I couldn’t wait to spend my wedding night in a romantic fairytale castle – but then I heard rumours that it was haunted…
By Kirsten Macowiak, 29, from Falkirk
Lounging on the settee and flicking through a hotel brochure with my fiancé David, I could barely contain my excitement. ‘It’s perfect,’ I sighed as I gazed at a picture of a plush honeymoon suite.
We booked a fairytale wedding at the medieval Airth Castle in rural Scotland. It was the ideal place to spend our first night as man and wife.
I imagined sipping bubbly on the four-poster bed, like a real life princess. But my friends had other ideas.
‘The castle’s haunted,’ warned my workmate Billy. He’d got married there two years earlier and his wife reckoned she’d seen a ghostly figure hovering above the bed.
“Stop winding me up!’ I laughed. I’d never believed in the paranormal. But looking up the castle online that night, I felt a shiver run down my spine.
‘A figure was standing by my bed,’ one guest had written.
‘Definitely haunted!’ said another review.
Other people had also seen the ghost-like woman in the castle. Legend had it she’d been killed there. Now she haunted the castle at night.
But instead of putting me off, the spooky tales added to my excitement.
Arriving at the castle on a bright July day this year, it looked anything but haunted.
My heart swelled with happiness, as David and I exchanged vows in the dungeons. Later we made our way to a newer outbuilding for the reception.
I barely touched a drop of alcohol all night, as I was too busy making sure everyone was having a good time.
And as the clock struck midnight, David and I decided to head to our honeymoon suite.
‘I’ll finally have some champagne,’ I thought as we walked hand in hand up the winding stairs.
But the atmosphere in the castle had changed. The sun had set long ago, and away from the din of the party, it was dark and quiet. In fact, it was eerily silent.
Anxious to get to our suite, we sped up as we peered into each door plaque.
‘I can see every room number, except ours,’ said David, confused. As the lights flickered over the castle’s walls, I felt uncomfortable.
‘Let’s look separately, it’ll be quicker’ suggested David.
I agreed reluctantly and we set off in opposite directions. Making my way down the long corridor, I looked carefully at each door. But there was no sign of our suite.
Suddenly I realised I was alone – and scared.
‘David!’ I yelled, as I made my way back to where we’d parted. There was no reply as my cries echoed round the corridor.
The silence was oppressive, hanging over the dim hallways.
‘There must be other guests in here,’ I thought, shouting as loud as I could. But my screams fell on deaf ears. No one came out of their rooms – not even to complain.
Panic rising in my chest, I reached for my mobile. My heart sank when I remembered I’d given it to David earlier for safekeeping.
But where was he?
I thought of my wedding guests, still dancing the night away in the next building. I decided to go back and ask them to help me find my groom. I just had to find a way out.
As I ran through a maze of corridors, I felt the walls closing in on me. There were no exits, just bedroom doors bolted shut.
Frantic, I pushed my way through a door at the end of a corridor. I found myself in an empty bathroom.
I huddled up on the cold, blue tiles and looked down at my wedding dress with a feeling of despair.
‘Will I ever escape these haunted halls?’
Suddenly a chill ran through my body. That was when I sensed a presence in the room. I looked around, but there was no one there.
I remembered the ghost of the murdered woman who was said to haunt the castle. I’d laughed at the timebut now I felt she was here – with me.
I had to get out. Spotting an emergency exit, I made my bid for freedom.
I stumbled into the reception area in the next building. The clock on the wall pointed to 2.30am. My spooky ordeal had lasted over two hours!
Staff called my mother-in- law.
‘David’s lost in the haunted castle!’ I sobbed. Worried, Leslie dialled his mobile and staff searched for him. The minutes ticked by slowly and painfully.
About half an hour later, they brought him back to me.
‘Our suite’s vanished! I was trapped and couldn’t get out of the building,’ he said.
He looked confused and shaken. The ghost had kidnapped my groom – on our wedding night!
‘Forget the suite, both of you are in a terrible state,’ said Leslie. ‘David, you go to our brother’s room. Kirsten, you can crash in my room,’ she added.
‘A wedding night with my in-laws – how romantic!’ But both of us were scared and exhausted, so we didn’t argue.
Neither of us will forget our wedding night in a hurry – but for all the wrong reasons!
Do you have a spooky story to share with the national press? Have a look at our guide to selling a story. To confidentially discuss your media options with one of our advisers call us on 0117 9833730, or fill in the contact form on the right.