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Duntrune Castle, Argyll, Scotland

Castle is situated on the western part of Scotland. Today it is a peaceful castle; however several centuries ago it was used to beat enemy attacks from water. The castle was built in XII century by the McDougall clan, however later it became the property of the Campbells. The Campbells sold Duntrune in 1792 to the Malcolms and till now they family own the castle.

In the XVII century during the civil war in England, Scotland was divided into hostile forces. One of the most ardent enemies were Campbells, who supported the Parliament, and MacDonalds, who supported king Charles I. In 1644 when the landlords were away, the MacDonalds, led by Alasdair Mac Colla ("Colkitto") occupied the castle. Mac Colla had to leave the castle for war, thus he left a garrison and the piper here. Later the Campbells returned and decided to recapture their castle. They killed all the soldiers, only the piper survived. At that times pipers had privileges. During the war they went ahead of the army showing them the right way. Also they had inviolability status. That’s why Campbells didn't kill him.

The piper knew, that he's general would be back soon. And if he did, he would be definitely killed: he had to warn him, but didn't know how. He sat on the shore for days waiting for the general. Soon he saw the ship and did the only thing he could to warn Colkitto: he started playing the pipe. At first Mac Colla thought his fellow piper was greeting him. However when he came closer, the piper changed the tune, so that general realized that it was a warning. He turned away the boat. He was saved. But the piper was punished severely: his hands were cut off. A few hours later he died because of septic wounds. However his soul did not rest in peace. It still visits the castle and plays his sad tune.

In 1880 during restoration works in the castle the workers found a human skeleton with no wrists. The owner of the house insisted that the skeleton should have been buried appropriately. However even after this the soul didn't leave the castle: parchments and books fly around the house, chairs move by themselves, watches stop unexpectedly. They say that it is all because of the burial rite: the piper was catholic but was buried by protestant rite.

By Sona Gasparian,


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