Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Horsehay Visit - Telford

News of a recent ghost hunt at an old railway station in Chehalis, USA, set W.M.G.C. minds racing back to our own, similar excursion of a few years ago in nearby Telford, Shropshire.....

Members of the W.M.G.C. first came across a mention of the Horsehay, old loco shed haunting during the mid-1990’s while perusing the book ‘Midland Spirits and Spectres’ by Anne Bradford and Barrie Roberts. We had to admit that the case instantly caught our attention, not simply due to the phenomena reported, but also because the site itself struck us as a somewhat ‘offbeat’ location for ghostly activity. Spooky castles, ruined abbeys and haunted pubs are ten a penny in the annals of ghost-lore, but a haunted shunting shed – well, this was certainly a new one on us!

Stories associated with this historic site mainly revolved around the sound of disembodied footsteps being heard in the shunting shed. Sometimes tied in with such encounters are sightings of an 'engineer' or 'train driver' style figure, dressed in what has been described as typical 1930's engine kit: blue overalls, denim jacket and peaked cap. (Disturbingly, one witness said that the figure they saw was perfectly clear, except for the face, which appeared 'crinkled'.... as if in an old photograph!?!?)

Some years after reading of the site, we were reminded of the happenings at Horsehay when members attended a lecture by our old friend David Taylor of ‘ParaSearch’ and discovered that his group had paid a recent visit to the site. Again, we were intrigued, but also being conscious of one of the major unwritten rules of ghost research – ‘STRICTLY NO POACHING!’ – the case once again settled to the back of our minds.....

During early January 2004, a club member happened to tune in to an episode of the Sky T.V. series ‘The Why Files’ and found, to their joy, that part of the show in question was given over to the Horsehay haunting. It couldn’t help but be pondered whether the site might still be accessible to serious investigative groups and suggestions were made towards taking steps to contact relevant authorities during the next club meeting. Within a brief period of time, we found ourselves in touch with David Angell and, through his kind ministrations, an overnight visit was arranged for Sat. Feb. 7th 2004.

It has to be said that, upon arriving at our destination, a tangible ‘boys toys’ effect seemed to instantly overtake the bulk of the group members and all notion of ‘research’ was momentarily forgotten! It's bizarre, but a whiff of diesel and a dab of axel grease can work pretty strange mojo on even the most mecha-phobic of men.

One particular researcher - who shall remain nameless – appeared to be firmly ‘glued’ inside the cab of the engine named ‘Rocket’ for the duration of our stay. Even during the ‘manned vigil’ periods that make up part of our investigation procedure, he had (somewhat feebly) insisted that he would have a much better view of proceedings inside the shed from this slightly elevated position…..

During our stay at Horsehay, a number of video recording sessions and manned ‘vigils’ were carried out by team members. Temperatures inside the building – certainly not helped by the external blizzard conditions – were tested periodically throughout the night using a digital thermometer and ranged between 1 and 4 degree’s (C.). Nothing of an obviously paranormal nature was reported by any of the attendee’s during our stay. Only two, mildly inexplicable, events occurred throughout the entire visit. These were a solitary, metallic ‘clang’ which was heard within the body of the shed at 2.09 am and a members digital camera refusing to work properly - continually registering zero battery power – despite 4 changes of brand new batteries.
Subsequent scrutiny of video footage obtained during the visit revealed nothing at all of potential interest......

For anyone interested in checking out the Telford Steam Railway - it's ghostlore or just going for an enjoyable day out - their website can be viewed via this 'LINK'

Regards to all,

The W.M.G.C.

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