Posts Tagged ‘scotland’

It is a cemetery in the Gorbal’s district, Glasgow, Scotland and was opened in 1840 to provide more affordable burials; there are over 250,000 burials there on various layers of the place. The Old Gorbals cemetery was vastly overcrowded, this is not unusual for the time period, London and many major cities around the UK were opening more graveyards to compensate for the lack of space in those already established.

The proposals for a new cemetery started in 1839 and the following year the land was purchased and the first burial commenced. The first soul laid to rest there was 16-month old and occurred 21st July 1840. The three sections opened as follows: Central in 1840, Eastern in 1846 and Western in 1850. In 1954 the cemetery suffered from a large group of children who were committed to hunting down a vampire that they believed was buried in the cemetery. The incident sparked it’s own urban legend, a vampire had killed two children. The influence for this was blamed on American horror comics like Tales from the Crypt, despite no evidence for the reason being the comics the moral outrage led to an increased comic censorship.

23rd September 1954 PC Alex Deeprose was called out and expected to deal with a case of vandalism, instead he was met with hundreds of children from around 4 years old up to 14. They were armed with sticks and knives and were patrolling around inside the cemetery. They told the constable that they were looking for a 7 foot tall vampire, with iron teeth and had that he had kidnapped and eaten two local boys.

The rumours started in the playground, and there was a Chinese whisper emerging that they were going to head out there after school. At three o’clock that day the school emptied and children headed to the graveyard, gathering around the walls. Some were too scared to go in and stayed outside. There were no records of missing children at the time and the only blame they could come up with – comics.

Newspapers at the time took the tale and ran with it, the children turned up a second evening running and the headmaster of a local school had told them it was a ridiculous tale and eventually had the crowd dispersed.

Some of the other people in the area pointed out that they had got little reason to blame comics, after all the children were taught the bible. Daniel 7.7 specifically mentions a monster with iron teeth in it. The political frenzy however meant blaming comics was far more convenient. A local man explained that they would threaten the local children with the Iron Man before then, it was meant to be a sort of bogeyman affair but the political agenda against the comics made a better fit for the reason.

The cemetery is now operated by Glasgow City Council and is protected as a listed Category B building with the entrance listed as Category A. The cemetery also has 11 Commonwealth burials.

Glasgow. Southern Necropolis. Thomas Lipton's grave

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A 14th Century castle, situated around 3 miles north of the fishing town of Arbroath  Angus, Scotland. The castle dates to be around 1300 when the monks at Arbroath Abbey built a sandstone keep. The castled seems to have passed through several hands of the de Maxwell family and then into the ownership of Scotland’s last  Cardinal, David Beaton. Beaton was murdered in St Andrews in 1546.

The castle was purchases in 1665 by the Carneige family, they later became the Earls of Northesk, and they owned it until 1928 when it was brought by William Cunningham Hector. The castle is thought to be the bases for the Castle of Knockwhinnock in Sir Walter Scott;s novel The Antiquary.

The castle was then restored by the chief of the Forsyth Clan, Alistair Forsythe, and it served as their seat. The castle is also now owned by the de Morgan family who have converted it into a hotel. And as with any castle, I thought I’d bring up the subject of ghosts. Now David Beaton is said to be one of the hauntings there, it’s not a surprise really, after all being murdered is a pretty upsetting thing! However he’s not alone because there are rumours of a Grey Lady there too. Let’s hope she isn’t dressed to scandalously for the Cardinal.

Ghosts UK Entry

Scotland’s famous city houses the vaults also know as South Bridge Vaults. They are formed in the 19 arches of the South Bridge which was completed in 1788 and  for around 30 years they were used as taverns, cobblers, trading, and storage for illicit materials and (if you believe the rumours) were used for storing the bodies of the notorious Burke and Hare. The area however rapidly deteriorated and by around 1820 they were pretty much left abandoned. They were then rediscovered in 1985 during an excavation.

It seems that it didn’t take long for the problems to arise, the bridge had been rushed and flooding started to occur as early as 1795. They were slowly abandoned by  business users and that’s when the new users adapted them. The area was turning into a slum and the vaults took on the night-life associated with them, prostitutes operated in the Vault’s rooms used as brothels and there were pubs there too, the cities poor moved in and the living conditions were no doubt appalling.

The rooms were small, damp and had no light with poor air circulation, no running fresh water and no sanitation it’s not surprise that with families of ten plus in some of these rooms the rates of crime, robbery an murder soon escalated. Burke and Hare sold corpses to medical schools and were rumoured to have hunted for victims around the Vaults as well. All in all the descriptions sound like the back end of hell and though it seems that there is no clear date for the final leavers to the vaults it could be anything from the 1830’s-70’s, the lack of records is most likely due to the fact that ever little is recorded about the vaults as a whole.

The vaults were found by Norriw Rowan, he found a tunnel leading to them in the 1980’s and from this tunnel helped a Romanian Rugby player escape the Romanian secret police and seek political asylum. The tonnes of rubble were then moved by hand and the slums of Edinburgh were slowly given back to the modern world.

The vaults on the North Side of the Cowgate arch are pretty much used for ghost tours, and this is after all the bit I am interested in. There have been frequent enough visits during various paranormal tours. Most Haunted featured the place on their live show in Halloween 2006 (had I been haunting the place I’d likely have hidden on purpose).

Ghost Adventures covered this in one of their overseas trips and this is where I learnt the tale of the entertaining fellow Mr Boots. Visitors that feel threatened are  often told it could be due to this fellow. He’s even been given a fairly surly rap appearance wise. Mr Boots has knee-length boots, rough pants, dirty ruffled white shirt and he is unshaven with halitosis that is so strong people report it on their visits. Mr Boots has been seen towards the back of tour groups and is said to push people and to whisper obscenities in visitor’s ears.

In January 2010 I watched a show on the BBC that should you get chance to watch I would urge to say is pretty darned good! The BBC published the show Joe Swash Believes In Ghosts that was filmed during 2009. Swash spent a night in the vaults, he came out a believer.

Swash heard a voice that was believed to be that of a Catholic Priest performing the Last Rites, now if that is the case I can assure you if I heard it I’d be darned  worried! Swash was the only person in the Vaults that night, the voices recorded were not heard by him and the sound engineers initially thought that it might have been due to voices drifting around the tunnels from the above nightclubs but it was found to be unlikely due to the time and the nature of the voices.

The voices they recorded went on for some twenty minutes, some sounded like children yelling and all in all they were intriguing to say the least. It’s not often I find  myself replaying back the program and listening again so I suppose from the perspective I was highly entertained and got a good dose of what could have been a residual haunting from more sinister times, perhaps one of those voices was Mr Boots or even a victim of Burke and Hare!

 

Lighthouses fascinate me anyway so finding a fantastic story about them always helps.

The Flannan Isles

December 15th, 1900 there was a steamer known as SS Archer that recognised the Lighthouse did not appear to be operational. It was reported in, alongside other residents noticing it too.

Three men were listed to be working there, James Ducat, Donald McArthur and Thomas Marhsall. Due to the bad weather it took the relief ship 12 days before it could venture out, noticing that the flags were not up and there were no signs of life the captain shot a warning flare. The relief keeper Joseph Moore then took a dinghy and went to shore, Dec 27th 1990.

The lighthouse was silent, the door open and the area perfectly calm. There was a half eaten meal (though this may be an added rumour, the original log suggests the utensils etc were clean and dinner was already eaten), the lamps were ready to be lit, there was an upturned chair alongside the table aside from that the clocks had stopped and the fire was cold. Of the residents there was no sign at all.

Moore then came back with four more people to do an investigation, Ducat and Marshall had apparently left kitted out but McArthur’s oilskins were still hanging on the hook. The west landing had been damaged with the weather and the life buoy was ripped from the mounting. The men were shouting out and all they got was their own voices, there was no response.  They did however find the entries in the log that puzzled them.

Dec 12th: Gale north by northwest. Sea lashed to fury. Never seen such a storm. Waves very high. Tearing at lighthouse. Everything shipshape. James Ducat irritable. (Later): Storm still raging, wind steady. Stormbound. Cannot go out. Ship passing sounding foghorn. Could see lights of cabins. Ducat quiet. McArthur crying.

Dec 13th: Storm continued through night. Wind shifted west by north. Ducat quiet. McArthur praying. (Later:) Noon, grey daylight. Me, Ducat and McArthur prayed.

On December 14th there was no entry and on December 15th there was only this single last line: “Storm ended, sea calm, God is over all.”

The three men were experienced lighthouse attendants, Ducat had over 20 years on the job and this is why it strikes up as a mystery.

There’s a whole bunch of varying theories, the ones I am ignoring are about UFO abductions, it makes little sense to me. The ones that I liked are the ones that refer to the more paranormal aspects.

The Fairwin was another vessel in the area, their crew reported a ghostly longboat rowing away, when the horns were sounded to them, there was no reply.

Another rather interesting part is the mention of the Island the lighthouse was on may have already been reported as haunted. The Flannan Islands might well have the “phantoms of seven hunters” who resent the intrusion of the lighthouse, due to this they lured the men over the cliff to their death.

The lighthouse keepers had marked up conditions, had meals prepared and despite the foul weather would know that it would be unwise to go outside whatever the trouble they might have thought was there. Also why would they close doors behind them if they left in such a hurry.

For another 70 years there was no instance and nothing has been reported since the lighthouse was automated. Perhaps the three men did come across something they should not have but it also sounds like a fantastic story for the likes of horror writers, perhaps Lovecraft really was on to something with the Deep Ones after all! A quick net search will show you that this has been an influence on several mediums so they might be missing but on some strange level the three men may not necessarily be lost.