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!!