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!?!