top of page

Meggernie Castle: A Jealous Laird, A Murdered Woman & A Ghost Of Two Halves

Meggernie Castle in Perthshire, Scotland, has been home to a variety of reported paranormal incidents. The most famous stories revolve around a woman who was brutally murdered and sliced in two, with the top half still said to float around the ancient rooms.

The Meggernie Ghost is thought to be that of a previously murdered lady of the castle.
The Meggernie Ghost is thought to be that of a previously murdered lady of the castle.

The Meggernie Ghost is the name given to a singular haunting associated with nearby Meggernie Castle, parts of which date back to the fifteenth century. It is an attractive French-Chateau-style building approached by a fine avenue of limes halfway up the longest glen in Scotland. The ghost is believed to be the upper half of a woman.

The panelled Ghost Room is high up in the baronial tower, one of the oldest parts of the castle. Among the stories of the haunting still available is one dating back to 1862 when two friends were among a number of guests at Meggernie. They were allotted a room each in the Tower. There they found a blocked-up door without even a keyhole that used to connect the rooms via a small closet.

During the darkest hours of the night, one guest was awakened by what he afterward described as an exceedingly hot kiss upon his cheek, so hot that he felt as though his face had been burned through. He leaped out of bed and saw the upper half of a woman's body drifting away from his bedside across the room where it disappeared through the blocked-up door. Within seconds he had established that the mysterious door was still firmly fastened and although he tried to reproduce the appearance he had seen by casting shadows from a lamp and moving the curtains of the window, he was quite unsuccessful. Eventually, he returned to his bed and in the morning lost no time in calling to his friend in the next room to tell him that he had had a terrible experience during the night.

Before he could say any more, his friend called back that he, too, had had a strange experience and suggested they told their respective tales individually to someone else in the first place so that it could not be said afterwards that they had worked their accounts together. This they did and when they compared notes it was found that both guests had had almost identical experiences, even to describe the look of despair on the beautiful face of the ghost.

The other guest wrote up his experience, giving the time of his awakening as two-thirty a.m. and recounting that the first thing he noticed was a strange pink light in the room which seemed to emanate from the female form standing at the foot of his bed. The figure moved to the side of his bed and leaned over him and then retreated as he raised himself up. For the first time, he then saw that the figure had no lower half. It retreated to the closet and disappeared in the vicinity of the blocked-up door. Quickly getting out of bed he, too, established to his entire satisfaction that the closet was deserted and that there was no way out of his room. A couple of months later he met a lady at a hotel who had been to Meggernie and she told him that she too had seen a ghost there - the upper half of whose appearance she described, including the look of despair on her face and the way the hair had been arranged.

Such a figure had long been said to haunt the castle rooms and corridors and in the graveyard in the park, the lower half of a female figure had been seen many times walking among the gravestones and sometimes sitting on them. While the lower trunk was clearly visible and the legs moved about unhesitatingly, the head, shoulders, and arms were missing and the mutilated trunk passing briskly over the ground, picking its way among the graves in the gathering gloom must have been a weird and fearsome sight.

Multiple sightings off the mysterious figure have been reported over the years.
Multiple sightings off the mysterious figure have been reported over the years.

A week after the experience in the Towe,r one of the guests was sitting alone late at night writing letters when the heavy oak door of the room suddenly flew open. At the same time, the temperature in the room seemed to drop to freezing point and although he saw nothing on this occasion, the guest had an overwhelming feeling of terror. He hastily put away his papers and could not get out of the room fast enough. On the way to his bedroom, he passed along a corridor, and there, looking at him through the window, he saw a face: it was the beautiful face that he and his fellow guest had seen in their respective rooms a week before! He saw it distinctly and clearly in the light from the corridor before it faded away.

Another witness of the ghost at Meggernie was the wife of Colonel Kinloch Grant who visited the castle one autumn and awoke in the middle of the night to find a female form bending over her. She was neither frightened nor surprised for she was sleeping in the Tower part of the castle and sensed that she was seeing the ghost of a former Lady of Meggernie. She adds in her letter detailing the experience, that the churchyard at Meggernie was a lovely secluded spot and she spent many a quiet hour there, often wondering why the place had such an evil reputation after dark; for nobody at the house or at the farm or indeed any of the Glen people would go there or even pass it alone after dark.

Alasdair Alpin MacGregor said that he had obtained evidence concerning a doctor who had visited Meggernie one October evening and had spent the night there. He found himself awake in the middle of the night with the feeling that someone or something was outside his bedroom door and while waiting for a knock to summon him he suddenly saw a human head and shoulders with nothing below them, gliding along a wall of the bedroom, high up near the ceiling. It stopped opposite and looked down at him. He stared back at the head without a body - and suddenly it was no longer there. The next morning he asked why he had been put in the haunted room and was told that no visitor was ever put in there and that the room he had occupied was in fact immediately below the haunted room. His host went on to say that knocks that could not be explained were often heard in that part of the castle. Some years before, the doctor was told, when repairs were carried out in the Tower part of the castle, a skeleton head and shoulders were discovered and these bones were taken out and buried but unlike many hauntings, the half-ghost of Meggernie was seen again.

Meggernie Castle once belonged to the Clan Menzies and a former laird is said to have committed a cruel murder that gave rise to the haunting. Insanely jealous of his beautiful young wife he murdered her in the Tower, cut her body in two, and concealed the portions in the closet between the two Tower rooms. Then, spreading the word that he and his wife would be abroad for some months, he left Meggernie only returning when he felt that the danger of discovery was past and he could bury the remains of his wife. Stating that his wife had met with an accident abroad, he succeeded in conveying one-half of her body to the graveyard where he buried it unobserved. He intended to do likewise with the upper part of the body but the night he chose for this task - a more dangerous one since the head would be recognizable - he was himself found dead at the entrance to the Tower in circumstances that suggested that he had been murdered; perhaps by someone who had discovered the laird's awful secret. But there was no evidence to show who murdered the murderer and the affair was allowed to rest.

Ballechin House: The Mystery Of The Haunted Perthshire Mansion


Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page