The Sauchie Poltergeist: From Despair to Hope

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Scotland’s Sauchie Poltergeist highlights how emotional and mental health can attract extreme paranormal infections, writes RICK HALE

Sauchie Poltergeist

Throughout the history of British psychical research there have been a number of poltergeist cases that has confounded researchers and shocked a nation.

Alma Fielding, a housewife in London during World War II found herself enduring the onslaught of forces she could not understand. And was called a liar the whole time.

The Pritchards, a family in the town of Pontefract found themselves under siege by not only a poltergeist,  but a dark entity known as the black Monk.

And of course who could forget the case by which all other poltergeist outbreaks are compared, the Enfield poltergeist

These three, of course, are three of the most terrifying on record.  But, there is a fourth as equally terrifying.

A fourth in the town of Sauchie in Scotland.  A case so extreme it has been written about several times. And it all started with one very lonely little girl.

A Lonely Little Girl

Eleven year old Virginia Campbell was a lonely child. The youngest of a large family, Virginia’s siblings had left the nest and started their own families.  

Now, Virginia’s parents loved her, of that there is no doubt. Nevertheless, they were getting on in years which left Virginia feeling isolated.

And to make matters worse, Virginia’s parents pulled up their family roots in the rural Irish countryside and moved to Sauchie, Clackmannanshire, Scotland in 1960.

This alone was enough to anger the young girl, even making her somewhat resentful of the situation. 

But several other things only made matters worse.  Virginia’s father stayed behind to sell the only home she had ever known, keeping Virginia’s beloved dog with him.

Virginia and her mother moved into her aunt and uncle’s tiny little home where she had to share a bed with her cousin.

Lastly, Mrs. Campbell could only find a job to support them in another town. 

And because the town was so far away, Mrs Campbell took a flat, leaving her daughter to live in a home she hated. And a family she barely knew.

In psychical research, it’s theorised that children experiencing the trials and travails of adolescence somehow acts as a catalyst for this energy that oftentimes turns frightening.  Not to mention violent.

And if there is any truth to this, 11 year old Virginia, who was being dealt an unfair hand in life, certainly ticks off that box.

The Trouble Begins

As with most poltergeist outbreaks, the activity around Virginia started off quite simply with a noise.

In November, Virginia and her cousin Margaret had just gone to bed when a strange noise filled the room.

It scared them so badly, they called out to the only adults in the house who told them to stop being silly and just go to bed.

When the sound persisted, the two girls ran down the stairs and everyone heard what could only be described as a rubber ball, followed after them.

Virginia’s uncle and aunt were both less than thrilled by this and went up to the girl’s room to investigate. 

Before leaving the room, the noise returned and frightened the previously sceptical couple.

Thinking something strange was afoot, Reverend Lund was summoned to the home to investigate if something diabolical was at play.

Clergy To The Rescue

When Reverend Lund arrived, he understandably thought Virginia was having a laugh. Even playing a cruel prank on her aunt and uncle to show her displeasure with living in their house.

That all changed when everyone in the room watched as a heavy linen cabinet in the room began to rock back and forth. And at one point, even levitated off the floor.

At this point fear gripped everyone in the house, but Reverend Lund was able to talk down the hysterics and everyone went to bed. Of course whatever this was, was only getting started.

The Sauchie Poltergeist Follows

The very next day, the poltergeist began to ramp up it’s campaign of terror.

The knocking appeared to follow Virginia about the house. A heavy cabinet moved on its own. And everyone watched in shocked disbelief as an apple lifted itself out of a fruit bowl and floated across the room.

With all this happening in the home, Virginia was all too happy too go to school. Unfortunately that did not make the activity stop.

While she sat at her desk, with her teacher standing nearby, the lid of Virginia’s desk raised on of its own accord.

Later, when the teacher was interviewed about the incident, she added details Virginia failed to report.

The teacher claimed the desktop opened three times and Virginia, at one point, actually struggled to keep it down.

When the teacher asked if Virginia was OK, she watched as the desk directly behind Virginia began to shake and lifted a couple inches off the ground.

Three days following this incident, the supernatural shenanigans continued in the classroom.

Virginia and her teacher watched in awe as a blackboard pointer flew across the room. 

And the teacher’s desk rose up and turned counter clockwise and settled back to the floor.

Both Virginia and Mrs Stewart were awestruck by the display of power. The silence was only broken when Virginia uttered, “Please Miss, I’m not doing it.”

For a moment Virginia’s teacher stood stupefied until she replied, ” It’s alright, just help straighten the desk.”

Teachers are typically people of reason and logic. But reason and logic could not be found in Virginia’s classroom when she was present.

A Religious Service

By December of 1960, the strange goings-on in the house was being accepted as a part of everyday life. 

And news of the poltergeist had reached the eyes and ears of the townspeople after an article appeared in a local newspaper detailing the bizarre activity that surrounded Virginia.

Reverend Lund felt that whatever this was had gone on long enough and enlisted the help of three of his colleagues.

They arrived at the home and decided to bless the house, in the hopes this would give the family some comfort.

There are many instances where clergy gets involved in a haunting and only makes matters worse. But not this time.

Following the religious service the phenomenon began to subside even becoming almost bearable. 

So much so, that Virginia even gave the poltergeist a very innocent name, Wee Hughie. And blamed him whenever something odd happened in the house.

With things quieting down, Reverend Lund believed he chased whatever spirit that plagued the family from the house. 

Not so fast, Reverend. Remember this isn’t a ghost, it is a poltergeist.  And good things happening in the lives of the focus appears to help. Here, it did.

Virginia, after a long time feeling isolated, managed to make a friend. And she was reunited with her beloved dog, Toby.

These two instances alone are what directly affected Virginia’s mood. Virginia Campbell was finally happy.

By January 1961, with good things back in Virginia Campbell’s life, the poltergeist activity abruptly ceased. After months of horror, peace finally settled on the house.

I don’t know about you, but I love a happy ending. And young Virginia Campbell had hers.

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