The world’s most haunted distilleries

30th October, 2013 by Becky Paskin

Bowmore, Islay


There are many creepy ghost stories relating to the oldest Scotch distillery on Islay, founded back in 1779.

While a resident ghost is said to inhabit the distillery’s vaults, distillery workers are said to have chased the Devil himself from the round church of Bowmore down to a paddle steamer laden with Bowmore whisky casks headed for the mainland (the distillery this month released an expression inspired by the tale: The Devil’s Casks).

The most famous ghostly story associated with Bowmore, is that of the headless horseman. An Islay crofter named Lachlan Bàn returned home one night to see a headless horseman riding away from his house, his front door wide open and an open bottle of Bowmore on the floor with a large dram missing.

Bàn regaled his tale to the island, who to this day will not offer an opened bottle of whisky to guests for fear of attracting the headless horseman.

3 Responses to “The world’s most haunted distilleries”

  1. Dram Tanna says:

    Gooderham isn’t a distery anymore. It’s a fancy shopping and condo area. So that doesn’t realy fit. I also would have included Glen Rothes, since there is a grave yard at the the distery.

  2. Hello, we’re a family from Buckie in the NE of Scotland. As a hobby we investigate paranormal claims and so called haunted places. During a visit to the Dallas Dhu Museum Distillery near Forres I heard footsteps on the malting floor, pacing up and down, stopping in certain places and keep on walking. This happened for about 5 minutes. Later in the Mash Tun area I felt a strong and intelligent presence around me, I mentioned to a friend that I thought someone might have died in this place.
    After the unguided tour I asked one of the gentlemen who work in the shop if he ever hears someone walking or a commotion on the malting floor as it is directly above the shop. He told us that this is often heard in the evening when things are getting a bit quieter. After we had our Dram he told us that in the Mash Tun area there are also strange things going on. It was noted by him that stiff old light switches get turned at night when everything is locked up and the light is on in the morning. He said he even got the manager of the museum as a witness for this. He wondered if it had anything to do with the worker that committed suicide in this area by drowning himself in one of the massive tubs when the Distillery was still operational……

    • Norma says:

      We visited Dallas Dhu yesterday…had the place to ourselves. On entering the Mash Tun area…I looked into the first big big vat on the left and wondered if it was filled with water or if the surface was glass so stuck my finger in and found it was indeed water. Immediately we had company…I thought at first other visitors were coming behind us, then wondered if birds were walking on the roof above us as I could hardly hear the commentary on the wand for the sudden creaking, scratching noises around us. Then my husband, who uses a walking stick, I thought, dropped his walking stick but he claims he felt like it was forcibly knocked out of his hand and then I was startled by a bright flash on my right as we went to walk out of the area. On leaving the room everything calmed down…..I wanted to ask the gentlemen in the shop if they ever had heard of anything unsettling in the mash tun area but didn’t but was curious and googled Dallus Dhu and reported haunting and found your post…..apologies to the spirit I unwittingly upset.

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