Spedlins Tower is a strong fortress on the south bank of the River Annan in what was once the county of Dumfriesshire, now part of Lockerbie, Scotland. The tower is reportedly haunted by the ghost of 'Dunty' Porteous.
Spedlins was built around 1605 during the Tudor era and served as the seat of the Jardine family who owned most of the land between Templand and Milhousebridge. The Tower is made from sandstone from Corncockle Quarry, the same quarry used to build Rammerscales Mansion.The family, however, was forced to move to Jardine Hall across the river because the ghost of a miller was haunting them.
Legend of 'Dunty' Porteous
James 'Dunty' Porteous was the miller for the Village of Milhousebridge and delivered bread to the Baronet, Sir Alexander Jardine, at Spedlins Tower. James was well known for his quarrelsome nature and this earned him the nickname, Dunty (originally meaning 'argument' in Old English but later came to mean 'one who knocks').
At one point, Dunty and Sir Alexander Jardine ended up fighting for some unknown reason. Some say it was because Dunty had burned down his mill while baking bread. Sir Jardine confined Dunty in a deep dungeon in the depths of Spedlins Tower. A short time later, Jardine was called away to Ediburgh on some pressing and unexpected business. In his haste to get going, he forgot that he had the keys to the dungeon in his pocket.
Meanwhile, in the dungeon, Dunty was getting very hungry. Hours passed and then the unhappy miller began to realise that he had been forgotten, whether on purpose or not, he didn't know. He began to cry out for help and for food. Sir Jardine reached Edinburgh a few days later and realized that he had the keys to the dungeon in his pocket. He quickly hired a courier to hurry back to the Tower to release the prisoner. Unfortunatley, he was too late. Dunty had died of starvation but not until he had chewed on one of his hands first.
From that moment on, Jardine and his family were tormented day and night by the ghost of Dunty. Dunty's cry of "Let me out - I'm deen' o' hunger!" rang constantly through the Tower. Jardine called in the chaplain to perform an exocism. Using a big black Bible, Dunty's ghost was sent back to the dungeon. He no longer could roam the Tower's halls. Soon after, the Jardine family moved from Spedlins Tower to Jardin Hall across the river. The Bible was deposited in a stone niche in the staircase wall. As long as the Bible was there, the ghost stayed quiet.
At some point, the Bible was sent to Ediburgh to be rebound. The moment it left the Tower, the spirit of Dunty became active once more. The ghost started haunting the family in their new home, Jardine Hall. The ghost made such a disturbance, crying out his lament, hauling the Baronet and his wife out of bed, and other annoyances that the Bible was immediatley recalled and placed once more in it's nook in Spedlins Tower and Dunty's ghost became quiet again.
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Spedlins Tower fell into ruin but was restored in the 1960's. It now has new owners. Dunty's ghost is still there but is not as violent as he was during the days that the Sir Alexander Jardine lived there. It is said that if you put a stick into the dungeon window, it will come out chewed.