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New Release

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on September 2, 2014 by gstewartauthor

After a successful launch event at Waterstones in Kirkcaldy, Haunted Kirkcaldy is now available in book stores and online. This was the first time I have done a launch night, and the nerves were kicking in, but the audience were great and all seemed to go well. The staff at Waterstones in Kirkcaldy were also very supportive, even setting up a spooky theme in the shop!! I can’t thank everyone enough.


It’s back to work now on the next title. I have several started, but need to now focus on getting one finished!

Haunted Kirkcaldy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on August 14, 2014 by gstewartauthor

Due to other writing commitments It’s been a while since I have had time to update the blog, but I am now planning regular updates. Lots of information to follow, but I was delighted to get the following great piece written about the forthcoming book ‘Haunted Kirkcaldy’ in the regional press today:

Ghosts in public houses, playful poltergeists and phantom footsteps are just a taste of the spooky goings on in the Lang Toun’…

And they’re all chronicled by paranormal investigator Gregor Stewart whose book ‘Haunted Kirkcaldy’ debuts this month at Waterstones.

But in advance of the August 31 event, the father-of-two told the Press just how deep he had to dig to unearth the town’s darker past.

“I was surprised but it took a lot of effort to pull the stories together, “ he said.

“I thought it would be a case of poring over dusty old books in the library but, although there’s been an awful lot of stuff reported in the area, little has been documented and passed down.”

He explained: “There was a story about a ghost in the late 1800s who had been terrifying women going to work at the linoleum factory. He was described as eight feet tall and floated, but rather than document this, men went out with clubs to destroy the fiend!”

Recorded ghostly hotspots include Betty Nichols and the Feuer’s Arms, while readers might be more surprised to learn of the ‘strangling monk’ of Buchanan Court or the poltergeist of Oak Tree Square.

But Gregor’s investigations also unearthed tales of Kirkcaldy’s tragic past.

“There have been a couple of figures seen in the Old Kirk but nobody knew why they were there,” he said.

“But then I learned in 1828 hundreds of people went to the Kirk to hear the well-known preacher, Rev Edward Irving, deliver a service, resulting in the church being filled to, if not beyond, capacity.

“As he entered, the people surged forward to see him and this caused the north gallery to collapse, killing 24 people and injuring around 150.”

Gregor’s interest in paranormal stories was instilled in him as a youngster by his grandfather, a decorator who specialised in gold-leaf work in historic buildings such as Falkland Palace.

Nevertheless Gregor, who works as a building control surveyor with Fife Council, describes himself as an “open minded sceptic.”

“If I’m asked if I believe in ghosts, I answer no,” he said.

“But, equally, if I’m asked whether I think ghosts don’t exist, the answer is still no.”

On an overnight visit to Pittenweem Tolbooth Tower, Gregor and his son felt “distinctly uncomfortable” but that’s as far as he’ll go.

Leonard Low , author of Weem Witch, said: “Many people have asked to stay in the tower and it was worse than Scooby Doo! What I like about Gregor is he’s sensible and nobody’s fool.”

The story can be read here

The book can be pre-ordered on Amazon here



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 8, 2014 by gstewartauthor

I had another successful visit to Edinburgh, one of the best cities in the world. Found myself close to Greyfriars Kirkyard in the evening, so popped in to check out how it felt as the sun lowered in the sky. The big bonus for us this time was the cameras worked while taking photographs in both the Black Mausoleum and the Covenanter’s Prison. 


The Black Mausoleum
Home of the MacKenzie Poltergeist

The only part of the cemetery I didn’t like this time was feeling like I was constantly being watched by the figures on this tomb!


With darkness approaching, tour groups were starting to gather in the Kirkyard, so we headed off round the Grassmarket and up to the Castle before heading back down the Royal Mile, snapping away with the camera as we went! Gathered lots of photos of locations I have been wanting to visit/revisit for a while for 3 new projects I am working on, one exploring the tales of witches and wizards in Scotland, another exploring tales of the Devil in Scotland and last (but far from least) a fresh exploration of the haunted spots in the city, including many that are not so well known.



I can guarantee that the research for these books will require further visits to Edinburgh, which is something I’m more than happy about!



Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 5, 2014 by gstewartauthor

Due to be visiting Edinburgh soon. Several places on the ‘to visit’ list for 2 new books, one exploring the less well known ghost stories of Edinburgh, and the other focusing on the witches and wizards from Scotland’s history. Greyfriars Kirkyard will be included as well and taking 2 cameras this time as last time the battery kept draining when taking photographs in the Covenanter’s prison. I will post some photos later in the week.

Haunted Kirkcaldy

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on April 1, 2014 by gstewartauthor

Apologies for the lack of post recently, I’ve been working flat out to try to get the new book, Haunted Kirkcaldy, finished which has been hard going due to a shoulder injury. Still, it’s completed, and available for presale on Amazon Image The research for writing this book has been the hardest of all the books I have written. As far as I can tell, this is the first time ever all of the stories from the Kirkcaldy area have been brought together, so despite the work involved, it’s quite satisfying to see it completed.

With some spare time on my hands now though, I’m planning to set off exploring some more places, for future books, so should be posting updates on a more regular basis. 

The Guardian of the Graveyard

Posted in Uncategorized on December 17, 2013 by gstewartauthor

In many countries there is a belief that, contrary to expectations, a cemetery only has one ghost within the grounds. The guardian of the graveyard. The role of the guardian is to oversee the cemetery and ensure all is well. To a certain extent it makes sense, while many people perceive cemeteries as spooky places, the vast majority of reported ghost sightings take place elsewhere, most commonly in locations connected with a significant incident in the life of the person.

There are various methods to try to identify the grave of the guardian, but in one ancient cemetery that I visited regularly in my youth, the guardian is far more visible (or at least it is based on the story I was told at the time). At the highest point of the cemetery, a statue of an angel holding a cross marks one of the graves. This in itself is not an unusual design of tombstone to have, I have seen them in many cemeteries, but there is something very different about this particular monument. A close examination reveals that the hand on the cross appears to have moved at some point. The stories I have heard vary from an angel being seen moving around the cemetery, to a body being found in the cemetery close to this grave, strangled to death. If you look at the photo below, you can clearly see below the hand the outline as though the hand was once in a lower position with the little finger lower on the cross. Could the story of the guardian be true, or is there a more simple explanation, such as a mistake made by the stonemason that was later rectified (one finger too many?).


I am not revealing the location of this cemetery out of respect to the family, as this could be nothing more than a tale to terrify children. It is however still a tale I find curious, and one of my planned projects is to research the history of this cemetery and, in particular, this grave.

Loch Ness and the Monster

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on November 29, 2013 by gstewartauthor

While carrying research for a new ghost story book, I have re-read numerous tales of Scottish Folklore which has led me to decide that rather than disregard the tales that cannot be included in the ghost story books (due to the lack of ghosts!) I am going to collate many of these together into another book.

As with the earlier ghost story books, I intend to concentrate on less well-known locations. Loch Ness is known worldwide, and so will not be included (I have also already given my own thoughts on the Loch in Scottish Ghosts and Witches), but it is one of these legends that difficult to ignore. Reports of the monster date back 1500 years, to the 6th Century when St Columba is said to have encountered the beast and commanded it to cease attacking the people who fished on the loch. Since then there are numerous tales of encounters of water beasts throughout Scotland.

The Loch Ness monster did not become truly famous until the 1930s when it was spotted by a local hotel manageress, Mrs Mackey. Soon after many more claims were made by people who had witnessed a strange animal on the banks of the Loch or, more commonly, in the murky water. The cynical may find it strange that there were not more sightings before this and point out that a hotel owner reporting a sighting may have been more about business than reality, but the increase in sightings can equally be put down to the new road opening at that time, running along the banks of the Loch and from which most of the sightings were made. It is logical that a sudden, large increase in the number of people travelling along the side of the Loch would lead to more people seeing what they believed to be the monster. However, trying to get to the bottom of what had been witnessed were not helped by elaborate and famous hoaxes, such as ‘the surgeons’ photograph which, after 60 years, was revealed to be a fake, created out of revenge for a previous investigation being discredited.

 So if there is a large creature in the Loch, why has it proven so difficult to find? Numerous sonar explorations have been carried out, and while some have detected something unexplainable, none have been able to prove the existence of a monster. To consider the difficulties, it is important to understand the size of the Loch. At almost twenty-three miles long, over one and a half miles wide at the widest point, the Loch holds more water than the total volume of water held in all the lakes in England and Wales combined. When you ask the depth of the Loch, the most common answer you get is ‘it’s as deep as the hills on either side are tall.’ That’s not anyone trying to be smart, it’s trying to help people visualise what the measured depth of seven hundred and fifty feet looks like. In reality, the true depth of the Loch is not known. As late as the 1980s a series of caves were discovered almost accidentally at the bottom of Urquhart Bay. These caves, known as ‘Nessie’s Lair’, have a measured depth of eight hundred and twelve feet, but many people speculate that the network of caves go far deeper. The peat filled water in the Loch however makes investigating these caverns almost impossible. This could be one of many such networks, and who knows how far they stretch. I don’t expect this mystery to be solved any time soon. 



There’s not enough hours in the day!

Posted in Uncategorized on November 2, 2013 by gstewartauthor

The research for ‘Haunted Kirkcaldy’ has been taking up all of my time recently so things like the blog had to take a back seat for a while! I have found some great information for the book though and am really happy with the way it is coming together.

As part of the research, I have started to build a fairly extensive collection of old folklore and ghost story books from Scotland and got some strange looks while on a recent holiday from everyone sitting round the pool with their Kindles while I sat there with a dusty old 60 year old ghost story book!! As well as coming up with some great information for the ‘Haunted Kirkcaldy’ book, I have a number of references for the mythology book I am also planning. One character seems to crop up on a fairly regular basis in these tales, none other than the Devil himself! I find the number of times the Devil is mentioned quite interesting, Scotland is, in world terms, a relatively small country yet the Devil seems to have spent a lot of time here! There is no doubt that the country has a long, mysterious past. This past was sometimes violent, with invasions from the Romans, the Vikings and the English, to name a few, leading to many bloody battles. There has also been many internal wars, as the separate kingdoms that once made up Scotland fought for supremacy and control over all of the lands. All of these conflicts have without a doubt helped forge the country as it is today with it’s proud people but it also got me thinking, is this dark past the reason many believe that the Devil was a regular visitor throughout it’s history?

Needless to say, I am now gathering a collection of stories relating to the Devil in Scotland, and the ideas for yet another book are forming.     

The Haunted Tower, St Andrews

Posted in Uncategorized on September 16, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Tens, if not hundreds of thousands of people visit the small coastal town of St Andrews every year and, for many, there is one thing on their mind….golf! St Andrews is indeed the home of golf with probably the most famous course in the world, but visitors soon discover there is so much more to the town.

The original settlement dates back to several hundred years before the relics of St Andrew are said to have arrived in the town, brought by St Regulus in the year 877, and religion was a significant factor in the growth and development of the town. It also however led to a long, dark past due to opposing religious opinions. Today St Andrews still lays claim to a 12th century cathedral that, for many centuries was the largest building in Scotland. St Andrews castle was built as a residence for the bishop of the cathedral and visitors can now visit the notorious bottle dungeon and the unique mine and countermine. The town also has the third oldest university in the English speaking world, founded in 1413 and, going back to golf, the Royal and Ancient clubhouse overlooking the first tee and 18th hole of the Old Course.


St Andrews Cathedral

With such a long past, it’s not surprising that there are many ghost stories associated with the town. One of the best known is the White Lady, who has been seen in and around the cathedral. Reports of sightings of the white lady go back more than 200 years and she is always said to be dressed in a long white dress, with a white veil and gloves. Witnesses started to report seeing the phantom close to a small, square tower on a regular basis and children used to dare each other to put their hands through the bars of one of the gates to the cathedral close to the tower, where it was said you would feel the cold touch of the white ladies hands take hold of your own and, if you let her get hold, she would pull you in. This led many to believe the story was nothing more than a tale to scare children to stop them playing around the cathedral after dark, however, in 1868, work was carried out to the tower and the stonemasons made a frightening discovery. Within a sealed vault lay 6-10 bodies (the number varies from report to report) but within the bodies was one particularly well preserved corpse of a lady, still wearing fragments of the white cloth from her dress and gloves. The identity of the lady in white or the other bodies have not been confirmed. Some speculate that they were plague victims, locked up in the tower to prevent the disease spreading while others think that they must have been people of stature to be able to be buried within the walls of the cathedral. The question also remains as to why only the lady in white haunts the area and not the others sealed within the tower.


The Haunted Tower

Whoever she is, sightings of the white lady have persisted, with the most recent documented sighting being in the 1970s when the spirit was spotted by some of the university students and no doubt, the sightings will continue.

The Devil’s Dead

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 8, 2013 by gstewartauthor

Time seems to have passed so quickly again! I have been researching the new book ‘Haunted Kirkcaldy’, which is due out next year. The publishers requirements are solely ghost stories, but in my research I have come up with so many stories of folklore and mythology that it seems a shame not to use them! Although I can’t use them in the ‘Haunted’ book, I am now planning to write another book covering myths and legends of Scotland at the same time. It takes a lot to write two books simultaneously,  but this will allow me to go between them both so if one line of research results in a ghost story, it goes in the haunted book, but if it ends with a tale of folklore, it goes in the myths book.

The book on myths will be similar to the ghost story books I have written so far. Rather than simply tell the story, I will be visiting as many locations as I can so I can experience the atmosphere and take some photographs for the book. The stories are, in my opinion, too good not to write about. Stories like the great wizard of the north, Sir Michael Scot of Balwearie. He was an astrologer and mathematician, but also said to be in possession of a book of spells, so powerful that he could summon and control demons. Legend has it that he used a demon horse for many travels, including one to Pairs on behalf of the King of Scots who wanted France to agree to stop their attacks on Scottish ships. The King of France initially refused, so Scot warned him that his horse would stamp it’s hoof three times. The first time, the bells of the city would ring, the second time the towers of the castle would fall, and the third time the whole of Paris would fall. The King of France refused, and the horse stamped it’s hoof. The bells of the city rang, but the King of France was not convinced it was anything other than an elaborate trick. The horse stamped it’s hoof again and the towers of the castle crumbled and fell. The King of France had no idea how this could be happening but, seeing the horse raise it’s hoof again, he agreed to call off any attacks on Scottish ships rather than risk the consequences of the final stamp from the hoof of the demon horse.

Although Scot could summon demons, not all were easy to control and, on one occasion he is said to have summoned the Devil himself. Scot found controlling the Devil particularly difficult as he kept asking what task he had been summoned to complete. Scot assigned him tasks, which the Devil completed very quickly before returning to ask for another task. No matter what task the Devil was asked to do, he completed it within minutes and plagued Scot with requests for new tasks. Eventually Scot grew weary of the persistence of the Devil, who was clearly trying to break any control Scot had on the demons, and so he decided to give the Devil a task that would get rid of him once and for all. Scot ordered the Devil to weave an endless rope from the grains of sand on nearby Kirkcaldy beach, a task that was impossible even for the Devil to complete, and Scot was never bothered by the Devil again. Many say the Devil grew so weary with the never ending task, that he eventually died on the beach, leading to the Jacobite Poem which concludes:

Some say the De’il’s Deid, and buried in Kirkcaldy

These are just a small part of the tales relating to the Wizard of Balwearie, the rest will be covered in the forthcoming mythology book and I’ll soon be visiting the ruins of Balwearie Castle, along with many other sites connected to Sir Michael Scot.