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Palaces & Buildings

Queen Mother’s Scottish retreat haunted by The Green Lady

The Castle of Mey is perhaps best known as the holiday home of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, who purchased it in 1952 after the death of her husband King George VI. She restored it to its former glory, even giving it back its original name. She made regular visits to the castle in August and October from 1955 to 2001. Her last visit was in October 2001, and she died in March 2002.

By 1996, the Castle had been made over to the Queen Elizabeth Castle of Mey Trust, which opened the castle and the gardens to the public after her death. It is now open from 1 May until 30 September every year, except for ten days in July/August when the Duke and Duchess of Rothesay stay there.

During the summer months, Katy Henderson is one of the tour guides leading visitors around the castle, and she often tells the story of the ghost that haunts the castle. The story goes that Lady Fanny Sinclair, the only daughter of the 14th Earl of Caithness, haunts the upper floor of the castle. Lady Fanny had fallen in love with a young stable hand, and they became secret lovers. Her father found out and supposedly banished the young man and legend has it that Lady Fanny sat by her bedroom window waiting for him to come back and when he failed to return Lady Fanny supposedly threw herself out the window.

Another story goes that the couple managed to elope, but they were caught and Lady Fanny was forcibly locked in a bedroom on the top floor. The result remains the same; Lady Fanny throws herself from the window.

Visitors have reported feeling the presence of what is now called ‘The Green Lady’ and they say door shut and lights switch off for no apparent reason. Some of the staff are wary of going up the top floor of the Castle, where Lady Fanny supposedly jumped from her window. Though the exact story is still debated, it should be noted that one window on the top floor is now bricked up, quite curious!