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IT'LL BE ALL FRIGHT ON THE NIGHT.

THE Daily Record's search for Scotland's scariest place has uncovered a country packed with ghouls and ghosts. The Phenomenal Frights Awards with IRN-BRU has seen us inundated with tales of haunted castles, spooky houses and strange lights in the sky. So, in celebration of Halloween, the scariest day of the year, we sent our team of intrepid reporters out to investigate the three most frightening stories sent in by our readers. Here's what they discovered IRN-BRU PHENOMENAL FRIGHT AWARDS 2008

BONNYBRIDGE

By Craig McQueen

ON the face of it, this is just a typical town in the central belt... but it is in fact the UFO capital of the world.

TAKE a drive through the town of Bonnybridge, near Falkirk, and you won't find anything unusual. Yet it boasts the distinction of being the UFO capital of the world, with more than 2000 sightings reported.

And that's why Hugh Blevins nominated it as Scotland's spookiest place, following his own paranormal experience.

He said: "About 10 years ago, my son and I were driving to Dunblane from Glasgow.

"As we passed Bonnybridge, we saw three lights in the sky coming together and then parting. This went on for a minute or so and then vanished.

"We were shocked.

Now I believe something is out there."

Hugh's experience is typical of those reported which attracts UFO sightings. The surrounding area has become known as the "Falkirk Triangle" and can produce up to 300 UFO sightings every year.

If that wasn't spooky enough, Bonnybridge is also close to some very important Roman ruins. A well-preserved section of the Atonine Wall is nearby, along with a Roman fort.

It all adds up to make the place seem spooky, even if it's just your mind playing tricks on you.

On the night I was there, the only lights came from cars and the planes passing overhead. As sceptics point out, Bonnybridge is less than 30 minutes away from three airports, and also the Grangemouth oil refinery with its huge gas flares.

And yet I was still glad when it was time to head home.

Little green men may have been thin on the ground, but I didn't fancy hanging around to look any longer.

"The Falkirk Triangle can produce up to 300 UFO sightings every year"

INVERARAY JAIL

By Samantha Booth

SCREAMS, moans and the rattling of chains must have been the only sounds the hundreds of prisoners who have done time in Inveraray Jail ever heard...

WALKING into the eerie prison, now a tourist attraction, it is easy to imagine just what life must have been like locked up in the freezing cells.

It is no wonder there have been dozens of ghostly sightings and whisperings reported by the jail's staff and visitors.

Chief guide Rob Irons, a former prison officer and soldier, has had a few ghostly encounters himself.

He said: "When I started work here, I was a sceptic, but I now completely believe there is something here.

"I once saw a black mass on the stairs. It left me on my knees, with all the hairs on my neck standing up.

"There is one cell many dogs refuse to go near and parents often hear their children talking to people in empty cells.

"And in the old prison kitchen, there have been three women who have refused to go in because they said there was a figure cowering behind the door."

Daily Record reader Ronald Borland also had some spooky going on to report when he visited.

There as part of a paranormal investigation, he got in touch with the Record to show us the pictures taken of ghostly orbs.

During the vigil, he and his team also heard strange noises. And when they played back a recording, they heard a ghostly voice telling them to "open the door and go".

The jail certainly has a strange atmosphere. A chill pervades every nook and cranny and in the dark it is easy to imagine spirits hovering just out of sight.

It was with a great deal of trepidation that I ventured with nothing but a candle into cell number 10, the one dogs refuse to go near.

With a heart-stopping bang, the door slammed shut behind me, blowing out the small flame and leaving me in the inky darkness.

There was nothing make-believe about my fear as I banged furiously at the solid metal door begging to be let out.

"Parents often hear their kids talking to people in the cells"

LANGSIDE WALKWAY

By Brian McIver

THE RAIN lashing down on the waters of the River Cart provided the soundtrack, the creepy darkness of a back lane at twilight was the setting, and the only real light came from a street lamp a few hundred yards in the distance

I WAS in the south side of Glasgow waiting for the ghost of the Langside Walkway.

Over the last couple of decades, dozens of people have spotted an apparition on the path next to the river.

According to witnesses, she always appears in the same way. You hear the screeching of bicycle brakes, and then right behind you, a craggy faced old woman cycles by, turning to glance at you with her sad face as she pedals past.

One of the people to see the figure is retired storeman Jim Mollison, 54, who lives nearby.

After spotting the old woman, he was understandably shocked.

But after speaking to locals, Jim found that others had seen and experienced the same thing. He has made sketches of the woman, and made a computer model of her face. He has also been in touch with international paranormal group Ghosthunters, who have confirmed several similar reports in that area.

"It was the strangest thing, and I was delighted when I heard that other people had seen her as well," said Jim. "She looked like she was riding a red bike, like something from the Post Office during the war, and I've always been curious about it."

Jim invited me along to try and spot the ghostly cyclist for myself.

The short lane is indeed spooky, with the overgrown trees encroaching on to the walkway and the low light of the street lamps making even the most harmless passer by look a little spectral.

Possibly it was the detail of Jim's recollections playing tricks with my mind, but there was definitely something scary about our time in the lane.

In the end, despite our best hopes (or fears) we didn't see anything.

"People have spotted an apparition on the pathway next to the river"

CAPTION(S):

IN THE GRIP OF FEAR: Samantha definitely didn't want to spend more time in the spooky cell 10 in Inveraray Jail PICTURE: PAUL CHAPPELLS; GHOSTLY SILENCE: Although Craig and Brian didn't see anything during their investigations, both agree they had an unsettling night out
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Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Oct 31, 2008
Words:1143
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