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  • Writer's pictureAndrew Murchie

Paranormal Investigation Livestream

Updated: Dec 7, 2020

One of the highlights of my 2020 was most definitely being invited to produce and direct "The Real Paranormal Livestream" event from The Real Mary King's Close here in Edinburgh on Friday 13th November.

Along with the forward-looking team at The Real Mary King's Close, the Scottish Paranormal crew and my good friends from Multiply we had an incredibly tight two weeks to plan and execute a commercial livestream from one of the trickier environments I've worked in.

The Real Mary King's Close gives guest the opportunity to wander through an underground labyrinth of Old Town alleyways and to discover the stories of the people who lived, worked, and died here. The Close, Edinburgh's only preserved 17th century street, and its warren of streets, homes, and passageways provides a truly unique 5 star visitor experience.

Fortunately the Scottish Paranormal team are highly experienced at livestreaming with regular paranormal based livestreams running on their Facebook page(s). Their group's capabilities meant they worked as an experienced self-contained unit, self-operating their camera kit and presenting the sections from within the Close and the surrounding rooms in conjunction with Katie Scott from The Real Mary King's Close. This made working with them incredibly straight-forward, with Ryan O'Neill leading the investigations and keeping the show rolling during the subterranean sections of the show.

The Real Mary King's Close presenter's, Kosi Carter and Katie Scott, and of course Ally Reid from SP, were equally professional, well prepared and immediately at ease in front of the cameras. Considering that none had real experience of presenting to this level before the team really shone on the night.

The bigger challenge was that of the technology side. We wanted to produce a show that matched the quality of broadcast TV with multiple cameras, mixed live and pre-recorded content with optimal quality audio and video. The expectations were clear from the outset and as this was a ticketed event delivering this level of quality was paramount.

Working in a 17th century underground environment presented some networking challenges but again working with the RMKC team resolved any teething issues and on the night we had near perfect networking across all three filming locations. The 1hr 45min stream was viewed in over 40 countries across the world.

The Paranormal Scotland Team investigated three locations around the Close, namely The Chesney House, Mary King's Close & Chesney's Workshop & Annie's Room. The investigation reported activity in all three locations, included two recordings of children’s voices in Annie’s Room and an instance tapping on the wall in the rooms formerly occupied by the Chesney family until their eviction. The investigation used established investigative tools like Franks Box for scanning and a voice activated recorder to capture electronic voice phenomena (EVP). The Real Mary King's Close team meanwhile provided supporting narrative on the real-life stories of the historic figures who once occupied the Close.

One strange side-effect I personally noted occurred whilst I was taking some behind the scenes VR shots with my Insta360 One X was from a certain point onwards all my 360 still images were stuck as if the camera was horizontal as opposed to vertical - I blogged about this in my Ghost in The VR Machine post last month.

Ryan O’Neill, Scottish Paranormal said:

You can feel the history in this location, and you seriously feel like you have stepped back in time while being watched by the unseen. The live broadcast provided a unique opportunity for viewers to take part and interact. An example of this was when the viewers asked us to sit down rather than stand in Annie’s Room to communicate with the children. As soon as we did so, one of our energy meters went off. With so many more areas to cover, the Close is perfect for further live broadcast events, especially during the uncertainty surrounding Covid-19. It was a very successful investigation, and we look forward to analysing our findings”.

Paul Nixon, General Manager of The Real Mary King’s Close said:

This investigation was a fascinating experience and one we’re delighted to have been able to share with such a wide audience. There are records showing an unusual number of unexplained events over the years in The Real Mary King’s Close and we’ve worked with a number of scientists and historians to research the people who once lived in the streets. It’s certainly been interesting to see where our historical research has correlated with this paranormal activity. We’re looking forward to the full results of the investigation and even at hosting further investigations in the future”.

If you would like to watch the recording of the livestream event and support the Cash for Kids charity please head over to The Real Mary King's Close Website to donate and access the recording. Our 5 minute Real Paranormal Investigation promo reel will give you a taster of what happened on the night.

Susann Kreuger, Marketing Manager of The Real Mary King’s Close said:

“In the current climate virtual experiences are the way to go in order to keep your audience engaged and brand awareness high. However, conducting a live virtual event is a daunting prospect when experience in-house is limited and on a 17th-century site with limited connectivity. Over 700 people from all over the world watched the paid broadcast and the feedback has been extremely positive. We couldn’t be more thankful to the team that made it happen with great expertise, patience and drive.”

If you'd like to discuss options for our support in producing high quality livestreams do please get in touch.

Andrew Murchie is a filmmaker and creative technologist based in Edinburgh, Scotland specialising in virtual reality, augmented reality, stereoscopic 3d and a range of more traditional digital filmmaking skills. He has produced Virtual Reality films, livestreams & Augmented Reality experiences for clients including The Real Mary King's Close, Dynamic Earth & Social Enterprise UK.

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