When you consider the meaning of the word bane – a thing that causes misery, ruin, poison and even death, it is most befitting that this word should form the name of a road very close to the site of a mass plague burial pit. Dumfries High School is situated just off Bane Loaning, in an area long held to be associated with both the plague grounds and the actual quarantine zone, which is located at its junction with the Lockerbie Road. It is at this very school, at an undisclosed date in the not too distant future, that we will be leading a group of intrepid young students and their teachers on a series of ghostly adventures!
A couple of years back, we were proud to welcome a group of High School drama students on our Dumfries Ghost Walk – a brilliant night all round – and have since built on those positive links. Community and partnership working is a big priority for the Mostly Ghostly team and inspiring young people to get into history and local lore is a rewarding and exciting experience. Just a few months ago, Drama Teacher, Jackie Flynn, mooted the idea of a paranormal event to raise funds for local animal charities. She wanted to organise something at an allegedly haunted location in Dumfries so that the students and teachers could gather sponsors to spend the night there. It was at this point Kathleen enquired if the school itself was haunted and when Jackie said yes, we began exploring the feasibility of conducting a paranormal investigation at Dumfries High.
After lots of e-mails, planning and organising by Jackie, School Technician, Ghislaine Duncan and the Mostly Ghostly team, we are thrilled to announce the event will become a reality! The date however, is being kept secret from the students who have bravely volunteered to take part. Somewhere in the next few weeks, those chosen will receive a phone call and from there we will gather at the school, under cover of darkness, for an evening of paranormal intrigue! With a series of vigils in the school’s most active areas, discussions and experiments to look forward to, it’s sure to be a spooky, fun-packed night and on top of all that, we hope that lots of welcome funds are raised for the participants’ chosen charities.
Now, to the hauntings! Of the experiences reported, a pair of feet were once seen poking out from underneath a curtain on stage. The person who witnessed the feet thought nothing more of it than a prank but when he pulled back the curtains, there was no-one to be seen. Both Jackie and Ghislaine have felt unusual sensations in an area known as The Tunnel; Ghislaine has picked up a ‘terrible’ feeling as if someone is watching her and just the other day, whilst walking through this oppressive place, Jackie felt like she couldn’t breathe. When our very own John Hill and Mary Wood took a preliminary visit to the school earlier this week, John got a strong and sudden sense of presence in the Boiler House and Mary felt light-headed and started to tremble. John also picked up this sensation in The Tunnel and interestingly, out by the playing fields. We know the plague burial pits are close-by, perhaps underneath the actual school, and are curious as to whether the victims of this dreaded pestilence are making their presence felt. Equally, these happenings may be unrelated; however the dark historical links certainly stir the imagination…
A Twitter feed has been set up to give real time updates on the night of the investigation. Please follow @Baneloaning so you don’t miss out when the big night arrives!
Our thanks go to Dumfries High School, in particular, Jackie Flynn, Ghislaine Duncan and the students who have shown such enthusiasm for the event. We wish them every success with their fundraising for South of Scotland Animal Hospital and Dumfries & Galloway Canine Rescue Centre – two extremely worthy causes.
Do you know anything about the ghosts of Bane Loaning? Have you ever had an experience or do you know someone who has? If so, please contact the team through our website or by phoning 07791 047835 or 07912 145865. You can also follow us on Twitter.