Sunday, 5 July 2015

Speaking About Trees...

While discussing Edzell Castle, mention was made of the tree haunted by two unfortunate gypsies who were executed from its branches after being caught poaching.  Previously I mentioned the Covin or Company Tree at old Finavon Castle, haunted by the ghost of Jock Barefut, a messenger who became a victim of the notorious Earl Beardie.  (Or was poor Jock just a transformed nature spirit who became mixed up with the Tiger Earl for the sake of a good story?)  My personal favourite of those already blogged about is the Templar Tree at Nevay, if only because of the tantalising lack of a tradition associated with it - why go to the bother of giving a tree an actual name and then not bother to make up a tale to explain it?

   There seems to be a definite trend of eerie trees associated with castles in Angus.  The third strange tree, following the two aforementioned, was at Inverquharity Castle, home of one sept of the Ogilvy family,  Sir John Ogilvy of Inverquharity was allegedly a cruel tenant to all his tenants except a priest who had a chapel on his estate.  John White the miller had the misfortune of having both his wife and daughter being bedded by Ogilvy.  White's wife confessed to the priest, who angrily denounced the adultery during the service the following Sunday.  Ogilvy did not react in the least as he listened, but he never entered the chapel again.  Shortly afterwards the baron had the miller hanged.  His daughter Lily went mad and her body was found in the River South Esk.  Five weeks later, Sir John was thrown from his horse as he rode past the Hanging Tree.  A dreadful demon was said to have crouched on Ogilvy's corpse for six days until he was put to earth.  But Inverquharity was so badly haunted that the whole family had to quit its precincts - a tale which has probably little grounding in reality!

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