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Not much happening in the paranormal realm, folks. Not in these parts, anyway. It’s almost as if ghosts don’t exist or something. Weird.

With very little spookiness being reported in the national press recently, allow us to regurgitate some tawdry nonsense from a few months ago about police looking for ghosts in Scotland. Yeah, we know. It really has come to this.

In an article which does the Scottish Police force’s PR department absolutely no favours, STV reports that a recent Freedom of Information request has revealed numerous cases of police being called out to investigate paranormal activity, including UFO and ghost sightings.

Given this is Scotland we’re talking about, you’d think that officers would have better things to do than scurry about looking for ghouls like some kind of poorly-assembled Scooby Doo unit, but no. This is exactly what they’re doing, every single one of them, whilst citizens lie dying in the gutter. Probably.

Police help a man who had been attacked by a will-o'-the-wisp

STV explains that Tayside Police were contacted by one person claiming they were being “attacked by ghosts in their Dundee house” (no, that’s not a euphemism), but when officers arrived it was found that the “victim” was simply hallucinating. Which is probably just as well, because it must be pretty hard to arrest a ghost. The handcuffs would keep dropping onto the floor for a start.

The article goes on to talk about tedious and improbable UFO sightings, making a few hilarious Mulder and Scully references along the way, but the whole thing is such a yawning non-story that the fact that we’ve had to resort to writing about it is embarrassing for us. If anyone is still reading this, we apologise.

Actually, this whole debacle is summed up nicely by the following sentence: “… April 27, 2010, a Dundee resident reported a sighting of lights in the sky over the city, believed by the caller to be either UFOs or daybreak.”

That’s right: daybreak. Someone actually called the police because they saw the sun come up. Probably not something the Scottish Tourist Board want to draw too much attention to, but that’s the reality of living in Dundee.

 Please, for the love of all things ghostly, let something vaguely interesting happen soon. The absolute dearth of decent paranormal material out there is really testing our faith.

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We’ve not had much luck searching for spooks in London, so we cast our nets further afield to North of the border. Edinburgh to be more precise. Said to be one of the most haunted cities going.

Whilst in Edinburgh, Looking For Ghosts visited the dreaded South Bridge Vaults. We had previously seen videos featuring such luminaries as Boyzone and Joe Swash visiting the vaults for a right old spookfest and we were intrigued enough to visit ourselves.

Entrance to the Edinburgh Vaults

We were able to visit the vaults as part of the many ghost tours that are available in the city. A host of ghouls inhabit the vaults; the most prominent being Mr Boots, a bawdy ghost that has been heard swearing and is known to pull and tug at visitors.

Other residents of the vaults are numerous. Every source we checked (our tour guide, books, internet sites, YouTube videos) all seemed to have different stories. This made us wonder how many had been made up for the sake of making the vaults just that little more scary. The ghosts of children suffocating in a fire, the spectre of a jealous woman who only touches females, a spooky hound, the ghost of Chevy Chase’s career. Every paranormal aspect is down in the vaults. And it’s very hard to believe any of it.

One, very plausible, explanation for the amount of paranormal activity here, is the steady stream of traffic that flows above the vaults into the city centre. Vibrations from the roads above leak into the rooms below giving off strange sensations and sounds.

Lighting in the cavernous rooms is just right to make you feel like you’ve just caught a shadow moving in the corner of your eye. While sudden drips from the ceiling and noises in the distance are briefly alarming. However, despite the best theatrical efforts of our guide and the squeamishness of some of the other members of our tour, it was hard to find the vaults spooky. After all, it is a tourist attraction and the tour, however interesting it may be, does feel sterile. The amount of ghost stories told down there by the tour guide also become a bit overwhelming. Ghost overkill, if you like.

We’d like to say we broke back into the vaults later that night and were chased around by Mr Boots et al, but no, at Edinburgh Vaults you can only be spooked on appointment courtesy of an offical tour.

Looking For Ghosts

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