Monday, 3 April 2017


Monday April 3rd 2017

Briefly re-visiting a blog post from 2009:  We have - within the last couple of days - discovered a couple of accounts that involve the stretch of Moxley canal (mentioned in the 2009 piece).

Some years ago, I was told by a local folklorist that a woman had supposedly drowned - somewhere down near 'Wards Bridge' - in the canal, in the Victorian period..... Unfortunately, despite having checked at the time, I could never find any such account!?  Ironically, however, I NOW find TWO separate incidents for the same stretch of canal - purely by accident - in one research sitting!!

The first instance occurred around the mid-1800's, when a man, dragging the canal for lumps of coal, was horrified to discover he had, instead, hooked the body of a woman!!  Sadly, no names were mentioned in the brief, newspaper account, though it was reported that her body was taken to the nearest public house for an inquest.....

In the second incident, in the latter half of the Victorian period, a woman by the name of Bunn was - unfortunately - thrown from a canal boat she was working on.... and became trapped between the boat and the 'kerb stones' bordering the canal itself!!  She was said to have been tightly 'wedged' there for some 15 minutes before finally expiring and despite the efforts of a local chemist who had been called to the accident site to try and help.....

Now, I must admit that I'm not a big believer in the popular notion of 'tragedy = ghost', but - being truly objective in such matters and accepting that a lot of people do - I guess the aforementioned incidents could well account for a 'ghostly woman' or two in that general area......?

The aforementioned blog article - entitled 'The Darlaston Poltergeist' - can be read 'HERE'.

Friday, 3 March 2017


Friday 3rd March 2017

We've recently received a note from author, Andy Gilbert, telling us of his new publication, entitled: 'Credible Witness - Paranormal Police Stories'.....

The 100 page book is a "collection of compelling accounts from members of the police family who have witnessed or have intimate knowledge of unexplained incidents....  When the world of policing and the paranormal collide, even the most hardened sceptic might have to think again...."

Not only does this sound an absolutely fascinating book, but Andy tells us that all of the royalties from the publication are being donated to a charity in Burntwood (South Staffordshire) supporting adults with learning disabilities (COGS).

Copies of 'Credible Witness' are priced at £5.99 each and are available through Amazon at this LINK 

Tuesday, 28 February 2017


Tuesday 28th February 2017

From The Archives:

In 2008, we were invited to speak to the family of a physics tutor, who had been experiencing some strange happenings in their home.  It was estimated that the family concerned were possibly only the second group of occupants of the property concerned.

The son of the family had seen a figure in the house that he had described to a neighbour, and the lady concerned had said it sounded very much like the man who had previously lived at the address.

The daughter of the family had a friend to stay and they slept downstairs.  The friend asked: 'Why has your mom just gone into the kitchen?'  The pair checked and there was no one there.  The friend had then said that the person had just walked back out of the kitchen.  In describing the figure she'd seen, she gave a description that apparently tallied with that seen by the brother the week before!?  (Male / female?)  The girl concerned had never met the brother.

Teaspoons would keep going missing.  You would sometimes hear the sound of cutlery inexplicably rattling in the kitchen.   Other, assorted activity included such matter as:  The family dog and cat seemingly respond to something 'unseen' / Strange 'cold' sensations reported / Door firmly latched at night discovered open the next morning / The boyfriend of the daughter said he had left his slippers in her room - soles down on floor - and when he returns, moments later, the soles are turned upwards / The son of the family discovered a chair in his bedroom had been moved - turned around, lying on the floor and pushed under the bed / The family were on holiday and their son (staying home by himself) phoned them to say he has had to go to stay with friends, because he is too scared to stay in the house alone.  He had, apparently, seen someone on the landing of the property / feeling of being 'touched' by something, only occurred once, in kitchen area, on Boxing Day, one year / Footsteps heard in bedroom by occupant of bed.  It didn't sound as if the foot falls were on carpet / Footsteps heard outside bedroom door /

They kept smelling pipe smoke when they had first moved in.  It would just come and go.  They would also leave the house and return to find clothing had been folded up on their beds.  This apparently no longer happens.

Daughter believes that 'it' likes to 'play with you'.  As an example, she says that she went to put her nightie on and the nightie wasn't on the bed where she had left it.  She asked her mom what she had done with the nightie.  The mom said she hadn't touched it.... and the daughter returned to her bedroom to find the nightie now 'on the bed', in the place that it was normally left!?  She repeats:  'It likes to play with you!'

Family agree that 'it' is mischievous;  it doesn't want to hurt you, so they're not actually worried by the goings-on. 

Mother of family would often hear kettle switch on when she was upstairs and she'd cheekily shout: 'I'll have a cup of tea!!'  Whoever was downstairs would reply - but from somewhere like the living room - not having been in the kitchen or touched the kettle, etc.  This kettle would often switch itself on and off.  Her husband took it to work and threw it in a skip!  A woman from a nearby catering business saw the kettle and - as it looked brand new - she used it in her cafe!  The husband - knowing what had happened - went to visit the cafe one day and asked about the kettle, enquiring if the woman ever had any issues with the appliance.  She said 'no', it worked perfectly!!

The mother draws our attention to a box on the hallway wall, which contains something to do with the house heating system.  The system involves a button that audibly 'clicks' when touched.  One evening, they were sitting in the living room and all she could hear, all night, was the button clicking itself on and off.

*With regards to household / electrical equipment in general - it did seem that a lot of potential 'activity' incorporated electrical items.... such as the 'kettle' and 'buttons' scenario's mentioned above.... and were, therefore, noted as potentially 'questionable', etc!?  As an example of such - the house TV was noted as often 'switching on and off' and changing channels;  a house burglar alarm regularly malfunctioned; lamps switched themselves on and off (sometimes when the family was out of the house!?); the doorbell rings, of it's own volition; computer found to have been 'switched off', after being left briefly by user.

Some of the 'electrical' activity was doubly 'questionable' - with regards to being just somehow 'faulty' - however.  One morning a friend had phoned about the 'activity' and had been told 'all was quiet' of late, it seemed.  The following morning, the father awoke to find their bedside lamps had been switched on, during the night... both his own and that of his wife (on their respective sides of the bed)!?  The daughter also mentioned the lights being seen to 'dim' in her bedroom sometimes and - when you looked at the dimmer switch on the wall - you could 'see' it physically moving!?  (The daughter suggested that 'it' was setting the mood relating to the mood of the occupants in the room?  If animated conversation was taking place, it would go bright..... if she was watching a movie, it would dim itself!?)

Close to our visit, the daughter of the family started getting the impression that something was possibly trying to 'push her' when she was on the stairs?  Mother believed it may have just been a matter of vertigo, perhaps, but daughter said it never happened on any other stairs but theirs!?

The daughter was 'off school, ill, one day - alone - and passed out in the hallway of the house.  When she 'came to' a short time later, she found that she was now lying on the settee in the living room?

The husband came home from work one day and his wife, having just had to clean up a mess of his paperwork, etc, told him off, saying:  'Don't you ever leave all of your papers in a mess like this again for me to deal with!!'  He had just placed his car keys on a sideboard and, when she was telling him off, the keys 'slid off', onto the floor.....  She apparently said:  'See, the ghost agrees with me!!'

Fleeting signs of 'movement' are often witnessed by people in the house.  I.e. the husband thought his wife had passed through the kitchen one day, but then she appeared from the opposite direction!?  The daughters boyfriend believed that the mother had passed the living room doorway, one night, in a white nightgown, but it wasn't her, etc.

A 'medium' - who did not actually visit the house - said they could 'tune into' the site and suggested there was a spirit 'under the stairs' of the property:  somebody was 'under the stairs'!?  She gave the family a cross / crucifix to place under the stairs (which was still there at the time of our visit).  They were advised (by medium) not to remove it, as whatever was under the stairs was only 'playing tricks' right now, but would become 'nasty' if it were removed!?  The cross did, once, apparently fall of the wall and actually break, but the mother made someone crawl into the space and 'glue it back'!!   



Tuesday 28th February 2017

From The Archives:

In early 2008, we were contacted by a gentleman involved in the legal profession and his wife, concerning their home in the South Staffordshire region.  The matter wasn't regarded as 'pressing' by the residents, but they explained that they were interested in possibly finding out more on the history of the site and the strange occurrences they'd experienced in their time there.  From their own research they had discovered that the property itself was built in 1910 and was said to have part of a network of tunnels underneath it, leading to the local church.  The church was believed to date from the 1200's, while the tunnels allegedly dated from the 16th Century, used for the smuggling of priests and monks, in the reign of Henry VIII.  A nearby property - where both had previously worked - also housed the end of one of these tunnels.

On visiting the couple, we were told that activity had started in the house - initially, just small happenings - within the first few days of occupancy.  Since that time, however, the situation had intensified.  While things had initially started occurring every few weeks or so, perhaps, by the time of our visit they estimated that things were then occurring 3 or 4 nights per week on average.    

One of the very first, noticeable, events was the sound of keys jingling in the hallway of the property.  This was first heard by the wife, but her husband was asleep at the time.  A few night later, however, he was awake, in bed, and also heard the sound himself.  The keys would jingle once...... then a pause of a few seconds...... then jingle again.  A small, ceramic 'bell', also situated in the hallway, would sometimes be heard too.  Interestingly, the keys - kept on a table in the hallway - made a noise when you picked them up or put them back down...... and this sound was never heard when the 'jingling' noise manifested? 

One night, while they were in bed - husband asleep - the wife heard a pile of papers in the corner of the room start to rustle.  She woke her husband and, as they both, sat there and listened, a small, white light - akin to a flash light - moved over the corner of the room for 6 to 8 seconds, in a dancing fashion, and disappeared into the ceiling. 

The sound of footsteps were frequently heard in the hallway outside their bedroom door at night - going backwards and forwards.  They had the impression that it was the sound of someone 'endeavouring to be quiet'; the sound of a step... and then the floorboard creaking.  The same sort of sound had been heard around their bed too!  (Latter was described as a little disconcerting!!!)

Following the footsteps one evening, a sensation akin to someone 'sitting on the end of the bed' was experienced.  The husband was fully awake at the time - lying on his back - and says that his leg 'went down', with the bed, as the pressure was applied to the mattress!  This was the first happening that they noticed in their bedroom, but, since then, the wife had felt her legs being physically 'slapped' while in bed.  The husband has also felt a sensation as if someone were 'digging their fingernails into the crown of his head' too!!  He had cried out loud from this effect, due to the pain generated!!  The week prior to our visit he had also felt fingers moving across the side of his head on waking.  He also, sometimes, felt a hand rubbing across his head as he lay there - and someone touching his back.  (At the time of our visit, we were told that activity in this particular area seemed to have been intensifying over the previous three to four weeks.  They had suggested that the activity was somehow 'progressing'?) 

If the couple ever - independently - heard anything, while lying in bed, they would habitually wake their partner with a 'Hey, hey - did you hear that?'  The wife reports hearing a voice whisper 'Hey!'.... but, when she looked, her husband was fast asleep!?  Wife asked 'it' to 'show itself'.... and saw a blonde, unshaven mans face - in front of her - in the middle of the night!

For some reason, they had dubbed their visitor 'Sheldon'.  If things sometimes got a little-too-much for them, they would call out:  'We don't mind sharing this place with you Sheldon, but you're scaring us!' and the activity would seem to calm down......

The husband had been in their kitchen, around 5, one morning, with their 2 cats.  He heard the distinct sound of a 'sigh' from the hallway.... and both cats reacted, sitting upright and staring.  He had searched the flat, but found nothing.  Their cats were often said to react to things around the place.  The animals had always slept elsewhere in the flat, but appeared to have become 'disturbed' - potentially made ill - by the activity and had subsequently moved into the bedroom at night.

Again, in the kitchen one morning, the husband had been looking for their measuring jug.... but couldn't find it anywhere!?  Eventually giving up his search, he walked into the hallway.... and there it was!!  

A door that you had to 'slam' to physically shut, had been discovered 'open' again in the mornings.  Around midnight - again, while in bed - they had both heard a downstairs door being unlocked and opened..... but there was no one there when they checked....  Loud banging had been heard on the window of the bedroom during the early hours of the morning and and enormous 'crash' from somewhere in the house.  Upon checking, nothing was ever found to account for these noises!?

In staying in the nearby property - mentioned above - the husband had sometimes heard the sound of someone, as if wearing heavy, work-boots, walking along a hallway in the middle of the night.  The steps would stop.... and return, time and again!?  This would happen for the duration of 20 minutes or so.  On the one occasion, he said that he had blatantly though 'Sod it!!' and got up, opening the door at the exact moment the steps were passing!!  There was nothing to be seen!!  Someone had previously spotted the figure of an elderly lady at the rear of the building....

Interestingly - the previous occupants of the property had been approached over the happenings concerned, but that said that they had never experienced anything untoward in their time there at all?

Tuesday 28th February 2017

From The Archives:

In Mid-2007 I was contacted by a gentleman about alleged 'activity' at his house, which was situated on the West Midlands / South Staffordshire border.  He believed that the happenings in the property potentially tied in with another case that we'd looked into / investigated in the same area, his having been alerted to the matter by a newspaper article on the site involved.

The activity concerned - at the time of my interview - had been occurring for some 2 - 3 years.  The house involved was apparently built in the mid-1960's.   

The occupants reported having heard loud knocking sounds on the windows of the house... including on 'upstairs' windows.  It was said the 'bangs' concerned were so loud, they had expected neighbours to have heard them and complained about the matter.  A 'fast rapping sound' had also been heard on occasion, actually 'going away' at one point, but returning at a later date.  The male, head of the household said that no origin - naturally occurring in the normal context of day to day life in the building - could be found to account for these sounds.  One particular noise was described as being like someone 'dropping a plank flat on the floor'.  Another knocking noise had been heard from the top of the stairs and sounded like a door being rapped.  I was told that non-family visitors to the house had also heard these noises in the property too.  

The situation had become so bad at times that the male of the household said he had often wanted to leave the property, when he lived there alone....  He had been so afraid of the occurrences.  Throughout our interview period, constant references / remarks were made regarding how scary the situation had generally been.

One of the bedrooms of the property was dubbed 'the worst' area in the house, because the sound of what appeared to be several children - running around, fighting, etc - could often be heard in there.  A security system was fitted in the room concerned and, when the noises began, the system was activated and, allegedly, the noises recorded.  Nothing in the room was ever found to have physically moved, however.  (*Recorded footage no longer in the keeping of the family, though).

Bumps, bangs and thumps were heard from one corner of one of the bedrooms.

Items in the household would go missing and appear (though objects were never physically 'seen' moving).  I was shown a 1940's, half-penny coin that had appeared one day, as an example of the aforementioned.   

Pictures mounted on the walls would be found hanging 'crooked'.  Sound of someone moving quietly up the stairs heard at night.  Doors were heard shutting, while occupants of the house were in bed at night.... though the doors were found open the next day.  Bed clothes were pulled off the occupants of beds.  Also, feelings as if beds were sometimes being 'kicked hard' by an external body. 

A cold atmosphere was reported in the house.  This was often remarked upon by visitors.  It was said you could enter the front door and literally 'step in and out of' the atmosphere concerned.

Smells were detected in house, like 'violet perfume', a cigarette smell and cooking smells - roast beef, etc - late at night.  A strong, horrible smell was detected in one bedroom that belonged to a daughter of the family.  It seemed to begin after the girl complained of believing there was some form of 'presence' in the room.  She refused to sleep in there, as a result, and her father took up occupancy to prove to her that there was nothing there.  (He detected nothing untoward).  The smell would apparently stay for a couple of days, then dissipate.  The smell was said to be worse than 'something dead and rotting' and - while the room was taken apart in the search for a cause - nothing was ever found to account for it.

Lights in the house would 'dim' and then brighten again.  Bulbs would also blow.  A joke was made one day, concerning 'Rednecks' shooting the bulbs with guns and so on, and - on cue - a bulb blew!  The TV would change channel of it's own accord.     

The sensation of 'having your legs sat on', while lying in bed, had been experienced. 

The feeling of being 'pinned to the bed' was experienced by a female occupant of the house.  This, at a base level, seemed to be a fairly typical, 'Old Hag' / sleep paralysis style scenario:  inability to move a muscle, etc, while feeling fully awake and conscious.  Coupled with this, however, a feeling that was described as 'having an aeroplane next to you' was reported: i.e. air pressure and vibration, etc.  The victim says she attempted to 'protect herself' by visualising bright, white light and so on - but said she received an 'almighty slap across the face' in response to this(!?)  The slap was so hard, it could still be felt the next day.  There was no mark visible, but the 'sting' persisted.  She said she felt there was a definite, overwhelming 'male' sensation to the experience... though she also admitted that she didn't think this was ever 'human', because a person could never generate such an overwhelming feeling of negative, power!?  She phoned the local Spiritualist Church the very next day to try and combat the problem.     

A visiting medium had said that the core problem lay in the fact that this was a 'mining area' and a metal disc was discovered in the street, outside the property, that was actually a miners 'identity tag'.  When the Spiritualist medium and a minister came to the house, it was said that they had 'stopped' the activity concerned.  The activity was said to 'cease gradually', following the visit.... though the medium had predicted that this was what would actually happen. 

They had said that there were mine workings under the property and the cause of the ghostly activity involved an explosion and horses, which had resulted in the loss of several lives(?)  The occupants checked the history of the site - via maps and aerial photographs - and discovered that a building related to the mines had seemingly stood on the exact spot now occupied by their house.  (*This was not checked out / verified by the WMGC, however).  A local mine had indeed been the site of a terrible accident in years gone by, including the loss of human life.

The father of the household said that he had seen a typical, old-fashioned, 'miner'-type figure standing in the kitchen one day, as he was making coffee.  He had looked up to find the figure standing, apparently looking into a coffee cup.  He described the figure as having a black face, black clothing and a leather, miners helmet, with carbide-style lamp attached to the front of it.  The figure was said to be quite clear and remained in view for 2 to 3 seconds.   

The medium had also said something about the presence of a 'little girl' in the house, which interested the male occupant, as he had apparently seen the figure of a little girl in the house.  She was witnessed coming into the living room, from the passage leading to the front door, and then ran part-way up the stairs before vanishing!  She had been wearing a red, pinafore-style dress..... and didn't seem to have any feet!?  She was said to be quite modern looking in style.  (Male occupant said he had spoken to a local woman who had lived only 100 yards from the house in question, but had moved from the property because their home had been haunted by the ghost of a little girl!?)      

Friday, 10 February 2017


Friday 10th February 2017

Well..... after it recently appeared on Facebook, we couldn't resist posting this cracking photograph of veteran paranormal researcher and author, Andrew Homer, could we!?  

Inquiring about his striking garb in the shot, Andy told us:  " It was after the Black Country Living Museum asked me to play the part of Thomas Newcomen.... Once I had put on the wig and tricorn hat, there was just NO going back!!" 

With regards to his latest publication - LINK - he assures us that:  "It took me simply ages to write 'A Black Country Miscellany' with just a quill pen though.......!!!"
 

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 supermcmeekin@aol.com

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!!