Among the ruins of Kellie’s Castle, Ipoh

Kellie's Castle

My blog is turning into a Visit Japan blog with all these posts about Japan! We interrupt your regular program with a visit to Kellie’s Castle in Ipoh.

I first read about Kellie’s Castle in a guidebook. It sounded like a fairy tale gone wrong. Let me tell the story with a bit of help from Journey Malaysia.

“Once upon a time, in a land far far away, a Scot by the name of William Kellie Smith made a lot of money in Malaya.

“In 1909/1910, he built a Moorish-styled manor for his family (wife Agnes Smith and daughter Helen Agnes). When his long-awaited son was born, he decided to extend his house into an even grander building.

“Unfortunately, the great building was never finished as many of the workers caught the Spanish flu and died. Smith was said to have died in Portugal of pneumonia.

The wife, daughter and son who left Malaya never returned.

“Nobody lived happily every after.


Yes, that is the sad tragic tale of Kellie’s Castle.

Kellie's Castle Ipoh
Kellie’s Castle Ipoh

From town to Kellie’s Castle

As L and I were not familiar with the public transport, we took a private cab recommended by the Tune Hotel Ipoh receptionist. I believe it was a RM40 trip to the site and back to Ipoh town.

The castle wasn’t as creepy as the travel brochure portrayed. Kellie’s Castle wasn’t the grey stone castle of Scotland which I had imagined. Instead, the walls were mostly brick red.

Most of the castle was crumbling. There were dangerous areas on the upper floor with nothing to protect the visitor from falling of the building.

Living on the edge at Kellie's Castle
Living on the edge at Kellie’s Castle

One of the rooms was reportedly haunted by a young girl. The problem is, I don’t think Helen died when she was young. I think it’s one of the stories people make up to pretend it is more mysterious than it is.

Haunted room at Kellie's Castle
Haunted room at Kellie’s Castle

Yellow House

Yellow House of Kellie's Castle
Yellow House of Kellie’s Castle

Behind the red building was a crumbling yellow house. This used to be the original manor but was somehow damaged really badly.

I mostly felt sad wandering in the unfinished compound. Some of the walls were newly painted but most were uncovered and other had moss crawling all over.

What made me happy were the two sets of people having photoshoots.

A couple was taking pre-wedding photo shoots while we were there. I adore wedding shoots at historical places as they are more interesting than generic flowerbeds.

Wedding shoot at Kellie's Castle
Wedding shoot at Kellie’s Castle

Then a bunch of people were also taking cosplay photos. The people dressed up in futuristic warrior outfits while the camera folks held reflective boards.

Cosplay shoot at Kellie's Castle
Cosplay shoot at Kellie’s Castle

When I showed my colleagues photos of the castle, they were unimpressed. I think they wanted to see buildings as grand as Edinburgh Castle.

Have you visited Kellie’s Castle? Did you see ghosts there?