'Spooked Scotland': Edinburgh Vaults - Episode 6 Review
Photo: © Discovery+
'Spooked Scotland' continues on the Really channel and this week Gail Porter takes the team to her home town of Edinburgh, the ancient capital of Scotland and a city renowned for its supernatural activity.
Joined by psychic medium, Chris Fleming, the episode takes us beneath the cobbled streets of the city to explore the ghostly goings on in the infamous Niddry Street Vaults, which according to Chris, is where "murderers, dark deeds and terrifying spirits have been tormenting people for centuries."
Gail tells us that according to local rumours, the vaults are "the source of all the paranormal activity in the city." Is it possible that Edinburgh, a city considered to be one of the most haunted in Europe, has just one haunted location with the power to be felt across the whole city?
Well, it makes sense when Gail explains that just one percent of residents have encountered the city's spooks. She said, "locals report daily sightings, with one out of 100 people saying that they've had a paranormal experience." This is far below the average for Scotland. A YouGov survey conducted in 2014 asked Scots if they had ever felt the presence of a supernatural being, 32% said they had.
Aided by the show's resident technical expert Ryan O'Neill, and parapsychologist Evelyn Hollow, the team waste no time heading into the vaults. Gail says that they are the first television crew to be allowed in to film the paranormal activity here, but we're not sure this is true. Yvette Fielding famously lead the 'Most Haunted' team on an investigation of the Niddry Street Vaults in a 2006 live edition of the show and again in 2008, and in 2009 Joe Swash filmed a one-off ghost hunting show for the BBC in the vaults.
Perhaps Gail and her team are investigating a newly opened part of the vaults, but it's hard to tell as the exact location wasn't given in the episode and the history of the location was limited. The episode featured more on the paranormal tales of the location rather than its history.
Gail tells us that the vaults, which are series of chambers within the arches of the South Bridge, were constructed in 1788. She continues, "abandoned, they became a place that only the destitute entered. As Edinburgh prospered, the secret city below ground became a dark underworld where criminality mixed with the occult."
Ryan and Chris started by exploring the vaults in order to put a plan together for their investigation. Soon Chris felt the flu-like sensation of his joints tightening up. He told Ryan, "sometimes it will mean that there's a negative presence, or it could mean somebody's sick or somebody died a certain way." Chris was also aware of a metallic rattling sound, like dragging chains. He said, "we have to pay attention to any of our recordings to see if we get any type of these chains." Later in their walk around he picked up on the spirit of a little child.
Photo: © Discovery+
After a short investigation of The Banshee Labyrinth, a pub which sits above the vaults, the team got stuck into their nightlong investigation of the vaults as darkness fell above ground. They were armed with thermal cameras and environmental monitors.
The team had some unnerving moments during their vigil, including multiple incidents of their equipment failing such as cameras and lights turning off. They also heard various sounds around them, including metallic clanking, several instances of whistling and captured multiple sounds on a digital audio recorder that they believe to be spirit voices captured as Electronic Voice Phenomenon (EVP).
They also used a REM-Pod, a device that radiates its own electrostatic field. If anything conductive enters and disturbs this field it beeps and lights up. At one point the device beeped and Chris tells us, "it's rare to get such a strong reaction from a REM-Pod." This is word-for-word what he said in the previous episode of the show when a REM-Pod triggered. However, Chris said that the strong response last week indicated that something needed their help, whereas this time he said, "whatever is here, is clearly unhappy we're in the same space." It's interesting that the same beeping sound is interpreted so differently.
They switched to use a spirit box, a ghost hunting device which rapidly scans through radio frequencies. It's believed that spirits can manipulate the white noise in these frequency ranges to form words and sentences. They had a few sounds come through the device, some of which they thought sounded like meaningful responses such as "stuck here."
Chris said, "as a medium, I've assisted spirits that are trapped in the physical world pass into the spirit dimension. The next step is now clear, I need to help these souls leave this place."
The investigation of Edinburgh Vaults came to an end with Chris gathering the team together to create the gateway that will allow souls to move across to the spirit dimension.
'Spooked Scotland' continues next Friday at 9pm on Really and is available to stream on demand on Discovery+. Really is available on Sky 142, Virgin 128, BT 17, Freeview 17, Freesat 160.
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