Friday, 17 September 2010

The MacKenzie Poltergeist

Behind these gates lie the area of Greyfriars church yard that was used as the covenanters prison in 1679 – at the time it was outside the churchyard walls and the mausoleums and graves within are since that date. The covenanters were supporters of the National Covenant which swore to defend Presbyterianism against interference from the crown. They were defeated in the battle of Bothwell bridge in 1679 and over a thousand of them were imprisoned here without shelter and a food allowance of 4 ounces of bread a day for 4 months. During that time, some died, some were executed, some escaped and some signed allegiance to the crown. In November of that year the remaining 257 were loaded onto a ship at Leith to be transported to the American colonies – the ship was wrecked off the Orkneys and most died.



The following tale appears on the internet with many variations but when you piece them all together, what happens appears to be something like this. In 1998 a down and out broke into the mausoleum of George Mackenzie who died in 1691, a judge who took such glee at sentencing the covenanters to death that he earned the title of Bloody MacKenzie. Some say the down and out crawled in beside the body to get a nights sleep but either way he caused some damage and was seen running screaming from the scene and was later found by police in a state of delirium. He appears to have been the initial cause for the activation of what has become known as the Mackenzie Poltergeist which seems to occur more around the area of the prison but also at the MacKenzie mausoleum. The activity has attracted local ghost tours which seem to have further increased activity and the Mackenzie poltergeist is now one of the most active in the world with hundreds of attacks to it’s name. These attacks are mainly in the form of bites, burns and scratches as well as people passing out. The Poltergeist has twice resisted attempts to exorcise it with one of the exorcists dying shortly afterwards.


The Creepy wee shop (it’s name) at the graveyard entrance keeps a log of occurances. From the last few weeks these appear.

Mrs Todd writes: My husband received a bite and I received a scratch / welt on my back. Quite excited by this, will come back.

Ms Palmer from Nuneaton write: Just stepped inside the crypt just by the door. Been in there about 5 minutes and suddenly felt very nauseous and sick. Left tomb and felt fine within minutes of stepping out.

Katherine from Belgium writes: I was standing in a corner at the gate & I felf someone / something grabbing my head. It squeezed my head on the right side. After the tour I still feel my head and my face tingling.

Someone who doesn’t give a name: In the tomb I felt a stinging in my back as if somebody had scratched me but I was against the wall??

The covenanters prison is kept chained closed but not very well. There is a gap through which I would fit without any real trouble what so ever and have a chance to get the place all to myself. Did I go through – you betcha I didn’t!

11 comments:

Sandy's witterings said...

Why not follow this up with a cheery wee visit to youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WOOIfYYuT0

DaveOnFidalgo said...

Sandy, I love these stories from the history of Britain. Thank you.

Thrup'ny bits said...

Twenty years since I last visited Auld Reekie. I enjoyed this tale.

And thanks for stopping by Zen Stories.

Alan

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Dave, there's nothing like a bit of history for making something all the more interesting.

Alan, I doubt you would find Edinburgh much altered from what it was 20 years ago apart from the odd name over a shop - long may it remain so.
Enjoyed the Zen tales - just the right size for fitting into the odd moment here and there and always a chance that you'll come away that little bit calmer.

Rocket Man said...

Amazing.....I learned something and my head didn't explode. Always something interesting in your blogs, Sandy. Thanks for expanding my world with your travels.

billy bagwash said...

after that gost story im going to find it hard to get to sleep in the van tonight, may have to get some more sheep in the van,

bhaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa,

Sandy's witterings said...

Chip, glad your head didn't explode - where else would I get this years Virginian Fall pictures from.

Billy, I can hear the rustling from here.

Here I Am/Carrie said...

Everyone loves a great ghost story. Told well with the photos. Thanks for sharing..

Sandy's witterings said...

Thanks Carrie.

the paranoid toothbrush said...

Mrs Todd...looking forward to a return visit after being attacked?!?!?! 'quite excited' hmmm...

Sandy's witterings said...

Dear paranoid toothbrush, it remains unclear if Mrs Todd was excited about her own injuries or Mr Todd's - it takes all sorts. Some parts of life's rich tapestry are best given a wide berth.