The sun shines bright on the grey headstones of Old Kilmore graveyard in Drumnadrochit. It is an early morning on a hot summer’s day on the shores of Loch Ness. The old graveyard at the back of the little Highland village is just a ten minute walk from the main road that runs along the Western shores of the famous Loch.
The ruin of the former Parish church of Kilmore had attracted me to the graveyard in the first place, early 17th century, abandoned in 1836.
The graveyard still sports a few very old slabs, mostly illegible. Some headstones stem from Abriachan, a now disused burial ground a few miles further north.
There are also a few war graves, commemorating the dead of various wars: Crimean, First and Second World War.
The whole location has a peaceful feel to it.
The wooden door of a little stone shed, that seems to house gardening tools, stands slightly ajar. The building has a look of disrepair about it. I can’t say what made me go in. I just did. And made a surprising find.
A self-made Ouija board and a tumbled green glass on a table. Suddenly the supernatural had entered the scene and ghosts felt nearer than one is comfortable with.
Some teenage dare? A witch cove? A ritual?
Only those who have used the Ouija board will be able to answer this.
In 2004 a séance has been held in the middle of Loch Ness. The leading force behind it was former wrestler Kevin Carlyon who calls himself High Priest of British White Witches and has cast various spells in the past years in the area around Drumnadrochit.
He claims the Loch Ness Monster is actually the ghost of a dinosaur and that his spell made the Loch Ness monster disappear. But apparently he is going to lift the spell soon.
He also claims that the ghost of Adolf Hitler helped the Germans to win the World Cup.
Whichever ghosts have been called by whomever in Drumnadrochit will in all probability remain a secret. The believe in the supernatural seems strong along the Great Glen. Be it in ghosts of dinosaurs or in ancient wrestlers casting spells.
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Scotland is a country full of history, stories and secrets. Often, the three cannot be separated. That is what makes this country so wonderful and unique. The stories of this book have been discovered and gathered for Erkenbach’s blog, Graveyards of Scotland, over many years.
Her main sources were historical travel guides from the 18th and 19th centuries, where the finds were scary, beautiful, funny, and sometimes, cruel.This unusual approach to a country’s history has produced amazing results. You don’t have to share the author’s passion for cemeteries to enjoy this book; only a small number of the stories in this collection take place in graveyards, though they do all end in them, so perhaps it helps.
The fairy hill in Inverness, a nitrate murder on Shetland, a family of left-handers, wolves, Robert the Bruce and William Wallace shown in a new light, the secret bay of the writer Gavin Maxwell, a murdering poet and so many things you didn’t know about Scotland, its clans and its history.