Duntrune Castle: A Brutal Scottish Killing That Resulted In The Tormented Ghost Of A Highland Piper

Duntrune Castle in Scotland towers over Loch Crinan, but within its walls, it holds a dark story of a highland piper that was violently killed. It is believed that the tormented spirit of the piper still haunts the castle tower to this day.

Duntrune castle ghost
The ghost of a murdered highland piper is said to haunt Duntrune Castle in Scotland.

Duntrune Castle in Argyll stands in a spectacular setting overlooking Loch Crinan. In the seventeenth century it was a seat of the Campbell clan. Close to the beginning of the century, an Irishman, Coll Ciotach, brought his troops over to Scotland with the intent of waging war upon the Campbells, whom he hated. Unwilling to risk attacking Duntrune without prior knowledge of its defences or of the number of enemy soldiers he would have to face, he sent his piper ahead to try to gain the confidence of the Campbells and discover the information that was required.

Pipers were privileged in Highland society and could be guaranteed hospitality wherever they went in return for a few good tunes. Coll's plan was therefore both cunning and devious.

The piper duly approached the castle and was admitted by the Campbells, but their suspicions were soon aroused. The piper seemed unduly curious about the place and asked too many questions.

It would have been wrong to kill him, for they had no proof that he was up to no good. Besides, they had offered him their hospitality. By way of compromise, they locked him in one of the tower rooms to prevent him from escaping while they decided what to do.

Not far from the castle, Coll's troops remained in hiding, waiting for the piper to return with the information that would help them to victory.

Ghost piper Scotland
Visitors still report hearing the bagpipes of the phantom piper to this day

Time passed and the piper did not return. The men grew restive, and at length, Coll lost patience. He decided to advance on the castle regardless.

The piper, meanwhile, up in his tower room, was only too well aware of the dangers his master would be facing. The Campbell troops outnumbered Coll's forces and Duntrune was strong and well defended. He had to give a warning to Coll somehow.

Very bravely, he took up his pipes and began to play an alarm. Coll's troops immediately retreated, but the piper had signed his own death warrant. The Campbells had heard the sound of his pipes and realised what he was up to. They stormed up to the tower room and dragged the poor musician out. His fingers were cut from his hands and he was left to bleed to death.

The piper's remains were interred elsewhere in the castle. Years later, the fingerless skeleton was discovered and given a religious burial on the grounds of the castle. In spite of the fact that the piper's body has been put properly to rest, his spirit will not let Duntrune forget the cruelty of the Campbells.

The piper's ghostly playing can still be heard in the tower room, and the property has been host to a variety of other strange and unexplainable occurrences. The noise of heavy footsteps crashing up the stairs towards the tower room has been heard by many a visitor, some have even reported hearing the ghastly screams of a man in pain shouting out at night.

Previous occupants of the property recalled how on occasion random objects would be launched across the rooms.

All of the paranormal activity that is said to have happened, and continues to happen to this day, is thought to be attributable to the spirit of Coll's brave piper.

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