Danny Robins Explores Four New Creepy Cases In A Special Live Episode Of 'Uncanny'

May 03, 2023 1:00 AM ‐ PodcastsParanormalRadio

This article is more than one year old.

Edinburgh Vaults
The latest episode of 'Uncanny,' Danny Robins' hugely successful paranormal podcast, was recorded live at the UncannyCon fan event in London. As the dark, cold night sets the perfect atmosphere for a chilling encounter, fans gathered at King's Place are in for a hair-raising treat.

In this special episode, , which is available now on BBC Sounds, Danny is joined by none other than Laura Whitmore, the brilliant presenter, journalist, and writer who shared the stage with him in the West End play 2:22 A Ghost Story. Together, they delve into Laura's personal beliefs in ghosts and her experiences with the otherworldly. Is she a believer or a skeptic? Laura's answer might surprise you.

But, to maintain the balance, a skeptic must be present, and once again Ciarán O'Keeffe steps up to the role and is ready to challenge the beliefs of team believers.

Gemma's Poltergeist Encounter In Edinburgh

The special episode begins with Gemma's case. She got in touch with the podcast to share a chilling tale from 2012 when she was 17 years old on a college trip to Edinburgh. Staying in a youth hostel, Gemma and her classmates embarked on one of the city's famous ghost tours on their last night. The guide led them to what Gemma calls the "catacombs," but she likely meant the Edinburgh Vaults, a series of chambers beneath the South Bridge. She also mentioned a visit to Greyfriars Kirkyard.

Gemma recalls the heavy atmosphere inside the Vaults, which caused her to feel sick and burst into tears. Upon exiting, she noticed her friend's ear was bleeding from a ripped-out earring. While Gemma, a self-proclaimed skeptic, believes that there could be rational explanations for these occurrences, she cannot explain the events that unfolded at Greyfriars Kirkyard.

The group was taken to the Covenanters' Prison, where the guide introduced them to the story of the McKenzie poltergeist, known for targeting women. After the tour, the girls discovered identical bruises on their thighs, while none of the boys were affected. This unexplained phenomenon left Gemma questioning her skepticism and wondering if the McKenzie poltergeist was indeed responsible.

The experts offered their thoughts on Gemma's story, with Ciarán acknowledging the historical context of Greyfriars Kirkyard and the Bloody Mackenzie legend. He pointed out that the injuries reported on the tour could be attributed to the power of suggestion, particularly since there are warnings given to visitors about potential harm, especially for women. Laura, on the other hand, found it harder to dismiss the physical evidence of bruises and noted the odd coincidence of multiple female witnesses experiencing the same phenomenon.

During the discussion, an audience member named Roisin provided an alternative explanation for the mysterious bruises. As someone with experience in assessing bruises, she explained that people often bruise without realising it, and that yellow bruising indicates older injuries. Women tend to bruise more easily than men due to thinner and more fragile skin. Roisin's explanation garnered praise from Ciarán, suggesting that there might be more mundane explanations for Gemma's unsettling experience.

Sophia's Story

In the second case of the episode, Laura read out an email from Sophia in which she recounts an eerie experience she had while doing a spring clean with her mother. They happened to be discussing Sophia's late grandmother, who had been a strong, opinionated woman with a powerful presence. As they conversed, Sophia's keyboard in her bedroom inexplicably began playing one of the classical demo songs on its system. Strangely enough, the melody that played was her grandmother's favourite song, and the keyboard was switched off at the time. Both Sophia and her mother felt a sudden presence in the room, leading them to believe that it was the grandmother making herself known. This uncanny experience remains a mystery for them.

Danny asked the experts for their thoughts on Sophia's story. Ciarán acknowledged that the story was fascinating but pointed out that they were reliant on Sophia's claim that the keyboard was switched off. He suggested that electrical surges could cause such incidents if the keyboard was plugged in, and that the coincidence of the melody playing might not be as significant if it had happened before or since but with different tunes. Ciarán believed that they were looking at a series of coincidences tied to the conversation and departed relative.

On the other hand, Laura focused on the many aligned factors, such as Sophia being at home with her mother, discussing her grandmother, and the fact that it was the grandmother's favourite song. Laura felt that, even if it wasn't necessarily the ghost of the grandmother, there was some larger energy at play that felt bigger than them.

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Lucy's Dorset UFO Sighting

Laura read out an email from Lucy, who recounted a UFO sighting from 15 years ago. Lucy was on her patio one summer evening when a large saucer-shaped object appeared out of nowhere and hovered silently high in the sky. She felt the object was observing her but wasn't scared. After around 15 seconds, the object moved away and disappeared, seemingly traveling into another dimension. The bright light from the object was different from artificial light, and its silence was deeper than normal silence. About a week later, Lucy overheard a person at a Waitrose checkout talking about her husband's UFO sighting in Gillingham, which happened around the same time as Lucy's experience. Lucy didn't share her story with the woman, fearing it would sound unbelievable, but she had no doubts that what she saw wasn't manmade.

The experts discussed Lucy's UFO sighting, with Laura expressing openness to the idea of otherworldly beings and undiscovered species on Earth. Danny asked Ciarán if he was as skeptical about UFOs as he was about ghosts, and Ciarán acknowledged that while he was indeed skeptical, he had a surprising childhood experience of witnessing a UFO himself. He recalled traveling back from a holiday when his father pulled the car over after spotting something in the sky. Other drivers did the same, and everyone watched a large lit globe with smaller ones trailing behind it in the sky. Although Ciarán vividly remembers this event, he remains skeptical about UFOs and doesn't necessarily believe the object he saw was alien in origin.

There are some contradictions in Lucy's story. For instance, when she mentioned the UFO flying towards her and hovering high in the sky, it could be challenging to determine if it was indeed coming directly at her, especially considering the distance and the angle. Additionally, Lucy's statement about feeling as if the UFO was "checking her out" seems subjective, as it would be difficult to determine the object's intentions or focus if it was high above her as described.

Alex's Terrifying Night At Barker Barracks

In the final story of the episode, read by Danny, Alex recounts his eerie experiences at Barker Barracks in northern Germany, a former base for a Nazi SS unit during World War II. He describes the camp's oppressive atmosphere and mysterious occurrences, including objects moving on their own and strange noises. Alex and his fellow soldiers decided to use a homemade Ouija board in the camp's attic. During their first session, they communicated with a friendly German soldier who died in an accident in 1943.

However, when they returned for a second session, the atmosphere took a dark turn. This time, they communicated with an unfriendly spirit who admitted to wanting to harm someone in the group. The soldiers heard footsteps and noises around them, and a window and door suddenly slammed shut. The glass on the Ouija board moved sharply towards Alex. That night, feeling uneasy, Alex slept in a friend's room and inexplicably sleepwalked for the first time in his life.

Danny discovered that Barker Barracks, which closed down in 2019, had a history of strange and unsettling experiences reported by other soldiers. Tales of unexplained noises, figures appearing in bedrooms, and even exorcisms were found on an army chat forum. One particularly haunting comment mentioned that old German graffiti, translating to "the walls have ears," would appear on the barracks when it rained.

This phrase sounds quite sinister, and perhaps it was, but it is also pretty fitting in a German barracks with a history as a Nazi unit. "The walls have ears" is a phrase that was used heavily during World War II to warn people that they should be cautious with what they say because enemy spies or informants could be listening, even when they believed they were in private. The phrase conveys a similar message to another wartime phrase, "loose lips sink ships."

The experts, Laura and Ciarán, expressed skepticism about Alex's story, particularly the Ouija board experience. Laura found the taps and other strange occurrences more believable than the glass movement on the Ouija board. Ciarán explained the ideomotor effect, which suggests that people unconsciously move the glass without realizing it, as their brain sends signals to their muscles. This could be the reason behind the movement of the glass, rather than actual contact with a spirit. Both experts seemed more inclined to question the Ouija board experience than other aspects of Alex's story.

You can listen to these four intriguing stories in the in the special live episode of 'Uncanny', hosted Danny Robbins and guest experts Laura Whitmore and Ciarán O'Keeffe, on BBC Sounds now.

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