The Inspiration for MacBeth: Haunted Glamis Castle

If you ever have the chance to visit Angus in Scotland, you may pass by the site where a wronged resident of a local castle may be encountered. Below you will learn of this ghost and another, who haunts the Glamis Castle in this area.


As you enter Forfar, Angus, there is a castle by the name of Glamis that has a haunting of its own. While the outside of this structure looks like something out of a fairytale dream, the insides serve as the haunting grounds for a spirit that doesn’t wish to leave. Originally built during the 14th century, the size of the castle has expanding over the years. In the beginning, it served as the family seat for the Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorn, which has a history that can be traced back to the 15th century.


The history of the castle extends beyond family residences; this location also became part of the literary scene. Shakespeare used the castle for inspiration when writing the tale of Macbeth. The imagery of this structure is more evident through the description of the murder of King Duncan and its connection to the castle walls. Even the late Queen Mother was attached to this structure throughout history.


Moving onto the ghost part of this article, it is the chapel of the castle that stands as haunting grounds for the likes of the Grey Lady, which is thought to be the ghost of Janet Douglas. Janet was once married to the 6th Lord of Glamis, John. After her first husband passed on, she became the wife of Archibald Campbell and brought him to the castle to live with her.


King James at the time held a hatred for the Douglas family close to his heart and when he heard of Janet’s progress in life, he could no longer contain his resentment and disgust for her beauty. He decided to take advantage of his kingly powers and imprison Jane. For what, you ask? He convicted her on made-up charges of witchcraft and sadly, she was sentenced to a horrible death of burning at the stake.


When witnesses catch sight of her ghost, she doesn’t seem to want to cause any harm to those who come in contact with her. Actually, many claim that she spends most of her haunting time praying at the chapel. At Glamis Castle, the Grey Lady is not the only ghost to make his or her presence known on the castle grounds. There is also another spirit, this one a man, who has been spotted on many different occasions.


The ghost of the 4th Earl of Crawford is believed to haunt Glamis Castle. His spirit is said to find its way to a room that holds much significance to him during his life. Earl Beardie, as he is known, visits a room within the castle where he was supposed to have enjoyed a card game with the Devil himself. Witnesses who have seen him on various times of the day and night describe him as a rather large entity, sporting a noticeable beard.