Did the Mackenzie Poltergeist kill a local clairvoyant? MJ WAYLAND investigates the claims and discovers amazing activity caught on camera


In November 1999, Colin Grant, a minister of a spiritualist church and owner of the Clairvoyant shop in St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh stood in the Greyfriars Kirkyard and performed an exorcism.  He stood in front of the local press with a candle, a cross to ward off evil spirits, holding a Bible in his right hand and claimed he had finally cast out the spirits that had been trapped in graveyard for centuries.
As the ritual grew to a close, a dark shape was witnessed gliding across a window in the Edinburgh church even though it was locked and no one was inside.
Edinburgh Evening News photographer Susan Burrell captured the shape in the photograph (below).

Photograph captured by Susan Burrell
”The flashes were not pointing at the building so it’s difficult to see how it could be a shadow. I am usually sceptical about these things, but I can’t explain this at all”, explained Terry McGourty, deputy picture editor of the Edinburgh News.

Colin’s visit to Greyfriars was prompted by a visit to Covenanters Prison. Mr Grant visited to investigate the claims by Jan Henderson that forty nine people taking part in his ghost walks of the Covenanters Prison over the previous eight months had claimed to have had paranormal experiences.

Many of the participants reported feeling that they were being watched or touched by something and many came away with cuts and scratches on their faces.
Angela Hamilton couldn’t catch her breath while visiting one of the prison cells.
“It felt as though there were a hand over my mouth, I couldn’t see anything,” she said. “Then I started to feel faint and the next thing I knew I was away sitting on the ground. Everyone was asking if I was alright but I was really confused. The next morning I woke up with a bruise on my left cheek and my neck. I couldn’t believe it as I was not aware of hurting myself when I fainted. I started feeling it must have been something to do with a ghost.”
The exorcism that Grant performed seemed ineffective, and it was two months later further reports were made.
On 26th January not long after he expressed fears that his work would kill him, Colin Grant died from a heart attack while speaking to the spirit world during a séance at the Clairvoyant Shop.
Was the dark figure in the photograph the Mackenzie Poltergeist or merely a portent of death? 


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Leave a replyComments (3)
  1. Donna 15 October 2017 at 11:26 pm

    I had no idea this was Colin Grant, he stopped me in st Mary’s St and knew my name and invited me to have reading. So i did and 20years later the things he said to me have come true to what he said it was most interesting. I remeber this story but this is the 1st i knew it was Colin. Although i did know he tried to exercise in covenanters prison, interesting wee read.

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  2. Donna 15 October 2017 at 11:28 pm

    I had no idea this was Colin Grant, he stopped me in st Mary’s St and knew my name and invited me to have reading. So i did and 20years later the things he said to me have come true to what he said it was most interesting. I remeber this story but this is the 1st i knew it was Colin. Although i did know he tried to exorcise in covenanters prison, interesting wee read.

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  3. Joan 1 November 2017 at 10:00 am

    I went to his shop around 1996 with a friend and always wondered what happened to him. I still have the tape somewhere. I just found out about this by chance and recognised the name instantly.

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