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The Haunting of Careston Castle

Around 5 miles from the town of Brechin in Angus sits Careston Castle. Parts of the castle may date back to the 13th century when a keep tower was built on the site for a high-ranking court officer for the Earls of Angus.

By the 16th Century, the estate was owned by Sir Henry Lindsay, who later became the 13th Earl of Crawford. He developed the property to form an 'L'-shaped tower house which became known as 'The New Place of Carraldstone'. With the Lindsays owning vast quantities of land across the region, it did not stay in the family long and is believed to have been sold to a merchant from Edinburgh around 1612, who later sold it back to Lord Spynie, the nephew of Henry Lindsay. Lord Spynie spent a considerable time redesigning the interior of the property before it passed to Sir Alexander Carnegie, who continued to redevelop the castle.

At the start of the 18th century, Sir John Stewart became the owner and added an additional wing to create a 'U'-shaped building, increasing the accommodation available to the occupants. The property continued to pass through different families, each of whom added their own changes until it was hardly recognizable as the original keep tower. In 1872, linen mill owner John Adamson bought the castle and it remained in the family until recently when it was once again offered for sale.

Paranormal Activity

Despite the castle having a relatively peaceful existence, it is still subject to claims of paranormal activity. There are reports of poltergeist-type activity with items being moved around the property or going missing only to reappear some time later, along with unexplained phenomena. In addition, there are 2 phantoms who have been seen.

The White Lady

Little is known about the White Lady of Careston. Traditionally, a White Lady ghost would be one to signify a lady of importance who has suffered an unfortunate loss, including potential loss of authority, making it likely she was a senior figure in the household. She is said to be witnessed in certain parts of the house and, on occasion, walking the grounds. A similar spirit is reputedly seen at nearby Edzell Castle, the home of the Lindsay family, leading to speculation that either the White Lady at Careston is one of the Lindsay family, possibly the same spectre as seen at Edzell, or that reports of her haunting have become confused between the castles.

Jock Barefut

Although not seen within the building, this spirit is most commonly associated with Careston Castle. It is said that Jock was a Ghillie (attendant to the chief or guide for fishing and hunting) at Careston who unwittingly cut a branch from a tree on the estate to craft a walking stick.

Unknown to Jock, the tree in question was known as the Covin Tree of Finavon, which was said to have grown from a chestnut dropped by a Roman soldier and was a favourite of Alexander Lindsay. Also known as Earl Beardie or the Tiger Earl, Alexander had a reputation for being a cruel man with a violent temper, and he had Jock hanged from the tree as a punishment for his misdemeanour.

It is said that the spirit of Jock is seen running between the castles of Finavon and Careston, with a notable feature being he is barefoot. More terrifyingly, he is said to shout and scream as he rushes towards all those who witness him. The spirit of Jock is also seen on a small island on the River South Esk.

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