A traditional ghost found in many Scottish homes and castles is the Green Lady. Most Green Lady Ghosts are benevolent in nature. They are similar to Irish Banshees in that they protect a specific home and family. But unlike the Irish Banshee whichmoves with the family Green Ladies stay in the home and protect the next family that moves in. Green Ladies are unique to the United Kingdom since they are not seen in other parts of the world.
Green Lady ghosts are considered “lovely”. They are described as young slender women who wear long green gowns that reach the ground. They also have long golden hair. Sometimes they are associated with water. One legend states that “water” is connected to how they become attached to a home or castle. For they often arrive at a home dripping wet asking for shelter in order to warm up and dry off. If welcomed, they stay and become that home’s protector.
Over the years many Scottish farmers claimed to have Green Ladies as protectors. It was often stated that Green Ladies would protect their cattle, herding them into barns or shelters when a storm was about to hit. It was also stated they protected cattle from being stolen by enemies during conflicts.
Because of their long hair Green Ladies are often called, "Gruagach", which are similar to brownies, both of these are household spirits. Unlike brownies Green Ladies are rarely considered evil in nature. * It is said they do tend to enjoy practical jokes like brownies but any mischief they may cause is always negated by all the good they do.
One famous Green Lady is connected to Crathes Castle located near Aberdeen City. This Green Lady ghost appears by a fireplace in the castle. She is seen picking up a ghostly infant--then they vanish together. Centuries ago as the castle was being renovated, her bones, and those of a baby were found buried beneath where she is seen.
Another famous Green Lady ghost story is connected to Skipness Castle near Loch Fyne. This ghost has protected this castle and its family for hundreds of years. One story about this ghost recounts how she helped the castle while it was under attack. It is said she cast a state of “confusion” over the enemy as they attacked the castle. Because of this, they had to retreat. Once they regained focus they tried to attack again but as they marched toward the castle, they became confused once more.
In the ruins of Caerphilly Castle just north of Cardiff in Wales yet another Green Lady has been seen. This ghost hides in the ivy that surrounds the castle. The legend states that if you watch closely you can see her move ever so slightly. Once this Green Lady knows she has been seen, she will emerge and extend her hand if she likes you--then she just vanishes.
As stated above many castles in Scotland have Green Ladies. Dunstaffnage, Fyvie and Huntingtower Castles all have their own Green Ladies. A couple of castles that have been converted to hotels still have Green Ladies in residence as well. One of these, Tulloch Castle Hotel states their Green Lady is connected to a portrait that hangs in the castle.
* There is one darker legend about a Green Lady being a demon. It is said her green gown covers her hairy goat-like body. In other stories, she is cursed with hooves for feet, and her long gown covers them.