Monday 7 October 2013

The Ghosts of Glamis - with Shehanne Moore
One of my favourite fellow Etopia Press stablemates is Scottish Historical Fiction writer, Shehanne Moore, who shares my love of dark history, creepy castles and scary palaces. She's also partial to wild, untamed countryside, mountains and ... ghosts. 

She is my guest today, so join us as Shehanne explores a castle with major royal connections and enough dramatic history to stimulate even the most jaded palate.
This Castle Has a Pleasant Air
The Old Steeple
You know, with the exception of Berwick-On-Tweed, few Scottish cities fell to the English as often as my hometown, Dundee. General Monk razed it to the ground during the English Civil War, after the townspeople holed up against him for days, demanding his surrender, with typical Dundee chutzpah. You’d really think that given the terrible battle that was fought when man, woman and child, finally retreated to the Old Steeple, where they were massacred, a ghost or two would have the decency to waft itself about for the benefit of the tourists. Especially when any road or building works in the vicinity, still turns up skeletons. That I wouldn’t have to trail all the way up the road to Glamis to find a few spectres. But I suppose it’s worth the trek, since it boasts so many you can more or less take your pick.

Lady Mary Bowes

Glamis is the historic seat of the Bowes-Lyon family, ancestors of the Queen. The Unhappy Countess, Mary Bowes, whose fortune helped restore it, an 18th century heiress upon whom Thackeray based his book, Barry Lyndon, and who was rescued by her servants, in a sensational divorce and kidnap case that shook society, surprisingly isn’t one of them. 
Neither is King Duncan, nor Macbeth, although it is interesting Shakespeare chose that venue for Macbeth-a play of witchcraft and dark forces- to murder Duncan in.
Glamis is obviously very choosy. So, what ghosts can we expect, as we walk through its foreboding doors into its chilly halls?  (Making us sound a bit like ghosts there.)

Well, the beautiful Lady Douglas, the Grey Lady of Glamis haunts the chapel.
Lady Douglas
Lady or not, she was burnt at the stake as a witch in 1537. The charges were fabricated and her young son made to watch. There’s also a young woman with no tongue, who haunts the grounds. Then there’s the little black page boy who allegedly froze to death on the step. Best of all, there’s Earl Beardie.

Earl Beardie got in a bit of a tiff with Lord Glamis over a card game, on the Sabbath, a shocking thing. Then he got thrown down the stairs. This didn’t deter him, from coming back up them again shouting, that if no-one would play with him, he would play with the devil himself. Guess what? That’s what he’s been doing since. In Glamis. 

Oh, yes there are some rooms you do not venture into.

Talking of which one there’s that little business of the extra window on the outside of Glamis. The locked room. The monster of Glamis. The mystery of mysteries.  “—an enigma that involved a hidden room, a secret passage, solemn initiations, scandal, and shadowy figures glimpsed by night on castle battlements, and two generations of high society.”

No. I can’t tell you it. because I don’t know it, whether the ‘monster’ was the rightful heir or not.

What I can say it that when it comes to haunted Scotland, you won’t get better goosebumps than in Glamis Castle.
You can connect with Shehanne here:
Furious Unravelings
Shehanne Moore

I loved Shehanne's latest novel, His Judas Bride. Here's some information to whet your appetite:

To love, honor, and betray…
To get back her son, she will stop at nothing…
For five years Kara McGurkie has preferred to forget she’s a woman. So it’s no problem for her to swear to love and honor, to help destroy a clan, when it means getting back the son she lost. But when dire circumstances force her to seduce her fiancĂ©’s brother on the eve of the wedding, will the dark secrets she holds and her greatest desire be enough to save her from his powerful allure?
To save his people, neither will he…
Callm McDunnagh, the Black Wolf of Lochalpin, ruthlessly guards heart and glen from dangerous intruders. But from the moment he first sees Kara he knows he must possess her, even though surrendering to his passion may prove the most dangerous risk of all.
She has nothing left to fear except love itself…
Now only Kara can decide what passion can save or destroy, and who will finally learn the truth of the words… Till death do us part.
Buy His Judas Bride here:

Barnes and Noble
All Romance Ebooks


  1. Cat, thank you oh special stable mate, for having me today and being so nice always.

    1. Thank you for joining me, Shehanne. You reminded me just how atmospheric and spooky Glamis is!

  2. Great article! I love spooky stories. It would be such a thrill to visit a haunted castle. The best I have nearby is a haunted jailhouse in our downtown core. It's a hostel now, well, the lower levels, anyway. It actually only closed in the 1970's, but has some very interesting characteristics about it. Plus a few ghosts who are said to have scared people so bad that you can no longer pay a small fee to spend the night in one of the jail cells that were kept for those awaiting execution. They give tours all this month!

    1. Anne, thanks for coming over. Come all the way to the UK and Ct and I will show yah tons of spooky places. Really interesting about the jail . Now we could come visit you and have a party night there.... The Old Steeple mentioned above was also the town tollbooth and they used to hang people there. Very convenient. Church in one room, cell next door, hang them in the next... Another reason I am surprised there's not SOMETHING there.

    2. Oh yes Anne, I would love to visit that jail! I enjoyed a very atmospheric trip to Ruthin jail and more recently to Bodmin - very spooky...

  3. Oh ladies. I spotted this post when I was at my boring day job today, but I couldn't reply because blogs are 'blocked'. How frustrating. But when I saw Glamis, I immediately thought of Macbeth, my VERY favourite Shakespearean play. Now tell me, didn't they call it Glams in the play? Or is that just my Aussie ignorance. I actually didn't realise it was a real place. I WANT TO GO THERE! Is that a dagger I see before me? Out damn spot! Oh yes. I definitely want to go there. Thank you both SO much for this wonderful post. xx

    1. Noelle the part is yours defo.. Just take your pick. Glad you enjoyed and we brought you a spook or two, as well as introducing you to Glamis . Thanks for stopping by

    2. lol if you want a real giggle Noelle I have a pic up on my blog of me in Macbeth. in another life as they say

  4. Thank, Noelle. Glamis is indeed a real one-off.

  5. Loved this and love ghosts! I hope to visit the UK for the first time next year - I will have to put Glamis Castle on my intinerary!

    1. Marie, Don't know if you read Cat's fabulous post on Hellens. Or Jamaica Inn...the real one immortalized by Du Maurier . All her posts are super befits a fabulous horror writer.

    2. I'm blushing again, Shehanne - but thank you (sidles away, in a slightly embarrassed sort of way, but with a secretive smile on her face)

  6. Lol, Cat you and me should be working for the tourist board. Seriously Marie, you come visit me if you do put in on your itinerary. Thanks for coming by.

    1. Hi Marie. Have a look at some earlier posts on this blog and you'll find a whole lot more. Why not theme your trip? The Haunted Houses of Britain? Oh - and don't forget to stop in York on your way to Scotland. The Golden Fleece serves up plenty of spirits of a spooky kind...

    2. Oh My The Golden Fleece !! I You know we have gone to Easingwold just outside York for years. And now, having done so much I must confess we now just go to hill walk and pub, busker and live music crawl! Despite that this year was the first time in there. LOVED it. Such atmosphere. We also went to the Guy Fawkes pub for the first time too and it was purty amazing. Yes Cat you and I should get free entry!!

    3. My last visit there was in August last year when we went to Steve Emmett's book signing. We met up with Julia Kavan there for drinks one evening and you can read what happened on my blog post of 26 August 2012. I'll bet this link doesn't work here but I'll post it anyway:

    4. I did read it at the time. I remember that as I hadn't long been signed and was finding my way round and I thought... right, Yorkshire! They have writers from Yorkshire and I remember about you going up for it.

  7. Shehanne - I think there are a number of places that should offer us both free entry! We're always publicising interesting haunts...