Cortachy Castle’s Mysterious Drummer Part 2

The drummer of Cotrachy Castle has made himself known to a handful of guests, followed by grave circumstances that have befallen various members of the Ogilvy Clan. In this article, you will learn of a few drummer encounters and the consequences of his appearances.


Once, an 1844 Christmas get-together allowed a woman by the name of Miss Dalrymple to encounter the beating of the drum. As she dressed for dinner (on the night of her arrival), she heard the beating of the drum. While dining with the family, she asked her host about the drummer she had heard earlier. She wanted to know who the drummer was, but the question made the Lord and Lady Airlie turn rather grave in the face.


The question brought up bad memories and promptly told Miss Dalrymple that the last time the drummer was heard – the first Lady Airlie had lost her life a short time thereafter. After dinner, Miss Dalrymple went to bed and awoke to the sound of the drummer once again. This sent shivers up and down her back and she became quite spooked at the serenade. Her second encounter with the drummer caused her to flee from the castle, as an intense fear consumed her.


Over the next six months, Lady Airlie seemed to have gone quite mad, as she took her own life. No one would have known that she killed herself because of the drummer if it wasn’t for the note she behind. She claimed that the drummer was beating his drum for her. More time passed and on August 19, 1849, the drummer once again appeared and delivered a serenade to an Englishman that was visiting the castle. He was a guest of Lord Ogilvy, who also inquired about the drummer to others in the castle. Several people answered that they did not hear the drummer.


The Englishman then set off to ask the Lord, but before he had a chance to sooth his curiosity, he learned that the 9th Earl of Airlie had become quite sick and required the presence of the Lord. With great sadness, the 9th Earl died the very next day.


This would not be the last time the drummer would make himself known to others. In 1900, the Earl who succeeded the position of the last, lost his life during the Boer War of 1900. During that time and thereafter, no one claims to have heard the beating of the drum.


Since the Earl’s death, the reports regarding the mysterious beating of the drum have died down. Some believe that the ghost decided to end his reign of terror and hold back on the curse, feeling satisfied with his previous havoc. Was it time for the curse to end?


Some who have analyzed the case believe that a poltergeist may have been responsible for the haunting of the castle. There is a definite connection pertaining to the Castle Cortachy, the Ogilvy Clan, and the Earls of Airlies, but since no one else seems directly affected by the curse, some doubt its validity and dismiss it as purely coincidental. The details of the supposed ghostly drummer also vary, as many doubt whether or not he was actually stuffed into a drum before his tossing out of the tower.