It’s my sincere pleasure to welcome fellow Flame Tree Press author Catherine Cavendish to my website today, with the frightening tale of a haunted castle that has claimed the life of at least one. Readers who enjoy gothic ghost stories will love Cat’s work. She’s among the best out there.
Now learn about the one castle you want to avoid when visiting Scotland, and then take a look at Cat’s latest novel, The Haunting of Henderson Close.
Scotland is full of legends, myths…and ghosts. Not only in Edinburgh do the dead walk, they can turn up anywhere and they can be found in some fabulous locations. Take Castle Stuart for instance.
This historic castle, situated on the Moray Firth, not far from Inverness, was completed in 1625 and was built on land given by Mary, Queen of Scots to her half-brother, James Stuart in 1561 when she created him Earl of Moray. Following the death of Charles I, the castle fell into decline and ruin until its current owner – Charles Stuart – spent fifteen years renovating the building which had been roofless for 300 years.
Its reputation as a haunted location dates back almost from the time the last stone was laid. Over the centuries it has passed through a number of owners and in the 1930s, a Canadian – John Cameron – bought the property with the intention of repairing and renovating it. Work on the castle revealed a doorway hidden behind plaster, behind which was a staircase down to another wall. Determined to find what lay on the other side of it, Cameron proceeded to punch his way through, only to hear a ghastly voice cry, ‘No!’ He thought he must have imagined it and kept on working. Suddenly some invisible force pushed him off his ladder and he fell just as he had broken through to the other side, releasing a disgusting stench. Thoroughly spooked, he raced out of the castle, but returned later for his tools. Gathering his courage in both hands, he wedged open the front door and made his way towards the newly revealed chamber.
Still scared after his earlier encounter, Cameron nearly died of fright when the lights went out and the front door slammed shut. He stumbled back towards the front door but icy hands grabbed him and tried to drag him back towards the very chamber he had opened up. Somehow he managed to tear himself out of the grip, escaped the house, got into his car and drove away.
He never returned.
The castle remained empty until 1977, when the Stuart family again bought it but they couldn’t live in it either. The then earl of Moray found he could get no peace there, and came to believe the legends – including the belief that a room in the East Tower – known simply as the Haunted Room – did indeed live up to its name. Returning to London, he offered a sizeable reward to anyone who would discover what secrets the castle held.
A Presbyterian minister and two others took up the offer and panned to each spend several nights in the Haunted Room. The first to undertake the challenge was the minister. On his first night, he dreamed of a huge man entering the room, covered in blood. The second night, unable to sleep, he read his Bible. Suddenly the apparition of the blood-splattered man waked through a wall, into his room. The wall behind him morphed into a kind of mirror reflecting the image of a skeleton. The ghost then addressed him. ‘What are you doing?’ The minister fainted. It took him weeks to recover.
Undaunted, the other two took their turns in the room. The next man saw the wall transform into a mirror of sorts and witnessed a figure which looked like the devil walk into the room whereupon it promptly sat down in a chair. The man passed out and was found unconscious next morning.
The following night, the third man took up residence. The following morning he was missing and the room was in terrible disarray as if a fight had taken place. We shall never know exactly what occurred there that night as the poor man was found, crushed and dead on the lawn – a look of sheer terror on his face. From the angle and position of the body it is clear he had either jumped – or been pushed from that room.
In total, there are reported to be four ghosts in residence and maybe one day you will be able to visit them. Since 2015 however the castle has been closed for refurbishment although keen golfers will note that the Castle Stuart Golf Links is one of the world’s finest courses, having played host to the Scottish Open on a number of occasions.
Here’s what to expect from The Haunting of Henderson Close:
Ghosts have always walked there. Now they’re not alone…
In the depths of Edinburgh, an evil presence is released. Hannah and her colleagues are tour guides who lead their visitors along the spooky, derelict Henderson Close, thrilling them with tales of spectres and murder. For Hannah it is her dream job, but not for long. Who is the mysterious figure that disappears around a corner? What is happening in the old print shop? And who is the little girl with no face? The legends of Henderson Close are becoming all too real.
The Auld De’il is out – and even the spirits are afraid.
The Haunting of Henderson Close is available from:
About the author:
Following a varied career in sales, advertising and career guidance, Catherine Cavendish is now the full-time author of a number of paranormal, ghostly and Gothic horror novels, novellas and short stories. In addition to The Haunting of Henderson Close, Cat’s novels include the Nemesis of the Gods trilogy– Wrath of the Ancients, Waking the Ancients and Damned by the Ancients, plus The Devil’s Serenade,The Pendle Curseand Saving Grace Devine.
Her novellas include Linden Manor, Cold Revenge, Miss Abigail’s Room, The Demons of Cambian Street, Dark Avenging Angel, The Devil Inside Her, andThe Second Wife
She lives near Liverpool with her long-suffering husband, and a black cat who has never forgotten that her species used to be worshipped in ancient Egypt. She sees no reason why that practice should not continue.
You can connect with Cat here: