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Fyvie Castle: history, ghosts, weeping stones and curses

5 min read

Fyvie in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is a small, unassuming village.
Bordering it, however, there is Fyvie Castle, a stunning piece of architecture that has a bloody history as intriguing, at least as its architecture.
According to several local sources, the earliest parts of the castle were built by William the Lion in 1211 and from here it passed into many hands such as Robert the Bruce and the families of Preston, Meldrum, Seton, Gordon and Leith, each of whom added a new tower to the castle, making it one of the largest and most magnificent castles in Scotland, with a total of 109 rooms.
The oldest of these, the Preston Tower (located on the far right as one faces the main facade of Fyvie), dates to between 1390 and 1433.
The impressive Seton tower forms the entrance, and was erected in 1599 by Alexander Seton, who commissioned the great processional staircase several years later.
The Gordon Tower followed in 1778 , and the Leith in 1890.
Either way, the castle stayed in the Leith Family until it was sold to the National Trust in 1984.

The castle, like many places in Scotland, is said to be haunted.
It boasts many ghosts, and staff report nine separate presences in the building, although only a few have much information of note.
A story is told that in 1920 during renovation work the skeleton of a woman was discovered behind a bedroom wall.
On the day the remains were laid to rest in Fyvie cemetery, the castle residents started to be plagued by strange noises and unexplained happenings. Fearing he had bothered the dead woman, the Laird of the castle had the skeleton exhumed and replaced behind the bedroom wall, and at which point, the haunting ceased.
It is also said that there is a secret room in the south-west corner of the castle that must remain sealed lest anyone entering meet with disaster, but It is unclear if this is the same room in which the skeleton was found.

But the most popular occurrences are with “The Green Lady”, who is the ghost that communicates the most, and is even referred to as “head ghost”, who keeps the others in check.
Sadly, she has an especially horrific background: It is said she was Alexander Seton’s wife, Lilias Drummond, who was imprisoned by Seton after failing to provide him with an heir.
However, a rescue was attempted, and this led to Lilias having to witness her family being murdered in front of her very eyes and then watching their dismembered boby parts thrown out of the window. After living a life of misery and horror she died an agonising death at the hands of starvation.
This room is now referred to as “The Murder Room”.
Well…after her death, Seton was glad to marry another young lass but understandably Lilias wasn’t.
Their wedding night was interrupted by ethereal screeching and screaming and, in the morning, it was found that “Lilias Drummond” had been scratched into the stone windowsill, which can still be seen to this day.
Now, apparently she still roams the halls of the castle and is followed by the scent of roses.
Luckily she has stated she does not wish to harm anyone and acts as a leader for others ghosts in conversations with mediums.

This is shown in her dealings with another ghost, John Pollock.
While Lilias does not want to hurt anyone, it seems that John is out for blood and Lilias is perpetually trying to stop him.
He haunts the library, where his disturbing death mask is displayed, with signs around his neck that are meant to represent his death by strangulation, as he was hanged on murder charges.
For many visitors who are sensitive to ghosts, before knowing of this room they find that when approaching the library they cannot go any further as the negative feelings that surround it are so strong, with some even claiming to feel sick, and refuse to go in.

Some other notable spectres of Fyvie Castle are Annie, a little girl that plays on the stairs and an unknown man that smells of cigar smoke.
However, there are no historical records of a little girl called Annie, but she has also made contact and when asked if she liked visitors to the castle, she responded “Yes, because I’ve got people to play with,” so be sure to say hello to Annie when you are climbing the stairs.
Even if we exclude the otherworldly residents, there is also an indelible blood stain, and the castle is still affected by not one, but two curses!
The first is of an unknown origin but it’s effects are well documented: there is a sealed up dungeon underneath the Charter Room at Fyvie and it is warned that if it is to be opened the Laird of Fyvie will die and his wife will begin to lose her sight.
Two Lairds ignored the warnings and opened the door. Both died, one wife went blind, and the second wife had problems with her sight thereafter. Thankfully these days the dungeon is inaccessible.

The second curse was instituted by a man named Thomas the Rhymer.
Fyvie Castle has a very interesting legend about “The Weeping Stones”.
It is said that when the castle was being built, stones were removed from church lands by demolishing a chapel, but they fell into the river.
The man requested shelter at the castle but was denied. In annoyance, he cursed that castle so that unless three bricks that fell into the river during construction were retrieved the Castle would never have a first born heir.
All three stones have never been recovered, but there is one in the Charter Room, while another is reported to be built into the foundations.
The other remains in the river and as a consequence Fyvie has never had a first-born heir….