Noltland Castle, on the Island of Westray, Orkney, Scotland, are now castle ruins haunted by 'The Boky Hound' ghost.
Background[edit | edit source]
Noltland Castle was built in the 1560's by the Bishop Of Orkney, Adam Bothwell. During the 1500's, scotland was a politically chaotic place. Especialy since this was during the time in which Mary, Queen of scots was in power. Queen Mary was a catholic, and her sister, Elizabeth the first of england, was a Protestant, and had Outlawed catholicism in england. For this reason there was increadably high tension between england and scotland and most members of parliament differed radically from eachother, this meant that many landowners started fighting with eachother. Mary's Cousin was a man called Gilbert Balfour, due to his connection to mary he had gained himself many enemy's. After Balfour and his brother's laid seige on St.Andrews castle, they were kidnapped and accused of the murder of Cardinal Beaton, a ship owner who happened to be in the castle at the time. As a punishment, the brothers where sent to work as Sailors for the french navy.
The Bishop of Orkney, Adam Bothwell, was Balfour's brother-in-law, heard this news and decided he was going to help his relatives. He sent a message to Balfour for him to run away to orkney in order to hide from the law. Balfour and his followers done this, and they then built Noltland Castle for them to live and hide in.
Queen Mary however started to lose power and eventualy decided to blame this partly on Gilbert Balfour for abandoning her. She declared balfour of treason and sent the Stewarts to go and take over Noltland Castle. The castle was taken and Balfour escaped to Sweden. He was eventually apprehended and executed after an attempt to assasanate the king of Sweden.
The castle and Orkney fell into the ownership of the Stewarts, who expanded the castle by giving it a courtroom and a garden. However, they abandoned the castle and it has since fallen into ruin.
The Boky Hound[edit | edit source]
The Boky Hound was a dog that lived in the castle, presumably called Boky. Boky belonged to one of Gilbert Balfour's brothers, Sir David Balfour. Sir David lived in the castle with his wife, but Sir David was a drunkard and would spend most of the day and night hunting and then come home drunk. This angered and upset his wife who then fought up a plan to kill her husband by poisoning his drink.
One time when Sir David Balfour returned home from hunting he demanded a drink as usual, His wife brought him the drink tht she had poisoned and put it in his goblet. David sat down to drink, but just as he was about to, Boky jumped onto him and knocked the goblet out of his hand, Spilling the drink, Sir David did not understand that the dog had just saved his life and was enraged by the animal that had spilt his drink. In a fit of anger, David drew his sword and killed the dog.
Years later, Sir David was sent to fight in a crusade. During a battle it is rumoured that a dog howl was heard, and Sir David Balfour mysteriously collapsed, dead. At this same day, Sir Davids wife was found mysteriously dead in Noltland Caslte. Ever since this point many people have reported seeing a phantom dog throughout the castle, The Boky Hound is rumoured to live underneath the castle in the dungeon, and is said to howl whenever there is a death in the balfour family.