A TERRIFIED council official called in a team of ghostbusters after getting badly spooked while preparing a Halloween party.
Gerry Reynolds, events officer with Highland Council, was checking the site of a community party in Inverness when he felt he was being watched and the hairs stood up on the back on his neck.
Gerry decided to call in paranormal investigators to see if they could find any evidence of ghostly goings-on.
The team’s investigation of the Ness Islands, a beauty spot in the middle of the city, found a “female presence” and one investigator even claimed to have been “touched” by something.
Ghostbusters from the Highland Paranormal Group (HPG) also photographed strangely-shaped formations of mist rising from the ground.
Mr Reynolds, who was preparing for the family Halloween party held on Saturday, said: “I’ve never experienced anything like it. It was truly eerie. I felt like I was being watched – the hairs on the back of my neck went up.
“I was there a measuring the site and something just wasn’t right – just a feeling I had.
“I’m not normally jumpy but I usually keep an open mind about stuff.
“I thought, ‘Do we have any Highland equivalent of the Ghostbusters?’ and thought we need to check this out.
“That’s when I got in touch with Liam at the paranormal group and told them to check it out.
“I think a few years back there was a girl who died in the area – you never know, maybe it was her spirit or something.”
The HPG visited the islands and discovered a ghostly midnight mist smelling of decay that left their special spook-detectors “flashing all over the place”.
One female investigator said she was “touched” by something and the group’s own medium said they felt a “female presence”.
Further investigations are planned until both the spectre hunters and the council are satisfied about what, or who, may be haunting the island.
Liam Shand, founder of the HPG, said the surprise readings were “very exciting” but more analysis needed to be carried out before they can be sure of exactly what they saw.
He said: “To be honest we just went along because Highland Council asked us to, we had no idea this was going to happen – the readings were very exciting.
“One woman was a bit on edge after being touched by something when there was no one near her – and the medium felt a female presence.
“The mist was really weird. No one was smoking, no one was beside the camera breathing out condensation – it just appeared out of nowhere and then vanished.
“It popped up again a couple of times and if you walked near it there was a strong smell of decay – but only near the mist.”
Mr Shand, whose day job is an IT manager,“We tried to put it down to maybe an animal being dead in the bushes or something but when we checked the area there was nothing there – just this strange mist and that awful smell.”
The team uses a device called a K2 meter.
It is usually used for detecting electrical signals and uses a traffic light system where green means there is a slight signal, amber means strong and red means very strong.
The HPG leader is confident the K2 was not picking up any man-made devices in the area because the meter light would remain on one colour – but the signals they came across were “jumping all over the place”.
He added: “Sometimes you find that the meter can pick up something electrical but this was definitely not the case.
“We go to these areas not expecting to find anything and we try to provide rational explanations to things before we suggest it’s anything supernatural.
“So we’re going to go back in a couple of weeks and hopefully we’ll be able to get some answers as to what, or who, is on the islands.”