Monday, 23 January 2017

Monday 23rd January 2017

Walsall based charity, 'Hands To The Homeless' will be hosting a 'sponsored paranormal investigation' of the magnificent 'Castle Lodge' in Ludlow, Shropshire, on Saturday the 18th of March, 2017....!!

Ticket prices for the event are only £25 per person, with attendees being asked to raise a further (minimum) £10 each in sponsor money.  (*Hot drinks and snacks provided!!)  ALL monies raised will go towards helping the homeless and disadvantaged around the region. 

There are only 17 spaces available for this ghostly adventure, so anyone interested in attending are being urged to 'get in there fast' and contact organiser - and established 'paranormal researcher' - Tracie McMeekin by email at

Castle Lodge itself is both an absolutely stunning place to visit AND has a well documented ghostlore to boot!!  An interesting night is guaranteed to all attendees!! 

Friday, 20 January 2017

Friday January 20th 2017

A friend - American paranormal researcher, Steve Foster - had recently expressed an interest in cases of a 'poltergeist-like nature', so the W.M.G.C. dug into our archives to see if we could possibly find some of our older cases that might be of interest, from this particular angle?  This post and the following offering were instances that we had cause to 'look-into' in the past.......

In late November, 2003, we received an email from a young couple (Phil and Sue) who informed us that - over the preceding 7 or 8 months (approx.) - they had encountered 'strange goings-on' in their high-rise flat situated in the West Midlands area.   We were told that a specific event, during the early hours of the very day that we were contacted, had eventually urged them to 'reach out' and ask for someones opinions on their experiences.  The event concerned had apparently occurred at approximately 2.00 am, on a Saturday morning.....  and has affected Phil to the extent that he couldn't sleep, through fear.  His resulting email to the group was written / sent at 5.30 am, that same morning.

The events in question had begun with some activity that Phil was already used to:  Sue talking in her sleep, moaning, and saying "No... No... NO...!!"   This had occurred several times in the past and he had always assumed she was merely dreaming.  Sometimes, when he'd go to bed, the quilt would be on the floor... but always at the foot of the bed, never to the side.  Again, he always assumed that she must have simply kicked it off.

However:  at around 1.30 am their cat 'went mad' - looked terrified - and stared down the hallway at nothing, before bolting back into the living room and trying to hide.  Cats being cats, he tried his best to ignore the animal.  Then, a few minutes later, he heard Sue moaning in her sleep - again, the same "No... No... NO!!" he'd always heard.

At around 2.15 am, he opened the bedroom door to find that the quilt was once again lying on the floor at the foot of the bed and Sue was lying, asleep, on her front.  He put on the bedside lamp to lift the quilt back onto her and, in the gloom, he could see something lying on her back....  When he looked closer, he could see that it was a necklace.  He then turned the main light on and, when he looked at it in better light, he saw it was an old 60's / 70's style necklace that he'd never seen before!?  When looking back at where it had been lying, he discovered - to his absolute horror - that Sue's back was covered in deep scratches!!  On examination, he estimated that there were 10 or so marks - vertical, horizontal, diagonal - all situated around the middle of her back.  One, in particular, started just under her shoulder blades and ran all the way down the the base of her spine. 

He then woke her up and, as soon as she gained full consciousness, she had said something about her back hurting her.  (At this point, he captured the scratches on her back with a digital camcorder and sent some stills to the W.M.G.C.)  He told her it was covered in scratches and held up the necklace, asking what it was and where it had come from?  Sue identified it as her mothers necklace, her mother having passed away some 15 years earlier.  Sue never wore the necklace herself, as the clasp was broken.  The item concerned was normally housed in her jewellery case, housed on a shelf, and when they subsequently checked the case, it was still fastened and the drawer that housed the jewellery was situated as it should have been.  (Box had typical 'lift up lid', with series of drawers found inside, etc).

In attempting to rationalise the situation, Phil had considered that Sue was possibly sleepwalking.  They had, however, been together for 4 years and, in that time, he had never known her to sleepwalk!?  Besides, they could not fathom how she had come to scratch herself so badly in the process, if this had indeed been the cause?  During my visit to see the couple, Sue showed me her nails, which were purposefully kept very short, because of her occupation.  

As already mentioned, this particular incident had instantly scared the both of them to a considerable extent, Phil voicing the notion that he was, now, seriously considering moving out of the property concerned.  They had taken to 'going to bed at the same time' since the event.  It was noted that they always seemed to be alone when things occurred.  Understandably, Phil had thought about possibly contacting a local priest, etc, but would really like to find out what was present in their home? 

With regards to a 'general' history of the site, it seems that - as mentioned - the couple had been experiencing an array of poltergeist-like happenings for some months prior to the above.  It was estimated that they had lived in the property some 2 to 2.5 years, in all.   

Lights in the flat had sometimes been 'switching themselves off', at any time between midnight and 2am, and corresponding to rooms that Phil was occupying.  Sue usually went to bed first and then, around the times suggested, the lights would just click off.  This has happened around 5 or 6 times in the last 6 months.  Phil had initially believed this only happened in the living room area, as this was where he was usually situated.  However, around 2 months earlier, he had been in their 2nd bedroom, on his computer, with Sue situated in the living room.  At some point - between midnight and 2.00 am - the bedroom lights switched off, leaving the living room lights on.  Phil admits this had 'scared the hell out of him', as it clearly seemed these happenings were somehow targeting him specifically.

Interestingly, the lights in the living room area - two of them - worked on two, separate switches and, when they went off, the audible 'click' of the switches was heard.  After this had occurred 3 or so times, he had actually put sellotape over the switches after Sue had gone to bed!  The lights never switched off with the tape over them(?)

A friend, who lived abroad, came and visited the couple.  Phil had told them about the happenings and - as they were sitting in the living room around 2 am one morning - the lights had 'clicked off'....  "there you go!" Phil had said.

They had approached the concierge of the building with a view to having the electrics checked out, but nothing at all wrong could be found with the switches / system, etc.      

Around a month before sending his note to us, he had been in the 2nd bedroom (on the PC), with Sue in the living room again.  He heard Sue yell out, then she ran into the room he was in, clearly scared.  When he asked her what was wrong,  she told him that the rug - which lay in front of their fireplace - had 'shot across the room' and landed in front of the TV as she was watching it!  The distance involved was some 5 feet.  In describing what had occurred, she said that the rug had actually 'rolled up' before it went in front of the TV....  It hadn't 'slid', but rolled and crumpled up in front of the set!  Their cat had reacted to the situation too, having run behind their settee and refused to appear again for at least an hour.

On another occasion, Phil had placed his cigarettes and lighter on top of the microwave, in the kitchen, and set about doing the washing up.  After a while, he had heard a 'ping' sound and looked down to find his lighter now lying at his feet!?

Sue says that, on a few occasions, she had smelled a lovely perfume in the living room area.... something akin to 'Lilly Of The Valley', or some such.  At such times, however, she had purposefully drawn Phil's attention to the smell, but he had always said that he could smell nothing at all!?

On a couple of occasions, Sue had experienced a sensation that sounds typical of what is termed 'Sleep Paralysis'.  She said that it felt as if something was sitting on her chest at such times and she cannot move or speak.  She had tried to call out during her experiences.  She described the sensation as if someone was 'holding her very tight'.  She says that she had also had the same experience once - elsewhere - while still a child.

At the time of the visit, an investigation was offered to the group, but it was deemed more appropriate to leave matters at this simple visit / interview - at least initially - as it was our intention not to 'heighten' or 'put emphasis on' the activity outside of normal, daily experience for the couple.  It was heartening to hear the couple say that they 'felt a lot better' about their general situation, following our visit and they had both made a conscious decision to 'put a much braver face on things', treating anything that might happen with an objective view and simple curiosity, rather than 'fear', which had certainly been the controlling factor of late, etc.

Friday 20th January 2017

In 2003, we were contacted by a woman - Jane - who had been given our address by a national agency when she wrote to them about some strange happenings in her new, Black Country, home.

She had told us that - from what she understood from neighbours - an elderly lady had lived in the property concerned until the July of that year, when she had entered a retirement home.  Apparently, she had lived there for about 50 years, the house then remaining empty until our correspondent had taken it over, some two months earlier.  The old lady had been married, it appeared, but her husband had died many years earlier, being found dead in the bathroom of the property.

When they moved in, the house needed a major revamp.  One evening, Jane, her husband, Tom, his sister and her boyfriend, were all sitting in the living room, when there was an almighty 'crash' from upstairs.  Upon investigation, however, nothing was found to account for the noise!?

After their visitors had left, Tom was at the top of the stairs, doing a little D.I.Y., when - out of the corner of his eye - he saw a elderly gentleman standing in their bedroom!  He described the form as foggy and transparent.... appearing in varying shades of black and white, like an old movie.  As he looked at the figure, the man raised his arm and said: "Bugger off!!" to him!  Tom was utterly transfixed for 5 or 6 seconds, but, upon blinking, the figure was gone!!

There were no further sightings of the man following this initial experience, but, in speaking with me on the matter, Jane wondered if this could have been the previous resident who had been discovered dead in the bathroom, perhaps?

In a letter - from the son of the former residents - it was mentioned that his father had died suddenly, around 2 am, dying of a heart attack.  He had said there was such a loud crash as the unfortunate man had fallen.... the next door neighbours had heard it and called round.  Again, Jane couldn't help but wonder whether this could have been the 'almighty crash' that they had all recently been privy to!?

Inexplicable 'footsteps' were often heard going up the stairs during the night.  (This seems to have clearly become one of the 'key' features in reported activity over the relatively brief period of time concerned).  One particular evening, a lot of noise was heard coming from the stairs.... and Tom decided to investigate, just in case someone was in the house.  He duly went downstairs to check the front and back doors, but, when he entered the kitchen, he found it was freezing cold.... so cold, in fact, you could actually see your breath when you exhaled!

It was suggested by Jane that Tom was possibly the focus of a lot of the activity reported(?)  One evening, he was sitting upstairs, on his PC - no one in the room with him - when, all of a sudden, an empty yogurt pot hit him squarely on the back of the head!  Around the same time, he said that he was in the shower, when he happened to turn round... and there seemed to be a small, 'ball of light' behind him.  As he turned, it seemed to disappear through the wall, into what was their airing cupboard!?  We were told that 'shadows' had also been seen in the bathroom previously, seemingly moving across the walls...  One evening, the family were downstairs watching a movie, when their daughter appeared and asked who had been 'tapping on the bathroom door' while she was in the shower!?  She had called out and asked who it was, but had received no response.

On other occasions, their bedroom door handle had been moved quite a few times; the kitchen taps turned themselves on, on numerous occasions; kettles boiled themselves;  the volume on the C.D. player increased, with only Jane in the house at the time;  what sounded like a plug being switched on and off was heard in a bedroom... and cups had been witnessed moving - seemingly by themselves - in front off onlookers eyes!  Cutlery was heard falling to the kitchen floor; bathroom taps found running; objects moved from one place and found in another; feelings of being watched and smells like an 'old drain' detected...  like something rotting!  A rhythmic tapping noise had been heard in their bedroom and in the hallway downstairs - the latter like someone 'tapping on glass'......           

One day, both parents were out of the house, leaving their eldest son in charge of their other two children.   During the course of their trip, however, he had phoned his mother, in something of a panic.  Apparently, the 3 children had been arguing - the daughter had her PC on in her bedroom - when, all of a sudden, they'd heard the words "Shut up!!!" come over the computer speakers!?  This had, understandably, scared the living daylights out the children and they had phoned Jane to beg her to 'hurry home'!!

Their daughter had also spoken of seeing 'a man' in their garden and had apparently heard someone knocking at their kitchen window.  When they had investigated, however, there was nothing discovered to account for such a noise.

During the course of our involvement with the family, they had a 'medium' visit the house.  Jane assures me that she said nothing at all about the ghost, but says that their visitor spoke of 'the spirit of a elderly man' as soon as she had walked in!?  The psychic said that this man walked / shuffled up and down the stairs.  Unfortunately, as frequently occurs at such junctures, matters became a little 'complicated' with this type of intervention, as the medium said that the man seen in the garden - by her daughter - was actually not the former resident of the house, but Jane's father.... who was also, apparently, present at the house too!?  The gentleman who walked the stairs was seemingly described as 'grumpy and miserable', it seems!?

In another incident - speaking to someone at a New Age Shop, over the telephone - they were told that the line would 'go dead' for a few minutes while 'the ghost was being talked to'.....  After this had happened, they were told that the ghost had indeed been spoken with and had said he was sorry that he had scared the family, as he was only looking for his wife.... but had somehow got lost in the process!?  They were assured by the shop that the spirit had now departed..... a prediction that Tom openly regarded as 'a pile of boll*cks!!', it seemed!?

Two further mediums quoted a fee of £100 for their services..... but assured them that the ghost would definitely go, if they intervened!!  Presumably as a means of subtly convincing the family that their help was indeed needed, they also suggested that the ghosts could possibly 'harm them' in minor ways, such as tipping hot water on them, or tripping them on the stairs, etc!! 

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Sunday January 8th 2017

Within the last couple of days, we have been informed that Andrew Homer - long-standing 'paranormal researcher' and author - has released a fascinating, new volume on specific aspects of the Black Country and its surrounding area. 

Published in late 2016 (by Tin Typewriter Publishing), 'A Black Country Miscellany' - utilising a series of thoroughly referenced 'snapshots in time' - explores a variety of topics as diverse as the Black Death and Brutalist architecture......

Students of Black Country and West Midlands local history will find detailed references and extensive bibliography to aid further research on the subjects discussed.  Readers with a keen fascination for the history of this region will discover much of interest within these pages.  Chapters cover the Black Death, English Civil War, rural life, aristocracy and industry, hop picking, art and architecture, the chainmaking womens' strike of 1910 and the extraordinary story of Black Country chainmakers kidnapped by the Germans before the First World War!!

'A Black Country Miscellany' focuses on some of the events, places and people who helped to forge this area of the West Midlands.

Now available on Amazon (via this LINK) and from the 'Black Country Living Museum' in Dudley, West Midlands.

Anyone who is familiar with Andrews work will also know that he has previously released two excellent volumes on the haunted pubs of the Black Country - 'Beer And Spirits', available HERE - and also 'Haunted Hostelries Of Shropshire', available HERE.  However, the latter are only available on Kindle currently, save through 2nd hand stockists for actual 'book' editions.  On top of these, we have previously mentioned Andrews VERY popular 'GhostNav: Black Country Ghosts' app for mobile phone users on this page, offering over 160 haunted locations for the region covered!!  (Available HERE)