Expect the unexpected at National Trust for Scotland venuesWhen hosting an event at one of the National Trust for Scotland’s venues, it’s not unusual to have a few unexpected guests – and nowhere more so than in some of its Aberdeenshire castles.
The spectres and ghouls of some of Scotland’s most iconic landmarks have made the conservation charity’s properties a favourite for lovers of all things supernatural. For the more sceptical among us, the spooky tales make any visit to a National Trust for Scotland property an even richer experience, with delegates gaining a fascinating insight into the lives of some of Scotland’s most prolific families and the world they lived in.
Fyvie Castle is one of the largest of the Trust’s properties for corporate events, with capacity for 120 for dinners, 600 for receptions, 4,000 for corporate barbecues or family fun days with a choice of team building country pursuits available on site. Such is Fyvie’s reputation for spine-chilling stories that its drawing room and gallery even featured on Living TV’s popular ghost hunting show, ‘Most Haunted’.
Once the open air court of Robert the Bruce and the childhood home of Charles I, Fyvie is reputed to have no less than two ghosts, an indelible bloodstain and two curses associated with it. One popular tale alleges a haunting caused by the accidental removal of hidden remains during renovations. Only when the bones were returned to their original resting place did the strange noises and unusual happenings cease.
Castle Fraser in Aberdeenshire holds claim to another particularly terrifying tale. The ancestral home of the Fraser family, the property has been a popular retreat for hunting parties since the 16th century. Nowadays it serves as a versatile space for everything from meetings to large marquee events. However, anyone brave enough to venture into its historic ‘Green Room’ after dark may be confronted by the ghost of its most famous guest - a young princess who, legend has it, was murdered as she slept in that very room.
At Crathes Castle, which has recently introduced brand new event space in its restored former horse driven threshing mill, even royalty had a spooky experience. When Queen Victoria stayed in the castle, she observed a green mist floating across the room, before sweeping up a ghostly child and disappearing into the fireplace. There have been numerous sightings of the Green Lady, always in the same room, and curiously, when the castle was renovated skeletons of a woman and child were discovered under the very fireplace where the haunting takes place. The Horsemill offers contemporary space with modern facilities, but delegates might still like to get a flavour of the past with a dinner or reception within the walls of the 16th century castle.
Rebecca Sloan, national hospitality manager, National Trust for Scotland, comments: ‘Stories of the supernatural really help bring the history of our venues to life and provide an even richer experience to believers and sceptics alike.’
‘So, whether it’s spooking guests with an atmospheric murder mystery dinner, or going for a different ‘Spectre’ to tie in with the launch of the new James Bond movie with themed black tie events, guests will be sure to be shaken and stirred - even the uninvited ones!’