As an old coach inn, the Clachnaharry Inn has been keeping customers happy ever
since it was first given a licence in 1836. Situated on the banks of the Caledonian Canal, the Clachnaharry Inn has established itself as a pub synonymous with great beer, great food and great Highland Hospitality. But as Highland Paranormal found out there's even more to the Clachnaharry than first meets the eye!
The village of Clachnaharry takes it's name from the Gaelic Clach na h-Aire, 'Stone of the Watch' which refers to a nearby irregular block of stone was used as a look out post for the townsfolk of Inverness, with a man being stationed on it to watch the Ross-shire coast and sound the alarm on the approach of unfriendly clans from the north.
The village also has its very own ancient well, 'Well of the Washing Burn' also known at the 'Priseag Well' which was said to have been blessed by St Kessog and was believed to help cure skin disease, sore eyes and protected against witches' malevolence, if you gave it a silver piece! In 1650 the Marquis of Montrose captured at the battle of Carbisdale was allowed to drink from the well on his way to his execution in Edinburgh.
In the year 1454 the Battle of Clachnaharry was fought between the Clan Munro and the Clan Mackintosh (Chattan Confederation) following a dispute over tolls. It is said that the Mackintosh's chief Malcolm Og Mackintosh was killed during the battle. The Clachnaharry Battle Monument can be seen on the hill above the village where the men would have once kept watch.
The Inn itself is no stranger to tragedy. In April of 1856, after a heavy night of drinking a gentleman by the name of Hugh Mackenzie had been found outside the pub trying to make his way home, he was carried back to the pub and given a bed for the night, however when the landlady went to check on him several hours later, she found to her horror that he was dead. Two years later, in November of 1858 the Inn-Keeper John Beaton was committed for the murder of his wife Mary Fraser at the Inn. Mary had suffered from years of abuse and it is believed that falling as a result of one of her husbands blows, her forehead struck a nail in the wall, resulting in her death.
The investigation took place on Monday 25th April 2013 with Angie, Hamish and Mike on location, backed up with a wealth of research from Lyn.
The main focus of the investigation was in the accommodation areas above the inn which staff had reported hearing footsteps and a uneasy feeling. As the team began their walkabout with Mike he picked up on a lady, Helen and also either a John and/or Fraser. The team also noted a lot of knocking being heard, although they were unable to locate the source. Mike also picked up on the name Jimmy MacGregor, known as Red Jimock, so far we've been unable to clarify these names. Several EVP's were also recorded during these sessions with most notably a lady or child's whimper, and a males voice which appears to say “raid”. Our audio equipment also picked up footsteps which appear to circle the team. Further knocking was recorded when Mike mentioned the word “war”.
However without doubt the best evidence of the night came when the team began to call out using the names of former Inn Keepers. Although for the most part no response was witnessed, one name caused Angie's torch to dim every time it is was mention, Donald Forbes. The K2 meter was also then deployed and also gave a response when Donald's name was mentioned. The torch was checked and we can confirm was not faulty, the fact that the phenomena only took place when Donald's name was mentioned would suggest paranormal activity. Further research following the investigation confirmed that Donald had died of diabetes at the Inn on the 27th January 1910.
Moving downstairs into the bar itself, staff had reported a presence being felt on a regular basis. Several green orbs were captured on camera in this area along with what appears to show movement on some photographs, however we cannot rule out camera malfunction for the latter.
Overall it was a great evening at the Clachnaharry Inn and we'd like to thank Mike and his staff for having us. It is our firm belief that the ghost of Donald Forbes is present in the Inn, although he means no harm and may simply be looking over the Inn he used to run in life.