Balcomie Castle, which stands as a farm house now, belonged in 1375 to John de Balcomie.
The History of Balcomie Castle
In June 1538 the castle entertained Mary of Guise on her landing at Fifeness to be married to James V.
The castle then passed onto the Learmonths during the time of James IV in 1705 and to Sir William Hope. It continued to be passed successively to Scott of Scotstarvet and the Earl of Kellie.
Originally an edifice of great size and slendour, it was reduced by the Earl of Kellie to only one wing, but is still of condsiderable size and serves as a landmark to mariners.
There is a small cave nearby which is falsely claimed to have been the scene of the beheading of Constantin, King of the Picts (863-877AD) by Northmen.
The Haunted History of Balcomie Castle
Near the East Neuk o’ Fife stands Balcomie Castle, which is said to be haunted by the ghost of a boy who was starved to death within its walls nearly 400 years ago. At the time in question, rumour says, the Castle was the home of a certain General, and there is a story to the effect that he kept in his service a merry boy who went about the Castle in his spare time playing very loudly on a penny tin-whistle.
One dark winter morning, says the story, the General was disturbed by the noise of the whistle, and, rushing from his bedroom, he caught the whistler by the throat. In a minute more the General had lodged the minstrel boy in the Castle “keep,” forgetting he had done so till seven days later, when he rushed to the “keep” and found to his horror that the boy had been starved to death.
For a long time since then the Castle has been shunned during darkness by people in the Neuk, for during darkness the minstrel’s ghost is supposed to walk about.
It has been said that the chairs in the Castle are sometimes moved about by some invisible power, that the candles in the Castle often burn blue, and that wild, unearthly whistling comes from the darkness of the Castle “keep.” But perhaps the strangest story in connection with the Castle was that told lately by an old Crail fisherman, who declared that he one night saw the minstrel’s ghost sitting on the top of the Castle flag-staff in full possession of a rusty tin-whistle.