"Death is no more than passing from one room into another." – HELEN KELLER

Legend of Maggie Duffton

If you’re a resident of Kemnay, you may have heard of the legend of Maggie Duffton. She once owned the Burnett Arms Hotel, a quaint hotel dating back to the 1800s. Maggie died in 1931. Her wishes was to have three coffins made. One was to be buried in a family grave in the Kemnay Cemetery. The other two, one containing her body and the other her money, was to be walled up in a vault in the hotel cellar.

Seventy-eight years later, Malcolm Edwards, current hotel boss, is determined to prove the legend’s validity once and for all. Along with local stonemason Karl Bisset, the plan is to open up a solid cellar wall. A probe camera was pushed through a tiny wall to reveal a framed photograph and box. The demolition date was set for July 11th. Villagers were even invited to watch the unveiling on a large screen in the bar above. I could not find any word of what happened. Maybe there was nothing to tell.

Even though Edwards doesn’t believe in ghosts, he says there is an unknown presence in the hotel. Many staff members have described seeing a ghostly woman wearing a pink wedding dress walking through the lounge. One night, a staff member cleaning the bar saw someone coming through a locked door calling for someone named Norman. It is not known who Norman is. Another former owner’s father supposedly had “many conversations” with this ghost believed to be Maggie. Locals are afraid the excavation could stir up other ghosts in the hotel’s past.


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