Scottish Country Dancing Dictionary

The Old Spedling Castle's Ghost's Dance

Scottish Country Dance Instruction

THE OLD SPEDLING CASTLE'S GHOST'S DANCE (J8x32) 4C set Jim Rae

1- 8 1s cross RH and cast down to 2nd place, cross LH and 1L casts up while 1M casts down
9-16 1s dance reels of 3 across RSh to 1st corners (1M followed by Ghost) and ½ turn LH in middle to face 3rd corners
17-24 1s dance RSh reels of 3 across (Man with 2s and Lady with 3s) and pass RSh to face 1st corners
25-32 1s turn 1st corners RH, partner LH, 2nd corner RH and partner LH back to 2nd place own side
1st Ghost (1st 32 bars)

1- 8 4M stands for 8 bars
9-16 4M 'ghosts' 1M in reel with 3s and joins in with LH turn
17-24 4M 'ghosts' 1L reeling with 3s and changes to 'ghost' 1M who faces 1st corner
25-32 4M joins in with 1M turning 1st corner and dances long way round to lead 1M into 2nd corner, joins in RH turn and crosses back to place
2nd Ghost (2nd 32 bars)

1- 8 Original 2nd Lady (now in 1st place) stands for 8 bars
9-16 Lady 'ghosts' 1L in reel with 3rd couple and joins in with LH turn
17-24 Lady 'ghosts' 1M reeling with 3rd couple and changes to 'ghost' 1L who faces Lady's 1st corner
25-32 Lady joins in with 1L turning 1st corner and dances long way round to lead 1L into her 2nd corner, joins in RH turn and crosses back to place

(MINICRIB, Dance Crib compiled by Charles Upton, Deeside Caledonian Society, and his successors)


The Old Spedling Castle's Ghost's Dance
Jim Rae
Jig   4 x 64 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set
This dance has a basic 3 couple in 4 couple set, 8 x 32 format with 4M joining in, as the ghost, in the odd repeats and 2L in the even repeats.
In the following instructions, this set of 32 bars shows the 3 couple basic dance without ghosts.

  1-4   1s cross by the right and cast;

  5-8   1s cross by the left and cast, L up, M down;

  9-14 2M1L2L 3M1M3L reels of 3 across, 1s giving right shoulder to first corners to start;

15-16 1s turn halfway by the left;

17-22 2M1M2L 3M1L3L reels of 3 across, 1s giving right shoulder to partner's first corners to start;

23-24 1s pass by the right to face first corners;

25-26 1s turn first corners by the right;

27-28 1s turn partner by the left;

29-30 1s turn second corners by the right;

31-32 1s turn partner by the left, finishing in 2nd place.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)


The Old Spedling Castle's Ghost's Dance
Jim Rae
Jig   4 x 64 bars   4 Couple Repeat   4 Couple Set   Lengthwise Set
This dance has a basic 3 couple in 4 couple set, 8 x 32 format with 4M joining in, as the ghost, in the odd repeats and 2L in the even repeats.
In the following instructions, this set of 64 bars shows the complete 4 couple version, including the ghosts, explicitly.

  1-4   1s cross by the right and cast;

  5-8   1s cross by the left and cast, L up, M down, finishing with 4M ghosting 1M;

  9-14 2M1L2L 3M(1M4M)3L reels of 3 across, 1s giving right shoulder to first corners to start;

15-16 1s4M left hands across halfway, finishing with 4M ghosting 1L;

17-22 2M1M2L 3M(1L4M)3L reels of 3 across, 1s giving right shoulder to partner's first corners to start;

23-24 1s pass by the right to face first corners WHILE 4M change to ghost 1M;

25-26 1L2M turn by the right WHILE 1M4M3L right hands across;

27-28 1s turn partner by the left WHILE 4M dance clockwise round them to finish in front of 1M, facing 2L;

29-30 4M2L1M right hands across WHILE 1L3M turn by the right;

31-32 1s turn partner by the left, finishing in 2nd place WHILE 4M dance back to place.

33-36 1s cross by the right and cast to 3rd place;

37-40 1s cross by the left and cast, L up, M down, finishing with 2L ghosting 1L;

41-46 3M(1L2L)3L 4M1M4L reels of 3 across, 1s giving right shoulder to first corners to start;

47-48 1s2L left hands across halfway, finishing with 2L ghosting 1M;

49-54 3M(1M2L)3L 4M1L4L reels of 3 across, 1s giving right shoulder to partner's first corners to start;

55-56 1s pass by the right to face first corners WHILE 2L change to ghost 1L;

57-58 3M1L2L right hands across WHILE 1M4L turn by the right;

59-60 1s turn partner by the left WHILE 2L dance clockwise round them to finish in front of 1L, facing 4M;

61-62 4M2L1L right hands across WHILE 1M3L turn by the right;

63-64 1s turn partner by the left, finishing in 4th place WHILE 2L dance back to 1L's place, finishing 2s3s4s1s.

(MAXICRIB, Scottish country dancing instructions compiled by Reuben Freemantle)


Dance Instruction Videos

The Old Spedling Castle's Ghost's Dance - YouTube Scottish Country Dancing Instruction Video

Dance Information

Spedling's Castle or Spedlins Tower (restored in the 1980s) is on the south bank of the River Annan in the old county of Dumfriesshire (now Dumfries and Galloway). From the twelfth century was a seat of the Jardines of Applegarth. They moved out of the tower to a new residence, Jardine Hall, across the river. The reason for the move was to escape from a ghost. The ghost was that of James "Dunty" Porteous (1650-75) a miller for the village of Milhousebridge, who delivered bread to the Baronet, Sir Alexander Jardine at Spedlins Tower.

Antiquities of Scotland by Francis Grose 1797 vol 1, page 144, tells us more:

"In the time of the late Sir John's grandfather, a person named Porteous, living in the parish of Applegarth, was taken up on suspicion of setting fire to a mill, and confined in the lord's prison, the pit or dungeon at this castle. The lord, being suddenly called to Edinburgh on some pressing and unexpected business, in his hurry forgot to leave the key of the pit, which he always held in his own custody. Before he discovered his mistake, and could send back the key, which he did the moment he found it out, the man was starved to death--having first, through the extremity of hunger, gnawed off one of his hands.
Ever after that time the castle was terribly haunted, till a chaplain of the family exorcised and confined the bogle to the pit, whence it could never come out so long as a large Bible, which he had used on that business, remained in the castle. It is said that the chaplain did not long survive this operation."

The bible had later to be sent away for rebinding- the ghost boisterously took advantage of its absence, and the Jardines moved house, leaving the ghost in residence.

Spedling Castle Image
Old Spedling Castle


Image Copyright https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_domain.

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