If there’s some­thing strange in your neigh­bour­hood ... Who you gonna call?

The Herald on Sunday - - FEATURE SPECIAL -

The ghost hunters

YOU might think this is when the haunter be­comes the hunted but Tri­cia J Robert­son, au­thor of Things To Do When You’re Dead, doesn’t like the word “haunt­ing”. That’s not be­cause she doesn’t be­lieve the spirit world is real how­ever.

Robert­son, who for a decade worked along­side the late Pro­fes­sor Archie Roy, founder mem­ber of the Scot­tish So­ci­ety for Psy­chi­cal Re­search (known as Glas­gow’s Ghost­buster), is fas­ci­nated by the idea that the hu­man con­scious­ness can ap­pear in the phys­i­cal world af­ter death.

“Some­times what you find is the residue of some­one in a house, the essence of con­scious­ness, which is not airy-fairy and noth­ing to do with re­li­gion but some­one who has passed over but wants you to know they are okay,” she says. Robert­son, who has also re­ported on a six-year-old Scot­tish boy claim­ing to re­mem­ber a pre­vi­ous life, has vis­ited dozens of fam­i­lies at home – in­ves­ti­gat­ing strange phe­nom­ena such as mov­ing vases and mu­sic blar­ing out of nowhere – to of­fer ex­pla­na­tion and re­as­sur­ance at which point, she claims, the “haunt­ings” usu­ally stop. “It’s not like the ghost shows on TV,” she says. “Those are just for en­ter­tain­ment. But there is a wealth of ev­i­dence that when you die you don’t sim­ply dis­ap­pear.” Older ap­pari­tions such as those found in cas­tles are dif­fer­ent, she claims. “It is just an im­age of some­thing that has hap­pened in the past,” she adds. “They are usu­ally found some­where with a neg­a­tive emo­tion and it’s like an old mem­ory that some peo­ple are more sus­cep­ti­ble to. They are not re­ally there – there is no in­ter­ac­tion with them.” Alex Dor­rens, an IT con­sul­tant by day and a ghost hunter by night, has a dif­fer­ent view but is equally fas­ci­nated by ques­tions of what hap­pens to “en­ergy” af­ter death. Along with team mem­bers from Ghost Hunters Scot­land, he spends week­ends film­ing spooky places with in­frared and ul­tra­vi­o­let cam­eras to try to cap­ture un­usual sight­ings on film. He also vis­its pri­vate houses for free, and the group puts on oc­ca­sional public events. Of­ten noth­ing hap­pens but on one mem­o­rable trip to Cas­tle Men­zies near Aber­feldy he claims a cam­era in a sealed off area was knocked over. What should we be­lieve?

Pro­fes­sor Archie Roy was known as Glas­gow’s Ghost­buster Pho­to­graph: Jamie Simp­son

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