How Cathedral House became Glasgow’s most haunted hotel

1891

Cathedral House Hotel is thought to be one of the most haunted buildings in Glasgow.

There have been many ghostly sightings and paranormal experiences reported there over the years, and many attribute this to the hotel’s historical connection to the notorious Duke Street Prison.

A halfway house for prisoners

Cathedral House Hotel is now a boutique hotel and restaurant, which often hosts weddings and parties – but the building’s intended purpose was very different.

When Cathedral House was built in 1877, it was used to hold prisoners who had recently been released from the neighbouring Duke Street Prison.

cathedral house hotel duke street prisonDuke Street Prison, shortly before it was demolished in the 1950s (Photo: Cathedral House Hotel / Facebook)

Duke Street Prison was infamous for its terrible living conditions, and it housed some of Scotland’s worst criminals.

Many of the prisoners held there were transferred to Barlinnie when it opened in the 1880s, but Duke Street remained open as a women’s prison until 1955.

It was eventually demolished in 1958, and the only trace of Duke Street Prison that remains is the boundary wall, which runs around the back of Cathedral House Hotel.

The ghosts of Cathedral House

Duke Street Prison was the site of many executions, including 12 during the 20th century.

The last woman to be executed in Scotland, Susan Newell, was hanged at the prison in October 1923, after being found guilty of strangling a paperboy.

Those who have reported paranormal experiences in the area have suggested that the spirits of prisoners like Newell are still haunting the old prison hotel.

cathedral house hotel glasgowCathedral House Hotel is thought to be one of Glasgow’s most haunted locations (Photo: Cathedral House Hotel / Facebook)

One of the most regular sightings is a ghostly presence which brushes up against people on the stairs of Cathedral House.

There have also been several reports of two ghostly children being heard on the top floor of the hotel, and items of furniture have been seen to move around on their own.

The haunted Necropolis

Cathedral House Hotel also has close links to the Necropolis, a grand Victorian cemetery located across from the hotel.

Some of the rooms overlook the eerie graveyard, and it has its fair share of ghost stories too.

Brave souls can even book in for a tour of the Necropolis, followed by an overnight vigil in the hotel.

glasgow necropolisThe hotel overlooks the Necropolis cemetery, and some think the hauntings may be connected (Photo: Jeff J Mitchell / Getty Images)

One of the most famous ghosts of the Necropolis is the ‘white woman’.

A statue of a woman sits on top of the grave of three people who were killed in a tramcar accident in 1933.

It is said that the statue turns her head and watches visitors as they walk past the grave.

Recording paranormal activity

Many people have reported sightings and experiences at Cathedral House Hotel, and some have even attempted to prove the existence of the building’s ghosts.

In 2005, the GhostFinders Scotland group conducted a thorough investigation using high-tech equipment.

Unusual EMF (electromagnetic field) and trifield readings were recorded, along with light orbs and various other visual anomalies appearing on both video footage and still photographs.

cathedral house hotel glasgowSeveral ghost hunting groups have recorded unusual activity within the hotel (Photo: Cathedral House Hotel / Facebook)

The group also claimed to record unexplained voices, and witnessed a chair moving of its own accord.

Another group, Glasgow Paranormal Investigations, are holding a special ghost hunt this autumn to celebrate Halloween.

On 4 November, those brave enough to stay the night will enjoy a three course meal before settling in for a vigil inside the hotel, which will run until 3am.

Whether or not this investigation will finally prove the existence of the Cathedral House Hotel’s legendary ghosts remains to be seen.

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