Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Another Phantom-Jaywalker!?

This story – yet another ‘road ghost’ - involves two workmates making their way back home from ‘an honest days toil’ in late 1991:

“My friend and I were driving along the A5 at around 6pm. It was dark and raining and we were around 100 yards or so from a pub, just outside Cannock.

I was the passenger in the van. All of a sudden, the figure of a man appeared about 12” from the vehicle, on the drivers side! It happened so quickly, my friend (who was driving) flinched as he thought that he was going to walk into the side of the van. Neither of us said anything at that moment – but I looked back, through the large window at the rear of the van, to find that there was no sign of anyone there. We had felt no bump, nor heard any sound of impact. The figure had just vanished!

I said to my friend “Did you see what I just saw?” and he replied that there had been a bloke in the road who had nearly walked into the van. I asked him what the figure had looked like and he said it had been someone dressed in white or grey and this was the same as I had seen. We couldn’t see his head or arms, but just the form of a figure in some light colour. It had disappeared as fast as it came and we had both seen it at the same time”.

A bona-fide’ road ghost, optical illusion or perhaps something more? There have been other reports of peculiar sightings along this particular stretch of road, so the jury will ‘have to be out’ for the time being on this one???

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Ghost In A Head Scarf!

The following story was sent into the W. M. Ghost Club in 1991:

“In the 1950’s, we lived in XXX Street in Birmingham – a place long gone to development. It was our habit to have one of my girl friends visit us for an evening, then my husband and I would walk her to the bus, taking our dog for a run at the same time. This evening was no exception. We duly took Margaret to the No.8 bus stop and, off the bus she was getting on, hopped my husbands brother…… so all three of us, plus dog, walked back the way we had just come.

We had turned off the main road into AAA Street and my husband slipped the lead off the dog, as there was very little traffic in the back streets; in fact, to see anyone around at that time of night was most unusual.

As we walked up the street, it was very dark – the light of the main road behind us and the only street lamp way ahead to our left. From under this street lamp, the figure of a woman – dressed in a head scarf, coat and boots – came towards us, crossing the street, out of the lamp light and into the dark.

“Hold the dog!” said my brother-in-law.
“Why?” said hubby…
“Someone’s coming!” said I.
“Where?” said hubby, grabbing the dog.

We glanced down at the dog, whose hair was now standing up in a ruff around it’s neck, for some reason – and when we glanced back up, there was no woman there!?

Where had she gone? There was nothing but factory walls and railings in the street, not even a doorway to hide in. The layout of the street is exactly the same to this very day, although some railings to a nearby childrens area are now gone.

We stood at the top of the street and looked back into the emptiness…..my husband still maintaining that there had been no one there in the street! But my brother and I compared notes as to the appearance of the disappearing woman, which tallied precisely.

Some while later, I was telling my aunt about our experience and she had said: “Oh – that’s where a bomb fell during the war. It just missed the shelter in the kiddies playground….. although I believe there was one woman killed in the blast!”

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Merry Christmas!!!


Here’s wishing all of our visitors a very‭ ‘‬Merry Christmas‭’ ‬and a prosperous‭ ‬2010‭!!

Thank you so much for your patronage throughout‭ ‬2009‭!! ‬Our fond wishes to everyone over the Festive Season and beyond‭……

Regards,

The West Midlands Ghost Club

The Burned Man!

As with our last blog post,‭ ‬this is another tale concerning a‭ ‘‬Road Ghost‭’; ‬it was also sent in to the group following a press appeal,‭ ‬and‭ – ‬coincidentally‭ ‬-‭ ‬also has‭ ‬a‭ ‬Christmas-time association‭……!

This particular experience occurred on Boxing Day‭ ‬1992‭ ‬and involved a young woman driving past an old,‭ ‬Midlands airfield on her way to work one morning at‭ ‬7.30‭ ‬am.‭

As it was a cold morning,‭ ‬the woman concerned had switched her heater on in the car as soon as she had entered the vehicle some‭ ‬10‭ ‬minutes earlier.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬as she made a turning off a major,‭ ‬A road near to the airfield in question,‭ ‬she reports that the vehicle suddenly went icy-cold.‭ ‬Inexplicably,‭ ‬condensation immediately formed on the inside of the windows and she instantly became aware that there was now someone sitting,‭ ‬directly behind her,‭ ‬in the back seat of the car.

Too afraid to actually turn around,‭ ‬she looked in the rear view mirror and was horrified to see what she took to be the face of a man‭ ‬-‭ ‬who had evidently been badly burned‭ ‬-‭ ‬seated behind her‭! ‬For whatever reason,‭ ‬a sense of evil seemed to assail the witness‭ – ‬a feeling that stayed for a few seconds,‭ ‬before evaporating‭…‬.‭ ‬along with the condensation and accompanying,‭ ‬icy chill.‭ ‬Within a brief time,‭ ‬the experience had passed and the man had vanished.‭

Due to this experience,‭ ‬the woman refused to use this particular road for a long time afterwards and sought an alternative,‭ ‬albeit longer route to work.‭ ‬Some two years later,‭ ‬however,‭ ‬she happened to find herself on the same stretch of road again,‭ ‬and‭ – ‬at the exact spot where the figure had previously appeared‭ – ‬she clearly smelled something akin to the rank,‭ ‬stench of‭ ‘‬burning flesh‭’……

This smell later occurred on a further visit to the site,‭ ‬but there were no further experiences at the spot‭ – ‬despite many visits through the area‭ ‬-‭ ‬after the second of her olfactory encounter.‭

After the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬corresponded with the woman concerned‭ – ‬seeking further information on her encounter‭ – ‬she wrote back to tell us that the man had appeared to be around‭ ‬40‭ ‬years of age and had seemingly been staring out of the car window towards a nearby farm.‭ ‬She had seriously thought about contacting the occupants of the site in question,‭ ‬but had hesitated for the simple reason that she had no idea of how to broach such as subject,‭ ‬as she had wanted to enquire about,‭ ‬with complete strangers‭!!

Queries aimed at a local policeman‭ – ‬a friend of the witness‭ – ‬regarding accidents in the area,‭ ‬came to naught.‭ ‬It was noted however that a public house,‭ ‬situated some‭ ‬2‭ ‬miles distant,‭ ‬had burned to the ground many years earlier.‭

Another friend,‭ ‬who was in the RAF,‭ ‬had suggested that the womans‭ ‘‬visitor‭’ ‬may well have been connected to the nearby WWII airbase‭ – ‬the land now utilised for housing and commercial concerns‭ – ‬but a subsequent check of the death records associated with the site revealed no significant accidents for the time-frame in question.‭ ‬Despite this,‭ ‬our witness feels that this latter mentioned avenue is the most likely cause for her unnerving experience‭…‬.

All the best,

The West Mids Ghost Club‭

The Boy In The Lane.....

The following account was sent in to the group in December 1997, following a newspaper appeal for local ghost stories. Our contact asked for strict anonymity at the time of writing to us, so names and precise locations have been omitted from the story for that purpose.

The experience in question is said to have occurred in a lane, in a rural area, situated just outside Wolverhampton near the Staffordshire / Shropshire border.

Our correspondent was returning home (to Shropshire) following a visit to her parents house on Christmas Eve, 1992. At the time of the experience, she was driving along a quiet country road at around 9 p.m., travelling directly behind a Volvo estate car.

As they passed a section of woodland on their right hand side and a high wall on their left, our witness saw a young boy suddenly dash out of nowhere into the path of the car in front of her… which clearly didn’t have time to avoid him! She describes the lad as wearing clothing that was reminiscent of the Victorian period; dull or dark trousers and jacket, which looked like something you might see at the Black Country Museum. Despite such detail, she assures us that she was convinced that she had just witnessed a real road accident, with a real, flesh-and-blood boy…..

After both vehicles had screeched to a halt, she got out of her car and ran to the Volvo, the occupants of which – a Scottish couple – had also exited their vehicle. We are told that the female passenger was crying and hysterical, while the man was staring incredulously at the front of the car. A search of the immediate area was conducted, but – you’ve guessed it – there was no sign of the young boy anywhere…..

The Volvo driver readily admitted that he had certainly struck the lad – he had appeared so suddenly, there was no chance of avoiding him - but there was no resulting bump, or sound of impact and, when the vehicle was checked over, no physical signs to indicate a collision of any sort. A search of the vicinity was conducted for some further 30 minutes, but nothing to account for the experience could be discovered.

Puzzled, the drivers got back into their respective cars and our witness went back to her parents house, while the Scottish couple swore that they would visit the nearest police station and report the incident. The man had said that he would be in touch if anything came of the matter, but nothing was ever heard from either him, or the police……

A passing comment made in a local pub some while later resulted in the news that this certainly wasn’t the first time that such an experience had occurred on that particular stretch of road…….

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Friday, 18 December 2009

Ian Bott - Local History with a frequent 'Ghostly' and 'Ghastly' twist!!!


Ian M. Bott is a well known Wednesbury antiquarian with, it can certainly be said, more than a slight interest in the 'macabre' side of history. Within the last couple of decades, Ian has conducted a series of walks around his home town, many with either a ‘ghostly’ or ‘ghastly’ theme to them, and his repertoire of popular, local talks and lectures include one on ‘Black Country Spooks’ and ‘Black Country Graveyards’.....

An accomplished author, he has previously produced a number of ‘In Old Photographs…’ volumes, though a more recent work – some 12 months in the making – is dedicated to the grisly subject of Black Country Murders…..

In April of this year, Ian spoke to the ‘Express and Star’ newspaper about this impressive volume of original, gruesome tales:

‘Dark Secrets From Murder Casebook’

“From bustling high streets to quiet, leafy parks – it is never easy to know where some of the Black Country’s most gruesome murders have taken place.

“We are often blissfully unaware of the darker secrets that are hidden in the past of housing estates, town centres and parks,” says historian Ian Bott.

“For 12 months I have been digging into the Black Country’s history and have uncovered some murders that will surprise a lot of people.”

Ian Bott’s new book ‘Black Country Murders’ focuses on 10 horrific murder cases – two of them were triple murders and six of the victims were children.

All 10 took place between 1900 and 1958 in spots such as a house in Brockmoor High Street, a stable yard in Lye, a steelworks in Tipton, a barber’s in Walsall and a secluded spot in Warley Woods.

“The first chapter is about a nine-year-old girl called Matilda Coleyshaw who was sent out at 11pm to look for her sister who hadn’t returned home from work at the local pub, which is now The Junction,” says Ian, aged 46, who works as a nightclub bouncer in Walsall and at the town’s Leather Museum.

“She lived in the slums at Rydding Square and was found dead on Ball’s Hill Field, known locally as the Hilly Piece.”

Ian says Matilda was abused and killed by a local widower Joseph Lowe.

“It was difficult to find out Matilda’s age. I went around a lot of cemeteries in the hope of finding graves with dates on them,” he says.

“But sadly a lot of the victims are in pauper graves.”

All of Ian’s stories have come from old newspapers and the first thing he did was eliminate all the well-known murder cases.

“I wanted unknown murders that haven’t been publicised since they happened,” he says.

“I’ve spent a year going through Sandwell and Dudley’s archives where the staff were very helpful and helped me scan through newspapers from 1850 to 1950. In the end I wrote about murders from 1900 to 1958, and all of them are gruesome.”

Ian, who lives in Wednesbury, says there are places that he has been to all his life and he was shocked when he discovered what had happened there.

“One of the most moving stories is the murder of three children in 1903 in a little cottage near where Morrisons in Bilston is now,” he says.

“They were brutally murdered by their father with the butt of a shotgun – it is a very sad tale.

“I have been to the sites of all the murders and some of them are quite spooky, especially at night.

“I went to the site of the Bilston murder and I was so on edge that whenever a twig snapped it made me jump.”

Ian says he enjoys investigating each murder and following it in the old newspapers from the start through to the final day in court.

“The newspapers really sensationalised the murders with words like “outrage” and “horror”,” he says.

“Our ancestors would have been shocked at the murders as today we have become a bit more de-sensitised to it.

“People often give me tips about murders they have heard of as they hope I will do the research for them.

“It was often the case that when they were younger Mum and Dad would be talking about things that were not meant for their ears.”

Ian says it is difficult to find photos of the murderers or the victims as the people who had their photos printed in the paper were usually the judges and coroners.

“In eight out of the 10 cases, the murderer and the victim knew each other and they are all male murderers – I struggled to find a female killer,” says Ian.

“While out visiting the murder sites people have asked me about the killings that have taken place there.

“They often tell me that there was a rumour about a murder but over time, the story had changed and people had got confused about the location of the crime.

“If the house still stands where a murder has taken place I haven’t revealed the number in my book, as the present owner might not want to know about its dark past.”

A brief video of Ian speaking about the volume was included with the above article and can be viewed on the Express and Star web site, via this LINK.

A selection of Ians books - including his latest volume 'Wednesbury Through Time' - can be obtained via any of your popular high street outlets, as well as via the usual net based sources, such as Amazon, E-Bay and so forth. Word of his forthcoming – and ever popular - talks and lectures, on a variety of topics, can usually be gleaned via a web search on the subject.

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

A 'Ghostly' Precursor?

The following story was sent in to the W.M. Ghost Club in the late 1990’s…..

Our witness – or perhaps ‘victim’ might be a more appropriate title under the circumstances – was riding her moped to her boyfriends house at the time of her experience, in a village on the periphery of the West Midlands region.

A she turned the corner into the lane where her beau lived, she briefly happened to notice something emitting a ‘strange glow’ in a bush directly opposite. While mildly perplexed by this sighting, she paid it little heed and just carried on regardless……

A couple of days later, however, she was leaving her boyfriends house and, once again, noticed the glow in the bushes. As she approached the bottom of the lane on her moped - specifically 'keeping an eye on' this ‘glowing thing’, this time - she was amazed to see that it was, in fact, the figure of a man!! She says that he was obviously ‘a ghost’ as far as she was concerned, as he evidently had no visible legs!! Perhaps the worst aspect of this uncanny vision was the fact that the man appeared to be beckoning to her, but - by now scared out of her wits and wanting nothing to do with this 'glowing spectres in the bushes' – she sped off homeward at full speed, as fast as her 50cc engine would carry her!!

In the days that followed, she told her boyfriend about her experience and they made enquires around the local area to see if any ‘light’ could be shone on her already ‘radiant’ ghost!?

While it appeared to be only a matter of here-say, one villager informed them that a man called ‘Harry’ had apparently been knocked off his motorcycle near to the spot in question and killed a few years earlier……

Whether this information was accurate in any way, shape or for, but it is a big coincidence to note that – only two weeks later – our witness was knocked off her moped and quite severely injured as a result. Her leg was broken quite badly in two places and, as a result, she was still having to walk with the use of sticks at the time of writing to the group, some 21 months after the event.

Needless to say, the why’s and wherefores of such a story is completely open to conjecture…. though, our witness is convinced that the ghost of 'Harry' might well have been somehow - for some reason - trying to attract her attention and warn her of her own, impending accident…?? One thing is certain, however, since her brush with disaster, she has not had any further experiences with her glowing ghost…..

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

The Ghost With Sparkling Eyes!

Contrary to a lot of popular culture, presumed ‘ghostly encounters’ can occur in the most pleasant, everyday surroundings and in very peaceful circumstances…… Quite the opposite of what most 'modern ghost enthusiasts' would like to infer, true 'ghostly experience' is almost invariably a peaceful, non-dramatic affair.....

"Janet was sitting watching her TV one day, when she suddenly saw an old gentleman with white hair seated in a chair in front of her. He had the most sparking blue eyes and was wearing a sports coat, shirt and trousers. He was evidently taking no notice of Janet at all, but was looking straight ahead – seemingly, at the lounge door. The experience lasted a matter of second and then he simply vanished.

Janet had not long moved into the ground floor flat in a suburb of Walsall. She had no idea who the old man could have been, but reports that he looked - ‘every inch of him’ - to be a living person!

The flat concerned had previously been owned by an elderly couple who had a daughter living a few doors away. Janet had never met the daughter (to her knowledge) and the Father was deceased, while the Mother was in care, suffering from dementia. The flat had eventually been put up for sale by the daughter and Janet had purchased the property through the intervention of estate agent and solicitors and had never met any of the family concerned. She had no idea what the previous occupants had looked like…..

Janet says that she had alterations carried out to the flat after she had moved in, and the figure of the old man had appeared just after the work was finished. Following this initial appearance, a number of peculiar things occurred in the property which – while not at all frightening – eventually caused Janet to put the flat up for sale and she subsequently moved out…

An intriguing footnote to this tale is the fact that Janet had a dog while she lived at the flat and used to walk it in the neighbourhood. One day, while out, she spotted another neighbour – a woman - out walking their dog…… and this womans facial features were the spitting image of the old man that Janet had previously seen!

Yes – you’ve guessed it – she later discovered that the woman concerned was the old mans daughter!!"

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 10 December 2009

In The Avenues And Alleyways.....


The following experience occurred in 1977 and concerns a nondescript alleyway in a housing estate in Bilston, West Midlands.

Joe Parks was taking his dog for it’s nightly walk along the narrow passageway that ran the length of the rear of the properties in his street. On the night in question, his dog was off it’s lead and had been running free, the length of the alley. Suddenly, reaching the back gate of No. 14 in the street, she stopped dead and wouldn’t budge an inch. This was unusual, as the animal was generally a most boisterous creature which relished the chance to race around free of it’s leash. Joe put the lead back on and tried to pull her along with him – but she wouldn’t budge an inch. Exasperated, he dropped the lead and carried on without her… thinking that, if he walked without her, she would take a hint and catch up…… She didn’t!

Wondering what might be wrong with the dog, he looked in the direction of the gate to No. 14 and suddenly saw a pale man in a long coat and stove-pipe hat appear through a neighbouring gate and begin walking towards him. Joe says it wasn’t anyone he recognised – especially in such strange attire – so he grabbed up the dog lead and, turning to walk quickly away, pulled the animal along with him.

Within a second or two, he cast a glance back over his shoulder to see what the peculiar figure was now doing…. and there was no one there! He looked along the alleyway, but could neither see nor hear anyone in the area…..

While an innocent enough encounter, Joe found that he couldn’t bring himself to use the alleyway again at night.

On checking into the history of the area, Joe discovered that – roughly where the alleyway lay – there used to be a public right of way across farmers fields. He believes that, when the estate was later built during the 1930’s, the alley way was placed over this path and his ghostly acquaintance was somehow related to a previous date prior to the erection of the housing…..

The alley itself later gained something of a negative reputation in the region, being used for fly-tipping, as a public toilet...... and for variety of other nefarious activities. Ahem!!

At the time of writing up this account, the alleyway is still extant, though it was blocked a both ends around 20 years ago.....

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Phantom Jay-Walker?

Being big fans of the old BBC tradition of a 'Ghost Story For Christmas', we will - in the run-up to Yuletide and the New Year - be posting up a brief selection of ghost stories for the festive season. All, apart from the following tale, come directly from our files and, in some instances, span in excess of 20 years!

The following account was recently posted in a Shrewsbury related thread on the cracking ‘Black Country Gob’ Forum. The poster, Matty, kindly gave us permission to repeat the matter here……

“We had a 'strange' experience recently in Shrewsbury. We'd taken the caravan to Oxon Hall for a week in October and, on one of the days, we'd decided to have a ride up the A5 to Betws-Y-Coed.

We'd just set off from Oxon and turned right onto the A5. Anyone who knows this stretch road will appreciate how wide it is and how fast the vehicles travel on it.

In the far distance, I saw the figure of a hunched old man, accompanied by a dog (not on a lead), set out to cross the road from my right… starting from the side of the carriage way, coming in the other direction to the way I was travelling.

There was no hurry about the old fella - nor the dog - as they dawdled across the busy road. I'd purposefully kept an eye on the old man, because I thought that - if I continued at the speed I was going - I could well be on course to 'meet' him…. so I slowed down a bit.

As we got closer, the pair had reached safety on our side of the road and, as we passed where they should've been, my wife glanced over to see where they were…. She had evidenly seen them crossing too, but hadn't said anything to me.

I joked: “Did they make it?”

She said, 'They're not there' – telling me that she'd watched them cross the road, but they weren't where they should have been…. in fact, as we passed, all that could be seen was a narrow grass verge and then fence with thick bushes; so there wasn't really anything for them to cross the road for!

It was then that we both realised that we hadn't noticed any change to the way the couple were moving as they crossed the barrier in the middle of the road…. I mean, they didn't seem to have to have climbed over it? Neither of us can explain what we both saw...”

A big ‘thank you’ to Matty for allowing us to re-tell his story!!

As a matter of interest, the Black Country Gob Forum can be found at the following link: 'The Gob'

All the best,

The West Midlands Ghost Club

Carols Book Signing!!! Reminder.....


For anyone interested in local ghosts with a little spare time on their hands on Saturday morning (Dec. 12th), here is a quick reminder that Rugeley based Author, Carol Arnall, will be carrying out a book signing session in Cannock Library at 10.30 a.m.

Copies of some of Carols books - 'Mysterious Happenings', 'Birmingham Girls', etc - will be avaliable for purchase during the event.

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Wednesday, 2 December 2009

A Brief Group History‭ ‬-‭ ‬Part Three.

As intimated in our last post regarding the group make-up and history,‭ ‬the membership of an active,‭ ‬research association is a frequently‭ ‘‬fluid‭’ ‬affair.‭ ‬Even with a comparatively small concern,‭ ‬membership will fluctuate with time;‭ ‘‬movement‭’, ‬which can be affected by a myriad different concerns and considerations.‭ ‬A small number of people have,‭ ‬albeit briefly,‭ ‬graced the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬with their presence before moving on for a variety of differing reasons.‭ ‬At the time of writing,‭ ‬such a list includes Claire Stevens,‭ ‬the long suffering partner of Steve Chew‭ ‬-‭ ‬Laugh‭!!!‬ – Julia Whiston of Birmingham University,‭ ‬Sir Simon and Robert Ellett, as well as others‭……

2007‭ ‬once again saw the W.M.G.C.‭ '‬expanding our ranks‭' ‬somewhat and adding‭ ‬2‭ ‬new,‭ ‬permanent associates to the mix.‭ ‬This fresh blood came in the form of John Conway and Julie Badger.‭

John‭ ‘‬the Golden Touch‭’ ‬Conway has,‭ ‬by far,‭ ‬proven to‭ ‬ our most‭ '‬active‭' ‬group member to date and‭ ‬admits to having had an interest in the paranormal for as long as he can remember.....‭ ‬ From a young age his fascination was invariably‭ ‘‬looking into the night sky‭’ ‬and, primarily, having an interest in the UFO phenomenon.‭ (‬A keen passion for the cosmos and all its mysteries is still‭ ‘‬strong in this one‭’ - said in a Yoda-esque voice, of course - ‬to this day‭!! ‬Laugh‭!!)

From a relatively early age,‭ ‬John says he can remember‭ ‘‬peculiar happenings‭’ ‬going on around him,‭ ‬due to the fact that his family home appeared to have a resident ghost‭! ‬He says of the experiences:‭ “‬At the time,‭ ‬I guess I was too young to link it to anything psychic or paranormal‭…… ‬so I grew up with‭ ‘‬weird stuff‭’ ‬happening and,‭ ‬as a result,‭ ‬just got used to it.‭ ‬As I grew older I realised that this weird stuff doesn't seem to happen to most people.‭ ‬I grew up in a rather‭ ‘‬active‭’ ‬house and was always a little unnerved‭…‬.‭ ‬But still dealt with it‭”‬.‭

Then one day,‭ ‬around‭ ‬20‭ ‬years ago,‭ ‬John actually‭ ‘‬saw‭’ ‬a ghost with his girlfriend.‭ ‬The experience was so remarkably vivid‭… ‬and‭ ‬-‭ ‬a rather rare occurrence‭ – ‬both of them‭ ‬witnessed‭ ‬the presumed‭ ‘‬apparition‭’‬ at the same time‭…‬.‭ ‬The encounter came as a considerable shock and certainly left a lasting impression on his mind.‭

John is an engineer by trade but he currently works as a Costs Draftsperson for a large firm of solicitors.‭ ‬In his spare time,‭ ‬he is a keen match fisherman‭ ‬-‭ ‬competing at National levels for various teams‭ – ‬and is now a dedicated metal-detectorist‭!!!

Our most recent additions to the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬were added in early‭ ‬2009‭ ‬and came in the form of Deborah Green and Marianne Barker‭…‬..‭ ‬certainly something of a‭ ‘‬double-act‭’!! ‬laugh‭!!

Deborah tells us that she has always been interested in‭ "‬ghosties‭" ‬from an early age and used to pester her Mother to take her to the local library so she could get books on ghouls,‭ ‬ghosts,‭ ‬vampires,‭ ‬etc......‭ ‬Laugh‭!! (‬We’ve all been there at some point Debs‭!!) ‬In slightly later years,‭ ‬she took to purposefully visiting‭ ‘‬spooky‭ ‬related‭ ‬places‭’‬ in the hopes of a sighting something preternatural‭…‬..‭ ‬Sadly,‭ ‬she never did see anything of interest‭! ‬Laugh‭!

In time‭ ‬such interests led to a desire to join an‭ ‘‬honest‭’ ‬investigation group and she says that subsequent interaction with the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬has fuelled her curious nature,‭ ‬giving rise to a need to put herself in alleged‭ ‘‬paranormal‭’ ‬situations‭…‬..

Debs is a Teaching Assistant at a primary school,‭ ‬but is also currently embarking on a new career to be a Deep Tissue and Remedial Massage Therapist,‭ ‬helping people suffering musco-skeletal pain.‭ ‬Oooooohhhh‭!!!!

Marianne has also been interested in the subject of ghosts and the unknown for as long as she can remember.‭ ‬As a child,‭ ‬her family were National Trust members,‭ ‬giving rise to a general passion for the exploration of big,‭ ‬old houses and the general‭ ‘‬history and mystery‭’ ‬attached to such sites.‭ ‬A keen reader of ghost related literature in childhood,‭ ‬she,‭ ‬during her teens,‭ ‬found herself pondering‭ ‬our‭ ‬‘spiritual‭’‬ roles in life.‭ ‬While she admits that she doesn’t have time to philosophise over such mysteries as much as she used to,‭ ‬her desire to experience something of this realm,‭ ‬or potentially have some of her questions answered,‭ ‬still remain.‭ ‬She admits that she has experienced a couple of odd incidents‭ ‬-‭ ‬dreams and coincidences‭ ‬-‭ ‬over the years‭…‬.‭;‬ events that have served to fuel her interests all the more.

Marianne has been teaching for ten years‭ ‬-‭ ‬mainly in the early years sector‭ ‬-‭ ‬and she is Year Group Leader for ninety,‭ ‬4‭ ‬to‭ ‬5‭ ‬year olds.‭

Of her brief time serve with the group so far,‭ ‬she says:‭ “‬Being in the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬is great for me as I get a chance to spend time in the company of open minded,‭ ‬level headed people exploring interesting places.‭ ‬I can also be me again‭ (‬not just a mother,‭ ‬wife or teacher‭) ‬and reignite the same excitement and thirst for knowledge I had as a little girl‭”‬.

So‭ – ‬that pretty much brings us up to the time of writing as far as details concerning group membership goes.‭ ‬It has,‭ ‬so far,‭ ‬been a most rewarding and fascinating‭ ‬20‭ ‬years of activity for the Club‭……‬..‭

Here’s looking towards to next two decades‭!!!

All the best,

Nick
The W.M.G.C.

New Website Details…. Check It Out!!



The W.M.G.C. have recently received contact from a relatively new website – created in late October of this year – which we’d strongly advise you to keep an eye on. The page concerned is called ‘Ghost Investigators’ - sub-titled: 'The Haunt Of All Things Paranormal' - and can be found via this LINK

Most refreshingly, we are not presented with the biased waffling of yet another (so called) research association here - who have become experts in the paranormal field after watching two episodes of 'TAPS' - but a clear endeavour to be of potential help to the paranormal community by an interested and refreshingly ‘open minded’ chap! Dave, the editor of the site explains that the site exists…..:

“……Merely because I have an interest in the subject. As they say on all the TV programmes "This website is for entertainment purposes only" - I am not here to prove or disprove anything, but merely to put a few pages together for your perusal.

My interest in ghost investigations and ghost hunts started a few years ago, but my interest in the paranormal started in my childhood after a few weird happenings. So it could be said I am a "sort of" believer in the unexplained (but that doesn't mean I believe in it all - I am also a very healthy sceptic)

If you find anything on here that offends your particular religion or belief system then this was never my intention - vive la difference. Everyone is entitled to their own opinions. I am assembling these pages for my own relaxation and enjoyment and I hope you enjoy them too…..”.

Attached to the site is a nice blog – listed in the menu at the top of the web page - containing some of Daves observations on different aspects of the paranormal. Evidently the whole concern is still very much in it’s opening stages at present….. but certainly a site / blog to keep an eye on for the future!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.


Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Nottinghamshire Interest....


W.M.G.C.‭ ‬members were intrigued to recently receive an enquiry associated with a wonderful site that,‭ ‬albeit situated just outside our usual,‭ ‬geographical parameters,‭ ‬seems worthy of mention.‭

The note concerned came from Sarah Ascott who is currently conducting research on the atmospheric ruin of Annesley Hall‭ (‬shown above‭) ‬in Nottinghamshire.‭

Sarahs interest in the building stems from the fact that her Grandmother was‭ ‘‬Head Cook‭’ ‬at the hall during‭ ‬the‭ ‬1920‭'‬s.‭ ‬Needless to say the site has always had something of a ghostly reputation and we are told that her relative reports having frequently seen the‭ ‬ghost of a woman pass her on the main stairs of the hall,‭ ‬on many occasions,‭ ‬whilst in service there‭…‬...‭ ‬Such accounts were well know in Sarahs family,‭ ‬her Grandmother having often related her encounters to different relatives over the years.

Apparently,‭ ‬sightings of this mysterious,‭ ‬female figure were not only confined to her Grandmother,‭ ‬as other members of the staff‭ – ‬serving at the hall,‭ ‬at the same time‭ – ‬also spoke of witnessing such things‭!! ‬Historically speaking,‭ ‬some sources mention that the body of a woman was allegedly discovered near to one of the staircases at the hall,‭ ‬but it cannot currently be ascertained whether this has any connection with the staircase mentioned in the aforementioned sightings or whether‭ – ‬if it were‭ – ‬such a discovery has any direct bearing on the incidents in question‭?

While the W.M.‭ ‬Ghost Club has never had the pleasure of investigating this historic site,‭ ‬group member Steve Chew did visit the general area a number of years ago and was privy to a private tour of the hall at the time.

As with a great many such structures,‭ ‬Annesley Hall has,‭ ‬over recent years,‭ ‬now become a popular‭ ‘‬haunt‭’ ‬of numerous ghost societies and associations.‭ ‬A report by the Derbyshire Ghost Society can be viewed at this LINK

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Manor Arms Investigation....

Recent enquires by another local, ghost research group regarding our activities in the North Walsall region have brought to the fore details of a most enjoyable investigation carried out by the group a few years ago. On Saturday, March 4th, 2006, group members conducted an overnight investigation of a superb, little Walsall pub - namely, the Manor Arms at Rushall.

Over the years, a plethora of ghostly activity has been reported at this historic site – formerly a farmhouse. While the bulk of the building is 18th Century in construction, certain sections of the site do appear to date from the 15th and 16th Centuries. Despite certain preposterous claims that the Manor Arms is one of the oldest pubs in England – it did, in fact, only become a licensed premises in 1895!!

In his book: ‘Ghosts and the Folklore Around Barr Beacon’, author Andrew Perrins mentions that the figure of a woman – dressed in white and wearing a straw hat – has allegedly been seen inside the building. She, according to local legend, is a former landlady who fell downstairs at the pub and died…..

A tall, dark, male figure has also allegedly been seen by regulars in the bar, walking along the ground floor passage which bisects the building. Certain stories also tell of the ghosts of two children being associated with the building – though details as to who they might be and why they allegedly haunt the site are somewhat vague….

Investigation Report: The Manor Arms Public House – Rushall – Walsall.

Date of Investigation: Saturday 4th to Sunday 5th of March, 2006.

Duration of Investigation: (Approx.) 6 hours.

Investigation:

Present: Steve Chew, Frazer Smith, Len Jackson and Nick Duffy. Also, Landlady of site and her partner. (Plus 1 dog).

Trigger Objects:

*Two small dolls situated on top of a box in the rear room of the Attic area.
*Small metal crucifix placed on top of stool in the unoccupied bedroom.
*Large wooden cross on ‘Micks Chair’ in main bar area. Also, a number of ashtrays were placed on ‘Harry’s Seat’, with a beer glass on the table immediately in front of it and a beer mat secured with an audio alarm on top of glass. (*Note: both ‘Micks Chair’ and ‘Harry’s Seat’ are places in the bar dedicated to two past regulars of the Manor Arms who apparently died on the premises. The designated seats were presumably their favourite spots).

Temp. Recording:

Ambient thermometers were placed:

*On table in main, ground floor passageway: probe secured on overhead beam.
*On table in Dining Area: probe fed over hook in beam above table.
*On (internal) window sill in rear room of Attic space: probe fed over nail on beam above spot.
*On table at side of bed in unoccupied bedroom.

First Hand Investigation: (incl.) Findings / Observations.

1.23 am: Just prior to setting up our equipment, researchers entered the Snug area of the property to find a two foot long, metal toasting fork gently ‘swinging’ on it’s hook / nail from the mantel of the room’s fireplace. No reason could be found to account for this. Experimentation with the fork revealed that the heat from the open coal fire had nothing to do with this effect and, once a member of the group purposefully (but gently) swung the fork, it moved for a matter of a few (3 – 5) minutes before running out of momentum.

Session One: 1.30 am – 2.20 am.

Camera set up in living quarters of building, facing unoccupied bedroom area. (Utilising night-shot capacity).

Camera placed at bar end of Main Bar area, facing towards fireplace.

Entire group situated in Dining Area of pub during whole session.

During this period, sporadic knock / tap sounds heard by group – throughout the session - seemingly originating from a point somewhere outside the Dining Area. (But definitely inside the premises). We do not investigate origin of sounds at this point. (*Note: For further data on this latter mentioned matter, see text for ‘Session Three’ below).

Session Two: 2.35 am – 3.20 am.

Camera filming in Main (ground floor) Corridor of building, facing towards front entrance of pub from position just outside door to Gents. (Night-shot capacity utilised).
Entire group situated in unoccupied bedroom.

At 2.35 am, the group hear a loud ‘crashing’ sound originating from somewhere inside the building. Initial investigation shows that someone (outside of the group) is apparently paying a visit to the toilet. Later investigation reveals that, during his visit to the toilet, the Landlady’s partner had accidentally dislodged an ornament from it’s mounting and caused the noise concerned.

During this vigil, Steve Chew reports seeing a shadowy movement, in a projected patch of light, on the surface of the bedroom door. The light spot concerned is a result of the bedroom door facing the window of the room. At the time that the movement was witnessed, no one was moving between window and door to cause such an effect.

Session Three: 3.20 am – 4.00 am.

Camera placed in Main Attic Room, facing open doorway to stairs. (Night-shot capacity utilised).
Group initially seated in Dining Room again, but, at 3.37 am, this vigil is aborted and a ‘baiting’ session begins in the Main Bar Area.

During this period, Frazer Smith sees the door to the Kitchen area move of it’s own volition by approx. three inches. Investigation revealed that the door did in fact have a tendency to swing, quite freely, on it’s own. No draft was detected to account for this movement. As the door moved, it proved to be quite noisy – sounds which the group soon realised were evidently those heard during the ‘Session One’ vigil in the Dining Room. (For the rest of ‘Session Three’, folded beer mats were lodged in the door, stopping it from swinging).

At 3.44 am, three group members see a male figure – dressed in light colours - passing the front of the pub, travelling in the direction of the entrance to nearby Park Lime Pits. (Seen through small window behind ‘Harry’s Seat’). An instant check through the window of the nearby Snug reveals that the man is now out of sight.

Session Four: 4.05 am – 4.40 am.

Camera (from previous session) left filming in Main Attic Room. (N-S Cap.)
Entire group situated in Smaller Attic Room, overlooking car park of property.

At 4.25 am, the sound of someone moving around on the floor below is detected.

Visit ends and group leave pub around 5 am.

Secondary Findings. (Recorded data, etc).

A sound which could possibly be misconstrued as ‘human / vocal’ in origin can be heard on two separate occasions of two different recordings. (Upstairs Living Quarters and Attic). However, after scrutiny, it was decided that the sounds originated with noises naturally occurring in the property.

The loud ‘crash’ sound caused by Martin at 2.35 am proved to be most interesting when re-viewed on video footage being taken in the Main Downstairs Passage at that time. All noises associated with the event would, from the noises on the footage, appear to originate on the Ground Floor and not at a First Floor level. The ‘crash’ itself was preceded by a series of what appears to be footsteps on a wooden floor which – again from the footage – sound to originate from somewhere on the lower level of the property.

This matter is of considerable interest, as it clearly illustrates the way in which sound travels / is conveyed in the property concerned. We know that the sounds originated with Martin on the first Floor at this point, but, from the recorded evidence, it would appear to have originated in a completely different spot.

Brief Summary

Nothing of an ‘obvious’ paranormal nature was detected during our stay at the Manor Arms. However, the incident involving the ‘swinging toasting fork’ at 1.23 am remains to be of considerable interest to the group.

A selection of photographs from our visit can be viewed on the WMGC Photo Album at this LINK

Best wishes,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 19 November 2009

“‬No‭ '‬Special Powers‭' ‬Required‭”


As mentioned recently in our last website update,‭ ‬the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬have had a rather‭ ‘‬anti-psychic‭’ ‬article‭ – ‬see below‭ ‬-‭ ‬published on the BBC Black Country web site by our good friend Brett Birks:

‭“‬No‭ '‬Special Powers‭' ‬Required‭”

In‭ ‬2009,‭ ‬dozens of ghost-busting groups operate locally,‭ ‬many of whom use psychics in their investigations.‭ ‬John Conway,‭ ‬from the West Midlands Ghost Club,‭ ‬doesn't think mediums should be used as a paranormal research‭ '‬tool‭'‬.

John,‭ ‬47‭ ‬from Willenhall,‭ ‬founded the WMGC‭ ‬20‭ ‬years ago and has investigated hundreds of haunted buildings and locations.

‭"‬When we started the group in‭ ‬1989‭ ‬there were no others locally,‭" ‬he says.‭ "‬Nowadays there are loads,‭ ‬a ridiculous amount in this area.

‭"‬I stopped counting a few years ago when the number of groups hit‭ ‬60‭ ‬or‭ ‬65.‭ ‬Out of all of them,‭ ‬I'd probably recommend two or three but that would be it.‭"

John credits the popularity of television shows like‭ '‬Most Haunted‭' ‬for the rise in ghost-busting style organisations.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬he says,‭ ‬they may be doing more harm than good in the world of paranormal research:

‭"‬The problem is that all these groups are taking things like‭ '‬Most Haunted‭' ‬as a reference point and think that that is what they should be doing‭ – ‬which,‭ ‬it most certainly is not‭! ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬a great many of these people shouldn't be allowed near a paranormal related situation. They have a tendency to turn up with an alleged‭ '‬psychic‭' ‬in tow claiming that they have got‭ '‬special powers‭' ‬and will be able to‭ '‬solve‭' ‬your problems. This is a ludicrous claim to make.‭"

Objectivity is,‭ ‬according to John,‭ ‬what makes his group stand out from the rest. ‭ ‬They will investigate ghost sightings,‭ ‬taking each case on its own merits,‭ ‬using a variety of impartial,‭ ‬research-based techniques and audio-visual equipment.

‭"‬Unlike most other groups,‭ ‬we do not make false claims in professing to be able to‭ '‬alter‭' ‬a haunted situation in any way. ‭ ‬We are not interested in attempting to falsely prove that we have any form of‭ '‬insider knowledge‭' ‬or‭ '‬special powers‭'‬.

‭"‬The bottom line is it doesn't matter what an individual personally believes. ‭ ‬It's irrelevant.‭ ‬The simple fact is that things are reported to us and we investigate accordingly.‭ ‬You should never let your belief system interfere with what you're doing.‭ ‬Nothing should be allowed to cloud your impartiality‭ – ‬you need to be totally objective in these matters.

‭"‬We always strive to act in a non-biased fashion.‭ ‬We cast off all the unnecessarily blatant chicanery,‭ ‬the‭ '‬New Age‭' ‬bunkum and pseudo-scientific trappings that appear to become the trademark of the late‭ ‬20th/early‭ ‬21st century investigator.‭"

Unlike most other paranormal groups,‭ ‬the West Midlands Ghost Club do not advocate the use of mediums or psychics.

‭"‬We do not use mediums or spiritualists,‭" ‬John says.‭ "‬There is no hard evidence that these people are actually doing what they claim and the damage that they can cause in these sort of situations can be both devastating and irreversible.

‭"‬I once was called in to visit a somewhat distressed‭ ‬70‭ ‬year old woman.‭ ‬Now she was clearly suffering from some form of dementia.‭ ‬I have had personal experience with dementia sufferers.‭ ‬Now this lady believed her house was haunted so had called in an alleged psychic‭ – ‬and paid this person to come.

‭"‬The psychic had come along and convinced this lady that the spirit of a‭ ‬20‭ ‬year old was living in her house.‭ ‬This‭ '‬psychic‭' ‬then had happily taken the‭ ‬60‭ ‬pound fee or whatever it was and left the poor woman in a terrible state. ‭ ‬This is far from an isolated case,‭ ‬sadly,‭ ‬and we have come across a number of similar situations over the years.

‭"‬This is the problem:‭ ‬most of these groups are going to come into your house,‭ ‬maybe with a‭ '‬psychic‭' ‬in tow and make it as dramatic as possible.‭ ‬At the end of the day,‭ ‬if you happen to believe that your house is haunted or that you're in contact with spirits,‭ ‬then these people will just reinforce what you believe,‭ ‬tell you what you want to hear and leave.‭"

Without going into intricate detail,‭ ‬we would just like to take a second and ponder something which is a simple enough question at the end of the day: ‭ '‬why‭' ‬do ghost related groups insist on running around allegedly haunted sites,‭ ‬claiming that they can actually rid the places in question of their‭ (‬presumed‭) ‬ghostly activity‭!? ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬the real irony in such sterile‭ ‬-‭ '‬God,‭ ‬I'm so important and special,‭ ‬aren't I‭?' ‬-‭ ‬waffle comes when you discover that the groups concerned almost always turn out to be fledgling societies,‭ ‬whose notion of‭ '‬ghost hunting‭' ‬practice and protocol comes straight from satellite TV‭!!!

On numerous occasions over recent years‭ ‬-‭ ‬and one in particular quite recently‭ ‬-‭ ‬the group has found itself being approached by people who have,‭ ‬in all innocence,‭ ‬contacted one of these allegedly‭ ‘‬gifted‭’ ‬associations in an endeavour to get rid of the‭ ‘‬presumed‭’ ‬haunting activity that they believe themselves to be suffering.‭ ‬Needless to say,‭ ‬there is no question or query regarding the reported happenings‭ – ‬and certainly no real‭ ‘‬investigation‭’ ‬-‭ ‬from the responding group‭…‬.‭ ‬There is just a manic,‭ ‬hysteria driven flurry of‭ ‬crystals and Ouija boards and‭ ‬-‭ ‬lo and behold‭ – ‬there are inevitably spirits all over the place‭!!!

In over‭ ‬20‭ ‬years of studying such matters‭ – ‬the psychology of the paranormal field,‭ ‬not the alleged phenomenon itself,‭ ‬we hasten to add‭ – ‬we have literally‭ ‘‬never‭’ ‬seen a psychic enter a site‭ ‘‬without‭’ ‬detecting something untoward‭!! ‬Hardly an unbiased viewpoint at the end of the day,‭ ‬surely‭?

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Brief Group History‭ ‬-‭ ‬Part Two.


Over the period‭ ‬2002‭ ‬/‭ ‬03,‭ ‬the number of people actively associated with the group more than doubled,‭ ‬with the introduction of a wholly‭ ‬speculative‭ '‬affiliates‭' ‬scheme.‭ ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬due to unforeseen circumstances and complications,‭ ‬the expanded group figures were a relatively short lived experiment and subsequently diminished again within a reasonably short time.‭

The question of‭ '‬figures‭' ‬associated with research societies will always be a vexed one,‭ ‬it must be stressed....‭ ‬The W.M.G.C.‭ ‬have always kept membership as low as possible for practical reasons,‭ ‬despite having received‭ ‬-‭ ‬over‭ ‬a considerable number of years‭ ‬-‭ ‬many hundreds of applications for positions within the group.‭ ‬It has to be said that we have always been puzzled by‭ ‬-‭ ‬and derived considerable amusement from,‭ ‬at times‭ ‬-‭ ‬people who seem to somehow believe a‭ ‬‘large membership‭’‬ is actually something‭ '‬positive‭' ‬when it comes to research pursuits‭!! ‬Laugh‭!! ‬Having watched with interest concerns‭ – ‬mainly fledgling‭ – ‬who have boasted up to‭ ‬50‭ ‬members,‭ ‬it is an inevitability that such societies invariably fold completely,‭ ‬or happen to whittle down their numbers drastically within a very short period of time.‭ ‬It is frequently true that there is‭ ‘‬strength in numbers‭’‬,‭ ‬but such a maxim certainly doesn’t apply to the task of running a successful research group,‭ ‬as many have soon discovered‭!! ‬Laugh‭!!

Of all the associates added during this expansion period,‭ ‬only one‭ – ‬the bouncer-esque Frazer Smith‭ – ‬remained an active member of the group.‭ ‬Both his‭ '‬enthusiasm for‭' ‬and his keen ministrations‭ '‬on behalf of‭' ‬the Club made him a most welcome and appreciated addition to the company for a number of years.‭ ‬However,‭ ‬at the end of‭ ‬2007,‭ ‬Frazer‭ ‬-‭ ‬sadly‭ ‬-‭ ‬chose to resign from his position within the group.‭

‘Enthusiasm for the subject‭’ ‬was also a strong factor in our decision to add the team’s‭ ‬6th member‭ – ‬Steve Chew‭ – ‬in early‭ ‬2004.‭ ‬Interestingly,‭ ‬Steve initially contacted the group in order to show us some sequences of peculiar video footage that he had collected over the years,‭ ‬and showed no particular interest in becoming a‭ ‬Club‭ ‬member‭! ‬However,‭ ‬after only a couple of meetings with the chap,‭ ‬I was enamoured enough to ask him if he wanted to join us......‭ ‬and,‭ ‬thankfully,‭ ‬he did‭!!! ‬Laugh‭!!!

On his C.V.‭ ‬-‭ ‬Steve says of himself:‭

"Having been born into a family that had always regarded the existence of ghosts as fact,‭ ‬and along the years,‭ ‬having no option but to live‭ "‬hand in hand‭" ‬with such things that today we could well term as‭ “‬Paranormal‭” ‬episodes really formed the basis of my fascination with such things.‭ ‬As a child,‭ ‬when one of these‭ “‬Odd‭” ‬incident’s would crop up,‭ ‬I would always get the‭ “ ‬There’s nothing to worry about,‭ ‬its only the Ghost,‭ ‬it wont hurt you‭!" ‬Or‭ "‬Its just one of those things,‭ ‬ignore it and it will go away.‭” ‬kind of reassurance from my folks.

As you can imagine,‭ ‬it was to my utter dismay,‭ ‬when growing up,‭ ‬I discovered these things in fact,‭ ‬do not exist‭ (‬this is of course according to the qualified professionals and experts in this subject who know all the answers about these kind of things‭)‬.‭ ‬These differing viewpoints concerning belief is why I am,‭ ‬and always will be,‭ ‬bound to the paranormal in some way.‭ ‬It was a natural progression for me really to join a paranormal investigative group where I could start investigating potentially haunted sites,‭ ‬whilst immersing myself in the subject further.‭

It is strange,‭ ‬but I have found,‭ ‬the more I delve into this subject,‭ ‬the more confused I am with it all.‭ ‬The more people try all kinds of things to find answers,‭ ‬i.e.‭ ‬psychics,‭ ‬table tipping,‭ ‬coat hangers and other associated crap,‭ ‬the less I really feel the need to try and make sense of it all.‭ ‬In my mind Ghost’s have always been there,‭ ‬they haven’t changed or moved their ethereal goalposts,‭ ‬its just that‭ ‬-‭ ‬sadly‭ ‬-‭ ‬everything else around‭ ‘‬them‭’ ‬has‭…‬.‭ ‬much to the‭ ‬detriment of the paranormal field itself.‭

The bulk of my spare time is spent in playing the drums in bands,‭ ‬writing stories,‭ ‬composing music‭ (‬currently writing a musical version of Tolkien's‭ ‘‬Silmarillion‭’)‬,‭ ‬painting and reading.‭ ‬With regards to my chosen career,‭ ‬I am what is called a‭ ‘‬Problem Manager‭’‬,‭ ‬in which my role is to minimise any adverse effects or issues that may occur within the business involved.

During‭ ‬2005,‭ ‬a further addition to the group came in the form of a solid,‭ ‬objective thinker,‭ ‬Mr.‭ ‬Kevin‭ ‘‬Casanova‭’ ‬Wallace.‭ ‬Kev‭ – ‬the Manager of an investigative team attached to a well known bank‭ – ‬was already a veteran of a great many ghost hunts prior to joining us.‭ ‬Until it’s recent demise,‭ ‬Kev served as‭ ‘‬Admin‭’ ‬for the WMGC forum,‭ ‬as well as single-handedly organising our incredibly popular,‭ ‬public events‭ – ‬the St.‭ ‬Marys Guildhall‭ (‬Coventry‭) ‬visit of‭ ‬2005‭ ‬and Galleries of Justice‭ (‬Nottingham‭) ‬investigation in‭ ‬2007.‭ (‬The former of the two events raised‭ ‬£500‭ ‬for Birm.‭ ‬Childrens Hospital‭)‬.‭

Part Three to follow shortly‭…‬..

Regards,

Nick‭
The W.M.G.C.

Friday, 13 November 2009

Book Success!!!!

We are happy to anounce the resounding success of the new book 'Dancing With Spirits' - by Rugely Author Carol Arnall - which was released earlier this year. The volume concerned is Carols first foray into the field of fiction, the bulk of her previous catalogue of works dealing with stories of paranormal happenings from around the general Midlands area.

The book 'Dancing With Spirits' involves a story which begins thousands of years ago on the outskirts of Rugeley, in the heart of Cannock Chase.

It tells of the anguish of a young girl, Elvaennia whose love Deimuiss, has disappeared without trace, and of her desperation to find him. Her search leads her to the 21st century where she begins a new life.

Eventually Elvaennia will have to decide whether to return to her old life or to continue to live life in the 21st century. She discovers something that may well destroy her family back at the settlement; and realises that, yet again, tough decisions will have to be made regarding her life.

Will the challenges of her new life take over the old Elvaennia, making her disregard her promise to love Deimuiss for all time and beyond? Will she forget the old ways and values, or decide to pursue this new life.......

Needless to say.... you will only know the answers to the above questions - and read about the literary adventures of the W.M.G.C. to boot - by buying the book!!

At the time of writing, Carol currently has a book signing event planned for Cannock Library on 12th December at approx 10.30 pm. The overall event itself also involves a coffee morning and will be part of the launch of the 'Adult Winter Read Event'. Needless to say, you will not only have the opportunity of meeting Carol in the flesh, but copies of some of her previous books - such as 'Mysterious Happenings' and 'Birmingham Girls' - will also be on sale.

As mentioned previously, Carols follow up novel 'Spirits of the Lights' is planned for the end of this year, with a further, ghost related publication - 'Out Of Step' - in the planning stages.

Carols website can be found at: www.carolarnall.com

Best wishes to all,

The W.M.G.C.

Treading The Boards‭…‬.



During‭ ‬2005,‭ ‬the West Midlands Ghost club began undertaking a series of investigations on behalf of our good friend,‭ ‬Chris Campbell-Brown of the popular Burton Ghost Walk.‭ ‬On July‭ ‬31st of that year,‭ ‬the group were duly asked to investigate an absolutely superb location,‭ ‬the‭ ‘‬Brew House Theatre‭’‬,‭ ‬in the heart of Burton On Trent.‭

Formerly part of a nearby brewery‭ – ‬hence the name‭ – ‬local legend has it that the site is haunted by an unfortunate workman who was accidentally boiled to death in a large vat during the‭ ‬1950‭’‬s.

While the provenance of this particular tale is somewhat questionable,‭ ‬it cannot be denied that Theatre staff‭ ‬frequently report experiencing inexplicable happenings.‭ ‬Nicknamed‭ ‘‬Fred‭’ ‬by cleaners,‭ ‬the resident ghost is constantly blamed for a variety of occurrences,‭ ‬including the sound of doors opening and closing‭; ‬the noise of furniture being dragged around empty rooms‭; ‬lifts operating by themselves and Auditorium lighting switching itself on of it’s own accord.

Theatre Technical Manager,‭ ‬Matt Bancroft,‭ ‬reports having had a number of strange experiences at the site.‭ ‬Alone in the building one night,‭ ‬Matt found himself openly telling‭ ‘‬Fred‭’ ‬off for interfering with some lighting equipment.‭ ‬As if in reply,‭ ‬he immediately heard a hefty blow hit the side of the Auditorium seating,‭ ‬the sound reverberating around the building‭! ‬On another occasion,‭ ‬he was standing in a passage that leads to the actors dressing rooms when he saw a‭ ‘‬grey figure‭’ ‬passing across an area at the rear of the stage.‭ ‬Thinking it was the Theatre Manager‭ – ‬who often wore grey‭ – ‬he went to investigate‭…‬..‭ ‬only to find the area concerned totally deserted and the Manager seated in a distant part of the building.

As usual for a W.M.G.C investigation,‭ ‬our visit to the site passed quietly,‭ ‬with only a brief sequence of‭ (‬10‭) ‘‬bumps‭’ – ‬possibly a series of footsteps‭(?) ‬-‭ ‬being reported by researchers carrying out a vigil in the Auditorium during the early hours of the morning.

For brief notes associated with our visit,‭ ‬see below:

INVESTIGATION REPORT:‭ ‬The Brew House Theatre‭ – ‬Union Street‭ – ‬Burton On Trent‭ – ‬East Staffordshire.

‭*‬Please Note:‭ ‬For the sake of brevity,‭ ‘‬rough note form‭’ ‬language‭ ‬/‭ ‬grammar has been used sporadically throughout this document.

Date Of Visit:‭ ‬30th‭ ‬/‭ ‬31st July‭ ‬2005.‭
Duration Of Visit:‭ ‬Approx.‭ ‬5‭ ‬hours.
Time of Arrival:‭ ‬Approx.‭ ‬10.00‭ ‬p.m.‭

Present:‭

Investigative Team‭ ‬-‭ 5 members of the W.M.G.C. Also, ‬Brewhouse Technical Manager,‭ ‬Matt Bancroft,‭ ‬remained with team members for the duration of the visit.

‭[‬I‭]‬.‭ ‬Aims‭ ‬/‭ ‬Inv.‭ ‬Process:‭

General investigation of property,‭ ‬mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance‭ ‬/‭ ‬importance regarding the alleged paranormal history of the site.‭ ‬Investigation procedure incorporating:

1st person audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬visual observation.‭

(b‭) ‬Static‭ (‬area based‭) ‬audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬visual recording,‭ ‬incorporating standard‭ ‬/‭ ‬night shot camera’s and digital audio recording equipment.‭ ‬Also wireless‭ (‬radio‭) ‬security camera.‭

(c‭) ‬General temperature‭ ‬/‭ ‬humidity recording.‭ (‬Incorporating‭ ‘‬ambient‭’ ‬devices‭)‬.

‭(‬d‭) ‬Trigger objects‭ – ‬listed below:

12‭” ‬tall mannequin figure‭ – ‬positioned table in‭ ‬1st floor,‭ ‬Corner Studio.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬4‭ ‬coins‭ – ‬outlined on single sheet of white paper‭ – ‬placed on table top in same room.‭

[II‭]‬.‭ ‬Primary‭ (‬1st Hand‭) ‬Notes:‭ ‬Investigation Procedure,‭ ‬plus Findings,‭ ‬Experiences‭ ‬/‭ ‬Poss.‭ ‬Significant Events:

‭*‬11.00‭ ‬p.m.‭ – ‬Vigils held in‭ ‘‬Corner Studio‭’‬,‭ ‘‬Drama Studio‭’ ‬and‭ ‘‬Auditorium‭’‬.

Corner Studio‭ – ‬Len Jackson and Darren Simpson.‭ ‬Len reports having heard‭ ‬2‭ ‘‬clink‭’ ‬and‭ ‬2‭ ‘‬knock‭’ ‬sounds from corridor area during session.‭ ‬Sounds not heard by Darren.‭

Drama Studio‭ – ‬Nick Duffy and Kevin Wallace.‭ ‬Session was severely hampered by a faulty‭ – ‬flashing‭ ‬-‭ ‬Emergency Exit sign‭ (‬light‭) ‬situated above one of the doorways to the room.‭ ‬Exceptionally disorientating.


Auditorium‭ – ‬Frazer Smith and Matt Bancroft.‭ ‬Frazer believes that he heard‭ ‘‬movement sounds‭’(?) ‬coming from upstairs corridor to right of Auditorium.‭

Vigils end:‭ ‬11.30‭ ‬p.m.‭

*12.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬3‭ ‬video recording sessions begin.‭ (‬All group members situated in Bar‭ ‬/‭ ‬Café area throughout sessions‭)‬.

Camera‭ ‬1‭ ‬situated in Corner Studio filming in darkness utilising night-shot capacity.

Camera‭ ‬2‭ ‬situated on middle landing of Auditorium raised seating,‭ ‬facing back stage area.‭ ‬Filming carried out in full light.‭

Camera‭ ‬3‭ ‬situated in Drama Studio,‭ ‬with filming carried out in full light.‭ (‬Cam.‭ ‬facing corner of room where figure allegedly seen‭)‬.‭

Sessions end:‭ ‬12.30‭ ‬a.m.

‭*‬12.50‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬Vigils held in‭ ‘‬Corner Studio‭’ ‬and‭ ‘‬Auditorium‭’‬.

Auditorium‭ – ‬Kevin Wallace,‭ ‬Len Jackson and Darren Simpson.‭ ‬At‭ ‬1.19‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬approximately‭ ‬10‭ ‘‬bump‭ ‬/‭ ‬bang‭’ ‬sounds in fairly quick succession from upstairs corridor to right of Auditorium.‭ ‬All present hear noises concerned,‭ ‬but cannot agree on whether they originated at stage end of corridor or foyer end‭(?) ‬It is suggested that the sounds may have been a sequence of footsteps.‭

Corner Studio‭ – ‬Nick Duffy,‭ ‬Frazer Smith and Matt Bancroft.‭ ‬Frazer taken ill during this session necessitating a visit to the toilet for some time.

Vigils end:‭ ‬1.20‭ ‬a.m.

‭*‬1.40‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬3‭ ‬video recording sessions begin.‭ (‬Again,‭ ‬all group members situated in Bar‭ ‬/‭ ‬Café area throughout sessions‭)‬.

Camera‭ ‬1‭ ‬situated in Dance Studio,‭ ‬filming in darkness in night-shot capacity.

Camera‭ ‬2‭ ‬situated in upstairs corridor‭ (‬right of Auditorium‭) ‬filming in full light,‭ ‬facing foyer end of building.

Camera‭ ‬3‭ ‬situated in Corner Studio,‭ ‬filming in full light.‭

Walkie-talkie set to‭ ‘‬voice activated‭’ ‬capacity left in Auditorium.

Sessions end:‭ ‬2.10‭ ‬a.m.

‭*‬NOTE‭ – ‬During the above period,‭ ‬Frazer Smith had to leave the building and return home because of illness.

‭*‬2.30‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬3‭ ‬video recording sessions and a vigil begin.

Camera‭ ‬1‭ ‬situated in Corner Studio filming in full light.

Camera‭ ‬2‭ ‬recording in upstairs corridor‭ (‬right of Auditorium‭) ‬filming in full light,‭ ‬facing stage end of building.

Camera‭ ‬3‭ ‬recording in upstairs corridor‭ (‬left of Auditorium‭) ‬filming in night-shot capacity.

All investigators situated in Auditorium during the session.‭ ‬Kev Wallace and Matt Bancroft report having heard sounds of‭ ‘‬movement‭’ ‬from upstairs area at stage end of room.‭ ‬No one else heard sound.‭ ‬Fairly regular sounds detected from behind large,‭ ‬double doors in backstage area,‭ ‬some of which Matt identifies as noises made by metal roller-shutters‭ (‬probably moving in wind‭) ‬situated behind wooden doors.‭ ‬Also sound of water running or dripping emanating from same area.‭ ‬Nick Duffy checks outside‭ – ‬via main foyer‭ – ‬and finds that it is raining.

All sessions end:‭ ‬3.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬At this point,‭ ‬group decides to call it a night and leave.

‭ [‬III‭]‬.‭ ‬Secondary Notes:‭ ‬Audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬Visual Results.

None of the recordings made during our stay appear to hold any material that could be regarded as‭ ‘‬paranormal‭’ ‬in origin.‭ ‬A small number of anomalous‭ (‬mainly solitary‭) ‬clicks‭ ‬/‭ ‬taps‭ ‬/‭ ‬bangs were caught on some of the recordings concerned,‭ ‬but,‭ ‬after scrutiny,‭ ‬it is assumed that these noises were native to the building‭ – ‬i.e.‭ ‬sounds naturally occurring in the environment concerned,‭ ‬such as the floor settling,‭ ‬etc.‭

[IV‭]‬.‭ ‬General Findings‭ ‬/‭ ‬Conclusions.

While the building in question would‭ (‬from anecdotal evidence‭) ‬appear to be a fairly‭ ‘‬active‭’ ‬site,‭ ‬nothing of an obvious paranormal nature was detected during our stay.‭

Of the variety of sounds sporadically heard by group members during the visit,‭ ‬none could be specifically tied down to any one area,‭ ‬nor were they directly corroborated by audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬visual recordings.‭ ‬While remaining anomalous,‭ ‬the sounds could not be accepted‭ – ‬nor for that matter discounted‭ – ‬as being of blatantly preternatural nature.‭

Temperature readings monitored throughout the night showed that the stage area fluctuated by only‭ ‬.3‭ ‬of a degree during the stay,‭ ‬while the Drama Studio‭ (‬with one fixed,‭ ‬slightly open window‭) ‬dropped by almost‭ ‬2‭ ‬degrees.

Regards to all,

The W.M. Ghost Club

Thursday, 5 November 2009

UPDATED....

Just a brief note to say that the West Midlands Ghost Club website has just been updated. News of some of our latest antics can, therefore, be found at:

http://www.westmidlandsghostclub.com/

Regards to all,

The W.M. Ghost Club

In The Beginning.... A Brief Group History - Part One.


The following post began life as the group history section of a previous incarnation of the W.M.G.C. website, written by Nick, one of the founder members of the club. For the sake of presenting up-to-date details regarding the life of the group - it's members, past and present, and so forth - the section concerned has recently been edited and adapted for inclusion here:

And so......

“As part of my earlier research into local hauntings, I had been periodically advertising around the region for accounts of Midlands based paranormal activity and occurrences.

In February 1989, I received a reply from one such campaign, sent in by a shy, unassuming chap some 15 yrs. my senior called Leonard Jackson. Unlike most of the people who had previously written to me, Len clearly had a considerable and practical knowledge of both paranormal and occult related fields. He came to the group with a genuine, life-long interest in the weird and the supernatural, having begun to make a constructive study of the factual side of the paranormal at the end of the 60's in the days of psychedelia and various New Age movements.

Having looked into almost every aspect of the Occult over the years - including practising Ritual Magic in the 70's and a period as an Evangelical Christian - he now largely limits his active research to ghost hunting while maintaining a mostly academic interest in his personal liking for studying Folklore and Ley Lines. A true 'travelling man' and genuine 'antiquarian', Len currently spends a lot of his spare time searching the length and breadth of our fair country for it's general 'history and mystery'.

Completely unknown to Len, however, is the fact that he also serves as the unofficial W.M.G.C. 'Mascot' - laugh, laugh!!

Also in 1989, I was introduced to a person who would frequently become the absolute ‘bane of my life’ – and undoubtedly one of my greatest friends – Darren Simpson. Definitely born with a morbid fascination for the dark and mysterious, he is a former Ghost Club (Of Great Britain) and A.S.S.A.P. member - stemming back to a time when both of these associations actually commanded some respect, I hasten to add. At the time of our meeting, Darren had recently approached the Express and Star newspaper with an enquiry about a ghost related article that they had published some years earlier. Ironically, they had no recollection of the matter – but they knew of a man who might…… (And, for anyone who is wondering…. Of course I did!! Laugh!!)

Within the space of a few months of all meeting, it was suggested that efforts to launch some form of investigative group – albeit frustrated at first – should be set underway. August 1989 saw the very first article which carried a mention of our group – then called the ‘West Midlands Friends Of The Paranormal’ (well, it seemed a good idea at the time!) – which appeared in the Black Country Bugle newspaper. At the beginning of 1991, we subsequently began using our more familiar W.M.G.C. moniker, which was intended as a tribute to the spirit of the original Ghost Club (of Great Britain), which was founded in 1862. (On reflection now, at the time of writing in late 2009, it has to be mused that a different choice of monicker might have been reached with foresight!)

In the mid-90’s, group membership eventually expanded to ‘4’ with the introduction of UFO researcher, Roger Simpson. Brother of Darren, Roger is a qualified computer technician who now runs his own business. A 6 ft 5" tall audio / visual hardware buff, his ‘Tekkie’ traits proved to be an invaluable addition to the investigative portion of group activities.....

Sadly, 'times change' (as they say) and, within recent years, both Darren and Roger have backed away considerably from W.M.G.C. activities. Darren happily cites his overwhelming scepticism and general disillusionment with the field itself (as it now stands) as the key reasons for stepping down. While fully understandable, under the current climate, his loss of drive for the subject is - after a lifetime of dedication to the subject - a considerable loss to the local research field.

Still good friends with the group and in regular contact, Roger currently spends most of his time running his busy computer business, while Darren works for a local charity".

Part Two to follow soon.....

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

New Welsh Group On The Scene!


It’s a bit of a rarity these days to find a particular area decidedly lacking in numbers when it comes to paranormal related groups‭…‬.‭ ‬but Wales does certainly appear to be one such place....

With that said,‭ ‬we should like to point out the existence of a relatively new group‭ ‬/‭ ‬website on the scene called‭ ‬www.unexplainedwales.com

As with a great many such associations these days,‭ ‬the society initially began as part of another group,‭ ‬before going their own way.‭ ‬The group itself consists of some‭ ‬10‭ ‬members who,‭ ‬we are told,‭ ‬are:‭ “‬believers,‭ ‬sceptics‭…‬ and those that prefer to sit on the fence‭”‬.‭

Sounds like a good mix,‭ ‬eh‭!!

Our contact for the club,‭ ‬Archie,‭ ‬tells us that he has‭ ‬had many‭ ‬‘Psychic‭’‬ and‭ ‬‘Ghostly‭’‬ experiences over the years,‭ ‬and has a keen need to find out more on the overall subject.‭ ‬Evidently no stranger to paranormal matters,‭ ‬his personal encounters have included:‭ “‬full blown apparitions and paranormal activity,‭ ‬ranging from unexplained smells,‭ ‬noises,‭ ‬moving or missing objects,‭ ‬sensations of being touched by unseen beings,‭ ‬and very occasionally precognition‭”‬.‭

For their investigations,‭ ‬they use‭ ‬scientific methods‭ ‬-‭ ‬adopting all of the scientifically accepted equipment‭ ‬currently employed in the field‭ –‬ plus working via any researched data on the location available.‭ ‬They will also be using any‭ '‬Psychic‭' ‬means that may be available,‭ ‬to complement‭ ‬their results.

The group‭ ‬would welcome anyone who wishes to visit the site or make comments on their online forum.‭ ‬All‭ ‬that is apparently required is‭ ‬an‭ ‬‘open mind‭’……

If there are any groups outside the West Midlands area who might like to see a few words about themselves on this blog,‭ ‬please do not hesitate to send your details in to us‭!!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C

Friday, 30 October 2009

Shop Haunting????

West Midlands Ghost Club members were highly intrigued to recently learn of the following article appearing in an edition of the Sunday Mercury newspaper:

‘‬Ghostbusters called to Walsall school uniform shop‭’

Oct‭ ‬5‭ ‬2009‭

GHOSTBUSTERS were hired to clear a violent poltergeist-style spirit from a school uniform shop in the Midlands,‭ ‬the Sunday Mercury can reveal.

Psychic detective Angela McGhee teamed up with a Catholic priest to rid the demon force from Clive Mark Schoolwear in Walsall.

Shop bosses called in the pair after spooked staff complained of ghostly goings-on at the Park Street shop.

At first staff noticed some stock had been mysteriously placed in the middle of the sales floor.‭ ‬Then,‭ ‬they said,‭ ‬the clothes would move overnight from one side of the shop to the other.

Some staff complained they were being pinched by an unknown force.

And they complained items were regularly being thrown around the store with no explanation.

Eventually,‭ ‬after the happenings in early‭ ‬2008,‭ ‬management called in psychic detective Angela McGhee and Father Hugh Sinclair,‭ ‬spiritual director at the priest training centre,‭ ‬St.‭ ‬Mary‭’ ‬College,‭ ‬in Oscott.

Known as the Miss Marple of the spirit world,‭ ‬Angela said she has been communicating with the‭ ‘‬other side‭’ ‬since childhood.

As well as clearing spirits from Clive Mark Schoolwear,‭ ‬her duties have since included helping police solve crimes‭ – ‬including murders.

Angela said:‭ “‬There was definitely a restless spirit haunting that shop at that time.‭ ‬It is unclear why the spirit,‭ ‬or spirits,‭ ‬were plaguing the shop,‭ ‬but I felt it may have had something to do with somebody who had worked there many years before when there used to a butchers shop.‭”

Father Sinclair said:‭ “‬I don’t know if we could go as far as to say it was an exorcism.‭ ‬But there was definitely some kind of upset spirit present,‭ ‬more like a poltergeist,‭ ‬so we said some prayers and blessed the shop and as far as I know they have not had any more problems since.‭”

Last night Philip Linz,‭ ‬operations director at Clive Marks,‭ ‬said:‭ “‬At no stage was anyone injured or was anyone frightened,‭ ‬it all seemed to be a bit of a laugh and a mystery.

‭“‬Whatever Angela and the priest did that day did the trick,‭ ‬we have not experienced anything like it again.‭”

Our involvement with this particular matter began in late‭ ‬2006,‭ ‬following a call from a witness to the alleged haunting.‭ ‬Shop staff happily received group members as regular visitors to the shop over a period of four or so months,‭ ‬during which time a considerable amount of information was collected on the history of the supposed‭ ‘‬haunting‭’‬.‭

Of considerable interest from a research point of view was the fact that‭ ‘‬events‭’ ‬regularly happened at the store‭ ‘‬in the presence of‭’ ‬group members.‭ ‬Over a space of time,‭ ‬pens,‭ ‬rugby boots,‭ ‬screwdrivers and light bulbs were all witnessed,‭ ‬seemingly‭ ‘‬flying‭’ ‬around the store‭…‬..‭

On one particular occasion,‭ ‬a group member had a very narrow escape indeed‭!‬:

“‬Man A‭’ ‬goes onto the phone and‭ ‘‬Lady B‭’ ‬walks towards the changing room area.‭ ‬I follow‭ ‘‬Lady B‭’ ‬and she begins to tell me something.‭ ‬As I get within about‭ ‬8‭ ‬or so feet of her‭ (‬she with her back to me‭)‬,‭ ‬a knife flies past the left hand side of my head‭ ‬-‭ ‬coming from the direction of the counter‭ (‬and‭ ‘‬Man A‭’) ‬-‭ ‬missing me by a matter of inches.‭ (‬Blunt,‭ ‬eating style knife of solid metal.‭ ‬By weight alone,‭ ‬it would have delivered a fair‭ '‬knock‭' ‬if it had hit me‭!) ‬The knife drops‭ ‬-‭ ‬in a natural arc‭ ‬-‭ ‬and lands on the floor in front of me.‭ ‬I joke that someone is‭ '‬trying to knife me‭'! ‬I retrieve the knife and immediately find that it is slightly warm on the blade‭

‬After saying that things always seem warm‭ (?) ‘‬Lady B‭’ ‬calls to‭ ‘‬Man A‭’ ‬and informs him about the knife.‭ ‘‬Man A‭’ ‬comes across and I tell him that‭ '‬it almost took the back of my head off‭' ‬and that‭ '‬it was a good throw‭'!! (‘‬Man A‭’ ‬later says that a customer allegedly saw the knife come out of the air conditioning vent on Saturday‭?!?)‬”

It has to be said that,‭ ‬if the case were indeed true,‭ ‬it would easily rant as one of the most active and virulent‭ ‘‬hauntings‭’ (‬poltergeist-like effects‭) ‬that the group had ever heard of,‭ ‬let alone investigated‭……

More data to follow shortly‭!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Midlands Poltergeist - Part Two.

In this post, we continue the story of the West Midlands poltergeist case which began a week or so ago......

"Things got even stranger over the final couple of years at the property.‭ ‬My wife worked nights at‭ ‬(name of site removed‭)‬,‭ ‬I was alone with the kids who were both asleep in bed.‭ ‬It was quite late and I felt hungry so I put something under the grill of the oven,‭ ‬I sat back in my armchair and stupidly fell asleep.‭ ‬The next thing I recall is the armchair being nudged quite forcefully,‭ ‬it rocked me forward and later when reflecting I recalled not immediately fully awakening initially,‭ ‬I was in that sort of half-asleep mode and must have thought I was dreaming then the chair rocked a second time and it jolted me awake.‭ ‬I opened my eyes to find the living room full of smoke,‭ ‬I immediately realised what I had done and dashed to find the first wisps of flame coming from the cooker.‭ ‬I switched it off and the flames fortunately died‭ (‬the cooker had been on the verge of bursting into flame and we subsequently had it replaced the next day as it was damaged beyond repair‭)‬.‭ ‬I quickly opened all the windows and the smoke dispersed.‭ ‬Had I not woken up at this time I shudder to think of the consequences.‭ ‬I had no smoke alarm and my two young daughters were asleep upstairs.‭ ‬I am convinced that the armchair was deliberately shaken in order to wake me.‭

‬Another incident occurred one time when I went to use the computer printer and there,‭ ‬sitting on the tray where the paper is output was the silver pen of my wife's deceased grandfather,‭ ‬this pen had been missing for over a year and could not have possibly been sat there all this time as I published a football newsletter and probably reloaded the paper tray at least twice a week.‭ ‬I am‭ ‬100%‭ ‬certain that the pen had been carefully put in a striking place where we would discover it.‭ ‬Periodically,‭ ‬other missing items would turn up in silly places as well,‭ ‬such as long-lost underwear being suddenly discovered on the stairs.‭

‬Although we are not religious,‭ ‬we had the house blessed by the local‭ ‬(name of church removed‭)‬ in the hope that we could live normal lives.‭ ‬This had no effect whatsoever.‭

‬Throughout the whole experience I questioned my sanity and that of my wife and despite all the mounting evidence I still had a part of me that did not want to believe what was happening.‭ ‬But any doubt I had disappeared when my daughter and wife both heard a voice from an unknown source whilst watching TV in the living room.‭ ‬I had just entered the living room when my eldest daughter‭ (‬she was about‭ ‬9‭ ‬or‭ ‬10‭ ‬at the time‭) ‬said‭ "‬Was that you dad‭?” ‬I had only just entered the room and had no idea what she was talking about,‭ ‬I glanced at my wife so she might be able to explain what my daughter meant,‭ ‬my wife nodded toward me so I said‭ '‬yes,‭ ‬that was me‭' ‬to my daughter whilst wondering what had happened.‭ ‬Later,‭ ‬my wife explained that just before I entered the room a loud echoing voice‭ (‬as if speaking down a tube‭) ‬had said‭ "‬hello‭"‬.‭ ‬That was the clincher for me,‭ ‬we had no desire to have the kids exposed to this so we put the house on the market.‭

‬Another occurrence was when we bought a Labrador dog,‭ ‬he was the most placid friendly dog you could wish to meet,‭ ‬always greeting strangers whenever I took him for a walk around‭ ‬(removed‭)‬ park.‭ ‬Then one day I got a phone call whilst at work from my wife,‭ ‬she told me to just listen to the receiver,‭ ‬all I could hear was the dog going absolutely nuts.‭ ‬He was barking and growling in a vicious manner that was totally out of character.‭ ‬I asked my wife what he was doing and she said he was barking at an empty space in the corner of the room.‭ ‬From that day onwards until we left the property about‭ ‬6‭ ‬months later we had no further incident so maybe the dog achieved where the Catholic church had failed and ridded us of the unwanted visitor.‭

‬At some stage we took it upon ourselves to make enquiries about the history of the house and found that a previous tenant had died and lay undiscovered for a number of days a few years earlier,‭ ‬we have no idea whether this is of relevance.‭ ‬FWIW,‭ ‬the property itself is a modest‭ ‬1930s ex-council house.‭

‬These are the events as I recall them and there are many more minor incidents such as coming home to the empty house to find shaving foam sprayed across the bathroom floor.‭ ‬At no stage were we really scared of what was happening,‭ ‬it was not like the movies with floating apparitions and such like,‭ ‬I am sure you have heard many tales of grey ladies and headless horsemen but it was much more mundane and almost comical at times.‭ ‬Indeed my wife had started to treat it as a friend and she would admonish it whenever it got up to mischief.‭

‬On reflection we actually feel privileged to have witnessed something so inexplicable.‭ ‬It is quite humbling to know that there are such things we have no explanation for.‭ ‬We live in‭ ‬(another country‭)‬ now and I wish I had known about your organisation before we left the UK so I could relate to you in person what we experienced as I do not think these words fully explain what we went through and how we felt at the time‭…‬.."

Absolutely fascinating stuff,‭ ‬eh‭?

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.‭

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Midlands Poltergeist - Part One.


The following post is a fascinating account of a poltergeist-like effect encountered in a family home in the West Midlands area from around‭ ‬1998‭ ‬to the year‭ ‬2000.‭ ‬We have kindly been given permission to reproduce this story here,‭ ‬though names and locations have been removed for the sake of total anonymity in the case concerned‭…‬..

We are most thankful to our correspondent for taking the time to share his encounters with us so fully‭! ‬Much appreciated indeed‭!

And so‭…‬..‭ ‬

“For at least the first five years we had no problems living there and if there was any activity then we did not notice it.‭ ‬The first occurrence of strange activity was when my wife began to notice doors and wardrobes opening and closing by themselves,‭ ‬sometimes she would close them only to find upon returning they had been opened and sometimes vice versa.‭ ‬No big deal we thought,‭ ‬it could be a draft effect or the house shifting as a result of heavy traffic‭ (‬the house is on a busy B-road‭) ‬although it increased with greater regularity and aroused suspicion that something weird might be occurring.‭

‬Next,‭ ‬household items began to go missing,‭ ‬daft things like underwear,‭ ‬cutlery and modest jewellery,‭ ‬also sentimental things such as my wife's deceased grandfather's silver pen.‭ ‬We felt not quite right about this but tried to put it down to pragmatic reasons‭; ‬we told ourselves we were being careless.‭

‬Then,‭ ‬one evening about‭ ‬9PM my wife was watching TV in bed,‭ ‬I was with her in the bedroom at the time working on the computer when she shouted‭ '‬Get off me‭'‬,‭ ‬I initially assumed she was talking in her sleep but when I turned I could see she was wide awake and kicking out her legs.‭ ‬She told me she had felt a hand moving over her leg on top of the duvet.‭ ‬Whatever it was,‭ ‬it had stopped when she lashed out.‭ ‬I tried to suggest she had imagined it but she categorically insisted it was a hand and it was running over her leg.‭ ‬I tried to keep things in perspective,‭ ‬my wife had recently had an operation and although I never said anything to her at the time I suspected she might not be quite recovered medically and may just have imagined the sensation.‭

‬I think I ought to point out that until I experienced these events I was ultra-sceptical about things going bump in the night so I was looking at practical reasons why these things were happening.‭ ‬My attitude began to change when I had my first exclusive experience‭ (‬as opposed to things happening to and around my wife‭)‬.‭ ‬It was the early hours of the morning and my wife and kids were asleep in bed but I was still up,‭ ‬again I was at the computer working when I heard a rattling sound coming from the top of the stairs.‭ ‬I stopped what I was doing but did not move,‭ ‬just listened,‭ ‬the rattling ceased when I stopped typing at the computer,‭ ‬I sensed something was seeking my attention,‭ ‬I decided to return to the computer to see if it occurred again and sure enough as soon as I started typing the rattling started again.‭ ‬I knew what the sound was,‭ ‬it was the stair gate at the top of the stairs being moved backward and forward against the hook that held it in place.‭ ‬This second time I leaped up quickly and dashed to check it out,‭ ‬I wanted to confront whatever was making a nuisance of itself.‭ ‬The rattling gate stopped before I even opened the bedroom door and upon further inspection both of my daughters were sound asleep in bed so it could not have been either‭ ‬of them sleep-walking or something.‭ ‬I returned to my computer work without further disturbance but I went to sleep that night knowing that something was with us in the house.‭ ‬The next day I talked it over with friends,‭ ‬I'll bet you know what their response was,‭ ‬I decided never to tell anyone again.‭

‬Over the next few months we experienced some of the things that I have seen reported at other hauntings such as strange boiled-cabbage-like smells occurring from nowhere,‭ ‬there would often be a rush of cool air in a otherwise still room with the windows closed,‭ ‬doors continued to open and close.‭ ‬One occasion that stands out was when I walked into the bedroom to find my wife's gold chain lying on the bed.‭ ‬It caught my eye immediately because my wife rarely wears any jewellery and it was lying there in a perfect circle as if someone had very delicately left it there.‭ ‬Nonetheless,‭ ‬I put it down to carelessness and put it away in her jewellery box and later told my wife she had left it on the bed,‭ ‬she said she had not seen that particular necklace for months....."

‭Part Two of this account follows shortly.....

‭Regards,

‭The W.M.G.C.

Gov. Related - Final Post. (Well, at least for now!?!)


This is the third of our posts related to government related sites and involves an historic building which has, over the space of many years, been utilised for a number of 'official' roles.

The property itself has a long record of alleged 'ghostly happenings', including poltergeist-like effects, the sound of voices and footsteps heard from empty sections of the building and the figure of a Monk-type apparition seen on the main staircase of the site. Needless to say, because of the current role that the house plays, the resident management have stressed that they do not want the preternatural side of the site openly advertising.....

This investigation took place on Fri. the 7th of March 2008 and involved 6 members of the West Midlands Ghost Club. As usual with our events, a general, brief investigation of property was made, mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance / importance regarding the paranormal history of the site.

As also standard with our investigations, procedure for the duration of our stay incorporated both 1st person audio / visual observation and static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard / night shot cameras and digital (audio) recording equipment.

Investigation Notes:

Visit began with a meeting involving two members of security staff at the house. Group members were subsequently given a tour of the entire property.

Trigger Objects:

*Large wooden cross – drawn around, on paper with audio alarm attached – situated on large dresser at side of main staircase.
*Childrens chiming ball situated on tiled floor to left of bottom of main staircase. (Later moved onto top of large dresser mentioned above).
*Thermometer situated on top of dresser – probe freely hanging from wooden detail of banisters of main staircase.

Session One – video recording session - 10.22 pm to 11.02 pm.

*Cam 1 – Situated in open doorway to C Room, facing towards main staircase.
*Cam 2 – Situated in P Room, in bay window end of room, facing towards open doorway.
*Cam 3 – Situated in upstairs (1st floor) P Room, facing towards table containing 3 name cards and a large paper clip. (Note* Julie drew attention of group to this room earlier on in the night, during the tour. While the rest of the group had gone up onto roof of property, Julie heard a noise seemingly coming from room concerned).
*Cam 4 – Situated in corridor outside Cellar door, facing towards the disabled toilet end of corridor.

Entire group situated in Cellar of property throughout the duration of the session. (Immediately followed by a ‘hoovering session’ in Cellar Corridor by Steve and John!!)

All Cams switched off at end of vigil.

Session Two – 11.15 pm to 11.45 pm.

*Nick and Len situated in Main Hallway and C Room.
*Steve and Julia situated in 1st Floor Corridors.
*John and Julie situated in Corridor in front of Cellar Door / ‘Haunted Toilet’ Corridor.

During this vigil:

Len accidentally kicks the childrens ball at bottom of Main Staircase and Nick moves it to top of dresser.

Nick notes hearing a ‘click’ at one point during the session and can hear Steve and Julia talking (muffled) throughout the vigil. During a walk into the C Room – taking photo’s – he sees the security guard patrolling the perimeter of the property.

John and Julie report a loud ‘click’ coming from the handle mechanism of the door between the Cellar Corridor and the ‘Haunted Toilet’ Corridor. (Propped open with chair throughout session). Investigation revealed that ‘bolt’ of mechanism sometimes locked in position when handle pushed into furthest position down and could ‘pop back out’, noisily, at a later point. (*Note – possibly the ‘click’ heard by Nick during the session).

Julie also reports hearing a noise coming from the area of the rear door of the corridor – something akin to a can crushing. A later check with the security guard reveals that he manipulated a gate at the rear of the premises during this period which does make a noise.

Session Three – 12.10 am to 12.40 am

*Nick and Len situated in 1st Floor Corridors.
*Steve and Julia situated in Corridor in front of Cellar Door / ‘Haunted Toilet’ Corridor.
*John and Julie situated in Main Hallway and C Room.

During this period:

Nick visits toilet – 1st floor – during the session and also checks 1st and 2nd Floor Rooms. Steve later asks if anyone had been walking around on 1st Floor as both, he and Julia hear faint footfalls/noise coming from the floor above.

Julie reports having detected a smell akin to a ‘burning match’ in the doorway to the C Room.

Session Four – 1.05 am to 1.35 am

*Nick and Len situated in Corridor in front of Cellar Door / ‘Haunted Toilet’ Corridor.
*Steve and Julia situated at bottom of Main Staircase.
*John and Julie situated in 1st Floor corridor / 1st Floor P Room.

During this session:

Nick seated on floor, opposite rear door to property, reports having heard a rustling noise seemingly coming from outside. Security guard has previously mentioned that guard dog is sited in this area, so he pays little attention to sound. Upon mentioning noise to Len – standing nearby – and mid-sentence hears a rapid succession of dull ‘thuds’ from somewhere.

Upon this matter being mentioned in front of the entire group later, it was ascertained that everyone in the property had heard the ‘thuds’, including the security guard who had been situated in his room at the time. Suggested by group members that noise could have been door thudding closed?

At end of Session 4, Group pack up and leave property approx. 1.45 am.

Temp. Recordings (Main Hallway):

*11.03 pm – 20.8 degrees.
*11.46 pm – 20.8 degrees.
*12.50 am – 20.8 degrees.
*1.35 am – 20.0 degrees.

Regards to all,

The W.M.G.C.