South Scotland

The A75 Kinmount straight: Trip on 'most haunted' road

A75 Kinmount straight
Image caption The Kinmount straight on the A75 in Dumfries and Galloway has had many reports of ghostly sightings

It is reputedly the most haunted highway in Scotland.

The A75 in Dumfriesshire is said to have had more reports of supernatural activity than any other road in the country.

Now a Dumfries-based group of paranormal investigators has collated the stories for a ghostly Halloween road trip on Saturday night.

The Kinmount straight on the road is the most notorious spot for sightings.

Image caption Bob Sturgeon said sightings were a weekly occurrence when he ran a snack bar on the route

John Hill, of Mostly Ghostly paranormal investigators, said: "So much has happened at this spot.

"A quick search of the internet would bring up the A75 as the most haunted road in Scotland and some say Britain.

"There are so many different things have happened on this road and been seen by so many different people as well."

Mr Hill and Mostly Ghostly founder Kathleen Cronie have researched the road's supernatural history to compile the first ever ghost coach tour of the road.

They have some spine-chilling accounts to relate.

"There have been screaming hags, eyeless phantoms and a menagerie of unearthly creatures witnessed on this famous road," said Ms Cronie.

She said one of the most infamous sightings was made by Derek and Norman Ferguson, in 1962.

"They were driving along here and the whole incident began with a large hen flying towards the windscreen of their car," she said.

"They then witnessed great cats and various other creatures as well as witnessing a phantom furniture van - which is a bit unusual to say the least."

Bob Sturgeon lives beside the A75 and used to run a roadside snack van - at Carrutherstown, near to the sighting "hotspot".

"There was very rarely a week went past without somebody telling me about some experience and usually along that Kinmount straight," he said.

Image caption Kathleen Cronie is founder of the group which is organising the tour on the road

His business was a frequent early morning refuge for traumatised lorry drivers who had parked overnight in nearby lay-bys.

"They weren't the kind of people who would talk to each other," he explained.

"They were long-distance drivers - they were well separated - so it wasn't as if there was a group of them gathered in a pub and passed round stories.

"Most of these things were all just individual experiences."

A common sighting was groups of dejected bedraggled people pulling handcarts or carrying bundles like some medieval camp followers.

One man was so shocked, he gave up lorry driving altogether and Mr Sturgeon never saw him again.

"He had been parked on the Kinmount straight and he had woken up at the back of three in the morning and he saw this 'parade' of people," he said.

"He said that it went on for ages and he had just frozen - he was in an awful state.

"It doesn't matter if you blame it on imagination or fact or whatever, it certainly affected him badly."

Documented reports of ghosts on this road go back at least 50 years.

As well as seeing assorted animals, horsemen and carriages, some drivers have been convinced they have run over people - phantom figures of men, women, couples emerging from the dark.

Saturday night's ghost tour is for Halloween but it is likely to be repeated several times a year, for those with the stomach to listen to the stories and the nerve to face the possibility of a spooky experience of their own.

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