Archive for supernatural

Supernatural St Andrews

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on May 3, 2015 by gstewartauthor

It’s been a long time coming, around 20 years between first starting to gather the ghost stories of the town to finally finishing the research and compiling the tales into one volume, but finally Supernatural St Andrews is finished. I am really pleased with how this book has come out, and I believe it to probably be the most historically complete collection of ghost tales from the town, with the background to all of the main ghosts uncovered and long forgotten spooks and stories re-discovered.

With maps and plenty of photographs, readers can easily visualise the various locations as they read about them, and people visiting the town can follow the routes or I will be more than happy to offer personalised tours for small to medium sized groups whenever possible, please use the ‘contact’ section on this page if you are interested.

The book is available on Kindle now, with the paperback to follow soon. This book is also the first in a new venture, Haunted Publishing. Loads of work ahead of me!

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The Haunted Tower of St Andrews Cathedral

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2015 by gstewartauthor

As part of the research for my new book ‘Supernatural St Andrews’, one of the key things I wanted to do was to gather as many photographs as I could to allow the reader the be able to visualise the locations behind the stories. A picture is worth one thousand words, as they say. Unfortunately repairs have been ongoing at one of the key sites, the Haunted Tower, home of the infamous White Lady of the cathedral, and where a secret chamber was discovered containing coffins with well preserved bodies, giving the appearance they had just been buried, despite the fact that in the two hundred years of earlier records available, there was no mention of the tower ever being used for burials. A request for the fencing around the tower to be removed to allow me to take a photograph was granted, although one section had to be left due to shuttering around a tombstone making it difficult to move.

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While seeking permission, I also asked if I could view inside the tower, which is kept locked and is not open to the public and, after some form filling, Historic Scotland said yes! The chambers inside are far smaller than I ever thought they would be, and it is difficult to see how up to twelve coffins could have fitted inside, but I am reliably informed they were placed in a standing position lining the walls. In such a small, cramped space it was also difficult to take decent photographs, but I managed to get a couple, with the one below being the alcove that Dean W.T. Linskill, the recognised authority of his time in local ghostlore and author of the 1911 book ‘Haunted St Andrews’, stacked the coffins after he had the crypt, which had been bricked up, opened in the late 1800’s.

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The coffins, which had been found to be empty at that time, had started to disintegrate. What happened to the bodies in the twenty years that had passed since the chamber was last opened remains a mystery. Despite the difficulties their size caused, I really did feel quite privileged to stand in these tiny chambers, where so few have ever stood before me and where so much mystery still lies, to experience the atmosphere for myself. The full story of the tower will be in Supernatural St Andrews, available for pre-order very soon.

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It’s been a long time!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on February 15, 2015 by gstewartauthor

The title says it all, it’s been a while since I posted! An ongoing and worsening shoulder injury has made the work on my new book slow going! Still, it’s almost there, and at around 45,000 words and 70 plus photographs will be a decent sized book. I now have a mock-up for the cover, which I’m pleased with though might want to change the font for the text.

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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.

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

Edinburgh

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. 

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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!

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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.

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

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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.

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!