A while ago, we started a four-part series covering the spookiest stories in Scotland. These stories took us from the east to the west and on to the highlands, and now we are finally culminating the series in the Scottish Isles.
If you’re planning on taking one of our motorhomes across the bridge to one of these isles, then we feel it’s our job to offer a warning.
The Isles of Scotland are not for the faint-hearted. They’re desolate, isolated, and full of strange wind whispers and dark clouds that seem to follow you. For the people who’ve travelled there, they’ll tell you all about the shivers that run up their spine and the floorboards that go creek in the night. Or they would, if they ever actually returned to tell their tale…
Sufficiently scared? Good! Because it’s all lies. The isles of Scotland are actually very lovely, scenic places, full of kind communities and long-standing traditions. Sorry, that opening was more of a tester for what’s to come. Hopefully, all the readers who can’t stomach such stories have clicked off this article, which makes us feel a lot better now that we’re going to get into it.
No, the isles outside of Scotland are not desolate homes for the undead. But there are some brilliantly spooky stories that have come out of them. These stories feel even more eerie considering the smaller, isolated nature of the Isles. If you want to travel there while renting a motorhome in Scotland, then you’re really in for a ride! So… you all strapped in? Good, let’s get started.
The Man In The Car
Back in 1941, Dr. Allan MacDonald was walking home after a busy day at work. Fog was beginning to descend from the Cuillin peaks, the moorland was quiet and dark, and the water of the River Sligachan was trickling pleasantly into the night.
But this scene changed when, from behind him, he heard the sound of a car horn. He turned to see a 1934 Austin speeding down the single-track road. It passed him in a blur and disappeared into the fog.
It was then that MacDonald heard the terrible sound of the car crashing. There was a screech, a scream, the smell of smoke, the tang of burning rubber, and fear. He ran toward the scene, but when the fog cleared, there wasn’t a car to be found.
This was recorded in 1941, but since then, there have been multiple sightings of this same car speeding down the same road, with some people even pulling over to allow it to overtake. Now, we highly recommend a trip to the Isle of Skye, but we’d also recommend staying off the road from Broadford to Portree if you don’t want to come across the same mysterious vehicle…
This has all turned very Stephen King, so we’re going to get to the real stuff. Ghosts in historical clothes that go bump in the night! Apparently, you can find these ghosts at Duntulm Castle, also on the Isle Of Skye.
It’s a beautiful castle, but it has a rather dark past. According to legend, it was home to the MacLeod family. But when their enemies, the MacDonalds, invaded the premises, they were killed and the MacDonalds seized control. Cut to a few years later, in 1730, and the MacDonalds were forced to flee the castle, claiming that it was now haunted by the rueful MacLeods.
Sounds like nonsense, right? Only hundreds of visitors are said to have seen the ghosts of this exact family when they have come to visit. Not only this, they have seen figures bearing the likeness of the MacDonalds too. It seems that the war between the MacLeods and the MacDonalds has merged into the afterlife, and they are now doomed to spend eternity in the same castle, fighting over who can finally claim it.
Thinking of visiting the Isle of Skye in your motorhome? Once again, we don’t suggest you get involved in this particular rivalry. Unless you want some awesome pictures of one of Scotland’s grandest castles! In which case, go right ahead.
The Hand Beast
One last spooky story comes from the Isle Of Arran. This is one of the most stunning islands in Scotland, and if you drive to Ardrossan, you can get on a ferry that takes you directly there in only 55 minutes. While you’re on the island, we recommend you keep your eye out for the mysterious “Hand Beast”.
This was first documented back in 1999 when around one hundred footprints were found along the shoreline. This was discovered to belong to a large, lizard-like creature that lived millions of years ago, with human-like hands, long talons, and a body three times the size of the average person.
But as ever in Scottish folklore, “millions of years ago” doesn’t mean anything! Just like a prehistoric plesiosaur is still alive in Loch Ness, it seems this lizard creature might still be alive on the Isle of Arran.
While not officially connected, there have been reports of a strange reptile creature living on the island over the last few hundred years. One comes from a Quebec trading vessel, which stopped off at the Isle of Arran in 1827. According to the captain, one of his men was suddenly consumed by a sixty-foot serpent-like monster. A hundred years later, in 1931, several spectators observed a reptilian creature resting on the rocks beside the sea, bigger than an elephant.
So is the Hand Creature still among us? Will you come across it while on your motorhome adventure? Well, probably not. But it’s fun to imagine, hey? That’s what adventures are all about, after all. Travelling into the unknown, with no idea what you’re going to see or what you’re going to find! That’s why we love them.