by Andrew Hennessey of Alternate Scotland.com
Location : about a mile from the railway station at Markinch in Fife, Scotland and close to the M90/A92/A911
Area of castle evaluated: surveillance of the castle walls and parapets
Balgonie castle – is a 14th century tower house comprised of five storeys, with walls up to 2.4 metres thick. These incorporate a large hall, chapel and a vaulted basement. Purported to have been built by Sir Thomas Sibbald, Lord High Treasurer of Scotland but passed at the end of the 15th century to Sir Robert Lundie by marriage. In 1716, the castle was captured and set on fire by Rob Roy MacGregor and his clansmen. It was in a poor state of repair in the 1960s but has been subsequently restored by todays “Laird of Balgonie”.
The castle is reputed to have at least 12 different ghosts, and phantom phenomena amongst whom are; A ghostly old man, a head and a collar, a hooded figure, a man dressed in medieval clothing, a 17th century soldier and a phantom dog, and also kobold-like creatures that have been seen to roost and been photographed in the parapets. The most famous spectre is a “Green Lady” called locally ‘Green Jeannie’ “recorded even in 1842 as being a well known phantom”. Her apparition has been witnessed many times in recent years, allegedly turning up in someone’s Wedding pictures after a reception. The Green Lady or “Green Jeanie” as she is known walks through the derelict outhouses starting from the chapel heading outwards and has also been seen in the grounds surrounding the castle walls.
According to the Laird, sightings include, an old gentleman in the court yard around the derelict buildings near the well,
The Great Hall seems to be the main focus of activity, for the sightings there have included indistinct shapes and disembodied voices engaged in muffled conversation. In the dining room, a headless soldier and an old lady repute to frequent this area, and whispers are heard in this area.
ALTERNATE SCOTLAND INVESTIGATION
On the 29th November 2012 at about 16.21 hrs the castle was surveyed from the Markinch road above the castle by Paranormal Investigator and photographer Andrew Hennessey in the hours of twilight immediately before the setting of the winter sun.
Twilight affords an opportunity to see both reflected light and is also dim enough to pick out anything interdimensional that is glowing by its own light.
A series of pictures were taken with a 200mm zoom lens with a digital SLR camera and subsequent examination of those show an upper parapet of the castle wall alternately having only stonework showing and then a male phantom figure of an appearance reminiscent of the medieval. The bare armed possibly medieval-looking phantom with lower arms exposed from rolled up bulky shirt sleeves, and wearing what appeared to be bodice and leggings was seen leaning on the stone with the bare lower arm bending at the elbow and facing the arm inwards towards the body. Then the phantom extends its arm straight away from the body leaning and then not leaning on the wrist.
Solid tree branches behind the arm-appendage of the alleged phantom would not bend at right angles and then totally disappear.
Next in shot in this sequence of photographs are the trees and visible tree branches and stonework behind this apparition but no phantom. One could be tempted to start writing off the phantom arms and limbs, head and torso as stone and trees except there is actually no rounded stone where the ‘head’ is on that part of the parapet as subsequent pictures show, nor any permanent tree branches visible. Also many pictures taken within the space of 20 minutes all from the same spot and viewpoint do not show the phantom figure in all of them. That small circular flat object under his left arm appears to be on enhancement a Highlanders shield in use during the 17th and 18th century called a targe – which dates the ghost to the time that Rob Roy MacGregor stormed and took the castle in 1716 with 200 Highlanders.
At one point in the sequence of pictures the round head of the phantom gives way to the larger square blocks of the wall behind it.
After a few minutes, as the phantom progressively fades into the stone and trees backdrop – what looks like three or four greys, small humanoid forms about 3 or 4 feet tall appear to occupy the parapet where the straight trailing phantom arm was.
At this point no lower tree branches behind are visible as they are totally obscured by the ‘greys/elementals’ gathered on the parapet.
Comparison with other pictures that have no phenomenon show that there is a lower tree limb behind the parapet that should be visible but is not as it is obscured by these small humanoid forms.
The pictures are not sharp but they do seem to indicate that the parapet being photographed is being occupied and re-occupied by changing forms and that some of these changing forms which look humanoid are obscuring the visible stonework and trees.
I would conclude that Balgonie castle is a hub of paranormal activity well worth a visit.