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Camera Obscura & The Ragged School
Paranormal Investigation - Summarised Report

Camera Obscura & The Ragged School

Camera Obscura & The Ragged School - Paranormal Investigation Media Files
Use the links below to view some of our photos, view some video files and to listen to some of our EVP files captured at Camera Obscura. Please listen to the EVP files before reading the report in order to maintain your own perception of what is being said. Some of the video clips include audio phenomena, please ensure that you have your speakers turned on.
Investigation Photographs>>>
EVP File 1- EVP File 2
Video File 1 (audio)

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Date: 09/06/2007
Outside Temp: 10 Degrees Celsius
Weather Conditions: Clear and dry
Moon Phase: Waning Moon, 30% approx

Investigation Team
Mark Turner, Lisa Lundie, Frances Sinclair, Linda McCann, Jonathan Sutherland, Nicola Forbes, Paul O'Brien, Lynn O'Brien, Robin Mckenzie, Gordon Rutter, Allison

Equipment Used

Digital Night Vision Camcorders, Trifield Natural EM Meters, EMF Meters, Digital Cameras, Infrared Thermometers, Laser Thermometers, Hot Wire Anemometers, Thermal Data Loggers, Two Way Radios, Infrared Motion Sensors, Infrared Booster Lights, Digital and Analogue Audio Recorders, Parabolic Microphones, Low Frequency Microphones, Shotgun Microphones, Trigger Objects, Wireless Infrared Camera System, Laptop PC's, Televisions, Real-Time Spectrum Analyser.

Brief History
The Camera Obscura, Edinburgh's Observatory, is located next to Edinburgh Castle and was opened to the public in 1856. The building has no been no stranger to alleged past paranormal occurences. In the 'camera' itself, a gentleman has been witnessed on several occasions wearing a long grey coat and hat. He has been described as possibly being from the 1930's era. Visitors have often reported witnessing this gentleman and many have left the room due to feeling rather uncomfortable. On the 3rd floor, children have been heard giggling and whispering. On the 2nd floor a lady in a brown dress, possibly from the victorian era, has been witnessed and past visitors have reported feeling an oppressive atmosphere. Footsteps have also been heard coming from a staircase than runs up through the building which is now used as a fire escape.

A past resident of the Ragged School in Ramsay Lane recently came forward and testified that she had experienced suspected paranormal activity in this building during a 10 year period, from 1939 to 1949. This building has remained derelict for quite some time. With not many people spending time there, whether there has been more recent suspected paranormal activity is a mystery. There are plans afoot to develop this building to become part of the adjoining Camera Obscura.

Camera Obscura & The Ragged School
Camera Obscura & The Ragged School

Psychic Medium Walkround
The first part of the investigation involved mediums Linda and Robin touring the building to channel information about any alleged spirits present and attempt to pick up on any 'paranormal hotspots'. Information sensed by Linda and Robin during this tour of the building was kept away from the rest of the team so as not to influence the scientific part of the investigation.

Ragged School - top floor
Linda felt that there were two distinct areas of this top floor and that they were from two different time periods. The oldest part, the main area and a smaller room that she felt had been added later. Linda stated that she felt quite sick when in the newer area, but yet felt fine in the older part. Linda was drawn to a dolls pram in middle of room. She was given the name Sarah, a young girl, aged 7-8 years. The girl was very poor and was wearing a ripped, pinafore style dress and was not wearing any shoes. She had Shirley Temple style (curly), collar length, dirty blond hair.

She could then sense another 4 children; 2 boys, possible twins, a baby and another child. She sensed they were from different families. She then heard bare footsteps running on the floor boards as well as on the stairwell. Although there was a fire in the room it was not always on. The room was often very cold. She felt nothing bad ever happened to the children. They were poor but happy. Linda said there were beds in the room too. She then got a smell of lavender oil and was then given the name Elizabeth, a 28 year old woman. She was not a nanny but wore heavy clothing, a white apron. She felt that these people were from the 1760s. Robin also felt the room layout had significantly changed over time, walls and windows being knocked down and added. He felt there was a window missing from one area. He thought the whole area might have been a nursery with different rooms or bedrooms leading off of it.

Ragged School - First Floor
Large room and adjoining smaller room. In the large room Linda was given the names John, James and Thomas. She felt Thomas belonged in the large room and John in the small room. Linda felt a strong male presence and that the room was only used by boys. Linda could see tables, desks and things hanging up, like pieces of leather on nails. Boys were making things, possibly shoes but not for themselves. They were being taught a skill, a trade so they could survive in the outside world. Linda felt it was not a workhouse. She felt the room was very active and there was a happy atmosphere. Linda then picked up on a woman who would have taught girls dressmaking and could smell material. Linda didn’t sense much in the smaller room but felt sometimes the boys were sent into the room, to see John, but didn’t give any further explanation. Linda felt she was seeing events from two different periods. Moving forward in time, she could see beds and wounded soldiers being treated and was aware of nurses standing in the doorway watching what was going on. Robin had felt the room was a workroom and also an infirmary at different times.

Camera Obscura Building
2nd Floor
On entering the room Robin became very short of breath and felt pains in the upper torso area. He said he felt as though there was a rope around his neck and as though someone had hanged in this area. He said it may have been used as a hanging area for others too. He was then given names just like a role call; James, Coleman, Findlay, McAllister. Linda felt a family had been in the room. She sensed a darkness in the centre of the room where Robin had felt uncomfortable.
Linda felt that part of this floor had been a bedroom and could see a family of 5. She described a bed in the alcove of the wall. Robin also felt this area had been different rooms and again commented on layout of room/building having changed.

3rd Floor
Linda felt the stairs should end at the 3rd floor although there are another 2 levels above this floor. She felt a little girl had an accident but had survived, possibly fallen down the stairs. She could see the little girl’s doll still sitting on the stairs. She was suddenly told by someone they were running down the stairs to see Jean or Jeannie. It was later noted that the stairs leading up to this point were very worn, but the stairs leading up to the next floor looked much newer and it looked as though the upper floors had been added at a later date.

Scientific Investigation

Ragged School (Top Floor )
Vigil 1
Present – Mark, Jonathan, Robin, Gordon, Allison
Details – Filmed Vigil, EVP Recording & Experiments
Whilst conducting baseline tests in this area, fluctuating readings of up to 3 milligauss were picked up using an EMF meter along the back wall and also along one side of the room where the inner wall has been removed. The areas were checked using a wire detector and we could confirm that no electrical wiring was present. During a previous visit to this floor, a large bright red light anomaly was picked up on a digital camera. This seemed to be quite strange as the room is so bare and bland with no colour whatsoever. We do not normally pay too much attention to light anomalies picked up on digital cameras as there are so many rational explanations for them, but this one certainly got our attention (see photographs page). We could not find anything red in the room or anything which could have caused this light anomaly and no other equipment was being used at the time this was captured.

A laptop computer running spectral sound analysis software and connected to a shotgun microphone was set up to monitor sound levels and frequencies within the room. A hot wire anemometer was used to detect air movement and ambient air temperature. At the beginning of the vigil, motion sensors and a thermal data logger were set up around an old doll’s pram that sit in the middle of the room. The motion sensors were triggered at one point during this vigil and no reasonable explanation could be found for this. The team verified that the pram had definitely not moved. The vigil was filmed using a night vision camcorder and several light anomalies were seen during filming. We believe that these light anomalies resulted from the immensely dusty atmosphere. Some distant tapping noises were heard but no obvious source could be found for the noises. At one point, two loud bangs were heard and Mark communicated via two-way radio with Lisa who was leading the other team on the floor below (see video file 1). Lisa confirmed that none of her team were responsible for the noises. No explanation was found for these loud bangs. Mark witnessed a shadow moving near the doorway and although no explanation was found, this remains subjective. Some of the team also had a sense of being watched in this area, again this reamins subjective. The team decided to try some EVP experiments by operating audio recorders and asking relevant questions to see if any anomalous replies could be picked up. Two of the more notable replies were picked up in reponse to the team asking for a name. The replies are understood as "Its Alec" (EVP File 1) and "Robert" (EVP File 2). These apparent responses were captured on two different models of audio recorder at separate times. Although other apparent responses were picked up, these were deemed inconclusive after analysis.

Vigil 2
Present – Whole team
Details – Filmed Vigil, Séance & Experiments
The whole team gathered together for a séance. The session was filmed using a digital night vision camcorder and the atmosphere around the group was monitored throughout various items of equipment. During the séance the team heard some unusual noises like something being thrown or dropped. These were heard by the entire team and seemed to be coming from one particular corner of the room. Upon investigating the area, nothing seemed to have been moved and we could find no source for the noise. One possible explanation was that the noises could have been caused by small pieces of debris from the wall falling off and hitting a piece of wood that was lying against the wall. This was not confirmed either way due to the amount of debris across this floor as a whole. Linda felt that there was someone crouching nearby and watching us during this vigil although she was unable to get any specific information about the person. No unusual audio or visual activity was picked up using our filming equipment during this séance . Some cold spots were felt by various members of the team but the hot wire anemometer confirmed that these were caused by a slight airflow from a nearby window that was not sealed properly. After a short break, some of the team were to return to this area to conduct an experiment using a communication board.

Vigil 3
Present – Linda, Robin, Jonathan, Paul & Lynn
Details – Communication Board
The last part of the investigation on this floor involved some of the team using a communication board to see if any infomrtaion could be picked up that could later be cross referenced against the findings of mediums Linda & Robin and historical records. Although some slight movements were detected on the planchette, the team did not get any clear responses to questions. The movements were to random letters and did not seem to make any sense. Neither Linda nor Robin were able to pick up on any activity during this experiment.

Thermal data logs showed only slight fluctuations in temperature throughout the duration of the investigation on this floor.

Ragged School (Middle Floor)
Present – Lisa, Linda, Fran, Nicola, Lynn, Paul O
Details – Filmed Vigil, Seance & Experiments
Whilst conducting baseline tests in this area, fluctuating readings of up to 5 milligauss were picked up on one of our EMF meters in one particular spot in this room. The area was checked using a wire detector and the team could confirm that no electrical wiring was present.

The group gathered on the middle floor of the Ragged School. The area consists of one large room with a smaller room at the back. The team began in the large room by setting up the night vision camcorder and taking temperature and EMF readings. Thermal data loggers were also set up in this area which would remain there for the entire night to monitor the temperature. As fluctuating EMF readings up to 5 milligauss were picked up during baseline tests in this area, the team decided to leave an EMF meter activated in the area where the readings were picked up and the group gathered around it and linked up to conduct a séance. They asked for some form of communication and within seconds heard two very loud bangs. These bangs were not caused by any of the team members who were sitting in on the seance experiment. Using the two-way radios, communication was made with the other team who were upstairs on the top floor and it was verified that they also heard the noises and that it was not caused by any of them (see video file 1). These loud noises were picked up on the camcorder microphone and it did seem as though they were very close to the camera. During the séance, medium Linda felt that someone had pinched her stomach, but felt that it was done in a 'playful way'. As the seance continued, more noises were heard but they were not as loud as the ones heard previously. The noises appeared to be quite random and did not seem to be in direct response to any questions that were asked. During this part of the vigil, no unusual EMF readings were detected and the thermal data logger revealed only very slight fluctuations in temperature.

The group then moved into the smaller room to investigate. Upon entering the room, two of the team members reported suddenly feeling quite sick and nauseas. The group set up the filming equipment and sat quietly whilst taking it in turns to ask out for communication. Some faint noises were heard an no explanation was found for these. Again, EMF readings and temperature readings remained constant throughout the vigil. Apart from the loud noises at the start of the vigil on this floor, no unusual audio or visual activity was picked up on the night vision camcorder.

Camera Obscura (2nd Floor)
Present – Lisa, Mark, Fran, Gordon, Allison
Details – Filmed Vigil & EVP
The group gathered on the second floor of the main Camera Obscura building. A laptop computer running spectral sound analysis software and connected to a shotgun microphone was set up to monitor sound levels and frequencies within the room. The team spread out across the room and set up filming and audio recording equipment. The team asked out for some communication and waited patiently. Nothing in the way of activity seemed to be happening and after a while the team decided to try some EVP experiments. Whislt operating audio recorders, they asked a series of relevant questions to see if any anomalous replies could be picked up. Although some apparently distorted responses were recorded, these were deemed inconclusive after analysis and discarded. These experiments were filmed using a night vision camcorder but no unusual activity was picked up during this time. Temperature and EMF readings remained normal during the time spent on this floor. After some time and without further incident, the team agreed that it was time to move on to the next floor to conduct another round of experiments.

Camera Obscura (3rd Floor)
Present – Whole team
Details – Filmed Vigil & EVP
The whole team gathered together for the final vigil and experiments of the investigation on the third floor of the main Camera Obscura building. Filming equipment and audi recorders were set up along with a thermal data logger. The team sat quietly and took it in turns to ask out for some type of physical communication. After a while and without much incident, the team decided to try some EVP experiments using ausio recording equipment. Although some apparently very loud responses were picked up on the recordings, they were extremely distorted and difficult to make out. After stringent analysis, many of the response files were deemd inconclusive. The remainder of the vigil and experiments on the 3rd floor passed off without any further incident. With tiredness around in abundance, the team decided to end the investigation. Temperature logs from the thermal data logger picked up only slight fluctuations and all EMF readings remained normal. It was mentioned that the atmosphere during this vigil seemed to have changed from the team's initial visit earlier in the evening, feeling calmer and distinctively less oppressive.

Summary
The investigation at Camera Obscura & The Ragged School produced some interesting results. The mediums Linda & Robin picked up on a lot of relevant information that is not available in the public domain. This information has now been checked against historical records and we have to say, with impressive results. The scientific side of the investigation produced two clear EVP files giving off names that we have been unable to verify. The loud bangs that were heard by both teams in The Ragged School building were quite startling certainly appeared to be coming from somewhere inside the building. No explanation was found for the motion sensors on the top floor of The Ragged School around the pram being activated. Outwith these main incidents, many of the other experiments that were conducted produced no conclusive objective results. The Ghost Finders team would certainly like to return to these atmospheric buildings again in the future to conduct further investigation.

We would like to thank staff at Camera Obscura for the opportunity to investigate such a fantastic location.

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