(a.k.a. Auchanachie House),
Originally, a 16th century tall tower, which was reduced in height when alterations were made in the 17th century. The tower now has three stories. Over the doorway by the chimneystack is a panel with the inscription FROM OUR ENEMIES DEFENDE US O CHRIST and the date 1594. The basement is vaulted, with bosses showing the arms of Gordon, Fraser and Campbell. One resident of the house states that there is an inscription over one door dated 1455 and tradition holds many parts of the house to be older. It is said that the Duke of Gordon from Huntly Castle had his two illegitimate sons (George and John) living there - a convenient distance from the family seat. It is generally thought that the brothers adopted the name of the place, a common practice in 15th century life. Auchanachie House contains a fine spiral staircase, and a room known as the “nunnery.” The nunnery and the staircase are said to be haunted by Elizabeth Gordon, whose story follows.
The Phantom Nun of Auchanachie
From: The Illustrated London News Christmas Number, 1957.
Illustrations by Alastair Flattely
Auchanachie where the spiral staircase is walked upon by a phantom nun a long defrauded Gordon heiress of the property.
Some ghost stories are such obviously good stories that their credibility is suspect, they seem "man-made"; others are so tenuous, so inconclusive that they gain credibility thereby, on the argument that no one would be bothered to make them up. Auchanachie, an old house in Aberdeenshire, has a fine spiral staircase and several vaulted rooms, one of which, a small room with three carved stone pendentives, is called "the nunnery".
There is a tradition that this room and this staircase are haunted by mysterious footfalls; and that the ghost is a woman dressed as a nun. Traditionally, too, this woman is Elizabeth Gordon, who was born in 1733 but whose death (some time after 1801) is unrecorded. At a very early age she was placed by her father in a French convent; and soon afterwards the father died. The knowledge of Elizabeth's existence was concealed by an unscrupulous relative, who entered into the inheritance.
After many years a man on the run for killing another in a drunken brawl heard her story and, in spite perhaps, or to gain favor, told of her continued existence, in misery and poverty, after many years in the convent. As a result and after a lawsuit in 1783, Elizabeth Gordon came into her rights, and returned to Auchanachie until 1801, when she left and "was never heard of or seen again" - at all events in the flesh.
Also associated with Auchanachie is the ballad of Lord Saltoun and Auchanachie, or Auchanachie (Annochie) Gordon. The Romeo & Juliet like story records the love of Auchanachie Gordon and his love Jeannie Gordon. Jeannie is forced to marry Lord Saltoun for his lands and wealth by her father while Auchanachie Gordon is away at sea. Jeannie vows never to be the wife of Lord Saltoun, and drops dead the day of her wedding. Auchanachie Gordon returns that same day, but too late to save his Jeannie and upon being taken to her lifeless body, dies. Two versions of the ballad were recorded by American academic Francis J Child, who compiled a collection of 305 British ballads, first published in five volumes in 1882-1898 as The English and Scottish Popular Ballads. Another version was recorded by David Kilpatrick. A ballad with one of the best singing tunes in the Scottish ballad tradition, it is well worth a listen. You can listen to an MP3 recording by Mr. Kilpatrick here.
This castle, in Banffshire near Milton Keith tower, was demolished in 1910.
No additional Information available at this time.
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