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.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Gov. Related - Post 2....


This is our second post regarding the question of 'government related buildings' which have been investigated by the W.M.G.C. over the years.

The building involved in this particular section is regarded as having a number of allegedly 'haunted' sites situated around it - around the space of 100 or so meters distant. (Related data on such sites continues to roll in at a steady rate, yet another - fresh - matter of interest having come in to the group during the last week!)

The property concerned was built in the late 1800's - purposely constructed for use in a government related role. After it's closure some years ago, the site was taken over and utilised for alternative purposes, during which time, a number of potentially paranormal incidents have been reported. Incidents include:

Staff an office on the first floor of the building clearly heard a particular door in the basement area slamming of it's own volition. (No one else in the building at the time). The door concerned is heavy, made of metal and needs a lot of force to move by hand. It has a specific sound to it when slammed, which is why witness was able to identify it.

Two young men, who stayed in the property overnight, reported hearing many inexplicable 'sounds' from around the building during their stay.

People using a Hall on the ground floor level have reported seeing a 'figure' moving through a particular wall and passing across the room to a fire exit opposite. (Note* The history of a nearby property also concerns figures being seen passing through solid walls too).

Staff in the basement area have heard doors opening / closing on their own; potentially had objects thrown at them; heard footsteps from the empty floor immediately above and equipment in the basement area being manipulated.

On one occasion, a staff member in the basement was locking up for the night and had trouble setting the buildings alarm system. As he scrutinised the alarm, a billowing, grey mist appeared in a passageway immediately in front of him - 4 to 5 feet away - and he immediately fled the building in a state of panic. (The act of fleeing being caught on security surveillance equipment outside the building!)

$ members of the W.M.G.C. visited the site on Saturday the 21st of April 2007, along with 4 people from the property itself.

Investigation Notes:

Trigger Objects:

*Crucifix on table in bottom right corner of main Hall. On sheet of paper - drawn around - on table top, with audio alarm attached.

*Childrens chiming ball on floor of Hall, near counter area.

*Crucifix - on paper and drawn around - on floor of Front Room.

*Wooden mannequin on counter surface in Hall.

Session One: 10.00pm to 10.30pm

(*Note - Dan leaves building just prior to beginning of vigil one, saying he will be back later. Also, Lens motion detector moved from doorway between Front room of building and Hall because Frazer and Matt discover that their torch beams apparently set it off).

Steve and Jord in Basement.

Frazer and Matt in Hall.

Nick and Len on Top floor.

10.14pm - Matt and Frazer hear a sequence of dull sounding knocks / creaks. Matt comments that he cannot believe that the building is so warm tonight, as you can frequently see your breath in there because of the cold. (Mentioned a number of times during the stay).

10.25pm - Steve hears what he describes as a high, half giggle sound, seemingly coming from a 'female' source. He says that the noise seemed to come from the floor above, containing Matt and Frazer. (No females in property at time). Around this same time, he and Jord feel as if there has been a temperature drop in the area, followed by a slight, movement sound. (Though this was possibly the heater in the basement corridor cooling down?)

Session Two: 10.45pm to 11.15pm

(*Note - 10.52pm: Dan returns to property with partner and joins Matt and Frazer in Basement area).

Steve and Jord on Top Floor.

Nick and Len in Hall.

Frazer and Matt in Basement.

11.01pm - Nick and Len see brief sequence of dull flashes through windows in right hand wall of Hall. Later ascertained that flashes were caused by Steve taking photo's on floors above.

11.08pm - Nick and Len hear mild, solitary crack sound from direction of windows in Hall. (Possibly building cooling down).

11.12pm - Nick and Len hear sound like metal door crashing from direction of Hall / Basement staircase. Len also believes he may have heard a vioce.

Session Three: Video Recording Sessions - 11.40pm to 12.10am.

Steve's camera situated next to fire escape in Hall. Facing across area where figure allegedly seen walking, i.e. across room towards the counter area.

Matt's camera situated in Hall, in front of doorway to Front Room, facing across counters towards mannequin.


During this period, entire group seated in Basement area.


Session Four: 12.20am to 12.55am.

Mini disk recording session set up by Matt in basement area. (In Sofa Room).

Entire group seated around doorway between Hall and Front Room of property for duration of session.

12.32am - a sound like a table being knocked appears to originate from Hall / Basement stairway area.

12.36am - 'Clomp' sound seems to originate in Hall / Basement stairway area.

12.44am - sound akin to something being knocked seems to originate from curtains end of Hall. Or, possibly from Hall / Basement stairs.

Investigation period officially ends, but group stay in property for approx. 1 hr further.

Recording Results:

Approximately 11 minutes 45 seconds into the recording made by Matt's camera, a 'shadow' is seen to move left to right across one surface of a pillar situated in the left hand side of the footage. After seemingly pausing for a split second, the shadow continues and can be seen moving across the top of some vinyl seating in the foreground of the shot. The shadow itself is clearly cast onto the surface of the pillar, as it is affected and distorted by some decorative wooden coving which runs around the pillar.

A number of people have subsequently seen the footage - both group members and independent witnesses - and all have said that it is distinctly 'human' in intent….. not that the shadow being cast is actually human shaped - but in the way which it moves, pauses and then seemingly carries on. By all intent and purpose and logically thinking, it would seem that 'someone' had actually walked across the Hall while the footage concerned was being taken.

Interestingly, at the time that the footage was made, everyone in the building was situated in the Basement of the property and did not leave the area until after the session had finished. Steve's camera, which was facing across the width of the Hall towards the counter area, recorded nothing whatsoever, so - while not showing the shadow itself - the footage proved that no one had physically crossed the room and therefore made the shadow. Also of interest is the fact that there were no sounds whatsoever during this section of the footage - i.e. footfalls, etc - as the floor of the room is mainly comprised of hollow, creaky / cracking floorboards.

The only sound of merit caught on Steve's video recording in the Hall was, after 28 minutes, a loud echoing sound - a bit like a pebble being dropped on the floor of the empty room.

A number of knock / click sounds appear on the Basement audio recording - though most of these would appear to be native to the property concerned, i.e. heaters cooling down, etc. Of some interest were a series of three or so noises which could be interpreted as short 'breath' sounds. Nothing could be found to possibly account for the latter….

Regards to all,

The West Midlands Ghost Club

Judicial Case.....

This blog post has been specifically put together in response to a couple of recent enquiries from people enquiring whether the W.M.G.C. had ever been 'employed in some form of 'official' capacity by 'the powers that be'??? The answer to this query is a definite 'No' - though, it has to be said that the group itself is not a stranger to goverment related properties.....

While the sites concerned in both this and the following, related posts have to remain 'unidentified', it can be mentioned that the buildings concerned are either currently used in a bureaucratic capacity or 'were' in the recent past.

What follows here is some brief investigation notes for a judicial related, goverment property in the Midlands area.

Our investigation of this site took place on Fri. the 4th July 2008 and involved 5 members of the W.M.G.C. and one security staff member from the property concerned.

The visit began with a tour of the building, during which period we were specifically shown areas which were believed to be of potential interest to the group.

In the cells area of the property, it was mentioned that a male figure had been witnessed standing near a pair of heavy, metal gates - situated at a corridor junction – by a staff member and prisoner. The figure was believed to have been caught on CCTV footage at the same time, though the current location of this footage is currently ‘unknown’.

Near one particular room in the property – to be referred to as the R Room in these notes – children in period costume have allegedly been seen by a staff member and the sound of children heard. (*Note: While speaking with authorities associated with the property some weeks ago, a similar story was related to one of the group members).

While touring the area concerned, Kev Wallace pushed open the door to the R Room and – for a couple of seconds – heard the sound of voices coming from inside. Initially thinking that there may have been security staff present, or possibly a TV or radio playing in the room, he entered to find that the area was totally empty.

In the basement section, strange noises and peculiar feelings have been reported and some members of staff are reticent to enter the area.

During the tour, the group entered one large, cellar room – now utilised for document storage purposes - the walls of which are covered in white, period, ceramic tiles. Kev Wallace, upon entering the area, began to experience (what he described as) a strange / horrible taste in the back of his throat. This taste began on entering this room and stopped after leaving.

At this point, group members had mused over the original use of such a room and suggestions ranging from a toilet block, some form of washing area or possibly a period ‘morgue’ or ‘mortuary’ were put forward. A nearby property supposedly stands on the site of a former mortuary, though – given the usage / status of the building which we were in – it seems feasible that this too would have housed some such area.

While holding no supposed, ghostly import, the attic level of the property is said to have been the site of a suicide. Allegedly, a former caretaker of the building hung himself from one of the roof beams in an end room.

At 10.15 pm a recording session was set up in – and in the area surrounding - the R Room.

*In the R Room itself, trigger objects comprising of five coins ringed on paper and a wooden mannequin doll, with attached audio alarm, were place on the table top.

*Cam 1 placed on a chair, at the side of and overlooking the table – facing towards the entrance door.

*Cam 2 set up on the first landing of the stairs outside the R Room. Pointing down to the area at the bottom of the stairs.

*Cam 3 situated in room off bottom of stair well – opposite basement door – facing through open doorway towards R Room door.

*Group move into attic area for the duration of this session. Casual conversation held throughout.

Session ends at 10.58 pm.

On returning to the main foyer area of the building, our guide informs us that they have just – only a short time earlier - heard a door ‘banging’ loudly off in the building. (They were situated in an office on the ground floor, at the front of the premises). Experiments are subsequently conducted, but it is deduced that the sound heard probably originated from a spring loaded door at the top of the stairwell down which the group had just descended and was a result of our passing through it.

At 11.20 pm, the group move into the Cells area of the building. During this period, a couple of sharp clicks are heard and – at 11.57 pm – Julia hears a ‘clunk’ sound from somewhere near the area of the large, double gates.

While passing one of the cells, John looks inside and believes he sees one of the other group members sitting in the darkness. Moving away, he finds that the group member concerned is in a different area – although they had indeed been, up until shortly before, inside the cell concerned. John suggests it is his mind playing a trick due to the fact that he had thought that they were still situated inside the cell in question.

Just after midnight, the group vacate the Cells area.

At 12.20 am, a recording session is set up in the Cells area.

*Cam 1 situated in the corridor containing the toilet cell. Facing from the bricked up doorway end of the corridor, facing down towards the double gates area.

*Cam 2 situated at opposite end of ‘L’ shaped corridor to aforementioned Cam, also facing along corridor towards double gates junction.

*Cam 3 set up in entrance corridor, facing in direction of duty desk.

*Digi-audio recorder hung from alarm button on wall of corridor in front of Cam 2.

During this session, group members sit in large room on first floor level of building, with – at 12.47 am – Steve and Kev moving from this area into R Room. Within a short period, whole group briefly go into Basement area, before returning to R Room where we remain until 1.46 am.

Equipment collected from Cells area and group leave building approx. 2.00 am.

Best wishes,

The W.M.G.C.

Saturday, 10 October 2009

Boogie On Down‭……!!

Recent group interest in an allegedly haunted, local night spot has reminded us of previous dealings associated with such properties......

‭From The Archives:

In late July,‭ ‬2005,‭ ‬the W.M.G.C.‭ ‬was contacted by‭ ‬the site manager of the allegedly haunted‭ ‘‬Euphoria‭’ ‬night club in Bromsgrove,‭ ‬Worcestershire,‭ ‬and‭ ‬invited to investigate the‭ ‬allegedly haunted building.‭

While the Euphoria building itself has suffered many structural changes over the years,‭ ‬it originally began life as an early Victorian Baptist Chapel.

During the‭ ‬20th Century,‭ ‬the site has played host to a variety of businesses‭ – ‬including a sweet factory,‭ ‬snooker hall and a cinema.‭ ‬For the‭ ‬previous six years leading up to our visit,‭ ‬the building has been the Euphoria Night Club.

The original building lay,‭ ‬slightly back,‭ ‬from the main road,‭ ‬with a small burial ground at it’s front.‭ (‬A set of iron railings separating the street from the grave area‭)‬.‭ ‬The current building lies‭ ‘‬flush‭’ ‬to the street,‭ ‬with‭ ‬the original grave area allegedly still extant under the raised wooden flooring of the current office and reception area.‭ ‬It is claimed that some of the grave stones are still‭ ‘‬in situ‭’ ‬under the flooring concerned,‭ ‬Manager James Hyde informing group members that he had actually seen the stones during the course of repair work some time ago.

Haunted History:

‭*‬The figure of a girl has allegedly been witnessed walking down the rear stairs of the Club and turning towards the cellar door before vanishing.‭ ‬The girl‭ – ‬medium height,‭ ‬with very long hair‭ – ‬doesn’t appear to walk on the present staircase,‭ ‬but partially‭ ‘‬through it‭’‬,‭ ‬as if adhering to a previous flight of steps.

Local legend supposedly has it that a young woman hung herself near the Chapel Altar‭ – ‬which would have been situated near the present cellar door.

‭*‬The upstairs bar area is described as being very active.‭ ‬Glasses have slid across the bar in front of staff members,‭ ‬displays have collapsed of their own volition and doors have been heard banging when no one was in the area concerned.‭ ‬Glasses have been heard smashing in the bar by people situated downstairs,‭ ‬but,‭ ‬upon investigation,‭ ‬no glasses are found to have been broken.

‭*‬The figure of a tall man‭ ‬-‭ ‬dressed in baggy black trousers and shirt,‭ ‬sporting long,‭ ‬wavy hair‭ – ‬has been seen walking through the wall of the Club,‭ ‬next to the upstairs fire escape,‭ ‬and across the front of the bar.

‭*‬A number of staff members report having seen‭ ‘‬pure white‭’ ‬lights flashing around the upstairs bar walls.

‭*‬One previous Assistant Manager saw a girl standing near the downstairs bar and,‭ ‬thinking she was a customer,‭ ‬asked her to wait a second to be served.‭ ‬When they looked back,‭ ‬the girl had completely vanished.

‭*‬A visiting medium only stayed a few minutes in the Club because she said that the building made her physically ill.

Group members organised a visit to the property for‭ ‬Tuesday‭ ‬the‭ ‬23rd August‭ ‬2005.

Present:‭

Investigative Team‭ ‬-‭ ‬4‭ ‬W.M.G.C.‭ ‬members and‭ ‬4‭ ‬club staff.

Investigation:

A number of trigger objects‭ – ‬and security devices‭ – ‬were utilised during our visit:

‭*‬Coins ringed on paper situated on left hand side of upstairs bar.

‭*‬Coins ringed on paper situated on right hand side of upstairs bar.

‭*‬Mannequin figure,‭ ‬standing in cruciform position,‭ ‬on centre of upstairs bar with alarm attached to it’s stand.

‭*‬Door to right of upstairs bar‭ (‬the one frequently heard banging‭) ‬alarmed.

‭*‬Rope‭ – ‬for the purpose of potential motion detection‭ – ‬hung over speaker next to stairs down which figure of girl allegedly seen walking.

‭*‬Rear end of balcony area‭ – ‬coins ringed on paper,‭ ‬situated on balcony ledge.

‭*‬Cross situated on paper on middle landing of rear stairs.

‭*‬Child’s toy ball situated on top step to middle landing of rear stairs.

4‭ ‬video recording sessions were carried out in the upstairs area of the Club during our stay.‭ (‬All utilising night-shot capacity‭)‬:

‭*‬Two recordings were made from the balcony area,‭ ‬overlooking the dance floor,‭ ‬and aimed at the staircase down which the young girl has been seen descending.‭

*One recording made from table top‭ – ‬right hand side of bar‭ – ‬facing upstairs fire door,‭ ‬left of bar.‭

*Final recording made from left of upstairs bar,‭ ‬facing across bar to right hand side of room.

Of the vigil sessions conducted during our visit,‭ ‬only one featured anything of‭ ‘‬potential interest‭’‬.‭ ‬All present were situated in‭ ‬-‭ ‬or around‭ ‬-‭ ‬the Club VIP Lounge,‭ ‬when the sound of a drinking glass being struck‭ – ‬resulting in a sharp‭ ‘‬ping‭’ ‬sound‭ – ‬was heard.‭ ‬All present commented on the noise,‭ ‬which originated from the balcony area immediately outside the Lounge.‭ ‬A researcher situated in the open doorway to the Lounge reports that the noise concerned came‭ – ‬accidentally‭ ‬-‭ ‬when a Club staff member caught their drinking glass whilst moving.‭ ‬The researcher questioned the staff member concerned,‭ ‬who subsequently denied that they had made the sound‭…‬..

Following the vigil,‭ ‬Club Manager,‭ ‬James Hyde,‭ ‬maintained that he had both been aware of‭ – ‬and actually seen‭ – ‬both the girl and male apparitions during the period concerned.‭ ‬No one else in the group felt or saw anything.

Later on in the evening,‭ ‬Mr.‭ ‬Hyde seemingly detected a‭ ‘‬cold spot‭’ ‬at the bottom of the rear Club stairs.‭ ‬A digital thermometer was used to run comparisons in temperature readings from the rest of the dance floor‭ ‬/‭ ‬downstairs bar area and the spot concerned was determined to be no colder than anywhere else in the room.‭

Post-vigil:‭ ‬Nothing of any potential paranormal significance was discovered during the visit,‭ ‬nor on any of the recording made during this period.

Brief Summary:

It has to be said that there clearly was a considerable degree of paranormal credulousness with regards to personnel associated with the site.‭ ‬The personal belief systems that we came into contact with were highly pro-paranormal.‭ ‬It was mentioned to the group that the T.V.‭ ‬programme‭ ‘‬Most Haunted‭’ ‬had been contacted by Club management and the people that we spoke to appeared to adhere to this type of‭ (‬ghost related‭) ‬mindset.

Under such circumstances,‭ ‬it is highly understandable why such a building‭ – ‬i.e.‭ ‬an historic Chapel setting‭ – ‬might well develop a ghost related history.

With regards to the story concerning the young girl hanging herself in the former Chapel,‭ ‬we were told that the details concerned had been seen in the Town Museum.‭ ‬Subsequent contact with the Museum‭ (‬by W.M.G.C.‭) ‬members has resulted in the denial that such anecdotal data exists therein‭(?)

Concerning the notion that gravestones are still extant under the raised office flooring:‭ ‬it was noticed,‭ ‬during a brief reconnoitre of the outside of site,‭ ‬that a great many blocks of stone‭ ‬-‭ ‬of considerable size and age‭ – ‬are dotted around the surrounding landscape.‭ (‬Possibly from some former,‭ ‬substantial building in the general area‭?) ‬It is possible that a number of such stones might be present in the considerable void under the office flooring and shadowy sightings of such have probably given rise to the gravestone legend.‭

Regards to all,

The W.M.G.C.




Shrewsbury Phantom Monk?

With a fair amount of emphasis being put on tales of ghosts and hauntings in the Shrewsbury area in our posts of late, we bring you a most fascinating account of more 'peculiar happenings' from this region. The author of the piece concerned - Mrs. Erika Seetzen-Woods - has kindly given the group permission to repeat her story below. She tells us:

"I am a very rational person, but cannot find an explanation for the following experience I had in 1969.

We had moved into our new house in Garmston Road, Sutton Farm, Shrewsbury, on June 6th,1966.

I was standing at the kitchen sink one morning in October 1969 when I saw a hooded figure slowly moving past from the right to the left on a higher level from where I was standing.

Since it was not a bird or shadow I dismissed it as an optical illusion.

I had to enter hospital for a biopsy in that month. Everything went off well after my operation and I carried on as normal with my daily routine.

Then, one day in November of that year, I opened the kitchen door, which lead into the garage and straight ahead of me, past the garage window, I saw the same hooded figure moving slowly from right to left.

It was a lovely, bright day and I told myself that it must be a shadow.

Days afterwards I had a haemorrhage and found myself back in hospital. Just over a week later I was at home again with a new appointment to enter hospital on 29 December for a hysterectomy.

About 10 days before Christmas, on a beautiful sunny day, I was pondering the marvellous weather so late in the year.

I was leaning against the kitchen sink and looking down the sunlit corridor towards my front door, when the same hooded figure moved away from me, above ground level, along the corridor, disappearing through the front glass door.

Tears were rolling down my face and goose bumps were visible on my arms.

On two occasions the hooded figure was seen by me outside my house, but this time it was inside and leaving!

I ran down the corridor and opened the front door. Beautiful day in December, warm sunshine embracing me, mothers walking past with their small children, which gave me a sense of reality.

Christmas came and we all enjoyed it very much.
I entered hospital on December 28th. The operation went well and I was home again on 8 January 1970.

I never saw the hooded figure again.

Back in 1968, before the hooded figure had first appeared, my 10-year-old son was playing near our house where diggers were at work, preparing the ground for further house and bungalow building, when he together with his young friend found an amount of bones.

His friend took the majority home to his mother, who threw them away.

I kept the few bones, vertebrae, skull and jawbones with teeth, in a box with cotton wool.

In 1970, I realised that the hooded figure and the discovery of the bones may have been linked, so I visited the curator at Shrewsbury Museum and was told that the ground where our house stood had been a cemetery.

The bones in my possession were those of a child.

The burial ground would have been at a higher level and the monks would have been walking on that level. That's why the apparation I saw seemed to be walking in the air.

I still have the bones from the excavation in my possession."

Best wishes,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

But I'm Alright Naaooooowwwwwww!!!!!


With the recent release of the Fringe Weird Report‭ ‬(mentioned more fully below),‭ ‬the West Mids Ghost Club have once more been called on to‭ ‘‬step up to the plate‭’ ‬and talk some more about the mysterious matter of the Cannock Chase Werewolf‭!! (‬Cue suitably chilling music and piercing howl‭!!! ‬Laugh‭!!)

Our involvement in this somewhat bizarre topic came to public attention a few years ago via a chance conversation with a journalist who worked on a Staffordshire newspaper.‭ ‬We happened to mention that a gentleman had contacted us some while previously with details of a bizarre sighting on Cannock Chase.‭ ‬The account involved two motorcyclists who were crossing the Chase one evening and saw,‭ ‬what they initially took to be,‭ ‬an enormous dog at the side of the road.‭ ‬As they approached the creature,‭ ‬it allegedly began to run away from them at speed‭…‬..‭ ‬bizarrely leaping up onto‭ its ‘‬two hind legs‭’ ‬as it made its swift getaway‭ !!!!

When news of this experience hit the local press,‭ ‬it was also claimed that a number of similar encounters had been reported over the years and the story gathered momentum‭…‬.‭ ‬eventually being picked up by a number of other media sources.‭ ‬In the end,‭ ‬word of the‭ ‘‬Chase Werewolf‭’ – ‬and our alleged association with the case‭ ‬-‭ ‬was reproduced across the globe‭!!

Around two years ago,‭ ‬the WMGC were surprised to receive a phone call from the‭ (‬absolutely lovely‭!) ‬Rev.‭ ‬Lionel Fanthorpe,‭ ‬who was‭ (‬then‭) ‬making some enquiries on the subject.‭ ‬Needless to say,‭ ‬the matter evidently impressed Rev.‭ ‬Fanthorpe enough as to be included in his recent report.

There is something of an irony in this tale,‭ ‬as it has generated infinitely more publicity for the W.M.G.C.‭ – ‬led to more mentions in print,‭ ‬general media interest etc,‭ ‬for the group‭ – ‬than any other matter that we have ever been involved with.‭ ‬In truth,‭ ‬our interest and involvement in the Werewolf topic itself has to really be logged as‭ ‘‬minimal‭’…‬.‭ ‬While the Chase area has been of great interest to the group over the space of many years,‭ ‬this particular aspect of the regions‭ ‘‬strange history‭’ ‬has barely registered on the group.‭ ‬A considerable number of other associations‭ – ‬cryptozoological and otherwise‭ – ‬have contacted us for information on the case since the initial reports,‭ ‬however.‭

As mentioned above,‭ ‬the recent release of Rev Fanthorpes report has once again drawn interest to the Chase Werewolf subject.....‭ ‬ultimately leading to further, related interest in the WMGC too!‭

BBC Website Entry - Tuesday, 29th September 2009:‭

‘Werewolves in Staffordshire‭’

"If you’re a fan of horror films,‭ ‬you’ll know a werewolf is a person who changes into a wolf-like creature when the moon is full.‭ ‬But did you know Staffordshire is the place to visit if you want to see one‭?
A new supernatural survey‭ – ‬the Fringe Weird report‭ – ‬says there have been‭ ‬20‭ ‬reported Werewolf sightings on Cannock Chase. The report has been put together by Lionel Fanthorpe‭ – ‬who’s a leading figure in paranormal research‭ – ‬by studying police reports and archives of groups who explore ghostly and unexplained events. Sightings The survey shows that a paranormal group visited Cannock Chase in‭ ‬1975‭ ‬with several of them claiming they saw a snarling beast‭ ‘‬rear up onto it’s hind legs and run off into the bushes‭’‬. But there have been more recent‭ ‘‬sightings‭’‬.‭ ‬In April‭ ‬2007,‭ ‬the Stafford post newspaper ran a report which said the West Midlands Ghost Club had been called in to investigate calls from people who’d seen a‭ ‘‬werewolf-type creature‭’ ‬prowling around the Chase. Several people claimed they’d seen the‭ ‘‬wolf‭’ ‬walking on it’s hind legs in the German War Cemetery on Camp Road. The WM Ghost Club took what it called‭ ‘‬credible eyewitness accounts‭’ ‬from a local scout master and postman,‭ ‬who claimed they’d come face to face with the Werewolf. They said they thought it was a large dog until it raised itself up to it’s full height of which was almost‭ ‬7‭ ‬foot tall.‭ ‬It darted into the bushes when it was startled. Other theories The Cannock Chase Post ran a story a month later in which it quoted a un-named paranormal expert who claimed the werewolf sightings could actually be a‭ ‘‬subterranean stone-age throwback‭’‬. He offered the theory that the creatures could have lived and thrived in the old mines under Cannock Chase for centuries,‭ ‬coming up to the surface via old earthworks to hunt,‭ ‬for local deer. He also claimed that there had been a number of domestic pet disappearances in the area around the War Cemetery‭ ‬-‭ ‬especially dogs who’re let off their leads while out on walks. Paranormal hotspot‭? Werewolf or not,‭ ‬there’s no doubt there’s something spooky about Cannock Chase. There have been a number of sightings of a big cat which people believed to be a leopard or panther,‭ ‬and was an unwanted pet that has been released into the wild. The area was also named in a Ministry of Defence report in‭ ‬2008‭ ‬as a hot-spot for reported UFO activity. De-classified Government documents showed accounts of silent balls of light circling Pye Green Tower,‭ ‬cigar-shaped tubes flying over Burntwood,‭ ‬and a‭ ‬10ft light hovering over the Stafford Road. The documents‭ ‬-‭ ‬dated from‭ ‬1986‭ ‬to‭ ‬1992‭ – ‬revealed a number of letters sent between MoD officers and Staffordshire Police to try and explain the objects in the sky".

We’re pretty sure this won’t be the last to be heard on this particular subject‭…‬..‭ ‬not by a long chalk‭!! ‬Laugh‭!!

Best wishes,

The West Midlands 'Werewolf' Club

Romsley Ghost Follow-Up!!

On September the 10th, 2009, we carried an appeal on this blog concerning a roadside encouter with a peculiar figure in Romsley, near Halesowen. (See 'HERE'). Our appeal instantly generated a response from one of our blog readers, who tells us:

"I came across your blog today after putting in a google search for ghostly experiences near the Black Horse Pub in Illey lane.

A few months back, around February time, I was driving home down through Illey after visiting my grandparents in Birmigham. It was around 10pm on a fairly clear night. After passing by the Black Horse Pub, going down towards the dip with the abandoned cottage on the left, I noticed a figure in the road. Assuming it was someone walking home from the pub, I slowed down so as not to hit or startle them. It was then that I noticed that the figure was standing in the middle of the road, staring at me but not moving. It seemed quite unconcerned that I was about to drive into them. At this point, very worried that I was about to hit them, I braked harshly and unintentionally closed my eyes. I opened them immediately, only to see that the figure had dissappeared. I looked around, but saw no one. By this point, I was a little distressed and quickly continued with my journey.

The figure appeared to me to be male. I didnt get much of a look at his clothing as he looked slightly blurred, but his clothing wasn't what I would call 'modern.' I did catch his expression as I drove towards him and he appeared quite sinister, as though unhappy that I was there.

The experience was all over with in less than a minute but it has really stuck with me as previously I haven't given much thought about the existence of ghosts. My family thought it was quite funny and I'm sure many didn't believe my story. But it has made me reluctant to travel down there at night.

I read on your blog that you wanted people to contact you with any experiences in this area, which is the reason for my email. I was quite shocked after reading your blog that other people have had similar experiences. I dont know if this is any help to you but I felt compelled to send you an email".

Needless to say, we are greatly indebted to the above mentioned lady who kindly sent in news of her encounter to us. It is this sort of response and action that makes the running of concerns like the blog - and, for that matter, our group - worthwhile in the end. Needless to say - fingers crossed - we most certainly hope for further news on this most intriguing matter!!

Regards to all,

The W.M.G.C.