Female Phantoms of Stirling Castle: The ghosts of the Handmaiden and her Queen

The history of bloodshed, treason and treachery certainly create the perfect environment for the spirits that are still said to roam the castle to this day.

Ghosts of Stirling Castle
The two female ghosts are still said to haunt Stirling Castle to this day

Stirling Castle is a daunting looking building to say the least, even in the daylight you can sense the place is filled with dark history. The moment you step into the grounds you can smell the damp stone and ancient dust that gives of a vibe you can only understand by being there.

As you walk around the castle the only noises are your own footsteps on the hard ground which echo throughout the castle, sounding as if somewhere close, someone is following you.

You know just by being there that the whole structure has no end of tales to tell, however, everyone who could tell those tales have been dead for a long time. Whilst inside the grounds of Stirling castle you get the feeling that while the old storytellers may have died long ago, they are not gone.

Stirling Castle Ghost Stories
Lower level of the Great Hall at Stirling Castle. Many ghosts are said to walk these halls

Stirling Castle has a long history as the residence of Scottish Royalty. It was the seat of power in the north. The castles history has seen so much treason, treasure and bloodshed over the years, it is no surprise that it appears to have become a breeding ground for the paranormal.

A woman who is commonly referred to as the "Green Lady" is said to roam the castle's halls. The locals tell of tales that the castle is filled with female ghosts of all colours of the rainbow. The ghost of the "Green Lady" is the most feared, this could be because of her appearance, known for her long hair and ghastly bright green gown and terrifying story of her death.

While it is not certain who the "Green Lady" actually is, it is believed as one of two people: a military commander's daughter who was a victim of bad relationship which eventually led to her suicide, or an unnamed handmaiden of the most infamous female leader of Scotland, Mary, Queen of Scots.

Mary, Queen of Scots haunts Stirling Castle
Mary, Queen of Scots, does she still reside at Stirling Castle?

It is said that one of the young women who looked after the queens needs had a gift of premonition, she prophesised that Queen Mary was in terrible danger. It is not proven if Mary actually believed in the unnamed girl's abilities of foresight, however, the legend says that she allowed the girl to watch over her as she slept.

The story says that one night, whilst the girl was watching over her beloved queen Mary, she started to drift to sleep, exhausted from her constant care of the queen, the girl is said to have closed her eyes for just a moment before awakening to find Queen Mary's bed on fire.

It is said that the fire was actually started by the candle that the servant girl used to light to ensure that if Queen Mary awoke in the night she would be comforted by seeing the light.

The room is said to have filled with smoke and the Queen could not be woken whilst her clothes set on fire, the young girl screamed for help at the top of her voice.

Both the Queen and the badly injured servant girl were rescued, only Mary managed to survive the event with the girl dying of her wounds shortly afterwards, even though she gave her life to protect her Queen the only thing that remains in history about her is the colour of her dress, this is what she is still remembered by today.

Some people say that the "Green Lady" haunts the halls of Stirling Castle out of guilt for allowing the Queen to come close to death under her care, whilst others say she is a lost soul that is unable to move on because of the traumatic way in which she died.

Whichever version you believe it does not appear that the "Green Lady" has any malicious intent towards the living, so the fear of her is likely from the belief that she is an omen of misfortune.

Another ghost that is believed to still be roaming Stirling Castle is known simply as the "Pink Lady". The stories of her are fewer than those of the "Green Lady", making knowing for certain who she is rather difficult. The most common thought is that this is the ghost of Mary, Queen of Scots herself, still haunting the rooms of her childhood.

Mary's life was one filled with contempt, political strife and near-death experiences which would have undoubtedly shook her to the core. Mary was cousin of Queen Elizabeth I of England and mother of King James VI of England. It is very plausible that Mary, who met her death on the execution block, could not leave the country that she strongly believed was rightfully hers.

If she is indeed the "Pink Lady", then it is almost certain that whenever she is seen that the "Green Lady" will not be far behind.

If you find yourself visiting Stirling Castle, keep these stories in your mind as you meander through their domain. It is said that they have haunted those walls for hundreds of years, they likely mean you no harm and probably just want to tell you who they are, so their names are not forgotten. If you have any first hand experiences of Stirling Castle we would love to hear from you, tell us your opinions in the comments and don't forget to follow us on Facebook for more stories like this.


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