Have A Haunting Halloween at Broughton House!

An evening of thrills and highlights awaits guests at Broughton House this Halloween, when an exciting collaboration between award-winning storytellers Mostly Ghostly and the National Trust for Scotland is revealed – Broughton House by Candlelight! Broughton, a treasure house of antiquities, and home of Glasgow Boy and cornerstone of the Kirkcudbright Art Scene, E.A. Hornel, will form the breathtaking backdrop to a spine-tingling candlelit gathering. Broughton House by Candlelight also marks a special anniversary for Mostly Ghostly…

Mostly Ghostly Team founder Kathleen Cronie tells us more:

“We’re delighted to be working with our friends at The National Trust for Scotland for Halloween 2023, our fifteenth birthday, to present an exciting candlelit experience at Broughton House. It all started when David Stothard, Visitor Services Manager, invited us to explore ideas for the winter events season, and you guessed it, we didn’t need to be asked twice! Given the rich history of the house combined with the wealth of intriguing artefacts and evocative artwork on display, it’s a brilliant location for storytelling.”

Broughton, famous for its stunning Japanese-inspired gardens, tells the story of Hornel’s life and art, and houses a vast library, which includes one of the largest collections of Robert Burns’ works, and Hornel’s unique collection of artefacts. One in particular resonates powerfully with the Mostly Ghostly team – the shawl worn by Mary Timney – who in 1862, was found guilty of the murder of her neighbour, Ann Hannah, and became the last woman to be publicly executed in Scotland. Sections of bloodstained material have been cut from the shawl, and were subsequently sent off to Edinburgh for forensic examination…

Kathleen said

“Given our enduring fascination with the darker side of history, it’s a real privilege to spend time in a place where so many deeply personal items are cared for, offering a tangible connection to the more macabre aspects of our region’s history.”

Guests will be embark on a sensory experience, as NTS guides present a candlelit tour of this exquisite building, seeing it as it would have been in Hornel’s heyday.


Visitor Services Manager David Stothard tells us more:

“Working with the team at Mostly Ghostly this past year has been great fun for myself and my team. The combination of their history and folklore led stories, with the atmosphere created by touring Broughton House by candlelight, has added layers to this event that I could never have imagined. Our next one on Halloween will be truly special, adding even more to the sensory experience we managed to create in 2022.”

Part two is given over to an intimate gathering in the magnificent gallery, with its opulent fireplace among the many eye-catching features. There, the team will immerse guests in some of Galloway’s darkest, more sinister accounts…

Team Member John Hill whets our appetites:

“We have created an intimate storytelling experience that draws on a rich collection of ghostly Galloway tales, and featuring everything from a ghostly white lady who haunts a nearby castle to a mysterious musician that terrified an unsuspecting drover on a bleak expanse of moorland. We love bringing the local tales, both historical and modern, alive, and hope our guests will enjoy becoming immersed in our region’s rich supernatural heritage.”

This unique collaboration has been a great hit so far with past guests coming forward to share positive feedback. Jan Mattison described her experience as a “Lovely evening – very atmospheric. Thank you for putting such a great event on”, while Lorraine Charnock enthused; “Thank you for a thoroughly enjoyable evening. It was very well organised.”

Summing up, Kathleen said:

“We’re thrilled at the prospect of welcoming our guests to Broughton House; this is a great opportunity to encourage new and past visitors to explore different elements of Broughton, helping to raise the profile of this enigmatic location to local people and visitors alike, and inspiring guests to view the wider region as a destination of discovery.”


  • Contact Info: Mostly Ghostly – [email protected]  facebook.com/mostlyghostlytours
  • Broughton House by Candlelight runs on Halloween, Tuesday 31st October, at 7:30pm. Tickets are available from the Midsteeple Box Office in Dumfries and online at Ticketsource.
  • Broughton House is an Edwardian home and studio of Scottish artist E.A. Hornel, housing a large collection of his paintings, as well as those of his Scottish contemporaries, and one of the world’s largest collections of works by Robert Burns. The beautiful garden features a colourful blend of Eastern and Western horticulture.
  • Established in 2008, Mostly Ghostly are award-winning creators of a range of ghost and local history tours including; Dumfries Ghost Walk, Secret History of Closeburn Castle, Haunted Theatre Tour and Heroes of the Titanic. They were named Dumfries & Galloway Life Tourism Champions in 2012 and 2014 and Outstanding Tourism Business 2022 at the Dumfries & Galloway Chamber Business Awards.

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