The Paranormal World of Arthur Conan Doyle Pt 5: Spirits reveal building that will bear Conan Doyle name

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, EdinburghThe Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, Edinburgh
The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre, Edinburgh
In the final part of our series based on Ann Treherne’s book Arthur and Me, the Circle achieve their goal, the founding of The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre

'In 2008 and 2009 we entered what I called the wilderness years. At the end of 2007 we left the Theosophical Society.

‘At the beginning of 2008 the Group moved to the Edinburgh Association of Spiritualists building in Morrison Street - a Spiritualist Church. Next, the group moved to the back room of a new age crystal shop before returning once more to the Spiritualist Church. We continued with our development which was mainly mental medium-ship but it was interesting to discover during this time how the venues impact on the energy of a Group... and perhaps begin to understand why Spirit was trying to direct us to a certain venue.

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‘Throughout this time we continued to receive prompts from Arthur and our spirit team to find this venue where great things were promised. We were told this building would have a space just for us that would not be used for any other purpose. It would be quiet and confidential and a spiritual place where the energy could flourish and would be conducive to our further development, after all, we had been promised more physical phenomena. But where would this new venue be? No one knew.

‘Each week we would come up with various suggestions but each time, for one reason or another, those venues were rejected. We were becoming dejected. Then, just as Arthur Conan Doyle had revealed himself right at the beginning, he began to give us clues again, this time about the venue Spirit had in mind for us.

‘One week, Gill said, “I can see a building in Edinburgh’s New Town. It’s a town house...”

‘A few weeks later she said, “I see that building again, but I now know that it’s not the New Town at all, it’s the West End and it’s a corner building?”

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‘A further week elapsed and Gill said, “I can see that building again, it definitely connects to you Ann as I can see you standing on the doorstep. “It’s as if you’re walking into the building, you must go to something there?”

Another few weeks elapsed and Gill said, “I have that building again Ann, the one for you.”

‘Then, speaking with all the authority of an ex-police officer, she added, “It’s definitely for you because I see you standing with the keys in your hand.”

“I see it too, Ann,” said Tricia, our new member, “and they’re rolling out the red carpet for you.”

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“And, there’s a grand staircase”, Mairi added, “It looks like a scene from Gone with the Wind.”

‘I couldn’t understand where this illusive building was that Arthur and my Group seemed to think I should know.

‘Coincidentally, if you believe in such a thing, the President of the Spiritualist Church [in Edinburgh] asked if I would help him search for a new property for the church. We looked at a lot of old churches that were on the market as they were no longer viable, their congregations having grown older or died. But most were in the wrong location, he did not want to move the existing congregation too far from their existing church.

‘It was difficult finding properties that had ground floor rooms big enough for our purpose and I was beginning to feel this was a bit of a wild goose chase until one day he said, I’ve found another property for us to view. I didn’t even know where we were going.

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‘It was 2010, mid-December, when he parked on Palmerston Place. I was slipping on the compacted snow as we approached the large corner house... that’s when it hit me, this was the building we were to get for the Thursday Group. This was the building Spirit had been foretelling us about all this time. They had said I’d know it when I saw it and they were right.

‘People talk about walking into a house and getting the ‘wow factor’, this is how it was for me. In my case, it was nothing to do with how the building looked - in fact it looked dreadful inside - but that energy within the building hit me like a wrecking ball whenever I stepped over the threshold. At that very moment, I was convinced this was meant to be and this is where we were meant to be.

‘My mind was racing. I started replaying in my head all of Gill’s ‘messages’ to me that the others had added to in the Group meetings. Yes, this was the West End. Yes, this was a corner site and I remembered Mairi saying this was like a scene from Gone with the Wind. Standing in the vestibule I could see a stair of which Rhett Butler would have been proud.

‘On the Thursday I went to our Group meeting. I decided to say nothing and see if anyone got anything - I had asked Spirit to confirm that this was the right building. We sat in silence as usual and afterwards Gill said, “I’m seeing a set of keys. I think it’s something to do with the building we’ve to find. I’m also seeing he Eye of Horus.”

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‘I remembered I had the keys in my coat pocket as suddenly Gill shouted, “Get the Ouija Board out. I feel something has happened.”

‘The letters were set out and the upturned glass put in place, Gill launched the first question, “When are we going to find the place where we are to sit?”

‘The response: Found it.

‘The Group were aghast. Gill said, “Who’s found it?”

‘The answer from the board: ‘Ann’ - My cover was blown.

‘Gill: ‘Were the keys I saw in my meditation significant?’ The board answered, Yes.

‘Gill: “Is the Eye of Horus significant?” Yes.

‘They looked at me again, “I don’t know what the significance of that is, it doesn’t fit.”

‘Gill: “How is The Eye of Horus significant?”

‘The glass spelt 'keys'.

‘Gordon asked Ann, “Can you get the keys?”

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‘As I lifted out this big bunch of keys from my coat pocket there was a tiny little key-ring with a chain - at the end of the chain was a tiny symbol, The Eye of Horus. We had found our building. Confirmed.

The Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Centre was opened and dedicated on 23 October 2011... and then the fun really did begin.

Arthur And Me, by Ann Treherne, is available from

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