From Grey men to Sawny Bean, Kelpies to witches, Scotland has always been closely associated with dark matters. To celebrate this, Stirling is set to host Scotland’s first ever festival of the paranormal, over three days, this Halloween.
The idea of movie producer Peter Broughan, the man who brought us Rob Roy, the Stirling festival will be an opportunity for fans of Ufology, ghost hunting and the just down right strange to enjoy films, plays, ghosts walks and talks from experts in respective fields.
Stirling itself is steeped in history from the Wallace Monument to Stirling Castle and has no shortage of spooky stories of its own.
The Lady in White is a female spectre who is said to haunt the town’s Rownam Avenue while Stirling Castle also has its very own Green Lady and is even said to be haunted by the ghost of Mary Queen of Scots.
Of course Stirling sits not far from Bonnybridge, the UFO capital of Scotland. Made famous by the now infamous Buchanan announcement, in which local councillor Bill Buchanan came forward to demand answers from the Prime Minister, the Queen and the MOD as to why the town was suffering from wave after wave of sightings.
The area is now known as the Falkirk Triangle - an obvious nod to the Bermuda Triangle - and has had sightings ranging from lights in the sky to UFOs having reportedly landed in the fields surrounding the town as witnessed by the Slogget family.
It’s for these reasons that Broughan decided to bring the festival to Scotland, and Stirling in particular, in a move to create what he hopes will be the “Cannes of paranormal festivals.”
In an interview with Fortean Times, Broughan explains why he wanted to create the festival in Scotland, he said: “Once I had infected myself with the notion of a Paranormal Festival located in Scotland I couldn’t let it go, and felt compelled to follow it through.”
Broughan believes that Scotland is so perfect for the Festival because it’s so steeped in rich, occult mythology and history.
“I think Scotland has always chimed with the notion of the paranormal in the public mind. People associate Scotland with ghosts and castles and the Loch Ness monster and the sometimes bloody, but still romantic history of the country deepens these perceptions. More than that, the Gaels will tell you that the veil between our world and the other worlds is much thinner here, in the realm of us Celts. Scotland just seems to me like the most natural and appropriate place in the world to have a festival like this.”
The filmmaker isn’t shy in offering his own experiences with the supernatural. “I don’t believe that strange stuff happens, I know strange stuff happens and I find that intensely fascinating. I always have ever since I was a kid. In September 2012 my wife and I saw some very strange, pulsing lights a mile or two away over the Conic Hill. It is an area where two close friends clearly saw at close quarters a cigar-shaped, silver, metallic UFO hovering in a field, before disappearing in an instant.”
The event aims to appeal to a wide audience from the experienced to the mildly curious and will use a variety of media to celebrate the paranormal including music, drama and comedy, to more conventional talks and lectures on all aspects of the paranormal spectrum.
Storytelling, psychic shows and live performances will run alongside the Ghost Box where people can record their own experiences and a special screening of Murnau’s classic silent film Nosferatu.
There will also be Ghost Tours and Hunts, fun events for children as well as trips to other nearby paranormal hotspots such as the aforementioned Bonnybridge.
Guests will include Nick Pope, the world famous Ufologist and former MOD expert, as well as American experts in UFO phenomena Stanton Friedman and James Fox, real-life ghostbuster Stephen Mera and special guest stars the Navajo Rangers, the Native American X-Files investigators.
So, if you’re interested in the paranormal, ghosts, UFOs or just want to have fun get yourself along to Stirling this Halloween.
The Scottish Paranormal Festival takes place in Stirling between the 31st October and 2nd November, 2014. For full details of the event visit: