A week today since Halloween and I think we’ve just about recovered! We were inundated with phone calls regarding our two Halloween ghost walks and were both amazed and overwhelmed by the buzz of excitement on the days leading up to them. When the two walks sold out mid-week, we made the decision that for the first time in our history, we would add a third walk to our ghostly itinerary with an 11pm tour. We liked the idea of bringing in the ‘Witching Hour’ on the streets of old Dumfries and wondered if any mysterious happenings might take place on this spiritually significant date…
Prior to the ghost walks, we had a marvellous evening out at Lochmaben Castle with only torches to penetrate the gloom surrounding this forebidding fortress. Even the moon, passing through it’s scant waxing crescent phase, could provide no illumination for the waiting group who stood expectantly, not veering too far away from the safety of their cars…. On the drive towards the castle, John felt a disquieting sense of presence – was it brought on by nervous excitement and the thick darkness cloaking us or were one the castle’s many spirits attempting to make contact? After welcoming our lovely guests, we had a fabulous evening recounting local legends and witness accounts. The group embraced our tales, absorbing every detail as we took them on a thrilling journey through alarming apparitions, stricken prisoners and hideous vampires. The dowsing session always goes down well and participants enjoyed the hands-on experience of working with rods and crystals. Our youngest guest, Brodie, generated a nice wide swing with his pendant, full of energy. The final vigil was calm and peaceful at times but Brodie was about to experience something he wouldn’t forget! Whilst ‘asking out’ he felt warmth at the back of his neck, like someone had breathed on it. Could this be the wee drummer boy, attracted by the presence of another child? John also felt what he described as “warm air” on his left ear then an “Ahh” sound as if someone was blowing in his ear.
Now back to the Dumfries Ghost Walk. There was a sense of the surreal as we watched the long trail of people, some in fancy dress, parading along the streets – these sorts of moments stay with you. We welcomed lots of local guests and visitors from Manchester, Wigan, Carlisle and Newcastle who had come to Dumfries to experience it’s darker side. The weather had been great until the end of walk 1, when the heavens opened and remained so for a good half of the second tour. The groups remained upbeat and bedecked with umbrellas and raincoats, made the best of a challenging situation. Special mention must go to our friend, Pam, who lives in English Street. In the midst of walk 2, Pam appeared from her flat with an armful of umbrellas which she gave us to share with the group – we were touched by her kindness.
When it came to the 11pm tour, one guest took photos at the Midsteeple (read on to find out what happened!). The rain was intermittent, the worst of it past. Although our quietest tour of the evening attendance-wise, it was to overtake the first two in terms of supernatural occurrences. Upon reaching the old prison yard in Buccleuch Street, guests listened to accounts of the last public executions of a man and woman in Scotland. Afterwards, a gentleman reported a tight feeling in his chest, like something pressing on it. I asked a young woman if she’d picked anything up – her reply – ‘felt like I was being hung’. At first I thought she was joking but I discovered quickly she had felt something around her neck. The Whitesands is a poignant location on the tour, the backdrop to a powerful account of witch persecutions in Dumfries and Galloway. When the story ended, one guest told us of a smoky taste in his mouth. Another gentleman felt heavy as if his body was weighted. As for the photos taken at the beginning of our tour, they mysteriously vanished from our guests’ phone – a compelling end to an unforgettable night!
It doesn’t end there folks! The following night we hit the local highways for a spooky bus tour along Scotland’s most haunted road – the A75. The guests seemed in high spirits and were ready for a rip-roaring collection of ghostly encounters focused on these enthralling thoroughfares. Eerie stories, historical anecdotes and a wholesome measure of good fun made our Haunted Highways Tour an exciting and enjoyable event with one of the highlights being a wee stop-off at the gates of Kinmount Estate. The Estate lies adjacent to the most infamous stretch, sometimes known as Ghost Alley or Scotland’s Ghost Road – the Kinmount Straight. Vehicles raced by, their thundering vibrations shaking the bus as Mary gave a stirring history of Kinmount and the notable people who have stayed there. We invited guests off the bus to stretch their legs and see if they could pick up any vibes. The spirits kept their distance but the banter was fantastic, people seemed relaxed and open, chatting away with the team and talking about some of their own local haunts – roll on the next tour!
Have you had a strange experience on Mostly Ghostly’s tours? Would you like to share a favourite haunt? If so, please contact the team through our website or by phoning 07791 047835 or 07912 145865. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.
Dowsing photo courtesy of Allan Devlin at South West Images Scotland
Haunted Highways group photo courtesy of @averydarklight