Comlongon Castle, in Dumfrieshire, Scotland, is reportedly haunted by the ghost of Marion Carruthers.
Background[edit | edit source]
The sandstone castle was built in the 15th century by Cuthbert Cockpool. His family had been given the Comlongon landgrant and he used the land to build a mansion. Cockpool's son, John Murray, became the first Baron of Comlongon in 1508. The Murrays would later earn more landgrants throughout the country, but mostly stayed at Comlongon Castle. Comlongon Castle never came under attack and simply served as a residence for the Baron of Comlongon.
In 1984 the castle was sold by the Murray family and turned into a hotel. It still serves as a hotel today and is a popular wedding attraction. it is well known for runaway weddings, it being only fifeteen minutes from the Scotland/England border and the famous Gretna Green. There is an average of one wedding per day at Comlongon Castle.
The case of Marion Carruthers[edit | edit source]
Marion Carruthers was the daughter of Baron Simon Carruthers of nearby Mouswald Caslte. The Mouswald estate was just north of the Comlongon estate. in 1563 Simon Carruthers died and handed his estate down to his two daughters, Marion and Janet. A powerful baron named James Douglas, who already owned the extensive Drumlanrig estate, wanted to own Marion's share of the Mouswald estate. Since the Douglases were a powerful family, the Carruthers family arranged a marraige between Marion Carruthers and James Douglas, However, Douglas did not really care about Carruthers and only wanted the estate. Carruthers knew that and did not want to marry Douglas but was being forced to.
Carruthers and Douglas would have been wed much earlier in Mouswald Castle. If it had not been for the fact that another local baron, Lord Maxwell of the Caerlaverock estate, also felt entitled to the Mouswald Estate. Maxwell had moved into Mouswald Castle after Simon Carruthers's death, and was refusing to move out. A fight broke out between the two barons and the wedding could not take place.
The Privy Council was called to settle the argument, they decided that Carruthers would still have to marry Douglas and so they told her to stay in Borthwick Castle near Edinburgh. She would not be allowed back home until the marraige, Since she did not want to marry Douglas she escaped from Borthwick Castle and went back home. She turned to her uncle, William Murray, who allowed her to hide in his home of Comlongon Castle.
In order to try and persuade Douglas not to marry her, Carruthers signed her part of the estate to Murray. However, Douglas then decided to sue both Murray and Carruthers for stealing his 'just inheritance' (Marion's estate). He won because a marriage had been arranged between them and the Mouswald Estate was given to him. Marion Carruthers was then ordered to marry Douglas in Comlongon Castle immediately. Marion Carruthers was so distressed by this that she jumped off the top of the castle and committed suicide.
Hauntings[edit | edit source]
There are reports of seeing the apparition of a woman around the castle, often crying. The sounds of crying can sometimes be heard all throughout the castle. No grass ever grows on the spot where Carruther's landed and died. It is rumoured that she may have been pushed of the Castle by Douglas or one of his men. However, this has never been proven.