19 May 2015
A ghost walk and overnight paranormal investigation are planned to support the restoration of an ancient Stirling almshouse. ...
Cowane’s Hospital, founded by the merchant John Cowane, is in urgent need of repairs simply to survive. A £3 million appeal is underway which would see the historic building and its beautiful gardens repaired, restored and transformed into a national visitor attraction and community resource.
In recent years the building has also attracted a growing number of paranormal investigators – drawn by its long history as everything from a refuge for merchants fallen on hard times, to a guildhall – and even a cholera hospital.
On 6 June 2015, the 3am Club, a 'community for paranormal investigation', will hold its own special event including a ghost walk with the 'Happy Hangman', David Kinnaird, a supper, plus spiritual and scientific experiments. The team will include also include a medium.
Hazel Barton (pictured), charity officer for the Cowane’s Maintenance Trust, said: 'This should be a thrilling event and a rare chance to discover whether things really do go bump in the night. Over the years there have been many stories about the building – which has so many shadowy nooks and crannies, as well as the dark cellars where the kitchens once were.
'We are very grateful to the 3am Club for organising this event to help us in our drive to raise the £3 million needed to give Cowane’s Hospital a future which will put it back at the heart of our community.'
Lee Dunn, a founder of the 3am Club, said: 'This is a very special building indeed, with an incredibly long history, where many people have lived and died under all sorts of very different circumstances – it’s full of echoes from the past.
'We have held investigations at Cowane’s Hospital in the past and the results have always been quite remarkable.
'This time the event will be rather more unusual because we are donating the proceeds towards the project to restore this fantastic and important part of Stirling, and Scotland’s history. And who knows – perhaps John Cowane himself might be interested in joining us as it’s a cause that was so dear to his heart.'
In his deathbed will of 1633 John Cowane left 40,000 merks (a large sum of money at the time) to build an almshouse and provide charity. There is a tradition that each Hogmanay his statue comes to life and dances a jig in the courtyard – not far from his grave in the huge burial ground behind the Church of the Holy Rude.
Tickets for the evening are priced at £38 per person including the supper, hot drink and ghost walk, and places are strictly limited. To book, visit the 3am Club's website.
FOR MORE ON STIRLING'S HISTORY, READ OUR SPECIAL FEATURE - TEN HISTORIC ATTRACTIONS IN STIRLING.