Archive for September, 2010
So there we were, Ruth and I, heading off to the spooky underground vaults of Scotlandâ€™s heart. And letâ€™s face it â€“ neither of us expected to see any ghosts, orbs or zombies. At the most, I was hoping for the infrasound present down there to produce some sort of creepy psychological effect that would suggest otherworldly stuff, but my actual experience proved to be far more terrifying than that, and it didnâ€™t even happen in the vaults! It happened in broad daylight in the crowded bustle of the streetsâ€¦
Ruth: â€œLook at that bloke over there, heâ€™s got his legs open. Iâ€™m not going to look. You have a look. See if heâ€™s got anything on under there.â€
Simon glances over at the Scottish pensioner seated in his kilt on the steps of a nearby monument. Legs at twenty past eight, the town resident appears to be minding his own business, watching the world pass byâ€¦ with the open kilt. Watching. Waiting.
â€œWant me to check it out for you?â€ is my foolish response.
â€œGo on then.â€
So I do, expecting to see darkness or underwear, but no! Oh, no. And the ancient, meat-and-two-vegness has forever burned itself into my brain. Lesson learned. Leave the kilt people alone! They fear nothing. Not even a cold wind.
Compared to that, the real experience in the vaults was considerably less frightening, but it did have its moments. We went on two separate tours.
The first was in Mary Kingâ€™s Close where the scares came mainly from the guide who would bang her staff loudly on the stony ground every so often. Naturally she chose her moments well. Unfortunately no ghosts turned up, however we both noted the curious sensation of slight giddiness during the tour, and Ruth even remarked on a moment of faint nausea in one small room where there is supposed to be the ghost of a little girl. A huge collection of dolls and toys have been placed near the alleged sighting, so itâ€™s a little creepy, but I suspect our symptoms were more to do with the way it was built (possibly at a slight slant) affecting our inner ear or something, or maybe it was breathing in the dust from the rafters that were supposedly composed of human ash!
The second tour, late at night, was called â€œThe Ghost Hunterâ€Â and the environment was far more atmospheric, the story-teller more animated. The vaults were lit only by candles, which were blown out behind us as we made our way through. At one point Ruth and I heard a mysterious clicking sound in the dark vault behind us and we were convinced a tour guide was ready to jump out at us. But there was nobody there – must have been the pipes.. or something.
The highlight for me in there was the sound of a motorbike roaring through the streets above us. With the acoustics in the vaults, it genuinely sounded like a deep-throated moan. Just shows what the power of suggestion can do.
So, although this was all very entertaining, there wasnâ€™t much inspiration there for me. Not as much as the Mausoleum in Edinburgh we found on our last day. Part of that place (the Black Mausoleum) is supposed to be one of the most haunted places out there. We saw it during the day, but take a look at the photos below and imagine creeping around this place late at night. I think it might give you the wee-willies!
Plenty of stuff has been happening lately. I got myself a brand spanking new PC with nice big 24″ monitor so I can fit more words on the page!
I’ve about to start on chapter 4 pretty soon but I still have a load of stuff to set up before I can settle back into my writing routine – files to transfer, applications to set up, software to install – that sort of thing. And there’s a huge temptation for me to spend many a late night playing computer games with this new beasty, but I don’t think there’ll be a problem finding the inspiration to keep writing – not when I’m about to spend the weekend at the Edinburgh Vaults! Check this place out: http://www.mercattours.com/home.asp
It’s well known for its hauntings, and even a sceptic like myself will probably be hard-pushed not get a bit creeped out. Apparently it’s the infrasound. Not sure what that is? It’s a frequency of sound that seriously messes with your head. Google it and tell me what you find. Anyway, I hope I get to meet a ghosty – it’ll be very useful story material.