We were invited to investigate the Skipinnish Ceilidh House in Fort William after staff reported some spooky goings on!

The Ceilidh House itself is the former basement bar of the Masonic Club in Fort William and there have been reports of shadows, voices, footsteps and even an uneasy presence at the location dating back from this time. Some people also suggest that the location may have been used as a hospital or morgue at some point, however we have been unable to find any evidence to back this claim up so far.

The investigation proved to be an interesting one, while some things were debunked, others could not be explained so easily. Below is an extract from our investigation report for the Skipinnish.

Skipinnish Ceilidh House, Fort William – Investigation report 08/03/2012

Lead Investigator: Liam Shand
Investigators: Gary Davies, Debs MacIver.
Others: client

Reported activity:

· Movement in people's peripheral vision.
· General feeling that someone is there, feeling spooked and anxious.
· Audible footsteps
· Voice heard once by a group of musicians rehearsing in the venue.
· Presence in the gents toilet.
· Shadow movement witnessed by two members of staff in a closed off area.
· Air movement detected in bar area.

Pre-Investigation report:
Very high Electrical Magnetic Field (EMF) readings detected in bar around green “generator”, readings picked up on either side of bar. Prolonged exposure to this could lead to anxiety, nausea and hallucinations.
Water leak in stage area causing audible sounds that could be misinterpreted.
Air still circulating via switched off air con units around bar area .
Some movement in laminated flooring in entrance area.
Several plumbing issues, leading to audible sounds.
Movement in people's peripheral vision: This was reported by several of the investigation team in the hallway that leads to the toilets. However, no evidence was captured to back this up.
General feeling that someone is there, feeling spooked and anxious: The team felt fine on the night in general. As stated above in the pre-investigation report, the high EMF readings in the bar area could be a factor.
Audible footsteps: None were detected on the night or captured on the recording equipment.
Voices: Although no voices were detected on the night, review of the audio recordings have produced several interesting EVP's (Electronic voice phenomena). A further experiment was carried out by asking for a whistle to be repeated, this did produce audible responses on the evening, however due to the noise of the bar electrics these were not picked up on our audio recording devices.
Air movement detected in bar area: As stated in the pre-investigation report, air con units in the ceiling close to the bar are causing air to circulate in this area and dust particles could be seen moving in torchlight.
Previously unreported activity: The team detected a strong smell of what appeared to be surgical spirit under the middle archway into the dance floor. This would tie in with reports that the location was used as a hospital or morgue during WWII. One of the investigation team also reported feeling as if someone or something was pushing down on her shoulders at one point.
Video footage: no activity detected.
Photographic evidence: although some orbs were captured on film, we believe these to by atmospheric moisture or dust in the air, nothing else detected.

Overall findings:

Due to the nature of the EVP and whistling responses we would conclude that the Skipinnish is indeed haunted by at least one intelligent spirit (a spirit with the ability to communicate). Both male and female voices were detected, so this suggests possibly more than one. We do feel that these spirits are in no way a threat to anyone and there is no need to be concerned.

The Skipinnish Ceilidh House is located at 13 Middle Street in Fort William and is well worth a visit, it's open most evenings through the summer season and more details can be found at http://www.skipinnishceilidhhouse.com/fort-william/ . If you do visit, be sure to let us know if you find anything!



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