Galdenoch Castle Ghost: The Story Of A Murdered Farmer, A Tormented Spirit & A Strong Willed Choir
Galdenoch Castle in Scotland was said to be haunted by the spirit of a murdered man who followed his killer back to the tower. For years the inhabitants of the castle reported terrifying encounters with the malicious spirit, as the story goes, it took a fearless minister and a devoted choir to banish the ghost for good.
Galdenoch Tower dates from the sixteenth century. It was originally owned by nobility but after one hundred years or so it changed hands and became part of a farm. The farmer's family at Galdenoch found themselves in the midst of the struggles of the Covenanters. The farmer was a staunch Presbyterian and proud to have a son who took up the cause against the Royalists.
The Covenanter forces were losing the struggle, and the son found himself on the run, hounded by Royalist troops. Taking a chance that he would find an ally therein, he knocked at the door of an isolated farm one night and asked for shelter.
The owner was initially hospitable, but after some time his attitude became more menacing. When the young Covenanter decided that it would be prudent to try to leave, his host attempted to prevent his departure by force.
Terrified at the prospect of being handed over to the Royalist troops, the young man fought with his captor and killed him. He then fled for his life, back to Galdenoch. No one had seen him arriving or leaving the farmhouse, so he hoped that the dreadful secret of what he had done would never be discovered.
The young man's crime did go unpunished by law, but he had not seen the end of the man whom he had killed. At Galdenoch Castle, a few nights later, the young man was roused from sleep by the ghost of his victim. The ghost made further sleep impossible for the young man by throwing objects and furniture around the room, laughing and shrieking maniacally.
The ghost then set about tormenting the rest of the family, and soon all the inhabitants of the farm spent their days in dread and their nights in fear. For weeks on end, the activities of the murdered man's spirit continued relentlessly. A minister was summoned to help, and he tried to exorcise the ghost, but the ghost was having none of it. The torment went on, night after night, week after week, until, driven to distraction, the family fled.
The ghost remained at Galdenoch, and when a new family moved in it started a campaign of mischief and terror of another sort. For most of the time it was quiet, but then, unexpectedly, it would play sudden and dangerous tricks. The family, sitting by the fire one night, were startled into frantic activity when a peat from the fire suddenly flew out of the hearth. Within moments, one of the outbuildings on the farm was ablaze.
On another occasion, it was claimed that the malicious ghost lifted the grandmother of the family from her chair, carried her to a nearby stream, ducked her in the freezing water, lifted her out again, and left her on a nearby wall, wet, shivering, and frightened half to death.
Many attempts were made with the help of various members of the clergy to rid the tower of its unwanted inhabitant, but the ghost seemed to have the measure of anyone who came. It would taunt people with its demonic voice and laugh at their feeble attempts to banish it.
Finally, one particularly determined minister came to the house. Summoning a band of followers with good, strong voices, he took on the full force of the ghost. The minister and his helpers opened their psalm books and began to sing with gusto.
The ghost was stirred into activity by the sound of the singing and, rising to the challenge, began to sing its own songs in response, louder than the minister's choir. So the minister urged his people to sing louder as well. The louder the choir sang, the louder the ghost sang, until both parties were singing at top volume.
All night the minister urged his choir on as they worked their way through psalm after psalm. When all the psalms that they knew had been sung, they started with the first one again. The people in the choir were very tired and their voices were croaking, but still, the minister urged them on, his voice rising above the others as he sought to outdo the ghost.
As the first light of dawn glimmered in the distance, the ghost had to admit defeat. Finally, it had found a force stronger than it was. Its creaky voice was heard for the last time as it told the assembled crowd that it had given up. The minister and his victorious forces, exhausted, made their way home and the ghost of Galdenoch was never heard from again.
This story has been passed down by generations of locals in the area and is still frequently recalled.