From where I come from, Halloween is not that big of a tradition. It is just something that I watched in Hollywood movies or British TV series. But when I moved to Aberdeen, I got to experience the true spirit of Halloween (pun intended).
Halloween falls on a weekday this year, but in Aberdeen, your spooky adventure is probably just a drive away. Here’s a list of eerie locations around Aberdeen city and shire that you can visit:
1. Peterhead Prison Museum
Peterhead is a gorgeous little town with picturesque beaches, but what it is also known for is the Prison Museum. After the construction of the new prison, the grounds of the old one have been made into a museum. Peterhead prison used to be Scotland’s only Victorian convict prison and the tall dark walls of the place can surely give you the chills. It was also featured in the paranormal reality show ‘The Most Haunted Experience’ where the team spent a night at the prison.
2. Slains Castle
What better place to visit on Halloween than the eerie ruins of the Slains Castle – Bram Stoker’s inspiration for the horror classic Dracula. Situated overlooking the sea along Cruden Bay, the ruined castle stands chillingly alone. Since the 1500s, several attempts were made to reconstruct the castle, due the grave misfortunes cast on the owners, all efforts remained unsuccessful. Go for a drive and see it for yourself!
3. Ma Cameron’s
The building of Ma Cameron’s has existed for 300 years. In the medieval times, the pub was an Inn where guests stayed, perhaps why it is said to have many ghosts haunting it. Employees at the pub have heard footsteps, knocks, and screams and have also reported unexplained paranormal activities such as a stiff beer tap turning on by itself and wedding photos scattered on the floor. The building has endured two fires that happened in the same week without a cause and also has secret rooms that no one has even dared to explore.
4. Tolbooth Museum
Halloween or not, this place gives me the chills every time I go there. For friends who are new to Aberdeen, this is one of the spots I take them to, just for a sheer thrill of experiencing the place with a friend.
The building has very narrow stairs and dark rooms with minimum lighting where the echoes of your own voice could scare you. This was a former prison that housed war prisoners, gory criminals, and witches. The famous Aberdeen witch who was burnt to death was an inmate in this building. The murky walls of the building witnessed many gruesome executions and deaths from horrible tortures. The museum authorities have managed to create a creepy atmosphere in cells by setting up mannequin look-alikes of the prisoners and sudden audio recordings that start playing when you enter – jump scares are guaranteed!
5. Dunnottar Castle
In the day, the Stonehaven castle is a sight for sore eyes – beautiful ruins facing the shimmering blue waters of the north-east sea, lots of visitors snapping pictures and eating ice cream. But have you ever thought of how it would look on a cold rainy night with loud thunder, set in a black background where you can’t differentiate between the sea and the sky. Creepy isn’t it?
The beautiful castle is known to have had its own share of paranormal sightings. Many have recounted seeing a medieval woman in a green plaid looking for her lost children. Some even say that sounds of meetings are heard at the Benholm’s lodges!
Aberdeen City Council also developed an app providing different trails to explore the Granite City, including the “Bloody Aberdeen Trail”, which covers 800 years of crime history in Aberdeen. That would be enough to bring chills down your spine! You can find out more on their website or download the GoABZ app on your phone.