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Posted on Thursday, January 03 - 2008

" Copyright © Scotland on SundayMost people enjoy a ghost story at this time of year, but for some Scots the supernatural is a year-round preoccupation. There are an estimated 20 groups, from the Borders to the Highlands, dedicated to studying the paranormal.Ghost Finders Scotland is a ve..."

Ghost Hunters

Copyright © Scotland on Sunday

Most people enjoy a ghost story at this time of year, but for some Scots the supernatural is a year-round preoccupation. There are an estimated 20 groups, from the Borders to the Highlands, dedicated to studying the paranormal.Ghost Finders Scotland is a very active and high-profile team from Cumbernauld. In Glasgow, Alba Paranormal Investigations specialises in "psychic rescue" – which it defines as moving a trapped spirit on to the other side. Full Moon Investigations, meanwhile, has bases in both Edinburgh and St Andrews. Andrea Byrne, who heads Full Moon, spent her childhood chatting and joking with her grandfather – remarkable as he died when shewas five months old.

Full Moon's co-founder Ewan Irvine is a medium who makes regular appearances on Talk107, the radio station from which Tommy Sheridan was recently spirited away by police.Make of all that what you will. I'm neither sceptical nor credulous. What I like about paranormal investigation groups is that their existence proves the British are interested in more than bingeing, whingeing and Strictly Come Dancing. The stuff we get up to in our spare time is actually kind of amazing. Paranormal Discovery formed in Dundee last year. There are five in the group, three women and two men, and on a sub-zero day I meet the female contingent for a cuppa in the Overgate. This shopping centre may seem an unlikely place to discuss ghosts, but it was, apparently, built on the site of the graves of plague victims. Katrina Boitzrecently turned 40. She's a mother of three and works as a community nurse. Her experiences as part of Paranormal Discovery have changed her attitude to death. "I'm still afraid of actual dying and the pain. I see enough of that every day," she says. "But the idea of what happens afterwards doesn't scare me like it used to. I think there is something after you die." Her sister, Natalie, is 33 and a nurse at Ninewells Hospital. A month ago she had a second child; the bags beneath her eyes are the result of being up with the baby rather than because she's been awake all night in a haunted house. Katrina and Natalie are joined today by Tori Bruce, a practising witch from Cupar. The sisters are wearing matching Paranormal Discovery polo shirts. Tori has a silver pentagram round her neck. She won't be celebrating Christmas, but will instead mark thepagan......


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