Real-life tales of the unexpected

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Welcome to our section on real-life tales of the unexpected, where things go bump in the night, and all sorts of creepy and weird things come crawling out from the darkness.  Here, we have taken a selection of stories as given to us by our fans, based on their own personal experiences of the paranormal, and some of them are hair-raising to say the least.  If you have your own story to tell, please get in touch and we will feature you.  You can remain anonymous if you want – it’s entirely up to you…but if you have a story, you’ve almost got an obligation to tell it!

The most local ghost story I heard was from my Mum not quite in Dundee but close enough, at the Muirdrum. It was in the 70s before I was born. My mum and dad were driving to Arbroath and through the Muirdrum this was back when the road was single lanes and the Muirdrum had a couple of horrid bends. Dad was driving and it was pretty horrendous weather when they saw a car come up behind them driving really erratic on both sides of the road. Dad realised the car wasn’t going to slow down and plough into them so pulled off the road onto the kerb. There was a 73 bus in front of them and the driver must have clocked the driver too, as he stopped and Dad saw him shouting at the passengers to start getting off the bus as the guy was clearly going to crash into them. The car did go straight into the back of the bus and disappeared. Mum says everyone out on the pavement just kind of went quiet and were starring in disbelief at what they had just seen, then they got back on the bus and Mum and Dad went back to the car and went on their way. Mum said that the car was an old sedan type and was completely solid and they could clearly see a male driver and passenger. Very odd & would love to know if anyone else knows anything about sightings of a ghost car at Muirdrum. Mum can only assume there must have been a fatal crash at some point on the bends; maybe now the bends have gone, it’s no more; maybe it was the weather that brought it on..?

– Laura Milne, Dundee

I heard a story when I was fairly young, maybe about 10 or 11, about a neighbour of mine using a Ouija board whilst camping out with her friends in her granny’s back garden.  They were a few years older than me, but this particular girl was a bit of a show-off and loved to tell everyone her business, so we used to talk all the time (she mostly talked and I mostly listened).  She told me that the board said that her granny was going to die, and it totally freaked her out.  I remember her crying as she told me, and I got upset and scared by it, so I told my Mum, and she went over and told the girl’s granny, who was understandably furious.  The girl didn’t speak to me all week, and I felt really bad for getting her into trouble.  The following Sunday morning, I remember as clear as day.  We were woken early in the morning, maybe about 4 or 5.  It was still dark outside, but there were lights flashing in the windows and a lot of commotion.  My Mum and I watched from the window as someone was taken from the house on a stretcher, fully covered, and put into the back of an ambulance.  We found out later that it was the girl’s granny who had died suddenly, and I still get chills thinking about the message the girl said she got from the Ouija board almost a week earlier.

– Kim W, Dundee

When I worked in Mains castle approximately 10 to 15 years ago, a lot of strange things would happen. I remember one day I was asked to go in on a Sunday morning after there had been a wedding party the night before. I was in the castle alone, as the owner was away running some errands and I was just cleaning up from the night before, getting on with my job and minding my own business. I was in the bar area and I heard the big, heavy oak door from the toilet downstairs opening, and then slamming shut!! I assumed the owner was back so went downstairs and there was nobody there and the hallway was in total darkness! That’s the one major story I always remember about my time at Mains castle. Also, there would be times myself or other members of staff would go up to the top floor where the silver service cutlery was kept, and, as we walked across the room, a dark shadow would quickly move across the floor and up the fireplace.  It could be quite a scary place to work!

– Anonymous, Dundee

About 8 years ago, I was walking my dog in Baxter Park. It was autumn and about 4:30pm, so it was beginning to get quite dark. I walked up the path closest to Baxter Park Terrace, as my dog (as usual) just ran about demented.  As I walked up the path in the direction of the pavilion, I saw a woman walking towards me pushing a pram. The woman appeared to be wearing grey clothes – a knee length skirt, grey woollen stockings, and a coat with some sort of snood or large hood on it, which was pulled up. The pram was definitely Victorian in design. It had 4 big wheels and a sprung buggy-carriage with a hood. As the woman walked towards me, I felt compelled to look at her and to look in the pram. I looked at her but could not see a face. This did not, at the time, seem odd, as she had her hood up and it was getting dark. The odd and a little disturbing (but not frightening) thing was that, as I looked in the pram, I saw nothingness. By this, I mean a complete void. It was like I could have leaned into the pram and fell into nothingness. Really odd. My dog and I walked past the woman and pram and I quickly turned around to see if she was behind us. She was gone.

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– Neil Sneddon, Dundee (images provided by Neil)

My parents moved me out of Dundee after a set of strange incidents happened in our house in the Nethergate in late 1938 or so.  My mother’s best friend was a clairvoyant, and she lived across the landing from us, so we were always in and out of each other’s houses.  My sisters and I played with her children, whilst she and my mother chatted and hosted séances with their friends.  We were allowed to play until very late at night, which was unusual for many families at that time, but such was the nature of my mother and her friend.  I would have been about 6 at the time – the youngest of them all, but I was still allowed to play until the same time as my two older sisters.  My father very rarely had an opinion on the matter, or any matter, to be honest, as my mother was quite a fiery character and never held her tongue (and she was quite handy with her fists too, but that’s another story).  This one night, as us girls played, we all heard this scream coming from the closed off sitting room where a séance was being held.  We never entered this room, but all ran to the door and listened as hard as we could.  We didn’t hear anything other than a few scuffles and bumps, and then the door was flung open and about 4 or 5 people were suddenly trying to escape the room all at once.  I remember my father shouting and swearing for them to calm down and not to knock us over and harm us.  We dashed out of the way, all crying and confused by what was going on and scared of getting trampled on.  Nobody spoke of it, and we were all sent to bed immediately.  We sat up for ages afterwards, listening to the grown-ups arguing before I must have dozed off.  During the following week, between our place and the one next door, we must have experienced at least twenty strange things happening.  Soft music would play in the air, with no obvious source; plates would suddenly fall off the table and smash to the floor; bedding would be removed from the bed and discarded in the corner, and my mother complained that food began to go stale as soon as it came into the house.  My mother suffered from excruciating headaches and terrible night tremors during this time, too.  The disturbances did eventually calm down until everything went back to normal.  Over the course of the next week or two, things became less intense until they eventually stopped, but the relationship between my mother and her friend never recovered, and neither did my mother’s peace of mind.  By the end of that same year, we had moved out of Dundee altogether, and my mother never again spoke of the incident that nearly made her lose her mind.

– Elizabeth Urqhuart, formerly Dundee (now Edinburgh)

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It was August this year (2014), my daughter was home on leave from the Navy and we had been out in the afternoon. We missed the number 17 bus so decided to get a 28 and walk up the road from there. We got off at the stop just before Logie Cemetery.  On passing the cemetery, my daughter said that she didn’t even know it existed, despite having been brought up in the area. I told her it was said to be haunted and had quite a creepy history and she was intrigued. We ended up (after reading the plaque on the wall) going into the cemetery. Even in daylight it’s creepy…and it didn’t help much that one of the first graves we read said “I am not dead, only asleep”. We didn’t stay long because we were a bit spooked by the place even though we were really curious about it, and planned to come back another day. As the evening went on the subject of the Logie arose and as a dare really to each other, we thought it would be fun to go back at night and take some photographs. I don’t think either of us really wanted to go back there, but it seemed like a challenge – and neither of us wanted to admit we were actually terrified at the very idea! Another friend decided he would come with us. He thought it would be a bit of a hoot because I doubt very much if he believed in all the ghost stories about the place.  By the time we reached the cemetery, we were quite nervous but the brave man we were with strode right in and up the mound to try to read some of the graves and prove there are no such things as “ghosties”. Within around 5 minutes, things started happening. My daughter and I became cold to the point of shivering from the inside out, even though it wasn’t a cold night.  I became dizzy and off-balance and felt like I was being pushed around.  Then my daughter let out an awful squeal saying something had just felt her backside. All this time, our male friend was wandering around unaware of what we were experiencing when he suddenly shouted “What the f*ck was that?” He bounded towards us like he had seen a ghost (maybe he had) but never elaborated on what he had heard or seen or felt up there. We decided quickly to leave when, in our ears, there was a deep growling sound – I  can’t even begin to describe how scary it sounded, but it was enough to make 3 fully grown adults leg it as fast as we could out of there. I swore never ever to return, that was evil beyond belief. However today, I did return to take some photos during the day this time. I only stood on the inside of the gate to take my photos as just beyond there was where that growling thing was and I had no desire to go up there. Within minutes of entering the cemetery I got a banging headache, felt like I was going to be sick and my balance was all over the place.  I know it doesn’t sound particularly exciting or creepy, but when it happens to you, it really is. I know what that growl sounded like and I can almost guarantee that was not from anything that could possibly have any good intentions. I don’t know who is meant to haunt that place, but as far as I’m concerned they can haunt it all they want without any more visits from me! I know what we heard and what we felt that night in August and I know what I felt today standing just inside the gate of that place and I don’t intend risking another visit to that god forsaken place.

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– Ali Gee, Dundee (images provided by Ali)

I used to work in a High School in Dundee (a long time ago now) and one morning as I was cleaning the stairs, I felt someone touch me on the back.  I thought it was one of the other cleaners but when I turned around, nobody was there.  I didn’t think too much about it at first, but then a few minutes later it happened again, but this time, a lot harder, almost like someone had slapped my back.  I screamed out in surprise, and one of the other girls came to see what I was screaming at, and as soon as she did, she felt someone (or something) touch her on the back too.  We agreed there and then that we’d always clean the stairs together, just in case it happened again, but it never did – and I still have no idea what it was.

– Mary Walker, Perth, Australia

I always remember road trips on holidays with my grandparents when I was a young girl, and my granny always falling asleep in the car soon after any long drive started. Whenever we drove out from Dundee and took the A9 towards Glasgow, at some point between Perth and Stirling my granny would always wake, and say she had a shiver down her spine. My granddad told us she always woke at the same place on those drives, and it was where the last local witch was buried. I think he said it was near Dunning but I’ve never tried to corroborate the story.

– Louise Murphy, Dundee

I was quite young when I had this experience, so the memory of it is a bit faded, but I remember playing with my toys in the living room whilst my Mum was out of the room, and, whilst I was alone, something grabbed my shoulder from behind. It happened really fast, but I remember being confused by it and not scared, even though nobody was behind me. When I turned my head back, the same thing happened again, and, as before, nobody was there. I never bothered telling my Mum about it, and had probably forgotten about it not long after it happened, but I still think about that weird experience from time to time and wonder if someone was trying to tell me something from beyond the grave.

– Steve, Dundee

When I was younger, I used to run everywhere. I was in a running team and just loved it. One day when I was about 15, I was resting in a playground after a run. It was hot, and probably mid-afternoon. I noticed a bus coming along the road, and decided I would try and outrun it (as kids do), so I started to sprint as soon as it caught up to where I was resting. I was trying to go as fast as I could, when I swear I heard this voice say to me “You can run faster than this, go for it” as this strange, tribal noise starting battering in my ears. It was literally like I had a sound system blaring in my ears as I ran. The bus was pulling much further in front of me now, but I kept on running like a nutcase, thinking I could outrun the noise as well as the bus. I turned to my left and saw a young, coloured lad running along the road beside me. He could have been no more than 6 or 7, and he was laughing and whooping as he ran. I got such a fright, I stumbled and fell over my ankle, skinning my knees in the process. When I looked up, the boy had gone, and so had the music. This happened in Kirkton about 30-odd years ago. It only happened the once, and I never had the experience again.

– Anonymous

I know it’s not Dundee, but I thought I would share my experience anyway, I hope you don’t mind. My granddad used to be a carpenter and, about 10 years ago, he made me a detailed carving of a cross which I put on a wall in an upstairs bedroom of my house. My family and I went out one afternoon for lunch and, upon returning to our house we found the carving on the floor of the downstairs hallway – snapped in half! Our house was locked and we all left together and returned at the same time so it couldn’t have been any of us. To this day, we still have no idea how it happened. We still live in the same house, and we still have the broken cross, even though my granddad made me a new one (which is fine, by the way).

– Shelly, Perth

This story is about my Dad, but he won’t let me post his name, so I have to give this anonymously, sorry. When he was younger (he is nearly 60 now), he was out with his friend on their bikes, over the back of Whitfield, when they stopped at a field to cool off. An elderly man walked up to them and asked them for directions to Blair farm, or something like that. My dad says he and his pal looked at each other, and when they turned to tell the man they didn’t know where it was, he had vanished.

– Anonymous

Remembered my own wee story (not sure if this is true or not as I don’t remember at all!) I was 3 and had an imaginary friend called Tommy who had blond curly hair and wore a green velvet suit (I’m not sure you would know this at 3!) This was around 1976/7 and we lived in the tenements on Albert Street. Tommy had to get a place set at the table and I would scream don’t sit down Tommy is sitting there. So it turns out that while decorating and removing the layers of wallpaper, it revealed the words written on the wall “Tommy 1911 – 1914”! (I do remember playing on the landing with a tea set and no dolls or teddies for hours!).

– Lee Hill, Dundee

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2 thoughts on “Real-life tales of the unexpected

  • April 6, 2015 at 11:02 am
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    the most local ghost story I heard was from my Mum not quite dundee but close enough at the Muirdrum. It was in the 70s before I was born. My mum and dad were driving to Arbroath and through the Muirdrum this was back when the road was single lanes and the Muirdrum had a couple or horrid bends. Dad was driving and it was pretty horrendous weather when they saw a car come up behind them driving really erratic on bothe sides of the road, Dad realised the car wasn’t going to slow down and plough into them so pulled off the road onto the kerb. There was a 73 bus in front of them and the driver must have clocked the driver to as he stopped and dad saw him shouting at the passengers to start getting off the bus as the guy was clearly going to crash into them. The car did go straight into the back of the bus and disappeared. Mum says everyone out on the pavement just kind of went quiet and were starring in disbelief at what they had just seen, then they got back on the bus and mum and dad went back to the car and went on there way. Mum said that the car was an old sedan type and was completely solid and they could clearly see a male driver and passenger. Very odd would love to know if anyone else knows anything about sightings ghost car at Muirdrum. Mum can only assume there must have been a fatal crash at some point on the bends, maybe now the bends have gone it’s no more , maybe it was the weather that brought it on?

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  • September 10, 2015 at 5:37 pm
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    Liff Hospital and its history has always intrigued me but being there as a student nurse used to terrify me especially in the winter as it was pitch black. I was on my first placement there with a friend and to cut a long story short we ended up outside in the pitch black looking for a pair of gloves belonging to an elderly patient. We both stopped at the same time and looked up to see a young girl around 19/20 with a long nightie on come out of the building and disappear into some bushes which were a few feet away from the building. Needless to say we didn’t hang about! Staff that worked there confirmed that Liff was rife with hauntings etc and told us of their own experiences. Would love to read more about Liff Hospital and other people’s experiences.

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