Things That Go Bump In The Night
Dunfermline Travel Blog› entry 68 of 94 › view all entries
I am the first one to admit that I am a scaredy-cat. Years earlier I had gone to see Jurassic Park with my brother and that proved too much for me. I spent the majority of the movie looking away just incase the dinosaurs were miraculously able to pass through the screen and come to life. You see my problem is that I have an over active imagination. Things that I know are fake became real in my mind and I can’t separate reality from fiction. And so what led me to stay the night in a haunted castle I had no idea.
Castles have always had a romantic image in my head - they feature prominently in Disney movies, which I find suit my sensibilities and there is always the idea that they have a lot of History trapped inside their walls.
History in the walls can be seen while visiting Glamis Castle. There I learnt of the secret walled up room. There is a window on the outside which goes to a room that has no door and you can see where the door was on the inside of the castle, but it has been bricked up. The story is that centuries ago two men were playing cards when a servant told them they should end their playing as it was about to become the Sabbath. Card playing on the holy day was not allowed and one of the men yelled out saying they would play cards until Doomsday. The story continues saying the Devil came to them and walled them up in the room so they can continue playing until the end of time. Charming story huh? Perhaps this suits more the style of Tim Burton while collaborating with Disney.
But for all of it’s beauty, I didn’t get to stay in Glamis Castle (the former home to the Queen Mother), but another castle; Carbisdale. Now a Youth Hostel, this castle was built between 1905 – 1917 for the Duchess of Sutherland and the tales surrounding this place suggest that it is haunted.
Now I know my mind is prone to bursts of fantasy but I tried to keep this in check. However, it was a difficult thing to do when all I could hear was the clanging of the plumbing while in the shower and the men’s bathroom I used made, what could only describe as, sick guttural groans. Yes, I wrote that correctly, the men’s bathroom. I think this hostel thought they didn’t need to do any work to their facilities, as people would be happy with the cost seeing as they got to sleep in a castle.
However, it was a castle so it had some quirks, but the pictures and marble statues freaked me out almost immediately upon arrival so I spent my time running through the hall, where I was located, to the gents. If I was going to get accosted by ghosts, I wanted at least a clear path to my room so I could run screaming to Katie the Brave.
The evening in the castle was spent watching movies, moving the furniture around the Grand Hall as we moved towards the warmth and having Katie laugh at me while I panicked at every little noise. Seriously I heard things coming from in behind the walls. Clearly I have superb hearing and other people didn’t.
Finally after heading to bed, I spent the evening wrapped into my sleep sheet, which I pulled over my head and had my iPod turned up quiet loudly so as to scare off the ghosts and comfort myself to sleep. It was the only way I could pretend the ghosts weren’t there. After all the Bard eludes to their existence in Hamlet (1:5); ‘There are more things in heaven and earth’. If he believes them, then it must be true.
In the morning, I felt refreshed and a little stiff. I hadn’t shifted at all in the evening in case the ghosties noticed me in the room. Yes, I had survived the night in the castle.
But tonight I have a special treat. We are catching up with a girlfriend of mine who I caught up with in Edinburgh. Davina has kindly offered us a place to stay for the evening and this promises to be a late night. At least though, I haven’t heard of any ghosts in this part of Scotland ….