The Legend of Ballechin House

Ballechin house is one of the most often talked about locations of paranormal interest in Scotland.  Built in 1806, the house would come into the possession of Mr. Robert Stuart in 1825.  Stuart had just returned from a long tour of duty in India where he had sustained injuries to his leg.  The incident had left him with a pronounced limp, but this would not stop him from taking the great journey from death back into the world of the living.

After moving in to the home, Stuart began adopting dogs.  Though he was relatively rich and well respected, Stuart hated the company of humans other than his house cleaner Sarah.  As Stuart and Sarah aged together, he explained to her that when he died he would attempt to move his soul into the body of his beloved black cocker spaniel and reincarnate in ways he had learned while on tour in India.  But he would not be the first to die, as Sarah grew ill and would die in 1873.  Stuart was struck with grief over the death of his long time friend.  When he followed her in death the following year, his estate fell into the hands of his nephew, John.  Having heard the claim that Stuart would attempt to reincarnate in the form of the house’s black cocker spaniel, he shot the animal.  It was this act that many say resulted in the ghosts around the house.

A number of legends surround the ghost of Robert, who has been heard walking around the master bedroom with limping footsteps, a result of his war injury while he was touring in India.  Additionally, Robert’s sister Sarah has been seen on several occasions, especially during an investigation into the household in 1896 by the Marque of Butue, an avid proponent of spiritualism and the paranormal.  As they passed by a stream on the property, they noticed a nun weeping next to the stream and being consoled by a second.  As their investigation continued, they went back to the house and began communicating with spirits via a ouija board.  When they were instructed to return to the stream they once again witnessed the nun and saw her walk on the far side of the stream before suddenly vanishing into thin air.  The assembled witnesses were certain they had found something incredibly significant with the Ballechin household.

And the mysterious events were not merely present only when being investigated.  One of the ghosts that appeared regularly wasn’t even human.  Robert Stuart’s black cocker spaniel was witnessed several times walking around the house and interacting with people and objects despite the fact that he was entirely invisible.

The Ballechin household is a classic example of the vengeance (whether it be purposeful or an accidental) the dead can enact on the living.  With John’s single act of violence against Robert’s favorite cocker spaniel, he opened some sort of gateway to another world and would become the victim of Robert’s vengeance along with his family and others who would reside in the home.  Eventually it would be demolished in 1963, but only after establishing itself as one of the most famously haunted places in Scotland.