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Dean Castle

Region : Ayrshire Location : Kilmarnock Details : In 1350 work began on the keep, a solid defensive building, in the 1460's the palace was built. Paranormal Phenomena : A few years prior to the 1745' uprising William Boyd was 'treated' to the grisly sight of a head rolling along the floor which had appeared out of nowhere. It is thought that it was a harbinger of his own execution. The Earl's head is alleged to have been seen on many occasions around the floor of the castle. A tour guide has often seen the figure of an old woman, especially on or near the walkway, describes as "As an evil old biddy" dressed in a long black skirt reaching down to her ankles, a rough grey top, her head always covered in a shabby plaid shawl which reached down to her shoulders where she wraps it tightly around her. Tatty brown boots on her feet which look a few sizes too big. The last sighting of the woman is believed to be in February 1995, seen by a tourist but this time in the kitchen area. The .highlander web site had the following account QUOTEAugust 1992 during a jazz festival held in the courtyard. Margaret along with other members of staff attended, but as a social event and they were not on duty. The whole courtyard was lit making the castle look quite impressive as it cast its eerie shadow over the proceedings. During the evening Margaret again saw the old woman watching the festival from the walkway. She beckoned Margaret to follow and against her better judgment she foolishly did so. Margaret walked up the stairs and found a door to a colleagues room open. Stood next to the desk was the old biddy' smiling at her, she cannot remember much about the evening after that. Margaret was told that she returned to the festival looking deathly white and ill, she had to be helped into a car and taken to the near-by conservation offices. There she spent most of the time in the bathroom vomiting violently. It came out of her mouth with such speed that it reached the ceiling, everywhere was awash with vomit. Her friends told her that she had been whimpering like some kind of wild animal and all the time shouting, "Get out of me," Get away from me," "Leave me alone." Heather who stayed with her the whole time said that at one point the sickness just seemed to ooze out of every pore of Margarets body, "The bathroom being awash." They eventually managed to get Margaret home a little later on, Heather stayed with her all night to keep an eye. In the morning the doctor had to be called as Margaret began to "hyperventilate." The doctor could not explain the bluey black marks all over her body, "Like water marks on silk," nor could he explain or figure out what exactly was ailing Margaret.

In addition voices have been heard and paranormal activity interfered with the palace door and locks. Music has been heard emanating from the minstrels gallery. The portrait of William Boyd in the study has jumped off its mountings and landed face up on the other side of the room at the feet of two sightseers. The castle has a bottle dungeon and an oubliette and from this area feelings of terror have been described. One woman was suddenly seized with a great feeling of terror. Her chest tightened and she felt as though she was going to suffocate right there and then. The lady is convinced that she took on the condition of some one who had died in the hole.

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