Investigation Report – 25th of January – 2011
Team: Anna, Billy, James, Kim, Linda, Lisa, Rebecca and Ruby
The Arches is a bar, arts venue, theatre, live music venue and nightclub in Glasgow, Scotland, which first opened in 1991. It is a not-for-profit organisation. It is situated in the City Centre under Glasgow Central station and the West Coast Main Line in the brick arches of the Viaduct that leads into the station, with entrances on Midland Street and since 2001 also on Argyle Street. The venue has 65,000 square feet of floor space which is spread over two floors and seven arches.
The Arches is located on an area formerly known as Grahamston which vanished beneath Central Station more than 100 years ago. Norris Gilliland notes in his book “Glasgow’s Forgotten Village” that the first time this area was noted on Glasgow maps was around 1680 and expanded greatly over the next two hundred years. It grew from a simple row of thatched houses to be an integral part of Glasgow’s commercial and industrial life. Demolition took place in the late 19th century to make way for Caledonian Railway Central Station.
The site of the venue lay derelict below the train station for a number of years and was then converted to house the Glasgow’s Glasgow exhibition during the city’s year as European City of Culture. After the exhibition had ended, the space was obtained by Andy Arnold in 1991, for the purposes of creating a theatre. That required funding, leading to the decision to stage nightclub events to provide initial funding. This eventually expanded to the array of events it hosts today.
Although this location has never been officially investigated, the venue has hosted events such as Alien Wars and Ghosts of Christmas which gives visitors thrills and spills in the darkened tunnels and viaducts. Staff as well as visitors have experienced sightings, equipment move and voices. During events, guests are probably left wondering what is real and what is make believe in these normally out of bound hidden areas.
There are sightings of a little girl as well as a phantom workman. There is also a story about a prostitute that met a grisly end and was murdered in a derlict building that would later become the Arches. The murderer apparently hid her body in a lift shaft/stairwell and it was never found. Allegedly, her chilling screams can be heard echoing from within the Arches.
Area off pump room – children’s toy left on chair and crucifix
Ball left in tunnel where staff have reported equipment move and chalk board
Bible left in other tunnel
There is a small room just off of pump room and all team members agree it has a strange feeling to it. Within this room, there is a small dark storage area and Linda strongly felt a male presence watching the team. She felt he was a negative energy and moved away from this area. Lisa explores with night vision camera and it is full of debris etc so it is extremely dusty. The team will need to bear this in mind if spotting orbs etc. Whilst standing beside an old piano, Kim and Lisa both hear a child’s voice and think it said hello. They hear it once again and can confirm it was not any other team members present. Kim decides to place Dictaphone on top of piano and a child’s toy on chair. On doing an EMF sweep of the area, Anna notes extremely high levels on chair with doll. The team are aware of power cables above which could present a bleed through however the chair and toy are nowhere near any power source and so are unable to explain this. Voices are also heard in this room and bangs seemingly in response to questions whilst chatting about dark male presence. Lisa sees dark shadow pass by doorway and Kim hears a man’s voice. Lisa and Kim also report hearing a howl and Rebecca also feels something touch her hand and bracelet. The team check Rebecca’s hand and can see a small red mark which fades quickly. The team decided to try out Dowsing Rods; a first for the GPI. Linda feels the rods being pulled down and the team all see rods moving in a controlled manner. Linda was sitting stationary and all team members can confirm was not moving. Linda asks for anyone present to move rods for a yes answer. The rods suggest a little girl is present and also a man, who is possibly her father. No other information is recorded from this. However, with water pump room being close by, the team agrees this is what could possibly be affecting the rods.
On separate vigils James, Billy, Anna, Ruby hears voices in this area and James feels someone touch his arm. James and Billy try some scrying* with a mirror in tunnels and James sees his face change to woman’s. A loud breath is heard. The team also hear a loud bang near mirror.
On a break, all team members are situated in a dressing room which is being used as a base. Everyone hears a man shouting in corridor and assume it is manager Jules. Shortly afterwards, Jules enters room but confirms he wasn’t responsible as he has been upstairs in office. The team are unable to explain this.
* Scrying involves seeing things psychically in a medium, usually for purposes of obtaining spiritual visions and less often for purposes of divination or fortune-telling. The most common media used are reflective, translucent, or luminescent substances such as crystals, stones, glass, mirrors, water, fire, or smoke.
Upstairs – Studio
Team members hear a man’s voice which is also caught on Dictaphone. Light taps also heard. No further activity.
Lisa, Kim, Linda, Rebecca hear some faint bangs, however with trains travelling out of the station above, it is difficult to isolate these noises which could be simply be attributed to the building settling after train. Kim sits at back of room and hears voices but cannot decipher what it is saying. Lisa walks to opposite end of room and hears a loud bang. At this point, manager Jules joins team and Lisa joins Kim at back of room. Both Kim and Lisa hear movement.
The team end investigation with no further activity encountered at location.
EVP: Below is a breakdown of auditory phenomenon captured on Dictaphones throughout the night:
In Basement – Billy/James/Ruby/Anna
Voice saying GO HOME
Man’s voice caught on Dictaphone – unable to decipher what it is saying
Again mans voice caught and heard by all the team
Kim’s Dictaphone – Kim/Lisa/Linda/Rebecca
Voice saying NO
GO HOME caught on Dictaphone
YEAH response caught again – possibly little girl’s voice in response to question “do you want to play?”
Faint “I or Aye” in response to Lisa talking about dowsing rods
Faint voice saying “wow”
Voices caught as leaving
“TWO” in response to question
“ONE” voice response
Tunnel – James/Billy/Anna/Jules
Strange voice– cannot make out what it is saying
Basement near mirror – Billy/James/Kim
Bang response heard on Dictaphone and by team
Dictaphone left on Piano in Basement – no team members present
Lots of faint talking
No trigger objects were moved.
The team would like to thank The Arches for allowing them access and manager Jules for his assistance that night, without which….the team would have been lost in the tunnels! We all agree that EVP captured and personal experiences encountered, definitely warrants further investigation.
With such a historical area and located on forgotten village Grahamston, the GPI feel that it is an untapped resource for paranormal investigation. Hopefully, on future visits it will reveal more of its secrets and activity.