Ok, ok, yes I know I've been away for a long time. Life intervenes and the writer's urge, for blogs anyway, dries up. It frustrates me too.
At the moment I am cooking tomatoes. We have too many. We have far too many. Tom planted somewhere near 20 bushes. It was a momentary insanity on his part. Now I 'suffer' (think dramatic Greek style gesture .. hehe), and make tomato sauce, relish .. well my mother made the relish, and its delicious. And so we are eating lots of tomatoes.
Lovely weather for it.
What does this have to do with ghost tours? Really nothing - except the relish was made while Tom and I were away on our last one .. his first with me, my third, or maybe fourth? Hmm...
The disadvantage of being a ghost buster is that ghosts generally stay away from me, unless some tiny part of themselves wants to be rescued. I don't know why I go on ghost tours. After years of questioning myself, and my strange gifts, I have come to the conclusion that I don't sense 'spirits' (non lost souls), but put me anywhere near a lost one .. and I know all about them.
Going back in my mind over the last four ghost tours (I'm sure there's a 5th but can't remember where) .. the first was at Monte Cristo, Junee NSW, the second and third were in Edinburgh, Scotland, the current one was last weekend. We went to Walhalla (pronounced Wall-halla, much to my disappointment .. given that I love norse mythology).
In Edinburgh http://www.mercattours.com/ghost-tours.asp I had the strange experience of sensing lost souls as we all first entered the catacombs beneath the city .. doesn't it sound dramatic .. what it was most was dusty. The guide did a good, if overdramatic job, of telling us the history of the place, and gruesome it is, and telling us 'what might happen'. What did happen was 'nothing much'. A sense of presence in the first area, a couple of scared living people in the second, a sense of someone nasty in the main area - umm.. ok, so I sent angels after him. I doubt he'll have troubled anyone since. And then a wild desire to run quickly out of the place .. everyone else had that, as if we had worn out our welcome by hanging around .. I just climbed up the stairs at the end of the catacombs .. puffing a bit .. and was glad to be out in the daylight .. well night light actually. Aha! I have remembered the other tour .. it was also in Edinburgh .. and that's the last you'll hear of it here, because it was pretty hopeless, far too commercial and .. dumb.
And then I remembered another .. so that makes five tours .. the other was also with Mercat (link above), and went to Greyfrairs cemetary, but they no longer have it listed on the site. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greyfriars_Kirkyard It is definitely haunted. I was strongly drawn over to the Covenanter's section of the cemetary, where ghost tours are now banned. It seems that 'bloody' George McKenzie likes to kick, bite and scratch people. When I started wandering in that direction the guide called me back in a hurry, but did not tell me why, and I didn't find out until after I got home.
Back to the fun ... Junee. I liked Monte Cristo http://www.montecristo.com.au/, a two storey country house near Wagga Wagga (Australia for those overseas), and as a place to visit I heartily recommend it. I had driven eleven hours to stay overnight in the house. The owners offered dinner and a tour near midnight. All very exciting. :-) What happened? Hmm.. well I arrived at the house in the afternoon and had a good wander around, read some of the literature, looked at lots of photos of orbs .. not much else (was this 2005?) .. settled into my room eventually, and looked forward to the night. I had a good chat to the owners. They were very helpful and friendly. They provided a great roast dinner, and then the fun began. A group of about 20 of us wandered around the house being filled in on the various ghosts that resided there, including a haunted bed. In the front sitting room I felt a hand brush over my hair, very spooky. But that was it. No ghosts leaping out of the woodwork, no scarey voices or noises, no conversations in other rooms just heard by any of us. Sigh!
And so about 1.00am I went to bed, and worried myself silly about waking up and 'really' seeing a ghost for at least the next hour. Given that I had driven 11 hours to be there, and stayed up way past my bedtime, I was pretty tired and grouchy by the time I did get to sleep.
So when did the spooks decide to visit ... the bed was cosy, and not the haunted one, so I finally got to sleep .. and then the lightest of touches, twice, down my spine .. and both times I told the ghosts to buzz off because I was too tired. I kicked myself in the morning about it .. but I do not do well without good sleep. Definitely a place worth visiting again.
And now Walhalla. I went expecting to have a good walk in the dark with lanterns, and to hear a few ghost stories. The guide, Jacquie, did a very good job. Thank you. She filled us in on all the lighter details, and the hauntings there are light. I am not sure if they intended it that way, but the town, while a mining town, does Not have any truly negative energy, nor nasty ghosts hanging around. And that is great! But not so great for me, who doesn't see spirits easily. Hmmm... So the few touches of spooks in this town was the old man with whiskers (a miner I think) staying in the cottage with us, he 'appeared to be ' pacing the verandah while Tom took a nap, and the strong sense of the mischief of children (they were playing on a thin path up near the 'incline shaft' - something their parents would not have been happy about) - and the looming presence that Tom felt behind him, that I usually never sense because it is not negative at all, just bossy sometimes. And those two were on the night tour, our verandah visitor was mid afternoon.
There was only one truly negative spot on the walk, and that was to the left of the old school, now the environmental centre. I don't know what was built there before, I intend to find out eventually.
And the next ghost tour will be ... Williamstown I think. We have an invitation from Jacquie who runs them there.