There are a fair few well known stories of old telling of unfortunate individuals who have had encounters with the devil and lived to tell the tale. One of these is the story of Loftus Hall, Ireland.
The old story goes that one dark, stormy, cold night, the residents who were minding the house whilst the Loftus family were away on business were disturbed by a knock at the door. Upon answering, a stranger stood, cold and wet, asking for shelter.
Now Loftus Hall was the only dwelling on the small peninsula so the family obligingly let the stranger in. The head of the family, Charles Tottenham was staying there with his wife and his daughter, Anne. Anne became entranced with the stranger and one night, whilst they were all playing cards, Anne bent down to pick up a card she dropped under the table. As she bent down, she became horrifyingly aware that the stranger had cloven hooves. Upon his discovery at being the Devil, the creature burst through the roof in a ball of fire. To this day, it is said that the roof cannot be repaired, despite many attempts.
Another tale is the more famous one of Glamis Castle in Scotland. Allegedly, Lord Crawford (more commonly known as Earl Beardie), who was a cruel man, demanded an opponent with whom to play cards one night after drinking heavily. When no opponent surfaced, he ranted that he would even play cards with the Devil on the Sabbath and to his satisfaction, a stranger appeared agreeing to play. Unbeknownst to the Earl, his opponent was the Devil and the price would be his soul. It is said that one can still hear swearing, shouts, rantings and the roll of dice at night within the castle from a secret room.
The secret room at Glamis has been party to speculation for decades. Stories tell that a son was born to the family but was horribly mutated and so locked away in a secret room, lest the truth of the birth be made public. Similar stories also tell of a “creature” that the family has kept secret and hidden away in the castle for hundreds of years. More ambiguous stories tell of a terrifying secret kept by the family and passed down to each generation on their 21st birthday, until one Earl deemed the secret too horrific to tell his son, and thus the secret was never revealed.
Many have heard the story that once, a towel was hung from every window in the castle, but upon inspection from outside, one window did not have a towel hanging from it, thereby being the secret room.
No matter the secret of Glamis, the air of mystery is incredibly appealing. It is well known that buildings around that time had secret passageways and secret rooms in case of invasion, so what makes this castle so completely intriguing and mesmerising?