Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Wednesday 16th November 2016

Almost 20 years ago now, a West Midlands household hit the National press with tales of 'ghostly goings on' in their, otherwise typical, Council home.  It seems that the 'activity' concerned had initially started up some 5 or 6 months before media sources caught on to the story;  that, in itself, something of a mistake, following the head of the household contacting a member of the local press - asking if they might suggest someone to help - and the reporter concerned allegedly 'ran an article' on the matter without permission!?  (*The W.M.G.C. have also had this happen on a couple of occasions at least in the past, it has to be mentioned).  In this instance, the 'interest' generated numerous press-related responses, TV requests and 'glossy' magazine appeals, etc.

Initial activity at the house - beginning in the July of the year in question, without any obvious stimuli(?) - seemed typically 'poltergeist' in fashion, consisting mainly of the, sometimes 'threatening', movement of objects, inexplicable messages being left and so on.  In this particular case, events only really seemed to happen at night - seldom during the day - and ONLY occurred when the family head was around.  Phenomena apparently travelled to the homes of other family members if he visited and mainly seems to have been restricted to the downstairs portion of their house....

Coincidentally - some 5 months after the activity began - an Aunt of the family involved saw one of our appeals in the local press for 'ghostly experiences' and the like and passed our contact details on.  We received a phone call from the family, who filled us in on some of their experiences....

With regards to the movement of objects, it seems that - as in a lot of such cases - certain items seemed infinitely more 'popular' than others.  In this case, one particular knife seemed a VERY active item indeed and was said to have always 'found its way out of places' where it had been purposefully hidden!  Somewhat worryingly, this knife was sometimes discovered sticking out of a wall, or kitchen cupboard door on occasion!  Other objects had regularly been found moved, smashed and stacked up in piles around the home.  Paintings fell off walls, scissors, remote controls and other utensils thrown around..... and a spoon hit a family member hard in the shoulder!!

Quite typically, for some cases, 'strange messages' are said to have been left around the house at times, being discovered on mirrors and walls.  The name of the family head had been discovered, written in washing up liquid in the bath!  A visitor to the house has apparently left a piece of paper lying around and 'something' had 'written on it', while they weren't looking....!!

We were told that NUMEROUS sources had been approached for help with the matter.... everything from the local Council, to the clergy.  The former had been asked for somewhere else to stay, until the problem could be sorted out..... so the family sought alternative intervention.  A variety of local churches were called upon; self-styled 'exorcists' spoken to... and even the Mormons were asked for help!  (The latter are said to have 'chanted' and just made the matter even worse!!)  One local clergyman, who visited the property, advised the family to leave their home and no go back....      

Intervention from psychic / mediumistic types suggested that the culprit for these goings-on was a relative of the head of the family, called 'Thomas', who had only recently died....  Typically - and perhaps quite conveniently - it was suggested by the same sources that 'Thomas' was, unfortunately, a completely 'unknown' relative to the household head....!!  ('Thomas' was apparently identified as the 'haunting element' by two, separate, psychic sources..... though, of course, the 2nd may well have been aware of what the previous one had suggested!?  It was stated that the 2nd had basically 'confirmed' that the entity was 'Thomas'!?)  The second psychic, using a pendulum, is said to have openly asked 'Thomas' if he would be willing to 'go away' and leave the family in peace..... but the response was a resounding 'NO!'  The pendulum used apparently 'went absolutely wild' in the process!

This latter, seemingly determined, standpoint was revised immediately afterwards, however, when - in the same conversation - the 'spirit' then decided that he would probably 'go away' if the family might learn a particular 'secret' about him and discuss the matter....!?  Needless to say, this kind of, wholly unreasonable, reasoning is quite typical of alleged 'conversations with spirit' at times!!  Thomas was seemingly unprepared to budge if this matter couldn't be settled as he'd asked.  (*It's often suggested by various sources that we should never really 'trust what a spirit might say', as they are frequently found to be 'liars'....  However, if they're not, it could be accurately said that they ARE often found to be a momentous 'pain in the backside' at the very least!?) 

Monday, 14 November 2016

Monday 14th November 2016

Around 2 years ago, an old school friend of mine happened to mention to me that he possibly had some 'strange goings-on' in a shop that he was running......  The property itself - which shall remain nameless - is situated in a bustling, 'Black Country' town; a reasonably old and historic building in a fairly old and historic section of the area concerned.....  The site has been quite dramatically altered (structurally), within the last decade or so, parts being rebuilt, replaced and so on..... though with original, wooden beams retained as a charming feature!! 

At the time that the matter was first mentioned, the friend had said that he and his partner were working late one evening, so the shop, window shutters were down and the light was off in the front of the premises.  They were working in the back of the shop and he was busy printing some documents related to an order that had to be filled out.  Several sheets had already been printed, when another came through... but stopped half way out.  The sheet was 'half blank', so he tried again and the printer just sent through a blank sheet in response...  He then turned everything off at the socket ('as you do', he says!!) and tried again with the same results!!  A 3rd attempt revealed exactly the same results!! 

It was at this precise point that his partner happened to look up and said: "Ive just seen a little boy in the shop.....!!" 

She described the figure as around 8 or 9 years old, with brown hair and wearing what she took to be 'Dickensian-style' dress!  At this point, the shop went icy cold and still!!

After composing themselves, his partner suggested 'trying the printer again'...... and it worked without problem!?  (My friend openly admits that he is 'pretty sceptical', when it comes to ghosts, but couldn't help 'feeling something' might have now been afoot....!?) 

At this point - understandably - curiosity 'took over' and he instantly 'put the laptop on' and tried to find out something on the general history of the place....!?  Ironically, he found himself thwarted in this task, as a site which apparently contained data on the region returned only 'smiley-face' emoticons when he clicked on images supposedly corresponding to the area of the shop!?! 

Finally - because they'd worked so late - they decided to visit a local 'chippy' for their tea, and, while there, they became engaged in conversation with the woman behind the counter.  The woman said that she'd 'seen them working late' and my friends partner admitted that they just happened to have had something of a  'strange occurrence' while doing so!!  Before any more could be said, however, the woman interrupted with the query:  "Oh - so you've seen the little boy then!?'

It transpires that the woman used to work in another shop on the site and said there was -  regularly, it seems - the ghost of a boy in there... 'causing mischief'!! 

My friend had contacted me on the matter the following day.....

It seems that, two years further on  - coming back to the present - 'strange things' are STILL occurring at the shop....  It is reported that sensations of clothing being 'tugged', shoulders being 'tapped' and objects generally 'going missing' - then reappearing again, in plain site - are relatively common happenings!  Normally, most reliable, equipment is said to sporadically 'malfunction'... mostly, for whatever reason, on Thursdays, it has been noticed!?  

The business concerned has been run from the property for some 3 or so years now and the wife and daughter of the family had always suspected that 'something' was 'in the premises' -  tugging at or touching them - prior to the aforementioned events of 2 years ago.   More recently, my friend mentioned that he was in the back of the shop working one day, while his partner was in the front, talking to a customer.  While going about his business, he had glanced towards the front.... and believes he, fleetingly, saw a young boy moving around on the shop floor.....   His partner then called through regarding a job inquiry and - now seeing NO small boy running about - he asked where the lad had gone!?  Apparently, there was no boy there!! 

Only a week or so ago, both were in the back of the premises and heard a 'clatter'....  When they went to investigate, it was found that a 'hook' had somehow fallen off some racking.... though this was deemed 'impossible', as they are firmly 'hooked in' and wont fall out, even if you physically 'bang' the display stand involved?  Even more recently, after the shop had closed, my friend was sitting in the premises, talking to a couple of friends....  He went to put the kettle on for some tea, and - when he returned - his acquaintances were both found to be in the process of 'looking around some boxes' on the shop floor.... When asked what was going on, they said they thought they had just heard something 'fall'...!?  He investigated and discovered yet another hook had fallen off the racking.  At the same time, one of his friends said they got the impression that 'someone had just run past him'!?!  

When I asked about the hooks and racking concerned, I was informed that the 'offending ones' had been in place for about a month - before starting to fall - but others had been hanging in place for as long as the shop had been open.......!?

Having had our interest in this matter re-kindled of late, a local historian (for the town) was approached on the subject and - when the address was mentioned - the authority concerned had blatantly said 'Haunted!!' before anything else could be described.....!?  In response to our puzzled looks, he explained that friends of his had once run a property in the row concerned and, in his words, they'd reported 'all sorts of strange happenings there!!'  The historian went on to say that they had related something about the 'murder of a woman' to him at the time..... a topic they claimed to have read about in an 'old' diary, some while earlier!?

In our own research into this latter-mentioned subject, it does indeed seem that there was a woman killed in the immediate area in the early-Victorian period; a fairly sordid killing, where she was discovered beaten - and her throat 'slit' - by an opportunist thief!!  (Who was soon caught and hanged for the crime!!) 

Sunday, 13 November 2016

Sunday 13th November 2016

An intriguing story reached the ears of the W.M.G.C. recently, when a good friend of the group told us that she had 'had a strange experience' while shopping in her home town (West Midlands region) with her mother....

She informs us that - feeling a little tired by their outing - they visited a local 'food court' and, after finding seats, our friend went to visit the nearby toilets.... finding the block to be completely empty as she entered.

After entering one of the cubicles, she says that she heard someone come into the toilets.... seemingly 'banging' all the doors and generally 'shuffling around'; a somewhat annoying 'display', given the simple act of 'going to the toilet' peaceably, involved... something everyone does on a daily basis!!

Exiting her cubicle again, and going to the sinks to wash her hands, our friend says she realised that the place had - seemingly - been empty all along.....!?  She then felt the hairs on the back of her neck 'prickle' and, in her peripheral vision - in the cubicle next to where she'd just been - she saw the figure of a woman wearing an old fashioned, 70's style, parka jacket...!!  Somewhat bizarrely, she couldn't see any legs to the figure.... she was just 'half' there!?!

She fully describes the woman she saw as having a lined, weathered face; a dark complexion... and seemed to have a lacy shawl or scarf placed over her head.  She appeared to be in the process of 'looking around' - very much as if she didn't know where she was....!?

This entire incident occurred in a matter of a few seconds, because, when she looked again, the figure was now completely gone!?  It was then that she suddenly felt a heavy, not-very-nice atmosphere - brooding, almost - and, in her own words, she 'got the hell out of there!'

Seating herself immediately afterwards and telling her mother what had just occurred, it was suggested to her that, maybe, recent / ongoing building work around the complex concerned may have somehow 'caused' the experience, perhaps?  Whatever this incident was, our friend tells us that - despite having had other paranormal experiences over the years - this was the first time she'd actually 'felt scared' or 'threatened' by (what she terms) a spirit.....

Only a matter of a couple of days after her encounter, she spoke to a close relative about the incident and was told that he recalled a terrible accident in the 70's, where an 'old lady' had possibly fainted and fallen into the path of an oncoming, speeding bus...  He believed that the vehicle may well have been said to have 'cut' the unfortunate woman 'in half'.....

Needless to say, this detail resonated with our friend, given that she had seen only 'half' of the figure in the toilets....!

In attempting to learn more of this matter - if at all possible - it was suggested that we advertise for information on the locality concerned.... and it wasn't long before a gentleman kindly came forward with some very interesting information.

Not only did the man concerned recall an accident with a bus at the spot in question..... but he actually 'witnessed' the incident at first-hand, as a school boy!!  He had been standing waiting for his mother at the time of the occurrence and places it at (around) the mid-1970's.

He had been standing around 15 yards in front of a small, elderly woman, when she was hit, full-on, by a bus and killed....  However, contrary to the reminiscence of our friends relative, the woman concerned wasn't 'cut in half' by the vehicle, but was knocked backwards, striking her head on the floor and seemingly dying almost instantly.  Another discrepancy to the main story related here is a description of the lady concerned, as the victim had been wearing a light, brown coat and had grey hair, clearly visible....  

Our confidant - understandably - says the tragedy was 'as plain as day' in his mind, even now.....

As mentioned numerous times in the past, the W.M.G.C. aren't known as particular advocates of the 'historic event / tragedy = ghostly remnant' equation, but it is interesting to note the general tone of the initial encounter, coupled with such a tragic happening on the same, general site!?  The more 'psychically-motivated' among us might, no doubt, suggest some form of 'confused' type of 'spiritual existence' being generated, in place - a direct result of the accident / instantaneous death - which would adequately negate any trifling details as discrepancies in clothing / appearance and so on....!?

Friday, 11 November 2016

Friday November 11th 2016

It's always brilliant to receive feedback on a subject that we've covered in the past - or, perhaps, further stories on a given topic, etc - and 'doubly so' when the information received happens to tie-in with a case that we're particularly passionate about......

With this in mind....  we have recently heard from a lady who tells us that, on reading certain information on our blog, thought that she might phone us to relate her own, personal experience on the matter in question.  As our more regular visitors will know, we have frequently posted details about the infamous 'ghost of Madam Pigott' - at Chetwynd, Shropshire - with this specific topic ranking as one of our most compelling inquiries to date....

The information so kindly related to us tonight reveals that the lady in question was driving to work some 10 years ago, along a route well-known in Madam Pigott lore.  It was a road that she had taken on a daily basis for some years, at this point in time, and she had never encountered anything of a 'strange' nature before, on this route.  However, on the day in question, she was driving along the completely open road - not a pedestrian or other vehicle in sight - when (in her words) it was as if a 'white night gown' were suddenly 'hovering' or 'floating' against the windscreen of the car!  Visibility was completely obscured by the 'item' (?) concerned and, in her estimate, this obstruction remained for some long seconds.....  At the point that the 'object' vanished, the woman had the distinct impression that a female figure was now situated next to her, in the passenger seat of the vehicle!  She describes the other woman as probably 30-something, with fairish skin and hair - and she appeared to be 'looking into' some form of receptacle.... akin to a basket, of some kind!?

This image only stayed briefly before vanishing and, thankfully, our confidant was able to carry on to work completely unharmed by her encounter.....

At this point in time, she tells us that she had not heard of the ghost of Madam Pigott, but - upon relating her experience to her family, later on - her daughter suggested that this may have been what she had encountered that morning!?    

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Thursday November 3rd 2016

Yesterday, a 'talk' on the ghostlore of the Black Country was held at Willenhall Library (West Midlands), hosted by our old friend, Ian Bott.....  Ian is a well-known historian and author and is a regular on the regions 'talk circuit', having a considerable repertoire of historical lectures to draw upon.  Some of the talks he has given in more recent times also include 'Graveyards Of The Black Country', 'Black Country Murders', 'Our Lost Halls' and - since the release of his book on the subject - 'The Great Black Country Zeppelin Outrage' of 1916..... 

As always with Ians talks, the afternoon was a resounding success....  However, it was noted - by the W.M.G.C. member who attended the event - that Ian openly complained about a photograph of him that had been used on the advertising literature for the meeting.  This had to be deemed a little ironic, under the circumstances, as the image used was the intellectual property of the West Midlands Ghost Club and had first been used on this very blog some while ago.....!?!  It seems that the image must be the 'go to... and steal' photograph for anyone wishing to obtain a reasonable, ONLINE mug-shot of Ian for publicity purposes!!  Laugh!!