The Legend And Mystery Of The Monster Of Glamis

Grace Higgins | November 8th, 2019

A secret that has never been truly understood from Glamis Castle, some talk of a hidden room and an unknown heir, it was a huge talking point of the 19th century in Scotland. However, at this stage, most historians believe the mystery will never be solved.

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Claude Bowes-Lyon, the 13th Earl of Strathmore, famously wrote in the 1840s that if you could even guess the castle’s secret you would immediately thank God that it was not yours to bear. Talked about all across Europe, an awful secret or a rumor, that there was an heir to the ancestral seat of Glamis Castle in the Scottish lowlands. Talk of shadowy figures seen on the castle battlements, hidden rooms with secret passageways and of course always talk of a scandal.

The rumor or mystery was the talk of much of the high society, but soon after the 1900s, the secret seemed to get lost. One version of the story claims that it was such a terrible secret to keep that the 13th Earl of Castle Glamis simply refused for it to be told to him, and thus, the secret was lost. Yet the mystery of the Glamis family does live on, mostly because they hold some association with a royalty being a grandfather of Elizabeth II.

And of course some of the Bowes-Lyon family insistence that the secret was the truth and not just a rumor. Shakespeare even mentions castle Glamis in Macbeth that the Thane of Glamis was one of the most cursed characters. You see in the late 18th century the family largely abandoned the castle, choosing to live somewhere less drafty, which is why it was just inhabited by a caretaker. And in the 1790s a young writer by the name of Walter Scott asked to spend a night in the castle, and he wrote that he heard doors closing and someone walking around throughout the night.

It was then that the rumor started that the castle held a hidden room that only the Earl knew about, which kept a captive – a prisoner who had been held there all his life. And eventually, this grew into a rumor that a child had been born, but that the child was so disfigured and with a twisted body that people referred to him as the Monster of Glamis. Well, the story sure is outlandish, and it seems we will never know the full scale of the story.

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