It was cold and rainy outside the old and infamous Montgomery Castle. Situated on the very north of Scotland. It had been at least fifty years since the house had been inhabited but now, this night of June 30th, 1900 it seemed that at long last someone would be occupying it.
The Davenport family had just been transferred from England to live in Scotland after Mr. Davenport, a very important manager at a construction company, had been asked to create a new division in the area. Originally, they had thought of looking for a place in Inverness, seeing as the headquarters of the new division would be settled there. But Mrs. Davenport, overtaken by her passion for history, and especially for smaller villages that were associated with grand mansions, or castles, had pushed her husband to see the possibility of getting a home at such a place.
And that is how Mr. Davenport, wishing to grant this small wish of his wife, ended up at a very small real estate firm and met Mr. Duncan Gibson, who, seeing this opportunity as a golden one for his own dark personal reasons, immediately invited the entire family to see the small village of Montgomery and its castle, which, conveniently enough, was being let. And so, on June 30th, the entire family: Mr. and Mrs. Davenport and their three children: Amy, Laurie and Dave, happily went on a tour of this magical place and prepared to stay at least one night there, as was proposed by Mr. Gibson. What they were not informed of before, as they started on their journey, was the very dark, and also very dangerous reality that surrounded this historical ancient place and which would soon also involve them.
At the end of the tour, when the night had descended and the rain had begun to fall in earnest, without much light to guide them except for the small lanterns that were left on in the entrance steps to the castle, Mr. Gibson finally invited them into the darkened main entrance.
Although the family felt a little frightened by the huge interior and the pitch darkness, as well as the immensity of the place, they could not shake off the otherworldly charm that enveloped and enchanted them. And when Mr. Gibson finally found a light switch near the main staircase and the place was filled with a soft golden glow that emanated from a ceiling-hanging ancient chandelier, it was awe, rather than fear and caution, that drove them to decide to continue with their plans.
As they scouted the house with the realtor, the Davenports took in the disrepair of the house but also the magnificence of the whole setting: the high stone walls covered with tapestries and banners, weapons crossed in a sign of constant readiness for battle, the stone hearths, the stone floors covered with thick rugs and carpet, the huge polished oak staircase that led from the hall to the second floor landing, and then upwards, the halls that led off to the kitchens and some entertainment rooms. Everything spoke of wealth, nobility and also ancient times.
According to Mr. Gibson, this very castle and the enormously extensive grounds had once belonged to one of the greatest lords in Scottish history: the Earl of Montgomery, a peer of the realm and defender of the Scottish crown. It was also a place filled with tragedy and grief for it had been the scenario of one of the saddest events in that region.
And so Mr. Gibson began to tell the story: “The Earl of Montgomery married, in secret, one of the wealthiest and most beautiful English ladies in all of the British Isles. They had two sons and Lady Montgomery was pregnant with her third child when her family finally decided to take action against the defiling of their noble name by their daughter becoming entangled with a Scottish barbarian. They left for the highlands and arrived at MontgomeryCastle when neither Lord Montgomery nor his eldest son were at home.
However, when Lady Montgomery found out what her father and two brothers intended to do, she sent servants to search for Lord Montgomery and let him know what was happening. When Lord Montgomery found out and returned to the castle with his eldest son, a terrible fight ensued and Lady Montgomery died from a wound inflicted by accident by one of her brothers. The two brothers died as well killed by Lord Montgomery.
Such was the grief of the Earl, such his urgency to save his dearly beloved wife’s life, that he forgot about her father and their smaller son Liam, who was taken by Lady Montgomery’s father in the commotion. And so it was that in one single night, Lord Montgomery lost his wife and two smaller children.
Nobody heard anything else about little Liam and Lord Montgomery’s pain was such that in order to push the memories away he turned to alcohol, drowned in alcohol in fact, and soon became an echo of the man he had once been. From a strong and strict, but gentle man, he became weak and fragile, quick to anger but slow to action.
It was Lord Montgomery’s eldest son Christopher, who soon after his mother’s death took over control of his father’s estate, him being but a young man of twenty five. Unfortunately, Christopher grew up to become exactly the opposite of what he had once been and instead of maturing and growing into the man his mother had always thought he would be, he became proud, vain and too enamored with himself.
To his friends, who were as conceited and selfish as he was, Lord Cristopher Montgomery, or Chris, as they knew him, was the very best of men. But to his tenants and servants, and all the people of the village and region that depended on him, he became simply a tyrant. In fact, where once he had been loved by those lower than him in rank due to his gentleness, now, as a man, he was loathed and most importantly feared. And it was not simply because he abused his powers over the servants, tenants and farmers, but also because he became a real predator of women. Whether they were married or single, but especially if they were maidens, Lord Cristopher Montgomery would stop at nothing to defile them, even if they did not want to be touched by him.
But life, had a huge surprise, and an even bigger lesson, for the young lord. One day, Christopher and a group of his equally spoiled friends had been riding through the small village near the castle when they saw a young and ugly girl of about eighteen who had a limp in her right leg, arranging a small vegetable garden near her home.
Chris and his friends decided to have fun with her and began teasing her mercilessly, calling her names, pushing her around them, touching her inappropriately, and ignoring her pleas that she be left alone. This happened until the girl, enraged by what was happening, hit one of the men in the face and began scratching him wildly. Two of the man’s friends grabbed her, neutralized her and brought her to where Christopher was and instead of doing the right thing as a lord, to protect those who depended on him, he sentenced the poor girl to death by whipping.
Not long after the girl had succumbed to the terrible pain and wounds, an old woman walked to the front of the astonished and horrified gathering filled with rage and indignation. Lord Christopher and his friends evidently did not realize at the time who this woman was, and much less what was said about her around the village, because if they had, they would have taken her threatening words more seriously. But of course, being the vain men they were, they had just stared at the angered old woman and simply taken in her tirade without bothering much.
But to the villagers who had witnessed the horrific scene, the words that old Matilda, the witch, was uttering froze them to the bone, for they knew that she had great powers. But to Lord Christopher and his friends, they were, at the time, just words.
‘You think you are unstoppable and all-powerful but even you will be brought down, you mighty, evil, prideful lord. No one can run away from their sins and the consequences of them for too long, no matter who they are, and you will be no exception. You have fallen to the lowest levels that any human being can fall by using and abusing your power and by being indolent to the sufferings of one of God’s most innocent, and defenseless creatures and for this, you and your friends will now be cursed. Not long after today, on the night of your birthday’s celebration, tragedy will strike you again and you and all your friends who were a part of this horrible crime will wish they had died that very same night. Neither living nor dead, you will be forced to haunt the human world, hungry like hyenas for human flesh and blood, horrible to look at, searching desperately for a reprieve. You will all only be able to reverse this curse if you are lucky enough to encounter and accept the purifying power of true love, however this wonderful gift may be given to you. Time will be your worst enemy because as it goes by without your finding the cure, the curse will slowly devour your humanity and leave you with only the beast that you are.’
Chris and his friends laughed very hard at the woman for what she had said and one of them even pushed her into the dirt of the road, but it wasn’t long before her words became true.
A year later, on Chris’s 26th birthday celebration, as he was having a huge party with all his friends, sounds of terror and death ensued from the grounds outside and the house itself. Before anyone had a chance to move, the dinner hall was filled with English soldiers intent on looting and killing anyone in their path. A terrible fight began and in a bloody battle Chris’s father was killed by none other than his very own lost son Liam.
As for Chris and his friends, they too were wounded mortally, but, soon found out that they had never actually died. Just as old Matilda had said, neither living, nor dead, they knew then that the old woman had never been kidding and they were now cursed for all time. And so it began, and it has been ever since, that this very place has been haunted. Neighbors swear they can hear strange sounds often, but none have dared to approach.”
“Mr. Gibson,” said Mrs. Davenport with a small shiver, “that is a very nice scary story but we do not believe in ghosts or anything of the like.”
“That is good madam, for I do not believe them either. However, your husband told me that you loved history and I thought you might wish to know the tales behind this grand place.”
Mrs. Davenport just nodded to the man and then thanked him.
Not much later Mr. Davenport, with the help of his son and Mr. Gibson, brought the suitcases that they had packed for their little adventure, and once they were settled, Mr. Gibson bid them good bye and left.
And so it was that the Davenport family was left alone inside the very old MontgomeryCastle for the very first and last time, completely ignorant of the horror that would soon fall on them.
As the two girls, Laurie and Amy, prepared for bed in the room they had chosen to stay in on the second floor, Amy asked Laurie, “Do you believe this story about the real owners of this castle?”
“I truly don’t see how a man could be wounded mortally and not die. This is just fiction Amy so do not worry. However, I think it would be so romantic to fall in love with a handsome man who is haunting a place. Can you imagine that?” Laurie said with a very girlish giggle.
“No, and I hope I never hear that story again.” And with this the two girls went to bed.
The night was dark and stormy and the sounds in the house were definitely chilling. But to two very intelligent and practical girls, this was all easily explained away. And so, they ignored their surroundings and the noises and began to fall asleep.
There was a big antique clock on one of the many nooks in the girls’ room and it had just noisily announced that night was giving way to early dawn when Laurie was brought out of her peaceful sleep by the sound of steps and scratching outside on the hall. Then, as she listened attentively, with bated breath, she was able to also discern the sound of soft growling. But it had not only been Laurie who had been brought out of her sleep by the sounds. Amy had also woke up in an instant, pale and trembling.
“Can you hear that Laurie?” Amy whispered, her voice shaking,
“Shh Amy, maybe it’s just mum and dad or even Dave. I’ll go find out.”
And Laurie would have done that if she had not been rooted to her spot in fear when male voices echoed all over the place, calling out her name. The two girls hugged together and watched in terror as their door opened slowly but nothing visible walked in. The minutes ticked by and everything remained quiet, and fear was starting to leave them when suddenly Laurie began to be tugged away by one of her legs. Both girls began to scream and Amy saw in panic as her sister desperately fought against whatever it was that was dragging her away from the room. But it was not too long before she too had her leg taken out from under her and was dragged as well.
Mr. and Mrs. Davenport had been awake at the time when they started hearing the ruckus coming from their daughters’ room. Thinking that it might be due to a bad dream, the two of them walked out never expecting what they were about to see. Their two girls were each being dragged along the carpeted hallway by something that neither of them could see, but they could hear clearly. There were growls and snarls coming from the invisible entities pulling on the two girls and it was then that the Davenports realized that Mr. Gibson had not just told them a scary tale.
Alongside with their youngest, and only son, Dave, who had been also brought awake by the screams and growls, the three of them ran and fought to try and save the girls from whatever terror awaited them. They all fought to catch the girls’ hands, and pull them away towards safety, but it was absolutely useless. They were panicked, they all cried and screamed and fought, but in the end, the two girls simply disappeared. The three remaining people ran all over the place trying to find their girls, but no matter how hard they tried, they could not find where they had been taken. And then, all hope fled them when they heard the screams that erupted from some unknown place.
Mrs. Davenport simply fell to the floor with her husband’s unmoving arms around her, both of them feeling horrified and shocked by what had just happened and they remained in that position until the screams finally stopped.
Soon after that terrible night, the bodies of the girls were found outside the castle, horribly mutilated, and when the funerals were over, the Davenports moved back to their native England.
A hundred and four years passed since that terrible new tragedy and the world changed and so did the great MontgomeryCastle of which no one, not even the Scottish people, remembered much except the terrible deaths that took place there.
It was the year 2004 and the castle had been visited many times by tourists since it had been acquired by the English government to become a place of interest that could be rented. Incidents happened during all those years, people, but most especially women, disappeared and their dismembered bodies were found near the house itself; but no matter how hard the government fought to discover the mystery of the castle, it had never been found how all those people had died such horrific deaths. The last account of the facts was from a college expedition and the few survivors, mostly male, told of noises during the night, horrible screams, blood and the realization that all the women had disappeared.
After that college expedition no one came near MontgomeryCastle again, the government soon forgot all about it and the house and grounds began to fall into complete ruin.