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Halloween at Lickleyhead Castle

We still have availability for Halloween and Bonfire Night 2021 at Lickleyhead Castle! Some of you may have noticed the spooky videos we posted on Youtube recently, the 'Ghost in a Scottish Castle' series. Below are some of the scary stories surrounding Lickleyhead that might be of interest to those considering a spooky Halloween stay at the castle.

The Green Lady

The Green Lady is a spirit which is said to haunt Lickleyhead Castle. She is generally considered to be harmless; not deliberately scary at any rate. To those who have seen her, she comes across as sad and lonely or looking for someone. The Green Lady is generally thought to be a young, and aristocratic Scottish woman from the clothing she wears and the number of sightings in Aberdeenshire. Some of the other castles locally, including Fyvie Castle and Crathes Castle, also claim the Green Lady, so perhaps she divides her time between these places? With Lickleyhead and Crathes Castle both having been built in the 16th century and the three buildings all being within a few hours ride of each other, perhaps one day this will help us to narrow down who she might have been. A tragic Renaissance bride slain on her wedding night, or a young mother of the Stuart era who lost her children?

Visitors to Lickleyhead Castle should keep their eyes peeled for sightings, especially in the oldest parts of the castle. From my own time in the castle alone, I felt a chill at night sitting in the dining room with my back to the great hall. The owners' dogs are very reluctant to travel down the corridor in which the chapel is situated. Try a few places and have your camera at the ready to capture the moment she appears during your stay in the Highlands.

What follows is the recollection of local woman, Linda Smith, whose family has lived and worked at Lickleyhead Castle for much of the last hundred years-

...The piece you want to know,when I saw the green lady. I would of been about 12 at the time and used to go to see a friend at Bogside after school.As it was later in the year I preferred to walk through Jimmy S. fields(the farmer at Licklyhead Farm),through the farmyard past the castle,through the open gates and then to home.I did this many times and 9 times out of 10 saw Jimmy somewhere on that walk.I had just walked past the gates and walking on to the stony cobbled bit that was shielded a bit because there was rhododendrons down one side and the Holly tree on the other.If you were going to fall off your bike ,it would be there.When I heard footsteps,thinking that's strange Jimmy usually speaks to me.I stopped walking and the footsteps still came,I turned around and green swirling shape with no feet ,a victorian shape dress a face shape but with no features kept walking towards me,but still the footsteps,looked around again to check I wasn't seeing things,then bolted home over walls and fences and threw open the front door and fell in.Saying mum I saw a ghost,my mum said ssh don't let your brother and sister hear you.I have never seen her again,but in times in the castle I didn't like the feeling of a chair that sat at the top of the back stairs the ones going past the coal cellar...

The staircase she refers to has been blocked off for decades; the coal cellar is presumably our current chapel.

Murder in the 17th Century

In 1644, at the height of the British Civil War, William Forbes of Lickleyhead shot royalist Alexander Irvine dead. Rather than punish the assassin for the murder, the Covenant Estates rewarded William with the large sum of 3000 marks. The following year, while residing at Lickleyhead, William Forbes mysteriously blew off his own hand with a pistol. It was rumoured that God's wrath or the spirit of his victim had followed William Forbes to the castle. Was the ghost satisfied with this revenge? Further misfortune was to befall William Forbes in 1661 as he was outlawed for the very same murder. Perhaps the spirit of Alexander Irvine has not yet come to rest, trapped in the home of his great enemy.

Other Spooky Tales

Legend has it that a young boy in a sorry state sits at the bottom step of the main staircase at Lickleyhead. He has been known to trip the unwary.

A large animal, perhaps a large cat or other large predator, has been sighted numerous times over the years on the slopes of Bennachie, the mountain onto which Lickleyhead Castle backs. Certainly there would be plenty of prey there for such a creature.

Nearby Slain's Castle, a ruin off Aberdeenshire's rugged east coast was the favourite holiday destination of Bram Stoker and was possibly the inspiration for Dracula's castle.

Please consider staying at Lickleyhead Castle for either Halloween or Bonfire Night. We permit an outdoor fire in our specially built pit and fireworks, sparklers etc are also allowed.

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