Burns Tavern

Investigation Report – 27th March – 2010








The Burns Tavern is located at 210 Merry St, Motherwell. It is a building in two half’s, with the oldest part dating back to 1880 and is currently the Lounge and Off-Sales. However in the past, this was the original bar. The other half is the new part which is the bar and is actually on Dalziel St.  This means the Burns Tavern is the oldest working pub in Motherwell.  Originally the pub was privately owned, then for several years Tennants Caledonian brewery took over the running of the bar. They, like most companies were eventually bought over.  The pub was then purchased in 2001 by the current owner Anne.

Another Scottish paranormal group carried out an investigation in 2009 and this in turn has encouraged Anne to investigate the Tavern’s history even more.  This group encountered various results from EVP sessions on both levels of pub and stones being thrown or falling from upper levels.  They also encountered some strange EMF readings during question and answer sessions.  The team’s sensitive/psychics also came up with various names from the apparent entities still haunting the bar.

The Glasgow Paranormal Investigators arrived at the Burns Tavern at approx 12.00AM and were given a walk round by landlady Anne.   The team are based in the lounge which was actually the original bar and then decided to have a brief walk around to decide where to begin the first vigils.  The main areas for investigation are the bar, lounge, pool room, cellar, and upper levels.  On dividing the group into 2 and lights out, the GPI investigation begins at approx 1.00am.  Billy and James decide to start their vigil in the upper levels which contains 2 further levels.  This area is disused and the only access point is from the lounge, using ladders from a small loft hatch space.   Anna, Kim and Lisa along with Anne, her daughter and friend, descend into the cellar for a vigil and take with them a night vision camcorder and Dictaphone.


James and Billy completed the first vigil in this area.  Once James and Bill ascended the ladders, Anna saw a bright green orb at the ladders which quickly disappeared.  Billy also reported seeing a green orb in the upper flat space also. On the Dictaphone there was a moan when Billy and James were talking.  No one else was present apart from these team members at this time.  They also heard what seemed like a footstep but with the area being in a state of disrepair, we are unable to say if this is paranormal.  In another vigil with Anna, Kim and James, it sounds like more stones falling which startled the team but from further investigation, this appears due to team members sitting near the wall with loose plaster etc.   James also felt something touch his face when walking into one of the rooms such as a spiders web but once again, the team cannot confirm if this was paranormal.


Anna, Kim and Lisa began the first vigil in the cellar area with a night vision camcorder and Dictaphone.  Also, present were Anne, her daughter and friend.  Kim began to hear light tapping in response to questions but we could not be sure if it was water dripping on bar kegs, as the ground was extremely wet.    Kim also began hearing a faint voice but could not confirm what it was saying and also thought she saw a black shape pass behind Lisa.  Lisa also turned to look to her side at this point and also thought a black shape had passed very quickly in front of camera also.  On reviewing the footage, there was nothing in support of this.  Anna moved to the entrance of the cellar and began to hear loud voices.  Lisa followed Anna and both stood to listen to locate these voices.  James and Billy were in the upper levels at this point but Anna and Lisa then confirmed that the noises could be attributed to people outside of fire exit door at the stairs of cellar.    A night vision camcorder was also left recording during the night but did not pick up any anomalies etc.


The entire team regroup for a vigil in this area along with Anne, her daughter and boyfriend.  James begins asking questions and then knocks out a tune and stops, for any spirit presences to finish this off.  On the Dictaphone there appears to be a response to this however no group members heard this at time of recording.   Anna also saw a black figure pass in front of the bar area quickly.  On further investigation of this, no one else was present in the bar area and all GPI members were accounted for in pool room.  On reviewing Dictaphone, there were also further clicks.   However, there was also an extractor fan in the window above that could be attributed to this.


As already mentioned above, during pool room vigil, Anna witnessed a black shadowy figures pass in front of bar and disappear.


This was the team base for the night and Kim and Anna left some trigger objects such as cards on the gaming tables but on checking these on closing of investigation, none of the trigger objects had moved.


Electronic voice phenomena – or EVP – is a mysterious event in which human-sounding voices from an unknown source are heard on recording tape, in radio station noise and other electronic media. Most often, EVPs have been captured on audiotape. The mysterious voices are not heard at the time of recording; it is only when the tape is played back that the voices are heard. Sometimes amplification and noise filtering is required to hear the voices.

From reviewing Dictaphone recordings, the team have selected 4 clips which although do not contain voices, has clicks and bangs which were not heard at time of recording by any team members present.

#1  – Billy and James are in upper levels talking.  Both laugh and during this you can hear a moaning sound.

#2 – in the pool room James asks do you want to speak to us, and there appears to be a knock in response to this.

#3  – James conducts an experiment  asking can you finish off this tune for me and there appears to be 2 knocks in response to this.

#4 – in the pool room, James asks do you want to come speak to us and there is a knock in response to this question.


Paranormal researchers often use EMF meters to detect high Electro Magnetic fields throughout the night and compare them to baselines readings at beginning of investigation.  Some researchers believe that paranormal entities emit an electromagnetic field and that their presence can, thus, be detected by EMF meters.   During this investigation, the team did not detect any high fluctuations or readings.


These are small balls light apparently the first stage of manifestation of a spirit.  There is some dubiety on this and whether they are paranormal at all or simply dust/insects etc.  The team caught some orbs during the investigation, in particular within the pool area.

The team all agree this was a great location and would like to thank Anne for making them feel so welcome and giving them access to all areas of Burns Tavern.  With regards to evidence, the team agree that the examples of EVP, personal experiences and orbs captured are interesting and feel that it’s possible this bar has paranormal activity and could warrant a further investigation.