01 October, 2007


Castle Dracula

Ooh, spooky (well, it's Halloween soon). Went out for a wander with my mate Aktoman yesterday, we decided to give his camera another work out on the ruins of Slains Castle, north of Aberdeen. Slains is a mad arse, ruin of a building, sitting directly on the edge of a sea cliff, built originally in the 17th century but extended later as a stately home.

It really is an architectural nightmare of a place, and even in it's current state generally freaks you out. Someone it did freak out was Bram Stoker (who stayed in it during a visit to Scotland), it became one of the possible inspirations for Castle Dracula and you can guess why when wandering about the place, trying not to fall off the cliff or fly out of the top of a tower when the staircase stops.

Slains Castle, soon to be developed into flats for people without vertigo
View from window.
General spooky thing
Four story tower that just stops, no barrier on staircase. I got 'the fear!'
The ghost of Elvis!

Managed to find a photo of the place from 1900, I would have needed strong pants to stay in there for a night.

18 comments:

allen said...

Elvis looks a bit thin.

You know, we have absolutely NOTHING like that in the states...sigh.

Michael G Clark said...

It's a young Elvis.

You do have stuff like that in the states, there's lots of wrecked places in New York.

Slains is pretty mad, even though nothing creepy (that I know of) ever happened there it's got that 'pit of the stomach' oddness about it.

AktoMan said...

Mike's not mentioning the posing photos of himself that he wanted taken. link

Mike is the new Garth Marenghi.

Michael G Clark said...

Noooo. I look like a total mentalist. Oh, guess you're right.

mark stirton said...

Fuck me it's Alfred Hitchcock! Nice photos aktoman.

Michael G Clark said...

I think I look more like Jeremy Bret... Or Bret Spiner.

Boo hoo.

allen said...

Oh sure, all run down, but not on a frighteningly COOL cliff face. Plus all of the New York buildings smell like pee and barf.

And I agree about spending thee night. I don't scare easy, but that looks extremely creepy.

allen said...

Come to think of it, I guess we got some cool cliff stuff in Maine and the east. Being in the midwest, we aren't used to seeing castles on cliffs. Great photos.

AktoMan said...

Difficult not to add the relevant s/fx to Mike's old image. Looks even more menacing with a roof on, lurking on the cliff-tops.

Lauren Reeser said...

Wow, gorgeous pics! When I was in Scotland, I loved the ruins we visited, much more than the upkept castles. So they're developing them into flats? I hope that doesn't ruin them, haha. Thanks for the comment on my latest painting--it seems the goal of digital painters is to make it look not digital, so it's quite a compliment!

Story Quine said...

I think a few folk have tried camping at Slains and had the pants scared off them!

Allen, you do have wonderful mountains in North America, but yeah, you're a little short on castles. Have a google for Dunottar, that's even more fab - and it's where the Scottish regalia was spirited away from during the Civil War and hidden under the local minister's bed!

Slains - the name apparently is a corruption of Gaelic 'slainte', meaning 'healthy', so it was obviously thought to be a healthy place with lots of sea air and ozone!

Michael G Clark said...

Thanks for the history and Gaelic lesson, quine.

That place just isin't right! I wonder if they'll ever get round to building the appartments there or do all machines stop working near it?

allen said...

Oh yeah, the mountains and cliffs are quite grand. I did a bit of hiking a while back and realized how out of shape I was. I'll check out Dunottar.

allen said...

Did a bit of research...seems we do have some sights like those across the great blue. I guess I should say, "we don't have many castles in the midwest" but we are heavy into BARNS...found some really cool sites with 'almost' castles and cliffs in the states...btw.

Lauren Reeser said...

Wow, thanks for letting me know! I'm so flattered! That just totally made my whole month!

allen said...

Hey, I got THE PLANET in the mail today. I should be writing a review later tonight.

allen said...

LOVED IT! I wrote a review here...

http://indyfilmreview.blogspot.com/

I had no idea that you could be such a heartless bastard! :) Great effort. What fun!

Michael G Clark said...

Hi Lauren, it's my pleasure. the lecturer I spoke about is the guy who was at slains castle with me (aktoman), he's been pointing all his students your way. You may get some commenting on your blog soon.

Allen, glad you liked the movie and yes, I'm a total nazi.