Castles, by their very nature, tend to hold mysteries. As one of the few ancient castles on the mainland that remains open on a B&B basis, our very own Barcaldine Castle is bound to have some shadowy secrets of its own. With a friendly and memorable accommodation service, it would almost be a crime not to stay and discover the thrills of this 400-year-old castle!
According to a public survey conducted in 2013, many visitors to this castle hotel believe it to be haunted – possibly by the ghost of Donald Campbell, Laird of Barcaldine.
In his life, Donald Campbell had a bitter feud with Stewart of Appin. Then one day, during one of the most notorious massacres in Scottish history, the Massacre of Glencoe, Stewart murdered Donald with his sword in this very castle.
Donald’s brother, Sir Duncan Campbell, was the one who built the ‘Black Castle’ between 1601 and 1609. After murdering Donald, Stewart sought refuge with Duncan, who had not yet learned of his brother’s death. Obeying Highland custom, poor Sir Duncan took Stewart in, not realising he was sheltering Donald’s murderer.
Legend has it that Donald haunted and chastised Duncan for helping Stewart, but Duncan did not understand these visions he was having. And by the time Duncan realised what had happened to his brother, that he was seeing his ghost, it was too late! The murderous Stewart of Appin had fled once again!
Out of pure frustration at the injustice he suffered, Donald Campbell reportedly haunts the castle to this day. Our B&B guests often tell tales of hauntings in The Caithness Room, with sightings of Donald’s ghost featuring heavily in their stories. Many who have slept on the right side of the bed claim that they felt pressure on their back/legs. According to them, it felt as though someone was sitting on them! Others report odd lights moving around The Caithness Room at night, with no clear explanation of how they got there.
The TripAdvisor survey may have been carried out in 2013, but many are still tempted to find out if Donald Campbell’s ghost still roams the rooms and halls. Are you?
Our castle hotel may have WiFi access and modern facilities, but rooms such as The Breadalbane Room retain their traditional charm, boasting a super king-sized four-poster bed commissioned in 1898. Meanwhile, The Lochnell Room features an impressive 17th-century Jacobean four-poster double bed complemented by other period furniture.
Ornate roaring fireplaces, antique furnishings and paintings, and even a secret staircase! The historic feel of Barcaldine isn’t just restricted to the bedrooms but embodies the entire castle!
Secret spiralling staircases. A sinister bottle dungeon. And all nestled in the stunning mountains of Glencoe! Argyll’s Black Castle has been available for use as a backdrop for film and TV shows since 2018. Perhaps one day you’ll see a film featuring our castle and be able to say, “I’ve been there!”
Whether you’re a ghost hunter, film and TV fan or history buff, it would surprise us if you didn’t like what Barcaldine Castle has to offer. To book your stay, please visit our Reservations page.