Thursday, 7 May 2009

The Malice Of Inanimate Objects.

Alleged hauntings associated with inanimate objects are a common enough occurrence in the annals of ghostlore. While an odd concept, even in such an odd subject to begin with, the notion of charmed, cursed or haunted objects is as old as mankind itself. Culturally speaking, it is a commonly held belief that certain items might well - through whatever magicks or conjurations - 'take on', 'hold' or 'become invested with' some type of spiritual aspect, be it in the form of a curse or malign force, a good luck charm.... or, if they do exist of course, perhaps the odd, resident spirit or two?

Over the past two decades, a number of accounts dealing with such artifacts have entered the files of the W.M.G.C. These examples include stories attached to an old railway workers lamp, coins and clocks, a medieval shoe, African masks and a carved, wooden weasel.... to name but a few.

One of the most peculiar tales to come our way along such lines concerns a metal-detectorist who discovered a peculiar mask at a popular, Staffordshire site. The region concerned is a designated ancient monument, though there is some speculation as to whether the mask concerned had any real age attached to it, or was - more likely - a by-product of (considerable) 'witchcraft related' activity in the area.

Whatever it's origins, the gentleman concerned claimed that, as soon as he returned home with the item, nothing but 'bad luck' struck literally everyone around him. His wife had touched the mask once and, immediately afterwards, suffered a heart attack. A neighbour was shown the object and commented on how ugly it was..... not long afterwards, he slipped and broke a leg. Such occurrences continued until the man raced back to the spot where the mask was uncovered and promptly reburied it......!!!

Anyone who is familiar with the works of the great ghost story writer, M.R. James, might well see a passing similarity with some of the details related in his tale 'A Warning To The Curious'. (In short: amateur archaeologist digs up ancient treasure and, as a direct result, suffers terrible consequences. He tries to rectify the situation by re-burying the item [a crown], etc, etc). While we are not suggesting that the mask related experiences are a blatant work of fiction, it is most interesting to note how much (professed) life imitates art - or at least aspects of it - at times.....? (And especially so when it comes to the paranormal realm!?)

While most of the aforementioned objects could pretty much fall into the 'small, personal effects' bracket, some items do indeed - all too clearly - break this mold entirely!.....

The garage door (shown in the photograph above) had apparently been dumped - 'fly-tipped' - on the edge of some wasteland in the Streetly area of Walsall. Subsequently, it was spotted by the father of a Walsall resident who had, at that point in time, been planning to build a garage at the side of his house. Cutting a potentially long story short, arrangements were soon underway to have it picked up and the door was duly placed in the rear garden of the mans house, leaning against his garden fence.

On the night following the arrival of the door, the mans wife ventured into the garden - around 2 a.m. - in order to call in their pet cat. As she looked around for the animal, she noticed a crescent-shaped light 'quivering around' on the left hand side of the nearby door. Initially, she took this to possibly be the by-product of a lamp situated in the adjacent conservatory, but, when she checked, there was no light coming from that direction at all. Still, thinking practically, she moved to put herself between the door and the windows - in order to block out any light sources - but still the shimmering glow remained intact.

Determined to get to the bottom of where the light was coming from, she put both hands out in front of her, arms outstretched, and walked steadily forward until she was touching the door...... At the exact moment that her hands made contact with the metal, 'something' suddenly shot out of it, straight into her face!

After a mad-dash back into the comparative safety of her kitchen, her son took one look at her and proclaimed that she was 'as white as a ghost!'...... In the days following the incident, she made her husband move the door to the other side of the garden - 'face towards' the fence (as shown in the pic) - and she made a point of not turning her back on it whilst hanging out the families washing on the line. Her family members began only using the front door to their house and refused to enter the property through the rear entrance.....

Whatever the indescribable 'something' might have been, the woman concerned - and, subsequently, her family - had clearly decided that the door was haunted. She was so utterly convinced of this, she phoned the W.M.G.C. (following a newspaper appeal) and invited us round to take a look at the offending item. Needless to say, we were greatly intrigued (if not a little bemused) by what she had told us, though had to admit that 'haunted garage doors' were well beyond our usual field of experience..... as wide and as weird as it was!!

It should go without saying, the Club would love to hear from anyone who has a similar story or experience to relate!?

Best wishes to all,

The W.M.G.C.

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