Dumfries and Galloway Included On ‘Dark Tourism’ List

Vampires and ghosts promote ‘dark tourism’ in Scotland


A 7ft vampire roaming the streets of Glasgow, a poltergeist haunting an iconic Edinburgh graveyard and a monster locked up in an Aberdeenshire castle are just a few of the terrifying tales featured in a new VisitScotland guide to the country’s most ‘spooktacular’ locations.


In the run-up to Halloween (31 October) and tapping into the popularity of “dark tourism”, the national tourism organisation is also encouraging users of its online Community to share their own creepy tales of haunted places in Scotland.


To help get the Community conversation started, VisitScotland has launched a new e-book called Scottish Ghosts, Myths & Legends, an online guide to the country’s tales of the unexpected and unexplained.


Scottish Ghosts, Myths & Legends includes The Green Lady, a spectre said to haunt Crathes Castle in Aberdeenshire; the fabled Gorbals Vampire, which was the subject of a much-publicised hunt involving hundreds of schoolchildren at Glasgow Necropolis in September 1954, and the ghosts of soldiers spotted on the battlefield of Culloden.


Among the other spine-chilling places explored in the online book is “Scotland’s Ghost Road” – the A75 in Dumfries & Galloway – which has been the scene of various unexplained phenomena over the years; Edinburgh’s Greyfriars Kirkyard, said to be haunted by the ghost of Lord Advocate George “Bluidy” Mackenzie; and Glamis Castle in Angus – which is supposedly home to a mysterious monster.


Famous Scottish legends such as the Loch Ness Monster, the Kelpie and the Ghillie Dhu are also featured, with each entry in the book accompanied by the places to visit for a haunting holiday experience.


Malcolm Roughead, Chief Executive of VisitScotland, said: “Scotland’s ancient castles and extraordinary landscapes, coupled with our rich tradition of storytelling, means that spine-chilling tales of ghosts, monsters and other unexplained phenomena are plentiful. Using our online Community, we’d love to hear from anyone with a spooky Scottish story to tell. Whether it’s a tale of a haunted castle told to them by a grandparent, or their own experiences of visiting one of the locations featured in our Scottish, Ghosts, Myths & Legends e-book, we hope to dig up this country’s most spooktacular sites in time for Halloween!”


Scottish Ghosts, Myths & Legends features:

  • The Green Lady of Crathes Castle – Aberdeen City & Shire
  • The Vampire of Glasgow Necropolis (Gorbals Vampire)
  • The Ghost Road – Dumfries & Galloway
  • Skaill House – Orkney
  • The Ghosts of Culloden – Highlands
  • The Queen of Scottish Witches (Isobel Gowdie) – Auldearn, Highlands
  • The Mackenzie Poltergeist of Greyfriars – Edinburgh
  • The Mysterious Underworld of Edinburgh
  • The Headless Drummer of Edinburgh Castle
  • The Monster of Glamis Castle – Angus
  • The Kelpie – lochs and rivers of Scotland
  • The Ghillie Dhu – Gairloch, Highlands
  • The Stoor Worm – Orkney and Shetland
  • Selkies (shapeshifting creatures that look like seals in water but assume human form on dry land) – Orkney, Shetland and Pentland Firth
  • The Loch Ness Monster – Highlands
  • The House of the Binns – Linlithgow, West Lothian
  • Phantom Piper – Clanyard Bay, Dumfries & Galloway
  • Fingal’s Cave – Staffa
  • Corryvreckan Whirlpool – Jura


To view Scottish Ghosts, Myths & Legends, click here.


Click here to join the spooky conversation on VisitScotland’s Community.


Latest Articles