castle, with its storied past, offers a glimpse into Scotland's turbulent history and is a must-see haunted spot for any avid dark tourists.

10. Tulloch Castle

Experience the epitome of haunted hotels in Scotland with Tulloch Castle, a centuries-old fortress nestled in the misty Highlands. Dating back to the 12th century, this eerie abode is steeped in ghostly lore, boasting chilling encounters and spectral sightings that lure adventurous guests seeking a spine-tingling experience. From phantom footsteps echoing through its ancient halls to the legendary tale of the "Green Lady," whose mournful presence haunts every corner, Tulloch Castle promises an unforgettable haunted hotel stay for those brave enough to delve into its haunted depths. Embark on a journey into darkness and discover the secrets of one of Scotland's most notorious haunted destinations.

Who was the Green Lady at the Tulloch Castle?

The legend of the "Green Lady" at Tulloch Castle dates back centuries. She is said to have been a noblewoman deeply in love with a knight who perished in battle, leaving her heartbroken. Her spirit, forever bound to the castle, roams its halls in mourning, clad in a flowing green gown. Her tale, steeped in tragedy and lost love, adds a haunting allure to Tulloch Castle's storied past, captivating visitors seeking a glimpse into Scotland's haunted history.

11. Castle Stuart

castle stuart is one of the most haunted hotels in scotland
This imposing 17th-century castle overlooking the Moray Firth is rumoured to be haunted by the ghost of a young girl who tragically died in a fire centuries ago. Guests have reported strange noises and eerie apparitions, adding to the castle's mystique. Nearby, the atmospheric ruins of Fort George, a historic military fortress, offer a haunting backdrop for those seeking to explore the darker side of Scotland's past.

12. The Skye Inn

Prepare to delve into the realms of the supernatural as we unveil one of Scotland's most haunted hotels, The Skye Inn. Tucked away amidst the haunted landscapes of the Isle of Skye, this haunted Scottish inn exudes an otherworldly charm that draws visitors from far and wide. Step through the creaking doorways of The Skye Inn and you'll find yourself immersed in a world where ghostly tales intertwine with the rich tapestry of Scottish history. Dating back centuries, this historic inn has accumulated a plethora of spectral residents, each with their own story to tell.

Whispers of apparitions wandering the dimly lit corridors, phantom footsteps echoing in the dead of night, and the chilling sensation of an unseen presence are just a few of the eerie encounters reported by guests brave enough to spend the night. Among the most famous Scottish ghost stories is that of the Skye Specter, a mysterious figure said to drift silently through the halls, leaving a trail of cold spots and hair-raising encounters in its wake. Many believe this spectral entity to be the restless spirit of a long-departed traveler, forever bound to The Skye Inn by some unfinished business from beyond the grave. This haunted hotel in the Highlands is also dog-friendly meaning you can take your pooch along for protection.

13. Culloden House Hotel

culloden house hotel is one of the most haunted hotels in scotland
Dating back to the 18th century, the Culloden House Hotel exudes an air of timeless beauty, its walls echoing with centuries of whispered secrets and spectral encounters. But what truly sets Culloden House Hotel apart is its reputation as one of the most haunted destinations in Scotland. The grounds are said to be haunted by the restless spirits of fallen warriors, their spectral forms glimpsed among the shadows as twilight falls over Culloden battlefield.

Guests staying within the hallowed halls of Culloden House have reported a myriad of Scottish ghost stories, from inexplicable cold drafts to fleeting glimpses of apparitions wandering the corridors at night. Some claim to have heard the distant echoes of battle cries, carried on the Highland winds like a haunting lament for those lost in the tumult of history. Among the most famous spectral residents is the ghost of Duncan Forbes, a former owner of the house who is said to still roam the grounds in search of his lost love. His melancholic presence is felt by many who tread the halls of Culloden House, a poignant reminder of love and loss that transcends the boundaries of time.

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a haunted hotel in scotland is a fun experience for every dark tourist
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