Mental Floss
ROAM + BOARD

Scotland’s Historic—and Possibly Haunted—Earlshall Castle Could Be Yours

Ellen Gutoskey
Earlshall Castle tucked behind hedges.
Earlshall Castle tucked behind hedges. / Tom Parnell, Flickr // CC BY-SA 2.0
facebooktwitterreddit

In 1546, Sir William Bruce broke ground on a new mansion near Leuchars, a small town in the county of Fife along Scotland’s eastern coast. The castle was christened “Earlshall,” the name that the Bruces had been using for their lands and lineage since the previous century.

Earlshall Castle boasted great hunting opportunities and impressive gardens, and even Mary, Queen of Scots paid a visit during the 1560s. But its current claim to fame is probably the belief that a ghost named “Bloody Bruce” haunts the halls.

As his moniker suggests, Bloody Bruce is a member of the Bruce family: Sir Andrew Bruce, who occupied Earlshall during the 17th century. At the time, a faction of Presbyterians called the Covenanters was in the midst of a decades-long conflict with the monarchy, which it claimed was encroaching upon its citizens’ religious freedom. Andrew supported the monarchy and did his best to foil (or kill) the Covenanters at every turn. Some believe that he earned his grisly nickname after beheading Covenanter leader Richard Cameron at the Battle of Airds Moss in 1680; though it’s also possible that it arose from his general reputation for bloodlust.

Whatever the case, Bloody Bruce is in the market for a new housemate. As the New York Post reports, Earlshall Castle is up for sale through real estate agency Savills. You have to submit an application to find out the price, but it’s safe to assume it won’t be cheap. The nearly 8400-square-foot castle includes 10 bedrooms, six bathrooms, and eight reception rooms; and it sits on a 53-acre plot that comes with three cottages, a five-car garage, and a walled garden filled with topiaries. Plenty of room to steer clear of any homicidal phantoms that may be floating around.

[h/t New York Post]

facebooktwitterreddit