Ghosts of the Lowlands

Our Kingsbarns Distillery is situated in the Lowlands near St. Andrews, perfectly positioned to cater to the many golf enthusiasts spilling off of the courses that inhabit the area.

Besides well kept golf courses, St Andrews is also known for it's paranormal activity; legends of ghosts and folk tales surrounding St Andrew and St Rule. With that in mind, we thought it apt to share a few of our favourite local ghosts. 

The Friendly Monk

This ghost story doesn't involve any gruesome or scary apparitions, but rather the tale of the friendly monk in St. Rules Tower.

St. Rules Tower lies in St. Andrews' Cathedral grounds, just 8 miles down the road from Kingsbarns Distillery; it's an imposing building standing at 108 feet high, taking 156 steps to reach its top. 

In the 1950's, St. Rules Tower received an unexpected visitor; as a tourist began their climb up the steps, a "kindly monk" asked courteously if he'd like a helping hand up the stairs. The man politely declined, but as he continued to climb the staircase, he brushed past the monk. Yet, as he passed the friendly monk, he felt nothing but thin air where the spectre stood...

The Boghall Farm Broonie

Another old story, taking place only 2 miles away from Kingsbarns Distillery on Boghall Farm, details the disappearance of a family Broonie; one of the most favourite of Scottish spirits. A Broonie (or Brownie) is a spirit that secretly completes household tasks, such as cleaning and farm work, while everyone is asleep. The small spirits are usually men (although there are some female Broonies) and have thick, brown hair all over their body and are very strong. They work all night and then sleep all day, expecting only a bowl of porridge to eat and some straw to sleep on as payment for their laborious work, absolutely nothing more. Indeed, they are much loved by the locals!

One morning, the Boghall farmer's wife awoke on a cold winter's morning, and snow had covered the land for as far as the eye could see. Bodies of water were frozen solid from the bitter coldness in the air. Afraid that the Broonie would succumb to the harsh conditions, she placed a blanket in the corner of the barn to keep him warm. Despite her good intentions, this overstepped the mark and the Broonie was offended, downing his tools and leaving the farm for good, saying…

To leave my old haunts, oh my heart it is sair,

But the wife gae me blankets – she’ll see me nae mair;

I’ve worked in her barn, frae evening till day.

My curse on the blankets that drove me away.

All the boon that I asked were my sowans and strae,

But success to Bogha’ although Brownie’s away.

 

Translation: 

To leave my old haunts, oh my heart is sore, 

But the wife gave me blankets - she'll see me no more; 

I've worked in her barn, from evening until day. 

My curse on the blankets that drove me away. 

All the good that I asked was my porridge and straw,

But success to Bogha' although Broonie's away.

Do you have any ghost stories? 

Our Kingsbarns Distillery sits proudly in St Andrews, in an 1800s farmsteading complete with a doocot for pigeons (no longer in use). There's lots to explore around our distillery; you can visit some breathtaking sights rich in history and learn about many stories of legend. If you'd like to visit and explore our history, please book a tour

 

WRITTEN BY KRISTEN McGHIE

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published