Enigmatic Green Lady In British Folklore

Similar to Banshee in Irish mythology, the Green Lady has a very special place in the Scottish and Welsh folklore as she is believed to protect a family and its home. The Green Lady is a traditional and benevolent ghost found in many Scottish homes and castles.

However, the Irish Banshee usually moves with the family, if necessary; a ghost of Green Lady, on the other hand, never leaves the home waiting for the next family that moves in. It is said that similar to household spirits, Green Lady ghosts protect people and are herders of domestic animals, protecting them from bad weather or being stolen.

Green Lady ghosts – slender, golden-haired women in long green gowns – are unique because they are deep-rooted in folklore of Scotland, Wales and England but generally, not encountered outside the United Kingdom.

The 16th century Crathes Castle, located east of Banchory in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, is famed for the ghost of a young woman. The apparition appears by a fireplace in the Green Lady’s Room; she picks up a ghostly infant and they both disappear.

Tales of the ghost were probably inspired by the painted panels in the room, one of which shows a girl dressed in green with a child in her arms.

However, a legend says that in the 17th century, a daughter of the castle’s owner became pregnant but the event was disgrace and the family kept it as a secret, by keeping the girl isolated until she gave birth. When the mother and her baby died, people began to talk, whether she died giving birth or she was perhaps murdered.

Much more tragic, is another version of the story saying that the woman and her child were buried secretly within the castle, which was confirmed when renovations of the castle, revealed the skeletons of a young woman and a baby buried beneath the fireplace.

Another famous Green Lady ghost story is connected to Skipness Castle near Loch Fyne, Kintyre Peninsula, Scotland. This ghost has protected this castle and its family for hundreds of years.

In the ruins of Caerphilly Castle just north of Cardiff in Wales yet another Green Lady has been seen. This ghost hides in evergreen leaves of climbing vine surrounding the castle and is known to be quite harmless and even friendly by extending her hand to people who accidentally see her passing by, and then she vanishes silently.

According to yet another legend coming from Wales, a ghostly appearance of Green Lady is described as a demon. Her green gown covers her hairy goat-like body and not only that. The gown also makes the hooves, hidden, because this Green Lady was once cursed with hooves for feet.

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