Wednesday, 17 June 2009

The Walsall Poltergeist

From The Archives...


*For the sake of privacy, real names and the actual address of the site in question have been withheld from this account……

Kelli Smith* called the Ghost Club in February 2003 to say that she and her family believed that their Walsall council house was haunted. Kelli, her partner and their three children had lived in the property for some two years when they contacted us and, almost since the date that they moved in, they had experienced sporadic, poltergeist-like activity. (Noises; light related phenomena, etc).

Unfortunately for Kelli and her family, the occurrences concerned had allegedly become more disturbing of late and, having seen a recent newspaper report about the W.M.G.C., she called to see if the group might be interested in looking into what had been going on.

A Primary Visit - and Investigations

An initial visit was paid to the property concerned on Feb. 22nd, mainly for the purpose of cataloguing the alleged happenings. It has to be said that the group member concerned felt quite impressed by the genuineness of the situation being presented to him and, as in all endeavours to record the proceedings as accurately as possible, a hand held cassette machine was utilised for the duration of the visit.

Upon later checking through the recording, it was found that an anomalous sequence of ‘knocking Sounds’ appear on one section of the tape. The group member concerned is certain that no such noise had occurred during the interview and, upon checking, neither Kelli nor her partner could account for the sounds.

What is significant about these noises is the fact that they appear at a point in the interview when Kelli is relating a recent ‘knocking’ that she and her partner had heard at their bedroom door at around 11.30 one night. (However, the knocking referred to by Kelli involved only ‘two’ knocks – unlike the sounds caught on our recording. Kelli had intimated that the noise on her bedroom door had been akin to the way in which her Mother habitually knocked at their front door when calling by). The bedroom door incident had been mentioned a number of times during the interview because of it’s startling / frightening impact on the family and, at the time that it occurred, Kelli’s partner actually believed that someone may have broken into the house. Needless to mention, the sound recorded during the interview appears to be a definite knocking sequence – just like someone knocking at a door?!

Also, of significance, is the fact that the microphone of the cassette recorder concerned is of fairly poor quality. For a knocking sound to have been picked up at such a level, the sound would have had to be both very loud and originating with a source close to the recorder.

In the days following the initial visit, Kelli’s Mother and her partner began staying at the property in an endeavour to allay some of the family fears. A recording made during this period (by family members, on the upstairs landing of the house) contained a sequence of seemingly anomalous sounds, but, given the poor recording quality of the session concerned, it was impossible to distinguish exactly what these noises might be. The recording was made around 1.15 a.m. and both Kelli and her Mothers partner – situated nearby – believe that they heard sounds around this time.

At the very beginning of March, Kelli asked if the Ghost Club might visit the property in an investigative role. She informed the group that a weeks supply of electricity had just been mysteriously used overnight, with nothing to account for such an effect, save for the fact that their stereo had been found switched on a number of times within a short period of time.

At the suggestion of a group member, a local Vicar had been contacted and was due to pay a visit to the family the following day. Upon his arrival, he apparently blessed the house after telling the family that he detected a ‘disturbed spirit’.

Three days after the above mentioned, the Club was informed that Kelli and her family had now left their home and were staying with a Sister who lived nearby. At this point some concern was now voiced by Kelli regarding the possibility that the effects being experienced by the family might now manifest at their new, temporary address. (A motif certainly not unknown in poltergeist-lore).

This query had arisen following the fact that, since their move, Kelli’s young niece had apparently had a disturbing dream about being physically attacked in her bed by a little girl. Upon waking from the dream the niece had been hysterical for some time and peculiar marks were found around her neck and chest.

Of possible significance regarding this episode is the fact that, some while earlier, Kelli believes that she may have seen a little girl in the bedroom of their own house. (This matter was mentioned to a Club representative some time before the aforementioned dream). To her credit, Kelli admits that she wasn’t at all sure whether she was awake or dreaming when she thinks she saw the girl. (To some people, this would undoubtedly have been a prime chance to report the matter as something ‘spooky’!) She did however say that her description of the little girl tallied with that given by her niece.

At around the same time as the dream experience, ‘two loud knocks’ (akin to the bedroom door incident) were clearly heard at a rear window of the Sisters house by a number of family members. (A sound which had previously been heard on a rear window at Kelli’s original address). The former mentioned knocking so disturbed the family members present that they apparently called on the local Vicar for assistance during the early hours of the morning.

In the meantime, Kelli’s partner and a group of his friends spent a night at their former home and reported having heard knocking sounds during the early hours. On another occasion, a video camera was set up on the landing of the house, positioned on top of a sturdy cardboard box. The house was vacated just after the recording began and, upon returning in the morning, it was found that the camera had inexplicably been switched off (early into the recording) and the ‘flaps’ of the box on which it stood had been moved……..

At this point Kelli repeated her request for a Ghost Club investigation and, under the circumstances, a visit was arranged for March 14th. The vigil was to be conducted in the absence of any family members, with only group representatives present on site.

Vigil 1 : Friday 14th to Saturday 15th of March 2003.

Investigators present: Len Jackson, Darren Simpson and Nick Duffy.

A series of recording and manned vigil sessions began approx. midnight and proceeded throughout the night until 5.15am.

A number of ‘clicks’ (of varying intensity) were detected throughout the recording sessions – though these were wholly nondescript and, more than likely, were naturally occurring sounds simply generated by the house itself.

During the 1st video recording session on the landing of the property – 12.00 to 12.30am – the distinct sound of a cup or brittle plastic beaker being dropped on a hard surface, and subsequently rolling, was found. This sound was fairly loud on the recording.

Around this approx. time, a group member did actually pay a visit to the kitchen for a glass of water. Because of this event, the aforementioned sound does, it has to be said, have a most obvious and probable cause. However, it has to be pointed out that no one present can recall having heard a drinking vessel being dropped at this point and the researcher concerned states that he did not drop anything while in the kitchen. The kitchen itself is situated right next to the living room – where the other investigators were seated – while the camera was some distance away on the landing.

The property itself was found to be very warm throughout the night, despite the fact that the central heating had been purposefully switched off. The temperature dropped 2 to 3 degrees throughout the duration of the visit.

The physical construction of the house appears rather flimsy and sound does tend to carry exceptionally well within it’s confines.

Due to the circumstances mentioned above, the Ghost Club sought permission to carry out a second night of recordings at the house in question.

Vigil Two – Friday 4th to Saturday 5th April 2003

Investigators Present: Nick Duffy, Len Jackson, Frazer Smith and Darren Simpson.

A series of manned vigil and video recording sessions were staged throughout the night from midnight to 5.00 a.m.

In comparison to our first vigil, all members present commented on how cold the premises seemed throughout the stay. Temperatures averaged four to five degree’s lower than those during the previous visit and fluctuated within a single degree overnight.

At approx. 12.03 a.m., a muffled ‘Clump’ sound was heard by all of the researchers who were seated in the sitting room. The noise sounded very much like someone shutting a car door outside the house and Frazer went to the kitchen window to check the street, but could see nothing.

Upon checking through the video recording made on the landing of the house between midnight and 12.30 a.m., a loud ‘clump’ sound was found. This noise appears on the tape at precisely 12.03 a.m. and was evidently the sound heard by the investigators.

Interestingly, the sound appears to originate from ‘inside’ the house….. upstairs, but in one of the rooms leading off the landing, out of sight of the camera.

Evidently, the sound was of sufficient volume to be detected by all downstairs, though it certainly couldn’t have been made by something ‘hitting’ or ‘falling onto’ the upstairs floor. Such an event would have undoubtedly been identified by researchers seated below, instead of appearing as a fairly ‘distant’ sound.

Nothing of a potentially paranormal nature was found on any of the other recordings made during the night. The stay went exceptionally quietly and everyone present commented a number of times on the quiet and peaceful feeling of the house.

Summary And Conclusion?

For some weeks following our investigations, Kelli and her family were still living with relatives and awaiting news from Walsall Council regarding possible re-housing. Under the circumstances, the latter mentioned eventuality appeared to be the only option open to the family, as they found that they were no longer happy to stay in their home. It has to be said that the idea of approaching the Council over this matter was never regarded as an option by Kelli (who continually said: “They’ll just think I’m daft!!” whenever the subject was raised) and this avenue was only explored after considerable insistence from a Ghost Club representative.

Unfortunately, whether due to a genuine manifestation or some psychosomatic reaction within the family cell, Kelli’s aforementioned fears regarding a transference of the haunting effect eventually became real and both her sister and mother began experiencing activity at their respective homes. To the credit of the local clergy, 3 separate properties were blessed within the space of a few days and the key Vicar concerned did physically respond to at least one 3 a.m. phone call without too much ado! Unfortunately, any hoped for beneficial effects that – in an ideal world - might have been generated by the blessings appear to have been non-existent with regards to family comfort and safety.

While it has to be said that the events experienced in this case were comparatively ‘mild’ to a great many such effects, the genuine ‘fear’ being generated by the situation was all too apparent not only in the immediate residents of the property, but by other family members too. The situation had eventually become so desperate that relatives felt driven to sleep ‘en mass’ in the same room for comfort.

The above mentioned factors were one of the main points of argument put forward by the W.M.G.C. when we were contacted directly by Walsall Council in April 2003. Somewhat simplistically, the Council representative seemed more concerned with our personal findings – recordings, etc – than the general condition of the family concerned. A W.M.G.C. spokesman pointed out many times that our findings were of no consequence whatsoever to the case – we would never presume to claim that a property was haunted or not – and the concern of the Council should be solely based on the well being / quality of life of their tenants…..

In June 2003, Kelli and her family were eventually re-housed.


The W.M.G.C.

1 comment:

Norman said...

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