As usual, she did a bang-up job and we can't thank her enough. She threw out a few possibilities for a story to me and I told her to just go where the spirit led her. Glamis Castle is what she felt drawn to; and wow, did her talent and inspiration deliver us a special contribution this Spring month of March! For Ms Burns FB page click her photo.
Glamis Castle near Glamis, Angus, Scotland in the United Kingdom is a beautiful medieval structure and
reputed to be haunted by several ghosts, maybe even more than anyone realizes.
The castle was the childhood home of Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, wife of King George VI.
Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon, the second daughter of Elizabeth and George was born in Glamis
Since the 14th century the castle has been home to the Lyon family who were of Celtic origin per
genealogist Sir Iain Moncreiffe, who stated the family were descendants of a young son of the Clan Lamont.
However, the general opinion that is widely accepted is they are descendants of the de Leon French family.
Since the 15th century, the castle has been the seat of the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne.
There is a lot of interesting history there involving Edgar, the son of Malcolm III of Scotland and Donald III of
Scotland, King of Scots in 1093 1094.
As a self proclaimed historian I may write about that some day, but
for now let's get to the ghosts who are patiently waiting for their stories to be told to the living.
The "Monster of Glamis" is the most famous ghostly legend of the castle. Apparently, many people claimed
that a hideously deformed child was born in the Bowes Lyon family. Rather than put the child to death, as was suggested, he was kept in a secret room till his death. He was well taken care of for he lived for over 30 years in that room. After his death, the room was bricked up. His restless spirit is still there according to some legends.
According to legend in the local village, the "monster" was Thomas Lyon Bowes, the first child of Thomas LyonBowes, the Lord Glamis and his wife Charlotte Grimstead Lyon Bowes. The birth of Thomas was recorded as 21 October 1821 and death on the same day.
In a 1967 book titled 'The Queen Mother's Family Story' by James Wentworh Day there is an account of
rumors from the villages that the baby did not die and the midwife had claimed the deformed child was
alive and in good health when she left the birthing room in the castle and returned to the village.
When death of the baby was announced it raised a lot of suspicion. In the latter half of the 18th century the
rumors and suspicions were still widely discussed. In 1912 A. W. Jarvis wrote "An Unsolved Mystery, the
Secret of Glamis Castle", which appeared in The English Illustrated Magazine (published by Macmillan and
Company) wherein he wrote: ""Miss M. Gilchrist, writing in 1885, was not only confident that such a monster
did actually exist, but even described him – half frog, half man!".
In Outis (1908), "Notes, The Glamis Mystery" the earliest surviving written account can be found where it
was claimed, "in the Castle of Glamis is a secret chamber. In this chamber is confined a monster, who is the
rightful heir to the title and property, but who is so unpresentable that it is necessary to keep him out of sight
and out of possession".
When reputed family accounts were published in the 1960s it was found that there was no gravestone for
the child Thomas, which tends to support the original village rumors and suspicions of the late 1800s.
Having no gravestone for an infant was in keeping with customs of the time. So, therefore Thomas
Lyon Bowes never had even a memoriam to honor his name and life, whether he died as an infant or died
when he was in his early 30s in the sealed room.
Where was the body of the baby, or the man, buried? Apparently no one alive knows. Maybe that is why his
restless ghost is often sensed or heard in the castle he
is looking for peace and a final resting place and
recognition. Sad story, indeed.
Is there really a secret chamber where Thomas lived for over thirty years? There is an old story that the
servants of the castle wanted to know if there really was a hidden room where the "monster" was kept. They
went to every room in the castle and hung white towels out the windows. Then they went outside to count
the towels. Sure enough, there were several windows in one section that had no towels.
Hidden somewhere else in Glamis Castle walls is the "room of skulls" where the Ogilvie family were walled
up to die of starvation. They had come there to seek protection from their enemies, but were imprisoned
instead. It is probable that their spirits are there trying to find a way out.
King Malcolm II ~
In 1034 the site was the Royal Hunting Lodge where King Malcolm II died painfully from mortal wounds
received in a battle close by.
The Grey Lady and the White Lady ~
Yet another ghostly presence at the Castle is that of "the Grey Lady". Her story is a sad one. She was falsely accused of witchcraft and burned at the stake. Her ghost is frequently seen in or near the family chapel.
The apparition of Lady Glamis, Janet Douglas, is occasionally seen. She is referred to as the "White Lady". She was married to John, sixth Lord Glamis, in the 16th century. The legend is that after John's death she
married Archibald Campbell. Jane continued to live in the castle with her new husband.
King James the fifth had a history of hatred for the Douglas family and highly resented Janet. He had her imprisoned on false charges of witchcraft and that she poisoned her husband John Lyon. For many years Janet wasted away as a prisoner in Edinburgh Castle till the king had her burnt at the stake. Both Janet's husband Archibald and her son Lord Glamis were also imprisoned. Archibald was killed when trying to escape and Lord Glamis remained a prisoner till after the death of King James. In the small family chapel at Glamis Castle there is a seat reserved for Janet only and no one is ever allowed to occupy it.
Playing cards with the Devil ~
A guest of old, Earl Beardie, was a gambler with a violent temper. His ghost is often heard in one of the
rooms, playing cards with the Devil.
This came about when the servants refused late one night to play cards with the Earl, for the Sabbath was
just an hour or so away. He became violently angered and threatened to play cards till doomsday or with
the Devil himself if no one else would play and he put out that challenge biggest
mistake of his life, for the
Devil will gladly meet any challenge head on.
Apparently the Devil heard the enticing challenge and took Beardie up on it, taking not only his money, but
his soul as well. Beardie has to repeat that fateful night over and over till doomsday for having the audacity
to challenge the Devil at cards.
After Beardie died the room was sealed up. Beardie's screams and angry cursing can often be heard coming
from his damned soul.
in Glamis Castle containing who knows what.
Shakespeare's Macbeth ~
Glamis Castle was used as the setting for William Shakespeare's Macbeth, the perfect place for such
To The Last syllable of recorded time,
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out brief candle!
Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage.
hauntings than those found in castles which abound with myths and legends of the land. Because most
castles were built to last practically forever there are centuries of spirits abiding within the thick walls and
grounds of these beautiful and enchanting structures of old.
Time has only added to the legends and stories of hauntings in the ancient castles. Whether the stories are
true or based on hysteria is a matter of individual thoughts and experiences. However, castles were not built
just for the peaceful habitation of the lords and their families. Within the walls were often rooms or cells for
imprisonment, torture and even execution which leaves hanging about a lot of unhappy spirits to ramble
and roam the dark corridors and dank dungeons and the most intriguing of all, the "secret rooms".
~ ~ ~ ~
Glamis Castle on 30 May 2009, wiki cc
Caption: Glamis Castle, May 30, 2009
Wikipedia Creative Commons