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Scotland is home to many haunted distilleries where the spirits are not just found in bottles. Here are some of them…
Craighouse, Isle of Jura, Argyll, Scotland, PA60 7XS
This Scottish distillery is said to be haunted by two ghosts – an angry old woman and a friendly schoolteacher.
The old woman’s fury, ignited when a local man outlawed distilling whisky on the island, supposedly led to the establishment of the original Jura distillery in 1810.
Now, a bottle is buried at the site of the original distillery to placate her spirit. The second ghost is the kind-hearted schoolteacher, Elizabeth Quinn, who seems particularly interested in the welfare of children.
Inverness, Scotland, IV13 7YT
The last wolf in Scotland is believed to haunt the grounds of the Tomatin Distillery. This spectral wolf is said to hunt its prey before morphing into a blue, smoky cloud.
The distillery commemorated this eerie tale by releasing a special bottling named Cu Bogan, which translates to “ghost dog” in Gaelic.
School Street, Bowmore, Isle of Islay, Scotland, PA43 7JS
This Islay distillery is known for its whisky-stealing headless horseman, Lachlan Bàn.
After an encounter with the horseman, the islanders took a vow never to offer an opened bottle of whisky to guests for fear of inviting the spectral thief into their homes.
Moreover, a tale circulates about the Devil being chased away from a nearby round church by distillery workers who caught him trying to steal whisky casks.
The Glenrothes Distillery
Rothes, Aberlour, Scotland, AB38 7AA
A ghost named Byeway is said to haunt this distillery.
The story begins with Major James Grant, the founder of the neighbouring Glen Grant distillery, who brought Byeway from Zimbabwe to Scotland.
Byeway’s ghost reportedly began haunting the distillery after the construction of a new still house disrupted the ley lines running through his grave.
Byeway’s spirit was finally pacified by hammering iron rods into the disrupted ley line, diverting the energy flow back to its normal route.
Now, every tasting at the distillery starts with an honorary ‘toast to the ghost’.
These tales add an intriguing layer to the rich history of Scotch whisky, blending the past with the present in a uniquely haunting way. The next time you enjoy a dram of Scotch, remember the spectral tales that come with it.
And while you are visiting Scotland’s haunted distilleries, it’s worth noting some of the superstitions surrounding Scotch whisky and its drinking:
Scottish Whisky Superstitions
- Whisky in Scotland is often referred to as ‘Uisge Beatha’ (pronounced “ooski bay”) which translates to ‘the water of life’. It’s considered bad luck not to respect the drink and to overconsume.
- The Angel’s Share is the name given to the amount of whisky that evaporates during the aging process. The Scots say that this is the share taken by the angels, and it’s considered good luck.
- In Scotland, it’s considered bad luck to pour a drink moving your hand backwards. Always pour your Scotch moving your hand forward.
- On New Year’s, the first person to enter a home after midnight (the “first-foot”) should bring a gift of whisky to ensure good luck for the house in the coming year.
- It’s considered bad luck to refuse a dram (a small drink of whisky) if offered, as it’s a sign of hospitality and friendship in Scotland.
Have you experienced something spooky in a haunted Scotland whiskey distillery? Tell us about it in the comments section below!