Thursday, 2 April 2015

Dundee Ghosts In The 1920s

While I think you should always be doubly cautious when you come across newspaper stories of ghosts, whether they are vintage or contemporary, some reported tales are too good or too intriguing to be entirely ignored.  Such is the case of the ghost which appeared in  Dundee, near the Craigie Quarries in 1927.  The Evening Telegraph, on 27 September, reported that spectral white figures had been seen in the area, which led to women and children collapsing.  One 17 year old youth stated that he saw two figures jump into the quarry, issuing odd sounds.

    The Tele let rip with a tantalising headline the next evening:
    '5000 hunt Dundee "ghosts".  Evening search at Craigie Quarries.'
    According to the story:

                          What the Residents Think:  A "ghost" hunt on a large scale took place in
                           Dundee last night, when over 5000 people of all ages went in search of
                           the "spooks" which have been appearing near Craigie Quarries.  The
                           crowd gathered early in the evening, intent on laying the "ghost" or
                           "ghosts" which have been causing such terror in the district.  Nothing,
                           however, manifested itself, and although the crowd gradually dispersed,
                           it was steadily joined by fresh arrivals.

                           Throughout the evening and up to late hour the crowd scoured the
                           environs of Dalkeith Road and the quarries, but apparently the "game"
                           which they were after thought better of it than put in an appearance.
                            Further instances of what had taken place was given by several
                            persons who had been previously alarmed by the strange happenings.
                            When coming home from evening School one night, a youth  was
                            greatly disturbed the sight of a white pony in one of the fields, on which
                            was mounted a ghostly figure.  There are a number of ponies grazing in a
                            field nearby.
                            Residents in the district have been greatly troubled by these unusual
                            ongoings, but according to many they would rather have the "ghosts"
                            than the crowd which gathered last night.  A white sheet has been
                            observed by more than one person lying on the high ground near the
                            quarries.  It is possibly part of the equipment of the "ghosts".  The
                            sheet has been lying for several days.  Armed with lamps, torches,
                            and even a miniature searchlight, the crowd surged over all the
                            waste ground in the vicinity, but failed to unearth anything of an
                            unusual nature.

    The next day the paper reported that a crowd of between 2000 and 3000 visited the area, but  the ghost again failed to appear.  By the third night the numbers were down to a few hundred, much to the relief of local residents.  Whether the ghost was actually a denizen of the nearby Eastern Cemetery is unknown.
    One of the more interesting factors here is that the same period saw an outcrop of similar hauntings (or instances of mass hysteria) the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Markinch to Warrington.
(For further details, consult The Magnolia Blog:

    Must have been something in the ether, or the water, that year.



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