Alloway’s auld haunted kirk’ was last used for worship in 1756, by which time it had fallen into a state of disrepair.
It became roofless very soon after and became the focus of the terrifying stories of witches and warlocks with which Betty Davidson regaled Burns and his siblings, something which galvanised his already surging imagination.
That his father, mother and other family were interred there, must have chilled the poet's soul!
“The lightnings flash from pole to pole; Near and more near the thunders roll; When, glimmering thro’ the groaning trees, Kirk-Alloway seem’d in a bleeze,
Thro’ ilka bore the beams were glancing, And loud resounded mirth and dancing.”