Local Ghost Stories
Written by Archie Fergusson on 28/11/2010
Carol Stirling is one of Scotlands top and International clairvoyant mediums; with a wide experience as a spiritualist medium and tarot card reader as well as appearing in many T.V. and shows and magazines. We are pleased she will be joining us on Dunoon Community Radio for guest appearances. Here she tells us about some of the areas ghosts.
The ruins of Toward Castle date mainly from the 15th Century. It was a stronghold of the Lamonts, who supported the MacDonald’s and Charles II in his attempts to impose bishops on the Church of Scotland; while the Campbell’s were Covenanters and bitterly opposed to episcopacy.
An episode in 1646 shows just how the Scottish clans took matters into their own hands when dispensing justice. The Campbell’s laid siege to Toward Castle that year in response to the Lamont’s slaughtering Campbell’s at Strachur as well as attacking and slaughtering the villagers of Kilmun, who were hiding in their church. After the Campbell’s unsuccessful attempt to blow the castle up they offered safe passage as far as Dunoon to the Lamont’s sheltering within.
The Lamont’s duly left the castle and were immediately rounded up and taken to Tom-a-Mhoid (“Hill of Justice) in Dunoon where 36 clansmen were hung. The spirits of the Lamonts roam the ruins today and documented Electrical Voice data has been captured here time after time.
On the same grounds of Toward Castle stands Castle Toward which was built in 1820 by Kirkman Finlay, former Lord Provost of Glasgow, as his families country house. Later owned and extended by the Coats family of Paisley. The house is a castellated mansion house with Italian plasterwork installed in the public rooms in 1920; the grounds incorporate the ruins of Toward Castle, the Chinese lakes, wooded areas, access to the shore and stunning views over the Clyde estuary.
It is said the spirit of Winston Churchill returns to Castle Toward. It is a well known fact that Winston Churchill did stay at the Castle during the war to draw up his plans for the Normandy Landings. It is said that they have now named Churchill’s room after him as he is so often there. The Castle has a terrible stench of cigar smoke in the corridor outside his room that no air freshener, paint or open windows can cure.
Every member of staff has their own stories of different spiritual encounters at Castle Toward. They ene have their own photographic evidence with a picyure of an angel that appears among a group photograph of children. The chef has often stood alone in the kitchen and has heard various voices echoing around the room, or has seen what appears to be a lady walking towards him.Other events have documented the prescence of former owner Mr Coates.
This fine Victorian building is Dunoon’s foremost hotel, centrally located with excellent views of the River Clyde. It is often said you can see the ghost ships sail down the clyde from Room 26. Room 26 is also known as Majestic Tower and has become one of the greatest landmarks in Dunoon.
Crown Court Bar
The Crown Hotel as advertised in Town Councils offical guide in 1905. Where visitors would find every comfort and attention, combined with moderate charges. Billiard and Smoking-Room. Boots [?] awaits arrival of Steamers.
Parts of this building date back to the early 1700’s and before that was the courtyard for all royal coaches before becoming a hotel, hence its name. In the 70’s it burnt down after George the Night Porter, a happy drunk, fell asleep smoking one of his fine cigars. After this the surviving parts where reopened as a bar, recently being bought by Bryan Pearce.
Bryan has witnessed George’s visits? All bars in Scotland are non-smoking venues, but often or not before George makes his apperance you will smell his cigar. Everyone who works in the bar at the present moment are happy to see George when he visits and feel he is happy with the changes made in the bar. Bryan has met with friends of George who can confirm his identity, which further confirms his apperance. George appears more often after closing hours; when the music is off and the lights are all up you may hear him whistle. Or if you’re cleaning the mirrors you may notice his reflection behind you.
The Coylett Inn
One of the rooms in the Coylett is haunted by the ghost of a young boy who had tragically drowned in the loch. It is said he returns leaving wet footprints to be seen.
Apparently this was the inspiration for the short TV film “The Blue Boy” made in 1994 and starring Emma Thompson.
If you have any seen these apparitions or any others round Cowal please let us know. For more information on Carol please go to her website www.carolstirling.co.uk More ghostly stories will be here shortly.