I am often asked how I became interested in the paranormal, and how I became involved in psychical research. I find this quite difficult to answer. Possibly this is because I am not entirely happy with the term paranormal in the first place. In my opinion a lot of the phenomena reported, and termed paranormal, may well be fairly rare events, which do not fit in with a rationalist world-view. Science is never happy with rare events that are not repeatable within its paradigms. Scientists like repeatable experiments, which can be carried out by different experimenters; producing similar results time and time again. Tell that to the ghost who appears infrequently to its own pattern or timing! I still feel that even ghostly appearances may well fit in with natural laws with which we are not yet fully acquainted. Perhaps one day we will find out how they occur, and then the word paranormal will be redundant. Perhaps as a psychical researcher, I will also be redundant. After all if someone living in the 16th.century had been told that we could sit in our living-room and watch events 'live' from the other end of the world; for instance a Test Match from Australia, or chat to someone hundreds of miles away on the phone, they would have thought we were involved in Witchcraft; and we all know what the penalty for anyone involved in that sort of thing would be! We do not know 'how ghosts work', nor do we know how the poltergeist summons up the tremendous energy required to throw heavy furniture around, so there is a lot of work to be done, and I have always wanted to be involved in such research.

When did I first become interested in the first place? Possibly when I began to realise that not all children could see and hear things the way I did. I was brought up in Edinburgh until the end of the war. I had frequent visits to the country and spent most summer holidays with family friends at their poultry and pony farm. I soon learned to ride the half-wild ponies, when I could catch one, and many a tumble I had. I didn't break any bones, but it was amazing how adept the ponies were at finding appropriate landing sites for me...barbed wire fences, nettle-beds and even the odd thistle patch. Still, I learnt a skill that although it wasn't to Olympic standard, taught me to stay firmly on the pony's back, with or without a saddle.

I loved animals of all kinds; except geese. An early attempt to feed the gander resulted in a badly bitten calf for me; so no more bread for the geese, and a resolve to give geese a wide berth in future.

Although I was an only child, I had what is known as an imaginary family, until I was about eight; an older brother and a younger sister who were with me all the time. It did not seem to bother me that no-one else could see them. I was evidently thought to be a child with a vivid imagination by the adults. The extended family gradually faded away, like 'Puff The Magic Dragon' as I became immersed in the rough and tumble of school.

I soon became aware that other children did not understand animals in the way that I did. I didn't need language to understand their needs and their fears. I was judged to be just a bit too sensitive, when I cried for hours, after meeting a boy leading an old pony along our road. He said quite bluntly that he was taking it to the slaughter-house. I did not fully understand what he meant.. I was only seven, but the pony evidently did. Its miserable, forlorn look touched me to the quick. Mum gently explained that it possibly was too old to work and that we all had to die sometime, but that didn't help much. I still find it difficult to see animals suffering, and feel they often can communicate their problems to me. I have had a varied collection of creatures needing good homes over the years, and the house and garden have often reached saturation point.

I had many strange experiences too: One day when I was about nine, I was waiting at the corner of our road, waiting for the bus to take me to school. It was about 8.30 on a dark, wet winter's morning. We used to wait under the pillars at the front door of the corner house in Palmerston Place if it was wet. This area still had the old fashioned 'causey blocks' and in fact it still has. The houses are Regency and Georgian in that area of Edinburgh New Town. There were very elegant street lamps, which although they were designed for gas, were of course unlit during the war. Suddenly everything went very still and the scene changed slightly. I was aware of a horse-drawn coach and other horse-drawn vehicles was absolutely silent, and I suddenly had a deep conviction that I was back in another time; a time with which I was very familiar. I had lived in that area in that time, I am sure. Then the scene changed back to the Edinburgh street that I knew in 1943. The number 13 bus arrived and I was off to school as usual; the momentary strange experience temporarily forgotten as I greeted school friends on the bus.

It is very difficult to convey, what is a subjective experience, to others, but I can still see that changed scene and the feeling of belonging to two eras, or even possibly more. I learned a big new word a few years later.. reincarnation. I felt then, as I do now, that I have lived many lives, and I likely have many more to come. I know that many more people throughout the world have similar experiences, and I will be talking about this subject later.

When the war was at last over, we moved from Edinburgh to a village in East Lothian. The freedom of mile after mile of sandy beaches, rocks, farmland and woods, was my idea of Heaven. I wandered along the beach for miles, picking up shells and rocks. I sat on the rocks for hours watching sea-birds and seals. I poked around in rock-pools, fascinated by the plant and animals and fish that lived there. I grew to love the great estuary of the river Forth in all its moods. Great ships such as the Vanguard, with King George VI on board sailed up to Rosyth. We watched its graceful progress through field glasses. I saw tankers sailing up to Grangemouth oil refinery and timber boats from Scandinavia making for Leith. It was quite a sight, when on occasions a storm was raging out in the ferocious North Sea. Many ships would be at anchor, riding out the storm in the estuary, and of course along with other local children, I counted them and borrowed binoculars from home to see if we could spot the sailors on board.

I was always happy among boats, and on occasions even had trips on fishing boats around some of the islands in the Forth. The day we went up the dangerous steep side of the Bass Rock was memorable. There is a railing which goes right over the top, so that the keepers of the lighthouse, which we were shown round, could relatively safely man the foghorn and light, without being blown into the ferocious waves below. At that time, about 1951, the keepers used large holes in the volcanic rock as chicken coops. These had iron grilles over them I felt something very strange and frightening around them. No it wasn't the cooped up hens, who couldn't have their freedom because of the height of the rock and the several hundred feet to the waves below. We learned from the keepers, that during the Napoleonic Wars, French prisoners of war were incarcerated in those terrible holes in the rock. I later learnt that the Bass earlier had also been a prison for Covenanters. How cold, wet and miserable they must have been. How many of them must have died in that wretched place?

I had some friends who lived at North Berwick and I used to cycle the eight miles along the coast to visit them. We used to spend a lot of time on the beach; sometimes horse riding, but we also were attracted to a collection of old buildings known locally as the Lodge. At that time The Lodge was in a terrible state of repair, although later it was turned into luxury flats by The National Trust for Scotland. An old sea captain lived in the lower rooms at the front of the old building. At least he was dressed as an old seaman, with a sea captain's hat and a bit of gold braid here and there. He used to come out and shout at us from time to time, and usually we ran off. There is said to be a traditional secret passage, which was reputed to link the ruined abbey to the harbour, via the Lodge. As children, we had been warned off by the locals from going anywhere near it. Of course it drew us like a magnet, and of course we had all read Enid Blyton's Famous Five books and were well-versed in the adventure lore, and smugglers' ways in particular.

One day we were as usual mucking about near the entry to the passage-way at the Lodge. The old Sea Captain came out and shouted at us as usual, and I must have been a bit slower to run off than the other kids. Suddenly it got chilly as though a cloud had temporarily hidden the sun, and I looked up to see a grey misty shape gliding by, which looked like a lady in a long grey dress. I later learned about the Grey Lady who has been seen from time to time near the passageway and the Lodge grounds; which are now a park.

Many years later, as I said before, The National Trust for Scotland renovated the buildings and turned them into several luxury flats, without changing the exterior too much. The passage-way entrance was actually where the dustbins etc were kept. My parents moved into one of the upper floor flats. One day in 1970 or 1971, John, my husband and I were visiting them with our children. I was in Mum's bedroom, sitting on her bed chatting to her, when something grey and misty passed the window. I am sure it was the same apparition I had seen many years before. Mum said I had likely seen a gull, but I was used to the behaviour of gulls and other sea birds... and it wasn't like a gull at all. It moved too slowly for a gull, but even more convincing to me was that cold, alert feeling I get when something strange is about. This is not really fear, more a strange heightened awareness.

When I was a student, my parents moved to another house in the same village. This house had been owned by a very old lady called Margaret; she was 93 when she died in the house. My friends and I had often helped to round up her lively little dog, called Nigger. He was inclined to escape from time to time and wander down to the beach on his own. Margaret was very tall, even in old age, and always wore ridiculous high-heeled shoes, on which she wobbled after her escaping dog. She was always very highly made-up, and wore large flowery hats. When we took over the house, the upstairs window-sills were littered with wee bottles and jars of cheap make-up, similar to those available in Woolworths at the time. There were stories that she had been on the stage at some time, but we never really found out. Our efforts to round up the dog were sometimes rewarded with a very stale chocolate biscuit from an elaborate biscuit barrel. We were very fond of this strange old lady, and had been sad to hear she was dead.

The house required considerable work to bring it up to a reasonable standard; plumbers, joiners and electricians had their work cut out, and when they had finished, the painters and later carpet-fitters took over. It was impossible to live in the house with floor-boards up, and all the plaster dust etc., so my parents and I stayed at a small hotel further along the coast, so that we could keep an eye on the workmen.

One Saturday morning, I went along to the new house on my bike to see how the work was progressing. To my surprise I found the painters and our home-help out in the front garden. I made a facetious remark about the apparent lack of toil, and one embarrassed painter muttered: "I'm no goin' in there again!" When asked "Why?" He said that there was something in there. He looked quite scared, and I might add that he was a big, burly chap. I soon realised the rest of them looked scared as well. Possibly that was the moment that Daphne the Investigator came into being. I went into the hall of the house, and then I heard it...trit-trot, trit-trot, along the upper passage-way at the top of the galleried stairway. It was a sound that was going to become very familiar over the next four and a half years. It sounded like very high-heeled shoes on bare floor-boards! We continued to hear it long after the carpet-fitters had hammered the last tack into the thick wall-to-wall carpeting, which was laid on very thick under-felt right along the corridor and down the stone staircase. The house had been built in the 1930s, for his own use, by an Edinburgh architect, who was very conscious of the fire-danger from wooden stairways.

At about the time I was investigating the footsteps, Mum and Dad arrived from Edinburgh. Dad, who had been getting more and more frustrated by the slow progress in the house, strode into the hall, and then he heard it too; trit-trot, trit-trot. Birds on the roof, rats in the loft were all solutions he said were possible explanations. There were no birds on the roof. The assembled company on the lawn could testify to that. There was no evidence of rats or any other wild-life in the empty loft. Eventually the painters were persuaded to resume their work, so long as we, and particularly Dad, stayed there as well.

We moved into the house soon after that incident, because it seemed the only way to get the work completed. Everything seemed to go wrong that could go wrong, however. The workmen were not pulling their weight. One plumber's apprentice took his weight with him, as he fell through the bathroom floor, down through the larder ceiling, onto the fridge. It was a new fridge too; the first we had ever had! That was only one incident out of so many, as we struggled to make the house habitable.

This is a state of affairs that I have heard so often over the years, in reports of hauntings and even in poltergeist cases. It is as though something resents interference with the old order of the building; the way things were. One case I investigated had been quiet since the previous summer. The family were gradually restoring and extending an old 18th.century hunting lodge. They had all sorts of phenomena, including apparitions, which had been dormant since the visit of a medium, the previous summer. One January night, the mother rang me to say that that all was not well. The apparition of a woman had been seen by the children and the house had a nasty atmosphere, once more. "What are you doing at the moment?" I asked. It turned out that her husband was sitting at the fireside, drawing plans for the next phase of building work on the house! I said that perhaps he had better stop meantime. I will tell you more about this case and more like it later on.

Daphne Plowman


To go back to our own haunted house; the footsteps I heard on that fateful Saturday were heard for the next four and a half years. Thick carpet and carpet felt made not a bit of difference. That was one of the few occasions we heard the footsteps during daylight hours. Usually it was just after we had all gone to bed. When we had had enough, someone would shout out: "Shut-up Margaret, we want to get to sleep!" Strangely it often did stop, and this is a remedy I offer to subjects in similar situations, in cases brought to me.

Now footsteps were not the only strange occurrences we were subjected to. Soon after we moved into the house, things started to get moved around, and of course at first we put it down to the chaos we were living in the midst of. A lot of our things had not been unpacked, and tea chests of clothes, ornaments, kitchen utensils and china, still awaited a permanent home. Eventually it became quite clear that there was something very strange going on in our new abode. It wasn't really very scary, most of the time, but very frustrating, all the same. Clothes would be washed, ironed and then put away in wardrobe or drawer. Later a jumper or blouse would be found down-stairs in a silly place; such as the top of the fridge, in the walk-in larder, or even in the sun-lounge. Tools would come in from the potting shed and find their way to the dining-room or even the lounge. Pillow slips and sheets commuted from the linen cupboard to other unlikely locations, with regular monotony.

One of the most extraordinary occurrences in the disappearance of property stakes (known as spontaneous dematerialisation in the 'trade') was centred round my precious cactus plants. I had grown them from seed, and had nurtured them since school days. Some of the little plants were in a ceramic Japanese Garden, and others were in small pots. They normally lived on the windowsills in my bedroom, which were on two walls of the very sunny room; making it ideal for cactus-growing, with plenty light and sunshine.

I was invited to stay with an aunt and uncle in Peebles for a week. After giving my parents strict instructions as to the care of my beloved plants, I departed. During the week, Mum rang up to see how I was getting on, and I enquired after my cactus plants. I was horrified to hear Mum say: "What did you do with them?" We haven't seen them since you left."

I thought at first that I was being teased, but she seemed quite serious as she assured me the windowsills in my room were quite bare, with no sign of any plant.

As soon as I returned at the end of the week, I stormed up to my room, and of course the plants were all there, in good condition, just as I had left them! I was most indignant. I had been teased. Strangely, Mum and Dad appeared to be just as surprised to see the cactus, and as glad as I was. The next morning, the home help arrived and she backed up my parent's story. As far as she was concerned, there were certainly no cactus plants on the window-sills for the whole week I had been away. She said that she had cleaned out my room the very morning of my return, and definitely no cactus plants! We never did resolve that mystery, and both parents maintained their story to the end of their lives. I trusted my parents, and am still left with the question: "Where did those cactus plants go for that week?" Indeed where does all the property which disappears from disturbed houses go to? Most of it returns eventually, and very often to the very place it was last seen. Or at least to where the owner has searched, sometimes over and over again. This is one of the most often reported types of paranormal phenomena and I will be discussing it in greater detail later on.

Now Margaret had sacked several housekeepers, during her last few years; for stealing her property. This of course could be put down to her advancing years, and even dishonest housekeepers. We certainly found some uncashed cheques and share bonuses, behind a large clock on the kitchen wall when it was removed to let the painters do their work. But perhaps Margaret also suffered from paranormal movement of objects, and maybe she was not the only paranormal agent at work in the house.

I think the most spectacular incident during our stay in the house, was a 'one of', it only happened once, on a winter's night. Mum and I had been invited to dinner by friends who lived along the road. The girl in the house had been at school with me. Our mothers were very friendly, and she and her brothers had been some of the children I had played with as a child. Halfway through the evening, Mum remembered that we had left some photos taken on a recent holiday, at home. One of the boys volunteered to accompany me back home, to collect them. As we approached the house, we could see lots of lights through the trees. We soon saw that light streamed from every window of our house. The outside lights, the light in the porch and at the garage and back door area, were all on as well. This was the early 1950s, the era of the aftermath of the War, with fuel shortages. It just wasn't done to waste electricity. My companion was suitably horrified and I doubt if he believed me, when I said that all the lights had been switched off, before we left the house. I collected the photos, and we carefully turned off all the lights that had been switched on in every room, front and back, upstairs and downstairs; even in the sun-lounge, which was only used in summer. We then returned to tell our tale, which was treated as a joke. Later Mum and I returned to find that Dad was back home from a dinner in town. He was not at all pleased, and demanded to know where he was expected to find the money to pay for all that wasted electricity. He had evidently returned to find the same situation that we had found, a few hours earlier. All the lights in the house on! He took a lot of persuading that we had found the same thing, and had turned all the lights off.

Towards the end of our stay there, the house took on a nasty atmosphere. What had been mischievous and fairly light-hearted, became more sinister. I left home to take up a job in the Midlands, and the house was sold.

We later discovered that the house changed hands several times after we left. The young man who bought the house from us, died in peculiar circumstances, we were told, and there were hints that later owners were also having problems.

Possibly living in such a house, what I now call a disturbed house, in some way conditioned me to detect the atmospheres of strange buildings and places, or perhaps I was born with it. Certainly as a young child I had refused to visit certain houses that I didn't like. One house in Edinburgh we used to visit, I felt like running out of it very fast. I made a fuss every time I knew I was going there. Visits to places like Glencoe, filled me with dread, whereas other houses and places I found attractive, peaceful and positive.


Although I had strange experiences from time to time, and also was interested to hear of the experiences of other people, I was not involved to any great extent with haunted places for several years, after leaving home. Odd incidents and experiences did occur from time to time, but nothing that was long-lasting. I later moved to Glasgow and was married in 1958.
I was very busy bringing up the four sons, who came along one by one. In 1975, when the youngest boy was about eleven, I took a job as an Advertising Executive and later Advertising Manager, for a small local paper. It wasn't long before I found I was back in a haunted building once more.

The office was in a very old tenement building, which is now demolished. One day I was walking up the two flights of stairs, when I saw something that puzzled me. It looked as though a struggle was taking place between a red-haired woman and a dark-haired lad, on the narrow landing outside the office door. Suddenly the young man, who was possibly about twenty, appeared to topple over the rickety banisters, and then disappear. He certainly didn't fly past me, at the first floor level, where I was standing, horrified. I looked further down to the ground floor, which was empty, and then continued to the upper level of the office. Up there everything was normal, and I could hear the familiar sound of typewriters coming from the Editorial Office at the back of the building. Still shaken by what I thought I had witnessed, I enquired from the staff what had been going on, without mentioning what I had seen. Nothing other than the perpetual ringing of one or other of the three phones, had evidently occurred in my absence. No red-haired woman had visited the office, and everyone was busy with their work. I later discovered that a red-haired woman had lived in the flat, possibly in the 1920s, when the building housed two families on each floor, who shared one outside toilet in a sort of tower block, which was in ruins in the 1970s. An old man who had been brought up in the next close, seemed to remember her, and said that she was known to have quite a temper! He did not, however remember her having a son, so we don't know who the young man might have been, if he ever existed.

The office had a funny feeling sometimes, particularly after dark. Our receptionist looked at me pleadingly late one winter's afternoon, not long after I started working there. She asked if I could possibly wait another half-hour, when she too would be finished work, before I left the office. She said this was because she was scared of being in the building by herself, after dark. I had flexible hours and often saw clients on my way to, or sometimes on my way home from the office; so I usually left before she did. The two young reporters were often away on assignments and this left the receptionist alone. She was reticent as to any experiences she had had, and I did not press her. I wish now that I had.

That was not the only brush I had with the dark-haired lad. One morning we were all having a cup of coffee, and I was bent over a table looking at some page plans. Suddenly I felt as though someone, possibly Bruce, one of our young reporters had leaned heavily on the back of my shoulders. It was a habit he had and he had done it several times before. "Stop it, Bruce," I said, as I shrugged my shoulders. I suddenly felt icy cold, and at the same time I realised that Bruce was out somewhere on an assignment.

Bruce had dark hair, and like my eldest son, had just celebrated his twenty-first birthday. As I turned round, I just saw a dark head, and then it was gone. I must have gone very pale, because our press-photographer said: "You saw something, didn't you?" I asked him what he had seen and he said that he had felt a funny unease, and then felt "that cold blast." He had also seen me attempt to shrug whatever it was off my shoulders. No-one felt or saw anything untoward, except the photographer and myself. Later he said he almost saw something, a shadow possibly was dark-haired!

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Kinross Connections


By John Plowman (

In the TV programme The Country House Revealed (part2/6) Dan Cruikshank told the story of Kinross House, which inspired some further research.

Kinross takes its name from the Gaelic ceann-rois (head of the promontory which sticks out from the W side of Loch Leven). The loch is a prominent feature of the area, formerly Kinross-shire, with the Ochil Hills to the NW, the Lomond Hills to the NE, Cleish Hills to the SW and Benarty Hill to the south. There are several islands in the loch, the largest being St.Serf’s Island with a Priory that goes back to the 9th C and Castle Island on which Loch Leven Castle stands. It goes back to the time of Alexander III (1257). The castle is said to be haunted by Mary Queen of Scots who was imprisoned there in 1567.

The modern visitor to the town of Kinross would most likely arrive via junction 6 of the M90. The town was on the road from Edinburgh to Perth and was formerly a railway junction with lines going westwards to Dollar and Alloa, southwards to Dunfermline and northwards to Perth and Dundee.

The original parish church stood near the extremity of the peninsula SE of Kinross House. It became the town hall from 1837 to 1868. Peter Underwood in his Gazetteer of British, Scottish & Irish Ghosts describes a poltergeist case that affected the parish minister Mr McGill in 1718. Pins of various sizes were mixed in his food and clothing was ripped.

Kinross House, built at the end of the 17th C (1685-92), was designed by Sir William Bruce. An older mansion on a nearby site was taken down in 1723.

The approach to the house is by way of a long drive, which divides into two as it nears the building. The design continues the line of the drive on the far side of the house towards Loch Leven Castle. It seemed to me that this alignment might be a part of a more extensive connection or ley.

The idea of an “Old Straight Track” connecting prehistoric sites was introduced by Alfred Watkins in his book of that title. Consulting the OS map (Landranger sheet 58 Perth to Alloa), I placed a ruler along the line between Kinross House and Loch Leven Castle and noted that the line extended westwards, following the general direction of the South Queich upstream to Myrehaugh Hill and thence via Glendevon Castle (grid square NN9705) to The Seat,  (NN9506), a hill overlooking Glen Eagles. Glendevon Castle may also be haunted.

Going eastwards beyond Loch Leven (on a grid bearing of 103º) the line reached a hilltop with an OS triangulation pillar (NT2299), beyond which two small contour rings indicated possible mounds continuing the alignment. Later research showed that the ‘trig point’ is due E of Ben Cleuch, the highest point of the Ochil Hills.

Continuing the 103º direction on the next map sheet, the line runs south of Glenrothes, crosses the Lochty burn at the same place as the A92, passes N of a standing stone at Earlseat and reaches the shore at Macduff’s Castle, East Wemyss. The castle is reputed to be haunted by the ghost of Mary Sibbald, “The White Lady of the Wemyss Caves”.

It seemed unlikely that the line going westwards (283º) from Loch Leven to Kinross ended at The Seat. The route across the Ochil Hills is difficult terrain, being a series of ups and downs. The modern road sticks to the lower ground, following the River Devon to Glen Eagles. I followed the line through the Ochils onto the Stirling map (Sheet 57), towards the higher ground of Uamh Beag (NN6911). The line direction links a line of foothills with the twin summits, where there is a hilltop cairn and a triangulation pillar.

The hill Uamh Beag takes its name from the ‘little cave’ or cist on the eastern summit. The great cave Uamh Mhor is on the SW spur. Two chambered cairns near Callander connect with the hilltop. Ballachraggan is 1 Scottish league from the cist and Auchenlaich is the same distance from Uamh Mhor, going towards the summit which is 4mi from Auchenlaich. The Scottish league of 3 Scottish miles (Sc mi.) is the same as 3 minutes of latitude, so is a natural unit related to the size of the earth. Chambered cairns on the Isle of Arran are similarly linked with each other and Ailsa Craig.


In military speak an OP is an observation post. I would like to suggest that it could equally stand for observation place and I think that Uamh Beag and the surrounding hills are an example of an OP in this sense. The first requirement of such a place is that it should be on high ground with a good view. Unlike an observation post, which needs to be concealed, an observation place is a landmark that can be seen from some distance. Secondly, the OP is not a point but several connected points like the twin summits and spur of Uamh Beag.

Uamh Beag might be the start of a ley to Kinross, Loch Leven and East Wemyss, but perhaps the line continues westwards beyond Uamh Beag to even higher ground. The direction is across undulating terrain to a crossing point where the waters from Gleann a Chroin and Gleann Breac-nic meet and a track crosses a bridge. The line then climbs again to reach a high point at Beinn Bhreac. This speckled hill overlooks Strathyre and is part of a ridge that ascends via Beinn Each (NN6015) and Stuc a Chroin to Ben Vorlich (NN6218).

Beinn Bhreac is another OP with a 1 mile connection along the ridge between Beinn Bhreac and Beinn Each. From this ridge the hills on the far side of Loch Lubnaig and Strathyre can be observed. For example, a fairy hill Beinn an t-Sidhein is viewed beyond Glen Ample and Meall Mor.

If the Loch Leven – Kinross ley is extended across Loch Lubnaig it meets a number of shielings in Glen Buckie. These dwellings have some of the characteristics of an OP, being set along the contour lines of the hillside in the direction of Ben Ledi. The group falls on the line between Ben Lomond and Ben Our and two of the structures indicate the direction and distance to Ben Our 6 miles away. One of these sites and a third site match the direction of the line from Uamh Beag. Another site in the group, located between Beinn an t-Sidhein and Benvane, marks 6mi from Ben Vorlich.

Edinchip chambered cairn is exactly 3mi from Beinn an t-Sidhein. The same direction leads to the summit of Meall Cala at 7mi and another Beinn Bhreac to the west of BenVenue. This Beinn Bhreac (NN4505) serves as an OP between Ben Lomond and Ben Ledi.

The line joining Edinchip chambered cairn and Auchenlaich chambered cairn crosses the ridge north of Beinn Each and is 9Sc mi. (3 leagues) in length. A massive crag marks the intersection with the Ben Lomond – Ben Ledi line at NN6211, 5 leagues from Ben Lomond, 1 league from Auchenlaich, ½league from Beinn Bhreac and roughly 4 miles from Ben Ledi.

The Loch Leven – Kinross line seems to continue beyond the shielings in Glen Buckie, crossing the Lianach ridge at a knoll and a crag 1mile beyond the shielings. Ruling the line on an atlas from East Wemyss through Uamh Beag identified An Caisteal as the next hilltop and Dunollie Castle, north of Oban as a coastal point. Beyond this the line crosses the Isle of Mull and goes to sea again between Coll and Tiree. Following the line on a map for such a long distance is not accurate, but Oban makes sense as the west coast destination with Coll/Tiree as the final target. At the other end of the line we have the Forth Estuary.

I think that there is strong evidence that prehistoric people surveyed the land, creating landmarks and using lines of sight from OPs to link places with mountains and other distinctive natural features. Later builders of castles and mansions seem to have been aware of these connections.

There are numerous internet references to the connection between ghosts and ley lines or lines of ‘energy’ detected by dowsing. It is difficult to distinguish between facts and folklore but what is clear is that certain places and connections between them have more history of human activity than others. Perhaps the Kinross – Oban line is an example of ‘ghost + ley’.

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