Saturday, 5 September 2009

A Tragic Tale.....

Over the years, the W.M.G.C. has been contacted by a number of media sources who have specifically been asking for information about grisly, dramatic ghost stories, or cases that happen to have a murder directly associated with them. While we have a few such cases on file that, at a considerable stretch of the imagination, ‘might’ just fall into this category –one particular tale does, it has to be said, always comes ‘screaming to the fore’ at such instances…..

While there invariably appears to be a need for ‘high drama’ amongst ghost groups these days – the more dramatic or traumatic the base or allegedly underlying story the better, etc – the details of the following case are as they have been found in newspaper / official reports associated with the matter. While there is clearly evidence of some story manipulation in the case notes themselves involving someone claiming to be psychic – quite erroneous data, as it turns out – it has to be stressed that the details of the tragedy involved are precise and have not been embellished in any way, shape or form.

We hope that you will forgive our skimming across certain details and omitting to mention others in the following information. In our defence, the overall account is somewhat long-winded and the site concerned is to be kept anonymous because of current / future owners and occupants. The details of the tragedy itself are also kept to a bare minimum too, as should there be any relatives of the family concerned left in the area, we do not wish to cause any offence.

Our account begins in the earlier half of the 20th century with a well to do family – husband and wife - moving into this region from the South and taking up residence in an impressive property in a Black Country town. Sadly the wife of the family already had a history of mental illness – a ‘neurotic’, in old fashioned terms – but the family seem to settle in to the area well, a child is born, and they appear to live comparatively peacefully for a number of years.

Unfortunately, behind the scenes, the already ‘highly nervous condition’ of the wife continued to deteriorate until, one fateful day, some 10 years after their move…..

The father of the family came home from work one evening and found that he couldn’t gain entry to the house. Calling for help, the property was broken into and his wife was discovered lying in a bedroom with an undergarment twisted around her neck. The body of their young son was found in an adjoining room, a silk stocking twisted around his neck and a pillow over his face.

Two notes were discovered written in the wifes handwriting. The first was found in the hallway: “Fetch the police. Do not come up”, while the second, discovered near the sons body, read: “Please forgive me. I do love you. XXX”.

At the inquest the details revealed regarding the slaying and subsequent suicide were horrific in the extreme. It was suggested that the wife had made no less than ‘8’ separate attempts to kill herself, before she finally died. The witnesses agreed that she had apparently strangled her son first of all with a pair of stockings. She had then taken a large number of aspirin tablets, cut her wrists with a razor blade and made two attempts to electrocute herself with an electric fire. She had twice attempted to hang herself, had tried to drown herself in the bath, and finally died after attempting to strangle herself with an undergarment.

The cause of the wifes death was asphyxia due to aspirin poisoning and partial strangulation, accelerated by shock and haemorrhage from self inflicted wounds said the coroner.

A verdict of murder, followed by suicide ‘while the balance of the mind was disturbed’ was returned.

For the sake of brevity, we now leap forward many decades to the point where W.M.G.C members were introduced to the case in question. As with a great many such leads, the matter was discovered in a hushed whisper from someone who had heard that someone else was apparently ‘having a little trouble’ in a property they had just taken over!! We had not previously heard of the address or the tragedy itself.

On the event of a ‘cold call’ at the building in question we met with the owner of a business then based in the property and her son who helped with the running of the firm concerned. (Now referred to as S and T respectively in this account).

Much of the reported activity at the site had started around 2 years earlier. A number of people associated with the company had allegedly seen, felt and heard things…. big, hardy workmen mentioned as being petrified and running out of the offices at times! (All described as level headed people).

S tells us that she saw ‘the ghost’ in one of the upstairs offices. She had been passing the door to the office at the time, seeing – from the corridor – the figure of a petite woman standing inside the room. She said it was light at the time (about 20 to 8) and she saw the ghost as a clear, solid form, dressed in a white blouse and dark bottoms. The ghost turned and looked at her with it’s hands held up slightly, around shoulder height, and arms bent at the elbows. S did a ‘double take’ on seeing the figure, but when she looked back, it had gone. It had been seen at a distance of around 15 feet. S says she wasn’t thinking of ghosts at the time – just walking around the building in her slippers! (She wears slippers at work!)

T mentions the day S phoned him and told him of finding out the history of the site. He had gone into another office and was telling a fellow employee that this was possibly the room where a murder had been committed and, at the instant he stopped speaking, the buildings alarm system suddenly went off. The alarms had never done this before, apparently.

As a matter of interest, the employee that T had been speaking to at the time frequently reported having photos of their children inexplicably ‘turned round’ in their office…..

Everyone at the property were said to be aware of extreme temperature drops in the office section of the site. You could apparently see your breath at such times – it was that cold. S says that she had to actually put her coat on in order to stay there and work one night, because it had suddenly turned so cold….. her fingers had frozen solid!

An employee called Eric is said to have seen someone in kitchen area upstairs. He was entering the area concerned when he saw the rear portion of someone in white shirt or blouse….. When he checked again – going downstairs and carrying out a head-count – he discovered that there was no one upstairs at the time.

An employee told us that he has frequently heard noises in the building, though nothing occurs after 10 a.m., because – through initial fear - he had once actually asked the ghost ‘not’ to make noises during his shifts! The plea seemed to have worked!! He told us that he used to hear ‘the kids’ running around the building a lot…. believing that they used to physically pluck at his hair while he sat at his desk on the ground floor. Footsteps are a common occurrence at the property and S says that you can clearly differentiate between those of the child (children?) and the mother. The child is said to manifest on a particular spot on the landing and in a certain office. Also related to the child is the movement of a walking stick kept on the landing. It is found to have moved regularly and one employee openly ‘plays a game with the child’ by putting it back in it’s place every time it has been found to have moved……

One employee is said to have lost his job at the firm because he chose to divert phones – running out of the building in terror - because a ruler had slammed down on his desk, seemingly by itself!

At the time of our interview, we were told that it has been ‘quiet’ for a while, however – people at the site getting the impression that it was a little bit of peace for the ghost to know she wasn’t being judged. They said that she possibly didn’t need to be so active as she’d been previously, because someone was now listening to her.

One manager at the site is said to be scared to venture upstairs in the building. He initially took the whole affair as a joke, but after working there for a while, he now spoke to the ghost and claimed to know when she was around. The matter isn’t a joke any more to him… and he becomes offended if anyone does speak of the matter in a flippant fashion!

A group of employees – including S and T – had been standing in the ground floor corridor one day, holding a discussion, when a hazy ball of white light – around the size of a cricket ball - moved along the corridor and disturbed them!! All stopped what they were doing and looked at each other with an incredulous ‘Did you just see that?’

S said that the matter has been bothering her for a long time because she believed that the ghost of the deceased wife was trying to tell her something. It was intimated that she believed she had built up something of a rapport with the ghost and that there was a connection between them. S says she knows when the ghost is around because it makes itself known to her and stands by her. She felt that she needed someone to look into this case because ghost is telling her something. The ghost had waited for someone to move into the property to communicate with them, but she now felt that she is letting the ghost down by not sorting everything out before their firm was due to move in few months time.

She told us that she is not normally into all of this sort of thing really, but she knows what she’s seen – she knows what is here – and she knows the ghost wants help from her….. She believes that – through bringing her own young son into the premises, adding plants, pictures, etc – the spirit can now relate to the building as more than a work place.

A medium had been called into the property a short while earlier by S, while another refused to visit the site because she said ‘voices’ were telling her not to attend! The visiting psychic said the ghost is trying to help S. It is intimated that this is why ghost showed herself to her. As the medium was saying this, in a downstairs office, she (medium) said the spirit was standing by S at that precise moment. S says that she already knew this at the time.

The medium told S that the ghost would happily push one particular employee ‘down the stairs’! He had, apparently, put a vacuum cleaner on his back at one point and flippantly ran up and down the stairs of the building playing at ‘Ghostbusters’!! He is said to have frequently mocked the situation, saying: ‘Ghosts cannot harm you… unless they push you downstairs!’ T points out that this is what convinced him that the psychic was genuine, because of the sheer ‘coincidence’ in the employees comment and, subsequently, the psychic mentioning him being pushed down stairs….

The medium also said that there was something under the cellar floor. All she could say during a visit to that level was ‘Oh my God!’ and suggested that the floor be dug up. She says whatever this is goes back further in time than events with the tragic family and is evil in nature…..?

It has to be mentioned that some clear discrepancies are shown in what S and T know about the tragedy at the site. However, it is intimated that the information concerned has come through the psychic involved. It is mentioned that they knew a family had lived in the house - the name of the family concerned known to them, etc – and that the mother had ‘poisoned’ her ‘children’. (Needless to say, this is wrong, as there was only one child involved. The notion of ‘children’ however did clearly – erroneously – colour the activity reported at the site subsequently, which is certainly food for thought). It was also believed by S and T that the story concerning the murder / suicide was not true and that the events recorded had only been made to look that way….? They believed that the ghost is ultimately trying to tell them that she didn’t commit the crimes!! Through information fed to them by the medium concerned, they had come to the conclusion that a great miscarriage of justice – and a greater crime – had probably been perpetrated…..

Sadly – for such a truly fascinating case – the above mentioned matter came to an abrupt halt (with regards to our involvement) shortly after the interview concerned. The firm was soon to leave the property and the actual owner of the site is a gentleman who will have nothing at all to do with ‘paranormal’ topics. Some years after this, another company took over the site and a group member approached them with regards to potential activity. We were told that, in their time there, they had experienced nothing untoward whatsoever.

At the time of writing this piece, we see that the site is once again vacant……

Regards to all,

The West Midlands Ghost Club

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