In Linwood, a member of one of the biggest landowning families in Scotland is believed to have cursed the economy...or at least she is being blamed for 30 years worth of misfortune. Lady Anne Speirs' curse was brought to life, over a century after her death, in the early 1980s when Rootes Car Plant, Linwood's main source of income, shut down. Legend states Lady Anne pledged a curse on anyone who disturbs the crypt, recently rediscovered by contractors working for Tesco.
Superstitious locals are warning that soon-to-be-approved plans to move the remains of five people from a mausoleum and reunite them with their descendants in North Berwick will bring tragedy to the Renfrewshire town due to this curse. However, it's unlikely supermarket giant Tesco will alter their plans to move the remains to the East Lothian town for a new supermarket and community facilities to regenerate the area. Tesco immediately moved to have the bodies disinterred, but a court order stalled the development after a judge ruled that the supermarket chain must wait 42 days for representations to be received from the local community.This has fueled some to believe this to be further evidence of this curse.
However, historians believe this supposed curse is the product of mistaken identity. Lady Anne Speirs was a member of a God-fearing family, devout Presbyterians who also gave a lot of support to the Houston and Killellan Church of Scotland. Thus, unlikely to place a curse on anyone. Plus, her body is buried in the Houston Cemetery and not in this particular crypt. Genealogists discovered that the mausoleum contains the remains of the Speir family of Burnbrae House, no apparent relation to Lady Anne Speirs, whose stately home was situated in the grounds.