Is there anyone in the room you wish to contact?

Hunting ghosts in our vaults with Lothian Paranormal Society

Eion Gibbs, one of our team members recently spent the night Underground with the Lothian Paranormal Society hunting for Ghosts. Starting from this Halloween, anyone from the public will be able to join some of these investigations – all information & tickets will be posted here first.

“Is there anyone in this room you wish to contact specifically?” Greig’s disembodied voice inquired of the spirit.

We were 8 men perched in a circle around a small grey box in a pitch black vault just after midnight. The air was damp and sporadic drops of water fell from the ceiling down the back of my neck. The box was the size of a television remote and on one end had a series of 5 LED lights, of which only the default green one was on. It’s a K2 meter that measures the electromagnetic field of its immediate vicinity and the more lights that go on, the stronger the field.

“We’ll go around in a circle and say our names, if there’s anyone you feel more comfortable speaking to then just move towards the wee box and you’ll see the lights dance.” Billy added, another member of the Lothian Paranormal Society (LPS).

“Alright? I’ll start.” Said Greig without awaiting affirmation from the spirit “we’ll just leave a 10 second gap between each name… Greig!”

We all stared intently at the single small green light on the K2 meter. At least I think we all did but I couldn’t make anyone else out in the darkness. The only faces I could see were those of two antiquated dolls at the feet of which lay the K2 meter, their staring faces only vaguely lit.


“Billy!” said Billy.

There have been reports of a child in this particular part of the underground vaults and the LPS had invited it to come forward and play with the dolls. They had also suggested to the child that it might brush past one of us to make contact. I heard all these proposals with a growing storm of anxiety, pathetically wondering why there couldn’t be a less startling and terrifying way for spirits to announce themselves.

Billy was clearly of no interest to the child as only the single green LED light remained on. It was my turn.


The LPS has three core members comprising of Greig Pow, Billy McLachlan and Joe Linden. The society also has a more recent camera crew addition of which one member, Mark, was present. They have a sceptical and methodical approach when it comes to having a gander for ghosts, carrying out research and investigations with an open mind but relying only on hard scientific evidence. “Haunted homes, businesses, buildings. If there is something there, we will find it.” That’s no surprise when you see the gadgets they had accumulated: multiple K2s, digital recorders, infrared thermometers, laser grid pens, torches(!), 2 way radios, motion sensors, full spectrum hand held cameras and night vision CCTV. Ouija boards and mediums are conduits ill favoured by LPS simply and understandably because they “cannot guarantee quality within the evidence they provide.”

It’s a viewpoint I admire and don’t stand too far from; reserving my unbridled faith in the spirit world right up until the moment one introduces itself to me but at the same time willing to try and keep as open a mind as my cynical brain will let me. I’ve always felt this to be the catch-22 of ghost hunting. If you’re willing to believe then you’re more susceptible to see. On the other hand, if you’ve the mind-set of a sceptic looking to be proved wrong, you probably wont be.

For 10 seconds after saying my name I looked raptly upon the K2 meter, a small part of me timidly willing the other LED lights to blink. For 10 seconds nothing happened. “Fair enough,” I thought.

We continued around the circle in this manner, every now and then a red dot would appear somewhere in the vault as Billy checked the temperature of certain areas with an infrared thermometer. Finally we reached Charlie, a member of our City of Edinburgh Tours team.


1 second… 2 seconds… 3 seconds… 4 seconds… blink!

A few more seconds of silence as a second LED light blinked weakly. The K2 meter had picked up something.

“I’m here if there is anything you would like to pass on.” He continued sonorously. But the meter blinked no more. Whatever had been near the small grey box and dolls had left, imparting nothing more than their own small electromagnetic pulse.

Higher K2 readings were made during our time in the vaults. Some were because of wires running above the underground vaults, while others were less explicable and more fleeting. At one point Mark heard a bloodcurdling scream in an inky far-flung corner but dismissed it as just a motion-activated sound bite we have for the tours. He was rather perturbed when he heard we didn’t go in for such cheap tricks. No need apparently!

It was an insightful and interesting night in the vaults with the Lothian Paranormal Society who covered every inch of that damp, dark and ancient place. Their ardent know-how, jokey spirits, paranormal professionalism and logical approach coupled with stories of previous experiences (those that they were allowed to talk about anyway) kindled a feeling in me that if ever I were to meet a ghost, I’d be very grateful if they were there.

With special thanks to LPS