Not a Whisky Spirit

Pumpkins in an eerie forest

Scottish ghost stories from the island of Islay

Halloween is looming and with this in mind, we thought we would look at some of our other types of spirits that inhabit this old, historical island. If you like to hear Scottish ghost stories and want to be spooked then read on and find out what eerie friends live alongside us on this island.

A ghostly figure walking through a dark wood

Kildalton Castle and its employee…

Near Port Ellen (also famous for another haunting) nestled the once Kildalton Castle. Like most castles in Scotland, it was said to have its very own resident ghost. Many years ago there was an employee who had a ‘very distinct appearance’ who worked for the then laird. Often he would need to leave the island. Despite his absence, he was seen wandering around the large castle building. Then one day, long after this man was dead and buried, two women were sitting in Craigmore forest and saw a figure walking towards them. Important note is that Craigmore forest was once the property of the Laird. Significantly, the figure that approached, was clothed in the fashion of a bygone era. He was also accompanied by a terrier dog. As he and his dog passed the ladies, to their astonishment, there was no sound. They then simply disappeared into the bushes. Upon returning home, one of the women described this apparition to their mother, who had once worked for the laird. At once she recognised the description of this man. He was the long-dead factor who had once been employed by the old laird.

A ghost peering through a window

Port Ellen haunting

Next, is the haunting in Port Ellen. Presently, a country hotel this building was once a distillery. When the building was still in use as a distillery in the nineteenth century a thirsty burglar paid a visit. Indeed, being surrounded by barrels of fine malt whisky he had a tipple or two or three or four. As a result, not being sharp with sobriety, he made for the closest exit. Important to note, this was a second-floor window! Unfortunately, he did not survive the fall and is said to still haunt the building to this day. From time to time he can be seen at the spot where he fell surprising any visitors in his path. The window has since been bricked over. 

Bowmore’s headless horseman

A headless horseman

Upon his return home one stormy Scottish night, crofter Lachlan Ban, saw something that spooked him. A headless horseman, galloped away from his house leaving him frozen in fear. As he approached the front of his house, the door was ajar. When he stepped inside the fire had blown out and there stood a bottle of Bowmore whisky and an empty dram. Of course there then came an explanation to this paranormal experience. Ban’s brother had passed that Friday night. Furthermore, he stated that the wind had blown the front door open and blown out the fire. Additionally, he mentioned he had brought the whisky to share with him and could wait no longer. So had had a quick dram himself before leaving. In the light of the terrible weather, he had galloped off with his cloak pulled tight over his head. Nevertheless, this story still haunts the island. To this day, true islanders never offer an opened bottle of whisky to their guests in fear of attracting the headless horseman. Maybe, something to do with the fact that Ban was too embarrassed to tell real the story!

Come and visit this spooktacular island!

So why not come along to Islay and see it for yourself. Maybe you will see a ghost or two while you are here! Autumn is a beautiful time of year to visit this stunning island. If you are looking for somewhere to stay then get in touch with us here at Islay Cottages today.