10 Dalmeny St: The Lady in Black
John S Tantallon interviews Ghosts Trapped Underground’s Jade Cappaso about her childhood encounter in Leith
Recently I interviewed an ex-resident of Albert Street – I mentioned that I remembered the area well from my time in Leith, an old bandmate had lived in Murano Place and we regularly frequented the legendary Fairbairn’s for our memorably lager fuelled rehearsals.
However, the ex-resident of Albert Street had very different memories of his time at this particular address.
After an uneventful 6 months in the property, he noticed a change in his sons’ behaviour. The outgoing and fun-loving five-year-old became reclusive and would spend much time in his room. One afternoon his wife was drawn to the noise of her son in discussion, laughing with someone in his room. When she asked him who he was talking to his plaintive reply sent a shiver down her spine: “The man who lives in the cupboard.”
I shall however keep this particular haunting for another day. Never show all your cards at once!
No. On this particular day, our concern lies with an address situated a stone’s throw away on Dalmeny Street. For it is at this address that Jade Capasso’s story begins.
“I was born in Edinburgh and grew up on Dalmeny Street in the early 1990s. It was here I had my first encounter with a ghostly apparition; an experience which has left me searching for answers throughout my life.
“I lived on the second story of 10 Dalmeny Street with my grandparents. I will never forget that black heavy wooden door leading out to the road. When it closed, you could hear the echo on the fourth floor of the building.
“The stairwell was always ice cold, and you could see the worn dip on each of the stone steps, the dark trough created from a 100 and more years of residents traipsing in and out.
“We knew all our neighbours, and overall, it was a safe place. My memories of the area were always pleasant. I was forever playing on the street and in the stairwell. Until, that is, the summer of 1999 when my dad was visiting from America.
“My grandparents offered him their home for a couple of weeks while they went on holiday. I was so excited as it wasn’t very often that I spent time with him, so I was always glued to his hip when he arrived.
“We decided to go to the local video store on Leith Walk and rent a few movies for the night. When we got back to the flat he told me he was going outside for a cigarette before we settled for the night. He leaves the house, and a few minutes go by before I decide to go out to the stairwell to ask him what movie we should watch first.
“I open the door to the stairwell, and to my surprise, he’s not there. I stand on the second landing and shout.
“Daaaad,” but there is no answer.
“I assume he is playing a trick on me as I had an overwhelming sensation of being watched. I look up to the top floor and down to the bottom floor and call for him again. Nothing.
“I shake off the uneasy feeling and make my way to the main door that leads on to the street as I now realize that’s the only other place he could be. As I get inches away from the door, something stops me in my tracks. I’m frozen and feel a strong sense of dread. That was the first time in my life I couldn’t bring myself to open a door.
“I make my way back to the second landing and try calling out one more time. I look up towards the skylight and shout.
“When I look down, I see a woman at the bottom of the stairs, dressed all in black rags with a hood covering her face. I’m frozen in fear trying to make sense of how she got there. I know she didn’t come through the main door as I was just on the bottom floor not even a minute prior. I also would have heard the echo of the door closing throughout the stairwell.
“Suddenly, she starts levitating two feet above the ground and makes her way slowly up the staircase. I still can’t move. She gets to the third step before saying with an old broken voice.
“Dad, walk up the street.”
“She continues to approach me, and I finally get the courage to run into the house, slamming the door and locking it behind me. I run into the living room and wait out the longest 10 minutes of my life.
“I hear the buzzer from the intercom go off. I hesitantly walk into the hallway to answer it, and I hear my dad’s voice on the other side asking me to let him in. I sigh in relief and ask him, “Where did you go?” He laughs and says, “Jade, let me in”. I ask again, “Where did you go?” He responds, “I just walked up the street.”
“I will continue to search for answers as to who this mysterious woman could be, but I can’t help feeling if I had opened that door to the main street something terrible might have happened to me and she prevented that. I often wonder if her residual energy was left over from falling victim to the black plague back in 1645 as her clothing resembled that from around that period.
“The whole experience has inspired me to research the paranormal throughout my adult life. I currently travel the US investigating America’s most haunted locations and upload my evidence as a web series on Youtube, under Ghost Club Paranormal.
One day. Jade plans to return to 10 Dalmeny Street to see if she can reconnect with the same entity as she did as a child. Hopefully, then she will get some answers. If you wish to immerse yourself in more stories like this, you can catch up with Jade and her ghostly adventures on Ghosts Trapped Underground on the Really TV channel. ■
Editor: You can also check out John Tantallon’s various social media sites under the umbrella of North Edinburgh Nightmares.
Below: Jade Capasso from Ghosts Trapped Underground