Archive for July, 2013

Next Book and Kickstarter Project

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 30, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Work on my next e-book ‘Scotland’s Haunted Castles and Houses’ is progressing ahead of schedule and I hope I will have this one available by the end of August. I really need to select a suitable photo of an atmospheric castle for the cover so I’ll be checking through them all soon. Meanwhile my first book exploring haunted locations, ‘Scotland’s Hidden Hauntings’ continues to do well and I’m glad to see the second book, ‘Scottish Ghosts and Witches’ starting to build momentum as well.

While Scotland’s Haunted Castles and Houses will be the third book in the exploration series, there are a lot more places to visit, hundreds in fact! Costs are building due to the amount of travelling required, entrance fees, time off work etc and with no advances on these books, I have set up a Kickstarter project to try to fund more research for more books.

I am delighted to see that there are already some backers for the project, it really does mean a lot to me. The backers are:

Barbara J

Marco Ziegert

Melchy

KJWX

Thank you so much for your support.

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Inveraray Castle

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 23, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Despite being interested in the paranormal all of my life, and researching it for over thirty years, one thing I love about working on a new book is leaning more. I have just finished a section on Inveraray Castle for my next book, tentatively titled ‘Haunted Castles and Houses of Scotland’. I was aware the castle was reportedly haunted and knew about the spirits, but the ghost battle in the sky was a new one for me! I have checked out the dates and what was witnessed and been able to tie it up to actual events.

The haunting is said to have taken place in July, 1748 when a local physician and two colleagues witnessed a strange event while walking in the estate, which was also witnessed by two women who were walking in a different part of the estate. It is said that in the sky above the castle, they saw figures appear and a ghostly battle take place. All of them described it as though Highland soldiers were attacking a fort which appeared to be held by French soldiers. Eventually the Highlanders were beaten back and had to retreat, leaving many of their dead and injured comrades as they were pursued by the French. Several weeks later the news was received that there had been a battle at Fort Ticonderoga in what is now New York State, USA. An army of fifteen thousand British and Colonial troops, led by General James Abercrombie, had attacked the fort, which was being held by the French. Despite several attempts, the British and Colonial troop were unable to breach the forts defensive walls having suffered heavy casualties, they were forced to withdraw. Almost two thousand men lost their lives in the battle, almost five hundred of which were from the Scottish regiment, the Black Watch.

 It appears what was witnessed above the castle was a type crisis apparition, which is when someone who is not dead but is in great peril appears in front of a loved one to alert them to their crisis. Why so many appeared at the same time and at the castle during their moment of peril remains a mystery and it is clearly a haunting that cannot happen again as the battle has long passed. If the castle does attract some form of crisis haunting for a mass crisis of Scots abroad, a recurrence of the sight with a different incident cannot be excluded.

Inveraray has the appearance of a fairy-tale castle, but seems to attract something more sinister.

Image  I must go back soon to get some better photographs!

Dunnottar Castle

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on July 11, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Dunnottar Castle lies a few miles away from the town of Stonehaven on Scotland’s north east coast. As soon as you catch a glimpse of it, it is easy to understand why the rocky outcrop on which the castle stands has been considered of such strategic importance that a castle has stood here for over 1300 years. The first castle would have been a timber fort, built by the picts. Unfortunately, as the picts left almost no written records little is known about the original fort other than it was of significant importance in defending against attacks by the vikings and the Angles. The fort is believed to have finally been defeated and destroyed in the 9th century by the vikings during an attack which it is said also resulted in the death of King Donald II of Scotland. The fort was rebuilt, and continued to play an important defensive role.  

The first stone building on the site was the church, constructed in the 13th century. The castle continued to be seen of such strategical importance that some of the heavyweights of British history are directly associated with it. King Edward 1st of England successfully took the castle during the wars of independence, but a year later the castle was taken back by the Scots, led by none other than William Wallace, who allegedly burned the English forces alive in the church.

In 1651, Oliver Cromwell led a force against the castle after learning that the Scottish Crown Jewels were being held there. His army attacked the castle for over 8 months, yet, due to it’s natural and built defences, a group of just 70 Scots managed to hold it. It was not until Cromwell brought in heavy guns and shelled the castle for 10 days that it was finally surrendered, but by then the crown jewels had already been smuggled out so it was a pointless exercise, other than the castle was destroyed and never fully rebuilt.

With such a long and bloody history, it is not surprising that there reports of hauntings in the castle, the most common being screams of agony and despair. This is associated with the building being used as a prison many years after Cromwell’s attack. 180 men and women were held prisoner in the cellar of one of the buildings for 2 months due to their opposition to the Stuart kings. They were kept with no natural light, ventilation or sanitation in the crammed room. The conditions were so bad, 37 swore and oath to the Stuart kings in return for their freedom, 25 attempted to escape, with 15 being recaptured and 2 falling to their deaths, and 5 died from the conditions inside the vault. Those that survived were shipped to the West Indies, but they were by then in such poor health many did not survive the journey.

The castle is a truly fascinating place to visit and, as for future uses, well I know where I’m heading if there is ever a zombie apocalypse!

Image 

  

Crawford Priory

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Crawford Priory

I took a trip out to Crawford Priory today. Despite the name, the building was never used as a priory, but was in fact a country mansion re-designed to look like a gothic priory. It is recognised as one of the most important pieces of gothic architecture in the country, so it is such a shame to see it being left to fall apart.

Unfortunately the building it too dangerous now to get inside and the trees/bushes that surround it are over grown, so photographs aren’t that easy to take, but I got a few.

Lady Crawford, who designed and lived at the house, is said to still walk the grounds. More details will be in the next book!

New Beginnings

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on July 10, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Welcome to my new blog.

I have been writing for almost a year now, initially short paranormal stories and now collating the years of visiting haunted locations together into e-books. The first novelette I wrote, Rise of the Witch, has now been extended (at the request of readers) to a novel.

My books can be found on my pages on Amazon:

Amazon.com http://amzn.com/e/B00924LCYI

Amazon.co.uk http://www.amazon.co.uk/G-Stewart/e/B00924LCYI/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

I have recently had a proposed book accepted by a main publisher looking at local ghost stories, so decided it was appropriate to take the step into proper blogging, so here goes! I’ll be coming back on a regular basis to update the blog and will be sharing some of the photographs and experiences I have during exploring reputedly haunted places, as well as details of how the fictional work is going.

Thanks for reading

Greg