Friday, 17 July 2009

Back To School...

In light of our last post involving a potentially haunted secondary school, readers of this blog might be interested to hear of another, (albeit 'ex' in this instance) school site which has been the focus of W.M.G.C. interest on two, separate occasions.... The site - 'since' our first visit, we hasten to add - has also been the focus of interest from other local ghost groups..........

Our first visit to what is now the Council Training Centre in Oldbury, West Midlands, was conducted on January the 18th 2008. As mentioned above, the site was formerly a seat of local, Black Country education, being built in 1936 as the Albright Secondary School.

Over the years the property has allegedly been the site of a number of ghostly encounters, many of which have been reported by reliable and level-headed members of site staff. A piano has been heard playing in one particular room, but, upon investigation, it was discovered that the room concerned was completely empty and the piano itself fully covered over with an undisturbed dust-sheet.

The figure of a little girl is said to have been seen traversing a corridor outside the canteen area and - within the canteen itself - staff members report, on more than one occasion, having witnessed the figure of a woman dressed in grey, walking across the eating area.

Elsewhere in the property, the feeling of being followed has frequently spooked cleaning staff and the figures of two 'caretaker-style' men - dressed in brown cowgowns - have been reported....

W.M.G.C. interest in the Training Centre generated a degree of media interest and articles concerning our visit appeared in a number of local newspapers and on the Sandwell MBC website itself. Our investigation of the site was conducted (in part) in the presence of an Express and Star reporter. (Resulting in the article seen at the very top of this report).

Brief details of our initial visit runs as follows:

Date Of Visit: Fri. Jan. 18th / Sat. Jan. 19th 2008
Duration Of Visit: Approx. 3.75 hours.
Time of Arrival / Entry: Approx. 10.00 p.m.

Present:

Investigative Team – John Conway, Julie Badger, Julia Whiston, Steve Chew, Kevin Wallace and Nick Duffy. Also present on the premises was Security Guard, Mr Singh and – briefly – an Express and Star reporter.

Aims / Inv. Process:

General, brief investigation of property, mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance / importance regarding the paranormal history of the site.

Investigation procedure incorporating:

a) 1st person audio / visual observation.
b) Static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard / night shot camera’s.
c) General temperature / humidity recording. (Incorporating ‘ambient’ and ‘Remote’ devices).

Investigation:

Following brief tour of property in presence of Mr Singh, group members set up equipment in Room 71 – Lecture Theatre.
*Mannequin set up on desk in centre of floor area with audio alarm attached to base.
*On small table (to right of door as you enter room): Mannequin with audio alarm attached; six coins ringed on piece of paper and walkie-talkie set to ‘voice activated’ mode.
*Digital audio recorder situated on table (in row) furthest from door.
*Video Camera one situated on upper level of raised seating – immediate left corner of room as you enter – facing across to opposite corner of theatre.
*Video camera two situated in far right corner of room (as you enter the area) facing across to the door.

After leaving Lecture Theatre, group briefly visits Gym area and Steve leaves a chiming ball (childrens toy) on table top (in row nearest partition) in Gym Room B.

Immediately prior to beginning of Vigil One, reporter leaves premises (being let out by Mr Singh).

Vigil One – 10.50 pm to 11.20 pm

Group One – John, Julie and Julia – situated in Gym area.

Reported:

10.56 pm: both John and Julie get a feeling of being watched. Julie situated in Gym area A and John in area B.

11.12 pm: Julia feels temperature drop in Gym area A. All present feel temp colder in one half of the Gym.

Group Two – Steve, Kev and Nick – situated in turn of two corridors, directly in front of access door.

Nothing to report.

11.40 pm (approx) – equipment collected from Lecture Theatre area and transferred to Gym area.

Gym Area A:

*Video Camera situated on right hand wall of room (as you enter), facing across to door in partition wall.
*Digital audio device situated on table next to aforementioned video camera.

Gym Area B:

*Childrens chiming ball on table (as mentioned previously).
*Mannequin situated on table top – near chiming ball – with audio alarm attached.
*Video camera situated in far / centre section of room (as you enter), facing across to partition door.

Vigil Two – 11.55 pm to 12.55 pm

Group One – as before – situated in Restaurant area.

Nothing to report.

Group Two – as before – situated in Lecture Theatre area. (Note* on way to vigil, Group Two pass Mr Singh patrolling the corridors).

Reported:

23.58 pm: ‘Clonk’ sound heard. Probably originating from radiator situated near door to room. At this same time, Nick and Steve conversing and Kevin hears a noise akin to someone moving around on the floor (level) of the room. All 3 group members are situated on the topmost level of the raised seating at this point.

Midnight: ‘Flash’ - like camera flash – seen in room. Originated from outside the room and, therefore, was most likely Group One taking photographs. (Which they had done during this vigil).

12.03 am: Same as above.

12.04 am: Steve notices alteration of light patterns on ceiling of room. Reason that this is probably due to external light source; something moving through / past the source, etc.

12.16 am: Two pronounced ‘clonk’ noises heard.

At end of vigil, all members meet in Restaurant area for brief – approx 5 to 10 minute - break.

Vigil Three – 12.45 am to 1.15 am

Group One – as before – situated in Lecture Theatre.

Nothing to report.

Group Two – as before – situated in Gym area B.

Reported:

12.50 am: Steve sitting at table nearest partition wall. Rests both elbows on table top and feels something akin to a ‘blow’ on the bottom of the table - force travelling upwards. Nick situated directly in front of Steve hears the sound, which is described as having something of a metallic element to it. Reason that the table may well have been ‘settling’ in some way and could have made this effect itself / naturally.

1.13 am: exceptionally loud ‘crack’ noise from wall-clock area of room (immediately to left of door as you enter). Occurred twice. (Noise appeared to come from clock itself?)

After Vigil Three ends – approx. 1.30 am to 1.45 am - group collects equipment and leaves the building.

Leaving almost a year between visits, a follow up investigation was eventually organised by group member, John Conway, for Friday, January the 6th 2009.

Present:

Investigative Team – John Conway, Julie Badger, Steve Chew, Len Jackson, Deborah Green and Marianne Barker . Also present on the premises was Security Guard, “Jaz” Singh.

Aims / Inv. Process:

General, brief investigation of property, mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance / importance regarding the paranormal history of the site.

Investigation procedure incorporating:

a) 1st person audio / visual observation.
b) Static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard / night shot camera’s.
c) General temperature / humidity recording. (Incorporating ‘ambient’ and ‘Remote’ devices).

Investigation:

Following brief tour of property in presence of “Jaz, group members set up equipment in upstairs offices:

*Mannequin set up on the floor in the centre of the room, (placed in the central walking area) with audio alarm attached to base.
*Len’s Video camera set up on the left adjoining stairwell, facing across the room; towards the right hand side stairwell. (Both the left and right stairwell doors were left open to cover the area as a whole.)

Room 1

*Audio alarmed Crucifix and Pentagram (with 3 coins placed on it) set up on the floor in the centre of the room.
*Steve’s Video Camera on the table facing across the room in direct line with the door way leading to the corridor.

Restaurant

*John’s Video Camera situated on table facing across the room to the (corridor side) focusing on area where previous sighting occurred.

All Video Camera’s commence recording at 10.15pm


Vigil One – 10.20 pm to 10.50 pm

All present (including Jaz) situated in Lecture Theatre. *Children’s chiming ball placed on carpeted floor in the approximate centre of the room.

10.50 - Vigil ends. Nothing to report.

Vigil Two – 11.25 pm to 12.00 pm

John’s Video Camera left recording in the Restaurant, whilst “Baiting CD” left running simultaneously in the same room.

Group 1 – John, Julie, Len and Jaz situated in Room 1

Group 2 – Steve, Deborah and Marianne situated in the upstairs offices.

11.25pm Approx - Noteworthy mention – Steve walking slightly ahead of Deborah and Marianne, enters the upstairs office, on reaching the right hand side of the room, the overhead lights switch on simultaneously. At the time it was presumed the lights are activated by a motion sensor. On investigation and confirmation from Jaz, the lights can only be switched on by the wall. Steve feels this should be reconfirmed with Jaz again at some point.

11. 37pm - Steve, Deborah and Marianne situated in the right hand side of the room, next to the outside windows hear a very loud bang/creak coming from what sounded like the left side of the room near the left stairwell. (This may have been due to the building cooling down but it was very pronounced and distinctive non the less.)

12.00 am - Steve, Deborah and Marianne see two flashes of yellowish light coming from outside through the window, car headlights were ruled out as no vehicles had passed by at that time, also the motion and spontaneity was more akin to a torch beam. Possibly emanating from the factory across the road?

12.00 am – Group had decided to call out to the room, to provoke a “reaction.”

12.09 am – Steve witnesses a very quick flash of light at the top of the right stairwell. (Interestingly, this happened immediately after a suggestion was made requesting this. No one else present was in a satisfactory position to witness this as too close to the right hand wall of room, obscuring view.

Vigil Ends – 12.10am. Time run over by 10 minutes.

Group 1 – John, Julie, Len and Jaz situated in Room 1

12.00am - Vigil ends. Nothing to report.

After Vigil Two ends – approx. 12.10 am - group collects equipment and leaves the building.

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

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