Carmilla Voiez welcomes you to Duff House

My short story “Salon of Lost Souls” included in the collection “Broken Mirror and Other Morbid Tales” is set in a building named Regency House, but the inspiration for the tale came from Duff House in Banff Scotland. The sofa in the salon was a Chippendale designed by Robert Adam, which once held court at Duff House but has since been removed. The shooting replayed by the ghosts was a fictionalised account of a real life event early in the house’s history when the second Earl’s wife tried to shoot him. The child who knocks on doors at Regency Heights is said to haunt Duff House, most likely a young, deaf, nephew of the Earl who was sadly scalded in a bathtub in a tragic accident and died as a result. The ghost recalls the Green Lady who wanders between Duff House and the nearby Duff Mausoleum, whose identity is unknown.

Duff House is a stately home, designed and built by William Adam in 1735, for William Duff. Duff was an infamous character who supported the English King and was instrumental in the death of Macpherson, immortalised by Robert Burns in Macpherson’s Rant. Duff argued with Adam over the costs of the build and it is likely the dispute was a factor in Adam’s early death. The house is now open to the public and looked after by Historical Environment Scotland. The veined belly of the house described in my short story is on the second floor and known as the marble lobby, but I think my description is more accurate.

The historic town of Banff, in which Duff House stands, has another literary connection. Lord Byron’s grandmother lived in the town and the young man stayed with her in a house which has since been demolished.

A link to the book 

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