Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Wednesday 4th June 2014

On May 19th, a member of the West Midlands Ghost Club was asked to speak on the Danny Kelly Show on BBC Radio WM, concerning the recent release of a publication concerning spiritual contact from recently deceased loved ones.......

Connected with one of our other, recent radio appearances this intriguing matter (below) was thought worthy of a mention to blog visitors and followers:  

The primary account - dating from 2005 - is fairly short, to be honest, but was sent in to the group by a woman who said that her husband had worked on a particular shop in Birmingham in the late 60's, or early 70's, and - along with a workmate - had experienced a number of 'strange occurrences' while toiling there.....

When they first arrived to run an estimate on the work needed, the manager started to show them around the premises. One of his first comments to the duo was: 'Do you believe in ghosts, at all?' He went on to tell them the premises were quite badly haunted, saying that - on occasion - he and his wife had been out for the evening and would arrive back home to find ornaments had been re-arranged in their living quarters. 

Apparently, the Head Office of the company that ran the store knew all about these peculiar happenings and actually had considerable problems keeping a manager long enough to run the shop! The manager that they'd dealt with had a young baby and sometimes found when he and / or his wife entered the baby's room that the crib was actually rocking to and fro, of it's own accord.  Sometimes, the manager would get up in the morning and go down into the store to find produce scattered about, all over the shop floor. Activity became so bad that the premises eventually had to be exorcised by a vicar and while he was carrying out the ritual and walking down the stairs the bible he was carrying was said to have closed of it's own volition(?)

Whilst the husband was still working there, they apparently had the "top brass" come down from company HQ to generally hold a meeting and pressured the workmen to keep quiet about what they had seen!
Many years later, the husband was driving past the shop. He decided to call in (on the pretext of buying something) which would possibly give him the opportunity to speak to the staff and so forth. Entering, he'd blatantly asked the man behind the counter something like 'How is the ghost doing?' or some such ice-breaker!! Laugh!! The member of staff looked around the shop - as if checking to make sure no one else was within ear-shot - and eventually said to the husband: 'What do you know about the matter? Please tell me everything you know.....?" As the husband actually started to relate his story the man cut in and said... 'If my wife walks in then please don't say anymore, as she doesn't know anything about the ghost.....!!'

Unfortunately, my account regarding this matter is decidedly stunted as - in our correspondence on the matter - there was a suggestion (by the woman concerned) that we actually meet with her husband so that he could relate his story to me fully. We'd clearly made 'positive noises' in response to this........ but our notes just 'go dead' at that point and there are no further details to draw on!?! Clearly - we didn't go and meet with the man as suggested...... but this is now something that we're currently kicking ourselves over and - hopefully better late than never - an omission that we'll be able to rectify after all of these years!?!

Anyway - we only come to mention this matter now, as - in reading through the above account again - we were, as mentioned above, reminded of one of our recent BBC Radio WM appearances (earlier this year), when a chap called in and mentioned that he used to work for a shop off the Hagley Road when he was a youth..... and the property concerned had been haunted!! From what he related on the show, he had actually worked at the property mentioned here...... and actually baby-sat for the family concerned when they'd gone for a night out and whatnot!? He happened to mention that the place had to be 'exorcised' at one point and, while not actually being privy to the process, he was actually in the property - looking after the baby - when it was carried out!!

Wednesday June 4th 2014

Just been reviewing some of our 'older' cases and came across this alleged haunting from the West Bromwich region in my diaries.  The events concerned occurred in the home of a workmate of a (then) group member and - after relating the events to the chap in question - the owners were kind enough to invite us to investigate the property.....

As far as can be ascertained, one of the first 'events' occurred at Christmas 2002, some 7 or 8 years after the family had moved into the 2 decade (approx.) old building.  The son of the family had phoned his parents, who were out shopping at the time, to say that he had just seen someone - a tall, thin shadowy form - walk 'across the rear of the living room'.  They initially presumed that he had meant that he'd seen someone walk past the 'outside' of the patio windows at the very rear of the room.... but he had corrected them immediately in saying that - 'no' - he had definitely meant 'inside' the house!!  In fact, the figure had walked through the dividing wall, between their property and their neighbours, and exited through the opposite wall...!  Moreover, whatever this 'thing' had been.... it had knocked numerous decorations off the Christmas tree (situated near where it had entered) as it passed by...!!

Because of related 'strange occurrences' - cold feelings and the like - the family had the house blessed and it initially appeared as if things certainly got better as a result.  However, when work started on a sizeable extension to the house a short time later, numerous, disturbing things began to occur afresh......   On one occasion, a member of the family had been in the house alone - watching TV - when a face / head materialised right next to the set... close to the floor.... and appeared to be blatantly 'staring at them'!  After a few seconds, the head simply vanished away.  On many occasions, footsteps had clearly been heard walking around upstairs by both individuals and groups of family members.  The mother of the family reported a sensation akin to 'someone running a finger down her back', while her son reported having heard someone 'breathing.... close to his ear'.  We were told that the lad had literally 'flown' from his bedroom and into that of his parents when this had happened! 

Numerous other inexplicable noises were said to have been heard regularly around the house; the bedroom door sometimes opened of it's own accord and the TV often switched itself on and off.  Akin to the latter, the CD player in the living room had been seen to switch itself on and off..... interestingly, continuing to play from the point in the track it had reached before the unit had inexplicably lost power!?  (*This was an interesting feature, as - surely - the 'switching off and on' of such a device should have resulted in the CD running to a neutral position, awaiting the 'play' button / switch to be pressed again!?  This had also been reported to the group when we investigated the Starting Gate public house in Walsall and the bar room CD player had been witnessed acting in the same matter).      

A next door neighbour happened to drop in one morning and reported having seen a mysterious figure pass the hallway door.  As she looked up at the form, the family dog apparently looked up too..... staring at the same spot!?  The father of the household said that he too had seen this type of thing previously, while seated in the living room, with the hallway lamp on.  In these instances, the 'form' was usually seen through the frosted glass panels of the living room door. 

We were told that events at the property seemed to occur in spates (which is an all-too familiar aspect of haunting activity in this type of scenario).  As in a lot of similar situations, the vicar who came to bless the property did little to put the minds of the family concerned at ease and proceeded in talking about 'trapped souls', 'parallel dimensions' and instances of 'time intersecting'!?!  Laugh!!  What is of great, personal interest regarding this overall matter is the suggested 'cause' of the haunting activity, which - in this case - turns out to be a 'dog', a 'conifer' and some 'garden rockery'!?  Psychologically speaking, in an endeavour to 'lay blame' for such activity, as usually occurs in these instances, it has frequently been recorded that the strangest of reasons can be ascribed for 'spooky' events developing.  In this instance, it was suggested by family members that their pet dog had 'killed a conifer' in the garden by urinating on it - it was apparently the animals favourite spot to 'take a pee' - and this had subsequently enraged the spirits of the previous family to live in the property and who had apparently planted the tree concerned.  (Sadly, all of the people concerned were known to have passed away, it seems: mother, father and son).  Furthermore - related to the seeming, 'second spate' of activity - a rockery also erected by the family concerned was demolished and removed to make way for the extension to the rear of the house that was being built.  Again, the move, it was suggested, had basically enraged the deceased family and led to events escalating once again.....              
Wednesday June 4th 2014

Again - checking through some old files for something else, completely unrelated - I've just unearthed another matter we were involved with (briefly) a short while ago - hailing from the Tipton area of the Black Country.  The householder who contacted us about their haunting in 2008 said they had been trawling the internet in an endeavour to check out their area for other instances of ghostly activity, on the weight of their own experiences (in their home).  They said they had  tried to research the estate on which they lived, but had not had much success.  As with a lot of instances, we were told that they had been reticent to actually speak to people about the matter, for fear of being dubbed 'strange'!   

The family concerned had been in the premises some 3 yrs (by this date of contact) and activity seemed to be mainly poltergeist-like in basis.  This included such random - and culturally recognisable (from a ghost-related sense, in this day and age) - effects as family pets (dog) being disturbed; extreme cold feelings; banging... and numerous other noises.  It was strongly emphasised that the house concerned was regarded as 'really horrid to live in', as it has a 'strange vibration' about it and played host to numerous weird things.  The person that initially contacted us - the mother of the family - said that they felt so generally uncomfortable there, they tended to leave the site early in the mornings and found it had to stay in certain parts of the house - i.e. the front room.  Her husband was a lorry driver so, she had to be alone at night sometimes.  (She spoke of a feeling of someone watching her all the time)  Spates of 'very bad health' were also associated with the property by our correspondent(?) 

We were told that a rocking horse had to be placed out of the way, in the garden shed, because family members and visitors to the house had apparently seen it 'rock' on its own!?  The people situated in the next, adjoining property also, apparently, had problems with strange occurrences, such as objects moving of their own accord, glasses breaking and so forth.  Children in this 2nd family concerned were said to have suffered poor sleep patterns; something that was also alleged to be happening in the first property too.  Our correspondent reportedly could not sleep without sleeping pills anymore.... and the tiny daughter of the neighbour had seemingly developed instances of 'night terrors'.

As in a lot of such cases, electrical items were often found to have been (presumably) damaged or affected by events.  It was specifically mentioned that 'kettles' kept blowing up, it seems..... the family having 'seen off' 11 in the space of  3 and a half years there!  Lightbulbs are also regularly found to have 'blown' and need replacing - sometimes on a daily basis.  Electrical circuits within the property were thoroughly checked by experts and no problems could ever be found.

One of the most bizarre aspects of the matter was the fact that, on numerous occasions, 'shadowy figures' were seen moving past the bedroom windows...... externally!? (And the bedrooms were on the 1st floor!)  Interestingly, the neighbours children are said to have had the very same experience with such shadows....?

The woman said that it was mainly for her 'curiosity' about the area that she had mailed us, as, due to developments on the day she had written, the family may have only stayed in the house for a further 6 or so weeks..... and she had 'put in' for another, rental property (that day) as she was finding it just too uncomfortable to stay there.  The house - actually owned by the family - would be sold and she was (then currently) digging through old mining and structural reports and so on, to see if she could find out more about the site via its more general history.  (We were also told that the neighbour would also be in touch with us, over their own problems.  This contact didn't happen, as it turns out).

We had initially offered to visit the family concerned and - as par for the course - record their story / experiences as fully as possible.  Sadly, our own involvement with the property / people concerned suddenly came to something of a 'full-stop' when they apparently called in a ghost-busting association from the Dudley region who were claiming to be able to 'speak to the spirits' and 'coerce them to move on'...... and other clap-trap....!!  Typically - speaking to the family later - we were told that the club concerned had performed all sorts of bizarre rituals and silly shenanigans on the night that they visited and, despite claiming to have contacted the ghosts and got rid of them....... activity at the house continued regardless!!