Balornock Poltergeist (1974 – 1975)
The following article entitled ‘Noises in the night-and the suspect is a spirit’ was published in the Glasgow Herald on 17 January 1975.
Banging noises, terrified families……it’s all being blamed on a mischievous ghost. JOHN McKINLAY reports on the chaos in a Glasgow housing scheme which started with a weird tapping noise.
The dictionary definition of a poltergeist is “a noisy and usually mischievous ghost”. And this much maligned spirit, if you believe in these things is now being blamed for a furore in a Glasgow housing scheme which terrified two families and almost led to court proceeding.
One family accused the other of weird tapping and banging noises which interrupted their sleep in the dead of night, but psychic experts now believe a poltergeist had set up home between the floorboards.
Unfortunately the police were called before the supernatural detectives got there and they suspected something a little more down to earth. However, charges they made against three members of one family were later dropped when suspicion fell elsewhere – on an obstreperous ghost.
An internal police investigation is now proceeding into complaints by this family about the police handling of the case.
The extraordinary goings-on started on November 3 last year when Mr and Mrs David Grieve, their children, Derek aged 14 and Jeffrey, aged 11 and the children’s grandmother, Mrs Anne Anderson, heard noises apparently coming through the floor of their home in Northgate Quadrant, Balornock.
Beneath them live Mr and Mrs James Kennan and their son, Gordon, who thought the noises were coming from upstairs.
When the banging and tapping persisted the Grieves called the police. It was what happened after that later became the subject of a complaint by the Keenans against the investigating police officers.
They claim they were awakened by plain clothes men three times in the early hours of the morning and warned to stop making noises, and the last time all three members of the family were charged.
During the next two nights, Mr and Mrs Keenan claim they were again awakened several times by the police and, despite protesting their innocence, were finally taken to Springburn Police Station and charged again.
After that, the Keenans left to stay with relatives for three weeks. During this time not only did the noises continue, but there were inexplicable occurrences. The Grieves say ornaments and furniture appeared to move by themselves, the hands of clocks raced, and tunes were tapped out in different parts of the house.
Police officers, housing officials, councillors and workmen examined the building, but could offer no logical explaination.
When ministers and experts in the supernatural were summoned, they identified the culprit as a poltergeist.
At this stage the Keenans were told the charges against them were being dropped.
The Grieves then left to stay with friends, but the ghost appeared to follow them. It is only recently, after visits from mediums from Glasgow and London, that they have had peace. Mr Grieve said “Now my family are too afraid to sleep in the bedrooms and we have asked the corporation for a transfer”.
It seems however, that corporation housing officials don’t believe in ghosts. They want vacant possession of the house to examine it for structural defects.
One medium who visited the house said there was definitely a ghost and Professor Murdo E Macdonald of Glasgow University, agreed there was something odd, although he thought it was more to do with psychic energy.
Last word goes to the police. One senior officer said: “There is something strange in that house, something we cannot logically explain. You get it to materialize, and I will lock it up”.