Wednesday, 24 December 2014

December 24th 2014

Wishing all of our visitors and friends a very 'Merry Christmas' and a prosperous 2015!!!

Saturday, 20 December 2014

December 20th 2014

Just a brief note to draw visitors attention to the page of a good friend of ours, Stuart Allen, who is currently one of our most vigorous and enthusiastic posters on the W.M.G.C. Facebook page...... 

Of his web site, Stuart told us:  "I created the page back in 2007 to help people to generally understand more about the paranormal...... plus, with there been a good few pages covering different topics, any visitors will also be able to have a good read....!'

For anyone wishing to share links with Stuart, his banner and associated html code can be found at the bottom of the HOME page.

Friday, 12 December 2014

December 12th 2014

This post and the next are two published pieces - based on spooky experiences at Great Barr Hall - written by an absolutely lovely gentleman, the Willenhall based solicitor, Ian Henery.

Ian first contacted us, out of the blue, following our recent article in the Walsall Advertiser, just after Halloween, and - by all intent and purpose - would appear to have kindly 'adopted' the West Mids Ghost Club, given all of the kindness and help - absolutely unmerited, we hasten to add - that he has generously bestowed on us since that first contact!! 

We have to say that no other person has ever gone to the lengths to generally 'help the club out' as Ian has recently done...... something that we simply can't thank him enough for!!

With regards to the poems, Ian says:

"The last time I went there was with a friend at night time. We had both been working with a firm of Architects. On our way back to the car park we heard a bell ringing out from the Hall itself as if a matron was ringing the bell to announce that visiting time was over. It was Sunday evening approx. 8.30pm. We were crossing the little bridge that led back up the road. There was no one else about and the geography of the place is a bowl amongst low wooded hills. The night was still and quiet but that bell sure rang out from the Hall.

There was then the unmistakable sound of feet following us off the bridge (as if escorting us off the premises) and when we turned round - nothing. The footsteps were right behind us. We decided not to challenge whoever or whatever it was and to simply leave. 

We saw nothing ethereal. We felt nothing spooky - but we both heard a bell and footsteps behind us. There was no guard on duty that night". 

Girl on the Stepping Stones
(Great Barr Hall)

A pale winter light filled December sky,
Mature trees surround banks of the twin lakes
On Great Barr Hall Park, where my heart breaks.
I hear your laughter, caught upon my sigh,
See once again the twinkle of your brown eyes
And then remember you have been a dream,
A whispered breath, a leaf upon a stream,
Where winged hopes took flight and learned to fly.

I see you now, dancing on stepping stones
Between the two lakes, over the waterfall,
Moorings near for fishing at Great Barr Hall.
A ghostly chill and wind begins to moan,
Daylight fades, frost comes, the earth like cold bone.
A fantasy at the end of the year,
A disillusioned man with unseen tears,
Fallen far from grace, bereft and alone.

2nd January 2014, Ian Henery

December 12th 2014

2nd poem by Ian Henery...... again, based on Great Barr Hall and surrounding environs: 

Laughter in the Woods 
(Great Barr Hall)

Hear that? Laughter at the turn of the year,
Its coming from the site of Great Barr Hall;
No vixen bark and its no barn owl call,
Laughter in the woods with nothing to fear.
Bones of the Hall are seen when moon is clear,
a laugh and a girl skips across the lake:
You want to reach out, doubt lets the heart break
But the moment is gone and disappears.

In December air, laughter in the woods,
Carried across parkland as the year turns;
A soul rejoicing, their merriment burns,
A heart that still beats but devoid of blood.
Dare you confess or be misunderstood,
The face revealed, the spirit watched at play,
Tracing footsteps through haunts of yesterday,
A shadow glimpsed before its gone for good.

3rd January 2014, Ian Henery

Thursday, 13 November 2014

November 13th 2014

Just taking a few minutes to run a media / W.M.G.C. related recap for the Halloween season.

*On Halloween morning, a representative of the group spoke briefly on a show broadcast by BBC Hereford and Worcester, while - just after mid-day - another W.M.G.C. interview was broadcast on the Helen Cash Show on 'Radio WCRfm' (in Wolverhampton).  During the late evening, a group member took part in a 2 hr broadcast on 'The Asylum', on Stafford FM, with our good friend Ian Gunner and company...... 

*On Oct. 31st, the W.M.G.C. received a very small mention in an article published by the 'Shropshire Star' newspaper.

*The 'Walsall Advertiser' published an online article about hauntings around the borough, as featured in some of our past investigations and dealings.  LINK 

*November the 8th saw a further article published by the 'Walsall Advertiser', this time appearing as a feature concerning the recent, 25th birthday of the West Midlands Ghost Club.  LINK  

Friday, 31 October 2014

October 31st 2014.

Just a brief note to wish all of our page visitors and followers a 'VERY HAPPY HALLOWEEN'!!!  We trust that - whatever you might be doing tonight and over the coming weekend - you all stay safe and have a wonderful time!!

Our best wishes to everyone!!

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Oct. 29th 2014

In December 2003, we were contacted by a family who had moved into a North Birmingham property in March of the same year. We were told that they had been experiencing numerous strange occurrences around the property, including the sound of heavy footsteps walking across their upstairs landing - from one end to the other. In mid-December the footsteps had manifested so loudly, they were convinced that there was a genuine, living person in the house with them. They were of the opinion that - the longer they stayed in the property - the louder and more pronounced the activity would get.....

The reported activity didn't begin as soon as they moved in, but seemed to coincide with their beginning to decorate the upstairs portion of the house. They were told that the previous tenant had not decorated in the 10 months that she had remained in the property and neither had the tenant before that. The house had supposedly contained a number of families over the years.

The stairs had also been heard to creak, as if someone were walking down them, along with sighs, whispers and the sound of someone calling the name of the father of the family. There were bumps and bangs and sounds of objects moving about the property...... but they had never actually been able to catch such things actually 'in the process' of being moved!? Clothes and other items were moved from room to room. 

The daughter had apparently felt her hand being stroked during the night when occupying the front bedroom and their son had actually refused to sleep in the same room because he said there was a man in there who was always watching him....... This 'man' had been seen in other parts of the house by the lad too.... particularly standing outside the bathroom and, sometimes, floating up at ceiling height! When pressed for a description of the figure, the boy had said he had brown hair, a 'horrible blue shirt' (the lads words) and black trousers. 

On waking each morning, the family would always discover that their bathroom window had been opened in the night!

Activity seems to have definitely been stronger in the upper portion of the house - involving most of the rooms on the 1st floor, save for the rear bedroom. The effect had become so pronounced that visitors were asked - without any form of prompting - to walk around and say which parts of the building they felt strongly about? Apparently, all came up with the same answer - the landing! During a holiday, a relative was asked to keep a check on the house and they reported having gone upstairs and had a distinct feeling that someone was walking behind them throughout the visit. The feeling had been so strong, they were - afterwards - dubious about ever going upstairs again.

Having spoken to a local medium about a completely different matter, the psychic referred to the property in question and voiced the opinion that there was more than one spirit there and they were something to do with other tenants from the history of the house. She said that they were trying to gain the attention of the current occupants!? She had specifically mentioned the spirit of a man in her appraisal of the situation.

At the point of contacting us, the family were already on a housing list for an exchange of properties and we were told they were hopeful of a fairly quick move.

Just over 2 years later, we placed (as we frequently did back then) an advert in the Tamworth press, asking for people to contact us with their ghost stories. One afternoon, in response, I received a phone call from the woman who had previously written to me about the above case.

In her opinion, the activity appeared to have potentially 'moved to their new property with them' - a scenario that we're all aware of from other instances, of course. To add to the situation, the 'new' property that they'd moved to 'also' had a reputation for being haunted...... along with a number of other properties in their street, it seems!? Before they moved in, the next door neighbour had apparently called the police out twice because they said they'd heard people running around in the empty, adjoining property! Since they had moved in, the neighbours had also come round to complain of the TV being on 'full blast' all day long..... They knocked the door to find no one in the house, as the entire family were out all day and the TV wasn't actually on!?

Around the time that they had phoned us, they had started noticing some form of 'smoke-like' form on the landing of the house. On first seeing it, they believed that they may have had a fire of some kind, but then the effect was seen to 'drift' and vanish in a nearby room! The young daughter had also seen a 'foggy' effect on the stairs outside her bedroom.

Objects had been found to have vanished around the property - tea towels and the like - and a particular perfume was detected around the same time every night. It was suggested to them that the previous owner of the house - an elderly woman - had regularly 'washed herself down' at that point in the day!?

People in other properties had also reported peculiar things happening. Speaking to an elderly neighbour, they were told that he had been followed by the figure of a 'miner-like character' along the street one night.

The village had been a heavily mined area right up until the 60's and there were rumours of a pit disaster in the area at some point?

Oct. 29th 2014.

It's a bit of an irony to find that we had recently been joking about 'headless ghosts' on our Facebook page...... and then we open an old diary to be not only reminded of one such case, but a case no more than a couple or three miles from where the group is actually based, no less!!

The case itself hails from the Wednesfield region of Wolverhampton and from the 1890's. It involves a family who had been living in their house for some 5 years. Apparently their time at the property had been peaceful for the duration of their stay until the point in question, which appears to have started with a series of loud knocks on their front door one afternoon..... as if it were being struck with a heavy sledge-hammer!! The lady of the house went to the door but found that there was no one to be seen when she had opened up....... an event that is said to have alarmed her considerably! Having returned to her chores, she now discovered that the heavy banging sound came back...... this time at the bottom of the staircase! Again she investigated and was standing staring at the spot when she saw the pictures on the walls physically 'turn round'! At this point in proceedings, her husband came home from work and was also privy to the effects concerned.

One of the pictures that were seen to turn 'went missing' a couple of days later and was subsequently discovered in a room at the back of the property with no easy explanation for the move!? As a matter of experimentation, one of the pictures that had been seen to move was taken to another house in the vicinity and 'watched' to see if it would move again? It didn't.....

An inquiry placed with neighbours revealed that they had apparently seen a past resident of the property - a woman who had died there suddenly before the present family moved in - apparently 'walking around the garden..... HEADLESS!'

What is interesting about this matter is the sheer scepticism that is generally shown (in the media) for the subject in an era when (we are led to believe at least) a rampant belief in Spiritism held considerable sway amongst the populace, etc. This isn't a solitary matter either, as we have numerous news cuttings from the latter part of the 19th Century and - even going back as far as the 1850's - the reporters concerned invariably show considerable (and quite open) contempt for the subject matter concerned!?! As with other cases from this time, the topic also generated considerable interest in the surrounding region, the father of the family admitting that literally hundreds of people had presented themselves at the home, hoping to be invited in!!

29th Oct. 2014.
One of the key things that we’ve been finding over recent years is the simple fact that we’re not welcome back at a lot of the places that we had investigated previously. I have to STRESS that this is no fault of our own – well, with regards to our actions at the sites in question – but I guess the blame could be firmly placed at our feet for totally different reasons......? Our ‘fault’ in the equation lies firmly in the simple fact that we’ve always liked to tell people exactly what we’ve been doing and where..... for obvious reasons, of course. People have long expressed an interest in our dealings with different places over the years and, as a result, we’d long done our best to release as much information about our investigations as we could. In the early days, this caused no problem at all, but, in more recent years, the general tone of the field had changed so dramatically. A long time ago, we realised that our ‘investigations page’ had gone from a simple ‘matter of interest’ to enquiring visitors, to an online list for other local (and decidedly non-local) groups to try and pick their intended projects from....!?

One site of considerable interest to us in the past, that falls into the above-mentioned category, is the ancient spot known as Baginton Roman Fort, which lies on the outskirts of Coventry, close to the Warwickshire border......

Just as a matter of historical interest, a group member had visited this particular spot in 1992 – years before we ever became aware of any, alleged ‘ghostly goings on’ at the site. It wasn’t until early 2005 that the group received an email from staff at the Fort, actually inviting us to pop along there and conduct an overnight investigation, if we wished!? (It goes without saying..... we DID wish, very much!!)

As a result of the invite, we arranged to go over and investigate less than two weeks later, in April 2005, a couple of the group members arriving on site by mid-afternoon (when the museum closed), with the rest of the club not intending to get there until 10 pm. As sometimes happened with different site, we were very much being ‘left to our own devices’ during the visit and it seemed the staff couldn’t wait to vacate the site when we arrived!! We were basically asked to ‘lock up’ after we’d finished and just make sure we snapped the locks shut behind us as we left the site!!

The staff had initially provided us with a list of alleged activity at the Fort, so the two members present from mid-afternoon were able to stage something of a mini-investigation before the bulk of the club arrived to ‘take over’ as a sort of night shift!!  The key activity associated with the place seemed to be footsteps being heard inside what was called the Granary building – which housed the site museum and shop – seemingly accompanied, sometimes at least, by a ‘shadowy form’ being seen moving towards the rear of the building, towards the staff kitchen area..... For the duration of the visit, we had decided to use the Granary as our base of action.

After the bulk of the club members arrived, it was decided that we should split our attention between the Fort itself and the nearby church of St John, which had a legendary haunting associated with its graveyard. Over the space of literally a century or so, the figure of a woman in grey had been seen walking the graveyard and in the lane immediately to the front of the church itself, towards the old rectory.... During our stay at the Fort, two ‘shifts’ of group members visited the church, but our activities in the area were generally hindered by the fact that security lights situated around the property were constantly going on / off and the last thing we wanted to do was disturb the local populace......

At the same time, a number of vigils were carried out inside the Granary building and around the rest of the Fort site, but nothing of potential interest was detected and the group packed up around 4 a.m. We had actually intended to split the overall visit between ‘three’ sites around Baginton village, the third being a particular spot on a secluded, country lane where a wild, witch-like figure had been seen by passing motorists, seemingly pointing in the direction of the small, local airport......!? In the end, however, we just decided to keep to the places eventually visited for fear of possibly biting off more than we could chew and potentially becoming a bit ‘thin on the ground’......

Returning briefly to the initial gist of this matter, we had – in more recent years – decided to try again for a return visit to Baginton Fort, perhaps, but had been flatly ‘turned down’ with the news that they had received so many enquiries over recent years, they were basically refusing all requests for investigations now......  While we were ‘asked to investigate’ by the Fort itself carries no weight at all in such a scenario and, as it was deemed a potential angle for publicity by the site, it was a matter openly advertised following our visit, etc. We were also told that it was fine to mention the site in our own dealings immediately after, which, of course, we did in good faith... Unfortunately, all such publicity seems to have done is cause the place to have been inundated with requests for investigations..... something the Fort is against currently. (A lack of overnight staff, willing to monitor such events, was also cited as a reason for refusal, though – of course – this wasn’t an issue at our visit, as they seemed most happy to leave the place in our hands. Needless to say, this wasn’t a problem with the club, as we’re always respectful and, despite having been ‘left to our own devices’ numerous times over the years, we’ve NEVER created a scenario or event which has led to our presence being queried afterwards. There have been, of course, a number of horror stories to reach our ears in fairly recent years concerning other ‘trusted’ associations and individuals!?

October 29th 2014

With Halloween only two days away, what better time to conduct a little research on 160 different cases of 'Black Country' based ghosts and hauntings......... from the safety of your own armchair!?!

We're excited to announce the release of the 'GhostNav: Black Country Ghosts' App, available from Google Play......  a development that is sure to keep local ghost enthusiasts entertained for a long time to come!!

App developer - (our good friend and experience paranormal researcher) Andrew Homer - says: "I think we have created a unique introduction to Black Country ghosts and hauntings.... combined with some of the functions of a satnav to explore mainly publicly accessible locations for yourself using your Android smartphone........"
Anyone interested in purchasing the App can check out this LINK..... and please feel free to pass the word around!!

Saturday, 25 October 2014

October 25th 2014

Within the last couple of days, we've had our attention drawn to a particular spot in the Black Country region which will undoubtedly be serving as an 'item of interest' for the group over coming weeks / months!!

It is a site that we had previously heard stories about previously - going back to at least the 1960's or so - but the more recently reported experiences date from more recent decades and, of course, add considerably to the lore involved.......!

In the first instance, out correspondent refers to a time when he was around 12 or 13 yrs old. He and 4 or 5 friends - all young lads - had been 'messing about for a few hours' and found themselves at the site in question during the course of them making their way home.

It would have been either late August or early September, as they were waiting for the new school term to start. The experience occurred around 16.00 to 18.00.

The group of lads had been sitting for a while, when each and every one of them saw 'it'......; a figure that was described to us as "dressed in a brown habit " and appeared as if it were 'floating along'...... The group looked at each other and then looked back - only to see nothing but trees and no further sign of the figure!? Our correspondent admits: "Well, we ran across the road as if the devil himself were hot on our heels!!".

It was pointed out to us that the matter had never been mentioned to anyone at all and, therefore, the gentleman concerned was quite surprised to recently read of an almost identical account - involving the same site - penned by an unknown female!? He admits that this second account could have almost been written by himself......!!

October 25th 2014

We have recently been speaking to someone who has kindly related some information regarding 'strange happenings' at a Black Country property that they lived in some years ago now.  We were particularly thankful to receive the data concerned, as it mainly concerns an aspect of (what is widely associated with poltergeist) haunting that you tend not to hear too much about these days, but which often featured - to some degree - in this type of matter in the past, etc. What is basically being referred to here is the subject of the appearance of 'liquid' or 'liquids', seemingly featuring as a form of inexplicable, anomalous phenomena....

Moving quickly on to the account itself:

The property concerned was a beautiful, 4 bedroomed house. The family concerned settled in really well to begin with, despite the fact that they were still very much in the 'early days' phase, following the sad passing of a close relative. While still grieving for their loved on, they had all agreed at the time to get back into work and endeavour to bring their lives back to a state of relative normality.

One of the first peculiarities in the property was noticed by a daughter of the family, as she was sitting in the lounge one evening - intending to watch some TV - with a cup of tea.... She suddenly noticed 'water' on the table next to the chair she was sitting in. As her sister was also present at the time, they both scoured the walls to see if they could possibly find some sign of a leak. There was absolutely nothing to be seen.

One of the sisters touched the 'perfectly round' blob of water, to find it had a sticky feel to it. It appeared to be a totally clear substance, like water, but, when touched, it had a 'stringy' feel to it. The best comparison that could be suggested would be something akin to watered-down bleach... but clear, with no smell.

The girls let their mother know of their discovery and the matter was then left to her to sort out. They apparently didn't think any more of the matter for the time being
On a further occasion, one of the sisters woke one morning to find the same substance on her fireplace, window ledges and curtains. She identified the substance as the same as that previously discovered on the table downstairs. Again, the matter was reported to her mother and it was thought that perhaps there was a leak somewhere.... Again, the droplets discovered were perfectly rounded; no sign of a 'splash', with just circular pools of around 2 to 3" in size... maybe slightly bigger. 

Another morning, the other sister awoke - finding herself dying for a drink - and went into the kitchen. She then passed into the lounge, to find all of the furniture facing the wall! No one else was awake that early.... and again the strange liquid was 'smothered' over the walls and fireplace, etc.

We were told that - to this day, the subject still scares the life out of the correspondent concerned. There was no logical explanation that they could come to on the matter, save for the bizarre notion that someone was possibly breaking into their house - on multiple occasions - to spread this liquid all over the property, move furniture around and so on!?

After vacating the property, the family never experienced anything like this since..... and hopefully never will!!

October 25th 2014

Two of our group members spent a charming evening this week, with a family who had recently reported 'strange goings on' in their home to us.....

Skimming for the sake of brevity:  the property concerned is situated in an area that we had looked at previously - some years ago now - because of supposed 'haunting activity'..... a matter that was said to tie in with a tragedy that occurred in the region in the 1920's. (This topic was chased up to some length and - unlike a lot of tragedies supposedly associated with ghost stories - this one did indeed actually happen!!)
Having interviewed the people concerned (including a past resident of the property who'd been kindly invited to attend by the current resident), it has to be stated that there were no obvious connections between the two matters concerned.....

With regards to this 'fresh' case, there appears to be a fair amount of what we'd all generally term 'poltergeist-like' activity, including the movement and general manipulation of objects around the property. The latter included such matters as a crocheting needle disappearing from where it was invariably, always kept and then subsequently being found 'under' a rug...... to all of the kitchen cupboards being opened - and left open - during the night, etc.

No actual 'apparitions' have been seen by the head of the family involved, but strange sounds and noises do seem to play a big part in the activities concerned.....   We were told that - despite the site being a bungalow and not even having a proper 'loft' area above it - a sound akin to someone 'walking across a floor above' has frequently been encountered by multiple witnesses at the same time!!  On another occasion, the sound of (what appeared to be) a little girl was heard calling 'Ma-ma!!' from inside the property..... The witnesses did seem considerably concerned by this particular feature and said that it didn't feel at all contemporary with this time and struck them as a rather out-dated or old-fashioned term!? 

On other occasions, the sound of children playing have been heard fairly late at night and there have been no children around when investigations made! (The area concerned is predominantly elderly and disabled residents).

Needless to say, the group will be keeping an eye on the matter concerned and reporting on any further developments in the case......

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

October 8th 2014

On September the 14th, we made a small post on this blog concerning an alleged photograph of the 'Grey Lady Of Dudley Castle', which had been recently published on the official Castle website.  Our attention was drawn to this (at this point in time) little known matter by our good friend Helen Branson, as an item of passing interest.

After speaking with our mate - Birmingham Mail reporter Mike Lockley - on Monday (Oct. 6th) about a completely unrelated matter, he subsequently took a look at this blog and expressed an interest in the photograph (shown above).  As we had only posted the matter up as a snippet of local interest, we were thus unable to reveal much on the subject in question.........

Group members were aware of the fact that Mike had actually run a piece on the matter for the Monday night edition of the newspaper (see HERE).... and received a further call from him on Tuesday morning, revealing to us that the story had apparently (in his words) 'gone National!'  A subsequent search of the net revealed that the piece had apparently been picked up by numerous news sources around the globe, including the Italian 'Il Tempo' newspaper, the 'New York Daily News', 'New Tang Dynasty Television' in Canada, The Scottish Daily Record and ITVUK newspapers carrying the story in the last 24 hours include The Daily Mirror, The Daily Mail, The Express, The Daily Star (see HERE) and The Independent.

Mike also ran a further piece on the matter in the Birmingham Mail, which can be viewed HERE.  Congratulations Mr Lockley..... when it comes to potential newsworthy stories, you can certainly pick them matey!!   

Thursday, 2 October 2014

October 2nd 2014

'Black Eyed Bullsh*t!!!!'

Well - it certainly seems to appear that the latest 'ridiculous fad' has now hit the paranormal field in the guise of the so-called 'Black Eyed Children'.....!!!

My own, personal introduction to this subject came within the last year..... and I can only STRESS that - after running a paranormal research concern for 25 years this Summer - this was the very FIRST time that I had heard of such a motif in this particular context!! 

In short, I had been in the process of checking out a blog associated with a local publication when - viewing the related comments - I saw a perplexing note concerning this subject.  As a result of seeing this comment, I had basically said: 'You're American, aren't you.... as most of these daft ideas do seem to start in the U.S....?'  As it turns out, my comment was immediately 'declined' by the blog in question, while the puzzling and unproven B.E.C. theorising remained, of course.

And in stating the above, I have to also stress that I honestly wasn't intending to sound blatantly 'abusive' and just appear to be having a foundationless 'crack' at America in general;  I was simply calling to mind and reflecting on 'historical' and 'proven' trends in the paranormal mythos when it comes to geographical relationships and so forth.  In my defence, should such reasoning have originated anywhere else, I would - of course - have illustrated the matter accordingly.  However, it is a plain and undeniable truth that, looking back at the history of ghostlore - and especially more recent history - a number of whacky, new trends that have inexplicably and suddenly 'appeared' in the lore surrounding this subject can pretty much be traced straight back to professed researchers in the U.S!!

I guess it could be said that a lot of this type of notion (where paranormal subjects are concerned) began in post war America, with the advent of the Cold War and initially began manifesting through UFO related subjects....... something that gave an incredible amount of scope for manifestations of a nations paranoia and so forth.  Whatever the core reasons for these leanings, there is a clear tendency to try and 'pigeon-hole' completely unrelated and traditional motifs into something they aren't..... i.e. usually some purposefully organised, conspiratorial army of preternatural enemies, who are 'out to get the human race' in completely sinister and obscure ways, etc...?!   To illustrate these trends just take a look at the rise in the belief of 'ghosts as demonic entities' of the past couple of decades, or - even more perfect and recent an example - the utterly ridiculous 'Shadow People' craze!! 

Again, it is absolutely undeniable that, once expounded, these foundationless notions - like some ridiculous disease - will inexorably spread into the paranormal culture around the globe and soon become firmly rooted in the minds of the 'silly element' (the ruling figures in UK paranormal circles, especially, it has to be said!) and then develop an existence of their own from then on....

As always, these developing 'spooky threats' will invariably take hold in a culture that is mainly populated (these days, at least) by the more hysterically motivated and drama-seeking among us.  Long gone are the times when amateur 'ghost hunters' were happy dealing with the more genteel and traditional motifs in research / ghostlore and a new breed of 'hysterical enthusiast' has now appeared, with their apparent need to keep striving for high-drama and frenzied effect all the while......  Cutting an already long story short - these so-called 'Black Eyed Children' are not a paranormal phenomenon..... they are simply a 'sign of the times' in a subject that is mainly now populated by imbeciles with an overwhelming 'need for drama'...  An unfathomable and non-quantifiable subject like the paranormal perfectly supplies the idiot element with the 'clay to create' whatever scenario they like, of course - completely and constantly to the detriment of the subject itself!?!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Sutton Park Visit

Friday September 26th 2014

Last Friday evening - September 19th - members of the West Midlands Ghost Club paid a return visit to one of their favourite places for a night-time ramble.......  Sutton Park in Sutton Coldfield.

The area under specific scrutiny is a section of the park that houses a number of alleged hauntings and peculiar features.  In years gone by, the figure of a typical 'highwayman-style-figure' has been spotted riding across the scrub-land thereabouts..... both in broad daylight and at dusk.  Local legend has it that notorious highway robber, Tom King, frequented the region in his heyday..... this folklore being stretched beyond all credibility with rumours of him having supposedly been 'burned to death' within the confines of the park......!?!    

A few years ago, we were informed by an elderly gentleman that he had once seen what he took to be a phantom contingent of riders while passing along the section of Roman Road that cuts through this same section of the parkland.  It had been a terribly rainy day and he and a group of other riders had passed close by to a group of silent horsemen coming in the opposite direction.......  He had called out and waved to the other group and, on having passed them, happened to look back along the track......... only to find that they had totally disappeared, with nowhere to have gone!?!

Only a hundred or so yards from the stretch of Roman Road is another ancient site known as 'Rowtons Well'......  This circular feature is also said to probably be Roman in origin and was once used for healing purposes by the local populace.  A member of the WMGC Facebook page (LINK) has recently mentioned that he recalls having seen signs of 'occult' related practices near the well in his youth, in the form of burned out candles and other paraphernalia!?

Moving slightly 'inland' from the region concerned, there are stories of a 'woman in white' being seen traversing some of the forested trackways around the 1950's.  Tales of a ghostly woman being seen in the vicinity endured into the 1970's, but appear to have faded significantly from local lore in recent decades........ 

Sunday, 21 September 2014

September 21st 2014

It's incredible when you can just 'go somewhere' at times and find yourself 'falling on' a cracking ghost story and a chance to help with research!! Two members of the W.M.G.C. were out surveying some land (for metal detecting purposes) yesterday near the Shropshire / Staffordshire border.....  They were standing on the bridge shown in the photograph - just assessing which fields were going to be open to them - when a couple of passing dog walkers engaged them in general conversation.....  

They were intrigued to hear the male walker mention the subject of 'strange goings-on' in the region, which - of course - instantly aroused their interest!!  Cutting a long story short - they were told that the couple in question...... and a number of other locals, seemingly..... had actually experience an array of ghostly activity on the bridge in question!!!  New to the region, the group members didn't really know the first thing about the area, but were advised to speak to the owner of a 17th Century farmhouse some 70 yards from the Southern side of the bridge in question.....!!!!

The resident farmer involved has, for many years now, been utterly perplexed by the array of spooky stories and reported encounters associated with the bridge and his own beautiful farmhouse. For the sake of research, etc, we can only reveal that the experiences associated with the bridge itself concern two separate apparitions - those of a long-dead squire who was found murdered on the bridge in 1789 (he lived on the nearby farm) and his spirit has been seen there many times since. The second ghost associated with the structure is that of a coach driver who was killed (in the mid-Victorian period) after being thrown into the river when his team of four horses mysteriously bolted one evening and his wheels struck the bridge parapet, sending him tumbling to his death into the river below!! Local legend has it that it was the ghost of the squire who caused the horses to 'spook', leading to the demise of the unfortunate driver!?!? Whatever the cause, the apparition of the latter has been seen on the bridge a number of times since.......!!!

While the farmer declined an offer for us to investigate - he's unsure about 'disturbing' the ghosts too much - we did say that we'd be happy to appeal for data on the case for him..... While we'd never heard of the matter previously, the case is evidently fairly famous in the general locality and there is a wealth of historical data to back up the tragedies involved...... In the hope of generating some genuine feedback on the matter, the farmer has kindly allowed us to include his email address here, so that anyone who might know anything on the case can get in touch with him:

Sunday, 14 September 2014

September 14th 2014

Friend of the West Midlands Ghost Club, Helen Branson, has recently brought this particular matter to our attention......  While we're eternally dubious about any ghostly reports involving Dudley Castle these days, we must admit that the image and general subject struck us as absolutely fascinating and surely worthy of a mention here!?  LINK

September 14th 2014

Members of the WMGC have recently been corresponding with someone who believes that they may have had a run-in with the ghost of a murdered constable - one P.C. Davies - who was killed near Beoley, Worcestershire, while walking his beat one night in 1885. Since the tragedy, stories concerning the figure of a ghostly policeman being seen have 'haunted' the area...... becoming an aspect of popular ghostlore in the region.  While the story was generally known to group members for some time already, the club became actively interested in the matter when the subject was mentioned in a BBC documentary - entitled 'Ghosts' - that we took part in some years ago.  (Around 2000).
Having recently felt inspired to look into the topic again, we did discover someone who believed that they had possibly experienced the legendary apparition for themselves in recent years and began speaking with them on the subject. The gentleman concerned informed us that he and his wife were walking home from the village pub one night - they'd had a drink, but were not at all drunk!! - when they saw a figure in what appeared to be a long, cape-style coat and some form of tall hat....... The figure was visible through a break in a hedge and standing - absolutely stock-still - some 50 meters away. While they said they couldn't actually see its face, they had the distinct impression that it was looking straight at them!? They stood and stared at the form for perhaps 10 seconds when they became a little unnerved and decided to walk on........ The next day, they went back to the spot and checked the field over, but could find nothing untoward to account for their encounter!?

It was only later that - checking the history of the region - they discovered data on the slaying of the unfortunate PC Davies and wondered whether they may have had a sighting of the infamous ghost, perhaps?  Needless to say, the W.M.G.C. would very much like to hear from anyone who may have further data on this fascinating subject......!?

Monday, 8 September 2014

September 8th 2014

On Friday night (Sept. 5th), the West Midlands Ghost Club paid a little visit to some of the haunted spots in the Great Barr area, along with a few friends from our Facebook page.  While we do love our dealings on the page concerned, it's always interesting to be able to put living faces to profile pictures and group members certainly had some charming company for the ramble!!  Taking the time to join us for the evening was Madi VdW and her lovely sister, Bobbie Le-Page and Joshua Bowker......

As visitors to any WMGC associated dealings will possibly know, the Great Barr area itself has long been of interest to the group because of it's seeming propensity for the paranormal and downright weird......  The region concerned has a long history of strange happenings and ghostly encounters, including sightings of both 'white' and 'black' clad women near the church, a phantom dog, phantom coaches and horse riders and peculiar, glowing figures (to name but a few)!!

For anyone wishing to learn more on the region and it's lore, please type Great Barr into the search box provided on this page.....   
September 8th 2014

On September the 5th, the 'Shropshire Star' newspaper kindly gave even more coverage to our ongoing search for the ghost of Madam Piggott via yet another - surprise - article on the subject!!  I must admit that we're always thankful to the local press for giving us coverage on different projects over the years, but it's especially heart-warming for our ventures to be made the focus of articles...... and only find out about such pieces afterwards!!  

The article concerned can be viewed via this LINK

Monday, 1 September 2014

September 1st 2014

The dubious subject of the 'Cannock Chase Werewolf' has raised it's furry head again recently, when the W.M.G.C. were contacted by a Canadian production company who are planning to feature the region in a forthcoming TV series......

We have been told that a crew from the show will be visiting the area in late September and, as well as providing background information on the region, we've also been asked if one of our members might be interviewed for inclusion in the broadcast.

More on this matter as it develops.....

Monday, 25 August 2014

August 25th 2014

West Midlands Ghost Club members eventually visited Chetwynd in Shropshire on Friday night (Aug. 22)..... in search of the ghost of Madam Pigott!! Thankfully, the (recently 'dodgy') weather kept dry and clear for us, so - with the usual cracking company, of course - it turned out to be an absolutely lovely evening all-round!!

As well as a graveyard meeting with a local press photographer, group members took a lengthy walk along Chetwynd Road to the outskirts of Newport - a stretch where the bulk of Madam Pigott sightings are made - and a few sound recordings were made along the route taken.   A brief 'pause' was made at the Chetwynd Lodge, situated in an isolated spot, half way along the thoroughfare, which features in one of the more recent stories that we had been made aware of.......  According to witnesses, the ghost of a woman carrying a baby was spotted near to the property and a form of 'chase' ensued, with a group of people following the apparition for some while afterwards!?! 

Just prior to setting out on the venture, we received a phone call - in response to the recent Shropshire Star article on the matter - from a (once) local lady who informed us that the father of a friend of hers had suffered a heart attack in the early 60's after seeing Madam Pigott near Chayney Hill!!  Needless to say, this was more than a little worrying for some of the older, male members of the group!!  Laugh!!  Thankfully, the man concerned didn't die from the experience...... though I'll bet it was something he didn't forget for the rest of his days, eh?

Sunday, 24 August 2014

August 24th 2014

Quite recently, the group has been contacted by a householder - we'll call her Jane, for the sake of the account - inquiring whether we had any information on the area where she lives, as she had apparently 'drawn a blank' on researching 'her haunting'....  We were told that she had been looking into the back ground on the region concerned and historically speaking, the area was apparently a corn field before the housing estate was built there.  Interestingly, the 'garden path' to the property concerned was previously regarded as a 'public right of way' that once cut through the field concerned, but this was 'blocked off' when the houses were built and residents petitioned to have the thoroughfare closed.  Enquiries were made with long-term local residents regarding anything that might be potentially relevant to current occurrences, but this line of questioning drew a blank.

From the WMGC point of view, we could - upon checking files - only add that we had actually responded to a poltergeist case some few years ago in the same, general region.  The sites concerned are only a couple of hundred yards distant.... though, of course, apart from that tentative link, there didn't seem any form of connection between these situations. 

Referring to the freshly reported case, we were informed that the activity happened on a daily basis and had been occurring for some 10 yrs now.  People had reported seeing 'black shadows' around the property, inexplicable sounds were heard, along with the (the frequently reported) disappearance and reappearance of objects being experienced.  With regards to the latter mentioned, emphasis was put on the fact that the 'reappearance' often coincided with the fact that 'you didn't need the object concerned any longer'; an incredibly annoying and much noted aspect of a lot of poltergeist-like effects!  On one occasion mother and daughter decided to make tuna cheese melts for lunch and they ended up looking everywhere in the kitchen for the tin opener..... not once, but  2 or 3 times over!  Unable to locate the item, they ended up cooking something completely different.  After eating, Jane decided on having a coffee and, on opening the cutlery drawer for a spoon...... there - as plain as day - sat the tin opener right on top of the spoons!!  This has also been the case with a number of other items, such as bank cards and the like!

Where sound phenomena is concerned, such instances have been noted where - for example - a daughter-in-law of the family was in the house alone one evening, waiting for Jane to finish work at 10pm.  She had apparently been horrified to begin hearing inexplicable banging noises coming from the kitchen and eventually fled the property after deciding that she couldn't stay there any longer!  On another occasion, a family friend slept on the sofa one evening and said that they could hear foot steps walking up and down the living room.... accompanied by a black shadow! 

Only a few weeks ago, the son of the family was calling his mother as he was coming up the stairs and a voice responded to him with a 'Yes!'  However, upon further investigation, the lad discovered that Jane was out at the shops at the time, causing him to quickly flee the house in fear!! 

A few months ago, one of Janes work colleagues called at the house to give her a lift to work.  Unknown to them, she had already left some time earlier.  The woman knocked on the door of the house and heard a male voice call out:  "I'm coming.... hold on!"  She waited a while and no one appeared, so she knocked again and a male voice responded once more......  Eventually, the woman ended up leaving - bewildered - finding no further signs of 'life' at the property!?  Interestingly, there was actually no one at all in the house at the time that she had dropped by.  The woman had later turned up at work annoyed with Jane, suggesting that the son of the family had been at home and playing tricks on her!?  The lad was at school at the time of the visit!!  The woman still maintains that there was some rational explanation for her experience!?!

We are told that something was heard actually 'hissing' at the family cat one day, when there was no one in the house but the cat and Jane.  The animal had been sitting watching Jane cook when she heard the noise and turned to see it seemingly 'jumping to defend itself'!! 

Where visual matters are concerned, there is frequent emphasis - as mentioned - put on the presence of 'shadows'.  As well as the instances already cited, a black shape has been seen to 'fall' from the bedroom of the daughter of the family, past the living room window.  The gentleman who lives in the adjoining property reports having seen 'shadows' coming from the house concerned into his own!?

The 'ghost' has reportedly been seen properly on one occasion at least.  One night, Jane was talking to her daughter, who was facing her while situated at the bottom of the stairs.  Suddenly, she saw a figure going up the stairs, wearing a long, dark coat, suit trousers and brown shoes.  'He' was carrying either a brown brief case, or a travel bag.  We are told that Jane didn't see above the level of his shoulders, as she was looking 'bottom up', as it where....  The figure is said to have turned left - towards the daughters bedroom - where most activity seems to occur....  From the general appearance of the figure, Jane suggests that he may have been early 19th Century in date and was seen as plainly as you'd see a living being...

Interestingly, the neighbours dogs refuse to sleep in the room adjoining Janes daughters bed room!?  The man concerned is said to be literally 'scared to death' of the activity concerned, as he also experiences things in his own home.  On one occasion, for example, he reports having seen a 'black shadow' walking into his bathroom and could see that it was apparently 'wearing a hat'.......

By far the worst activity reported is the process of being unable move in bed and being pinned down, which Jane has experienced on numerous occasions.  Of course, this 'old hag' or 'sleep paralysis' experience is a matter of some debate when it comes to paranormal related angles, but it is interesting to note that these types of situation are frequently reported during potentially paranormal outbreaks and hauntings...... so could there be some form of real link between the two?  Jane relates an instance of one night when this happened several times.  This was the worst she had ever experience.... saying that it felt as if someone was holding a hair dryer, fixed on a cold setting, to my head!  She couldn't move, talk or speak, though she somehow managed to keep drifting back to sleep throughout the experience.  In all, it happened some 3 times, until she managed to shout at it to 'leave her alone'..... and it stopped! 

Interestingly, Jane tells us that she has always had something of a 'sixth sense' regarding the paranormal.  From an early age, she has heard and seen ghosts.... sensed them in buildings, different places and associated with people.  This is something that she admits that she dislikes and tries to 'blank them out'.  Despite this life-long experience, she says that she would like to 'put this ghost to rest' and have a normal home..... something which, of course, is totally understandable under such circumstances.  She has recently been considering calling a vicar in to the house, but the property is being renovated at the moment.... much to the dislike of the resident ghost, we're told!  She believes that the activity is not 'friendly' and admits that the house itself does supposedly 'have a atmosphere to it'.  It is always cold and people don't like staying there longer than they have too.......?

Thursday, 21 August 2014

21st August 2014

Recent reports coming in to the W.M.G.C. from some Shropshire residents have inspired group members to plan a return visit / mini-investigation to the Chetwynd region - just outside Newport - in search of the infamous and seemingly ubiquitous ghost known as Madam Pigott.  Club associates are intending to re-visit the region within the next week or two.....

Word of the venture has attracted the interest of the Shropshire Star newspaper once again and an article about the subject appeared in editions of the newspaper for today (21st).  The article itself can be viewed via this LINK

Needless to say word of the visit will be posted on this blog, as soon as the venture takes place.......

Tuesday, 12 August 2014

Tues. 12th August 2014

Going back some time to June 2009, we made a post on this blog concerning a 'lost' photograph that allegedly showed some form of 'ghostly activity' on the Chapter House Stairs in Wells Cathedral, Somerset.  The picture was apparently taken in 1954 and, it seems, has never been widely publicised or published in any way......  As it stands, there is no indication as to where the image - if it does still exist, of course- is held or housed today......?  (LINK to original post).   

As a result of the piece, we initially received a single reply in reference to the photograph from an anonymous poster (left in March 2013):

"This photograph exists. Bob Hardy was a housemaster at Edgeborough School, Frensham, and it was a right of passage for all 6th formers to see the photograph.  Bob Hardy was a very sincere and forthright individual. There is no doubt he believed the photo to be genuine. I have no idea what became of the photo - I left the school in 1973"..........

Sadly, we have never been able to find any further information at all on this intriguing picture..... though the initial post on the subject has just merited a fascinating correspondence from William Bickerton-Hudson, who informed us of an experience that he'd had in the grounds of the Cathedral many years ago:

 "Hi, I found your thread whilst searching, once again, for any corroborative information I can find on reports of supernatural events, or ghostly figures in, or around Wells Cathedral in Somerset. Remarkably, there are few! Whilst I have experienced several, indeed quite a few phenomena in my time, none have been quite so explicit and clear to my mind as the experience I had whilst enjoying a Bright Spring day in the grounds behind Wells Cathedral some decades ago. I can remember many of the details, the experience was very lucid. It was during April (possibly the 22nd, but if I were to research other personal events of that day, I could verify the exact date - around mid-morning to early lunchtime) 1987. At a distance of no further than 50-100 metres away, a white figure appeared. I knew immediately that it was a ghostly apparition, but I felt no fear. I sensed more than saw that she was female and again, I sensed more than saw, she was dressed in flowing robes. She was walking a little less than 2-3 feet above the ground, and her appearance led me to believe her dress was very ornate. We would describe it as 'lace', but I did not sense that material, just a delicacy and lightness. She was there, and I watched her pass for maybe 3-4 seconds. Enough time for my mind to register what I was seeing. Then she was gone. As I mentioned, I felt no sense of fear. I just felt I had been in the presence of somebody very beautiful, placid and regally grand. I am glad to have found somewhere relevant to share the experience. I have talked about this vision with friends on numerous occasions, but I have never taken the opportunity to write it down, thanks for the opportunity!

I was glad to be able to relate it in a relevant place. Unfortunately, I live some distance from Wells, so am unable to frequent where this took place, and not being a motor-owner means visiting is a little difficult and time-consuming. If it helps at all with your research, here is a google map image with the approximate area circled: (LINK)"

It goes without saying that we are greatly indebted to Mr Bickerton-Hudson for taking the time to share his encounter with us in such detail.  Also - needless to say - all parties involved in the matter are hoping that this fresh information might well generate further responses on this intriguing subject!? 

Friday, 8 August 2014

August 8th 2014

Taking advantage of the lovely, Summer weather, a few members of the West Mids Ghost Club decided to re-visit one of our favourite sites - Lilleshall Abbey in Shropshire - on July 25th.  The group has investigated this gorgeous, rurally-situated ruin numerous times over the past decade and a half...... the site being said to play host to numerous ghostly monks - witnessed 'singly' and 'in procession', seemingly - ghostly screams, chanting and inexplicable footfalls!! 

In the early half of the 20th Century, the doyen of British ghost hunters, the late Elliott O' Donnell visited and investigated the ruins with his friend and frequent companion W. Byford Jones..... when they are apparently said to have sat and played cards in the (erroneously titled) 'Murder Room' during the overnight stay!!  An archaeological dig at the Abbey in the 1930's was advertised in the press as an 'Officially Sanctioned Ghost Hunt'.........

As with most W.M.G.C. visits and inquiries, nothing of potential, paranormal import was experienced during the visit, but an enjoyable evening was had by all and - as always - the resident bat population kept group members amazed and amused for the duration of the stay with their incredible acrobatics!!  Laugh!!       

Friday, 25 July 2014

Friday July 25th 2014

Related to the post mentioned below, a further article apparently appeared in the 'Walsall Advertiser' yesterday.  The piece concerned can be viewed at the following LINK

Thursday, 24 July 2014

Friday 25th July 2014

In connection with the recent release of West Midlands Police statistics for 'strange happenings' in the region, the West Midlands Ghost Club have featured in a number of media sources on the topic concerned.  Following a Daily Mail article on Mon. July 21st - LINK - a number of publishing and radio correspondence ensued, including stints on BBC Radio WM and FreeRadio .

Monday, 21 July 2014

Monday 21st July 2014
The West Midlands Ghost Club has just received a call from a local reporter concerning a 'Freedom Of Information' request recently logged with West Midlands Police, concerning reports of a 'paranormal nature' made to the force within the past three, calendar years........

Apparently, the local constabulary dealt (In some capacity) with 71 reports concerning cases of Ghosts, Werewolves, Witches and Zombies in 2011 / 12 / 13!?! It's intriguing to note that - even in our 'spook charged' climate - only 15 of these reports involved the subject of 'Ghosts', while a quite staggering 55 concerned 'Witches' and witchcraft related concerns!! Werewolves were pretty much non-existent in this period, it seems, while 'Zombies' - interestingly - merited two reports......!!

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Wednesday 16th July 2014

By way of a brief update to the blog:

*On Friday the 13th of June, two W.M.G.C. members paid an evening visit to an allegedly haunted, rural site (in the Midlands).... known locally as 'Monks Path' because of related ghost sightings there.  Needless to say, it's probably not at all surprising to learn that activity widely associated with the site in question comes in the form of a 'procession of monk-like figures' that have been witnessed walking along what is known to be an ancient / medieval trackway......

*In early July, the group received a call from a local hostelry, asking if we might respond to some 'ghostly happenings' that had apparently been occurring in the pub over the 12 months that the current management had been in residence.  With regards to activity, it seems that stools have been heard 'falling' off tables in the empty bar area (on more than one occasion) and the items of furniture found 6 or so feet away from the tables concerned. On another occasion, the landlady was upstairs and a customer situated downstairs, when both heard a brief series of five or so footsteps close by...... When they met up a couple of minutes later, both asked the other about hearing the steps...... but both insisted that the sounds had been 'close to them' and not from other parts of the property.....?

The landlady has had her bedroom door literally 'forced open' during the night, with no one else in the building. She has also felt someone 'rub their fingers down her shoulder / back' while in bed alone. 

A customer in the bar area said that he had seen the curtains at the front windows of the pub - windows that cannot physically be opened, as they are just sheets of glass in the frame - 'blow out' into the room at a 45 degree angle and remain static for a number of seconds....... He went to tell the manager and, as they looked at the curtains, they were then seen to be falling back into proper position! (Funnily enough, we've heard a number of different people, over the years, tell us the same kind of thing..... concerning different sites!? A young couple from the same street as a WMGC member had this occur during their first night at a new address a few years ago!!) 

What is of considerable interest is the simple fact that the landlady had become quite used to other, peculiar happenings occurring at previous addresses / pubs and her partner has actually 'worked with the deceased' in the past..... but both report having been somewhat 'ruffled' by what is happening in this current property!? (In a previous pub in North Staffordshire, for example, the landlady said that she used to have to keep going into a disused, old cellar at the site and removing a couple of glasses from a table that was situated in the room. She said she'd remove them one day........ and they would be back again by the next morning!? There were no glasses kept in the cellar, so she suggested 'someone' kept fetching them from the bar and putting them back on the table concerned....... just as if someone were having a drink overnight!?!) 

Club members have asked the couple basically 'what they'd like to do' about what has been going on at the site and have said that the ball would be 'left in their court', as it were.......?  The chance of a small investigatory visit might be on the cards, but there is little of any real use that can be done structurally in a pub at the best of times, of course...... Still, it would be interesting to sit in the place for a while and see if any of the effects concerned might be experienced or picked up on, perhaps? 

*On July 10th, group members visited a couple who have apparently been experiencing ghostly activity at their home in the West Midlands region.  Unfortunately, we have not received permission to share details concerning this intriguing case from the parties concerned.....

*Most recently, group members - along with our new associate, Naomi Horne - paid an evening visit to a region of Walsall that has been of considerable interest to the club over the years.  A certain area of Rushall, on the outskirts of the town, has long been associated with sightings of a 'grey' or 'white lady' apparition, which has apparently been seen by many people over the decades from (at least) the 1960's, up until the present day......  Group interest in the matter gave rise to a number of articles on the subject in the local press some years ago and local BBC radio ran a segment on the general topic for the space of a week at that time........