Friday, 25 September 2009

Shrewsbury Re-Visit.

On September the‭ ‬11th,‭ ‬group members paid a return visit to Shrewsbury Library in Shropshire.‭ ‬The main focus of our visit was to investigate the potential source of sound anomalies heard and recorded during our previous investigation of June the‭ ‬26th.‭ ‬As mentioned elsewhere,‭ ‬the‭ ‘‬noises‭’ ‬concerned were a peculiar‭ ‘‬spring‭’ ‬type sound which was heard by‭ ‬3‭ ‬investigators in the area of the property known as the Top Classroom‭ (‬now the Music Library‭) ‬and some peculiar,‭ ‬female vocal sounds caught in the Old School Library on video by Steve Chew.

With regards to the latter mentioned,‭ ‬the video footage has become something of an overnight sensation in itself‭! ‬The clip‭ – ‬accessed via the link below‭ – ‬has now attained a phenomenal 3998 hits at the time of writing this post!!

VIDEO CLIP‭ – ‬FEMALE VOCALS‭?

Following our most recent visit,‭ ‬the Shropshire Star took interest in the matter on September the‭ ‬17th:

“‬Ghost-hunters spooked at library‭”

Ghost-hunters were spooked by weird noises including a‭ “‬loud metallic clanging‭” ‬and a bang when they camped out at a Shropshire library for a paranormal investigation.

Members of the West Midlands Ghost Club carried out the investigation at Shrewsbury Library.

They recorded the sounds and are now trying to determine exactly what it was they heard.

The visit,‭ ‬earlier this month,‭ ‬was the second to the library in the space of just a few months following a previous visit in June.

The ghost club returned to the library for a four-hour visit this month after discovering that one of its cameras had seemingly picked up some‭ “‬peculiar female vocal sounds‭”‬.

John Conway,‭ ‬from the club,‭ ‬said:‭ “‬At‭ ‬9.55pm members of group one hear a loud metallic‭ ‘‬clanging‭’ ‬noise,‭ ‬followed by a very loud‭ ‘‬bang‭’ ‬from somewhere inside the building.‭” ‬He said investigations took place but there was no indication of anything which could have made the sounds.

‭“‬We really can’t explain what these sounds were,‭” ‬he added.

John Conway of the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬has now sampled the female vocal sounds‭ – ‬and the‭ ‘‬crash‭’ ‬and‭ ‘‬bang‭’ ‬anomalies of the‭ ‬11th‭ – ‬and all can be now accessed via the jukebox function on the following link:

SAMPLED SOUNDS‭ – ‬SHREWSBURY LIBRARY


Best wishes to all,


The W.M.G.C.

Distinctly lacking in originality,‭ ‬pride‭… ‬and common decency‭?

Coming to write this particular piece for the blog,‭ ‬it was quite evident that we could literally go‭ ‘‬on and on and on‭’ ‬with regards to the subject in question.‭ ‬If there is anything that the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬could say that they have a lot of experience in‭ – ‬in a variety of different forms‭ – ‬it’s coming into contact with people who are all too evidently lacking in scruples‭…‬..‭ ‬And,‭ ‬sadly,‭ ‬we’re not talking about the bogus psychics,‭ ‬or people possibly lying about ghostly experiences here‭…‬..‭ ‘‬no‭’…‬.‭ ‬we are talking about other,‭ ‬self-professed,‭ ‘‬paranormal researchers‭’‬.

To kick this‭ ‘‬rant‭’ ‬off and generally‭ ‘‬set the tone‭’ – ‬a matter that has been coming for a long time now,‭ ‬it has to be said‭ – ‬we reproduce below an article which‭ ‬appeared in the‭ ‬‘Walsall Advertiser‭’‬ newspaper for‭ ‬07‭ ‬September‭ ‬2006:

GHOSTHUNTERS TO KEEP THEIR FINDINGS SECRET

"Ghost hunters who investigate alleged hauntings and paranormal activity across the Black Country claim they are having to work more covertly because their research is being ripped off.

Outraged members of West Midlands Ghost Club,‭ ‬who have researched spooky goings-on at a host of sites including the former Green Dragon pub in Walsall town centre,‭ ‬say their work is being stolen and placed on other internet websites.‭ ‬The group says the information theft has become‭ '‬infinitely worse‭' ‬since programmes such as Most Haunted have hit the small screen.

West Midlands Ghost Club,‭ ‬which has a number of members from the Walsall area,‭ ‬has been in existence for‭ ‬17‭ ‬years and in that time has investigated a range of alleged paranormal events at sites including Lilleshall Abbey in Shropshire,‭ ‬the Starting Gate pub in Walsall and The Manor House Restaurant in West Bromwich.

Through the website,‭ ‬the group has kept people posted on research and latest news.

But members are now keeping their cards closer to their chests to prevent their work being blatantly stolen and manipulated by others.

Frazer Smith,‭ ‬a member of the group who lives in Walsall,‭ ‬said the problem was incredibly frustrating.

‭"‬Our research is basically being stolen,‭" ‬he said.

‭"‬It is being poached by people who have put no work in at all to the material they take.

‭"‬We are not happy about this at all.‭ ‬It's frustrating that we are having our work hijacked.‭"

Another member said:‭ "‬Ironically,‭ ‬most of the culprits call themselves investigators or researchers‭ ‬-‭ ‬or both‭ ‬-‭ ‬when the sum total of their investigative ability seems to be turning on their computer and seeing what they can take from someone else.

‭"‬Under the current climate we are seriously thinking of being a lot more covert with what we do.‭"

Despite the fact that the above was published almost three years ago now,‭ ‬it is all too clear that the subject being discussed has evidently gone from bad to worse.....‭ ‬and not just for the W.M.G.C.,‭ ‬but clearly on a National‭ ‬scale.‭

At the most basic level,‭ ‬it should be mentioned that‭ – ‬in the past‭ ‬-‭ ‬there has always been an‭ (‬albeit unwritten‭) ‬rule,‭ ‬with regards to obtaining investigations,‭ ‬which generally runs something along the lines of‭ '‬trying your best not to tread on other peoples toes‭'‬.‭ ‬ Sadly,‭ ‬such considerations currently seem well beyond most‭ ‬-‭ ‬so-called‭ ‬-‭ ‬investigative groups.

It has to be pointed out that,‭ ‬over the space of many years,‭ ‬there have clearly been‭ ‬countless occasions where other groups appear to have used the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬investigation list as a ready-made‭ '‬index‭' ‬to be dipped into willy-nilly for their own ventures.‭ ‬Frequently,‭ ‬the only time we've heard from the groups concerned is when they've contacted us to ask if we'd help them get into the places involved,‭ ‬when they have evidently been having problems themselves‭!! ‬Laugh‭!!‬ Only a few weeks ago,‭ ‬we received a txt message from someone,‭ ‬asking about how to get access to a site they’d seen on our website,‭ ‬as they also wanted to investigate the location.‭ (‬Only the first name of the enquirer was given in the txt and the information that he was a member of‭ ‘‬a local group‭’)‬.‭ ‬On answering the message,‭ ‬we actually gave them the requested information‭…‬.‭ ‬and,‭ ‬in all friendliness,‭ ‬enquired who we were dealing with‭?

Surprise,‭ ‬surprise,‭…… ‬there was no reply‭!! ‬Laugh‭!!

Only a couple of days ago,‭ ‬while generally surfing the net,‭ ‬we happened across a previously unnoticed,‭ ‬local website containing a number of sites that have appeared on the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬investigations list‭ – ‬including sites previously exclusive to our files‭ ‬-‭ ‬including the site asked about a few weeks ago‭…‬..‭ !!!

Another,‭ ‬fairly recent incident occurred when a group applied for permission to visit a site that the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬had just investigated.‭ ‬Amazingly,‭ ‬this was within a couple of days of press coverage of our visit‭ – ‬previously unannounced anywhere else‭ – ‬being released‭! (‬Talk about rapid response‭!! ‬Laugh‭!!) ‬Ironically,‭ ‬the group concerned had mentioned a past association with the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬in their introductory letter to the site,‭ ‬evidently as a means to helping their appeal for entry‭!! ‬Having subsequently raised the matter with someone previously associated with the group in question,‭ ‬it was actually suggested that their response might have been down to a matter of‭ ‘‬turf war‭’ – ‬i.e.‭ ‬we had,‭ ‬in visiting their general region,‭ ‬been‭ ‘‬trespassing on their home ground‭’!?!?!?!

One has to ask exactly what this field is turning into‭!?

Yet another recent case‭ – ‬also evidently something which came as a direct consequence of media coverage‭ – ‬involves another local group gaining access to a property within a brief period of our investigating the site.‭ ‬On their web page,‭ ‬the group concerned claimed complete control of the building in question‭ – ‬no mention of our past association with the place,‭ ‬the WMGC having actually‭ ‘‬discovered‭’ ‬the building and being the only group to visit the site prior to this‭ – ‬and stressed that their dealing with the location had to be kept a‭ ‘‬strict secret‭’ ‬by request of the site.‭ ‬Ironically,‭ ‬upon our dealing with the place,‭ ‬only a brief period earlier,‭ ‬media coverage was something that was greatly encouraged‭!! (‬The people involved in setting the matter up even advertised our investigation on a local government website‭!!! ‬Laugh‭!!!) ‬Most tellingly in this case was the fact that,‭ ‬on our subsequent re-investigation,‭ ‬we were informed that the other group were also due to re-visit‭…‬..‭ ‬with a media oriented camera crew in tow‭!! ‬So much for utter secrecy,‭ ‬eh‭?

The real ironic twist in this particular tale was a correspondence from the head of the group concerned to the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬in which a third party‭ (‬unknown to the W.M.G.C.‭) ‬was blamed for‭ ‘‬crap stirring‭’!? ‬We were given an assurance that the group in question would never stoop so low as to‭ ‘‬steal‭’ ‬investigations from our group,‭ ‬despite the fact that this is what had all too blatantly happened‭! ‬Sadly,‭ ‬a protestation of complete innocence‭…‬..‭ ‬might have carried more weight if an attempt at explaining how they had‭ ‘‬accidentally‭’ ‬contacted a site that they could have only learned of in named,‭ ‬W.M.G.C.‭ ‬media coverage and a subsequent endeavour to‭ (‬a‭) ‬hide the fact under a bizarre veil of secrecy and‭ (‬b‭) ‬take it upon themselves to try and close the building down to everyone else‭!?!?

Non-investigation-wise,‭ ‬we have also,‭ ‬constantly,‭ ‬found information and photographs being‭ '‬ripped‭' ‬from our website and blatantly placed on other groups‭ ‬pages and publicity literature.....‭ ‬One fledgling group that we offered help to a short while ago‭ – ‬help which was turned down in favour of another,‭ ‬new local group,‭ ‬we hasten to add‭ – ‬have now seemingly‭ ‘‬ripped‭’ ‬articles written by a W.M.G.C.‭ ‬member‭ (‬about W.M.G.C.‭ ‬investigations‭) ‬from another site and pasted them onto their own web page‭…‬..‭ ‬with no credit whatsoever going to the party in question‭ !!

Unfortunately‭ ‬-‭ ‬cutting a potentially,‭ ‬very long story short‭ ‬-‭ ‬what is clearly lacking in this field currently are signs of general‭ '‬pride‭' ‬and‭ ‬/‭ ‬or pride in‭ '‬originality‭' ‬that should be involved in running a group.‭ ‬ At the end of the day,‭ ‬respect,‭ ‬originality and simple honesty are supposed to be key elements in this field and,‭ ‬if anyone has a modicum of‭ ‬any of the above for themselves,‭ ‬then,‭ ‬surely,‭ ‬such notions should be aimed at others in the same breath‭?‬ We believe that there should most definitely be an element of general‭ '‬pride‭' ‬and‭ ‬/‭ ‬or pride in‭ '‬originality‭' ‬involved in running a group.‭ ‬In a broader context,‭ ‬people wouldn't be happy in running a business‭ (‬for example‭) ‬and going around,‭ ‬blatantly stealing everyone elses customers.‭ ‬Needless to say,‭ ‬this does indeed happen,‭ ‬but it doesn't exactly lead to gaining a good reputation‭ (‬within whatever context‭)‬,‭ ‬does it‭?

Lack of originality‭ – ‬or is that more accurately‭ ‘‬lack of ability‭’ ‬-‭ ‬in finding investigations has been the‭ '‬make or break‭' ‬point of so many groups and researchers in the past.....‭ ‬and rightly so,‭ ‬we hasten to add‭!!‬ Commercial ghost hunting ventures have frequently appeared to be the backbone of a lot of‭ (‬so called‭) ‬investigative societies in recent years‭…‬..‭ ‬but simple‭ ‘‬net surfing‭’ ‬and‭ ‘‬borrowing‭’ ‬from others will always be the more popular,‭ ‬cheaper and,‭ ‬therefore,‭ ‘‬common‭’ ‬option‭!!

Of course,‭ ‬there is the frequently stated argument that anything which appears on the internet is now‭ ‘‬in the public domain‭’ ‬and,‭ ‬therefore,‭ ‬instantly‭ ‘‬fair game‭’ ‬for anyone that comes across it‭…… ‬This is quite true to a great degree,‭ ‬of course‭ – ‬but it is quite telling that this sort of practice and attitude is looked on with complete scorn in pretty much every other situation in day to day life...‭! ‬We’re sure car thieves have the same type of attitude to other peoples vehicles and so on‭!!

Another,‭ ‬oft-quoted,‭ ‬opinion is the‭ ‘‬sites should be open to all‭’ ‬statement which often appears in debates on this subject.‭ ‬Needless to say,‭ ‬in a perfect world,‭ ‬this would probably be the case‭…‬..‭ ‬but such protestations‭ (‬under the current climate‭) ‬don’t carry too much,‭ ‬moral weight when made by people who are blatant culprits in such practices,‭ ‬or made in support of others who share the same,‭ ‘‬tough cheese‭’ ‬attitude‭……

This overall picture is indeed something of a grey area and evidently doesn't just boil down to a‭ ‬case of‭ ‬‘who lays claim to what‭’‬ and so on.‭ ‬The whole matter is a bit of a double-edged sword to be honest,‭ ‬as a lot of clubs and societies‭ ‬-‭ ‬once they get into a property‭ ‬-‭ ‬are now endeavouring to get it‭ '‬closed down‭' ‬to any other prospective research attempts.‭ ‬Again,‭ ‬this speaks volumes for the so-called‭ ‬-‭ ‬and often self-professed‭ ‬-‭ '‬sharing‭' ‬research community.......‭ ‬but,‭ ‬under the sorts of circumstances outlined above,‭ ‬who can actually blame people for taking such steps really‭?

Colour the subject however you like,‭ ‬but flagrant disregard for others and simple theft are just that at the end of the day‭…‬.‭ ‬And debate all you want,‭ ‬but,‭ ‬when all people can do is take what others have actually gone out and made the effort to attain for themselves‭…‬..‭ ‬theft is still theft at the end of the day‭…‬..‭

Regards to all,

The W.M.G.C.


Friday, 18 September 2009

Get Down To 'The Works' !!!

Far be it from us to normally advertise such things‭ – ‬we’ll be doing publicity for‭ ‘‬Most Haunted‭’ ‬next‭ (‬I don’t think‭!) – ‬but news of a bargain D.V.D.‭ ‬set has just come in to W.M.G.C.‭ ‬H.Q.‭ ‬Branches of‭ ‘‬The Works‭’ ‬bookstore are apparently now stocking a‭ ‬3‭ ‬disk box set of the‭ ‘‬Ghost Detectives‭’ ‬T.V.‭ ‬show for a most reasonable‭ ‬£4.99.

While,‭ ‬in intent,‭ ‬there is very little difference between the horrors found in the aforementioned‭ ‘‬M.H.‭’ ‬and‭ ‘‬G.D.‭’‬,‭ ‬the latter‭ – ‬slightly predating the former‭ – ‬is an infinitely better,‭ ‬more enjoyable show all together.‭

While‭ ‘‬M.H.‭’ ‬has a most claustrophobic and wholly staged feel to it,‭ ‘‬G.D.‭’ ‬gives the impression of a genuine,‭ ‬amateur investigation.‭ ‬Unfortunately,‭ ‬all of the usual,‭ ‬cliché factors come into play in the series:‭ ‬full force,‭ ‬gratuitous use of‭ (‬evidently acting‭) ‬psychic and mystics‭; ‬blind adherence to the most ridiculous cultural motifs and a silly,‭ ‬all pervading, virtually 'obsessive'‭ ‬interest in 'dust particles' that will have the most liberal minded ghost enthusiast shouting at their TV set with sceptical frustration before the end of the‭ ‬1st episode‭!! ‬Laugh,‭ ‬laugh‭!!

For a glorious,‭ ‬6‭ ‬hour long seminar on‭ ‘‬how not to‭’ ‬approach the subject of ghost investigation in a measured,‭ ‬objective fashion,‭ ‬this series is an absolute must‭!! ‬Seriously though,‭ ‬there will be something for everyone therein‭ – ‬no matter what your take on the subject of ghosts‭ – ‬and it is obtainable at an absolute,‭ ‬bargain price‭!!

‭Incidentally, 'The Works' are also stocking the Derek Akorah, 'Paranormal Egypt' box set....... but we'd sooner advise you to throw £4.99 down the nearest drain than to invest in that rubbish!! Laugh, laugh!!!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.‭

Thursday, 17 September 2009

A Legendary Tale of Bloody Murder!!!


At a time when the W.M.G.C. have recently received word of the proof-reading of Carol Arnalls 2nd paranormal related novel, 'Spirits of the Lights', we take the time to delve into yet another 'spooky tale of old Staffordshire' which has, in the past, featured in some of Carols works. Having been inspired by such references, the area concerned has been a frequent destination of W.M.G.C. members over the past decade or so.....

The Case of the 'Bloody Steps'.....

"To the memory of Christina Collins, Wife of Robert Collins, London, who, having been barbarously treated was found dead in the canal in this parish on June 17th 1839, age 37yrs. This stone is erected by some individuals of the parish of Rugeley in communication of the end of the unhappy woman".

The above legend is the epitaph found on the grave of Christina Collins, situated in Rugeley Parish Churchyard. The 'barbarous treatment' that the unfortunate Christina underwent was brutal rape and subsequent murder at the hands of three drunken bargee's upon whose vessel she had booked passage to join her husband in distant London. This mode of transport was - while extremely slow - a cheap and relatively common option during the earlier part of the 19th Century.......

Upon discovery of the crime, it took very little time for the authorities to 'put two and two together' and the three occupants of the narrow boat concerned were apprehended. As with a great amount of crime during this period, the 'dread drink' was apparently to blame... the men concerned having been transporting a consignment of liquor - along with Christina, of course - and a considerable amount of 'skimming' from their cargo had taken place. One thing had, sadly, led to another and Christina had soon found herself the focus of drunken attention.

Suffice it to say with regards to the crime itself - following the subsequent trial and sentencing - two of the three men were hanged for this most heinous crime, with the third being sentenced to transportation for life.....

The 'Bloody Steps' referred to in the title of the story (pic above) were a flight of stone stairs up which Christina's broken body was carried to rest at the Talbot Inn, a few hundred yards from the site of her murder in Rugeley. The name itself derives from the legend that her blood is said to have dripped into the stonework of the steps as she was transported, giving them their somewhat grisly title. The monicker still persists to this day, despite the fact that the original steps were replaced many years ago.

In 1939, two Rugeley women were out walking, close to the infamous steps, when they report having suddenly heard the sound of a woman screaming in a thicket off to their right. Upon turning to investigate, they were surprised to see the figure of a man with long hair, which was tied back, dressed in old fashioned, black and white clothing of good quality. The figure proceeded to walk across a nearby lawn - straight through a fence - and paused about a yard distant from them. (Strangely, they said that his clothes could be seen to be moving with the wind that was blowing that day!?). The women noted the mans sad eye's and face as he stood and stared at them for a short while, then, suddenly and without a word, he turned and disappeared into an nearby upturned tree trunk.........

On their way home, the women passed through St. Augustine's Churchyard in Rugeley, and found themselves drawn to the grave of Christina Collins. In awe, they noticed that it was exactly 100yrs to the very day that the ghastly crime had been committed....

Mystery still remains as to exactly who the silent apparition actually was and precisely what - if any - role he had played in events surrounding the Christina Collins murder. Some suggest that it was perhaps the shade of Christina's husband, Robert, who had put in an appearance on the anniversary of his wife's death.... though it has to be said that this seems an unlikely event due to the fact that Robert Collins had never been recorded as visting the site concerned. Needless to say, some, perhaps more accurate, theorising points - on the basis of the scream which heralded the appearance of the figure - towards one of her murderers as being a more likely culprit for the apparition?

Who knows...?

The W.M.G.C. would like to take the time to appeal to blog readers to send in any ghostly experiences - preferrably Midlands / Staffordshire based - to Carol for future publication. All stories / accounts - most gratefully received - can be posted to: cas.arnall@ntlworld.com

Best wishes to all,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 10 September 2009

Romsley Ghost Report.....

The Halesowen News (newspaper) has recently taken an avid interest in a case reported to the W.M.G.C. from the Romsley region (published online on Wednesday 9th September 2009):

'Ghostly sighting in Romsley prompts appeal'

A GHOST club is appealing for people who have experienced haunted happenings in Romsley to get in touch after receiving a letter concerning an eerie figure spotted in the area.

The West Midlands Ghost Club was recently contacted by someone claiming to have seen a spooky figure on Illey Lane near the Black Horse pub as they drove to work on a rainy evening in 1995 at around 9.30pm.

Ghost club spokesman John Conway said: "He noticed a man standing in the road, with his heels pressed into the grass verge.

"The figure had very long, 70s style hair and was aged about 40 years old. He wore one of those old-style 'parker' jackets with a white, cycling belt /reflector attached to it.

"The hood of the coat was down. Our witness clearly made out flared trousers with metal cycling clips at the ankle and 70s style shoes.

"The figure is described as 'just standing staring ahead of him'... The witness tooted their horn and slowed right down - main car headlight beam on high - but the man didn't bat a eyelid... just looked straight ahead.

"The strangest aspect of this encounter was that the bottom half of the figure was solid, but the top half was transparent.

"The witness could see the rain dropping from the leaves of nearby bushes, where the mans head should have been solid. The figure did not move when he passed close by."

Mr Conway said this incident was one of a number of similar encounters the group had become aware of over a number of years in the same area. He said sightings were mainly of figures flitting across lanes in front of traffic.

The group is now appealing for anyone who has seen anything spooky there or across Halesowen to get in touch.

Visit the website at www.westmidlandsghostclub.com/ Call John on 0794 4478708 or e mail him at wmghostclub@yahoo.co.uk.

Regards,

The West Mids Ghost Club

'Goose Chase'?... We think not!!

With regards to the preliminary research steps of alleged, ghostly occurrences, the W.M.G.C. have recently had one of those experiences that most groups would rather forget about – or at least pretend that it didn’t happen. In short, we were told of a haunted site which, on the event of an initial visit, seemed to most definitely turn into 'anything but'! Laugh!!

A person that group members met and interviewed during our jaunt to the place in question - they had lived on site for 40 years themselves and had a family history in the area spanning much further – told us that they had 'never' heard anything at all about a ‘ghost’ at the spot.... let alone the rash of multiple-person experiences recently reported to the group?

Needless to say, this type of scenario is far from an isolated incident, as such things have happened a number of times to us over the years. Of course, the valid, objective assessment of such events do most definitely run into something of a ‘grey area’ with regards to the real reliability or intent of the information being reported to you at all stages of an enquiry…. Exaggeration, misinterpretation, denial, misinformation – and a thousand other concerns and connotations in between – are all constant aspects of every walk of everyday life, let alone when viewing things from a presumed, paranormal viewpoint.

But, whatever the truth behind these types of report, this matter is being mentioned here in an endeavour to emphasise the importance of such things within a ‘true research’ framework. Far from being something to be brushed under the carpet and forgotten, this type of incident is just as important in the grand scheme of things, as seemingly valid reports chock full of first, second and 3rd hand accounts.

Of course, this is speaking from a true research inspired angle, where the psychology of a situation should always take precedence over the (so called) psychic. Hitting first base for many, self-professed investigative groups would undoubtedly involve a visit to the site with a medium – to ‘talk to’ the ghost concerned – rather than objectively speaking with the ‘living’, infinitely more informative inhabitants instead!! Laugh, laugh!!

Happy ‘hunting’ folks….. and, remember, there really is no such thing as a ‘wild goose chase’!!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

A Tragic Tale.....


Over the years, the W.M.G.C. has been contacted by a number of media sources who have specifically been asking for information about grisly, dramatic ghost stories, or cases that happen to have a murder directly associated with them. While we have a few such cases on file that, at a considerable stretch of the imagination, ‘might’ just fall into this category –one particular tale does, it has to be said, always comes ‘screaming to the fore’ at such instances…..

While there invariably appears to be a need for ‘high drama’ amongst ghost groups these days – the more dramatic or traumatic the base or allegedly underlying story the better, etc – the details of the following case are as they have been found in newspaper / official reports associated with the matter. While there is clearly evidence of some story manipulation in the case notes themselves involving someone claiming to be psychic – quite erroneous data, as it turns out – it has to be stressed that the details of the tragedy involved are precise and have not been embellished in any way, shape or form.

We hope that you will forgive our skimming across certain details and omitting to mention others in the following information. In our defence, the overall account is somewhat long-winded and the site concerned is to be kept anonymous because of current / future owners and occupants. The details of the tragedy itself are also kept to a bare minimum too, as should there be any relatives of the family concerned left in the area, we do not wish to cause any offence.

Our account begins in the earlier half of the 20th century with a well to do family – husband and wife - moving into this region from the South and taking up residence in an impressive property in a Black Country town. Sadly the wife of the family already had a history of mental illness – a ‘neurotic’, in old fashioned terms – but the family seem to settle in to the area well, a child is born, and they appear to live comparatively peacefully for a number of years.

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, the already ‘highly nervous condition’ of the wife continued to deteriorate until, one fateful day, some 10 years after their move…..

The father of the family came home from work one evening and found that he couldn’t gain entry to the house. Calling for help, the property was broken into and his wife was discovered lying in a bedroom with an undergarment twisted around her neck. The body of their young son was found in an adjoining room, a silk stocking twisted around his neck and a pillow over his face.

Two notes were discovered written in the wifes handwriting. The first was found in the hallway: “Fetch the police. Do not come up”, while the second, discovered near the sons body, read: “Please forgive me. I do love you. XXX”.

At the inquest the details revealed regarding the slaying and subsequent suicide were horrific in the extreme. It was suggested that the wife had made no less than ‘8’ separate attempts to kill herself, before she finally died. The witnesses agreed that she had apparently strangled her son first of all with a pair of stockings. She had then taken a large number of aspirin tablets, cut her wrists with a razor blade and made two attempts to electrocute herself with an electric fire. She had twice attempted to hang herself, had tried to drown herself in the bath, and finally died after attempting to strangle herself with an undergarment.

The cause of the wifes death was asphyxia due to aspirin poisoning and partial strangulation, accelerated by shock and haemorrhage from self inflicted wounds said the coroner.

A verdict of murder, followed by suicide ‘while the balance of the mind was disturbed’ was returned.

For the sake of brevity, we now leap forward many decades to the point where W.M.G.C members were introduced to the case in question. As with a great many such leads, the matter was discovered in a hushed whisper from someone who had heard that someone else was apparently ‘having a little trouble’ in a property they had just taken over!! We had not previously heard of the address or the tragedy itself.

On the event of a ‘cold call’ at the building in question we met with the owner of a business then based in the property and her son who helped with the running of the firm concerned. (Now referred to as S and T respectively in this account).

Much of the reported activity at the site had started around 2 years earlier. A number of people associated with the company had allegedly seen, felt and heard things…. big, hardy workmen mentioned as being petrified and running out of the offices at times! (All described as level headed people).

S tells us that she saw ‘the ghost’ in one of the upstairs offices. She had been passing the door to the office at the time, seeing – from the corridor – the figure of a petite woman standing inside the room. She said it was light at the time (about 20 to 8) and she saw the ghost as a clear, solid form, dressed in a white blouse and dark bottoms. The ghost turned and looked at her with it’s hands held up slightly, around shoulder height, and arms bent at the elbows. S did a ‘double take’ on seeing the figure, but when she looked back, it had gone. It had been seen at a distance of around 15 feet. S says she wasn’t thinking of ghosts at the time – just walking around the building in her slippers! (She wears slippers at work!)

T mentions the day S phoned him and told him of finding out the history of the site. He had gone into another office and was telling a fellow employee that this was possibly the room where a murder had been committed and, at the instant he stopped speaking, the buildings alarm system suddenly went off. The alarms had never done this before, apparently.

As a matter of interest, the employee that T had been speaking to at the time frequently reported having photos of their children inexplicably ‘turned round’ in their office…..

Everyone at the property were said to be aware of extreme temperature drops in the office section of the site. You could apparently see your breath at such times – it was that cold. S says that she had to actually put her coat on in order to stay there and work one night, because it had suddenly turned so cold….. her fingers had frozen solid!

An employee called Eric is said to have seen someone in kitchen area upstairs. He was entering the area concerned when he saw the rear portion of someone in white shirt or blouse….. When he checked again – going downstairs and carrying out a head-count – he discovered that there was no one upstairs at the time.

An employee told us that he has frequently heard noises in the building, though nothing occurs after 10 a.m., because – through initial fear - he had once actually asked the ghost ‘not’ to make noises during his shifts! The plea seemed to have worked!! He told us that he used to hear ‘the kids’ running around the building a lot…. believing that they used to physically pluck at his hair while he sat at his desk on the ground floor. Footsteps are a common occurrence at the property and S says that you can clearly differentiate between those of the child (children?) and the mother. The child is said to manifest on a particular spot on the landing and in a certain office. Also related to the child is the movement of a walking stick kept on the landing. It is found to have moved regularly and one employee openly ‘plays a game with the child’ by putting it back in it’s place every time it has been found to have moved……

One employee is said to have lost his job at the firm because he chose to divert phones – running out of the building in terror - because a ruler had slammed down on his desk, seemingly by itself!

At the time of our interview, we were told that it has been ‘quiet’ for a while, however – people at the site getting the impression that it was a little bit of peace for the ghost to know she wasn’t being judged. They said that she possibly didn’t need to be so active as she’d been previously, because someone was now listening to her.

One manager at the site is said to be scared to venture upstairs in the building. He initially took the whole affair as a joke, but after working there for a while, he now spoke to the ghost and claimed to know when she was around. The matter isn’t a joke any more to him… and he becomes offended if anyone does speak of the matter in a flippant fashion!

A group of employees – including S and T – had been standing in the ground floor corridor one day, holding a discussion, when a hazy ball of white light – around the size of a cricket ball - moved along the corridor and disturbed them!! All stopped what they were doing and looked at each other with an incredulous ‘Did you just see that?’

S said that the matter has been bothering her for a long time because she believed that the ghost of the deceased wife was trying to tell her something. It was intimated that she believed she had built up something of a rapport with the ghost and that there was a connection between them. S says she knows when the ghost is around because it makes itself known to her and stands by her. She felt that she needed someone to look into this case because ghost is telling her something. The ghost had waited for someone to move into the property to communicate with them, but she now felt that she is letting the ghost down by not sorting everything out before their firm was due to move in few months time.

She told us that she is not normally into all of this sort of thing really, but she knows what she’s seen – she knows what is here – and she knows the ghost wants help from her….. She believes that – through bringing her own young son into the premises, adding plants, pictures, etc – the spirit can now relate to the building as more than a work place.

A medium had been called into the property a short while earlier by S, while another refused to visit the site because she said ‘voices’ were telling her not to attend! The visiting psychic said the ghost is trying to help S. It is intimated that this is why ghost showed herself to her. As the medium was saying this, in a downstairs office, she (medium) said the spirit was standing by S at that precise moment. S says that she already knew this at the time.

The medium told S that the ghost would happily push one particular employee ‘down the stairs’! He had, apparently, put a vacuum cleaner on his back at one point and flippantly ran up and down the stairs of the building playing at ‘Ghostbusters’!! He is said to have frequently mocked the situation, saying: ‘Ghosts cannot harm you… unless they push you downstairs!’ T points out that this is what convinced him that the psychic was genuine, because of the sheer ‘coincidence’ in the employees comment and, subsequently, the psychic mentioning him being pushed down stairs….

The medium also said that there was something under the cellar floor. All she could say during a visit to that level was ‘Oh my God!’ and suggested that the floor be dug up. She says whatever this is goes back further in time than events with the tragic family and is evil in nature…..?

It has to be mentioned that some clear discrepancies are shown in what S and T know about the tragedy at the site. However, it is intimated that the information concerned has come through the psychic involved. It is mentioned that they knew a family had lived in the house - the name of the family concerned known to them, etc – and that the mother had ‘poisoned’ her ‘children’. (Needless to say, this is wrong, as there was only one child involved. The notion of ‘children’ however did clearly – erroneously – colour the activity reported at the site subsequently, which is certainly food for thought). It was also believed by S and T that the story concerning the murder / suicide was not true and that the events recorded had only been made to look that way….? They believed that the ghost is ultimately trying to tell them that she didn’t commit the crimes!! Through information fed to them by the medium concerned, they had come to the conclusion that a great miscarriage of justice – and a greater crime – had probably been perpetrated…..

Sadly – for such a truly fascinating case – the above mentioned matter came to an abrupt halt (with regards to our involvement) shortly after the interview concerned. The firm was soon to leave the property and the actual owner of the site is a gentleman who will have nothing at all to do with ‘paranormal’ topics. Some years after this, another company took over the site and a group member approached them with regards to potential activity. We were told that, in their time there, they had experienced nothing untoward whatsoever.

At the time of writing this piece, we see that the site is once again vacant……

Regards to all,

The West Midlands Ghost Club






Haunted Bed - Follow Up.

In light of our recent 'Haunted Bed' post, we have received word from a gentleman who used to work at Rowleys House Museum in Shrewsbury.

He tells us that:

"When I worked at Rowley's I was told that you have to say goodnight to the ghosts when locking up that room. As I am very much a sceptic, the first time that I had to lock up on my own - approximately 2003 - I never said goodnight and thought no more about it. At work the following week I was informed that a colleague had been called out at 2.00 a.m. as the alarm was going off.! On checking the building he could find no reason for the alarm being activated.....".

On another occasion, during the Summer of 2008, a window that had actually been 'screwed shut' was found to have been inexplicably opened.... despite the fact that it was somewhat inaccessible, being situated 'behind' a display cabinet! When the gentleman concerned went up to close it again, he was perplexed to discover that the screw was still in situ. It is also mentioned that, several times, the light in the staff toilet had been found to have seemingly switched itself on.....

"Just the problems of an old building, or something more?" our confidante asks.....

Who knows...??

Regards,

The West Midlands Ghost Club