Huntingtower Castle Ghost by Gary Knight
With so much going on in and around Perth to celebrate Halloween, I thought for October’s blog I would tell you the story of ‘Lady Greensleeves’, the ghostly green phantom of Huntingtower Castle.
Huntingtower Castle sits just west of Perth and it has long been associated with the ghost of a lady dressed in green, known by locals as Lady Greensleeves. It has been said that if you are unfortunate enough to catch a glimpse of this green spectre it signifies that death has one bony hand on your shoulder and is calling you, for if you see her you will die within the year.
At one time, the castle consisted of two tower houses standing side by side. Although they have been joined since, there is still a gap of over nine feet between the towers. Legend has it that Dorothea; the young daughter of the 1st Earl of Gowrie was in love with one of the castle servants and was sneaking into his room at night. During one of these clandestine meetings, the young lovers heard the voice and footsteps of her father coming up the stairs. With no-where to hide the desperate young lady ventured out into the battlements and, just as Gowrie entered the room, she threw herself across from one tower to the other, and made her way back to her own room undetected. Even today this gap is known as the Maiden’s Leap.
For years the castle has been haunted by a green lady, is this Dorothea? It is impossible to say although personally I think it might well be. She has a reputation of being the scariest of ghosts, a harbinger of death. Some stories that seem to support this include that of a traveller who was walking past the castle one dark, stormy night. The rain was lashing down and the wind was howling. As he was passing the traveller noticed a light on in the castle and chancing his luck he knocked on the door. When the door opened he asked if he could shelter for the night in the castle and he was invited in. After sitting by the fire his host showed him upstairs into a spare bedroom. The weary traveller was settling down to go to sleep when he heard someone gently sobbing at the foot of the bed.
As he sat up to look, in the gloom he saw a young lady. She moved round the bed towards him with her arm outstretched. The terrified man screamed, which brought the owner rushing into the room and the woman vanished. Too scared to stay, the traveller left to carry on his journey. The next morning his body was found in the River Tay. He had been drowned trying to cross at a ford. Another story tells of a farmer returning from Perth market and being attacked near the castle. He was left for dead by the roadside. When he was found, just as he slipped away, he told of seeing a Green lady on the castle battlements moments before the assault.
But I think Lady Greensleeves has been misunderstood and she is warning that you might be in danger. A young boy who lived locally was very ill, his mother took him to the castle where he was given a bed to die in. His mother went into Perth to get a minister for the lad’s final hours. When she returned, her son had recovered and was sitting up in bed. He told her that as he lying there drifting in and out of consciousness, he was aware of a lady in green sitting by the bed and stroking his head. As she stroked him he started to feel stronger and the sickness left him. I think this backs my theory that lady Greensleeves in a kindly spirit looking out for those in danger. Happy Halloween Everybody!