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Daily Record
Daily Record
Sean Murphy & Richard Ault

People in Argyll 'more likely to see a ghost' than anywhere else in UK

Scotland is often quoted as one of the most haunted countries in the world, and it seems one part of the country more so than any other. Argyll has just been named as the place people are more likely to see a ghost or a supernatural apparition than in any other part of the UK.

The research by collated a list of 11,700 paranormal sightings across the UK to find the nation’s spookiest places.

More than 100 sightings occurred in Argyll and while there were more reports of paranormal activity in other locations, when compared to the population, people in that area of Scotland's west coast were the most likely to see a ghost.

For every 10,000 of the population, there were around 12 (12.17) paranormal sightings in Argyll, the second highest rate in the UK.

An area steeped in history, it's no surprise that Argyll tops the list, with the bloody massacre of the Clan MacDonald at Glencoe lingering long in the memory.

One of the region's most famous castles, Inveraray is said to be haunted by not only the ghost of a young Irish Harpist but also a mysterious Grey Lady, while the ghostly ‘Galley of Lorne’ is said to have been seen floating on the horizon following the death of one of the Dukes of Argyll.

Eleanor Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, who owns the castle said: "We know Argyll is the spookiest place in the UK. We have 5 ghosts living in the castle. A piper, a raucous laundry maid, a grey lady, a harpist and one that only daughters of the duke can see. The MacArthur Room is a particularly haunted room in the house. We have had Most Haunted here and they found all sorts..."

Inveraray Castle is said to have been haunted by many ghosts and apparitions. (Getty)

While Ardchattan Priory is said to have its own resident ghost – a young nun who was buried alive within its walls.

Speaking about Argyll, paranormal investigator and host for the Scottish Ghost Company (TSGC), one of Scotland's top ghost events companies, Yvonne Hydes, stated that one location, in particular, stands out - Inveraray Jail, she said: "We investigated Inveraray Jail in march this year for the 4th time. Let me just say it never seems to disappoint.

"It's a 19th Century prison and court house where men, women and children as young as 7, were locked up and has a notorious reputation for being one of the most haunted buildings in Scotland.

"We have heard unexplained footsteps, bangs, and knocks and witnessed a dark shadowy figure lurking near the court bench in the main courtroom. Sara Chiappa and I heard a window being chapped and experienced torch responses and a REMpod [a device for measuring electromagneticity] going off at the same time.

The Scottish Ghost Company say Inveraray Jail in Argyll is one of the most haunted buildings in Scotland. (TSG)

As well as hearing the distant sound of keys jangling, David McCabe, the group's lead medium, said they've even had people being scratched on visits to the jail.

Ryan O’Neill of paranormal investigators, Scottish Paranormal said: “To hear that Argyll is one of the UK’s top spots to see a ghost or experience paranormal activity in my experience is no shock at all.

“Whether its the fantastic Inveraray Castle and Inveraray Jail with their plethora of reports by enthusiasts and the public alike or locations such as Barcaldine Castle which we thoroughly investigated with Scottish Presenter Gail Porter on Discovery Networks Spooked Scotland.

“Is it the historical lands which have seen battles and emotional turmoil through the years, because as I always say, where you have a deep history, you are sure to have mystery and Argyll is one of the top places for such.”

Chief Executive of the Argyll and Isles Tourism Cooperative, Cathy Craig, added: “Argyll and the Isles, known as Scotland’s Adventure Coast, is steeped in rich, history, heritage and culture, and filled with incredibly fascinating and atmospheric sites and visitor attractions.

“So it really is no surprise that the past is so vividly brought back to life for so many who visit our shores.

“It is the perfect place for an enchanting adventure to connect with the past and uncover the secrets to some of Scotland’s most iconic mysteries, myths and legends.”

Inverness, which is also included on the list, is also home to many tales of the paranormal, with the nearby Culloden battlefield the site where a single, solitary Jacobite warrior has been seen walking, thought to be one of the many killed by English soldiers on 16 April 1746, he has also been observed lying on top of a burial mound.

Other areas in Scotland included in the list were the Highlands (9.16) and Aberdeenshire (3.33).

READ MORE: The most haunted places in Scotland named with Edinburgh Castle topping list

READ MORE: The Scottish horror story of Sawney Bean and the cannibal clan who dragged victims back to their cave to eat

Across Scotland as a whole, there were 419 sightings - which is the equivalent of around one (0.77) report of supernatural manifestations for every 10,000 residents, surprisingly, both England (1.84 per 10,000 residents) and Wales (2.49) rated higher.

The figures, collated from paranormal databases tracking sightings across the UK, show that ghosts riding on phantom horses are the most common apparition, with over 500 examples of this type of phenomenon recorded.

The second most common paranormal phenomena are sightings of mythical creatures (451), followed by fairies (380 sightings), and shucks and hellhounds (374). Headless ghosts remain popular with 380 reports, while the classic image of a spectral “white lady” has also endured with 349 sightings to date.

Among the most bizarre paranormal reports are the 15 instances of “hell gates” - supposedly an entryway on Earth, into hell.

While shows like Stranger Things and Buffy the Vampire Slayer have kept them in the public consciousness reports of hell gates are extremely rare, with only 15 in the UK, including one said to lie at the bottom of a garden pond near a church in Albury, Hertfordshire, and another within the aptly named Hell Hole Wood in Yorkshire.

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