"It was the fastest I ever ran home": Falkirk people share their creepy ghost stories

There are no shortage of spooky goings on in the Falkirk area – historic Kinneil House, the old ruin of Herbertshire Castle and Airth Castle are all reputed to be haunted by a variety of ghosts and gouls.

By David Hepburn
Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 11:27 am

We asked you for your haunting tales on our Facebook page and you didn’t disappoint.

Heather McEwan has seen several ghosts around the Callendar Square Shopping Centre, which she says is built on an old burial ground: “I worked in Mathiesons for seven years and saw a ghost of a little girl one Sunday when I was cooking in the kitchen. She was about 7 or 8, had long blonde hair in ringlets, was wearing a Victorian dress and black ankle boots with a buckle on the front of them. I use to open up on the mornings and there would be teapots strewn over the floor behind the counter but nobody had been in after close. The hairdressers, which was then the Hair Chair, would go in to things being moved from where they were left and Toy Masters reported things had been moved in their shop through the night too.”

Callendar House has been the location of several creepy sightings, including one by Aishling Paige Hanlon: “I was there ages ago and was on the middle floor taking a picture. There wasn’t anyone there at the time, apart from me and my friend. I took a picture, looked at it on my phone and saw a figure standing. It looked like a lady with a white Victorian dress on. It wasn't someone dressed up as her as when I took a picture no one was there again apart from me and my friend.”

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Jenni France was taking pictures of her daughter in a flat on Victoria Road about 10 years ago. When she looked through them, one appeared to include a strange apparition in front of her daughter. Can you make out a spooky face?

Falkirk’s old Metropolital Hotel was also the scene of spooky goings on according to Linda Gemmell Erskine: “My mum used to work there and said there was a ghost, so when she stayed over she used to take the owner’s dog with her.”

And William Craig can add more detail to the hotel haunting: “The manager used to have a German Shepard and no way would it go on the third floor upstairs or the lift – his hackles would go up and the paws would get planted, even though it was one of the friendliest dogs ever. It would go on all the other floors or the attic. The manager came in one morning and said to the night porter ‘you would have been bored last night Hughie’. The night porter said he'd not been bored as he’d been talking to the man in room 310 for about an hour. The manager then told him the hotel was empty and there were no bookings. They got the keys and went up to check the room which was all nice and tidy and ready for the next guest. That was enough for Hughie who left.”

Parkhill House was where Sara Amelia saw her ghost: “I saw a woman in the dark just up the steps next to the house with her dog. Before I saw her I heard a chain dog lead. This was quite late at night – it was almost dark – in summer about 18 years ago. I looked right at her then she just kind of disappeared. Will never forget that. It was the fastest I ever ran home as a kid.”

It’s not always historic buildings that are the scene of a ghost sighting. Marjorie Polson was living in a modern flat in Grangemouth’s Centre Avenue when she saw something unexplainable: “I was in the kitchen wrapping my daughter’s Christmas when I saw somebody pass the kitchen door and go into the bathroom. I thought it was my dad but he was sitting in the living room.”

Could Callendar Square be Scotland's most haunted shopping centre?

Meanwhile, Kirsten McConnachie’s haunting turned out to be comforting rather than scary: “I’ve seen my late father quite a few times. I was 11 years old at the time and saw him a couple days after he passed, then throughout another couple years. Because I was young at the time I asked him to stop visiting as it was scaring me too much, which he did. Went to a spirit night at Thornhill Community Center where different mediums were doing readings at the tables. One of the mediums told me that she got my father through and confirmed it was him by telling me something only me and he knew – I’m half skeptic so it shocked me when she mentioned it. She spoke about the visits and said that it was not my imagination and I really had seen him. I couldn’t believe that I saw my father again after he died and it was extremely comforting to know he was checking on me. I still see him now and again out of the corner of my eyes and in dreams. It’s the one and only time I have ever believed anything I’ve been told from spiritualists and I would love to hear from my dad again.”

Angela Little has also heard about a less-than-terrifying spectre: “In the warehouse above Asda George in Falkirk there is a thin man with a cap. His name is name is Stan and he is very friendly and curious.”

The last word on spectral experiences comes from Sabine Elliot: “I have lived here for 348 years and have never seen a ghost...”.

Callendar House has been the scene of numerous spooky encounters.
Kinneil House is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of Lady Alice Lilbourne.