Barcaldine Castle, aka The Black Castle, is a 17th-century tower house castle located at Barcaldine 9 miles north of Oban, Scotland. The castle was built by Sir Duncan Campbell, of Glenorchy, between 1601 and 1609. The castle fell into disrepair in the later 19th century, when Barcaldine House became the principal residence of the family. It was restored between 1897-1911 and now operates as the Barcaldine Castle bed & breakfast hotel.
The ghost of Donald Campbell, the Laird of Barcaldine, who was brutally murdered inside the castle in the 1600s, during the Massacre of Glencoe. He was killed by Stewart of Appin, his sworn enemy, who escaped shortly after in order to avoid punishment.
He fled to Inverawe, where he found shelter in the house of Duncan Campbell, the brother of Donald, who hadn’t yet heard about his brother’s death. The ghost of Donald Campbell consistently haunted his brother, chastising him for taking care of Donald’s murderer. Of course, this made no sense to Duncan, since he didn’t know his brother was dead. But by the time Duncan did hear about the demise of Donald, it was too late – Steward of Appin had fled once again.
Donald’s ghost was said to return to Barcaldine Castle out of pure frustration and is recorded to have been sighted by various visitors staying there.
“The occurrences that have been reported by many guests usually are centred around ‘Caithness’ room. A high number of guests have commented that they wake up in the night and feel like there is pressure being exerted on their back or legs, as though someone is sitting on them! It only seems to occur at one side of the bed. Other guests have seen strange lights moving round the room in the night, with no obvious explanation.
Sensitive guests often claim that they feel a presence in the Great Hall. Some believe that there is someone sitting in the large black chair in the corner. Photographs sometimes display unexplained blueish outlines.”
There have been numerous sightings through the years of male and female apparitions, many episodes of sleep paralysis, a telephone was thrown onto the floor, voices and footsteps heard and objects have been seen moving around.
Mark from Haunted Auckland spent a night investigating Barcaldine Castle and stayed in the Caithness Room, in October, 2018.