The Paranormal Database

Examining folkloric, paranormal & cryptozoological locations in the UK and beyond

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Aberdeenshire Ghosts, Folklore and Forteana

An old postcard of Ballater.

Spinning Jenny

Location: Ballater - Riverside
Type: Other
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Maybe related to the 'washer woman' legends popular in Scotland, this old lady sits on the bank of the stream, spinning her little wheel.

Green Lady

Location: Balmedie - Menie House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This spook lurks in the basement of the building.


Location: Banchory - A980, Upper Lochton (approximately 1 mile north of Banchory)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1990
Further Comments: A figure wearing a habit stepped in front of the car of a man returning from Aberdeen. The driver braked hard, convinced an accident would occur, but the figure vanished around three metres away from the vehicle.

The ghost of Bertha.


Location: Banchory - Loch of Lees Castle (no longer standing?)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Annually (exact date unknown)
Further Comments: Bertha was poisoned by her lover's mother, not impressed with her son's choice of woman. Bertha had her revenge; she appeared post-mortem and scared her murderer to death. Bertha now returns to the scene of the crime once a year, though no one knows the exact date. Another version of the story places the ghost at Crathes castle, rather than this one.

Pregnant Lady

Location: Banff - Castle of Park
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This woman hanged herself rather than face becoming a single parent. A phantom monk has also been reported within the building.

Raging Battle

Location: Banff - Hill known as Manderlee, four miles from town
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Circa 1643
Further Comments: A phantom raging battle looked so real many people were said to have buried their personal belongings to prevent them falling into the victorious soldiers' hands.

Lord Banff

Location: Banff - Inchdrewer Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Banff was murdered by his servants, who then set the castle alight to conceal their crime. His ghost is said to have returned, though no one is sure how it manifests.

Long Serpent

Location: Banff - Off coast
Type: Cryptozoology
Date / Time: 1896
Further Comments: Eight crewmen of a lugger reported seeing a sea creature three hundred feet (ninety metres) long, with three huge humps. The beast made as much noise as a steamer while moving.

Beast of Bennachie

Location: Bennachie - Countryside in area
Type: ABC
Date / Time: 1990s
Further Comments: This big black cat was blamed for dead sheep and causing disruption in the neighbourhood.

Fighting Giants

Location: Bennachie - Standing Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Stone still present
Further Comments: A monolith found here features a larger-than-life handprint and footprint - it is said that the prints belong to two giants who fought over the love of a woman.

Newly Wed Bride

Location: Braemar - Braemar Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: 1980s
Further Comments: Convinced she had made a bad wife after waking up and finding her new husband gone, this girl leapt off the battlements to her death - unfortunately, her husband had only gone hunting without informing her. She now appears to others, not wanting them to make the same mistake.


Location: Braemar - Disused cottage a few miles out of town (no longer standing)
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: November, but year unknown
Further Comments: Someone sleeping in this empty, disused cottage was harassed by banging coming from an empty room.

Sergeant Davies

Location: Braemar - General area
Type: Post-Mortem Manifestation
Date / Time: Mid eighteenth century
Further Comments: Davies' naked or semi-clad ghost appeared in several places after he vanished without trace. When his body was discovered and two men were tried for his murder (though they were found not guilty), he was never seen again.

Plague Victims

Location: Braemar - Kindrochit Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Eighteenth century
Further Comments: When the Black Death was detected within the castle, local villages blocked the external doors so no one could escape and taint the nearby lands - all those who died inside sometimes return to relive their final days.

Fairy Stone

Location: Braemar - Mill (unlikely to stand) close to the River Dee
Type: Fairy
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A kelpie crept into the mill at night and used a fairy stone to grind a sack of flour to give to a mortal woman he had taken a liking to. The miller awoke and heading out to his workplace, spotted kelpie leaving the site with the sack of flour over his shoulder. The miller picked up the forgotten fairy stone and lobbed it at the kelpie. The stone struck the kelpie's leg, breaking it, and causing the entity to roll into the River Dee where it drowned.

An old woodcut showing Death carrying a coffin while walking through a graveyard.

The Black Colonel's Coffin

Location: Braemar - St Andrews Churchyard
Type: Unknown Ghost Type
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: John Farquharson, also known as the Black Colonel, was buried here against his dying wishes. His coffin removed itself from the ground three times before the local clergy took the hint and had John buried closer to his former home.

Frozen Maiden

Location: Chapel of Garioch - Pictish Stone
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Still present
Further Comments: The large red monolith is reportedly a maiden who tried to escape from a local warlock - she failed.

Rent Collector

Location: Corgaff - Skellater House
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The rent collector was murdered while visiting the building to collect monies owned. His shade is still reported to haunt the doorway.

Dying of Thirst

Location: Corgaff - The Well in the Grey Wood, between Corgaff and Glengairn
Type: Legend
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A well in this area was cursed - if a person drinking from the well failed to leave a pin, they would die of thirst.

Burning Family

Location: Corgarff - Corgarff Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A family and servants here where once caught up in a fire and burnt alive - the shades of all twenty-seven people have yet to leave the building and can periodically be heard screaming.

Figure in a Habit

Location: Crathes - A93 between Banchory and Crathes
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: A ghostly monk is reputed to haunt this stretch of road, upsetting drivers by walking out in front of them. The entity may be related to the monk seen on the A980, near Banchory.

Image from 'Spectropia or, Surprising spectral illusions' by J H Brown.

Mother with Child

Location: Crathes - Crathes Castle
Type: Crisis Manifestation
Date / Time: Prior to death in the family
Further Comments: This green woman would appear and move across a room to pick up a phantom child located in the fireplace before vanishing.

WW2 Soldiers

Location: Cruden Bay - Slains Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: Soldiers dressed in Second World War uniform have been seen around the castle area, and the site is also said to be haunted by a horse and carriage. As a side note, Bram Stoker is said to have been partly inspired to write Dracula after seeing the castle while staying at Cruden Bay.

Soldier on Lookout Duty

Location: Dunnottar - Dunnottar Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: This uniformed soldier has been seen watching over the sea, as if waiting for an invasion. Other people have reported crying and screams of agony coming from the ruins at night.

Old black and white photograph of Balmoral Castle.

John Brown

Location: Easter Balmoral - Balmoral Castle
Type: Haunting Manifestation
Date / Time: Unknown
Further Comments: The close friend of Queen Victoria, Mr Brown has been reported on site post-mortem.

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