The Ghost That Haunted Itself: The Gruesome Ghoul of Edinburgh's Greyfriars Graveyard: The Story of the McKenzie Poltergeist Paperback – 19 Jul 2001
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About the Author
Jan-Andrew Henderson is the director of Black Hart Storytellers and is the author of The Emperor's New Kilt: Two Secret Histories of Scotland and The Town Below the Ground: Edinburgh's Legendary Underground City. He lives in Edinburgh and is the visitor services manager at St Giles' Cathedral.
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Top customer reviews
The author has certainly done a great job in creating an atmospheric book, which despite it's supposed truthfulness, easily reads as a novel. This book is just as much about the tour guides who started the City of the Dead tours as it is about the Mackenzie Poltergeist. I actually liked this about the book, however Henderson does ham it up at times.
The book includes statements from people who have experienced the poltergeist first hand, and Henderson includes history of the cemetary and some of the characters as background.
The result is a book which, while it cannot provide conclusive evidence, does leave you with a lot of questions and a slight feeling of unease. Could this really be true? And if it is, could it get worse?
While I was in Scotland I did not get chance to visit Greyfriars. After reading this book I am torn between a great urge to go back and visit, along with a strong urge to stay away...
The book tells the history of the Kirkyard, the history of Mckenzie and a (dramatised) account of what the guides encountered. by dramatised I mean it's told in story form as opposed to a basic statement. However, Henderson's way of telling his story is comical and I found his comments about his guides (and incidentally the ones who took me on the tours) highly amusing. I like the bit where one visitor had his new leather coat ripped in the Black Mausoleum by something he didn't see or feel. Henserson went on to tell us how alarmed the guides were to hear this. Not because of the cuts bruises and collpses, but because they all wear long leather coats as part of ther uniform.
There are also statements from the guides themselves, and visitors who experienced collpases and injuries in the tomb. I remember City of The Dead being on the news, in the papers and even featured on GMTV because of what they found.
Another good point about this book is that there is absolutely no attempt made to prove the existance of the ghost. It's not as if Henderson is trying to sell his tour by exaggerating everything. He makes it clear that he is not sure what is there. If it's a ghost or not. There is something, but what it is he can't explain. There are theories put forward, both scientific and those of the guides, but none put words in the readers mouths. We are presented with what happened on the tours, and we can make up our own minds.
All I can suggest is that those who haven't done the tour do so. Even if nothing happens (nothing weird happened on either of my tours by the way) it's still a hugely enjoyable night and the book is the perfect addition.
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