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Master of Scaremonies
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Glamis castle - a secret room
Posted on Saturday, 25 November, 2006
Mike Reed

Ghost hunters, chill-seekers, Shakespeare buffs and anyone interested in the paranormal will have heard of Glamis Castle. It probably has more unsettling tales (with the ghosts to prove them) and creepy occurrences than perhaps any other castle in Scotland. Perhaps the most well-known story concerns the rumours of a secret room ensconced in Glamis' stone walls. There are certainly whispers, stories of servants being 'silenced' after straying into the room by accident. If you hang towels out of every window from the inside of the castle, there will always be one window with no towel hanging from it.

Where is the entrance to this room - and what is is kept in it? The buzz claims that the inhabitant of this room was a grotesquely deformed child with ties to the Royal Family. Servants going back centuries have reported sounds that could not be accounted for. The subject of an oil painting in the castle that shows a child with an oddly misshapen torso has never been traced.

Then there is Mad Earl's Walkway - was it planned as an escape route or was it used to exercise the malformed child at night in order to preserve the secret of its existence? A builder who knocked down a wall by accident and saw the contents of the room was swiftly sent to Australia and told never to speak of what he had seen. In 1904 the 13th Earl of Strathmore, Claude Bowes-Lyon, told an enquiring friend that the truth of the secret room was so dreadful that '…you would go down on your knees and thank God it were not yours.'

Women in the Royal family aren't told what the secret is, and it is sometimes claimed that some members of the family who know the terrible truth, completely reject the story, fearing for their sanity.Whatever or whoever inhabited the secret room, there are more than a few grisly stories about what happened to those who purportedly stumbled upon it. A young woman who made this dire mistake had her tongue cut out by two royal guards, a practice known as silencing. Amazingly, she didn't bleed to death or succumb to shock. Instead, she tore out of the castle dungeon but was recaptured by the guards. They broke her neck, cut up her body and fed it to the wild boars living in the nearby woods.

People claim to have seen her, screaming silently, blood gushing from her mouth.The young woman's ghost isn't the only one that has been seen inside and outside Glamis Castle. There is a Grey Lady who was allegedly burned as a witch. Then there is the sinister knight that has startled many a sleeping visitor. One child woke up one night to see a ghostly figure in full armour leaning over him. His parents ran into his room and the apparition disappeared. Another macabre tale concerns the unlucky Ogilvy family, who fled to Glamis seeking protection from the Lindsay family in 1486. They were imprisoned in a chamber and left to die of starvation. Over a month later, the chamber was opened. One member of the family had been driven to eating the rest of the family to survive. Why was this done to them? It turned out that Glamis supported the Lindsays.

Article Copyright© Mike Reed
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