It has allowed paranormal investigators to hunt for ghosts in a landmark town house but has no plans in the event of a zombie apocalypse.
The full extent of East Lothian Council’s dealings with the weird and wonderful world of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests has been laid bare in a report to the local authority’s cabinet meeting.
The council received 673 FOI requests between October and March – including queries about zombies, ghosts and even the erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey.
One unusual request about sightings of ghosts in council buildings revealed the local authority had previously given the go-ahead for an investigation into hauntings at Dunbar Town House. Council chiefs gave permission for a crew of six ghost hunters to enter the building in the dead of night during August 2013 in an attempt to communicate with spirits.
A report compiled by investigators claims they heard mysterious “tapping” noises and snatched a glimpse of a “shadowy, misty shape” stalking the 16th-century council chamber. Lights in the building’s Museum room were said to have been mysteriously flicked on by an unseen hand.
However, the ghost hunters admitted they “were not aware if the lights were on a motion control sensor”, adding that “attempts to make the lights come on by movement did not work”.
Another FOI request over the council’s plans in the event of a zombie invasion threw up the concerning revelation that officials had given the matter little thought, with no specific action plan in place to deal with such an apocalyptic threat.
The council added: “Several risk-specific plans are maintained by ELC [East Lothian Council] including plans to respond to oil pollution, severe weather and the off-site response plan for Torness Power Station.
“However, there is not a specific response plan for a zombie attack at this time, but should these types of attack become a recognised threat/risk, a specific plan will be considered.”
An FOI request asking about the number of times 50 Shades of Grey had been borrowed from libraries across East Lothian found the erotic novel was most popular in Musselburgh, where it had been borrowed 57 times.
A council spokeswoman said: “FOI requests have been extremely varied.”