Sunday, 7 August 2011

Edited Version of Main Website Update for December 2010.

Sandwell Investigation:

On April the 16th, 2010, W.M.G.C. members paid a return visit to the Sandwell Council Training Centre in Oldbury, West Midlands. The investigation was arranged by John Conway. The group - shown below, readying themselves in the restaurant area - have previously investigated this site on two other occasions within recent years.

Since it's development into a training centre, this former primary school has allegedly been the site of potentially paranormal happenings. A number of apparitions have supposedly been seen within the property, including those of caretaker-style figures, a woman clad in grey… and that of a small girl. Poltergeist-like activity has also been reported at times, including the sound of a piano - seemingly 'playing itself' - and the movement of objects. Peculiar lights have been reported by people in upstairs offices and staff speak of the sensation of 'being followed' in certain areas of the building…..

Midlands Investigation:

May the 8th and June the 5th saw group members paying a visit to a government related property in the West Midlands region. The events concerned were again orchestrated by John Conway, whose attention had been drawn to this site during the course of enquires involving a separate property.

While details concerning the precise location of the building will have to currently remain unreleased, it can be noted that the reported ghostly activity has become so interesting to staff members that 2 vigilant employees have even begun conducting their own night-time investigations there within the last year or so….!

Inexplicable happenings at the site include the shadowy figure of a man being seen a number of times, walking across a corridor, from one office to another. A woman has also been seen standing in a small, secure area, just in front of a strong-room. The movement of objects has been reported in 1st floor offices and, within a few days of the W.M.G.C. investigation, a staff member saw a small, screw-like object seemingly 'thrown across' the room and bouncing onto a nearby desk…..

Elsewhere in the building, a recording made by one of the staff members during their investigations contained the sound of a child singing 'Happy Birthday'. A later recording is said to have contained footage of a ball appearing to move, off a window ledge, apparently of it's own volition…..?

During the W.M.G.C. visit to the site, the only item of interest to be recorded was a peculiar, z-shaped 'scratch' that turned up on the neck of group member Steve Chew during the night! Until the bizarre mark was pointed out to Steve, he had no idea at all about it's presence..... and, just prior to it being noticed, it had most certainly not been there! Steve could not recall having recently caught himself in the area concerned - the rear of the neck, just below the hair-line - so, while not probably 'ghostly' in nature, the event remains perplexing, to say the least!?!

Midlands Investigations #2:

Taking advantage of the lovely, warm Summer evenings, group members paid 2 investigations to one of our favourite - allegedly haunted - sites: the ruins of 'Richards Mansion' in the Midlands. Investigations were conducted on July the 9th and August the 28th.

Not a lot can be said about this site that hasn't already been mentioned numerous times on our website. Suffice it to remind our visitors that the area surrounding the Mansion ruins are allegedly haunted by the figure of a 'phantom monk'…. reported sightings of this solitary apparition spanning back many decades.

During our visits to the region, WMGC members have also experienced some peculiar happening and effects, including seemingly disembodied footsteps; a tall, monk-like figure and a form in period costume witnessed…. not to mention a 'head-count' of 7 people present on one investigation, when there were only 6 group members in attendance!!!!

Poltergeist House - Visit:

In late August, group members were invited to visit a Walsall home, where some rather perplexing poltergeist-like activity has been said to have been taking place since early 2010. Details concerning the nature of the intriguing happenings experienced in the property were posted up on the 'W.M.G.C. Blog' in mid-October:

"The effect began earlier this year - some time in March - when a daughter of the family reported hearing a slight scratching noise from under her bed (on her 20th birthday, as it happens). While the family (initially) passed the matter off as nothing, the girl was sufficiently perturbed as to bother recording the noises on her mobile phone. (A recording which she still has). Strangely, these noises only happened in one, small, front bedroom… and only when the girls boyfriend was staying overnight with her. If the girl, or anyone else stays in the room alone.... then there is no perceivable disturbance whatsoever!?

Within a short period of time of initially beginning, the scratching noises had escalated into two separate sounds: a rapid, short scratching and a long, drawn-out noise like something being slowly, deliberately dragged over some form of surface.

Members of the family - and neighbours - were asked to come and hear the noises concerned and endeavours were soon being made to 'converse' with the noises (with, by this point, a knocking sound also regularly manifesting). Interestingly, the sounds seemed quite happy to 'speak with' people - knocking out answers in reply to 'yes and no' questions and imitating sequences of knocking noises that were being made by spectators.

A typical instance of this form of 'interaction' came where there were 7 witnesses (in the bedroom concerned and on the landing of the house) to a question and answer session. Three other people were allegedly asleep (elsewhere). They asked how many people were in the house and it knocked back 10 times.... They then asked how many people were asleep and it knocked back twice...... Knowing that there were 3 people in bed, not two, as erroneously indicated by the knocking noise, they checked and found that one of the children was out of bed and playing on his X-Box at that time!!!

The mother of the family told us that they had first assumed the intelligence behind these things to be a deceased relative - but she had then changed her mind about this, relating the effect as more like the actions of a sub-human, 'goblin-like' intellect!! (This, it has to be said at this point, is a motif that appears to crop up in a lot of poltergeist cases). In asking questions of the thing, she observed that 'you didn't know whether to trust it' - i.e. some of it's answers appear to have been obviously contradictory, or just plain and simple, blatant lies, etc.

Over the space of some six months (give or take), the nature of the activity had escalated - again, only when the boyfriend made endeavours to stay in the room with the daughter concerned. The problems had then become exceptionally bad..... with loud banging sounds (loud enough to disturb the neighbours on occasion); manipulation of the mattress on the bed (mattress being 'lifted up', or seemingly 'pushed up' from underneath the bed). The young couple had tried to 'sit out' the effects concerned, but they just seemed to get worse and worse over the duration that they tried to stay in the room. The end result was invariably the same; an admission of defeat in the end and a retreat to the sitting room to spend the night! (On one occasion, the effect was so bad, the banging noise appeared to follow them down to the living room). This was on a night when the bedroom concerned had just been freshly decorated. We were told by the mother of the family that this was the worst night that they had experienced, so far....."

Thankfully, at our request, the family have agreed to keep in touch with the group and sporadically give us updates on the troublesome affairs that are occurring in their home.....

Strange Goings On Down In The Woods:

On December the 4th, two W.M.G.C. members paid a visit to a site that had initially become a matter of some, passing interest to us last year…. namely, a tract of woodland - Hopwas Wood - situated just outside Tamworth in South Staffordshire. Our attention had first become drawn to the area concerned when sightings of an overly tall, ghostly figure were reported to the group some short while earlier……

As a result of the above, a visit was made at the time of the report and research carried out into the history of the general area. During the course of this research, stories of 'Occult' or 'Witchcraft-like' activities, being performed in Hopwas Woods, were discovered. Such activity - when it first came to light during the early 1980's - merited a considerable amount of both media and public interest and speculation.

Purely as a matter of ongoing interest, our early December visit was subsequently planned….. the trip to the area being carried out with a metal detector. The latter mentioned item was included in the visit because, according to some reports, 'metallic' items of 'ceremonial' significance had allegedly been discovered in the region in the past…..

As it transpired, the presence of this piece of equipment proved of intrinsic value to our visit, as - during a sweep of a particular area of woodland - a copper plate adorned with (presumably 'Occult-related') script and designs was unearthed….. As photographs of the visit show (see our online photo album), there was a considerable blanket of snow on the ground at the time of the find and the plate was discovered some inches underneath the earth below.

Because of such an intriguing find, the W.M.G.C. contacted the Tamworth Herald with a view to potentially appealing for information on the object. The ensuing article appeared on Dec. 9th - resulting in the group being inundated with general enquiries and suggestions…. some even originating as far away as the U.S.! The story itself has now, subsequently, been picked up by a number of different blogs - frequently Pagan orientated - and other websites.

A slightly sad - nay somewhat 'pathetic' - footnote to the above mentioned matter is a small amount of animosity which seems to have been generated (in some quarters) by the events concerned….. Despite endeavours to remain 'veiled' in the execution of these sad ministrations, it is quite clear to all concerned where such childish face-pulling originates. 'Nuff said…..!'

Midlands Investigation #3:

On December the 10th, the West Midlands Ghost Club took part in an investigation of the premises of a financial advisory company based in the West Midlands region. Again, the visit was arranged by John Conway.

Originally part of an ecclesiastical complex and school, the building concerned has a considerable reputation for 'ghostly-goings-on'. Over the years, staff and clients at the company have reported a vast array of peculiar happenings… from sightings of young children (in places where young children couldn't possibly be), to incidents of poltergeist activity.

Staff are so used to the happenings now that they have nick-named the poltergeist 'Annabel'. It would appear that almost every section of the building has an intriguing story attached to it, with the movement of objects in ground floor offices - e.g. plants and stationary equipment - the sound of rattling pans from the kitchen area and sensations of being 'shoved' by 'something invisible' in an upstairs corridor…..

As with most W.M.G.C. investigations, nothing of a potentially paranormal nature was detected, but an enjoyable night - in such an historic building - was had by all present. Our thanks goes to staff and friends, Robin, Sue Val and John, for accompanying us on our investigation!

Media Watch:

*In early September, Club member Steve Chew appeared on the Danny Kelly Show (Radio W.M.)

*The Tamworth Herald - December the 9th - carried a report on the discovery of an occult-related copper plate in Hopwas Woods, South Staffordshire. (See report above for details). The story was subsequently carried through to other newspaper related sites, blogs and web pages.

*Also in early December, the Shropshire Star and Newport Advertiser carried W.M.G.C. enquiries concerning hauntings within those regions.

*In October, the Fortean Times Magazine carried a small mention of the W.M.G.C. in their 'GhostWatch' section.

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