Kirknewton Halloween Ghost & Alien Stories

On Friday night the members of the Youth Club were taken on a ghost tour of Kirknewton. Here are some of the stories they were told.

cullen grave
This is the Grave of William Cullen, who was a professor of medicine at the University of
Edinburgh. He was born just over 300 years ago and had a particular connection with


He lived and worked in Edinburgh, but had a love of Kirknewton so great that he bought a house and garden here that he used to visit and work in when he was available. He was a famous doctor in the 1700s, at a time when people believed that illness was caused by an imbalance of “Humours” in the body. Doctors would test these illnesses by checking your bowel movements or urine (even tasting it!) and would treat you in grisly fashion, for example if they thought you had too much blood they would balance that out by simply “bleeding” you. The treatments were often worse than the illness. Dr Cullen also believed that, but he was also the first Dr to pay particular care to each individual and their symptoms, something that no other Dr had done before him. He was extremely wealthy as he also treated people by letter, charging huge sums to do this. However, he would often charge people for less or free if he could, so in many ways he was a good man.

There were lots of other Doctors practicing at the time who were pioneers in the field of
medicine and anatomy. How do you think they would practice? How do you think they
made their discoveries? They would dissect dead bodies! And where did they get these
dead bodies? They would buy them! In fact, supplying dead bodies to doctors was such a
lucrative business that people started robbing graves to do this! People who did this were called Resurrection Men.

Burke and hare

Two of the most notorious grave robbers were men called Burke and Hare, who actually worked at a similar time to Dr Cullen in Edinburgh and sold bodies to one of his colleagues called John Knox. However, the supply for dead bodies was so great, as doctors could only buy the bodies or prisoners, foundlings and orphans, that they started
killing people and selling them on. They would get people drunk, take lure them away and suffocate them! They would be paid the huge sum of £7 10s per body, and killed 16 in people 10 months. They were arrested after some of Hare’s lodgers called the police and Hare actually put all the blame on Burke and got away Scot free. Burke was hanged and his skeleton is actually on display in Edinburgh’s Anatomical Medical School to this very day.  The trail of Burke and Hare was heard by Lord Meadowbank of Hillhouse in Kirknewton.

Lang Whang

The Lang Whang road, which is the road at the bottom of this hill, has many many strange sighting attached to it, ranging from Roman Soldiers to Coal Miners and their screaming children.

In fact, the strangest thing to happen on that road was Garry Wood and Colin Wright
made headlines across the globe when they revealed their extraordinary story
of being taken prisoners by extraterrestrials in a flying saucer. After being
hypnotically regressed they recalled, in  astonishing detail, how they were taken on board the craft, stripped and examined by strange creatures before being returned to their vehicle on the A70 Edinburgh to Lanark road on the outskirts of the capital.

Secret Government papers revealed that the Ministry of Defence took these claims seriously enough to interview the two men and keep a report on their account. The report called “Unexplained Aerial Sighting” – is based on evidence provided by Mr Wood. About 10pm at night they spotted a “black” object in the sky above them. It had no lights, was round at the bottom, had three parts to it and was 30ft wide.

The document continues: “[Mr Wood] was driving along the A70 when the object dropped a curtain of white light in front of the car. [Mr Wood] and his friend blacked out for what seemed like ten to 15 seconds. He thought he had died.
“Then he woke up. The car was facing the other direction on the wrong side of
the road. When he checked his watch he had lost about one hour.”

According to the report, Mr Wood had contacted the police, a doctor, the BBC, a
university and even a psychologist “to get some sort of explanation”.

Mr Wood said in a newspaper interview in 1996: “I saw three creatures coming
towards my car. I felt intense pain, like an electric shock. Then I was in some
room. I saw these things like wee men moving about, doing something to me. I
could only see up. Then this 6ft creature approached. “It was white-grey in
colour with a large head and dark eyes with a long, slender neck, very slim
shoulders and waist. There were either ribs or folds of skin on its body. The
arms were like ours, but there were four very long fingers. “The little ones
[aliens] were about 3ft tall and seemed to do all the work while the big ones
did the communication.” He said one of the aliens spoke to him and said:
“Sanctuary – we are here already and we are coming here.

Alien story

Kirknewton Community Council election results announced

The count of the ballot papers took place on Thursday 26th October 2017 at 6.00pm in the Council Chambers. The total number of ballot papers returned was 446 which represented a 24.2% turnout. The results of the count were as follows:-

Number of Votes Received
Martyn Lee Blainey 113 ELECTED
Julia Helen Bracewell 99
Susan Mary Campbell 168 ELECTED
John Cunningham 110 ELECTED
John David Sholto Douglas 77
Derrick Alan Emms 80
Victor Garrad 129 ELECTED
Robert Graham 95
Neill Gwynne 122 ELECTED

Fiona Halliday 140 ELECTED
Graham John Hamilton 92
Patricia Steward Hastings 139 ELECTED
Hugh Hunter Gordon 191 ELECTED
Angel Jones Lynch 163 ELECTED
Francis John Lynch 138 ELECTED
Sian Wynne Markx 119 ELECTED
Iain Adam Masterton 99
Kirsty McKeown 157 ELECTED
Stewart James McKenna 124 ELECTED
Beverley Morris 52
Mary Anne Hamilton Pinkerton 155 ELECTED
Michael William Rae 101
John Sives 121 ELECTED
John Thomas 150 ELECTED
Jennifer Susan Clare Thomson 75
Ian Watt 171 ELECTED
Tammy Wood 140 ELECTED

The inaugural meeting of the new Kirknewton Community Council will take place on
Tuesday 14th November at 6.45pm in the Green Room.

Thank you to everyone who put their name forward to stand and to those who took the time to vote.

Kirknewton Community Council elections – biographies of candidates


The Kirknewton Community Council election is being conducted as a full postal ballot.  Ballot papers will be issued on 5th October to all electors whose names and addresses appear in the register that has been specifically drawn up for the Kirknewton Community Council election. 

The deadline for receipt of ballot papers is

5pm on Thursday 26th October

The count will take place on Thursday 26th October at 6pm and all candidates have been invited to attend and observe the proceedings.



All candidates were offered the opportunity to give a short biography and election address.  The print version will also be available closer to the election day.


As a father of two I am standing for council to ensure our village has a successful future ahead of it, one of which my sons will be proud of. My wife and I are already active in the community and well known throughout which gives me a wider audience to interact with.


No election address


Kirknewton has been my home for 16 years. Keeping our village clean, safe and beautiful are priorities. Having pride in our community requires both attitude and action from every individual. Listening to one another, formulating a plan and working together is how we keep improving our village for our needs.


An HR Management, Employment Law and Litigation Consultant (retired), I am experienced in matters concerning people. Also, being a Neighbourhood Watch Scotland Board member gives me additional community-related perspective. Having lived in Kirknewton since 1994 I hope to contribute to the benefit of our village via the Community Council.


No election address


I’ve been resident in Kirknewton for 19 years .  I have developed myself here as an individual.  I run a successful environmental engineering company.I would like to bring alternative viewpoints that should implemented for future generations.  Transparency & Representation of what we expect locally and possibly at a national level.  I’m a keen environmentalist too.


Involved with many Community interests, youth groups, down through the years. At present, a Kirknewton Community Councillor where I am also the Planning Secretary. A member of Kirknewton Community Development Trust.  Have a very through understanding of how a local Authority works. Who would appreciate your support ! Thank you.


I’ve lived in Humbie Holdings since 1974, and locally otherwise since early childhood – just about a local then.  I joined the KCC 6 years ago for community assistance in addressing a problem local to Humbie and have always been impressed by the effort given in supporting the whole community.


I have lived in the village for over 10 years. I am a Civil Engineer with 20 year’s experience. I can bring to the council the ability to ask questions and get informed answers about issues like the transport, infrastructure, level crossing, broadband, development and renewables.


Fiona Halliday is a part time staff nurse and full time mum of 3 young children. She has lived in Kirknewton for 10 years and has an interest in community development and volunteering and has chaired committees within the village.  Becoming a member of the community council, Fiona aims to act as an advocate for the children and young people. Another interest is supporting parents and carers of children with additional support needs in order to empower them and to alleviate isolation.


Living as I do on the edge of the Kirknewton council area, and with my children now all flown, I intend to devote more time to the community. I already represent the Harperrig area on the Pentland Hills Consultative Forum and attend the local branch of the NFU.


Pat Hastings has been active on the Community Council for many years, has recently been involved in the recruitment of new ‘blood’.  As Community Councils are the bridge between local authorities and communities, Pat encourages action and participates in making Public bodies aware of opinions and the needs of Kirknewton.


Have lived here for over 40 years. All our children attended the Primary School.  A member of the Community Association in the late 70’s. For the last 12 years I have chaired the Council.  My primary concerns are to develop community interests, enhance the community infrastructure and encourage the legitimacy of the Community Council through proper elections.


Hi. I am 20 years old and a 4th year student at Queen Margaret University. I am standing for election to the KCC because I feel it would be advantageous for the youth of Kirknewton to have someone relatively young to represent their interests on KCC. I have had some experience of committee work at both QMU and prior.


I have been on the KCC for a number of years now and I must admit it has been a very rewarding experience. I was brought up in Kirknewton and have always thought the village to be somewhat special compared to West Lothian as a whole and found the KCC to be an organisation which helps our little village punch above its weight.


Having lived in Kirknewton for almost a decade and through working in the Green Room, I understand what issues impact on local people of different ages and backgrounds. I will lend my voice to issues including social problems, public transport, planning and development, also supporting initiatives which engender community spirit.


Iain recently retired from a career in computer software design.  Born in Dunfermline, he studied at St. Andrews University before moving to Edinburgh and then, 30 years ago, to Kirknewton.  Retirement allows Iain to re-explore long-lost interests, and contribute more fully to local life.  He is married with two children.


I am a graduate of Heriot Watt and have owned my own businesses in heating, printing and e-commerce. Now retired my hobbies are energy and sailing.  I built our house in Kirknewton in 1983, living here ever since.  I have been a member of KCC for 18 years and I am currently Chair of Kirknewton Community Development Trust.  Please vote to ensure a fully elected community council for our wonderful village.


I have lived in Kirknewton for 15 years I’m interested in the people and politics at the centre of this community. Having been a participant in the Community Council for some years, I have been most concerned about education, housing and the level crossing. I am a teacher at a local high school where I am a very active member of a vibrant department.


No election address


I have lived in Kirknewton for 35 years. We built our house and raised children who went to the local schools. I ran a catering business in Edinburgh. Now retired, I am interested in facilities to make us more active, young people’s chances, gardening, food and getting the village’s voice heard by statutory bodies and services.


My family have lived in the community for a long time and I’ve been in the community council for the last few years and I’d like the opportunity to help carry on the great work that’s been achieved so far for Kirknewton.


Resident for about 15 years.  Career: Over 30 years management in Private Security Industry.  Interested in Neighbourhood Watch- reducing anti-social behaviour – greater involvement of youths in positive activities – greater use of park for sports.  Traffic issues including speeding in Main Street and surrounding area.  Senior Citizen issues.


Kirknewton is listened to more by West Lothian Council and others when KCC is elected by the community. So please vote.

KCC should push for:

  • Permanent pedestrian access across the railway line;
  • Safer streets for all travelling on foot, bicycle, wheelchair or buggy;
  • Offenders requiring close supervision should not be rehoused in communities with no full time authority presence.


No election address – no email supplied


No election address


I live in Kirknewton and care about the community.  I am a volunteer, a bookkeeper, a counsellor, and artist but enough about me I want to find out about YOU and being part of the community council will enable me to do the best for Kirknewton and the Kirknewton people.

Kirknewton Community Council Candidates named

There will be a full election for the Kirknewton Community Council – for the second time! Last time around there were 13 candidates for 12 positions.  Following new guidance from the Scottish Government there are now 18 places – and we have 27 candidates standing.

We are just putting together their information about themselves that will be made available online and as a printed document delivered to (most) doors or in various outlets prior to the election late October.  More details to follow but meantime here are the names of those who have put their name forward.

Kirknewton Community Council
Final List of Candidates for 2017 Election

List of Nominees

Martyn Lee Blainey

Julia Helen Bracewell

Susan Mary Campbell

John Cunningham

John David Sholto Douglas

Derrick Alan Emms

Victor Garrad

Robert Graham

Neil Gwynne

Fiona Halliday

Graham John Hamilton

Patricia Steward Hastings

Hugh Hunter Gordon

Angel Jones Lynch

Francis John Lynch

Sian Wynne Markx

Iain Adam Masterton

Kirsty McKeown

Stewart James McKenna

Beverley Morris

Mary Anne Hamilton Pinkerton

Michael William Rae

John Sives

John Thomas

Jennifer Susan Clare Thomson

Ian Watt

Tammy Wood