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GRAVEYARD CALLS IN THE GHOST BUSTERS; They probe tourist attacks.

GHOSTBUSTERS are probing a spate of mysterious attacks on people at a historic graveyard.

More than 50 visitors to Greyfriars Kirkyard in Edinburgh have reported some kind of paranormal experience.

These range from fainting or feeling they had been knocked out to unexplained scratches on their faces.

Most incidents centre around the Covenanters' Prison, also known as the Black Mausoleum, while the visitors were being taken on a tour of the cemetery in the heart of the city.

The crypt is rumoured to be full of the spririts of Covenanters defeated by the forces of Charles II at the Battle of Bothwell Bridge in 1679.

Mediums Jim Lochead and Anne Marie Sneddon pointed out areas in the graveyard where they felt spirit disturbances.

Anne Marie said: "There are a lot of spirits here and they are unhappy. There is a terrible stench of decaying bodies.

"This has been a terrible place. There have been countless bodies, many more than it was built for.

"Many of the visitors who have been attacked have been pushed by spirits who want to be left alone and who are angry at being disturbed."

And Jim said: "There has been terrible pain. I feel that people were left here very badly injuried to die."

Brian Allen, of the Scottish branch of Strange Phenomena Investigations, used a meter which tests for electrical and magnetic fields to check out the graveyard.

He said: "There were changes in the meter readings at the locations the mediums picked out. They are not conclusive but they certainly give us reason to return and extend and continue our investigations.

"The mediums said that there had been a great deal of pain and suffering at certain locations. The Covenanters' Prison is one place where people suffered and died.

"It is also the area where people taking part in the churchyard tours have had some kind of paranormal experience.

"This is the first step in an investigation to try to understand what is causing these attacks.

"The first results with the meter have been encouraging and we worked well with the mediums but we shall have to carry out more research."

The Greyfriars graveyard is one of the spookiest places in Edinburgh and is reportedly haunted by the restless spirits of slain Covenanters.

The spirit of Lord Advocate George "Bloody" Mackenzie who was responsible for the execution of many Convenanters is supposed to cast a malign presence over the cemetery.

Brian has previously carried out investigations in the tunnels and caves underneath Stirling Castle and at Rosslyn Chapel in Midlothian.

They believe there is much more scope for further investigations in Greyfriars Kirkyard.

The graveyard inspired probably the best known ghost story of all.

Charles Dickens wrote A Christmas Carol - featuring Ebenezer Scrooge and and his encounters with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future - after touring Greyfriars.

He misread the inscription on the tomb of a Mr Scroggie who was described as a "meal man", a corn merchant, as a "mean" man.

Dickens thought the dead man was being damned in death for his miserliness in life and created Scrooge.
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Author:Dow, Ian
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 7, 2000
Words:519
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