Even hundred’s of year’s ago Dundonald Hill was said to be the home of a ‘creature’ and not many dared venture out onto the hill alone or without good reason.The dogs of Dundonald Castle were said to become very restless, agitated and excited at times while looking out towards the hill, barking and yelping, never under any circumstances would they wander up it, or so I’m told.
People have reported a strange creature or haunting, call it what you will, on the hill right up to the present time. Frightened folk have told of “shadows that haunt the tree’s”. One badly shaken man related how when walking on the hill he heard whispering voices behind him, on turning round he saw nothing. This happened two or three times before he decided to take solace with a stiff drink in a local bar.
Another man reports of seeing two ghostly, squat shaped, featureless shadows trailing him from nearby trees, these shadows then merged together as one, growing to twice its size. He then also left the hill not waiting to see what happened next.
This same ‘entity’ has also been described as being able to jump straight into the branches of trees, as the creatures in Fife.
Dundonald Hill seems to figure heavy in the minds of locals as an area to be avoided, but nobody really seems to know why. School children in Irvine have said that they dare not go up as it is haunted but when asked what by they didn’t know. I have been told that there is a high count of suicides in the area with several youths having been found hanged on the hill, although I have not checked these facts out. Scott Webb of Irvine said to me that the hill has a presence and “exudes an oppressiveness” and claims that many friends feel the same way about the place.
Josephine Aldridge from England says she will never go up the hill again as long as she lives. She had recently been spending a little time in Kilmarnock, (summer 1994.) and for a day out decided to visit Dundonald Castle. While walking on the hill her two Labradors suddenly went berserk, running around in circles growling and snapping at the air before finally slinking to the ground as far as they could go with their tails tucked beneath them, crawling backwards in obvious terror. Then Josephine saw, “this huge creature” which appeared some distance to the side of her. She had not noticed it before and she assures us that if it had been there earlier she would most certainly have seen it. It did not seem to be solid as Josephine could see the grass of the hill through its body, but it was covered in, “longish, charcoal coloured hair. It made no indentations in the grass,” and Josephine on reflection thought it ghost-like. “The thing that struck the most terror was its eyes, two long slits which glowed a bright red. It had two holes where the nose should have been, very thick lips....” In fact it was not dissimilar to a gorilla in shape, although it stood well over ten feet tall on two legs.
When confronted by the strange sight Josephine began to pray, the creature after a few moments slowly faded out of sight, but the dogs attitude never changed and the English woman felt sure that the “monster” was still around.
Josephine left Dundonald Hill in a hurry, not too far behind her whimpering dogs. George, (pseudonym) who likes to spend a lot of time fishing, walking and camping decided to spend a night on the hill, during the summer of 1993. He took along his dog Rover, (also a pseudonym!) who had never left his side since it was a pup. He arrived just after the sun began to set, and erected his one man tent. Deciding to settle down with a book he lay atop his sleeping bag fully dressed.
After about an hour George saw a shadow pass by he side of his tent through the lamp light. He thought it strange that anybody would be in the area this time of night, again the shadow loomed over the tent, and at this point George swears he heard a kind of rasping or breathing sound. By this time he had come to the conclusion that some of his mates had come up after him and were now playing a joke. He said to himself that he would not rise to the bait and once again settled down with his book.
George’s heart then leaped into his mouth as the whole tent shook violently as though somebody had tripped over a guy rope, at this George went outside to look, his nervousness turning to apprehension when he found the area outside totally deserted. He quickly went back inside the tent securing the flaps as tight as he could, by this time Rover was whimpering and cowering in the corner, then the tent began to sway as if caught in strong winds. George sat on top of his sleeping bag now too scared to even contemplate sleeping.
The secured flaps suddenly burst wide open, the dog who had never left George’s side gave out an almighty yelp and ran off into the darkness. Someone or something than grabbed hold of George’s ankle, slowly but surely the man was pulled out of the tent, he could see no one and struggled desperately but the grip did not loosen. When he had been pulled about ten foot clear of the tents entrance, the invisible force lifted George clear off the floor, his head about two inches off the grass. The sky became black, a clap of thunder rang out and a streak of lightening flashed across the sky. Then suddenly the grip let go of his ankle, and George fell limp into the grass, petrified. George ran back into the tent, the sky clearing as he did so. He then spent a very tense night sat at the entrance of the tent, he being too scared to make his way home in the darkness, jumping at every little noise that the night made which seemed to surround him like some huge black blanket. He had called for Rover often, but each time the dog failed to answer. Morning eventually came and after packing away his belongings he headed down the hill, as he reached the bottom Rover came bounding out of the undergrowth towards him and they both went home together.
George has never been up the hill since and he has no intentions of ever doing so again, he can offer no explanation as to what happened to him, only that it was a very real experience. He does express hurt at his dog leaving him, a thing which it has never done before.
(Just as a footnote: yellow frogs have been found around the actual castle as well as some with red markings.)
Dundonald Hill and the surrounding area have always been a source for mysterious phenomena. Big cats have been seen in the area for decades, it has long been a UFO hotspot. The castle that sits atop of the hill has its fair share of ghosts too.