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Books

To date I have written in excess of 20 historical and paranormal related books. Details of these are below, with all being available via online stores such as Amazon, and most being available through local physical stores.In addition details of upcoming titles can be viewed, along with the expected publishing date

Paranormal Titles

Scotland's Hidden Hauntings

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Scotland is well known for being one of the most haunted countries in the world, but alongside the famous locations are many less well-known places with equally horrific and eerie stories.

 

What really lurks in the underground streets of Edinburgh and why is a section of an ancient cemetery in the City kept locked? What really happened during the witch trials of the early 18th Century? Who is in the phantom coach that thunders towards St Andrews on stormy nights and why do students of the town's world famous university avoid walking on a section of cobbled street?

 

Although some of the better-known stories are touched on, this book focuses on these less well-known. Rather than just re-tell the stories, the author has personally visited each site. Some are known to be haunted, in which case the book provides some history of the location and details of the reported hauntings, along with the author's own experiences and any unusual photographs. Other places are not generally known to be haunted but, when visiting, something strange turned up in the photographs. For these locations, the book will give some history, and the author's experience and the photographs.

 

Author Note: A special little book to me as this was my first venture into the world of independent publishing and the first in the Haunted Explorer series. Its probably a bit rough round the edges compared to more recent books, but it feels wrong to me to change it.

Scottish Ghosts and Witches

Was the sacrificial pool at the Druid’s Den close to St Andrews used for human sacrifices? What lies within the structure of the viaduct made famous in the Harry Potter films? Why were seventeen miniature coffins buried in a cave on Arthur’s Seat in Edinburgh and what is their possible connection with the serial killers Burke and Hare? What lurked in the attic room of an Edinburgh guest house? Why were those convicted of witchcraft denied sleep? What terrified a group of World War Two soldiers causing them to flee their temporary barracks at a Highland castle?

 

Scotland is known worldwide for its legends, mystical locations and haunted places. In this book, the author explores many of the mysterious and haunted sites in the country, concentrating mainly on the less well-known stories and offering the unique perspective of his own views and findings having visited the location, where possible. Several photographs taken by the author showing unusual anomalies are included for the reader’s consideration.

 

The world famous Loch Ness is also covered, however, rather than simply re-telling tales of the sightings, a brief history of the Loch and it’s well known inhabitant is given; along with the author’s own theory on the monster.

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Haunted Scottish Castles and Houses

Journey through the beautiful countryside of Scotland, and it won't be long before you find a castle or grand manor house. From the fully restored magnificent homes and hotels to the decaying ruins, each one has it's own unique history. With so many originally built for protection in far more violent times than today, it is not unusual to discover that behind the visually stunning exteriors can lie a dark and sinister past and the terrifying acts of cruelty that were carried out within the walls have resulted in tales of hauntings.

 

In this book the author explores a selection of these castles and manors, giving details of the reported ghostly happenings and the history of the property which helps explain why they are reputedly haunted.

 

Many of the properties have been personally visited by the author allowing him to provide photographs and offer his own views and experiences.

Haunted Kirkcaldy

 Compiled by paranormal investigator Gregor Stewart, this new book contains a chilling range of spooky tales from around Kirkcaldy. 

 

From haunted public houses, which have left both customers and staff terrified, to the ruins of the ancient Ravenscraig Castle, which still attract a mysterious visitor many years after their death, this collection of ghostly goings on, phantom footsteps and playful poltergeists is sure to appeal to everyone interested in the paranormal and the history of Fife's largest town. 

 

Richly illustrated with over fifty images, Haunted Kirkcaldy is guaranteed to make your blood run cold. 

 

Author Note

Another special book to me as it was my first published by a mainstream publisher

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Scottish Paranormal: Ghost Stories from the Historical Archives
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 As one of the oldest paranormal research teams in Scotland, and having investigated allegedly haunted locations across the country, Scottish Paranormal hold extensive records on the ghost stories of Scotland.

 

For the first time, the team members bring together a collection of some of their favourite tales, including the spectres of notable figures, witchcraft, terrifying poltergeists, vengeful spirits, curses and forgotten souls who simply want their story to be heard. Each story has been researched to bring together the history behind the haunting with the paranormal activity reported and, in some cases, personal experiences.

 

Illustrated throughout with photographs, Ghost Stories from the Historical Archives offers the reader the complete tale of these reported hauntings to appeal to those with an interest in the paranormal and the dark past. 

Haunted Explorer: Scottish Ghost Stories

Scotland is a country of mystical places, legends and a long, sometimes barbaric, history leading to many believing it to be the most haunted country in the world.

 

For decades, author, paranormal investigator and historical researcher, Greg Stewart, has explored these tales and the locations associated with them, gathering a vast collection of stories from across the country.

 

Providing not just the reports of the paranormal activity, but the history behind the haunting, Greg brings some of his favourite Scottish ghost stories into this compilation, illustrated throughout with a series of photographs.

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Ghosts of Scotland
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Scotland has long been a contender to the crown of Most Haunted County in the World, and is something of a treat for the ghost aficionado. 

 

The length and breadth of the country teems with all kinds of ghosts, from poltergeists, ladies of various colours and the many spectres of Mary, Queen of Scots. 

 

So who better than experienced researcher and author Gregor Stewart to take the reader on a tour of ghostly Scotland. Featured in this volume are The Mackenzie Poltergeist of Greyfriar’s Kirkyard; the viscious spirit of the Minister’s House at Kinross; the ghosts of Balmoral Castle; the ghosts of Killiecrankie and the numerous spirits that lurk in Edinburgh’s City below the ground. 

 

These tales are not for the faint-hearted, but then again, neither is Scottish history, which gives rise to them. And they are all the better enjoyed in the hands of a master storyteller. 

Supernatural St Andrews

St Andrews is famous worldwide as the home of golf and for being the town where Kate Middleton met her future husband, Prince William. 

 

From the 12th century, the town was also home to the Scottish Church for 400 years until the reformation brought religious turmoil, violence and destruction to the area. With such a long and bloody history, St Andrews is also known to be home to many haunted sites. From the fearful poltergeist of Witch Hill, the site where those accused of witchcraft were burned at the stake, to the kind hearted Friar of St Rule’s Tower, who still offers visitors a helping hand despite his gestures of good will resulting in his brutal murder centuries ago.

 

Supernatural St Andrews covers the many tales of spectral clergymen, former students and residents, witches and phantom coaches, one of which is believed to carry the Devil himself. 

 

Compiled by Paranormal Investigator, Gregor Stewart, this collection brings together in depth research into the history of the town and its hauntings, along with the authors extensive local knowledge, to produce one of the most complete guides to the town spooks

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Glasgow Ghost Stories

Glasgow is often overlooked for its historical interest, yet the city has a long, and sometimes dark past.

 

Glasgow Ghost Stories covers many of the tales of the days long gone, and resulting hauntings that are claimed to have arisen from them.

From the terrifying 'Clatter' of the Glasgow Underground to the Haunted Hospitals, theatre goers of old and prisoners who seem reluctant to leave their cells even in death, there are sure to be stories which will send shivers down the readers backs. 

Local History Titles

Secret St Andrews

Although known worldwide as the ‘Home of Golf’, St Andrews was also the ecclesiastical powerhouse in Scotland for centuries prior to the Reformation.

 

 Author Gregor Stewart takes the reader on a fascinating journey through the town’s past, unearthing tales of double crossing and infighting while introducing the reader to the nefarious characters who were jostling for power. 

 

He reveals connections between St Andrews and the order of the Knights of St John, who owned buildings in the town, and James Gregory, who laid a meridian line from his laboratory that pre-dates Greenwich by 200 years and is now widely credited as the ‘place where time began’. 

 

The book also explores the macabre: St Andrews was a centre for execution, using an early version of the guillotine, and there are descriptions of the fates of those accused of witchcraft and heresy.

 

 Secret St Andrews delves beneath the surface of this attractive university town, revealing a lesser-known and less savoury history that even most local residents don’t know. 

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Secret Dundee
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Known as a major industrial centre, the city of Dundee has a long and eventful history. Following the development of a small trading port in the eleventh century, by the fourteenth century Dundee had grown to be one of the most important towns in Scotland. The city was also a significant religious centre, with the distinctive Dominican monks – known as the Black Friars due to their robes – choosing to mingle with the people of Dundee to share their preaching, despite the danger this could present in these difficult days. 

 

Dundee also has a darker and often forgotten past. The city was attacked and extensively damaged by invading English forces, following which defensive walls were constructed, only to be demolished again when the city was further attacked by Parliamentarian forces. A number of women were accused, tortured and executed during the witch hunts, and general living conditions at one point became so poor that the average life expectancy for a man was just thirty-three years old.

 

With epidemics such as the plague also hitting, a large area of ground was given to the burgh to be used as a burial ground in 1564, and it is now considered to have one of the most important collections of gravestones in Scotland. Scotland’s fourth city has many secrets just waiting to be discovered. 

 

In Secret Dundee, author Gregor Stewart peers into the past to reveal the forgotten, the strange and the unlikely. 

Secret Dunfermline

The ancient royal burgh of Dunfermline has a long and proud heritage. 

 

This erstwhile capital of Scotland had strong royal connections until James VI relocated the Scottish Crown to London following the Union of Crowns in 1603. The Reformation in the mid-sixteenth century had already seen a loss of the town’s ecclesiastical importance. 

 

These two events set in train a period of decline in Dunfermline’s fortunes until the introduction of the linen industry in the eighteenth century, and though the latter would not survive the First World War, the town’s economic future had by then been secured with the establishment of the Royal Navy dockyards at nearby Rosyth.

Local historian Gregor Stewart delves into Dunfermline’s secret history to discover lesser-known stories and people from the town’s past. 

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Secret Stirling
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Stirling may be one of the smallest cities in Scotland, but in terms of historical significance it is one of the most important. 

 

Originally a small settlement around the lowest crossing point for the River Forth, the nearby rocky outcrop offered an ideal position to construct a fort to defend the crossing. Stirling Castle is first documented around 1100 and by c. 1120 Stirling was granted a royal charter, creating the town. 

 

In the following centuries, due to its strategic position, Stirling was at the centre of many battles, leading to it being said ‘He who holds Stirling, holds Scotland.’ Major figures in Scottish history are associated with Stirling, including William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, Mary, Queen of Scots, King James IV and Bonnie Prince Charlie. Now a centre of tourism, many of these famous characters are significant in the city’s lesser-known past. King James IV is reported to have had a keen interest in alchemy with a hidden workshop at Stirling Castle. It was here that the Italian alchemist John Damian in the early 1500s attempted the first recorded attempted flight in Scotland, with wings made from feathers. He leapt from the battlements of Stirling Castle and broke his thigh in the fall. 

 

Secret Stirling is fully illustrated throughout and will appeal to all those with an interest in this ancient city. 

St Andrews Pubs

Despite its relatively small size, the city of St Andrews boasts more than its fair share of pubs.

 

 With most contained within the boundaries of the medieval town centre, each offers its own long and unique history.

 

 Discover the tales behind the names, explore the town’s best ‘19th holes’, where golf legends of the past and present have enjoyed a drink, or relax in the basement bar where Prince William and Kate Middleton famously courted. 

 

From the traditional pub, such as the Central, a long-established pub with a large central bar, to the modern pub, such as the Rule, providing contemporary facilities within a historic building, St Andrews has a pub to suit everyone. 

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Stirling's Military Heritage
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Stirling is associated with two of the most notable names and battles in Scottish history: William Wallace and the Battle of Stirling Bridge, and Robert the Bruce and the Battle of Bannockburn. 

 

Stirling’s military history, however, stretches back to when the Romans invaded Scotland and formed a line of fortresses as their first boundary just north of Stirling. A Roman road cuts through the town, and it became a road used by every military force to invade Scotland. A castle has existed in Stirling on Castle Hill since at least 1110, with the town growing on the slopes around it. During the Wars of Independence with England control of Stirling and its castle was much fought over, bringing some of the most famous characters from Scottish history to the town. It was said that ‘he who controls Stirling, controls Scotland’. 

 

After the Union of the Crown in 1603, Stirling Castle’s role as a royal residence declined, and instead it became a centre for the military. The Jacobite forces failed to take the castle in 1746, and by the 1800s the castle was adapted to create barracks and training facilities. Today, reminders of the importance of Stirling can be found all around the town. 

 

The battle sites and castle are popular tourist attractions, and the castle remains the headquarters of the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders infantry regiment. An annual military show to honour and celebrate the armed forces is also held in the town, which is recognised as one of the main military events in Scotland. 

Edinburgh's Military Heritage

When the Romans invaded Scotland they constructed a fort in Cramond, a suburb of modern Edinburgh, near their frontier, the Antonine Wall. 

 

When the Romans retreated, the area was much fought over by the Angles of Northumbria and the Picts, with Edinburgh held by the Kingdom of Northumbria until the tenth century, before it was passed back to the Scots. The site of Edinburgh Castle is believed to have housed a military fort since the Roman invasion.

 

 By the twelfth century a defensive Royal household was developed on the site by King David I, and the importance of Edinburgh grew, leading to the castle becoming the most besieged in the whole of the United Kingdom. 

 

The Lang Siege of 1571 would have a devastating effect on Edinburgh. With Scotland in the grip of a civil war, opposing forces fought for control of both the town and its castle for almost two years. Edinburgh Castle was eventually taken, but with both the castle and many of the town’s buildings completely destroyed, massive rebuilding work was required.

 

 After centuries of peace Edinburgh once again experienced the devastating effects of war when it was bombed during the First World War. Many remnants of Edinburgh’s military past can be found today, with the castle being one of the main tourist attractions in the country. The one o’clock gun has been fired from Edinburgh Castle since 1861 and the castle houses the National War Museum, the Scottish National War Memorial, The Royal Scots and The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museums, and remains the headquarters for the Royal Regiment of Scotland, with parts of the castle still operating as a military base. The author discusses all this and more in this illustrated look at Edinburgh’s military history.

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Dundee at Work
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Dundee is rightly proud of its industrial heritage and today can lay claim to being at the forefront of developments in many areas of scientific research and technology. 

 

The eighteenth century saw the city’s population grow rapidly with the expansion of the whaling industry and the development of the jute trade. Dundee was dominated by its jute industry throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and at its peak some 50,000 people in the city worked in sixty-two mills, often in appalling conditions. At the same time, the supporting industries of whaling and shipbuilding also expanded, as well as smaller industries such as marmalade production and publishing, earning the city the nickname of ‘City of Three Js’ – Jam, Jute and Journalism.

 

Dundee at Work explores the life of Scotland’s fourth largest city and its people, from pre-industrial beginnings through to the present day. In a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations, it takes us through the dramatic rise and fall of the jute industry, the traumas of industrial decline and high unemployment between the wars and post-war recovery with the arrival of light engineering companies such as Timex and NCR. It takes us into the technologically advanced world of today, showing how Dundee has successfully transformed itself from the three J’s to a thriving university city and centre of biomedical and biotechnology research as well as a leading player in the information technology and video game industries. 

Secret Inverness

 The city of Inverness sits at the northerly end of the Great Glen, a fault line in the earth’s crust that runs from one side of Scotland to the other.

 

 The current city’s origins date back to Pictish times; however there is evidence of the area being habited long before then, with the Clava Cairns, which sit just a short distance from the city, dating back to between 1500 and 200 BC, giving it a long and often forgotten history. 

 

Inverness has connections with several major figures in early Scottish history including St Columba, who ‘tamed’ the fabled Loch Ness Monster; MacBeth, who lived in a castle in the city; and David I, who built the first stone castle on the site of the earlier timber stronghold. 

 

The city grew to become an important trading port, which in turn brought conflict with others including the Vikings and Clan MacDonald, the Earls of the Isles. Despite this the city continued to grow, yet due to its remoteness from Edinburgh it was notable for not bowing to the political powers of the country. This was perhaps best demonstrated when Mary, Queen of Scots visited and was forced to stay in a small house after having been refused entry to the castle. 

 

The ‘Capital of the Highlands’ has many secrets just waiting to be discovered. In Secret Inverness, author Gregor Stewart pulls back the curtains of history to peer into the distant and not-so-distant past to reveal the forgotten, the strange and the unlikely.

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St. Andrews at Work
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 St Andrews is famous the world over as being the home of golf but although golf clubs are still designed and manufactured here, there’s a lot more to the town than drivers and putters. 

 

The university, the third oldest in the English-speaking world, was founded in 1413 as a seat of religious learning and has grown to be a major local employer and world-renowned centre of excellence for research and teaching. The town used to be home to numerous breweries, and although these all closed down following a period of decline after the Reformation, the industry has been revived with the St Andrews Brewing Co., which now brews a number of local ales that are served in the many pubs and restaurants. 

 

Tourism is the largest employment sector in the town and people travel from all over the world not only to play on the famous local courses or to watch competitions, but also to experience its rich and often bloody religious past. 

 

St Andrews at Work explores the life of this Fife town and its people, from pre-industrial beginnings through to the present day in a fascinating series of contemporary photographs and illustrations, that show how the town has continued to grow throughout the years. 

Witch Trial Titles

Witch Memorials of Scotland

The Witch Persecutions of the 15th to 17th century were a horrific time in Scottish history when an estimated 4,000 people were executed as accused witches. 

 

Communities were torn apart by accusations of witchcraft, aimed at cunning men and women using traditional remedies to heal the sick; old women who perhaps stood apart from the rest of the population; strangers to the area - or indeed anyone against whom someone might have a grudge. It was a terrifying time with an all-powerful Church and laws influenced by the zealot beliefs of King James VII, amongst several other factors. 

 

The way in which the victims of the witch trials are viewed has changed drastically over the centuries, from being viewed as the minions of Satan to people who lost their lives thanks to intolerance. Scotland is now remembering it's 'witches' in a different light, commemorating rather than vilifying them. With talk of a national memorial to Scottish 'witches', 

 

Gregor Stewart looks at the local memorials already in existence and the stories they tell. 

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Future Titles

Celebrating St Andrews

The town of St Andrews in Fife has much to celebrate. Its cathedral was the largest church built in Scotland and the Bishops, and later Archbishops, played an important role in ruling mediaeval Scotland. Scotland’s first university was established in St Andrews, which began teaching religious studies in 1410. 

 

The university has been the choice for many famous people and is also responsible for many of the town’s traditions. The town was a favourite of Mary, Queen of Scots, who owned a home in St Andrews. In 1663, astrologer and mathematician James Gregory published a design for the first reflecting telescope in St Andrews, and in 1673 Gregory laid the first Meridian line, which earned St Andrews the title ‘the place where time began’. 

 

St Andrews is best known, however, as the home of golf. The game had been played and developed in the town for centuries before the formation of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club in 1754, which is considered the headquarters of golf. The town is also famous for its long, sandy beaches, which attracted film-makers who filmed the opening sequence of ‘Chariots of Fire’ on the West Sands. The Lammas market, the oldest surviving medieval market, is still held in the centre of town, and the annual St Andrews Day celebrations, the Patron Saint of Scotland from whom the town takes its name, are a major attraction. Yet not all of the big-names from St Andrews are human: Hamish McHamish, a large ginger cat, became one of the best-known residents and is remembered by a statue in the town centre. 

 

Celebrating St Andrews chronicles the proud heritage of St Andrews, its important moments and what draws so many to this fascinating town today. Illustrated throughout, this fascinating book offers a marvellous and refreshingly positive insight into St Andrew’s rich heritage, its special events and important moments. Celebrating St Andrews will be a valuable contribution to the history of the town and provide a source of many memories to those who have known it well over the years. 

Publishing date: February 2025

Secret Perth

An exploration of the hidden, secret and less well known history history of Perth and how this shaped the city today.

Publication date: TBC

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