The Milhall Ghost

"Lads and lassies, it’s not easy being me. My gift is my curse. Aye, I can see across the void and traverse the liminal pathways of life and death, but the only spirits I get to chew the phantom fat with are….depressing. They’ve all got an axe to grind. Doom, doom and more bloody doom. I see Dead People, right enough. Dead Miserable, that is!

The Black Lady's gaze brings 'Death before the Dawn' for those that catch her eye. The Green Lady is an unhappy Harbinger of Doom. The Earl of Douglas fumes all hight, hankering after Revenge. These boys and ghouls have issues, I tell you!

But it’s not all courtly corpses. Oh no. The scruff – folks like yourselves – often have a tale or two to tell. Funny, how it’s the hardiest of souls – them that deal with death and disaster day to day – who are the most superstitious sots.

The Miners of Millhall for example. Sturdy fellows, all, whose huddled hovels cluttered the slums of Broad Street and St Mary’s Wynd until the 1920s. ‘Twas 1926, in fact, when quarrymen first quaked at the vision of a fleeting figure in white, lurking on the lonely road ‘twixt the pit and the paltry howffs that they called home. Might it have been a drover, perhaps, from one of the many local farms: his distinctive white coverall flapping in the breeze as he sought to return a wandering sheep to the flock? A traveller, maybe - I tell you’ I’ve had the tingly shivers by a moonlit roadside on account of some vulgar vagrant more than once!Millhall Ghost, General Strike

But no. Uneducated though they were, these hardy gents were unlikely to be frequently deceived by so commonplace a sight as a tramp or a shepherd. Soon they were walking in companies of ten or twelve, so fearful were they of this silent figure who strutted about the roads as though enveloped in a white sheet….though the possibility that a local joker may just have been abusing his bed-linen cannot be dismissed. There are some funny folk in Millhall, I tell you!

In May the General Strike closed the pit. For nine days the workers downed tools, demanding that their greedy bosses improve their pay. In Stirling, though, the strike dragged on 'til Autumn...the poor souls determined to make their masters see their suffering, take pity, and pay then what they were worth.

Through all of this sightings of the miners’ sprite were commonplace - the spirit shifting to the heart of town. A woman was alarmed by a still and silent figure as she hastened home through the Ballengeich Cemetery. A lad was stunned by a silent Raploch wraith. A Castlehill woman fainted clean away when a blank-faced figure flashed by her window – and the mob menaced the streets…a hundred miners searching through each shadowed wynd and vennell on the Castle Rock…though what they expected to do if they found the frightful phantom, no one knows.

With all that running about it was the miners getting 'exercised'...not the spook!

On each occasion the spook was seen in those areas of the town most pained by the poverty and privation the strikes had forced upon the struggling workers– the filthy tumbledown dives where all manner of dangers, real and imagined, lurked. Almost as though the spirit was a manifestation of their woes.

When the strike was broken this sprite appeared again – just once – upon the summit of the Ballengeich, seeming to look down in pity on the poor, pathetic miners - forced by hunger and care for their kinfolk's welfare - to return to work.

It was never seen again."

                              Monologue from Stirling GhostWalk 2010

All content © 2009 - 2024 Stirling GhostWalkTerms & ConditionsPrivacy Policy