Thursday, 28 July 2011

Edited Version of Main Website Update for July 2008.

Midlands Investigation:

On Friday the 28th of March, group members investigated an allegedly haunted school in the Midlands region. The visit was organised by Steve Chew.

Staff members at this fairly modern, secondary school have reported a number of ‘peculiar’ - potentially paranormal - incidents over recent years.

The site caretaker has, on a number of occasions, discovered windows which appear to have ‘opened by themselves’ during the night. In one such instance, he made to admonish a colleague for not having carried out their duties properly and closed the window in question the previous night. However, upon first checking security footage of the area concerned, he was stunned to see the window seemingly ‘open of it’s own accord’ during the early hours of the morning.

A number of windows around the site were pointed out to group members as having been discovered as open at times.A pair of double doors on the buildings main corridor have also been recorded on security footage as opening of their own volition. Some witnesses to the footage have mentioned a female-shaped shadow appearing on the corridor floor in the same sequence.One member of the teaching staff – closely related to a W.M.G.C. associate – reports having been touched on the shoulder in an otherwise empty classroom.

A number of staff previously mounted their own vigil at the school, but only report having heard ‘noises’ during their stay.

The W.M.G.C. investigation of the site revealed nothing of potential, paranormal interest. It was noted however that the bulk of the building was, all too evidently, filled with reasonably strong air currents. During the entire visit, we were aware of noises throughout the building – doors banging / bumping, etc – which were almost certainly down to such conditions.

The group would like to thank Brian – site caretaker – for showing us around the school and sharing his experiences with us.

Coventry Investigation:

Friday, April the 12thsaw group members paying a night-time visit to the medieval Swanswell Gate in Coventry City centre. This visit was organised by Steve Chew.

Built in 1461, Swanswell Gate is one only two remaining gateways - from the original 12 - which were situated along the city wall. Also known as Priory Gate, this site has allegedly been the focus of poltergeist-like activity over the years. In 2003, a charity ‘ghost hunt’ was held in the building by staff at CV One, after a dustpan was witnessed un-clipping itself from a wall and seemingly flying across the room……

Subsequent to our investigation a former resident of Swanswell Gate - who claims to have lived in the building for many years - contacted the group to tell us about his myriad experiences at the property.

While the building itself could not be construed as conducive to investigation ‘proper’ – merely consisting of two small rooms – it was still a great privilege for group members to be allowed to spend a few hours soaking in the atmosphere of such a historic site.

Our thanks go to Coventry City Council – a remarkable, ever obliging host – for granting us permission to stay the night in Swanswell Gate.

Wolverhampton Investigation:

On April the 19th, two members of the West Mids Ghost Club conducted an investigation of ‘Rowfers’ shop in King Street, Wolverhampton. The visit was organised by John Conway.

Current shop manager Deb tells us that – some years ago – during her first week at the shop, she found herself being ‘pushed backwards into a chair’, whilst serving a customer. She described the sensation as if someone had invisible walked through her and knocked her backwards. Seeking the (then) manager of the premises, she had said: ‘This place is haunted, isn’t it?’

‘Well…… we didn’t want to tell you….!’ Came the sheepish reply!

Since this point, Deb has experienced a number of other peculiar happenings at the shop, including the sighting of a man in a black suit and white shirt in the kitchen area.

Staff members have reported movement of stock, display stands rotating on their own – stopping and starting – and a clock falling from a wall with it’s moorings still intact. A smell of cinnamon has been detected at times and a girls voice heard; possibly relating to the figure of a young woman seen standing near the changing rooms one Saturday morning.

One recurring incident at the shop is the top floor light being found ‘on’ when they lock the shop up for the night. Prior to leaving the building, staff instinctively check that all lighting has been turned ‘off’ – but still, often, the top floor lights are found ‘on’……?

Group members would like to express their gratitude to ‘Rowfers’ management for allowing our visit. Special thanks go to Deb, Nicola and Stephanie for their charming company during the stay.

Brum. Investigation:

On May the 2nd, club members conducted an investigation at the Great Hall of Birmingham University in Edgbaston. The visit was organised by Julia Whiston.

At the outbreak of the WWI, a considerable portion of Birmingham University was given over to serving as a hospital for treating the wounded. The palatial Great Hall - situated within the Aston Webb Building - was used for ward space, by the end of the conflict some 125,000 casualties having being treated on campus.

Any ghosts that this magnificent edifice might house would appear to hail from this period in time, as reports of two, stretcher bearing men have allegedly been seen within the building. Staff have also reported ‘eerie feelings’ in the property to group members…..

During our visit, group members reported seeing fluctuations / disturbances in light levels in certain parts of the Hall while vigil sessions were taking place. At one point, just prior to leaving the building, Steve Chew mentions having seen a huge, oval / arched shadow effect on the curtains hanging over the main entrance doors….

W.M.G.C. members would like to express their gratitude to Geoff Pringle - Director of Hospitality & Accommodation Services - for allowing us to investigate this magnificent building.

Wolverhampton Investigation#2:

On Friday the 16th of May, group members conducted an investigation at the Georgian property, ‘Kings House’ in St. Johns Square, Wolverhampton. This event was organised by John Conway.

While currently consisting of a number of office suites, the property itself was originally part of the former convent, which included Calvary Chapel, Regent's Court, St. John's Cloisters and Hanover House. A former School section – Our Lady of Mercy - had a number of ghostly stories attached to it, including a ‘group’ sighting of ‘a very small nun, carrying a lamp’, during the 1950’s.

The area immediately surrounding Kings House has also allegedly played host to a number of potential hauntings for many years. The former, St Johns Vaults public house - which once stood across the square from Kings House prior to it's demolition - allegedly housed the ghost of a woman in a green, crinoline dress. She was believed to be the apparition of a suicide who threw herself from a top floor window of the property concerned. A nearby office complex is believed to be haunted by the ghost of a young boy, though his identity - and the reason for his haunting the site - has never been discovered........

Group members would like to thank Mr. Reginald King for kindly granting us permission to ‘invade his offices’ for the night of the 16th

Wolverhampton Investigation#3:

Friday the 13th of June saw W.M.G.C. members ‘thrilled’ at the prospects of, once again, being allowed to investigate Northycote Farm in Bushbury, after a considerable break of some 11 years! The investigation was organised by John ‘Chosen One’ Conway.

Initially investigated on 4 occasions during 1997 - by the W.M.G.C. - this 400+ year old property boasts a plethora of alleged, ‘ghostly’ activity.

During our recent stay at the site, further accounts of potential ghostly activity were related to the group by the site Fire Marshall - Ian Nicholls - and his partner, Penny.

In the Tea Rooms section of the farm, staff have apparently reported the feeling of something – akin to a passing animal - brushing against their legs. Upstairs, in the same block, a visiting psychic claimed to have picked up the presence of children The cellar area of the Wash-House is believed to have caused the same psychic some alarm – the woman concerned apparently professing to being ‘too scared’ to venture down there!?

Penny herself has experienced a feeling of cobwebs brushing against her face in the Blue Room, a sensation which has been experienced by many people in the past, over a number of years.

While our recent visit passed without event, it was an immense pleasure for the group to have been given the opportunity to visit this lovely, historic site once again. Immense gratitude goes out to Wolverhampton Council for allowing the visit and – in particular – to Ian and Penny for kindly donating their time and company to this venture.

Media Watch:

Over recent months, the W.M.G.C. has, once again, featured in a number of local periodicals around the Midlands area.

*On April the 3rd, the Black Country Bugle published an article written by the W.M.G.C. concerning a ghostly experience at a Darlaston Chapel in the late 1960’s.

*Group interest in an allegedly haunted site in the Cheswick Green area was featured in the Solihull Times on June the 4th.

*News of our recent investigation at the historic Swanswell Gate was mentioned in the Coventry Observer on June the 5th.

*The June edition of the ‘Buzz’ magazine – the Birmingham University Staff periodical – ran an article featuring group member Julia Whiston and our recent ‘Great Hall’ investigation.

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