Myths have accompanied almost all cultures for thousands of years.
These are stories that have been told in the past in order to be able to explain “strange” phenomena.
In some cases even mysterious deaths.
A myth, in essence, is a story based on a tradition and not on real events or people.
Or at least that’s what experts say.
Of course, ghost stories, as scary as they are, do not cease to exist in the culture of the people.
Stories that are passed down from generation to generation in various ways, but mainly through bards.
Bards were responsible for transmitting the fears, superstitions, and beliefs of different cultures.
Today music has a similar role.
All these stories – myths, come back to the surface thanks to the magical world of music and especially Rock / Metal.
Personally, this is the first time I have come across a melodic ghost story like Cortachy’s Drummer.
The myth-story comes to life again in 2008 through Snake Eyes and the song “Ghost of Cortachy”
But let’s look at their source of inspiration…
A haunted castle
As in almost all ghost stories, a strange story unfolds here.
The only difference is the sound that comes to give an even more dramatic tone to the legend.
The sound of drums!
Every “creepy” ghost story should be accompanied by a haunted house and/or castle as in our case.
This castle is located in Angus, Scotland, and dates back to the 15th century.
It was bought by the Ogilvy in 1473 and was substantially modified in the 17th and 19th centuries.
Like any myth-story, it has many different interpretations, with only one common connection, death.
The story became even better known when it was included in Catherine Crowe’s collection of “true” supernatural fairy tales, “The Night Side of Nature” (1848).
According to Crowe, a visitor named Margaret Dalrymple stayed for several days in Cortachy in 1845.
As she prepared to come down for the first night’s dinner, she heard a faint sound, as if playing drums, under her window.
Over dinner, she asked Earl of Airlie’s, “My lord, who is your drummer?”
The first myth…
This question, as expected, caused great upset to both Earl and the Countess (second wife of Earl).
Later that night another visitor informed Dalrymple that the drummer would show up at the house whenever there was a death in the family.
The last time it was heard was just before the death of the first Countess …
Ann Day, Dalrymple maid, had her own strange experience the next morning.
She heard a carriage approaching the castle, followed by a distant drum sound.
A short time later and while she never saw the carriage, she heard the sound of drums inside and outside the house.
Dalrymple heard the drummer for the second time the next day and left the castle the same day.
Six months later the second Countess died in Brighton.
Among her documents found was a note stating that the drummer was playing for her.
The murder of the drummer
The same book mentions the real (??) story about the castle drummer.
A young drummer had received the wrath of a former Airlie Lord.
The drummer flirted intensely with Lord Ogilvy’s first wife, something that angered him and threw the young man out of the castle window.
When falling, the drummer literally went through his drums.
Just before he died, the young drummer cursed Airlie’s, Ogilvy, and Cortachy forever.
Local tradition says that the drummer was the servant of a neighboring landowner who was in constant conflict with Ogilvy.
Another version claims that the drummer was the outcast brother of Lord Airlie’s first wife.
Of course, these are not the only versions, on the contrary, there are dozens more. So many that we could write a lot of pages.
In all versions, however, there is a common feature… the sound of drums!
Snake Eyes included this song on the album “Soul Stealer” in 2008.
Almost the entire album is full of melodic similarities with the good old days of Thrash Metal.
With tunes almost similar to Kreator, Slayer, Destruction, and Sodom.
They may not be one of our favorites, but the above story – myth was enough to search them a bit.