Friday, 4 August 2017

Friday August the 4th 2017

A most intriguing scenario has quite recently been mentioned to the W.M.G.C. by a friend of ours, named Pat Munts.  Pat has been avidly attempting to trace her family history for some time now and it was during the course of such research that she became aware of a strong, poignant connection with a supposedly haunted property in the South East region of Staffordshire.....

She discovered that a relative of hers, by the name of Maud Shotton, had married an older man in 1914 - as more frequently happened in the past - but records reveal that she had apparently died that same year, aged only 32!?  Needless to say, the further we delve back in time, the more we tend to reveal the frailty of human life.... but it sadly transpired that Maud had actually taken her own life!   It is suggested that certain aspects of married life didn't agree with the unfortunate woman and she had soon left her husband and returned to her family home.  Her father, however, insisted that she go back to her husband and - rather than carry out such wishes - the poor girl chose to hang herself in an upstairs bedroom......

It is said that, following her death, the sound of footsteps were supposedly heard on the stairs, leading to the room where she took her own life!  Doorknobs were also reportedly heard 'rattling' on a bedroom in an adjoining corridor and it's said that cats were clearly reluctant to venture beyond certain points in the property!?  In the downstairs lounge, items were occasionally found to have been 'strewn around', as with a lot of fairly typical, poltergeist-like activity......

On the possible connections between this haunting-like-activity and her unfortunate, deceased relative, Pat remains very open-minded:  "If its her Ghost, who can tell...?  It may not be my ancestor after all....?" she says.

The property itself is Georgian in age and, according to Pats findings, already had 'ghostly associations'.... in the form of a 'Blue Lady' who is believed to 'haunt the gardens' of the house!!  Records seem to indicate that the area where she walks was once occupied by some form of old chapel, which pre-dates the Georgian house, so perhaps this former structure has something to do with her presence there?

As with any stories that we post on this blog, we are always greatly indebted to everyone kind enough to share such information.....  Many thanks to Pat Munts for taking the time to send this information to us and, needless to say, we sincerely hope there might be further details on this fascinating matter to come, perhaps.....?          

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Saturday 22nd July 2017

As mentioned numerous times before - in different places, over the years - the 'Manor House' in Stone Cross, West Bromwich, surely ranks as probably our 'most favourite', allegedly haunted site.  We were SO impressed with this magnificent, medieval, structure that we ended up investigating the site 16 times in total, with some 14 investigations being carried out in a 12 month period alone....

While the above access was obtained some years ago, when the site was still a public house and restaurant - and our association with the building has long since ended - we are still always most grateful to hear of any stories or reminiscences concerning this most stunning property.  On this note - we had recently been chatting with musician, Jacqueline Burke, when she revealed that she had details of 3 strange experiences at The Manor House....

She tells us:              

"My late grandmother - a strict, no nonsense, Catholic woman - used to work there years ago.  I remember nan saying how other staff members and customers were ALWAYS telling stories of spooky goings on and she thought they were all 'doo lally tap' as she'd never seen, heard or felt anything.  She always blamed it on alcoholic spirits, rather than actual spirits!  That was till that one night.......

She was asked to lock up the building for the night.  After all her jobs were done and all of the customers had gone, she worked her way through the building, checking all the windows and doors and  also that there were no stray, 'worse for wear', customers left. Once she was satisfied everyone was out, she got ready to leave.  As she was getting her coat on, she heard a man's footsteps upstairs; heavy, pacing!  Nan wasn't at all happy, as it was very late and she was tired. She just needed to get home, so she just shouted: "We're closed now!  Can you make your way downstairs please!?.  It's all locked up.... I'll let you out!!"

The footsteps stopped... and nan waited for the guy to come downstairs.  My nan was incredibly impatient and was just about to shout again,  when she heard the steps resume!  So - she just stormed upstairs to where the steps were coming from, ranting to herself: "I ain't got all day...  I've got better things to do!!" However, when she got to where the steps were coming from... they stopped!?   She went in to check and give whoever it was an earful... but there was no one there!?

This apparently 'freaked her out' so much, she just locked up, left and refused to work at night alone ever again!!

So - the next story involves my mom.  She and my dad had gone there for a drink and a meal.  Anyway, mom just popped to the loo before they left and says when she went in - although no one was in there - she felt there WAS someone present; she felt really uncomfortable, apparently, but was so desperate she just hurried up!  She tells me that, as she was leaving, her handbag was 'pulled with great force from her shoulder'...  I'd tried to rationalise it, by saying she caught it on something, but she was and still is adamant that it was 'pulled'... like someone was trying to snatch it from her!?  She actually turned round, expecting to see someone there trying to 'mug her', but there was no one there...  Even when she talks of the incident now, it still 'creeps her out'!

Saving the best till last: Me and my sister, Helen, went there for a meal with my mom and dad.  We were proper 'taking the mickey' out of mom, about her spooky experience... joking she was a bit tipsy and we didn't realise 'ghosts liked handbags', etc!!  We were proper laughing about it!!  Now - I'm 'sensitive' to certain things - as I've mentioned before - but all the times I've been to the Manor house, I'd never got any of those 'creepy feelings'... that's why I thought mom had been mistaken!?  

During the visit, me and Helen popped to the loo and she seemed to be taking an age!  I was washing my hands and we were talking to each other.  We were proper having a laugh and taking the pee about mom and her 'handbag snatching ghost'...  We were basically saying she'd been drinking and hadn't ghosts got better stuff to do, etc!!   All of a sudden, out the corner of my eye, to my left, this huge, black, mass came rushing towards me!!  It didn't have form like a person and it didn't move like a person; it kind of just 'glided', but super-fast!!  One minute it was by the cubicle I'd just vacated and the next thing, it was standing right behind me... but a little to my left.  The atmosphere completely changed.  I was paralysed to the spot. I could feel a coldness -  I'm mean proper, abattoir freezer, cold.  If I didn't know any better, I'd say whatever it was was breathing on me.  It made no sound. I felt fear and that this thing was angry... or peed off... or evil... or all of them!?  It just stayed there, like it was leaning over my shoulder.  I so wanted to look at it but I was proper 'old-school' frightened!  Actually,  I've never felt fear like that before or since.

My sister,  who was still in her cubicle, asked if I was still there and hadn't left her there, by herself?  I was like,  'No,  I'm still here!', but she could tell by my tone that something wasn't right.  This thing was still there, towering over me; it was huge!  I'm 5ft 5" and this form was easily 6ft... and blacker than tar!  I really did feel like it was looking at me, wanting me to look at it.  I always try to find a rational explanation for things, but I was rooted to the spot with fear! 

My sister laughingly asked me, 'what's the matter?  Have you got a ghost standing next to you?" I told her firmly to please hurry up... and, as she unlocked the door, it just vanished.  It was literally there one minute and gone the next.  My sister saw me and  said, 'you OK? You look really pale, like you've just seen a ghost!?' I just hurried her up and left... and it's still as vivid to me now!  I have no explanation for it........"

In reading through Jacquelines experience, we were taken by her story concerning the 'toilet' experience, as this is one of the area that seems to get mentioned time and again with regards to strange happenings and feelings at the site!?  This was something that Jacqueline didn't know about.  Witnesses include customers to the property and staff members / managers alike.  The manager at the time of our visits told us that she never liked using the ladies toilets there and was in the habit of always leaving the cubicle doors open when 'paying a visit'....  Interestingly, it seems as if the female toilets weren't solely the focus of such happenings, as, during one visit, we were told by a male customer that he had seen a grim-reaper-like figure appear in the 'Gents' on one occasion, also!!

A big 'thank you' goes out to Jacqueline Burke for taking the time to share her stories with us so fully!!  

Tuesday, 18 July 2017


Tuesday 18th July 2017

This past weekend was spent 'camping' within a stones throw of the allegedly haunted ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey, in Llangollen, Wales.... as mentioned / visited in our previous post on this blog.  Unfortunately, it would appear that the campsite concerned has a very strict 'no trespassing' warning re. the ruins.... and anyone found within the confines of the Abbey after dark will, it seems, be asked to immediately leave the site!!  (Be warned!!)  As a result any observations of the place had to be carried out 'from a distance'......

Still - Llangollen town itself offers an array of 'other' spooky sites for the visitor, including the beautiful 'Plas Newydd' - probably the most famous haunted property in the region - and the 'Hand Hotel', which supposedly contains no less than 5, different ghosts!  Not far away is the magnificent 'Tyn Dwr Hall', said to be haunted by the apparition of a woman in a rustling dress and a former gamekeeper to the house.....

A considerable portion of our Sunday morning and afternoon was taken up scaling the impressive hill to Castell Dinas Bran - Crow Castle, in English - an Iron Age hill fort, with later, Medieval (13th Cent.), castle ruins situated on top of it.  (Pic Above).

The site, a scheduled, ancient monument, commands some of the most beautiful views and scenery in Wales!  As people might imagine, there is a vast amount of folklore associated with the spot, despite the fact that, as a castle, the fortification was only in use for a very limited amount of time, during the latter part of the 1200's.  Some sources say as little as 20 years......

Just some of the legends associated with the spot include references from Arthurian Legend - links to the 'Holy Grail' once again - love stories, tales of battles with warlike giants and also fairy manifestations.......

Monday, 26 June 2017

Monday 26th June 2017.

During a recent foray into Wales (on one of the hottest days this year, so far!), one of our group members was lucky enough to be able to visit the stunning ruins of Valle Crucis Abbey, on the outskirts of Llangollen!

For the member in question, this was something of a dream come true.... as he had never seen the site, 'in the flesh', before, but had been aware of the location for over 2 decades, having once 'made a model' of the ruins for a table-top game!!  (Geek!!)

Sad, sheltered lives aside..... the site itself has a rather intriguing story associated with it, from only a few years ago....

a Wrexham woman was passing the ruins with her aunt one night, on foot, when the front of the buildings suddenly 'lit up' with a circle of what she describes as the most dazzling light.  In the middle of the circle she could see some form of golden object, several feet high, and, walking about it, quite a number of human figures, seemingly dressed in golden costumes, with golden helmets on their heads.....

The woman couldn't help commenting to her aunt on the spectacle and said: "Isn't it wonderful - everything in that shining, golden light! It must be some kind of pageant they are putting on...."

She reports that she couldn't believe what she was hearing when her aunt, sounding totally puzzled, replied: "What pageant!? What light!? It's all dark......!!"

For some seconds later, she said that the wonderful scene continued..... but her relative could still see nothing!? Then, all of a sudden, the magnificent scene vanished, as quickly as it had appeared.....

It has been suggested that the other-worldly scenario could well have been the re-enactment of some ancient Pagan or Christian rite that was once carried out here..... but the image also sounds rather 'fairy-like' to me, in a way, so who knows!?

A more ancient 'ghost story' involving the spot says that one of the former Abbots was out for a walk one evening, when a man dressed in 'warrior garb' approached him and they struck up a conversation.... The tale says that the Abbot instantly knew that his companion was the spirit of none other than Owain Glyndwr, legendary hero of the Welsh people. The spook supposedly told the Abbot that, one day, the English people would be ruled by people of Welsh descent.... The abbot is said to have spread this prophesy and, of course, the prediction later became true when the Tudors took the throne.......  

Monday 26th June 2017.

Quite recently, mid-Staffordshire resident, Steve Roslow, made a comment on the W.M.G.C. Facebook page, enquiring about Boscobel House in Shropshire.  Specifically, Steve was interested to know if anyone knew of any 'paranormal history' associated with the 'attic' area of the property; a part of the house that once served as a 'chapel' and is the location of one of the 'priest holes', situated at the top of the stairs.  He told us that, during a recent visit, he and his partner had felt themselves being 'drawn' to the fireplace in the room, quite forcibly, and, once there, they had experienced a great sense of calm.....!? 

In responding to the query, we had to admit that - as far as we were concerned - the site itself wasn't at all 'known' for any form of spooky reputation..... and it was only through attending a 'Halloween Ghost Walk' there in Oct. 2000, that we learned of any, alleged, paranormal history!?  I guess it should go without saying that there is a strong chance that those tales, related to us some 17 yrs ago now, were - of course - possibly more to do with 'entertaining the visitors' than anything else, perhaps!?

As our visit to the site had been some while ago now, I had to dig out my diary for the period concerned, before responding.   Interestingly, it seemed that we were, indeed, taken into the attic area during the tour...... my notes on the latter running thus: 

"Moving up into the attic, we were shown the site where the chapel would have been. (Though the Oratory, downstairs, is called 'The Chapel' too). The guide said that one regular visitor to Boscobel liked to hang behind, alone, in the chapel area.  She confided that she could see a woman and child in the room". 

This, it also transpires, was the very area where an 'invisible intruder' had supposedly set the house alarm system off first.... before seemingly proceeding to pass through the property, setting off the alarms for different sections as they went!?  It was believed that the 'thing' had gone down the former location a spiral staircase - already removed at the time of the incident in question - as 'it' proceeded to pass from the Oratory and through the house, setting each zone off as it went.....!?  This matter had initially been mentioned elsewhere on our tour - as we passed through the relevant section - but the details were re-visited when we later entered the attic. 

Interestingly - on this latter-mentioned angle - a fire officer has subsequently responded to Steve's Facebook post and told us that he'd had cause to visit Boscobel a great many times at night, as the fire alarms go off there 'very regularly', it seems!?  He tells us that his most eerie visit was one Halloween, while was looking for an activated detector..... "I genuinely felt sick and unnerved!" He admits.  Somewhat sadly, the gentleman reveals that they'd never actually 'witnessed anything' during their visits, but doesn't mind saying:  "If you've ever seen 8 firefighters holding hands..... it's there!!"  Seriously, however, it's interesting to note that Boscobel appears to be the 'only' place, in his experience, where the alarms regularly go off and are unexplained!?

In furtherance to our own comments on the attic area, veteran ghost researcher and author, Andrew Homer, tells us that one of the stories he has from Boscobel House - related by one of the guides there - is that a lady in a 'white swirly dress' has been seen descending the steep stairs from the attic, when there has been nobody up there at the time!?

Another story associated with Boscobel House says that the figure of an old woman - dressed in olde-worlde-clothing -  has been seen in one of the bedrooms from time to time....... so we cannot help but wonder whether she, and the apparition mentioned to Andrew, may well be one and the same, perhaps?   During our visit in 2000, our tour guide took a female attendee from the group and 'placed her' on the exact spot - between a bed and a nearby post - to illustrate where the 'ghost' is mainly said to appear!?

According to legend, the ghost concerned - in life - had little to do with Boscobel itself, but had, for whatever reason, taken refuge there after her own house had been burned down!  We were told that she had been 'caught with a priest in her home'..... which, of course, conjures up all sorts of potential scenarios, but was supposed to have been linked to the 'Catholic persecutions' of distant centuries!?!

Upon gaining sanctuary, the elderly woman found herself secreted in one of the 'priest holes' at the house.  Sadly, while in hiding, she is said to have heard what she took to be 'cavalry' riding into the courtyard, followed, by a loud knock at the door....!!  Believing this to be her persecutors, her poor, frail heart simply couldn't stand the stress.... so, when the occupants later went to retrieve her from her hiding place, they discovered that she had, unfortunately, died of fright!!

In recent years, during a tour of the house, a young boy was invited to look into the priest hole in question and it is said that he reported seeing an old lady in there.... staring straight back at him!?

Monday, June 26th 2017.

In connection to our previous post.... anyone who is familiar with the area around Boscobel House will know that the property lies within a stones throw of another, historic - allegedly haunted - site:  the picturesque ruins of 'White Ladies Priory'.

'White Ladies' happens to be the place where I conducted my first-ever, overnight investigation in the late 1980's, with a couple of other, Midlands, researchers.  Interestingly - and quite amusingly, it has to be said - the ruins are invariably regarded as one of the regions more 'famous' haunted sites..... though this widely acknowledged, 'spooky reputation' certainly wouldn't appear to exactly be 'well-earned', as, whoever you might speak to at any given time, no one seems to really be able to tell you exactly 'what' the place is supposed to be haunted by!?      

Over the decades, numerous stories and rumours have cropped up, supposedly associated with the place, but exact, first-hand data appears as insubstantial as the alleged, resident ghosts.... whoever or whatever they might be!?  My own introduction to the 'spooky' side of White Ladies came about in the very early 80's, when a local newspaper included it in a list of allegedly haunted sites....  Funnily enough, despite having heard of the place in this fashion, it was a number of years, hearing that it was 'haunted', but not hearing any actual accounts associated with the place!? Ghostlore seems rather mish-mash at best...... anything from people / cars being chased by 'floaty-white-figures'; spooky nuns; flying things; 'occult activities' and whatnot!? On the latter point, we do know that a fair bit of occult activity has gone on there at times, as the people I first went with popped back at a later date - without me - and were chased away by robed, masked figures!! Chuckle!!

Referring back to the previous post again:  while checking my diary for Boscobel-related information, I happened to discover a little story associated with White Ladies that I don't think the WMGC had ever mentioned anywhere before?

As with all of the information in the pages concerned, this anecdote came to us via the guide at Boscobel House, during our 'Ghost Tour' in 2000. 

He said:  Some five or so years earlier, a young couple had been 'partying' (his words!!) at White Ladies Priory and had suddenly decided to try and 'raise some spirits'.  After performing some form of 'arcane rites', they claimed to have seen a procession of 'white robed nuns' making their way across the field near the ruins and walking straight through the priory wall, where a doorway allegedly once stood! 

The couple were so scared by the sight, they fled to nearby Boscobel House and blurted their story out to the curator.  He was so intrigued by what was said to have transpired, he returned with them to the ruins and they were able to show him the exact route the figures had been seen taking.......

Needless to say, as a fairly local site of rather long-standing interest, we're always on the lookout for stories and experiences concerning White Ladies and the surrounding region....  If any of our page visitors might have any related tales to tell, then please do get in touch with us!!

Monday, 12 June 2017

Monday 12th June 2017

In a recent conversation with ghost hunter and charity worker, Tracie McMeekin, we were reminded of an intriguing visit that we made, some 15 or so years ago now, to a lovely, historic, architectural 'gem', situated on the outskirts of Wolverhampton City.....  A write-up on the visit concerned had been posted up on our (then) website, but, as frequently happens with such things, the details had basically 'been lost' with time and a change of web page, etc.......

However, incorporating that wonderful, online service - the 'Internet Archive Wayback Machine' - we were recently able to re-discover the details concerned and, with a little tweaking, to bring everything up to date, present the gist of the post here, below, for your perusal.....

"In September, 2002, B.B.C. ‘Midlands Today’ broadcast a news report – ‘The House That Cries’: Sun. Sept. 8th – regarding a peculiar phenomena which is said to have sporadically occurred at what is believe to be by some as Wolverhampton’s oldest (extant) building... Graiseley Old Hall.

While the happenings concerned are not necessarily indicative of actual ghostly / haunting phenomena, they would certainly be construed as 'potentially paranormal in nature' by a great many.  Also, following the news report, certain information came to light which certainly seemed to indicate a form of ‘haunted history’ at least, in bygone days at the building…..

Subsequent contact with the then owner of Graiseley Old Hall - former actress, Miss Susan Williams - resulted in three members of the Ghost Club being invited to pay a visit to the house on September 15th, 2002.

Brief Site History

Graiseley Old Hall itself is believed to have been built in 1485, though signs of a much earlier building have been discovered.  (A wooden tablet in one of the walls of the present building is dated 1377, but this is not thought to be genuine).  During road construction, the remains of an old moat were found surrounding the property.  This is thought to have been dug as a precaution against cattle thieves.

16th Cent. records show that the first owner of Graiseley Old Hall was one Nicholas Rydley, a merchant of the staple of Calais.  The Hall remained with his descendants until the middle of the 17th Cent., when one Walter Rotton was, seemingly, forced to sell the property to William Normansell (one of Oliver Cromwells Justices of the Peace) in order to pay off gambling debts!  (Rotton was apparently a dedicated Cockfighter and Dice Thrower!)

During the Queen Anne period (1702 – 1714), the exterior timberwork of the Hall was replaced with brick.  Today, an example of the original Wattle and Daub structuring can be viewed (from behind a perspex panel) in the Entrance Hall of the house.   Interestingly, just to the right of the aforementioned, sections of medieval fresco paintings can be seen on the original wall timbers of the room. 

Towards the end of the 19th Cent., the hall was occupied by Moses Ironmonger – a former Mayor of the Borough.  A friend of Alexander Graham Bell, Ironmonger installed the first, public telephone line ever established in the district: a link between Graiseley Old Hall and his factory on the corer of Salop and Cock Street!

In 1930, the Hall was purchased by the Royal Wolverhampton School for use as an administration / storage site.  It was discovered that the Hall was not an officially listed building in 1957 and Wolverhampton M.P., Enoch Powell, brought the matter to the attention of the local Government.  As a result, Graiseley Old Hall was given Grade II Star listed status. 

Reported Phenomena(?)

In the 11 years that Miss Williams had occupied the Old Hall (*leading up to 2002), she had noticed that small pools of water had collected in the same spot in the Main Hall on four occasions.  The first three times that this occurred, she neither saw nor heard the water appear, but merely discovered a pool of about the same size that might adequately fill a saucer.  On one of these occasions, food had been laid out in the Hall and the contents of one of the plates was found to be ‘soggy’ with liquid. 

The fourth time that water had appeared was on the last Sunday in August 2002 – the 25th – and, luckily, Miss Williams happened to be in the room at the time.

Graiseley Old Hall was open to the public on the last Sunday of every month and Miss Williams had been taking a couple of visitors round on a tour of the property.  They were standing in the Main Hall, scrutinising an old Tithe Map situated on a long table, when they all became aware of a ‘splashing’ sound.  Looking up, they were surprised to find water dripping rapidly from a point on one of the beams that ran across the Hall ceiling and onto the opposite end of the table to where they were situated.  (The exact same spot in the room where the pools had previously been found).

Miss Williams admits that her immediate reaction was to think that someone had spilled something on the floor of the room above and the liquid was now dripping through the ceiling.  Some people had been staying with her at the time and one of the guests was using the bedroom directly above.  Immediately checking on the situation, Miss Williams found that the guest in question was currently situated in his room, but certainly hadn’t spilled anything on the (uncarpeted) floor.

The guest in question actually accompanied Miss Williams back to the Main Hall, where they found that the water had now stopped dripping.  Upon immediate investigation, the beam was found to be completely dry at the point where the liquid had originated.  (And along the rest of it’s length). 

When asked if she thought that these episodes were possibly paranormal in origin, Miss Williams told us that she didn’t really know.  She did, however, approach a local psychic concerning this matter – a representative of the person concerned appearing in the ‘Midlands Today’ feature – though they appeared fairly non-committal in their comments on the subject.  (Most peculiar for a psychic, we thought?)

Of considerable interest was the fact that Miss Williams received a letter from a local resident following the news broadcast of Sept. 8th.  The note mentioned that, around 40 years earlier, the family then residing at Graiseley Old Hall had actually suffered an outbreak of what they believed was ‘Poltergeist’ activity.  The family concerned was that of the Rev. Pearce – Chaplain of the Royal Wolverhampton School.

Unfortunately, little was known of the actual nature of the phenomenon concerned, save for the fact that activity had only started when the Reverend’s children had reached their teens and only occurred when they were present….. 


The oak beam from which the water has been known to drip has certainly bowed (sagged) towards it’s middle to a fair degree over the centuries.  However, the lowest point of this bow effect does not seem to correspond with the point at which the water originates.  Unless there is some form of optical illusion being created by subsidence within the structure of the room itself, the point where the water originates is over a foot distant from the lowest point of the bend.

The water itself was described as only ‘dripping’ – but rapidly and the duration of the event itself was relatively brief.  (A matter of a few minutes maximum).  ‘Condensation’ and ‘Damp’ – as some have suggested as a reason for the effect – certainly would not seem to account for this activity?  The volume of water that would need to collect on the surface of the beam before such an effect could manifest would be considerable, and therefore quite visible, and would surely not be able to 'collect' in the volume concerned, before dripping from the point on the beam?  Also, the ceiling of the room is constructed from a number of such beams, so why should only one of these attract condensation, in this way, a mere 4 times in over a decade?

The Hall itself does suffer with damp in places, but certainly nowhere near the levels needed to create such an event; and certainly not so in the Main Hall or the bedroom above.  It is a rare form of condensation / damp which manifests openly for a few minutes, then retreats leaving a formerly dripping surface bone dry?

A couple of W.M.G.C. members suggested (a) a possible hollow of channel running through the beam (which might store, then release liquid sporadically), or (b) some form of potential liquid source from ‘underneath’ the floorboards of the bedroom above, releasing water via seepage through the ceiling below.

With regards to both suggestions, the fact that this had only occurred 4 times in 11 years sounds rather unlikely(?)  The former idea may account for the same amount of water being released each time, but, again, the duration between each episode is puzzling.  The question of ‘seepage’ is also unlikely, as there were no visible damp patches to be seen on the ceiling of the Main Hall....?"  

As mentioned at the beginning of this entry, we should just like to remind visitors that the aforementioned, Tracie McMeekin, is the founder of a Walsall-based, 'homeless charity' called 'Hands To The Homeless' which carries out crucial work in the West Midlands region in supporting destitute and / or needy individuals and families.  Anyone wishing to help out in any way with this stirling work is urged to contact Tracie at:  The Facebook page for H.T.T.H. - a 'sales page' for raising funds for the charity, full of bargain, quality items - can be found HERE

Sunday, 11 June 2017

Sunday 11th June 2017 

Just a small post, in the form of an appeal for information.  As regulars to W.M.G.C. related pages will know, we have always shown a special interest in the area known as Great Barr, which generally falls into the cross over point of the Walsall / Birmingham / Sutton Coldfield borderlands....  As we have mentioned numerous times in the past - including a lot of related data on this blog (please use the search box for details) - we do tend to be seen to take 'extra' interest in this specific region, as it appears, through unrelated / individual reports and data to just be 'one of those areas' that, somehow, generates a considerable wealth of ghostlore and peculiar experiences over time.....!?   

In this recent instance, we have been speaking with a good friend of the group who told us that a relative of theirs and their partner - living in Great Barr - had recently been woken up, approx. 2 a.m., when they both heard a 'thrumming' noise, high up like a dozen planes going over, followed by a long, distant, whistling sound.... and then a "crump" sound!?  

Needless to say, the description appears very much like what we, today, would recognise as an 'air raid' scenario, from years gone by!  The male of the couple concerned says that he heard exactly the same thing in 1994 too. It most definitely wasn't a noise generated by something like fireworks, as he is ex military and knows the sounds concerned.

Needless to say, it would be MOST interesting for all concerned if anyone had any similar stories, experiences or knowledge on this kind of effect in that general area, or roundabouts!?  As always, please feel free to contact us via the 'comments' option on this page, or privately through our email address above.....

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Wednesday 24th May 2017

As mentioned in our previous post, one of the members of our Facebook page - Alan Wheatley, a former neighbour of mine, from when I was a very young lad - made an interesting post about a strange experience he'd had, on a boating break, with his family, around 35 (approx.) years ago......  He tells us:  

"You may remember that I and my parents came across you on a canal boat in Shropshire..... well earlier that day we had left Market Drayton, heading back to Wolverhampton.  As anyone familiar with that stretch of canal will know, there is a long, very deep, narrow cutting about a mile long... dead straight, save for a slight dog-leg, half-way along, spanned by a high brick bridge.  As we approached the bridge, a small cruiser was coming the other way, so I slowed down to let him through, but was surprised when he stopped and pulled into the side out of my view behind the bridge.  As I passed through, I prepared to thank him, but was astonished to see that there was no boat there!  He couldn't possibly have turned round and, even if he could, I would have seen him in front of me!?  It wasn't me seeing things, because my mother saw it as well. To this day, I still can't come up with an explanation......?"

While we had no similar experiences logged (in our own files) from that particular stretch of water, we had mentioned, at the time that the subject was broached, that Alan's story reminded us very much of a couple of other encounters, from other regions, that had been reported to us, over time....  One instance concerned a vessel 'vanishing' in front of numerous occupants on a 'tour boat', on the Birmingham canals system, and - in a site that we have personally investigated - 'ghost boats' have allegedly been experienced in the Lord Wards tunnel network in Dudley, in the Black Country, too!  

While the canal networks of this fine country aren't immediately something you tend to think of when musing over the subjects of ghosts and hauntings, it certainly seems that the lifestyle / subject does indeed have a strong 'ghostlore' all of it's own!

As mentioned in our previous post, the stretch of canal mentioned by Alan in his account is, it seems, particularly noted for it's ghosts and peculiar feel.  (*Related articles HERE and HERE)  However, it's certainly not just this stretch of Midlands canal that hold such a reputation.... and related, 'spooky tales' continue across the waterways map!  We have, in the past, mentioned a number of strange stories associated with our canals; one particular 'stretch' - situated in my childhood / early adulthood neighbourhood - has no less that 5 different, allegedly haunted, spots within the space of two miles alone!!

Wednesday May 24th 2017

In a recent conversation on the W.M.G.C. Facebook page, we were greatly interested to see one of our members, Alan Wheatley, relating a story concerning a family outing on the Shropshire Union Canal some decades past.  The spot in question was a section of the waterway not far from Market Drayton in Shropshire... a stretch of canal that is seemingly noted (in numerous sources, it seems?) as having something of an 'eerie feel' to it!? 

While we will post Alan's initial story (mentioned above) in a separate post, we will, for the moment, focus on something mentioned in the subsequent 'comments' on the topic concerned.  Alan had happened to mention a specific matter that we'd never heard of before.... though the details concerned certainly brought to mind another topic that we were all-too-familiar with!  The comment included the most intriguing line:

"I know lots of the old working boatmen used to claim that Betton Wood had a shrieking ghost and would not moor there over night....."

On seeing this reference, we were instantly reminded of the classic story, 'A Neighbour's Landmark', by the late, great, ghost story writer, M.R. James.... in which the focus of the tale is a 'shrieking ghost' that haunts a region formerly occupied by an area of woodland called 'Betton Wood'! As mentioned, we had never heard of the real-life matter mentioned by Alan previously, but, on checking further, it seems that the association had certainly not been lost on Jamesian scholars, the information being reported on in a number of online sources.....!

A further reference, supplied by Alan, was taken from L.T.C Rolt's famous book, 'Narrow Boat':

"The name Betton Wood seemed vaguely familiar, but it was not until we reached Betton Wood, where the trees, pressing close, made a darkness about us and the water was unruffled by the wind which tossed their branches, that I recalled the association in the line: 'Than that which walks in Betton Wood knows why it walks or why it cries'. Connoisseurs of the ghost story will doubtless have read 'A Neighbours Landmark by the immortal M.R James, and so remember Betton Wood where walked the shrieking ghost having 'no language but a cry'"

As can (and most definitely 'does', of course) frequently occur, did the real-life haunting influence James' writing, perhaps.... or is the entire case just a matter of sheer coincidence!?!  Maybe - we cannot be sure now, needless to say - James' story actually influenced the 'lore of the canals', thereabouts, possibly?  This sort of thing has certainly happened before, to our knowledge: there is a real-life story, for example, of a haunting in the Wolverhampton area - from the mid-1800's - that ties in VERY closely indeed with another of James' tales.... so was he in the habit of taking references from the popular news for his stories, maybe?

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Tuesday May 16th 2017

As always - especially with the subject matter concerned - we were very excited to receive yet another account of a potential sighting of the apparition known as 'Madam Piggott', from the Newport region of Shropshire, within the last couple of days.   As many of our more regular visitors to W.M.G.C. related pages - blog, former website / forum, etc - would know, this particular case has been a KEY passion of ours, since group member Steve Chew first drew our interest to the matter 12 or so years back.......

In this new 'encounter' - which only occurred early this month - a lone, male motorist was travelling along a country road, when a dark-dressed figure 'shot' across the, otherwise empty, thoroughfare some distance in front of his vehicle.....  As the gentleman concerned pointed out to us in his introductory note, the appearance of the figure doesn't exactly, immediately tie-in with the more traditional descriptions of the infamous 'madam'; the site of the occurrence is a little way removed from the usual region in which 'she' is reported, and the figure he saw was 'dark' in appearance, where M.P. is usually described as dressed in light / white period costume..... 

Having said the latter, however, having collected MANY stories from that general region, we've come to see that there really doesn't seem to be a 'typical', specific area / appearance / type for activity in the region concerned....!?  Many of the reported sightings do involve a female figure, but, even then, descriptions and locations almost never tally!?

Monday, 3 April 2017

Monday April 3rd 2017

Briefly re-visiting a blog post from 2009:  We have - within the last couple of days - discovered a couple of accounts that involve the stretch of Moxley canal (mentioned in the 2009 piece).

Some years ago, I was told by a local folklorist that a woman had supposedly drowned - somewhere down near 'Wards Bridge' - in the canal, in the Victorian period..... Unfortunately, despite having checked at the time, I could never find any such account!?  Ironically, however, I NOW find TWO separate incidents for the same stretch of canal - purely by accident - in one research sitting!!

The first instance occurred around the mid-1800's, when a man, dragging the canal for lumps of coal, was horrified to discover he had, instead, hooked the body of a woman!!  Sadly, no names were mentioned in the brief, newspaper account, though it was reported that her body was taken to the nearest public house for an inquest.....

In the second incident, in the latter half of the Victorian period, a woman by the name of Bunn was - unfortunately - thrown from a canal boat she was working on.... and became trapped between the boat and the 'kerb stones' bordering the canal itself!!  She was said to have been tightly 'wedged' there for some 15 minutes before finally expiring and despite the efforts of a local chemist who had been called to the accident site to try and help.....

Now, I must admit that I'm not a big believer in the popular notion of 'tragedy = ghost', but - being truly objective in such matters and accepting that a lot of people do - I guess the aforementioned incidents could well account for a 'ghostly woman' or two in that general area......?

The aforementioned blog article - entitled 'The Darlaston Poltergeist' - can be read 'HERE'.

Friday, 3 March 2017

Friday 3rd March 2017

We've recently received a note from author, Andy Gilbert, telling us of his new publication, entitled: 'Credible Witness - Paranormal Police Stories'.....

The 100 page book is a "collection of compelling accounts from members of the police family who have witnessed or have intimate knowledge of unexplained incidents....  When the world of policing and the paranormal collide, even the most hardened sceptic might have to think again...."

Not only does this sound an absolutely fascinating book, but Andy tells us that all of the royalties from the publication are being donated to a charity in Burntwood (South Staffordshire) supporting adults with learning disabilities (COGS).

Copies of 'Credible Witness' are priced at £5.99 each and are available through Amazon at this LINK 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Tuesday 28th February 2017

From The Archives:

In 2008, we were invited to speak to the family of a physics tutor, who had been experiencing some strange happenings in their home.  It was estimated that the family concerned were possibly only the second group of occupants of the property concerned.

The son of the family had seen a figure in the house that he had described to a neighbour, and the lady concerned had said it sounded very much like the man who had previously lived at the address.

The daughter of the family had a friend to stay and they slept downstairs.  The friend asked: 'Why has your mom just gone into the kitchen?'  The pair checked and there was no one there.  The friend had then said that the person had just walked back out of the kitchen.  In describing the figure she'd seen, she gave a description that apparently tallied with that seen by the brother the week before!?  (Male / female?)  The girl concerned had never met the brother.

Teaspoons would keep going missing.  You would sometimes hear the sound of cutlery inexplicably rattling in the kitchen.   Other, assorted activity included such matter as:  The family dog and cat seemingly respond to something 'unseen' / Strange 'cold' sensations reported / Door firmly latched at night discovered open the next morning / The boyfriend of the daughter said he had left his slippers in her room - soles down on floor - and when he returns, moments later, the soles are turned upwards / The son of the family discovered a chair in his bedroom had been moved - turned around, lying on the floor and pushed under the bed / The family were on holiday and their son (staying home by himself) phoned them to say he has had to go to stay with friends, because he is too scared to stay in the house alone.  He had, apparently, seen someone on the landing of the property / feeling of being 'touched' by something, only occurred once, in kitchen area, on Boxing Day, one year / Footsteps heard in bedroom by occupant of bed.  It didn't sound as if the foot falls were on carpet / Footsteps heard outside bedroom door /

They kept smelling pipe smoke when they had first moved in.  It would just come and go.  They would also leave the house and return to find clothing had been folded up on their beds.  This apparently no longer happens.

Daughter believes that 'it' likes to 'play with you'.  As an example, she says that she went to put her nightie on and the nightie wasn't on the bed where she had left it.  She asked her mom what she had done with the nightie.  The mom said she hadn't touched it.... and the daughter returned to her bedroom to find the nightie now 'on the bed', in the place that it was normally left!?  She repeats:  'It likes to play with you!'

Family agree that 'it' is mischievous;  it doesn't want to hurt you, so they're not actually worried by the goings-on. 

Mother of family would often hear kettle switch on when she was upstairs and she'd cheekily shout: 'I'll have a cup of tea!!'  Whoever was downstairs would reply - but from somewhere like the living room - not having been in the kitchen or touched the kettle, etc.  This kettle would often switch itself on and off.  Her husband took it to work and threw it in a skip!  A woman from a nearby catering business saw the kettle and - as it looked brand new - she used it in her cafe!  The husband - knowing what had happened - went to visit the cafe one day and asked about the kettle, enquiring if the woman ever had any issues with the appliance.  She said 'no', it worked perfectly!!

The mother draws our attention to a box on the hallway wall, which contains something to do with the house heating system.  The system involves a button that audibly 'clicks' when touched.  One evening, they were sitting in the living room and all she could hear, all night, was the button clicking itself on and off.

*With regards to household / electrical equipment in general - it did seem that a lot of potential 'activity' incorporated electrical items.... such as the 'kettle' and 'buttons' scenario's mentioned above.... and were, therefore, noted as potentially 'questionable', etc!?  As an example of such - the house TV was noted as often 'switching on and off' and changing channels;  a house burglar alarm regularly malfunctioned; lamps switched themselves on and off (sometimes when the family was out of the house!?); the doorbell rings, of it's own volition; computer found to have been 'switched off', after being left briefly by user.

Some of the 'electrical' activity was doubly 'questionable' - with regards to being just somehow 'faulty' - however.  One morning a friend had phoned about the 'activity' and had been told 'all was quiet' of late, it seemed.  The following morning, the father awoke to find their bedside lamps had been switched on, during the night... both his own and that of his wife (on their respective sides of the bed)!?  The daughter also mentioned the lights being seen to 'dim' in her bedroom sometimes and - when you looked at the dimmer switch on the wall - you could 'see' it physically moving!?  (The daughter suggested that 'it' was setting the mood relating to the mood of the occupants in the room?  If animated conversation was taking place, it would go bright..... if she was watching a movie, it would dim itself!?)

Close to our visit, the daughter of the family started getting the impression that something was possibly trying to 'push her' when she was on the stairs?  Mother believed it may have just been a matter of vertigo, perhaps, but daughter said it never happened on any other stairs but theirs!?

The daughter was 'off school, ill, one day - alone - and passed out in the hallway of the house.  When she 'came to' a short time later, she found that she was now lying on the settee in the living room?

The husband came home from work one day and his wife, having just had to clean up a mess of his paperwork, etc, told him off, saying:  'Don't you ever leave all of your papers in a mess like this again for me to deal with!!'  He had just placed his car keys on a sideboard and, when she was telling him off, the keys 'slid off', onto the floor.....  She apparently said:  'See, the ghost agrees with me!!'

Fleeting signs of 'movement' are often witnessed by people in the house.  I.e. the husband thought his wife had passed through the kitchen one day, but then she appeared from the opposite direction!?  The daughters boyfriend believed that the mother had passed the living room doorway, one night, in a white nightgown, but it wasn't her, etc.

A 'medium' - who did not actually visit the house - said they could 'tune into' the site and suggested there was a spirit 'under the stairs' of the property:  somebody was 'under the stairs'!?  She gave the family a cross / crucifix to place under the stairs (which was still there at the time of our visit).  They were advised (by medium) not to remove it, as whatever was under the stairs was only 'playing tricks' right now, but would become 'nasty' if it were removed!?  The cross did, once, apparently fall of the wall and actually break, but the mother made someone crawl into the space and 'glue it back'!!   

Tuesday 28th February 2017

From The Archives:

In early 2008, we were contacted by a gentleman involved in the legal profession and his wife, concerning their home in the South Staffordshire region.  The matter wasn't regarded as 'pressing' by the residents, but they explained that they were interested in possibly finding out more on the history of the site and the strange occurrences they'd experienced in their time there.  From their own research they had discovered that the property itself was built in 1910 and was said to have part of a network of tunnels underneath it, leading to the local church.  The church was believed to date from the 1200's, while the tunnels allegedly dated from the 16th Century, used for the smuggling of priests and monks, in the reign of Henry VIII.  A nearby property - where both had previously worked - also housed the end of one of these tunnels.

On visiting the couple, we were told that activity had started in the house - initially, just small happenings - within the first few days of occupancy.  Since that time, however, the situation had intensified.  While things had initially started occurring every few weeks or so, perhaps, by the time of our visit they estimated that things were then occurring 3 or 4 nights per week on average.    

One of the very first, noticeable, events was the sound of keys jingling in the hallway of the property.  This was first heard by the wife, but her husband was asleep at the time.  A few night later, however, he was awake, in bed, and also heard the sound himself.  The keys would jingle once...... then a pause of a few seconds...... then jingle again.  A small, ceramic 'bell', also situated in the hallway, would sometimes be heard too.  Interestingly, the keys - kept on a table in the hallway - made a noise when you picked them up or put them back down...... and this sound was never heard when the 'jingling' noise manifested? 

One night, while they were in bed - husband asleep - the wife heard a pile of papers in the corner of the room start to rustle.  She woke her husband and, as they both, sat there and listened, a small, white light - akin to a flash light - moved over the corner of the room for 6 to 8 seconds, in a dancing fashion, and disappeared into the ceiling. 

The sound of footsteps were frequently heard in the hallway outside their bedroom door at night - going backwards and forwards.  They had the impression that it was the sound of someone 'endeavouring to be quiet'; the sound of a step... and then the floorboard creaking.  The same sort of sound had been heard around their bed too!  (Latter was described as a little disconcerting!!!)

Following the footsteps one evening, a sensation akin to someone 'sitting on the end of the bed' was experienced.  The husband was fully awake at the time - lying on his back - and says that his leg 'went down', with the bed, as the pressure was applied to the mattress!  This was the first happening that they noticed in their bedroom, but, since then, the wife had felt her legs being physically 'slapped' while in bed.  The husband has also felt a sensation as if someone were 'digging their fingernails into the crown of his head' too!!  He had cried out loud from this effect, due to the pain generated!!  The week prior to our visit he had also felt fingers moving across the side of his head on waking.  He also, sometimes, felt a hand rubbing across his head as he lay there - and someone touching his back.  (At the time of our visit, we were told that activity in this particular area seemed to have been intensifying over the previous three to four weeks.  They had suggested that the activity was somehow 'progressing'?) 

If the couple ever - independently - heard anything, while lying in bed, they would habitually wake their partner with a 'Hey, hey - did you hear that?'  The wife reports hearing a voice whisper 'Hey!'.... but, when she looked, her husband was fast asleep!?  Wife asked 'it' to 'show itself'.... and saw a blonde, unshaven mans face - in front of her - in the middle of the night!

For some reason, they had dubbed their visitor 'Sheldon'.  If things sometimes got a little-too-much for them, they would call out:  'We don't mind sharing this place with you Sheldon, but you're scaring us!' and the activity would seem to calm down......

The husband had been in their kitchen, around 5, one morning, with their 2 cats.  He heard the distinct sound of a 'sigh' from the hallway.... and both cats reacted, sitting upright and staring.  He had searched the flat, but found nothing.  Their cats were often said to react to things around the place.  The animals had always slept elsewhere in the flat, but appeared to have become 'disturbed' - potentially made ill - by the activity and had subsequently moved into the bedroom at night.

Again, in the kitchen one morning, the husband had been looking for their measuring jug.... but couldn't find it anywhere!?  Eventually giving up his search, he walked into the hallway.... and there it was!!  

A door that you had to 'slam' to physically shut, had been discovered 'open' again in the mornings.  Around midnight - again, while in bed - they had both heard a downstairs door being unlocked and opened..... but there was no one there when they checked....  Loud banging had been heard on the window of the bedroom during the early hours of the morning and and enormous 'crash' from somewhere in the house.  Upon checking, nothing was ever found to account for these noises!?

In staying in the nearby property - mentioned above - the husband had sometimes heard the sound of someone, as if wearing heavy, work-boots, walking along a hallway in the middle of the night.  The steps would stop.... and return, time and again!?  This would happen for the duration of 20 minutes or so.  On the one occasion, he said that he had blatantly though 'Sod it!!' and got up, opening the door at the exact moment the steps were passing!!  There was nothing to be seen!!  Someone had previously spotted the figure of an elderly lady at the rear of the building....

Interestingly - the previous occupants of the property had been approached over the happenings concerned, but that said that they had never experienced anything untoward in their time there at all?

Tuesday 28th February 2017

From The Archives:

In Mid-2007 I was contacted by a gentleman about alleged 'activity' at his house, which was situated on the West Midlands / South Staffordshire border.  He believed that the happenings in the property potentially tied in with another case that we'd looked into / investigated in the same area, his having been alerted to the matter by a newspaper article on the site involved.

The activity concerned - at the time of my interview - had been occurring for some 2 - 3 years.  The house involved was apparently built in the mid-1960's.   

The occupants reported having heard loud knocking sounds on the windows of the house... including on 'upstairs' windows.  It was said the 'bangs' concerned were so loud, they had expected neighbours to have heard them and complained about the matter.  A 'fast rapping sound' had also been heard on occasion, actually 'going away' at one point, but returning at a later date.  The male, head of the household said that no origin - naturally occurring in the normal context of day to day life in the building - could be found to account for these sounds.  One particular noise was described as being like someone 'dropping a plank flat on the floor'.  Another knocking noise had been heard from the top of the stairs and sounded like a door being rapped.  I was told that non-family visitors to the house had also heard these noises in the property too.  

The situation had become so bad at times that the male of the household said he had often wanted to leave the property, when he lived there alone....  He had been so afraid of the occurrences.  Throughout our interview period, constant references / remarks were made regarding how scary the situation had generally been.

One of the bedrooms of the property was dubbed 'the worst' area in the house, because the sound of what appeared to be several children - running around, fighting, etc - could often be heard in there.  A security system was fitted in the room concerned and, when the noises began, the system was activated and, allegedly, the noises recorded.  Nothing in the room was ever found to have physically moved, however.  (*Recorded footage no longer in the keeping of the family, though).

Bumps, bangs and thumps were heard from one corner of one of the bedrooms.

Items in the household would go missing and appear (though objects were never physically 'seen' moving).  I was shown a 1940's, half-penny coin that had appeared one day, as an example of the aforementioned.   

Pictures mounted on the walls would be found hanging 'crooked'.  Sound of someone moving quietly up the stairs heard at night.  Doors were heard shutting, while occupants of the house were in bed at night.... though the doors were found open the next day.  Bed clothes were pulled off the occupants of beds.  Also, feelings as if beds were sometimes being 'kicked hard' by an external body. 

A cold atmosphere was reported in the house.  This was often remarked upon by visitors.  It was said you could enter the front door and literally 'step in and out of' the atmosphere concerned.

Smells were detected in house, like 'violet perfume', a cigarette smell and cooking smells - roast beef, etc - late at night.  A strong, horrible smell was detected in one bedroom that belonged to a daughter of the family.  It seemed to begin after the girl complained of believing there was some form of 'presence' in the room.  She refused to sleep in there, as a result, and her father took up occupancy to prove to her that there was nothing there.  (He detected nothing untoward).  The smell would apparently stay for a couple of days, then dissipate.  The smell was said to be worse than 'something dead and rotting' and - while the room was taken apart in the search for a cause - nothing was ever found to account for it.

Lights in the house would 'dim' and then brighten again.  Bulbs would also blow.  A joke was made one day, concerning 'Rednecks' shooting the bulbs with guns and so on, and - on cue - a bulb blew!  The TV would change channel of it's own accord.     

The sensation of 'having your legs sat on', while lying in bed, had been experienced. 

The feeling of being 'pinned to the bed' was experienced by a female occupant of the house.  This, at a base level, seemed to be a fairly typical, 'Old Hag' / sleep paralysis style scenario:  inability to move a muscle, etc, while feeling fully awake and conscious.  Coupled with this, however, a feeling that was described as 'having an aeroplane next to you' was reported: i.e. air pressure and vibration, etc.  The victim says she attempted to 'protect herself' by visualising bright, white light and so on - but said she received an 'almighty slap across the face' in response to this(!?)  The slap was so hard, it could still be felt the next day.  There was no mark visible, but the 'sting' persisted.  She said she felt there was a definite, overwhelming 'male' sensation to the experience... though she also admitted that she didn't think this was ever 'human', because a person could never generate such an overwhelming feeling of negative, power!?  She phoned the local Spiritualist Church the very next day to try and combat the problem.     

A visiting medium had said that the core problem lay in the fact that this was a 'mining area' and a metal disc was discovered in the street, outside the property, that was actually a miners 'identity tag'.  When the Spiritualist medium and a minister came to the house, it was said that they had 'stopped' the activity concerned.  The activity was said to 'cease gradually', following the visit.... though the medium had predicted that this was what would actually happen. 

They had said that there were mine workings under the property and the cause of the ghostly activity involved an explosion and horses, which had resulted in the loss of several lives(?)  The occupants checked the history of the site - via maps and aerial photographs - and discovered that a building related to the mines had seemingly stood on the exact spot now occupied by their house.  (*This was not checked out / verified by the WMGC, however).  A local mine had indeed been the site of a terrible accident in years gone by, including the loss of human life.

The father of the household said that he had seen a typical, old-fashioned, 'miner'-type figure standing in the kitchen one day, as he was making coffee.  He had looked up to find the figure standing, apparently looking into a coffee cup.  He described the figure as having a black face, black clothing and a leather, miners helmet, with carbide-style lamp attached to the front of it.  The figure was said to be quite clear and remained in view for 2 to 3 seconds.   

The medium had also said something about the presence of a 'little girl' in the house, which interested the male occupant, as he had apparently seen the figure of a little girl in the house.  She was witnessed coming into the living room, from the passage leading to the front door, and then ran part-way up the stairs before vanishing!  She had been wearing a red, pinafore-style dress..... and didn't seem to have any feet!?  She was said to be quite modern looking in style.  (Male occupant said he had spoken to a local woman who had lived only 100 yards from the house in question, but had moved from the property because their home had been haunted by the ghost of a little girl!?)      

Friday, 10 February 2017

Friday 10th February 2017

Well..... after it recently appeared on Facebook, we couldn't resist posting this cracking photograph of veteran paranormal researcher and author, Andrew Homer, could we!?  

Inquiring about his striking garb in the shot, Andy told us:  " It was after the Black Country Living Museum asked me to play the part of Thomas Newcomen.... Once I had put on the wig and tricorn hat, there was just NO going back!!" 

With regards to his latest publication - LINK - he assures us that:  "It took me simply ages to write 'A Black Country Miscellany' with just a quill pen though.......!!!"

Monday, 23 January 2017

Monday 23rd January 2017

Walsall based charity, 'Hands To The Homeless' will be hosting a 'sponsored paranormal investigation' of the magnificent 'Castle Lodge' in Ludlow, Shropshire, on Saturday the 18th of March, 2017....!!

Ticket prices for the event are only £25 per person, with attendees being asked to raise a further (minimum) £10 each in sponsor money.  (*Hot drinks and snacks provided!!)  ALL monies raised will go towards helping the homeless and disadvantaged around the region. 

There are only 17 spaces available for this ghostly adventure, so anyone interested in attending are being urged to 'get in there fast' and contact organiser - and established 'paranormal researcher' - Tracie McMeekin by email at

Castle Lodge itself is both an absolutely stunning place to visit AND has a well documented ghostlore to boot!!  An interesting night is guaranteed to all attendees!! 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday January 20th 2017

A friend - American paranormal researcher, Steve Foster - had recently expressed an interest in cases of a 'poltergeist-like nature', so the W.M.G.C. dug into our archives to see if we could possibly find some of our older cases that might be of interest, from this particular angle?  This post and the following offering were instances that we had cause to 'look-into' in the past.......

In late November, 2003, we received an email from a young couple (Phil and Sue) who informed us that - over the preceding 7 or 8 months (approx.) - they had encountered 'strange goings-on' in their high-rise flat situated in the West Midlands area.   We were told that a specific event, during the early hours of the very day that we were contacted, had eventually urged them to 'reach out' and ask for someones opinions on their experiences.  The event concerned had apparently occurred at approximately 2.00 am, on a Saturday morning.....  and has affected Phil to the extent that he couldn't sleep, through fear.  His resulting email to the group was written / sent at 5.30 am, that same morning.

The events in question had begun with some activity that Phil was already used to:  Sue talking in her sleep, moaning, and saying "No... No... NO...!!"   This had occurred several times in the past and he had always assumed she was merely dreaming.  Sometimes, when he'd go to bed, the quilt would be on the floor... but always at the foot of the bed, never to the side.  Again, he always assumed that she must have simply kicked it off.

However:  at around 1.30 am their cat 'went mad' - looked terrified - and stared down the hallway at nothing, before bolting back into the living room and trying to hide.  Cats being cats, he tried his best to ignore the animal.  Then, a few minutes later, he heard Sue moaning in her sleep - again, the same "No... No... NO!!" he'd always heard.

At around 2.15 am, he opened the bedroom door to find that the quilt was once again lying on the floor at the foot of the bed and Sue was lying, asleep, on her front.  He put on the bedside lamp to lift the quilt back onto her and, in the gloom, he could see something lying on her back....  When he looked closer, he could see that it was a necklace.  He then turned the main light on and, when he looked at it in better light, he saw it was an old 60's / 70's style necklace that he'd never seen before!?  When looking back at where it had been lying, he discovered - to his absolute horror - that Sue's back was covered in deep scratches!!  On examination, he estimated that there were 10 or so marks - vertical, horizontal, diagonal - all situated around the middle of her back.  One, in particular, started just under her shoulder blades and ran all the way down the the base of her spine. 

He then woke her up and, as soon as she gained full consciousness, she had said something about her back hurting her.  (At this point, he captured the scratches on her back with a digital camcorder and sent some stills to the W.M.G.C.)  He told her it was covered in scratches and held up the necklace, asking what it was and where it had come from?  Sue identified it as her mothers necklace, her mother having passed away some 15 years earlier.  Sue never wore the necklace herself, as the clasp was broken.  The item concerned was normally housed in her jewellery case, housed on a shelf, and when they subsequently checked the case, it was still fastened and the drawer that housed the jewellery was situated as it should have been.  (Box had typical 'lift up lid', with series of drawers found inside, etc).

In attempting to rationalise the situation, Phil had considered that Sue was possibly sleepwalking.  They had, however, been together for 4 years and, in that time, he had never known her to sleepwalk!?  Besides, they could not fathom how she had come to scratch herself so badly in the process, if this had indeed been the cause?  During my visit to see the couple, Sue showed me her nails, which were purposefully kept very short, because of her occupation.  

As already mentioned, this particular incident had instantly scared the both of them to a considerable extent, Phil voicing the notion that he was, now, seriously considering moving out of the property concerned.  They had taken to 'going to bed at the same time' since the event.  It was noted that they always seemed to be alone when things occurred.  Understandably, Phil had thought about possibly contacting a local priest, etc, but would really like to find out what was present in their home? 

With regards to a 'general' history of the site, it seems that - as mentioned - the couple had been experiencing an array of poltergeist-like happenings for some months prior to the above.  It was estimated that they had lived in the property some 2 to 2.5 years, in all.   

Lights in the flat had sometimes been 'switching themselves off', at any time between midnight and 2am, and corresponding to rooms that Phil was occupying.  Sue usually went to bed first and then, around the times suggested, the lights would just click off.  This has happened around 5 or 6 times in the last 6 months.  Phil had initially believed this only happened in the living room area, as this was where he was usually situated.  However, around 2 months earlier, he had been in their 2nd bedroom, on his computer, with Sue situated in the living room.  At some point - between midnight and 2.00 am - the bedroom lights switched off, leaving the living room lights on.  Phil admits this had 'scared the hell out of him', as it clearly seemed these happenings were somehow targeting him specifically.

Interestingly, the lights in the living room area - two of them - worked on two, separate switches and, when they went off, the audible 'click' of the switches was heard.  After this had occurred 3 or so times, he had actually put sellotape over the switches after Sue had gone to bed!  The lights never switched off with the tape over them(?)

A friend, who lived abroad, came and visited the couple.  Phil had told them about the happenings and - as they were sitting in the living room around 2 am one morning - the lights had 'clicked off'....  "there you go!" Phil had said.

They had approached the concierge of the building with a view to having the electrics checked out, but nothing at all wrong could be found with the switches / system, etc.      

Around a month before sending his note to us, he had been in the 2nd bedroom (on the PC), with Sue in the living room again.  He heard Sue yell out, then she ran into the room he was in, clearly scared.  When he asked her what was wrong,  she told him that the rug - which lay in front of their fireplace - had 'shot across the room' and landed in front of the TV as she was watching it!  The distance involved was some 5 feet.  In describing what had occurred, she said that the rug had actually 'rolled up' before it went in front of the TV....  It hadn't 'slid', but rolled and crumpled up in front of the set!  Their cat had reacted to the situation too, having run behind their settee and refused to appear again for at least an hour.

On another occasion, Phil had placed his cigarettes and lighter on top of the microwave, in the kitchen, and set about doing the washing up.  After a while, he had heard a 'ping' sound and looked down to find his lighter now lying at his feet!?

Sue says that, on a few occasions, she had smelled a lovely perfume in the living room area.... something akin to 'Lilly Of The Valley', or some such.  At such times, however, she had purposefully drawn Phil's attention to the smell, but he had always said that he could smell nothing at all!?

On a couple of occasions, Sue had experienced a sensation that sounds typical of what is termed 'Sleep Paralysis'.  She said that it felt as if something was sitting on her chest at such times and she cannot move or speak.  She had tried to call out during her experiences.  She described the sensation as if someone was 'holding her very tight'.  She says that she had also had the same experience once - elsewhere - while still a child.

At the time of the visit, an investigation was offered to the group, but it was deemed more appropriate to leave matters at this simple visit / interview - at least initially - as it was our intention not to 'heighten' or 'put emphasis on' the activity outside of normal, daily experience for the couple.  It was heartening to hear the couple say that they 'felt a lot better' about their general situation, following our visit and they had both made a conscious decision to 'put a much braver face on things', treating anything that might happen with an objective view and simple curiosity, rather than 'fear', which had certainly been the controlling factor of late, etc.