I have a morbid fascination with reading the things people have searched on Google and other search engines that have landed them here, on my blog. Mostly because they often leave me going, “WHO ARE THESE PEOPLE?!”

Searches

….”gay stretch marks”? Really? Are you actually dumb enough to believe that stretch marks are different depending on whether you’re gay or straight? Or are you using ‘gay’ to denote ‘stupid’ because you’re a total fucking moron?

Gay Seal

ANYWAY.

Sometimes the searches catch my eye because they’re genuinely interesting, and sometimes they catch my eye because they elicit an “OMG!” out of me.

Like the day I discovered that someone was Googling, “23 Fordyce Street is haunted.”

Me:

OMG 1

Then:

OMG 2

That’s the flat directly across the street from where I lived!

Maybe some folks would be like, “Thank goodness I don’t live there anymore!”

My weirdo reaction was, “Oh shit! How did I not know that when I was there?!”

And then I was really mad about it for a week.

I have always been mildly obsessed with ghosts and the paranormal. I used to be weary of saying I believed in ghosts, but now I’m just like, yeah, ghosts, they’re a thing. Take it or leave it. I don’t really care if you think I’m crazy.

I’ve had strange experiences and encounters since I was a little kid, but I had a really good one in Scotland once. Not good as in positive, but good as in wow, neat.

SIDENOTE: I am, in fact, so cool that I regularly use the word ‘neat.’

It was 2006 and I was in Scotland for the first time. On that particular trip, I spent 98% of my time in Edinburgh. Going on a tour down to the Edinburgh vaults was one of the first things I did.

Vaults

In case you don’t want to travel ALL THE WAY to Wikipedia to learn something new (lazy!):

The Edinburgh Vaults or South Bridge Vaults are a series of chambers formed in the nineteen arches of the South Bridge in Edinburgh, Scotland, which was completed in 1788. For around 30 years, the vaults were used to house taverns, cobblers and other tradesmen, and as storage space for illicit material, reportedly including the bodies of people killed by serial killers Burke and Hare for medical experiments.

As the conditions in the vaults deteriorated, mainly because of damp and poor air quality, the businesses left and the very poorest of Edinburgh’s citizens moved in, though by around 1820, even they are believed to have left too. That people had lived there was only discovered in 1985 during an excavation, when middens were found containing toys, medicine bottles, plates, and other signs of human habitation.

Okay, so I was on this tour by myself, but I was in a group. Despite the fact that the vaults are both dark and small, I was feeling very calm. If I had been down there completely by myself, I would have most certainly had a nervous breakdown, but at this point, I was comfortable. Most of the people in my tour group were pretty calm. There was an anxious young American couple, but they were keeping it together. The guy was acting super tough, so the girl was holding onto him for dear life. There was also a pretty anxious Glaswegian couple. They were silently freaking out. Like on the exterior, they looked mildly concerned, but on the inside (I would discover), they were NOT COOL WITH BEING ON THIS TOUR.

So we got to this one room on the tour, and our guide was explaining that it is thought that there are two different entities in the room: one male and one female. Apparently, the female entity is not always kind to other females, especially those who are pregnant.

Great, I thought, I’m in the clear – nobody will be mad at me and my currently empty womb!

Our guide then started to describe the male entity in the room. It was at some point during this description that I felt someone grabbing my shoulder. It wasn’t exactly my shoulder, but that sensitive spot between my shoulder and my neck.

I felt a hand land there, grip, and apply significant pressure. It was enough to make me crumble and squirm. I turned and saw that the Glaswegian couple was standing directly behind me, so naturally I assumed that one of them was trying to get my attention.

“What’s wrong?” I asked them.

They stared at me blankly.

“Did you just grab me?” I asked more insistently.

And then I watched all of the colour drain from their faces.

“You grabbed me.” I said again.

The girl looked like she was going to be sick. Our tour guide jumped in and asked what was going on. I explained that someone had grabbed my shoulder very firmly and that I thought it had been the couple standing behind me.

“I think you’d better stand over here with me.”

As soon as those words left the guide’s lips, the Glaswegian couple started to freak the fuck out.

“I need to leave,” The girl was panicking, “I NEED TO LEAVE.”

Our guide walked us to the next room – apparently less haunted than the one we had been standing in – and made us wait there while she escorted the Glaswegians up and out of the vaults. Then we continued our tour. But I couldn’t stop thinking about how strong the grip on my shoulder had been.

That was one of the first times in my adult life that I became certain ghosts exist.

I’ll save the rest of my stories for another day.

In the meantime, do you have any to share? Do you think I’m full of shit? Let’s hear it.

Dino Ross

xA

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