£79
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Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, August 25 2013 5:10 PM UTC +00:00
Greg StewartBy Greg Stewart
First created
Greg StewartBy Greg Stewart
First created
£79
pledged of £1,000pledged of £1,000 goal
9
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Sun, August 25 2013 5:10 PM UTC +00:00

About

Background

Scotland is famous worldwide for it's long history, beautiful scenery and it's mythology. It is also known for being one of the most haunted countries in the world. From Dunnottar Castle, which stands on the site of a Pictish fort, constructed around 1300 years ago:

Dunnottar Castle
Dunnottar Castle

To New Slaines Castle, which is said to have been the inspiration for Bram Stoker's Dracula:

New Slaines Castles
New Slaines Castles

And to the hidden Underground streets of Edinburgh:

Niddry Street Vaults, Edinburgh
Niddry Street Vaults, Edinburgh

There are quite literally hundreds of locations to choose from.

I have been interested in the paranormal for over thirty years and during that time I have visited, documented and photographed many haunted places. I have already successfully compiled much of the information I have into two e-books and combined the e-books into a single paperback. My first e-book 'Scotland's Hidden Hauntings' has only been out for 7 months but has already received good reviews both in the UK and the USA. The book consistently sits in the top 50 in Amazon's 'Folklore and Mythology' category.

The Current Project

I am now starting the quest to complete one more e-book (possibly split into two books depending on final file size. If two books are published qualifying backers will receive a copy of both). The book will also be released as a paperback. Although the paperback contains the same stories, there will be less photographs due to the issues with providing detailed photographs in a printed trade sized paperback. 

Unfortunately this is an expensive exercise as, although there is an abundance of locations to choose, I personally visit every one (where possible) which involves travel....a lot of travel. For those not familiar with Scotland's geography, we have many mountains and lakes (lochs) which the roads have to go around. Travel is therefore not as easy as you might expect, especially when exploring the less well known sites. 

I do however feel it is important to visit the locations. That is the only way I can get a true feel for the atmosphere and be able to relate to the stories by exploring the rooms, vaults etc that are said to be haunted. It also allows me to take many photographs and speak to the staff, who are the people who best know what is or isn't happening at the property and can often elaborate on the tales by providing fresh information and offering some different opinions on the reported haunting.  

Other costs involve the photography of the sites, proof reading, editing and cover design costs. 

To date, I have met these costs myself but would now really appreciate assistance to see this project through to completion.

Where I Am Now

I have already completed the research on locations I wish to visit for possible inclusion in the new book. More than 50% of the background history and reported hauntings has been completed and written. Although I won't know for sure which properties will make it to the book until I have visited each one., this has not wasted time, by doing the research first I was able to eliminate some properties right away thus avoiding travelling to properties that would never have reached the final cut. Once all of the locations have been visited, I will then be able to decide which ones will go forward into the book. About a quarter of the locations have been visited and a few have proved so interesting that I have already selected them for the book. Again this is not wasted time, as properties may be excluded from the current book because I don't feel the type of property or haunting is a good fit with the other locations in the book, for example, if every other location is a castle I won't include a single story about a haunted factory, but I will keep the story of the factory for inclusion in another more relevant book.   

I am passionate about the myths and legends of Scotland and get real enjoyment out of researching them and being able to tell other people about them. Ultimately I hope to one day make a career out of this. Please help me in getting started.   

Sample From Scotland's Hidden Hauntings    

The following is a section from my earlier book covering the Niddry Street Vaults in Edinburgh, one of several underground streets and shown in the earlier photograph:

Niddry Street Vaults Beneath the East side of the bridge lies the Niddry Street Vaults. Tours are organised by Auld Reekie Tours (Auld Reekie is an old name for Edinburgh City). Curiously access is gained by climbing stairs to a first floor apartment, but it is important to bear in mind the geography of Edinburgh and that Niddry Street slopes steeply down the side of the South Bridge and so as you reach the lower end of the street, you are several stories below the street level of the South Bridge. Buildings stand all the way down the side of the South Bridge, and behind these lie the underground vaults.

The story told on the tour surrounding the rediscovery of these vaults is that students were living in the apartment who, when moving a table knocked it against the rear wall. Hearing a hollow noise, they decided there must have been an old cupboard or something behind the wall and set about opening up the wall to make the room bigger. What the discovered instead was the access to the vaults. I don’t know if this story is true, but access is certainly gained through a hole in the wall at the back of the apartment.

The vaults here are less disorientating than the Blair Street vaults, as they are all accessed from a wide corridor and are not interconnected. At the lowest point of the accessible section of vaults is a pagan temple, which is still in use today. Although visitors can view the temple, they cannot enter it. From this point, looking up the main alleyway, all the vaults are entered to the left. There are short flights of steps as you move up the vaults. Psychics said there are three levels of paranormal activity within the vaults. The first area, up to the steps, is considered the lowest level of activity, where things can he heard or seen, but there is no real threat. Beyond the steps is the second highest level of activity, where things are likely to be seen and felt. In two of the vaults is the highest level of paranormal activity, where the psychics have warned there is real risk of physical harm.

At the top end of the vault network is the original pagan temple, which visitors can access. This is one of the vaults where the paranormal activity level is at its highest. All that remains of the original temple is a stone circle. It is reported that when the vaults were first re-opened, the pagan coven selected this top vault as their temple as it was at the highest point and was the driest of the vaults. However, soon after they started meeting there, they felt a dark presence in the room and despite the temple being locked when not in use, they would frequently find items knocked over and disturbed when they re-entered the temple. The story of exactly what happened in this vault varies, but it is said a mirror that had been put in the room was acting as a portal (either because it was cracked or had been bought second hand) and this allowed an evil entity to enter the vault. The witches formed the stone circle and a spell cast to keep any evil spirits from entering it. The leader of the coven is said to have spent the night inside the circle, determined to get to the bottom of what was going on. During the night, he heard noises as though something was walking round the circle, and then heard it climb the domed wall until he realised it was above him. He jumped from the circle, and reversed the spell so anything evil within the circle could not leave, and trapped the spirit inside it, where it is said to remain to this day. 

The Stone Circle, Niddry Street Vaults
The Stone Circle, Niddry Street Vaults

The temple was moved to the other end of the vaults to be as far away from this vault as possible, and it is said the witches do not approve of people being allowed to visit their former temple, fearing for their safety. Visitors are allowed to stand in the stone circle if they wish, but normally not until the guide leaves the vault. Reported experiences are people being pushed once they enter the circle, feeling nauseous, being scratched or even fainting. People also report a run of bad luck in their life after stepping in the circle.

When visiting this vault, I have never felt comfortable around the circle and only on one occasion has anyone been prepared to stand in the circle when I have been there. Although nothing happened to them, it is common for incidents to happen later, but even if this person was completely unaffected, I doubt I will ever step foot in this stone circle!  

Risks and challenges

The project presents few risks or challenges. I have already completed lists of properties which I wish to include and have started the historical research. The biggest challenge will be getting to them to be able to visit and take photographs. Scotland has quite interchangeable weather and so while it may be lovely and sunny when I leave home, it could be dark and raining by the time I reach my destination! Unfortunately there is nothing I can do to control the weather, however I plan to visit the furthest away locations during what remains of the summer months, and the closer locations later in the year. This will minimize the risk of having to make a return visit to the far away sites and keep any potential returns to the places which are easier for me to get to.

Once all of the visits are completed, I will be able to decide which locations I wish to include and complete the research over the winter.

I will be actively seeking a traditional publisher for the paperback, however, if I cannot find a suitable one, I will independently publish the book using a quality publisher to ensure there is no delays in getting the paperback copies issued.

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Funding period

- (30 days)