Ghosts and Skeletons
The present Laird swears that he and his dog heard footsteps late one night when he was doing some work to the house. His dog raised her hackles and barking loudly, ran out of the room. But there was no-one there. This presence has been attributed to Ubby, who many years ago, built the small island in the middle of Skaill Loch by rowing out and dropping stones which can still be seen there. He is reputed to have died out there and to now haunt the wing of the house where he once lived.
There have been other sightings in the main house by both visitors and staff alike. One employee reports she saw “a reflection of a man’’ in the shop, but when she went through there was no one there. ‘’He was a tall man, with dark hair going thin on the top. That was not my imagination.” The house was searched but found to be empty. In another story a visitor claimed she had a question about the house answered by a male member of staff in the gun room, but no males were working that day….
There have also been many strange sounds, doors opening and closing of their own accord and even smells. Malcolm Macrae, owner of Skaill House reports he was in the attic office and there was a smell of fresh cigarette smoke. Both he and an employee commented on it but could not find the source of the smell. This is a familiar tale…
The one thing that is certain is that there are skeletons under the floorboards. During preparation of Skaill House for its opening to the public, fifteen skeletons were discovered south of the south wing and under the gravel in front of the east porch. Radio Carbon dating showed these skeletons to be Norse. Prior to this, skeletons were found under the flagstone in the main hall when it was lifted to be replaced by oak flooring in the twentieth century. At that time they were put back carefully, where they remain to this day. We now know that they are part of a Norse Graveyard.
Even though there are many stories about the ghosts of Skaill House, they all seem to agree that the ghost or ghosts of Skaill are friendly.