Carlyle House Hauntings


There are several tales of strange deaths and hauntings in this place. Three men are known to have fallen to their deaths at different times but in a similar manner from an upstairs balcony.

In the basement, a cat was found entombed in a wall by archeologists while renovating the house in the 1970s. It was fully documented, then the mummified cat was returned to the wall, where it still remains. Some say it is an ancient Scottish tradition for good luck. Others say it is to ward off evil spirits. But the spirits of the dead are said to still be heard from time to time in the Carlyle House. This is what the docents at the Carlyle House don’t talk about or deny if asked.

A local paranormal investigations team investigated the Carlyle House in February 2004. They did record some paranormal activity that cannot be fully disregarded, including orb photographs, a sound recording and an inexplicable knock on the door when there was no one around. The lead investigator says, “Therefore it’s my belief that the Carlyle House has something unusual happening either in the house or on the grounds, but it’s a subtle haunting that may make his presence known from time to time but tends to keep to himself unless he’s searched out, and even then he’ll keep to himself after a possible walk down the hall or stroll of the gardens.” The full report can be found here.

Could that be one of the ghosts, in the upstairs window on the right?


15 Responses to Carlyle House Hauntings

  1. Kate says:

    Marie, were you up there? I swear that one of the lights went off as I was viewing it!!

  2. Olivier says:

    Merci pour cette serie de post. tu racontes vraiment bien, et j’adore ces vieilles histoires de fantomes.

    Thank you for this series of posts. You tell them really well, and I love these old stories of phantoms.

  3. krisz says:

    Great info, Marie! I’m certainly intrigued by it. But most definitely wont pay a visit!

  4. dutchie says:

    Neither would I. I am too much of a chicken to mock with these things.

  5. mariemcc says:

    Kate, that upstairs window on the right is John Carlyle’s bedroom, the very bedroom where he died. Wooooo!!!

    Olivier, thank you for being here every day on my ghostly tour of the Carlyle House. 🙂

    Kris & Dutchie, the house can only be toured in the daytime, and it really doesn’t seem scary at all then. I think that’s why the docents don’t want to say anything about ghosts. They don’t want people to be too afraid to visit the house. I’d go for a night tour, though, if they had one. Since the paranormal team said this was a benign spirit, I wouldn’t mind meeting someone from The Other Side! 🙂

  6. annie says:

    I have to ask the question: How benign can a spirit be if three people have presumably been helped along to their ends?

    The ghost tours are fun to take. I remember my tour four or five years ago – didn’t see any ghosts and that was, as Martha (not Washington) would say, a good thing.

  7. Helen says:

    Way too spooky for me… but I am enjoying this series! Thanks!

  8. Curly says:

    This has been a fascinating insight to Carlyle House Marie, I didn’t realise he had died in your town.

  9. Alex says:

    A spooky story behind the walls of this lovely mansion… Haunted houses are indeed a big tradition is Scotland. I wouldn’t mind taking a tour in this house, however living in it I’m not sure! A convincing way to keep buyers away then 🙂

  10. photowannabe says:

    I do believe I see something in that window….deep breath…..I’m ok now.

  11. mariemcc says:

    Annie, there is no presumption that those three deaths were anything other than a bizarre coincidence. It just adds to the rather lurid history of the house.

    Helen, glad you came along for the ride!

    Curly, you mean you actually know who John Carlyle was? I didn’t think he was known outside of Alexandria.

    Alex, the tours are fun. No one lives there now; it’s a museum.

    Photo, I have smelling salts, if you need them! 🙂

    Thank you all for visiting!

  12. Rudy Girón says:

    Marie, you should not risk your integrity for a shot. It is, really, not necessary to stay this late to photograph ghost and the like so you can bring us truly original images. Well, do it if you must, but be careful!


  13. Ben says:

    Thank you for series Marie.
    It was great story behind the house and yes it;’s spooky enough…

  14. Nathalie says:

    Amazing series of ghost stories!!!

  15. Bill says:

    I love night shots. I have a house in Fairfax (trying to sell it), and when we lived there, I would often go down to photograph the mall at night. Fun stuff!

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