Brodick Castle

Investigation Report – 30th of October – 2009



Brodick (Scottish Gaelic: Breadhaig) is the second-largest village (after Lamlash) on the Isle of Arran, in the Firth of Clyde, Scotland. It is set on the eastern coast of the island, roughly in the central section. It sits in Brodick Bay below Goat Fell, the tallest mountain on Arran. The name is derived from Norse roots meaning “Broad Bay”.  Features include the harbour which receives the main connecting ferry with the mainland which sails to Ardrossan, and Brodick Castle, a former residence of the Dukes of Hamilton.

Brodick Castle is  situated outside the port of Brodick and the present castle dates from the 13th century, with major alterations in 1544, 1588, 1652 and 1844 by the Dukes of Hamilton who owned it from 1503, when the castle and the Earldom of Arran were granted to Lord Hamilton by his cousin James IV.

Cromwellian soldiers occupied the castle in 1648 during the Civil War, executing the first Duke. The second Duke fared no better, being killed in battle three years later.

The most important was the alteration doubling in size of the castle in 1844 by the 10th Duke of Hamilton and his wife, Princess Marie of Baden. The high tower and magnificent Victorian rooms were designed by James Gillespie Graham,

The castle eventually passed into the hands of the daughter of the 12th Duke of Hamilton. Mary, Duchess of Montrose who restored the gardens. Since her death in 1957 it has been owned by the National Trust for Scotland


Apparently, a Grey Lady has been seen wandering the castle and this is thought to be a servant girl dating from Cromwellian times.   It is said that she had a love affair with the Captain of the Guard and became pregnant with his child but was then quickly dismissed from service at the Castle.   On hearing of her daughters’ trouble, her own family disowned her.  Beside herself and completely distraught, it was said she drowned herself at the Wine Port Quay by the entrance to Brodick Castle.  Her ghost is said to haunt the servant areas of the Castle such as the kitchen, lower corridor and the Turnpike stairs which lead to the East Tower and the Battlements. She has been seen overlooking staff whilst working in the castle and seen by witnesses as though trying to talk to them.  Yet when the witnesses tell staff, they did not see anyone standing over them or talking with a Grey Lady.

Other sources think that the Grey Lady Castle ghost was a woman who was locked in the dungeons with two other women and died of starvation. They were locked in the Castle dungeons because they had the Black Death.

There has also been an apparition of an old man seen in the Library but no one seems to know him or why he supposedly haunts this area.   Also, a man had been seen in the long corridor but quickly disappears.

A White Hart (a Stag) is said to appear in the grounds of Brodick Castle when the Clan Chief of the Hamilton’s is about to die


Team – Billy, Helen, Kim, James, Lisa, Lorraine & Michelle

The GPI arrived at roughly 7.00pm and were greeted by Bill Cowell, Custodian of the Castle, castle staff and also members of the National Trust of Scotland.  The GPI were lucky enough to be given a full tour of the castle by Bill and staff and the team found learning about its past history fascinating.  Due to the size of the castle and the huge value of the antiquities contained in the castle, the team fully understood that they must not wander away and touch any valuables and that in any vigils, GPI members would not be left unattended.  The team found this totally worked in their favour as the castle is vast in size and staff had all the added information on the castle should any names come up from Lorraine (GPI investigator/sensitive) or through any EVP sessions.  The team had various areas to investigate; the kitchen, dining room, living room, Duchess bedroom, Dukes bedroom, cells/dungeon, corridors and stairwell.

After the tour, the team grabbed a quick coffee to refuel and were ready to commence the investigation of Brodick Castle.

The team got to work setting up locked off cameras and triggers objects, as well as baselines readings.


  • Kitchen – 65 F at 11.25pm
  • Dining Room – 20 C
  • Living Room – 20 C at 12.45
  • Duchess Bedroom – 20 C at 1.45
  • Dukes Bedroom – 19 C at 2.10
  • Cells/dungeon –  18C

No fluctuations in temperature at any point during investigation or any reading from EMF


  • Glove in the Dukes room
  • Bible in Duchess bedroom
  • Crucifix & Bible – cells
  • Book left out – Library where old man has been seen
  • Key – Dungeon at window
  • Ball – Duchess Bedroom where Lorraine had sensed a baby on floor on previous walk round
  • Picture of stag – Staircase leading to 2nd floor (the staircase walls were mounted with the actual heads of stags)
  • Motion detectors – Kitchen & Corridor
  • Motion Detectors – Stairs going up turret,  apparently a maid fell to her death on these stairs
  • Motion Detectors in Large Corridor where man has been seen standing

***CCTV also set up in Library.

***Locked off night vision camera left recording in dining room as staff have reported doors opening and closing on their own and also a night vision camera in the corridor.

No trigger objects were moved and motion detectors were not affected in any way throughout night

On reviewing video footage, the team noted a few orbs in the Duchess’s room. On a previous walk round before investigation, this area is where the cleaner had witnessed someone tapping her on the shoulder, turning round and no one was there.  There also seemed to be quite a few interesting EVPs caught in the kitchen, where a spirit has been witnessed standing staring at people when they were cleaning the floors.

Kim was in the drawing room when she felt something brushing against her arm.  It was also here that Lorraine felt a soldier was present and we later found out that there had been soldiers that stayed on the property.  On a vigil in the kitchen, Lisa clearly felt someone touch her hair but she was nowhere near anyone or anything to explain this experience.

When the team were in the room next door to what we referred to as the man’s’ room, Kim had to go back into the room to retrieve the Dictaphone.  On entering the room, out of the corner of her eye she saw someone sitting in one of the seats.

When Lorraine, Kim and Bill the custodian went up to the servant’s quarters, they heard a lot of footsteps and taps in response to questions.  On a later vigil, Billy, Lisa and Helen accompanied by Bill also heard tapping whilst asking questions.  However the team do have to take into consideration that on that particular floor, there was a bathroom and pipes could have been making these noises.  On asking Bill, the custodian, he advised the noises were not familiar to him and did not sound like the pipes at all.

The team had not considered investigating outside at all, but when Lorraine and Michelle were outside having a break, they heard distinct movement in the bushes in front of the castle.  Obviously, with this experience being outside in and in an uncontrolled environment, this could easily have been an animal rather than anything of a paranormal nature.  We do not wish to brush aside any team members’ experiences such as these, but being part of an investigator is debunking supposed activity and taking all possible factors into consideration.

In the large corridor on the bottom floor, Lorraine used a small Ouija board and on asking questions, the planchette seemed to move.  However, some members of the GPI feel the results of these boards are quite dubious as it is also possible that team members could be making unconscious involuntary movements.  However, in the same corridor Billy took a lot of photos and caught orbs. Bill Cowell also took a really good photo of a massive glowing orb.

Lorraine, Kim, James and Bill Cowell carried out vigil on the staircase and seemed to receive taps/bangs in response to questions.  With the time being 4am, the team decide to bring investigation to an end and pack up.

EVP – (Electronic Voice Phenomena)

The team seemed to capture various examples of EVP throughout the whole castle, particularly in the kitchen.    Below is a quick breakdown of the EVPs caught and full clips of these can be heard on our website.

  • There seems to be lots of talking or chattering on Dictaphones
  • They were surprised to hear the EVP “go away” when we were walking up the stairs.
  • There was sigh in backroom where James was holding vigil
  • Sound of someone walking, even though we were all stationary
  • A mans voice, sounds as though asking for Anna (First Duchess of Hamilton was called Anna)
  • There was a women’s voice, but we could not confirm what she said.
  • There was also a voice saying “that was nice”
  • The Mans Room – Caught a man’s voice, again too quiet to confirm what it is saying
  • Duchess Bedroom – Strange Knocking sound and a faint moan during vigil
  • Dukes Bedroom – A knock after asking the question if someone could move the light
  • Corridor – lots of quiet whispering and knocking
  • Bottom Corridor – A quiet voice saying “what was that”
  • Various breaths on Dictaphones.


GPI feel it seemed to be a quiet night with regards to activity and there appears to be no considerable amount of video evidence apart from couple of orbs captured.  However, on leaving locations, the team are always pleasantly surprised with how many EVPS and auditory phenomena captured and this certainly was the case with Brodick Castle.  There were also some personal experiences with Lorraine picking up various spiritual presences, Kim felt something touch her arm in the drawing room, something touching Lisa’s hair in kitchen, and also Kim seeing briefly someone sitting in Duchess room.   Also, the taps, clicks, and bangs that the team seem to encounter on investigations.

The team would like to thank castle custodian Bill Cowell, all castle staff and members of National Trust of Scotland for allowing us access to the castle for the night and taking part in the investigation.