Glamis Castle



Glamis is the ancestral home of the Lyon, now Bowes-lyon family. At the head are the Earls of Strathmore, who, though ennobled three times before, became Scottish Earls in 1677 and UK Earls only in 1937, when Lady Elizabeth Bowes Lyon, Duchess of York, became Queen of England, later Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother who's childhood home was Glamis. Princess Margaret was born at Glamis and it also has the room where King Malcolm of Scotland died after being wounded in battle. The Castle was visited by Mary Queen of Scots on 22nd August, 1562. The famous secret chamber is said to be known only to the Laird and his heir. The Castle has many legends and secrets surrounding it.

The first and most well known legend is of the secret room or chamber that is hidden deep within the castle walls

It is said that The Lord of Glamis and "Tiger" Earl of Crawford played cards with the Devil himself on Sabbath. So great were the resulting disturbances that the room was sealed up 300 years later permanently.

The secret chamber is thought to be located deep in the thickness of the crypt walls on the left as you face the two small windows at the end


The second story of this event goes that one stormy night when the Earl was alone in this chamber in the Castle, he called for a pack of cards and ordered his servants to play cards with him. They refused, because it was Sunday. This made the Earl furious, an he shouted, "I'd play with the Devil himself if he were here!"

There was an immediate knock at the door. And when the Earl said: "Enter in the fiends name!" The Devil himself walked in.

Before long the servants heard horrifying sounds coming from the room. One of them tried to peer through the keyhole and was blasted by a sheet of flame. Since then, claims the story, the Devil and the Earl have been playing cards in that room non-stop for hundreds of years.


It is also said that the chamber contains the bones of Scottish clansmen who sought refuge from enemies. They were admitted by the lord of Glamis, and led to this chamber. The doors and windows were bricked in and the clansmen were left to starve to death.


Another story tells of a stonemason who accidentally saw inside the room, the horrors he saw were so great that they caused him to die from shock. The stonemason's wife was given several thousand pounds compensation, and packed off to Australia to prevent any scandal.

Other stories are told of ghostly specters that haunt Glamis


A prominent Edinburgh lawyer was driving to Glamis on a visit a few years ago, he and some friends had been invited to dinner there. As they drove into the castle grounds they saw the shadowy figure of a woman dressed in white. To their astonishment she glided along so swiftly she kept pace with the car-and accompanied them right up to the castle doors. Then she vanished. At first they thought she was one of the maids out for an evening stroll. But they were soon informed that all the maids were indoors that night. However, because of the strange appearance of the woman and the speed and manner with which she had moved, the lawyer admitted that he believed she had been a ghost.

This ghost is believe to be of the Lady of Glamis who became Lady Campbell after her husband's death. A trumped-up charge of witchcraft was bought against her by King James V. Although she was a woman of impeccable character and a very beautiful and popular lady she was imprisoned. After a long imprisonment in a dark dungeon, she was almost blind. She was burned alive at the stake outside Edinburgh Castle. Even her young son was condemned to death and imprisoned only to be released after the king had died.

Her ghost known as "The White Lady" has haunted Glamis Castle for hundreds of years.


There is also a Gray Lady who roams the castle and the grounds, but as history does not record anything about her sad past, she is a complete mystery. However, more than 100 people present in the castle on one occasion saw her glide past them.


A ghost of a small boy servant is often seen waiting patiently on a stone seat just inside the Queen Mothers Sitting Room.


A woman guest once saw a Ghost in Armour. One night as she could not sleep, she kept a candle burning, and during the night a chilly blast swept through the room, blowing out the candle. The woman looked around and she saw the huge figure of a man in a suit of mail armour, silhouetted against the glow of a nightlight which was burning in her baby's room, and glowed through the open adjoining door. The specter seemed to be seeking some way into the child's room, and on finding the door it went in. Seconds later, the mother heard her child screaming with terror.

Frantically the mother rushed into the room . . . but the child was alone, sobbing out something about a giant who had come into the room and leaned over her face.


Another guest saw on a moonlit night as he was gazing out of his bedroom window another window directly opposite. Looking back at him from there was another face. This did not alarm him. He knew there were other guests staying at the castle. Then he took a second look at the face and noticed what he had not observed before.
The face was too transparent and misty to be that of a human and as he looked at the sad face of the ghost and wished there was something he could do to help it, it disappeared. Shortly after the face disappeared he heard a faint, horrifying scream coming across from the window, he thought that it sounded like a man being tortured. He then saw a bent figure of an old woman carrying a heavy bundle across the grounds below. The woman walked a few steps then disappeared.


Once again another woman guest awoke at about 4.00am by the sound of loud hammering. The sound continued for some time and kept on going as she fell asleep. She told the hosts about her experience the next morning and was surprised to be told by them that she was not to mention this incident again!

Glamis Castle is the family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne and has been a royal residence since 1372. 'It was the childhood home of HM Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the birthplace of Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret and the legendary setting of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth". Though the Castle is open to visitors it remains a family home, lived in and loved by the Strathmore family.

Glamis Castle is the family home of the Earls of Strathmore and Kinghorne and has been a royal residence since 1372. It is the childhood home of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother, the birthplace of Her Royal Highness The Princess Margaret and the legendary setting of Shakespeare's play "Macbeth". Though the Castle is open to visitors it remains a family home, lived in and loved by the Strathmore family.

Located in Scotland near the village of Glamis, 5 miles west of Forfar, Glamis Castle resides. One of the things that it is most famous for is that it was the setting for Shakespear's "Macbeth". Among the oldest and most haunting parts of the castle is Duncan's Hall, which commemorates the slaying of King Duncan by Macbeth. Although the actual killing took place near Elgin, this is the traditional Shakespearean scene of the crime.


Lady Janet

Almost 500 years ago, the 6th Lord of Glamis married Janet Douglas. They had one son John. They lived a peaceful and happy life at Glamis until the of death her husband Lord Glamis, in 1528. 

Lady Janet was born into the Douglas Clan. Her brother was the stepfather of King James V. King James hated his stepfather, obsessed by a deep hatred for anyone who bore the Douglas name, King James would carry out a ruthless vendetta against them. Lady Janet became the center of King James' hatred. Lady Janet no longer had the protection of her marriage to Lord Glamis. 

King James confiscated Glamis Castle for the crown by accusing Lady Janet of witchcraft and of making deadly potions with which to kill him. No one ever doubted that these accusations were not true, but Lady Janet and her son were imprisoned in the dark dudgeons of Edinburgh Castle. Occupying Glamis, King James held court there from 1537 to 1542. 

Throwing Lady Janet into prison was easy for King James, but convicting her of his trumped up charge of witchcraft would be difficult. Her character was impeccable, without blemish, and she was very much respected by everyone who knew her. In order to get the testimony he needed to convict her, the King resorted to torture. Her clansmen and servants were put on the rack and stretched to the point of agony. They finally gave false evidence against her.