White Lady Ghost St Andrews
The ghosts of St Andrew Scotland including the white lady ghost, monk and nun ghosts, Cardinal David Beaton and Patrick Hamilton
St Andrews, Scotland is famous for its golf but it also has some well known and often seen ghosts. These are described below.
White Lady Ghosts
In the ruined Abbey there is said to be a white lady. There are two theories to who this white lady ghost could have been.
The first is that she was a former nun. This could have some truth behind the legend. The ruin was home to a convent and those who have witnessed the ghost of the white lady say that she had a veil over her face. It is thought that in life she became so badly disfigured that she became a nun so that she could hide away from people.
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An urban myth has grown over this ghost - it is said that if she beckons you over and you feel compelled to go to the ghosts she will lift her face to reveal a hideous face that will drive you insane. This myth is kept popular because in the early 1960s a student from St Andrews University is reputed to have seen the all in white figure and she beckoned to him. He went across to her as if in a trance and she pulled back her veil to reveal her face to the student who instantly became mad. He was found slumped over stones in the morning saying "The nun" over and over again. He was taken to a nearby mental institution where he remained all of his life.
Other sources consider this white lady ghost of St Andrews to be a figure all in white including wearing white gloves who appears at the Haunted Tower which is part of the Abbey Wall. This was used in 1605 to dispose of the bodies of plague victims. It was sealed in 1868. Several years later sightings of a white figure in a flowing white robe have been regular. It walks the grounds of St Andrews Cathedral and the nearby shoreline, most often seen in the winter months.
The site was investigated by historians who discovered a sealed vault. It contained a number of coffins. These were opened and one was said to contain a mummified body of a young woman wearing white gloves. Others report that the white lady was the victim of a grave robber and the spirit of this noblewoman wanders the earth seeking her body to lay to rest. She appears mostly on dark stormy nights by the square tower in the priory wall.
Cardinal David Beaton
Cardinal David Beaton who was murdered on 29 May 1546 is still said to haunt the spot on which stood the Castle of St Andrews. There is more written about David Beaton on the Ethie Castle
In the book Castles of the Clans: The Strongholds and Seats of 750 Scottish Families and Clans
by Martin Coventry he considers that this spectral ghost coach could be Beaton's spirit.
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Other ghosts in St Andrews include a friendly and helpful monk who appears on the stairs at St Rule’s tower. He offers to help visitors up the stairs as if ensuring they make it to the top safely.
A more sinister ghostly monk lures the unwary into the hidden tunnels and staircases under the ruined cathedral.
Another wandering spirit overlooks St Rule’s Tower and is thought to be the undead spirit of a murdered Prior who cannot find peace.
There is said to be a strange presence felt at the Castle Sands.
St Andrews University Ghost
St Andrews University has their own ghost which is thought to be the spirit of a young Protestant martyr called Patrick Hamilton. He was burnt at the stake aged only 21 years for heresy. His spirit haunts the grounds of the University and witnesses have reported strange sounds as if of crackling and the odour of burning flesh. It is said that his image is permanently etched in the stone of the tower he was facing when he was burned alive at a stake.
Strathkinness Road Ghost
At Strathkinness Road people have seen a ghostly image of an old fashioned coach pulled by four large black horses. It is thought that this phantom is the assassinated Archbishop of St Andrews, James Sharp.
More Scottish Ghosts