Strange Phenomena Investigations (SPI) Scotland


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Strange Phenomena Investigations was founded in 1979 by Malcolm Robinson.  He and Willy Devlin investigated many strange and inexplicable cases.  Today, 35 years later, SPI is still going!  Malcolm is now down in England, so has handed SPI over to Willy and I in his absence.  Willy and I are committed to helping anyone experiencing strange phenomena, whether paranormal or UFO-related.

You can find the SPI website at the following link:

You can also find our Facebook group here:


I am due to start my own paranormal and UFO-related radio show, “The E.D. X-Files”, on East Dunbartonshire Radio.  You can find the link here and I’ll also be posting up links to my shows.


By Alyson Dunlop


A little Halloween poem about pesky pixies who pinch and pilfer.  Watch out!  They wander about, especially at this time of year!

A Tommyknocker knicker nicker came knocking on my door.

It swore it just sold nick-nacks, and wanted nothing more

You’d never have suspected it, standing there so finely suited

What I didn’t realise was…the nick-nacks were all looted!

That little pesky fairy, bag of wares upon his knee

I looked into its treasure trove and what a sight to see!

Knobs and knitting needles, knives, a necklace to adore,

Nine notepads, nine nametags, nine pens and even more!

He stood there in his amazing pair of shiny winklepickers,

But little did I know that all he wanted was my knickers!

I let him in, he gave a grin, then yawned so tired and weary,

He said “Ye couldnae gie me a wee cuppa could ye, deary?”

I turned my back to make a snack, some tiffin and some tea.

But whilst my back was turned, what I didnae see!

Was him nicking all my knickers from every nook and cranny,

But just in time I caught him and cried “Ya wee thievin’ manky fanny!”

I caught him by the scruff and with a swift kick up his bum,

He flew somewhere over the rainbow, I hope to kingdom come!

Copyright Alyson Dunlop

Inspired by this naughty knicker-nicking poltergeist!  Click here to read all about it.

Inner Sanctum



The temple wasn’t in an inhabited part of the world. I stood there thinking about what it must have been like back then, but was no more. There were no giant gold statues, once worshipped and adored. There were no offerings for any of the gods, who had been so loved and honoured.

The torch would never be lit. The shadows from its flame would never dance with the ethereal quality that had given devotees such a feeling of calm reassurance. Incense would never waft along the passageways that could no longer be seen. They lay somewhere amongst the ruins now, observed by the trained eye alone.

In fact, there was nothing much left here. No sound could even be heard so far inland. There was no plush vegetation and the lake had long since dried up. There was nothing to entice the wildlife. Not even birds flew over this place any more.

Yet it was not dead! There was an atmosphere that betrayed the bare desolation. I wondered if it was only alive to those observant enough. As I touched its stone pillars, I felt its energy ripple through me and I knew its heart had not stopped beating.

The Minimalist



She wasn’t the sort of woman who shouted to get her point across. She wasn’t bold in any way. She wasn’t eccentric or extroverted. She didn’t wear outlandish clothes or have brightly coloured hair.

Her house wasn’t modern or decorated in anything other than pastels. She wasn’t someone who would hang a distasteful picture or, indeed, own anything that wasn’t traditional.

Her tea cups were never stained and nothing was ever out of place. She didn’t have a pet due to the possibility of disruption or disharmony the hairs would bring.

She did not live in town because she did not like unpredictability of someone visiting without telling her first. She was never spontaneous. If someone invited her somewhere, she would never automatically accept the invitation only to decline it later. No. There was never any different reply from “We’ll see”, and she never committed to it until the day before the event.

In Trouble, Deep



I don’t know what you were thinking!” gasped my mother.

I wasn’t even eighteen and I had made a terrible, terrible mistake. Tragic, in fact. I lay with the covers over my head, tears streaming down my face, listening to Madonna’s Papa Don’t Preach.

It had all started when I went to Wembley with my brother and some friends. It was the Blonde Ambition tour. I met Joe there. He was a huge fan. I just wanted to impress him.  I just wanted him to be my boyfriend.  I thought that was the way, so I went along with it, much to my regret now. He said all the girls my age were doing it, so I bowed to peer pressure and did it too.

Now my mother was ashamed of me and, as I looked in the mirror, I was ashamed of myself. Ashamed and embarrassed. What had I been thinking? The luminous orange colour of my hair was cringe-worthy! I wished I could turn the clock back. I’d never had bought that bottle of peroxide…

Cat and Mouse



The kitten jumped high in the air, paws pouncing down on its find. He grasped the object in both teeth, tossing it up into the air. A swipe brought it back down again before it could even land, or run away and escape him.

He held it tight within his clutches, head bowed low, growling fiercely at his big brother who walked passed without a second glance or care for whatever the kitten had found. It tried to get away from him. He let it. For a little while. He toyed with it, chasing it to the end of the room and back. It would never get away from him. It was his.

Fangs protruded from beneath the kitten’s upper lips, biting down ferociously. He shook his prey from side to side, crunching down on its hard exterior. The red liquid oozed across the carpet.

Kizmet!” came a shriek, as his human looked on in horror, hurrying frantically to retrieve the ruined red pen from the clutches of her feline companion.





Fire. The eternal passion. It burns throughout the universe, never dying. Existing everywhere, without which all meaning would completely cease. Its universal capacity to ignite life in each corner of the cosmos, from the largest sun to the smallest atom. Look up to the stars, so far away, and feel them reflect their dance within your own soul, their heat kindling and stirring your own energies. Feel the warmth in your heart, mind, entire being.

As above, so below.

Being irrelevant

Alyson Dunlop:

Well-written and very humorous article on the aftermath of the IndyRef.

Originally posted on Wee Ginger Dug:

Yeah! We’re irrelevant again. So we had this wee referendum thingy and Scotland scared the shiters out of the Westminster establishment – which was a lot of fun – and the UK media and political classes have gone back to ignoring us in the hope we don’t go away. Now they’re far too busy talking about UKIP, English devolution, and starting World War Three to bother themselves over much about Scotland. And there was me thinking that George Robertson had told us that it would be Scottish independence that started that. I must have missed something. Anyway, Scotland now gets to sit unobtrusively at the back of the class watching World War Three start without it being our cataclysmic fault, and we can plot how escape the clutches of the Westminster system without anyone paying us too much attention, which is pretty much the situation we’ve been in for the…

View original 1,288 more words

Gringo: Friend, Not Foe


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Gringo looked quite like this handsome boy.

Gringo looked quite like this handsome boy.

I’ve got a strange, but true, shaggy dog story for you. I know it’s true, because it really did happen to me. It’s not necessarily supernatural but it’s odd nevertheless. I realise that I’m a writer, so it’s my job to make something sound exciting. However, on this occasion it does not take any imagination. I am writing the events down exactly as I remember them.

It all happened when I was on the travel requirement for my classics degree. Myself and two companions had back-packed the first couple of weeks round Greece and then moved on to Italy. We crossed on an overnight ferry to Bari (just above the heel) and from there to Pompeii. It was here that the strange events took place. We were camping across from the ancient site and had woken up early to visit Pompeii.

Outside the site there are a few stalls and places to sit and have breakfast. We had just finished and got up from our seats. We were moving through the yard between the few stalls when – it all seemed to happen so quickly on one hand, but time slowed down on the other – about four wild dogs appeared from nowhere and made a circle around me, snarling. My companions had managed to duck out of the situation and made a dash for it.

I stood, terrified. In front of me was this half-blind, slevering (Scottish!), cross-collie. It had me in its sights. I really believed, knowing that I was in the middle of a wild pack, I was done for. I was going to get torn apart by wild dogs outside Pompeii. This was the end of the line for me. As that thought settled unnervingly, I began to be aware of a new sensation. Behind my right leg, I felt this low rumble and the heavy breath of an animal. It was right behind me. With a sinking heart I looked slowly and warily over my right shoulder, and down towards the ground. There, out the edge of my eye, I could see this big brute of a dog. It was large, black and muscular. I tried to remind myself not to feel fear. I’d heard animals smell fear. As I slowly turned back to keep my eye on the half-blind collie in front of me, I felt the rumbling growl grow louder and louder. It became deafening.

Before I knew what was happening, the large black dog head-butted me behind my right knee. A stall holder who had been watching, horrified, ran out and caught me before I landed on the ground. As we both watched, the large black dog overpowered the other dogs and chased them all off. It had been protecting me. They all ran off into the ancient site.

My companions and I regrouped. We visited the ancient site of Pompeii – which I’d recommend if you’re in the area – and then got a bus to Naples after lunch. Unfortunately, my day didn’t get any better as I was mugged by two guys on a motorbike who stole my passport, bank card and the cash I’d just taken out. My friends took me for dinner to Sorrento, after we reported it to the police. I was feeling very miserable as I walked with them back through the campsite when we reached Pompeii later that night, but just then I was joined out of nowhere by the large black dog who had rescued me from the pack of dogs that morning. Much as I love animals I tried to get him to go away, but he wasn’t having any of it! My friends found it amusing. I was being protected by a strange dog, for no apparent reason other than just because.

What my friends didn’t know, and what may be of no particular importance whatsoever, is that I am a devotee of Hekate and her totem animal is the black dog. I’m also a huge animal lover and do what I can to help any animal I can. Maybe my canine friend sensed this affection I have, but, for whatever reason, he guarded me all night. When my friends had gone to sleep, myself and my self-appointed guard dog sat outside the tent. It was well after midnight. He kept me company as I smoked a cigarette – I’ve given up that bad habit! – and I tried to explain to him that I didn’t really have anything to give him except a peanut biscuit, which he gratefully accepted. I should have come up with a better name for him, but I decided to call him Gringo. It was a name of affection my brother used to use all the time for ‘foreign’ friends. It came to mind. That was the only reason I used it.

Gringo was still there when we got up the next day. He sat and watched us pack up our tent, and then he walked us up to the train station, marching closely by my side, barking warnings at every single car and person that passed by. He seemed quite ferocious to everyone else, except me. To me, he was only ever gentle and affectionate. Once he’d seen me safely to the station, I watched him run off into the ancient site of Pompeii, with mixed feelings of both happy affection for a chance friendship with a special animal who had saved my life and protected me during the night, but also deep melancholy, knowing that I’d never see him again.

I still feel a little bit emotional thinking about Gringo as I write this, and I was reminded of him today when the mythology of the black dog came up in conversation. There have been various accounts of more supernatural black dogs appearing, often with not as nice tales as the one I’ve just recounted, but I’ve always believed that fear distorts the truth of many supposedly evil things. There was something very powerful about Gringo, which was quite unnerving, I have to admit. Nevertheless, he was there to protect rather than harm. Well, he was there to protect me at least.

Further reading on the supernatural Black Dog Mythology:


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