Glamis Castle is not unique in having a secret chamber allegedly hidden somewhere deep in its interior. Due to their size and the nature of their constant remodelling, many castles and large historic houses have rooms, chambers and other places blocked off or no longer in use. Many times these spaces have no sinister or secret purpose. Otherwise, many homes had hiding places for clergy in the early modern era at times of persecution. 'Priest's Holes' were designed usually, though not exclusively, for Catholic priests, mainly in the 17th century.
The highly readable ghost hunter and author Elliott O'Donnell wrote a book on these mysterious places: Rooms of Mystery, published in 1931. Unsurprisingly, Glamis Castle, features in one chapter, but there is nothing written there about another castle whose mystery room has supernatural overtones. This is Aberdeenshire's Fyvie Castle, which has an array of hauntings which certainly rivals the supernatural roster at Glamis. (These include a Green Lady and even a haunted of 'weeping' stone which is associated with a curse given by Thomas the Rhymer.) The tale of the mystery room hear is instructive when compared with the tales of the similar room at Glamis. Another link with Glamis, incidentally, is that the stronghold was gifted in 1390 by King Robert III to Sir James Lindsay, the killer of the 'Whyte Lyon' of Glamis Castle.
|Fyvie Castle in the Victorian era|
The mysterious chamber at Fyvie is located in its Meldrum Tower. Tradition maintains that the chamber should never be opened, otherwise a curse would fall upon the laird: death for him and blindness for his wife. One version of the tale says that this curse has been activated twice. Both men died; one wife went blind and the other suffered from diminished eyesight. For many years the castle was in the possession of the Gordon family and it was the last of these lairds, Sir Maurice Duff-Gordon, who fell victim to the malediction. In 1885 he unwisely had workmen break down the wall which supposedly led to the secret chamber. They came across a staircase leading downwards. At this point, Sir Maurice fell and broke his leg. The builders hurriedly covered up the space. But the laird's wife began losing her sight sight from that day.
While there is no 'family curse' connected directly to the room, nor any very distinct story about its origin, there is a family curse. This states that the ownership of the castle would never pass down from father to son.