Sure, there are plenty of things that are scary in Glasgow: being stopped by a tourist looking for directions, the rent prices in the city centre… The list goes on… But if you’re looking for a real fright this Halloween, you’ll want to cast your net a little wider to some of our region’s older buildings – all of which hammer home the stereotype of old buildings being haunted places. If scaring yourself half to death this Halloween is on the agenda, check out our guide to the most haunted places in Glasgow. And trust us when we say, we’ll be sitting out for these ones, for obvious reasons.
1. Cathedral House Hotel
The Cathedral House Hotel in the north-east of Glasgow might be a stylish place to stay these days, but that wasn’t always the case. Back in the late 1800s, it was a rehabilitation centre for female prisoners recently released from the notorious Duke Street Prison. Rumour has it that the spectres of the old inmates can still be felt in the hotel, including phantom children regularly heard on the top floor. Some talk of a paranormal presence that causes the sensation of being touched on the arm. It’s a favourite spot for investigators who have reported light anomalies, chairs moving and voices. Who’s for booking a room?
2. Theatre Royal
The Theatre Royal holds the prestigious title of being the oldest playhouse in Glasgow, so it comes with a ghost story or two and therefore makes this list of haunted places. There’s the obligatory ‘failed actress’ story, which actors still take to the stage to tell this story. Some attribute moaning and doors banging in the upper circle to ‘Nora’, a cleaning lady who was laughed off the stage when she finally made it into the spotlight and committed suicide because of it. There have been reports of knocking doors and creaking floorboards.
3. Scotland Street School
The Scotland Street School, designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh and built between 1903 and 1906, is now used as a museum. Being just a stone’s throw away from the Shields Road underground station makes this building a particularly accessible spooky spot on the southern edge of the Clyde. There are regular sightings of ghostly figures on the first and third floors as well as people hearing laughter, voices and footsteps even when the museum is closed, If that’s not enough, objects have been known to move on their own. Visit at your own risk.
4. Dalmarnock Bridge
Multiple people have witnessed the scary sighting of a young man, as real as can be, staring over the side of the bridge before jumping and vanishing. Now that’s spooky. No one has been able to identify him but the details that people describe match; a man in his 30s and wearing black clothes. Dare you to go over and speak to him?
5. Tron Theatre
The very looks of the Tron Theatre should be enough to show that this is one of the most haunted places in Glasgow. Looming above the Trongate Road near Saltmarket, it’s a church-style steeple with Gothic carvings that are all stained with age. The theatre has plenty of history behind it; it’s been a meeting hall, a place of execution, a police station – oh, and the building before it was the venue for the Hellfire Club, until they almost burned it down (and Glasgow with it) in 1793.
Panto and dramatic productions are not the only things to take place inside though… Mediums and experts in the supernatural have also been drawn to the auditorium. They come to investigate reports of apparitions mainly active at The Victorian Bar and the back two rows of the main playhouse. They’ve been described as “threatening” presences that’ll send a chill down the spine. So maybe watch where your seats are next time you catch a show at the Tron.
6. The Old Transport Museum
The Museum of Transport was initially located at Kelvin Hall before moving to the Riverside Museum. Kelvin Hall was a notorious paranormal hotspot in the West End. It was used as a mortuary in World War II, which might explain it – and the recreation 1930s Glasgow street saw a lot of activity, including noises, footsteps, children’s laughter and a sighting of a headless figure. Some people reported being tapped on the shoulder too. So watch your back when you’re working out at the gym now occupying the same site- you don’t want someone tapping your shoulder mid-squat or bench press do you?
7. Royal Infirmary
Like many old hospitals, they have a lot of history (two centuries in fact!) and are most likely to be haunted. The sightings have been varied and strange. Some talk of the whisperer in Ward 27, who’s said to converse with sick patients. There is also the grey lady of the Royal Infirmary, who is said to linger in the corridors, and countless doctors and nurses have reported seeing her. Those ramblings that you may have thought were a patient, may potentially be her. In fact, many say they’ve mistaken her for a patient, only for her to disappear when spoken to.
8. Provan Hall
Provan Hall is one of Glasgow’s oldest buildings and, having survived in the East End since the 15th century, this is one of the haunted places that is bound to have a tale or two in those old walls. Visitors have mentioned seeing a man in ancient clothes inside the building, and paranormal investigators have been called in more than once to see if there’s any truth in it all. There are even reports of a man with a white beard, thought to be the last private owner of the medieval estate. We’re not shivering, you are.
We could never forget the great Glasgow Necropolis in our list of haunted places. It rolls down a hillside between the Neo-Gothic towers of the Glasgow Royal Infirmary and Duke Street, forming a sea of tombstones and sepulchres that’s surely rife with paranormal activity. One of the most prominent tales is that of the Glasgow Necropolis vampire. Back in 1954, children were spotted stalking the gravestones with stakes at the ready. When asked, they said they were hunting a sharp-toothed bloodsucker. You can now follow their footsteps by joining a spooky walking tour.
10. Scotia Bar
Behind the half-timbered façade of The Scotia on Stockwell Street, patrons can sip whisky and beer in one of the most historic pubs in the city. Along with it’s low-rise ceilings and old beams comes a supernatural presence. A 2007 investigation by a team of mediums concluded that there were ghostly presences in the cellar of the bar. Meanwhile, the landlord has reported sightings of the so-called Green Lady, who’s said to pace the pub at unsociable hours- how rude.
11. Pollok House
This National Trust for Scotland property sits in sprawling grounds of Pollok Country Park, near the area of Shawlands on the south side of the River Clyde. Once the home of the powerful Stirling-Maxwell family, it’s now open to the public for visits and guided tours. Guests can come to see the vintage decorations and Spanish art by the likes of Goya and El Greco. But they can also learn about the chilling tale of the so-called Witches of Pollock. Back in the 1600s, when a phobia of the dark arts spread across the country, several women accused of black magic were burned on this very site. Did you hear cackling?
Located beneath Glasgow Central train station, Glasgow Arches was a derelict spot up until 1991 when it became an arts space. The spot has seen plenty of theatrical events and club nights, and was named one of the best nightclubs in 2007 by DJ Magazine. Unfortunately, Glasgow Arches closed down in 2015 due to complaints about drug use and disorder that led to midnight closing time. Now, the spot is called Platform and is a food market and beer garden that also hosts the famous Candlelight concerts.
Its haunted reputation has been around for decades, as there were many reports of the spirit of a little girl. Now, we know by now that spirits that appear as children are often demons in disguise, so it’s just best to not mess with that stuff. The people have reported the girl as confused and needing help, yet as soon as someone got close the girl would start screaming and disappear. Woah! It’s probably best not to stay there overnight in one of the most haunted places in Glasgow!