Lothian Ghost Weekend February 2017

Feb 6, 2017 Off Comments in Uncategorised by

Stair Arms Hotel and Musselburgh Town Hall 3rd and 4th February

What a fantastic weekend of ghost hunting we have had, the crew were still buzzing as we drove home on Sunday.

We started the weekend at the Stair Arms which is an 18th Century coaching inn and an old favourite of ours. This place did not disappoint and was the most active I have known it. Perhaps because there is a refurbishment ongoing?

I started the night with the new ghost hunters with an introductory ghost hunt workshop in the function room bar area. We were next door to the room that we had set up for the Victorian Séance and in there was a bell we had suspended from one of the light fittings. As we started the workshop we all heard as clear as anything the bell start ringing!!! We continued and it did so again so I asked the guests to go and check the room was empty as the only way in was through our area. Indeed it was empty and the bell was swinging! this really set the scene for our new ghost hunters as one lady also began to feel very emotional during this.

I sent the new ghost hunters off on a location tour with medium David McCabe and our historian Sheila Walsh and conducted a vigil in the same area with our seasoned ghost hunters. They came armed with temperature gauges and K2 meters. We set up maglites around too. After a short while there was a sudden build up of static and one of the maglites turned on very brightly. At the same time there was a sudden recorded temperature drop of around 4 degrees. We decided to see what was happening in the room with the séance kit and bell and on entering the room could see the bell gently moving. The temperature steadily dropped again and that was when two of the guests saw an apparition actually walk through the tables in the room! It should be noted that the lights were actually switched on at this time so it was not a trick of the eyes in the darkness.

We then split everyone into 2 mixed groups of new and experienced and I took my group to join David in the Victorian Séance. We spent time setting the scene with incense, candles and had the elements of fire, water and earth in the centre. We spent time energy building and once again there were reports of temperature drops and the feeling of being touched. The spirit of a young boy called Lawrence was picked up near me and a guest reported seeing my hair moving. A couple of the light fittings in the room also moved slightly in this session. Most of the other phenomena was by way of personal experiences.

I then took my group to the restaurant area where we conducted experiments using copper wire and transfiguration with a red light. The copper wire was very active and was moving and arching up before being pushed off the hands of everyone. The transfig session was fascinating with both our brave volunteers. Significant physical changes were observed in their faces and in the second volunteer the spirit which overlayed was seen to be upset and had tears.

Once the supervised vigils were finished we had a break and guests were given free time to conduct their own spooky experiments. I have to say what a wonderful enthusiastic group of people we had who went marching off with voice recorders, spirit boards etc and got stuck in.

Musselburgh Town Hall:
This was our second visit here and it surpassed the last time in many ways. I started the night with the new ghost hunters in a workshop and they were keen to learn and get started on their event. I then conducted a vigil with our experienced ghost hunters and we placed around 6 K2 meters and several maglites in a circle. We joined hands around the K2s and two of the mags and started energy building by humming in unison. I asked that the spirits enter the circle and walk round lighting the K2s and mag lites. Initially one of the mags lit up and then to our excitement we had the K2s lighting up initially to the first couple of lights moving round the circle. This then increased with them going up to orange in a circular pattern. it was a great demonstration of intelligent interaction. There were alos reports of cold spots and drafts moving around the circle.

I moved around the various groups to support the team leaders throughout the night and started off with Yvonne in the top floor where the cells are. We had a slow start but the group were very enthusiastic and we conducted a copper wire experiment where we had some good results. The group decided they wanted to have a go at table tipping and boy did they give it some laldy!! There was some gentle movement of the table but despite best efforts it just didn’t get off the ground :(

I then joined David on the ground floor and boy did things get going….. Whilst calling out we had a temperature drop and a lot fo noise from above. I radioed Yvonne to tell her lot to be quiet only to be told they weren’t moving around! We were hearing very loud banging sounds from above so I asked Yvonne to deliberately stomp around so we could see if we could hear it. The sound was totally different and very clear whereas the sounds we had heard were muffled.
It was at that point that our K2 started to flicker and we heard a lot of shouting from above. This time it was the group! it seems they had 3 mag lites come on upstairs at once and then Sheila who was in the clock tower radioed to say they also had a Rem pod hit at the same time. We were all in different rooms and it seemed like a ripple effect of activity we could not explain. One of the loud sounds we had hears earlier in the vigil was later found to be the sound of a broken bust above us which had moved on it’s own across a room!

After the break I remained in the base room to tidy up and start packing away and I had some very strange banging sounds and at one point a table next to me decided to give an almighty clatter as it banged itself against the wall!

This has to be one of the best weekends of ghost hunting in a long time for us. it was compounded by the fact that we also found ourselves staying in a haunted cottage ( I hardly slept due to my bed shaking). The hotel next door where we ate was also active and our Yvonne even had a penny thrown at her randomly. There were also connections to the event at the Stair Arms and certain names that came trhough on the spirit board. Which led us quite nicely into planning our fantastic Carlops Witches events…..

A huge thank you to everyone this weekend for bringing so much energy and I can’t wait to see you all again soon.


Medium’s Report by David
The Stair Arms – 3.2.17

The Stair Arms – On driving to Edinburgh for our first event of the weekend I had a vision of a fairly tall averagely built man who wore a top hat and a long tail coat. He reminded me of a Ring Master at a circus because of his old fashioned outfit.

We pulled up outside The Stair Arms and I knew straight away from looking at the windows that it had a lot going on paranormally and I felt drawn to the front upstairs rooms.

All our guests arrived and Sheila and I began our tour while the other half of the guests got a workshop on using the technical equipment. Our first stop was a room which was wooden panelled to picture rail height. I felt a very strong dominant male presence in this room and as I was describing this, he formed fully. It was the same man I had seen in my vision earlier in the day. The strange thing was that although I could see him in his environment then (the room was being used as like a card-playing saloon with card tables and gents sitting smoking and drinking playing cards in their suits. This man always won, and not by luck – he fixed the games) I could also see him in the same room some 40 years forward in time (to around 1890/1900) where the room was now being used as a luncheon room or for high teas. In the latter scene, he was being served by a young lady aged around 22, who wore a long floor length slim ivory cream coloured dress. From her demeanour, I could see that she was clearly intimidated and scared of the man (why or what he did, I couldn’t get from her). I also felt that she was a Supervisor or a Head Waitress and she gave the name Jennifer.

As the Hotels’ Restaurant was still serving dinner, we moved upstairs to room 12. On entering the room, I didn’t immediately feel or see anything but as we stood a young spirit boy came in to the room. I knew from his outfit that he was from looooooong ago, maybe 1840/50 something like that. He wore a wee blue velvet blazer, with knee high socks and pantaloon type trousers. He gave the name George Watson and was aged around 5 or 6. I asked him to show me how he was still here (he knew he wasn’t like us) and he showed me a ‘video’ of what happened to him. I saw out the front of the Hotel, where an open top carriage sat with people (i assume his parents) standing chatting. George was at the front on the driveway playing when the horse spooked and hit his head with it’s hoof and down George went. I asked him why he stayed here and he said it was because he was happy here, he liked playing along the corridors and watching all the new people coming and going every day. As he was happy, I let him be.

From room 12, we moved to room 1. This bedroom was to the front of the hotel. On entering this room, straight away I saw a four poster bed in the middle of the room (instead of the two singles currently there). There was a girl in the bed and she looked hellish and gaunt. It was obvious that was unwell and had been for a while. She gave her name as Anne (she did try to give me her surname but all I kept getting was the beginning Mmmmm sound, so it begins with a sound like Mmmm). I was given the impression that her condition was similar to MS but I felt that back then it may not have been known or how to treat it. Beside her bed, was a night stand with a water jug inside a bowl. A broad busty older woman was stood next to it fussing around it and speaking rather degradingly to the girl in the bed. This woman was the girls mother (i did get a name for her but I can’t remember what it was) and she looked after her daughter as her carer. Although the mother wasn’t very kind to the girl and was hard on her, I felt that this was because she could not cope with the girls’ needs, rather than just being horrible for the sake of it. I tried to get a fix on the womans husband but nothing much came forward other than this room was part of staff accommodation and that the husband was employed here (i am sorely tempted to say it is the man in the panelled room who is the husband but that’s just a feeling). The girl then told me that she was later moved to a sanatorium type hospital where her needs were better met, and this is where she passed away. I also felt that footsteps would be heard here and also that the silhouette of the mother has been seen by the bed in this room.

Our walkaround was finished and we went down to meet the other group to begin our tour. When I walked in to the bar where the other team were there was quite a bit of chatter and commotion and I wondered what was happening when Yvonne told me that the bell in the function room above the séance table had rung on it’s own, and a guest had seen a man walking through the table when checking the room was empty after the bell rung!! Typical, I’m always at the other end of a building when something happens haha!!

After a quick break, we did our first Victorian Seance. As I mentioned, we had hung a bell from one of the chandeliers at the séance table. We also had 2 black candle, and 2 white candles lit on the table, and a sage stick burning away. We all individually felt an ice cold breeze blowing between us and it continued to move around the table blowing at us one by one. It was undeniable. Lisa felt the presence of a young boy, and just at that the lady sat next to her noticed Lisas hair moving on it’s own. At separate times, we noticed that 2 of the function rooms chandeliers were gently swaying on their own.

In the second séance for the second group, similar things happened. A few of us felt the table top vibrate as our hands rested on it. We all saw the bell hanging from the chandelier swaying from side to side. We all thought we could hear someone right outside the door a number of times and nobody was there. Next I asked for the slowly rising smoke from the sage stick to be blown horizontally. Just after this, one of the flames of one of the black candles went horizontal for a few seconds before it went back to burning upwards. Shortly after this, the smoke from the sage stick went horizontally and snaked its way around the table horizontally!! It did not correct itself, it remained that way until I put the stick out after the séance.

Fascinating collection of evidence from start to finish! I will definitely remember The Stair Arms!!

Mediums Report, Musselburgh Town Hall – 4.2.17 By David

Arriving inside the Town Hall I initially didn’t feel much other than the brooding atmosphere of an actively haunted location.

So we set about organising and setting up the base room (which was the main hall) and myself and the Caretaker were pulling chairs down from the stage and arranging them for the guests. Unseen by me, the Caretaker had went in to his office, so I stretched up to the stage to pull some more chairs down and I assumed I saw the Caretaker on the stage. Only when I turned round to see how many chairs he was bringing down did I realise it hadn’t been him!!

Sheila and I went on our first tour with the guests, and we started in the clock tower. As I went in I felt the energy of a male standing on the next level, and I felt he would have worked and lived there back in the day, probably as a tax/toll collector. I saw his room with his bed and his books as he paced around the room (which is a complete shell now). As I was seeing all this, a few of the guests (Rey and Malc I think) were getting consistant similar readings on their K2 meters. The same lights to the same levels, in the same place on 3 independant meters was puzzling them and we tried to figure out if there was any live wires or cabling in the immediate area. It turned out there wasn’t!

From the clock tower, we moved in to the ground floor rooms of the main building. I saw a ‘peeker’ figure peering around the corner of the wall and vanishing as soon as we got close. Straight ahead of us, in the large room I saw a Bonnie Prince Charlie type man, with the blue coat, white legging things and the white wig. He also had a sash across him. Although it was not Charlie himself, I do feel that it was someone from the same team as him, which I think was around 1745 (school taught me something!). I did get a surname, but 4 days later I can not remember it haha. I also saw this room being used in what I assume was the second world war and it’s like a communications room. The funny thing was that it was all women working here dealing with telegrams and phone calls. These women were held in great regard by the local ladies as it was these women who would find out about the welfare of husbands, brothers and sons away fighting in the war. One lady, who was showing me all this gave the name of Margaret, and she was one of these ladies who manned this office.

We then moved on to the next floor which is the floor with the cells in it. Now, I know nothing about locations before an event. But this time, before the guests arrived I over-heard Lisa saying about the jail cells, so I knew this prior to the guests arriving. I probably would have picked up on it anyway through one of the spirits I met on this floor anyway. So we got to the top of the stairs and in the room whose door faces the top of the stairs I saw a plump wee woman with a pinnie on taking something out of the oven and sitting on the table as though she was preparing a meal. She gave the name Betty and she was a cook. As I left this room and walked along the corridor, I saw a man in a uniform standing in the doorway of the big room at the end. I felt his energy saying ‘And who are you?’ as though he didn’t know who I was and I wasn’t to get in! Anyway, his uniform was like a prison guard with the keys jangling etc and he gave the name of John McInnes. The surprising thing for me was that instead of being a big bolshy guard, he was actually a bag of nerves and really didn’t like having to deal with the prisoners and would quite often lock himself in this room to avoid dealing with them. I felt that footsteps would be heard in this area and also the noise of small stones being chucked across the room.

Peering in from the room next to this big room, was a wee scrawny guy, very thin but very agile. The guard John told me that he was known as ‘Wrangly Joe’ by the guards and that he was in the cells every week for being a theif. It sounded to me as though they knew him well and had a sort of affection for him as he was no sooner out the jail and he was lifted again and back in for stealing something.
We now moved on to the vigils. On my first vigil, with Julia, Natasha, Malc, Morag etc, not a great deal happened other than quite notable temperature drops of 4 degrees, which occurred very quickly and seemed to respond to our requests of going up and down. The other thing that happened was that a few of the ladies had their bums pinched by an invisible man!

On the next vigil, Lisa joined us from upstairs where she had just been. We had been hearing noises like people walking and moving things in the room above us but I hadn’t thought too much of it until Lisa came in and radioed Yvonne upstairs to see if she could get her group to stand still with the noise they were making. Yvonne replied that they were standing still and not making any noise at all, yet we – in the room below- were hearing loud thuds and movement like someone moving furniture around! We then asked Yvonne to bang on the floor and stomp around etc, which she did, and the noise was completely different to what we were hearing. Our noise was much more muffled compared to how sharp Yvonnes bangs were. The following vigil was also quite similar with these noises.

Like the previous night, I think I will remember my first ever trip to Musselburgh by the sea!


The Stair Arms
When setting up the seance room, David and I were just completing a last check when the bell suspended from a light fitting rang on its own and the the opposite light fitting began to swing. There was no explanation for this.
After the walk rounds, I began my first vigil with Yvonne in the panelled room. We used a variety of equipment including rods and pendulums as well as a table. We had varying success with the dominant male spirit detected.
We then moved into the seance room with David and began the Victorian seance. There were a number of things that happened that we cannot explain. The first was the candles and the incense stick. The candle and incense stick smoke should have risen vertically as there was no draught in the room, neither was the exhaled breath of those in the room affecting them.
One gentleman had to leave the room because the incense smoke seemed to be directed at him and he said anything like that always made him cough. Throughout the event the candle flames flickered and the smoke went in various directions. When I asked if the spirits could blow out one of the candles. one of the black candle flames almost went out.
We then noticed that the table seemed to vibrate – there were three tables pushed together – so it was odd that all three seemed to vibrate from inside and this was felt by everyone. We asked for knocks and several were heard, one seeming to come from the partition separating off the end of the room; there was no one behind it.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable night and many thanks o my colleagues and our wonderful guests.