Sunday, 26 April 2009

Great Barr Hall Experiences(?)


As with offerings of information, 'queries' also frequently come our way and our dealings with the Great Barr area have certainly proven no exception. Within the past couple of weeks we have recieved a clutch of emails and phonecalls enquiring whether our interests in the aforementioned area have ever led to any 'personal experiences' for the W.M.G.C. members themselves.....?

Much emphasis has (over recent years) been put on the former St. Margarets Hospital site and that magnificent pile, Great Barr Hall itself. On this latter subject, we can (somewhat rarely) comment on the sort of potential 'personal experience' alluded to above....

Our first visit to the property was in early 2004 and was carried out by a solitary group member. Needless to say, this was at a time prior to the rejuvenation of the general area, when the hospital site was still extant, but in a most deplorable condition. Back then, access to the Hall itself was via some fallen fencing at the Chapel end of the building. A narrow path of knee-length grass lead alongside the Chapel to the main door of the Hall, which, at that point in time, stood open. On entering the building, the member concerned had noticed that a group of (shall we say) 'non-licenced salvage workers' (ahem!) were stripping the remaining guts out of a hospital building nearby.

After only a matter of a minute or so of his standing in the entrance hall of the property - taking snap-shots and so on - the distinct sound of someone slowly, but surely walking along the overgrown path leading to the main door of the Hall could be heard......; the noise of one or more people deliberately kicking their way through knee-length grass.

A pessimistic, but practical thinker by nature, he had instantly thought of an impending mugging / beating of some description and, in that same thought, reasoned that - if he was going to be set about and possibly maimed - being 'outside' the building would be infinitely more preferrable to remaining incapacitated and undetected 'inside'....!?!? Clearly, his best course of action was to step outside the nearby, main door and meet his would-be-attackers in broad daylight, before they could enter.

Heart in throat, he duly stepped outside.... only to find that the non-too-stealthy noise of approaching people had now, suddenly stopped and there was absolutely no one in sight!?!?

The sceptic / rationalist in him later noted in his diary that there was some loose plastic sheeting / tarpaulin affixed to the Chapel roof and it could well have been this - blowing in the wind - that he had somehow heard and misinterpreted(?) Who knows, eh?

On a later visit to the Hall, two male group members were exploring the inside of the building, with a video camera running. They were not actually intending to commit anything to tape properly - this wasn't intended as a 'structured' recording session, it has to be noted - but they had thought that the camera should possibly be switched on 'just in case'.....

Entering the rear - and exceptionally dilapidated - section of the building, they had to take great care in navigating some of the more dodgy looking sections of the site: holes in the floor, dropping down into the cellar; walls which seemingly began 8 feet in mid-air (with no signs of support); dangerously hanging / positioned masonry, etc.

After returning home, the process of reviewing the tape concerned was carried out. At a point some time after the investigators had entered the rear portion of the Hall, they can be heard discussing the care needed to navigate certain features in this particular section of the property - a certain doorway being mentioned because of dangerous looking masonry above. Immediately after this - as clear as a bell on the recording - a womans voice suddenly cuts in from nowhere and says a single word: "Carmen". Somewhat intriguingly, the word is clearly stretched slightly, with emphasis being put on each syllable: "Carrrr-men". It is also - quite clearly, from the level of sound - close to the video camera.

Needless to say, nothing out of the ordinary was heard at the time that the recording was made and there was no one else inside the property with us to have been accidentally caught on the tape... Over the years, group members have caught the occasional, anomalous voice or sound on recordings, but this one certainly stands out as one of the most perplexing so far. Despite being a very objective group, we have long been at ends to rationally explain this voice away.

Unfortunately, discoveries made by the group regarding the actual ghostlore of the St Margarets site as a whole - interviews with ex-staff members of the Hospital and so on - came much too late to have been of any practical use to the club. One veritable 'gold mine' of related data - specific buildings, etc - was given to us by a particular source, at a time when the finishing touches were being added to the freshly erected residential complex which now dominates the bulk of the area involved.

Ahhh - c'est la vie, eh!!!

Best wishes,

The W.M.G.C.

5 comments:

PSGifford said...

Fascinating. I have written about ghosts from Great Barr.

www.psgifford.com

W.M.G.C. said...

Hi PSGifford,

Thank you for your comment....

We'd love to learn about what you have written on the Hall?

Regards,

The WMGC

Tim Avery said...

I went to that place with my Bro and his mate.we was there for.a fair while inside nothing happened then we went to a.little out building and all.3 of us in there when I got touched by 4 freezing finger which I felt.through a coat jumper and t-shirt was late when it happened I went pure white that white my Bro asked me what happened he could see the change in my face my whole body went stiff for.short time when stopped we.left and didn't go back for some time.when we did.nothing else.happened

Tim Avery said...

I went to that place with my Bro and his mate.we was there for.a fair while inside nothing happened then we went to a.little out building and all.3 of us in there when I got touched by 4 freezing finger which I felt.through a coat jumper and t-shirt was late when it happened I went pure white that white my Bro asked me what happened he could see the change in my face my whole body went stiff for.short time when stopped we.left and didn't go back for some time.when we did.nothing else.happened

W.M.G.C. said...

Thanks very much for your post Tim. It's a stunning site with a lot of history to it....