The Green Lady, Part I

I have been reading an article on Aberdeen, a dour Scottish city that is nourished on rain and ghosts.  Its silhouette is harsh and medieval, and it rides the eastern coast of Scotland like a battalion of granite knights.

There was one ghost in particular whose bittersweet life was as toxic and romantic as poisoned wine.  Her name was Dame Lilias Drummond.  She married Alexander Seton in 1592 and was unimaginative enough to give him five daughters.  Disgusted with her chromosomal betrayal, he hid Lilias away in the stony bower of their castle, where she was starved to death.  Whether she died from a lack of affection or food is not known.  All during this wasting time, Alexander was carrying on an affair with another noblewoman, Lady Grizel Leslie.

He married the Lady Grizel six months after the death of Lilias.  The morning after their wedding night they saw, 50 feet above the ground, the letters D. LILIAS DRUMMOND carved into the wall, in ethereal rebuke.  Today Lilias can be seen walking the halls of her home, Fyvie Castle, lonely and patient – a lady in green waiting for justice.

A sad, pretty story.  One that made me research The Green Lady's life further.  Until I found out one singular detail.  It never happened.  Their marriage, in fact, was a happy one.  A bouquet of daughters was not a sin.  The Dame's death was from natural causes.

That, I thought, was that.  Yet why should it be?  Doesn't this instead open up wide mythical vistas?  The green Lady of Fyvie Castle doesn't exist.  So couldn't I come up with my own?


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11 responses to “The Green Lady, Part I

  1. hence we wait with bated breath for part deux …

  2. Of course you could. And you have.

  3. My sad, wistful sigh…snatched away even as it leaves my lips. This made me laugh! Stories! What would we do without them? Be happy and content and bored…!

  4. I don't see why not. It makes me curious as to where the myth came from, for sure.

  5. Lilias is such a wonderful ghost name.

  6. There was a study done by some British researchers, who created their own ghost simply by fabricating a story about one. They made a drawing of him, gave him a little history—17th century cavalier killed in a battle during the English civil war—and said he manifested his presence with knocks, footsteps and a mysterious shadow. Within weeks, the researchers claimed that they began hearing strange noises and feeling an icy presence in the room they designated as the ghost's.
    The point of their study is lost on me—we create ghosts by our belief in them? a ghost will fill a void if we let them in? But why not create your own ghost story? I'd love to hear what you came up with.

  7. what a lovely tale you tell, and that IS the truth!

  8. oh absolutely!! and now that you have offered the temptation and hooked us all, we happily await part 2. :)a ghost story in autumn – that is perfect timing.

  9. Maybe the story is the ghost. Okay that's a stretch….
    I think carvings on walls are omens from ghosts, even if humans created them. And women always leave house spirits behind in dwellings. Yours most likely in the form of stories. 😉

  10. Having been to Aberdeen, I had heard both this story and the truth.In the summer, the granite sparkles most wonderfully.

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