In Fife, Scotland, 3.5 kilometers east of Glenrothes, near Milton of Balgonie, on the south bank of the River Leven, stands a castle dating from the 14th century. This fortification, now popular as a venue for weddings, is the Balgonie Castle.
The lands around the castle belonged to the Sibbald family since at least 1246. In the 1360s they built a barmkin, meaning a fortified courtyard, with a tower house placed at the north-west corner. After a succession of owners who added to and modified parts of it, Balgonie Castle is now the property of Raymond Morris, laird of Balgonie.
Many well-known personages have visited the castle, including King James, Mary Queen of Scots and Roy MacGregor. Even better known are the ghosts that make a visit to Balgonie Castle a hair-raising experience.
The Ghost of Green Jeanie
The most famous ghost of Balgonie Castle is The Green Lady, more popularly referred to as Green Jeanie. Even back in 1840, this specter was recorded as being a “well-known phantom”. Her favorite haunt, so to say, was the 1702 wing which is now in ruins. She had been sighted walking from one room to another through a connecting doorway. She walked in a left to right direction behind two barred windows. At the second window, she would stop to peer into the walled courtyard.
Green Jeanie had been sighted by many people including the laird and his family. Once, the laird’s wife let out the family deer hounds at around 2 am. She came upon The Green Lady whom she described as follows:
“She is pea green in color. Her face appears to be hidden by a hood.”
Other Hauntings and Paranormal Activities
Besides Green Jeanie, there was also a ghost of an old man sighted at Balgonie Castle. One evening, as the laird’s wife rested in an armchair in the Great Hall, she opened her eyes to find a goatee-bearded apparition “gray like a statue” dressed in 17th century attire, staring at her. A gray man, who may or may not be the same ghost, have been sighted opening phantom doors in the courtyard. In the first floor hall, a bodiless head had been sighted floating around. In the courtyard, the eerie form of a 17th century soldier had been sighted walking though the castle gateway. At times, a ghostly dog could also be seen.
The hall which had hosted banquets both past and present was also a favorite venue for specter gatherings. Even when the hall is empty, sounds of conversation could be heard all day and night. The actual words spoken, however, were not recognizable. At times peals of female laughter would ring from the empty hall. In the dining room a headless soldier and an old lady had been sighted often.
In 2005, The Ghost Club spent a night, fitfully, at Balgonie Castle. In the dining hall, two team members had an encounter of a very cold kind. Although the thermometer showed a comfortable 13 degrees Celsius, one member felt such acute discomfort from the cold that he had to leave the area. Another member saw flashing lights in the middle of the hall. Although the final results were inconclusive, The Ghost Club felt that their experience at Balgonie Castle warranted further investigation.
Members of the general public who are not affiliated to any club are most welcome to make their own investigations. Perhaps it might be good not to be dressed in green while at Balgonie Castle so as not to generate unnecessary sightings of Green Jeanie.
Further information on the Balgonie Castle:
Photo 2 by Ian Thomson