Galashiels, in the Scottish Borders.
The ruins of Buckholm Tower are haunted by a former laird of Buckholm,
a man called Pringle, who lived there in the latter part of the
18th century. Weird tales are told of terrible noises being heard
coming from the dungeon and there are also reports of an everlasting
bloodstain to be found on an old beam, which marks the scene of
an act of murder committed by Pringle at that spot.
Pringle was an evil man who so ill-treated his wife and young
son that they eventually left him. It is said that no woman was
safe in the Tower and his cruelty was common knowledge for miles
around. His favourite past-time was tracking down covenanters
with is two ferocious hounds.
as a loyal Government supporter, Pringle was called upon one day
by the captain of a troop of Dragoons to assist in the break-up
of an unlawful assembly of covenanters on nearby Ladhope Moor.
Pringle was only too pleased to assist and shrewdly guessing the
exact location where the religious dissenters were most like to
be, led the Dragoons to the exact spot. However the unlawful assembly
had received some prior warning of the raid and had already dispersed,
with the exception of two men, Geordie Elliott, who's wife has
once been in Pringle's employ, and his son William. Old Geordie
had been thrown from his horse and was badly hurt. William Elliott
had stayed by his father's side. Both were well-known covenanters.
wicked Laird of Buckholm was all in favour of disposing of the
two men on the spot but Captain Bruce, of the Dragoons, felt that
they might be able to provide some valuable information about
their fellow covenanters and thus it was arranged that Pringle
would hold them prisoner at Buckholm for the night and the Captain
would send an escort to collect them the following day.
at Buckholm the two unfortunate men were thrown into the dungeon
and the Captain and his Dragoons left. Pringle dined and drank
brandy and as he became more and more drunk he became more and
more ill-tempered. At length he lurched to his feet and made for
the dungeon. At the doorway he met several of his servants who
had been disturbed by calls for assistance coming from within.
Old Geordie Elliott was in a bad way as a result of his fall and
William Elliott was pleading for help for the old man. Pushing
the servants to one side, Pringle entered the dungeon and the
waiting men heard sounds of heavy blows, strangled screams and
a dragging noise before total silence. Then the Laird re-appeared.
Pushing past the servants, Pringle was just about to return to
the study to consume some more brandy when there was a loud knock
on the entrance door to the Tower. One of the servants hurriedly
opened the door and outside stood old Isobel Elliott. She had
come in search of her husband and son.
a drunken oath Pringle grabbed the old woman and dragged her down
to the dungeon. A loud scream came from the woman as she saw,
hanging from hooks attached to the old oak beam, the bodies of
her two menfolk, appearing more like carcasses of meat. The distraught
woman staggered from the dungeon, fell to the ground and sobbed
uncontrollably. The wicked laird looked down upon her, calling
her an old witch. The old woman slowly dragged herself to her
feet, her eyes burning with hatred. She faced the drunken laird
and cursed him for what he had done.
From that time on Pringle was convinced that he was a haunted
man. He was firmly convinced that he was haunted by ghostly
hounds who could, and did, attack him at any time of day or
night. Time after time his servants burst in upon him after
hearing his screams to find him beating off unseen hounds. He
would stagger off his horse after a long and furious ride pleading
for his servants to save him from the ravages of unseen hounds
that were plaguing him. Shortly afterwards Pringle died a painful
death and even at the point of death he was still racked with
convulsions as if still being attacked by the unseen hounds.
the first anniversary of the laird's death approached, a ghostly
figure was seen in the vicinity of the Tower, running for his
life, towards the entrance, from a pack of baying spectral hounds.
The following night everybody in the household heard the baying
sounds and a voice calling for help, followed by a loud banging
on the front door of the Tower. The voice sounded just like
that of the former laird but when the door was opened the sounds
ceased completely and the courtyard was found to be totally
deserted. The sounds were heard again the following night, the
first anniversary of the laird's death, but this time they came
from the direction of the dungeon.
that time, every June, on the anniversary of the death of the
Laird of Buckholm, these same sounds and heavy banging on the
dungeon door have been heard coming in varying intensity from
the depths of the Tower.
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