It was a wild and windy night at Dalhousie Castle, near Edinburgh... Ok, no it wasn't but it was, in fact, a beautiful Midsummer's evening.
Following a delicious meal in The Dungeon Restaurant we were winding down the evening in the Library Bar with a night cap and a game of Cluedo when our evening turned into a real-life mystery tour.
The Grey Lady, as spotted on camera
A head poked through the library door and invited us to join a group of Americans on an impromptu midnight tour of the 850-year-old castle, exploring corridors, nooks and crannies not usually open to, or often over-looked by guests, and learning all about the ghouls that walk the halls.
Among them the 16-year-old, heart-broken Lady Catherine, the 'Grey Lady', who is often spotted in one of the towers and wandering the downstairs corridors looking for her lost love; And Sir Alexander Ramsay of Clan Ramsay, who was starved to death at Hermitage Castle in 1342 by a jealous friend and remained there, forgotten, for four-and-a-half-centuries.
Sir Alexander, it turned out, haunted the room next to ours.
The Drum Tower at Dalhousie Castle dates back to the 15th Century
-The Rural Travel Guide
The castle has been in the Ramsay family throughout its history, which is the longest time one family has possessed a castle in Scotland. It's thought the Ramsays moved to Scotland from Ramsay in Huntingdonshire, England, in about 1140, taking the name with them.
Its full history is, as expected of a fortress of its age, really exciting-one of war, rebellion and treason (Oliver Cromwell used it as his base when he invaded Scotland in 1650) but it has now settled into a quieter life as a hotel and spa, which attracts a range of guests; From couples enjoying a quiet game of Cluedo to ghost hunters on the 'most haunted' circuit.
Although ghosts have been seen/heard in The Dungeon Restaurant (there's YouTube footage), the rooms used for fine dining are not actually the old castle dungeons themselves. The real dungeons are now used as a cellar which, as pointed out on the tour, can still only be entered/exited by rope.
We declined the invitation to explore them.