The Ballechin House

Ballechin House once described as the “Most Haunted House in Scotland", with several similarities to the Borley Rectory haunting, including the apparition of a ghostly nun, and regular sightings of the spirit of Major Robert Steuart. Built in the nineteenth century, the Ballechin House is a classic example of a haunting that is seemingly caused by an angry, wronged ghost. The house was subject to a paranormal investigation before the turn of the 20th century and many noises and a few apparitions were recorded. Ballechin House was built in Perthshire, Scotland, in 1806 on the ancestral home of the Steuart family since the 15th century. The Steuart family are an illegitimate branch of the royal house of Steuart, descending from a son of King James II. Major Robert Steuart, who had inherited the property in 1834, died in 1876 and left the property to John Steuart, one of his nephews.

Major Robert Steuart died shortly after declaring that he was not going to allow his spirit to leave the world. Instead, he claimed that he would find a way to put his spirit into the body of one of his fourteen dogs. Once the funeral was over, however, Steuart’s nephew killed all of the dogs and moved into the Ballechin House. According to some who knew Steuart’s heir, he did this because he did not want to spend any time or money caring for the dogs. Others, however, said that the nephew was a superstitious, religious man who did not want his uncle coming back to life, even as a black spaniel.

The Major was still freshly in his grave when haunting began at Ballechin House. Shortly after the dogs’ death, strange things started to happen in the house. The odor of dogs would appear at odd times and places, for no apparent reason, and people in the house would suddenly feel themselves pushed by what they sensed was a dog—though no dog was there. Visitors also heard strange noises, including knocking, loud bangs, and angry but muffled voices. Some years later, the nephew was accidentally struck and killed by a London taxicab, at which time the Ballechin House was put up for rent.

From 1892 to 1896, a few groups— including a priest and some nuns seeking a religious retreat and a party of hunters wanting to shoot game on the property— stayed in the house. All such occupants fled within days, saying it was haunted by unseen animals.

From February to May 1897, members of the Psychical Research Society, a group dedicated to investigating paranormal phenomena, rented the house in order to study the goings-on there. At this point the haunting escalated: The strange noises became louder and more frequent; the house seemed filled with the sounds, smells, and jostling of unseen dogs; and a mysterious black spaniel appeared and disappeared on several occasions in front of many witnesses. A few people also reported seeing a weeping apparition of a nun. (They later discovered that Major Steuart’s sister had been a nun.) Eventually the members of the Psychical Research Society decided to abandon the house as well, after declaring it haunted.

In 1899, The Alleged Haunting of B---- House was published, and serialised in the London Times, containing a journal kept of the phenomena. John marquess of Bute was one of the guest that stayed at Ballechin during these investigations, and is quoted as saying "he could not understand how such a handsome house could have so wicked of a reputation.”

Local rumours have persisted in the region of a lost son and heir of John Steuart, who according to local lore was born out of wedlock to a domestic on the estate. Different versions of this tale have this son sent to Canada or Australia, or not surviving into adult hood.

Ballechin House was uninhabited by 1932, and most of the house was demolished in 1963, after a fire, leaving only the former servants quarters and outbuildings. The loss of Ballechin House was considered great, as many of its state rooms were considered some of the finest in Perthshire. Also lost was art work and furniture which had been collected by generations of the Steuart family, including many pieces from the far east, probably due to successive lairds' involvement in the British East India Company.

Sources :
The Complete Idiot’s Guide : “Ghost and Hauntings” by Tom Ogden;
The Greenhaven Encyclopedia of Paranormal Phenomena by Patricia D. Netzley;;

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The Ballechin House The Ballechin House Reviewed by Tripzibit on 03:11 Rating: 5


  1. wow..
    that unique..
    and looks scared..

  2. it looks like a very special place..

    good stand!!


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