Thursday, 12 October 2017


Thursday 12th October 2017

We're afraid it's a little late in the day, but just posting a quick note to say that our good friend - and 'Ghost Investigator' - Tracie McMeekin will be carrying our a 'Sponsored Sleep-Out', on the streets of Wolverhampton, tomorrow night!!  All monies raised will be going towards supporting the 'homeless' residents of both the Walsall and Wolverhampton regions......

While the event itself is only just over 24 hrs away, Tracie WILL still be accepting sponsorship for the next two weeks, so - needless to say - anyone who would like to help this worthy cause.... please do feel free to donate!!

Tracie can be contacted via her 'HANDS TO THE HOMELESS' page on Facebook HERE or directly, by email, via supermcmeekin@aol.com 

Sunday, 8 October 2017


Sunday 8th October 2017

For anyone living in the Black Country - or immediate surrounding regions - the W.M.G.C. are excited to report the opening of 'Reiki Fallen Feathers', a new 'healing room' being launched by a friend of the group, Michelle Hyde in Darlaston, near Walsall.

For anyone 'not in the know' on this positive-energy treatment system:  'Reiki' is a popular, Japanese technique for promoting stress reduction, relaxation and encourages overall healing.  As with a number of alternative, healing systems, treatment is administered by the "laying on of hands".... hinging on the application of positive 'life force energy' to promote general happiness and good health.  The system - a wholly natural and completely safe form of 'spiritual' healing - is applied in order to treat the 'entire being'.... which includes both physical and psychological aspects of the recipient. 

Michelle herself has been a Reiki practitioner for some 6 years now, having passed degrees 1 and 2, and attaining the level of Masters 3.   She uses oils as part of her treatment process and, needless to say, is fully insured. 

Michelle tells us that she will be opening her rooms on the 16th of October, from 10.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. and - needless to say - ALL are welcome to drop in for a chat, consultation and tasters!!  The shop itself is situated at number 73, Walsall Road, Darlaston, and is situated at the rear of the 'Link Up' phone shop.  Postcode for the rooms is WS10 9JU, for anyone relying on SatNav tech to navigate, and - for more direct contact - her mobile number is 07514 401628.  Anyone using Facebook can also visit the 'Reiki Fallen Feathers' official page 'HERE'

Needless to say - the West Midlands Ghost Club wish Michelle every success in this venture!!  All the best.......!!

Friday, 29 September 2017


Friday September 29th 2017

Speaking as one of the founder members of the West Midlands Ghost Club, I must admit that it feels wholly bizarre to contemplate that the group is now less than 2 years away from it's 30th birthday!!  How time flies when you're having fun, eh!?  Lol!
  
On the subject of passing time though, I was making some posts on a social media site about the Bushbury area yesterday, when I happened to dig out a couple of newscuttings related to our investigations at the gorgeous, black-and-white-beamed, Northycote Farm in 1997.....
  
'Early 1997...' I thought, somewhat amazed: 'Lord.... that's just over 20 yrs ago now!!' In turning to the blog to search out more details of the affair to share... I realised that - for whatever reason - we had never actually posted a report on this particular matter before...!?  Thankfully, however, information had been previously posted on our website and that data had been 'saved for posterity' when the site was closed down some years ago. For the sake of brevity and, without further ado.... the following is a slightly edited version of the aforementioned information:     

"In late January, 1997, a correspondence was received from the House Guide for Northycote Farm and Country Park in Bushbury, enquiring whether members of the W. M. Ghost Club would be interested in looking into a number of potential 'paranormal experiences' said to have occurred at the farm over the space of a number of years.

Northycote Farm itself was built around the year 1600 and throughout the duration of the 17th Century was the home of the Catholic Underhill family. In 1845, the farm is listed as being the property of George Thomas Whitgreave and, at that time, comprised of a tight complex of structures including the farmhouse, a number of outbuildings, a yard, and a Chapel belonging to nearby Moseley Court. From the 19th Century onward, the farm was lived in by a series of tenant farmers involved in arable and pastoral farming.

Wolverhampton Borough Council took over the site in 1978 - five years before the last remaining farmer left. In the early 1980's, the farmhouse and outbuildings were in a deplorable, derelict condition. Under the supervision of F. W. B. Charles, one of the most experienced architects in the study and preservation of timber framed buildings, Northycote Farm was successfully restored to something approaching its former glory.

During August 1984, Workmen digging drains on the site of the former Moseley Court Chapel to the rear of the farm - unearthed two small skeletons. Despite initial police interest, it was eventually discovered that they were, in fact, the remains of two children of Whitgreave family descent, who had been interred in brick built tombs in the - at the time still extant - Chapel.

A History Of The Haunting

In 1651, a representative of the fugitive King Charles II - fleeing from his crushing defeat at the battle of Worcester - called at Northycote Farm, appealing for shelter for his sovereign. With her husband away from home at the time - possibly engaged in 'Royalist' activity somewhere - the farmers wife apparently turned down the request....... resulting in the King taking refuge at Moseley Old Hall, less than a mile away. Perhaps as a gesture of penitence, there is said to be some historical record to suggest that an attractive maid was sent from the farm to Moseley Old Hall, presumably to serve as 'amusement' for the King during his brief stay. Following this dalliance, the maid was seen to leave the Hall, travelling back in the direction of the farm. Whatever fate befell her during her return journey home is not known; however, local legend dictates that the unfortunate girl was never seen again. Despite this tale being the basis for the main 'Ghost Story' associated with Northycote Farm, it is not the vanishing maid who is credited with haunting the site. It is actually her grief stricken beau - a lowly farmhand - who, dying with a broken heart, is said to return to the farm, searching for his lost love.

The Blue Room: According to the farm guide, some 30 to 40 visitors (per year) had reported sensing 'something strange' upon entering this room. (However, the bulk of these experiences fall into the Psychic Impressions category and, as such, do not necessarily represent actual paranormal incident). In the Summer of 1996, the Site Manager was standing in the Blue Room when his accompanying wife complained of feeling cobwebs brushing across her face. The Site Manager looked across to where she was standing and allegedly saw what he took to be a 'shadow' next to his wife which didn't move when she did. Checking the room later, there were supposedly no cobwebs to be found anywhere. (See 'Vigil 1' below).

Parlour: During a Craft Fair, a trader looking after a stall set up in the Parlour claims to have heard the sound of footsteps cross the length of the floor above her - closely followed by a noise akin to someone falling down. Somewhat concerned, the trader mentioned the sounds to a member of staff who immediately investigated. The stairs leading to the upper floor had been securely fastened against members of the public and there was no sign whatsoever of anyone having been in the area.

The Tea Room / Restaurant: A number of 'Poltergeist-like' occurrences have happened in this converted milking parlour. One member of staff claims to have seen a vase fly from the Tea Room counter onto a nearby table, while another is said to have entered the kitchen area and found a mysterious woman apparently sweeping the floor with a broom. Rushing outside and quickly returning with a friend, they found that the woman had disappeared. A female customer reported feeling uneasy and experiencing 'extreme cold flushes' while dining at the restaurant. She says she was constantly putting her jacket on and taking it off, and complaining of an intense cold blast that other diners were apparently oblivious to.

Womens Toilet: Upon leaving the Restaurant, the customer mentioned above visited the toilet and, as she was washing her hands, saw the figure of a man - standing behind her - reflected in the mirror on the wall above the hand basin. The man is described as being somewhat swarthy in appearance and wearing a black, or dark brown, suit, with a tall top hat. (Possibly mid-Victorian in style). The man 'doffed his hat' to the woman before disappearing.

Stable Block Staircase: Two men looking after a stall at a Christmas Fete (Circa. 1994) claim to have seen a ghostly 'Cavalier' walking up the Stable Block Staircase towards them. The figure was described as having long black hair and a brown hat with a white band and white feathers stuck in it. He wore white gloves - with the cuffs of a white shirt showing below his outer garment sleeves - and carried a sword of some description. Reaching the top of the stairs, the figure is said to have 'doffed his hat' at the bewildered witnesses before turning to his left and disappearing through an external wall of the building. Despite having been seen walking up the bare, wooden stairway, the figure made no sound whatsoever.

Stable Block Office: A notepad was seen to turn over by itself in front of a number of witnesses during an official farm meeting.

Farmyard: During the 1960's, the owner of the farm often spoke of seeing the figure of a 'Cavalier' at the end of the farmyard. The mysterious sound of horses hooves were also said to have been heard around this area.

Moseley Court Site: Local legend has it that the last owner of Moseley Court is said to haunt the area around where the house once stood. There is also a tale concerning a phantom horseman who supposedly gallops up the driveway to Moseley Court - a trackway situated just to the rear of Northycote Farmyard.

The W.M.G.C. 'Visits':

Visit 1: Sat. 8th - Sun. 9th March 1997


Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Len Jackson, Adrian Beckett and Nicholas Duffy. Also present Farm Guide Chris Modd.

Early on in the investigation, a researcher entered the Blue Room and immediately reported walking into a sizeable quantity of - very real - cobwebs. He presumed this might explain away previous reports of experiences with seemingly non-physical cobwebs in this area. (See 'History of Hauntings: Blue Room' section above).

Temperature readings from thermometers set up at various points around the farm showed constant readings throughout the night. Despite this, the temperatures actually physically experienced by all investigators present plummeted to most uncomfortable levels during the early hours of the morning.

Two separate researchers reported a feeling of 'nausea' during their respective vigils in the Blue Room. One found himself so affected by the Blue Room, he was unable to stay there for any real length of time.

From 3.30 to 4.30am, two investigators conducting a vigil in the passage between the Blue and Green Rooms reported experiencing potential paranormal activity centering around and incorporating a collection of dried flower heads which appeared to have moved around the room of their own volition.

Throughout the night a number of audio and video recordings were made in various rooms. While nothing was caught on video tape, a considerable array of sounds - mainly inexplicable clicks, bangs and cracks - were found to have been picked up by a cassette machine left in the Tea Room / Restaurant.  Also, a number of Photographs taken during the nights activities contained irregularities that may be a result of some form of paranormal activity.

Vigil 2: Sat. 10th - Sun. 11th May 1997

Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Leonard Jackson and Nicholas Duffy. Also present Farm Guide, Chris Modd.

Throughout the night, uncomfortably cold temperatures were experienced by all of the investigators, despite constantly mild temperature readings given by thermometers positioned around the building.

One investigator reported a feeling of 'nausea' again upon spending time in the Blue Room.

Unfortunately, the Tea Room / Restaurant wasn't open to investigators on this occasion, so all audio / visual recordings were carried out in the Blue Room and on the Stable Block Staircase.

Again, nothing was picked up on video, but a cassette recorder positioned in the Blue Room did detect a clear sound sequence containing what appears to be someone 'walking away' from the cassette recorder - approx. 12 paces - followed by the sound of a distant door squeaking open and closed. (There was no indication of anyone actually 'approaching' the recorder to begin with). A number of doors around the farm had definite 'squeaks', but, upon checking, none could be found that came close to matching the particular sound picked up by the recorder.

None of the photographs taken during the vigil showed any irregularities whatsoever.

Vigil 3: Sat. 21st - Sun. 22nd June 1997

Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Leonard Jackson and Nicholas Duffy. Also present Farm Guide, Chris Modd.

Audio / visual recordings taken during the night revealed nothing anomalous. Temperatures remained 'reasonable' throughout the night.

Vigil 4: Sat. 20th - Sun. 21st September 1997

Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Leonard Jackson, Adrian Beckett and Nicholas Duffy. Also present were the usual Farm Guide, Chris Modd; Kharis Harvey (the customer who had witnessed the 'top hatted figure' in the Womens Toilet); two (unnamed) male acquaintances of Miss Harvey; and Darlaston based 'White Witch' and 'Psychic', June Smith, and her (unnamed) apprentice.

Around 2.00 am, a number of investigators left the farm and walked down to Bushbury Church to take a look at the grave of a supposed local witch - the infamous 'Clutterbuck Grave' - and the area known as 'The Plantation', situated just outside the main Church Gate. Leonard Jackson dowsed 'The Plantation' briefly (with rods), and picked up considerable traces of energy from the collection of large stones piled up at the centre of the site.

Again, audio / visual recordings taken during the vigil revealed nothing anomalous.

More Happenings Down On The Farm?

Neil Prosser is a postal worker from the West Midlands area who holds a keen interest in 14th to 16th century history. A member of 'The Stafford Household' historical re-enactment group, Neil took part in his first public display at Northycote Farm some three years ago - a visit he not likely to forget in a hurry! At the time, Neil was certainly no stranger to the site, as he openly tells us that he had already heard some of the weird tales associated with the building, and had visited the Farm a number of times with his partner and their children.......

On the day in question, Neil and his fellow enthusiasts carried out their display for the public and, as usual, had stowed their kit away ready for the next days show. Because of the distances some of the other group had come, they were told that they could all stay in the farmhouse overnight. Despite not living all that far away, Neil says that he decided to stay too - thinking it would be a good opportunity to get acquainted with some of the other members.

During the early hours of the morning, Neil had been having a few drinks with his friends when he suddenly felt a 'call of nature' come on. Making his way downstairs - past the rest of the group who were seated in front of the fire - he went outside to find that the 'Gents' toilets were securely locked!

Tentatively knocking on the door of the 'Ladies' room, he received no answer and went inside. Having used the toilet, he set about washing his hands. While in the process of washing, he suddenly turned round to see - what he could only describe as - a 'Cromwellian Soldier' apparently in the process of going out of the door!

Despite the fact that he only saw the rear of the figure, he immediately registered a tell-tale 'Lobster Pot' helmet, brown sur-coat and long black boots.......

Incredibly, he tells us that he could not see the man's feet; his boots could be seen to run from the top part of the leg, but ended just past the middle section of the shin.......!

Initially, he admits that he did not take all that much notice of the costumed figure, because he still had his uniform on too. However, Neil and his associates were all wearing costumes associated with the 'Wars Of The Roses' (15th Cent.) period - a far cry from the styles worn during the English Civil War. (17th Cent.) The person that he had seen was definitely 200 years out of time!

Neil readily admits that he suddenly found himself going cold - even though it was a January night, he felt that this cold was coming from his very insides! He stood still for a moment, considering whether his experience might have been a by-product of the beer, but he really hadn't consumed very much.

Eventually going back inside the farm and venturing to tell the others what he had just seen, Neil was rewarded with scorn and laughter. Evidently, to them at least, it was all just down to the effect of drink........

Neil tells us that he did brave the rest of the night at the farm - but, understandably, he didn't get all that much sleep!

In Mid-June, 2008, the W.M.G.C.'s John Conway made enquiries at Northycote Farm, resulting in the opportunity for the group to, yet again, investigate the site.  Our follow-up visit, after a gap of some 11 years (almost), was made on Fri. the 13th of June 2008.

Present:

Investigative Team – John Conway, Julia Whiston, Steve Chew, Len Jackson and Nick Duffy.  Also present on the property (in the office portion of the site throughout duration of investigation) were Ian and Penny Nicholls.  Within a hundred yards of the farm were 4 men, associated with the site, who were engaged in the process of disposing with farm rubbish.  (No discernible noise whatsoever from this quarter throughout the visit).

Aims / Inv. Process:

General, brief investigation of property, mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance / importance regarding the alleged ‘paranormal history’ of the site.

Investigation procedure incorporating:

* 1st person audio / visual observation.
* Static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard / night shot cameras and digital (audio) recording equipment.


Investigation:

Visit began with a tour of the farm site and completion of a risk assessment form (by John Conway) in the presence of Ian Nicholls, Fire Marshall to the property.   On this recent visit, slightly more areas of the overall site were kindly opened to us, in comparison to our 1997 investigations.  During the tour, Ian specifically pointed out to the group certain parts of the property which were alleged to be ‘paranormal hot-spots’, though purposefully did not reveal ‘why’ this was said to be so.

Subsequent questioning (later on in the evening) revealed that the area of the building situated above the Tea Room Kitchen – specifically, a Small Stock Room – had once been mentioned as significant by a visiting psychic.  It was said that ‘children’ were present here and that ‘they’ had expressed happiness at the presence of a Christmas tree in this area.  They had asked for the Christmas tree to be there every year, or some such related sentiment.

The same psychic had apparently refused to venture down the cellar of the Laundry Room (outbuilding at the rear of the farm) as they had been too scared to do so.

Both areas had been previously closed to the group, but were open during this visit.

Other information gleaned included staff in the Tea Rooms reporting a feeling of something akin to a dog brushing against their legs – though no animals were found to be present at the times concerned.

Penny Nicholls mentioned to group members that she had felt a sensation akin to a cobweb brushing over her face / head on entering the farms Blue Room on one occasion.  (See 1997 investigation notes for more information on related incidents).

Ian says that he once witnessed a Post-It note ‘flipping’, seemingly of it’s own accord, in the office area of the farm.  (See 1997 investigation notes for more information on related incidents).

Vigil One – 10.40 pm

*Camera set up in Blue Room.  Situated: far, left hand corner of room, when viewed from entrance, facing / filming towards entrance.
*Camera set up in Antique Wallpaper Room.  Situated in centre of table set against wall, furthest from Blue Room.  Facing towards passage to Blue Room.
*Camera set up in small Stock Room above Tea Room Kitchen.
*Entire group seated in main body of Tea Room – just to right of main doors as you enter.  Casual conversation throughout sitting.

Vigil Two – 11.44 pm

*Camera set up in Tea Room.  Situated just inside main door, facing across to ‘cattle stalls’ / tables area of room.
*Camera set up in Ladies Toilet area, facing towards entrance.
*Steve and John situated in downstairs Panelled Room throughout vigil.
*Len, Julia and Nick situated in Blue Room.
(Casual conversation – both groups).

During this period:  (Blue Room group): group of men previously disposing of rubbish  seen leaving area.  Warden – previously engaged with latter mentioned activity – enters his cottage on end of farm and noises of movement detected through dividing wall of premises.  Also, muffled, vocal sound of investigators downstairs heard.

(Panelled Room group):  At end of vigil, Steve asks if anyone has been walking around in the Blue Room just after midnight, as they had detected a sound akin to this.  No one had moved from their seats in the Blue Room throughout the vigil, though there may have been some accidental movement of chairs / feet during the session.

Vigil Three - 12.50 am

*Steve and Nick situated in the upstairs portion of the Tea Rooms.
*John, Julia and Len situated in the Education Centre.
(Casual conversation – both groups).

Vigil ends approx. 1.30 am and group pack up and leave building.

Comments:

Apart from the potential footsteps heard during Vigil Two, nothing of interest was encountered during the stay".


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….. 

Observations

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:  supermcmeekin@aol.com  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!?