Lynne and Gary are a husband and wife who share a love of Scottish history and ghost hunting. Together they operate History and Horror Tours; which they are now bringing to Bannockburn House in Stirling.
The couple have a passion for making history accessible and telling the real, personal stories of people from long ago. Their tours aren’t about dates and names; they share the little anecdotes that turn characters into people.
Gary has been telling Jacobite stories for over 20 years, long before Outlander was on our screens! Being dyslexic, he is able to read a history book and then bring it to life for others in story form.
He decided to become a tour guide after being on a tour in Edinburgh, where a guide said that the Romans didn’t get this far North – which isn’t true! He thought to himself, if you’re going to tell a story, it needs to be right! He got a job with Mercat Tours in Edinburgh and worked in the vaults. Even though he didn’t have the required history degree, they recognised that he knew his stuff! He was driving all the way from Perthshire each day, so his employer suggested he stay on at night to do the ghost tours, and this is when he really found his passion for dark history.
Lynn went to school in Linlithgow and grew up playing around the palace. This is where she discovered her love of history and being surrounded by it. She was also intrigued by the paranormal side of history and the stories of the people who used to walk the halls of the castle.
In 2005, the couple started walking tours of Perth. Gary at that point was researching lots and writing his own history books telling the stories of real people. They then got the inspiration to start ghost tours of Castle Menzies. With all his research, Gary was aware of the dark history that had happened there and knew that there were stories to tell! Including the story of three redcoats who were killed by a clan chief. He wanted to bring these stories to life. Gary says: ”Even people who don’t believe in ghosts; love a ghost story.” The tours were extremely popular, as they say the dark side of history gets you!
Lynn says: “Our ghost tours are the closest thing you’ve got to a time machine. We are telling real personal stories of people who have lived and worked in the castle/house.”
They were both keen to explore the tales of the past at Bannockburn House, Stirling, and are now offering a nighttime tour of the house, which is so active that it is fast becoming known as the most haunted house in Central Scotland. The couple told us several spooky stories of ghosts they’ve encountered and unexplained events during their horror tours that have turned non-believers into believers.
They’re both incredibly passionate about the work they do and the tales they tell. They in-still this in the guides that work for them. Gary says: “You’ve got to put the same passion to a group of 3 or group of 30. They all deserve to have a memorable experience.”
The tour averages an hour and a half long, depending on how many spooky things happen! Not only is Bannockburn House very active, it has a fantastic history that Gary and Lynn are passionate about promoting. During their tours, they tell the local stories of the ghosts they encounter, and they encourage people to come back for the daytime tour to explore and discover the history. They offer their evening tours from April-October every Thursday night.