The Scapa Flow Landscape Partnership Scheme

The ghost at Kirkhouse

Mr Cromarty of Berriedale, South Ronaldsay was also the tenant of Kirkhouse, probably in the earlier part of the 19th century.

He rebuilt the steading using stones from old houses and walls and possibly using some of the stones from the old chapel of St Ola in Widewall.

There was rich black earth in the old chapel graveyard and he directed his people to dig up this earth and scatter it over the farm. This order created a lot of fear and superstition among the local people and at some stage – the reason is not now remembered – the digging ceased.

Graveyard at St Peter's Kirk, also known as Kirkhoose

A woman at Kirkhouse declared that she had seen ghosts in the graveyard and stated in dramatic fashion: “May my feet go rotten and drop off if it isn’t true.”

In later years this woman developed a disease which ended in her getting gangrene of the lower limbs. It is said that she can still be seen passing through the kloss* at Kirkhouse with a foot held under each arm.

* Kloss - passage between buildings