Ghosthunter goes to the great beyond

One of Clydesdale’s most colourful and fascinating characters, Tom Robertson, billed as Scotland’s only official ’ghosthunter’, has died.

Born in 1936, what would become a lifelong involvement in the spirit world began during World War Two when Tom, at the age of seven, had his first sighting of the Black Lady of Larkhall.

Although he went on to investigate hundreds of other claimed hauntings over the decades and around the world, Tim always seemed to be drawn back to that original ‘sighting’ at a ruined mansion near Larkhall, once owned by a ship’s captain who met, fell in love with and married an African girl on a voyage and brought her back to Scotland.

The sad story goes that the prejudices of the time eventually led to the captain rejecting her and her angry spirit still haunts the ruins.

Tom claimed that the Black Lady even attacked and injured a member of a film crew, recording one of his investigations. He reported an equally malevolent attitude taken to investigation by the Grey Lady of Shieldhill.

Tom was still in his 20s when he became the first person to attempt a live television exorcism, this being on the old Tonight BBC 1 magazine show in 1961.

He spent a lifetime hunting ghosts and, always taking investigations seriously, has often debunked hauntings instead of confirming them.

That lifetime’s work was recorded in his book, “Ghosthunter”, published several years ago and which has become a highly respected reference work for all serious students of the supernatural.

Even the most cynical journalist who interviewed Tom came away with the impression that this was no con artist or seriously self-deluded man; Tom Robertson was an obviously sincere and dedicated believer in what we call ghosts and never ended his quest to find hard evidence to back his beliefs.

Always a polite, witty and helpful expert ready to share his knowledge with all, there should be a good turnout for his funeral at Elvanfoot at 11am on Friday.