The Elmwood Feywife

by Andrew Hennessey


In the wooded seclusion by the Loch at Elmwood in west Edinburgh lies a wonderful little golf course in the most picturesque setting.

The clubhouse itself in amongst the trees is of contemporary design and gives no hint of a very strange secret – that it is haunted.


I say gives no hint, but then the alarms have been going off so persistently at night for no identifiable technical cause that even the local Police have been known to refuse to attend the scene.


Either some hoaxer or some persistent, intermittent, unfixable technical fault is seen to be a more than regular waste of Police time at Elmwood Police Station.


The materials and fabric of the clubhouse itself though do not suggest that any alarm system would have been under funded or an inferior compromise made in the installation.

This is a golf clubhouse facility at the top of the market.


The story begins maybe in the 18th century in buildings on the old foundations or maybe the cause of the dissatisfaction comes from the early days in club golf when lady golfers did not get their deserved priority, or perhaps from one of the ex stable maids of some nearby Manor House which in its day lent its provenance to the nearby road name of Elmpark.

Either way – something or someone, allegedly female is resident at Elmwood Golf Club and likes to play at night – but not golf.


Mr and Mrs ‘Jarvis’ are part of a team that supply cleaning services to the premises.

Mr Jarvis had been vacuum cleaning a hallway when he noticed that a sheet of paper on the notice board was bent upwards. Nothing unusual about that thought Mr Jarvis because the motor on the vacuum cleaner does cause a draft. The force of that air bouncing off the wall was able to drive up and displace loosely fixed papers. However, no other piece of paper on the notice board was moving at all which was slightly disconcerting.

The notice that was horizontal was part of a three or four page memo and the pages were turning as if being read.

Then Mr Jarvis heard the sound of female laughter.


Clearly Jarvis had company tonight and whatever it was, was obviously saying hello.


Taking his vacuum cleaner over a distance into the next room he pulled on the cable and discovered that it was snagged somewhere. Weird thought Mr J, so he went out into the hall to discover that the vacuum cleaner cable was now snagged amongst some fixings a couple of feet off the floor.

The cable had to have been lifted up there by parties unknown, and then it had to be looped around a fixture.

This evening was shaping up into a real paranormal party.

The rest of the night passed uneventfully.


Mr and Mrs J were working away, cleaning the function room when suddenly there was a billowing of curtains as if people were behind them and a loud crash as the fire doors burst open followed by the alarm going off.

Frightened by the incredible events and noticing that somehow these doors had been opened from the outside, Mr J phoned the Police.

The Police were only several minutes away and arrived in numbers. Their dog team sniffed around for intruders outside and two police officers checked the security of the premises.

There was no-one to be found.


Noting that the doors had been somehow opened from the outside the Police officer said ‘this is weird …’


Having arrived earlier the J’s would not have easily gained entry to the premises if any of the electronically alarmed fixings and their circuits were insecure and defaulted or the alarm had been previously triggered.


On a regular basis, lights flicker and dim and things happen to scare the bar workers.

Some noisy spirit appears to be seeking attention.


Another night, Mr and Mrs J were due to turn up and lend their services and had stopped their car in a lay by on the way there to eat take away food before their night shift.

They were alone on a quiet dark road and no headlights either coming or going were visible, and there was no sound of any motors.

The orange streetlights of West Edinburgh were visible on the hill - they were parked and it was a quiet, mild night.

There were no car headlights to be seen.

Suddenly behind them in their lay-by was a big car honking its horn very loudly indeed as if wanting past. The road however was empty and no approaching headlights had been seen for miles in any direction.


Realising that this was perhaps not the best time to be dealing with ghost cars, especially as the occupants have long surpassed the need to be partaking of the Scottish diet themselves, Mr J started up and immediately drove off … and the strange car did not follow. Mr and Mrs J headed into Elmwood.


At the clubhouse, they set up their gear as usual and from another room, Mr J could hear the scraping of heavy furniture over the floor.

He immediately stopped what he was doing and ran into the room, because Mrs J was working there and he saw Mrs J looking at a table by the window.

Mrs J had witnessed a heavy table scrape its way over the floor from the back of the room to the window and it had left scratches in the floor.

Mr J approached the table but as he did so he could hear the sound of grains of sand or rice dropping onto the tabletop – though nothing was visible.


Mr J had been in the toilet and was watching the room at his back in the toilet mirror and he could see the toilet door suddenly start moving behind him, then the lights started to flicker.


It did seem like scary and intimidating behaviour and the capacity for the lights to flicker and dim under these circumstances tend to give the place the atmosphere of a ‘B Movie’.


Contact was made with Mr ‘Rutherford’ a medium who trained in a development circle at Albany Street Spiritualist Church, Edinburgh, for three and a half years with Mr and Mrs D and B, W  in the early 1980’s.


Mr Rutherford had inherited this gift from his mother’s side of the family and eventually came to realise that his mother’s ‘second sight’ came from a long line of similar women with some very strange blood type that even her family doctor said was ‘Royal’.


The sensitivity of Mediumship was often a great burden.


Mr Rutherford attended the premises late at night though did not enter because of a very strong sense of unhappiness and distress emanating from the direction of the very new looking function suite.

He said that the unhappiness did not feel hateful, just that there was resentment that the peace and solitude was being broken by his presence.


Mr Rutherford did not think that he would be unwelcome there during the day, but stated that there were clearly some issues that needed working out with this spectral visitor.


There is quite clearly a very powerful presence involved in this case stated Mr Rutherford.

Mr Rutherford was also impressed to see a youth, one of the younger club members playing ‘keepie up’ golf with a pitcher club. The youth was rather impressively bouncing the golf ball repeatedly and constantly off the head of his angular club. Perhaps the life-force was strong with this young man.

Maybe standards of hand eye co-ordination had rapidly improved in the last twenty years.


Mr and Mrs J, left their job at the Golf Course, but other members of staff do from time to time come across the Feywife of Elmwood Golf Club.