Ten Celtic horror shows for Halloween guaranteed to give you nightmares

The clocks are back and it’s Halloween on Tuesday, a time we’ve come to associate with ghosts and goblins, witches and monsters, and a host of other scary things including, of course, zombies.

But what’s been the Celtic match which most gives our supporters nightmares? What has been the worst game in Celtic’s history? Here’s a selection of ten infamous Celts’ moments. Is one of these the worst, or do you have your own Celtic terror?

1. ARTHURLIE 4-2 CELTIC – 9 January 1897

Long before ‘Super Caley went ballistic’, the early Celts suffered their own Scottish Cup horror show. By the late-1890s, Celtic were a dominant side in Scotland, having won everything there was to win. When they were drawn to play Junior side Arthurlie in the Scottish Cup, it was expected to be a routine victory.

But before the match, problems arose. A players’ strike left Celtic with only seven first team players, and so reserves had to be drafted in. When the match – played at Dunterlie Park in Barrhead – started, the home men had some hopes of causing an upset.

Henry McIlveney scored for Celtic

They took the lead and even a Celtic equaliser couldn’t hurt them. By half-time, the score read 2-1 to Arthurlie. It would soon be a lot worse. Twenty minutes into the second half, it was 4-1, and a late Celtic goal did nothing to change the overall result of 4-2. The outcome caused a seismic shock in Scottish football. Indeed, some historians have described it as Celtic’s worst ever result. The only blessing for Celtic fans is that no-one old enough to have witnessed it is still alive!

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About Author

Matthew Marr first started going to see Celtic in the 1980s and has had a season ticket since 1992. His main Celtic interest is the club's history, especially the early years. In 2023, Matthew published his first Celtic book, telling the story of the Bhoys' first league title. He also runs Celtic history walking tours.


  1. Dougie McCormack on

    5-1 defeat at Ibrox in 1988. We went there as champions and took the lead then Andrews decided to become Dracula. The match started there 9 in a row. Can’t get any worse than that.

  2. Anthony McCann on

    4-0 at St Mirren in March 2010. Tony Mowbray’s last game. Watching him sitting on the bench, totally passive and unable to do anything about what was happening, you knew it was the end for him, and you got the feeling that he knew it too. A good man, but the job was just too big for him.

  3. Arthur Trubshaw on

    Losing to the new Ibrox club in the Scottish Cup semi final of 2016 was one of the most horrible days of my supporting life and I’ve been attending since 1973. However, 2 plus points came out of it. Like the ICT defeat in 2000, the board got their finger out and gave us Brendan for the first time. The other was it allowed the David Gray last minute winner in the cup final. I’ve never celebrated or laughed so much at a non Celtic/Roma/Italy goal in my life.