Friday, 12 January 2018

Friday 12th January 2018

We reported on the release of Andrew Homers latest book - 'Black Country Ghosts And Hauntings' - just before Christmas (posted Nov. 28th, 2017).... and the 'Express and Star' newspaper has also, just recently, published a cracking article on the subject too!!

The piece concerned can be found by clicking on this LINK

Friday 12th January 2018

Over the Christmas period, I had been speaking to a number of people about 'peculiar experiences' and two of the - completely unrelated - individuals concerned happened to tell me about bizarre encounters on the same stretch of road..... outside the very same property, no less!?!  Neither of the parties are known to the other and their experiences are only related - or so we presume, of course - through the actual 'location' involved!?

The first story concerns a woman making her way to Birmingham, early one dark, foggy morning, some 20 or so years ago.....  As she made her way past the site in question, she became aware of what she took to be the figure of a girl, standing stock-still at the side of the road.  The form - wearing a long white dress - appeared to have long hair, which looked as if it was soaking wet.......?

The encounter itself IS a trifle anti-climactic, insomuch as - because of the lack of light, weather conditions and split-second duration - the above was basically ALL that could be reported.....!?

However, the witness offers the information that the dress she saw struck her as being of a white or cream, cotton-like material.... possibly a Victorian-esque night gown..... but definitely not modern in style!?  The morning was VERY cold and damp, so it was most unlikely that a 'living person' would be in that most secluded location, at that most unsociable time, with wet hair..... dressed only in flimsy night attire!?  

The 2nd experience that was reported over Christmas involved two people travelling past the very same spot / property in a motor vehicle.  This incident happened around 9.30 one evening and took place in the early 1980's..........

As the vehicle passed the building, the occupants suddenly became aware of the figure of an old man riding a bicycle - drivers side, so situated in the middle of the road - keeping up with the speed of their car!  The witnesses say that they saw the man most clearly:  elderly, with a most prominent nose.... wearing a flat cap and 'hunched over' the handlebars of the bicycle......  

Somewhat befuddled by the sudden appearance of the figure, the duo now specifically kept an eye on the situation, noting that the cyclist held pace with the car for a few seconds.... before.... well...... suddenly 'disappearing'!?!

Concerned that they had possibly hit the man, they pulled over and searched the road.... but there was no one and nothing of significance in sight!?!   No other vehicles had passed along the stretch of road during their experience and there was no sign of any other, living soul anywhere!?

While looking 'real enough' to the occupants of the car, one aspect of the encounter that was stressed by the female passenger was the simple fact that - from her position in the vehicle - the man had seemed 'unusually high up' on the road....!?  In pressing this angle, I was told that the figure had appeared 'unnaturally elevated', from her angle.... as if he were possibly riding on a much higher level than the actual road surface in question.............!?!  

While the above encounters are weird enough in their own right, it transpires that, some 10 to 15 yrs ago, I happened to be making some inquiries on the region involved and - only 100 or so yards distant from the spot mentioned above - I was told that a number of people had, some years earlier again, seen the 'glowing' figure of a woman in a long dress passing by them, some yards distant!?  Speaking to a further, completely unrelated, party on the history of the region, they admitted that they had heard stories of a 'white lady' style apparition supposedly being seen in the region...........

Friday 12th January 2018

Our 2nd, 'book-related', post of the New Year concerns the recent release of the 320 page, hardback volume 'Magical Folk'.....

Sub-titled 'British And Irish Fairies:  500 AD To The Present', this impressive volume contains a list of some 15 or so chapters, written by a host of folklorists, spanning different regions of the United Kingdom over the centuries.  Chapter two in the compilation - 'Pucks and Lights', covering the Midlands county of Worcestershire - was penned by none-other than our good friend, the lovely Polly Jones!!  (Right). 

An article on the publication, from the 'Redditch Standard' newspaper can be found by clicking this LINK 

'Magical Folk' can be purchased via most High Street stockists - such as 'Waterstones' or 'W.H. Smiths' - or, for online shoppers, through Amazon HERE  

Sunday, 24 December 2017

Sunday 24th December 2017

Just a quick post to wish our page visitors and friends 'A VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR' from everyone at the 'West Midlands Ghost Club'....!!

However you're intending to celebrate over the Festive Season, please stay safe and have a wonderful time!!

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Tuesday 5th December 2017

A reasonably amazing coincidence occurred within the last week, when - within hours of each other - I happened to speak to 2 separate people who reported experiences with what appeared to be 'ghostly policemen', wearing antique costume!?  In all - including these two encounters - I believe there are only a very small handful of experiences incorporating this particular motif for the whole West Midlands region..... so to discover 2, unrelated stories in the same day was most peculiar, to say the least!?

In the first instance, the witness and his wife were driving along a lane in the Walsall area, late one night, when the figure of a policeman was suddenly illuminated by the vehicle headlights.  The figure was holding his hand aloft, as if warning them to keep clear of the spot, so they ended up going back the way they had just come.  After only a few meters, however, man and wife looked at each other in one of those 'Hang on a minute!!' moments.........

..............The figure that they'd seen was wearing an old fashioned 'cape' and had what appeared to be a metal spike on top of his helmet!?  His face was white - almost skull-like - and was sporting a handle-bar mustache.

Immediately turning and returning to the spot, there was, however, nothing at all to be seen......!?

As soon as I was told of this experience, I took a look at the history of the spot concerned and the only matter with any possible connection was a piece in a local  newspaper, from near the turn of the 20th Century, reporting on an attempted suicide in the lane concerned.  Luckily, the man involved had failed in his endeavours to kill himself, but, coincidentally, the press report mentioned mainly covered evidence being given in court by a local policeman who had been called to the incident!?!

The 2nd account involved a small party of people who - one icy, Winters day, almost 20 yrs ago - were out taking a walk in some Black Country woodland.  As they carefully cleared a stepped incline with a bridge at the bottom of it, they found themselves passing by a figure dressed in old-fashioned police uniform, complete with cape......!?  The person relating the encounter admits that they didn't take all that much notice of the figure, because they were more concerned about addressing the matter of the icy bridge... but the policeman apparently acknowledged at least two members of the party, by tipping his helmet and speaking!!

Only a matter of seconds later - after crossing the bridge - the witness looked around..... but there was no sign of the policeman anywhere!?  They told me that the party had taken a long time to navigate the incline, icy as it was, so there was no way that the man could have done the same - though ascending, of course - in the time that it had taken them to literally turn around!?  Of considerable interest was the simple fact that no footprints from the policeman could be seen on the ground!?

Again - as a matter of interest - the history of the woodland was briefly looked into and it was clear that the region would have surely been rather well-known to Black Country constabulary over the space of many decades.....  While secluded, the woods had played host to both illegal 'cock-fighting' rings and, later on, 'dog baiting' too.....  Raids by the local law had been carried out and many arrests made!  At least two sexual crimes had been carried out there during the Victorian era too, so it's no real stretch of the imagination to consider that the land involved would have most probably featured on the 'beat' of many a copper over the years!?!    

Tuesday 5th December 2017

I the late 80's I saw a guest on the topical chat-show, 'The Time, The Place', talking about a spooky encounter that he'd once had. He said that he had been speaking to an elderly lady - standing right next to her - when she had suddenly started to glow... before vanishing in front of his eyes!! Describing this 'glow effect', he had stressed that she didn't actually emit or radiate light - as a bulb would (for example) - but gave the impression of being 'lit from within'; colourless, with every little detail of the figure becoming razor sharp during this process.......!?

Interestingly, the mans description of this effect understandably stuck with me..... and I've actually heard the same account being given for 'other', supposed apparitions over the years, including two separate, unrelated sightings of female figures in the Great Barr / Barr Beacon area of Walsall. (Both of the latter were reported to me independently - years apart - by totally unrelated people, involving completely different parts of the Great Barr region).

Moving forwards to only a few nights ago, I was speaking to a young lady about a peculiar sighting that she and a friend had in a suburb of Birmingham, one night, when she mentioned that the seemingly male figure she'd witnessed had struck her as being the same beige-like colour, top to toe - all over - and that he 'wasn't glowing', but she could 'see through him clearly', as if he was close by, though he was actually situated many yard distant!? Detecting what I believed was clear consternation in trying to describe the figure concerned, I pushed for more details and was told that the night / area was pitch black.... there was no light source locally..... but she stressed that she was 'surprised by the detail' that she could see the figure in!?

Now, at this point I have to emphasise that I'm invariably an advocate of 'purity' when cataloguing accounts and testimonies and, while I always try to record as full as story as possible, I am always conscious of the ways in which I question witnesses and extract the stories involved, etc. However, in this instance - having got as full a story as possible and noting the apparent difficulty in adequately describing the figure concerned - I HAD eventually mentioned the examples cited earlier in an endeavour to discover whether the witness saw any similarities......?

"Yes..... the bulb thing is spot-on!!" came the reasonably definite response!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Tuesday 28th November 2017

It was great news to recently hear that our old friend and local author, Andrew Homer, had released yet another volume dedicated to the supernatural history of the 'local' region...!!

As visitors to this page will know, Andrew is a highly-respected and accredited paranormal researcher with literally decades of experience to his name. He has previously written a number of works on the immediate Midlands area, including his very popular 'Beer and Spirits', 'Haunted Hostelries of Shropshire' and 'A Black Country Miscellany'.  

His new book, 'Black Country Ghosts and Hauntings', is intended as a major update to his successful 'GhostNav' phone-app project - released in 2014 - but, this time, the data comes to fans in a more traditional 'publication' format.....

Andy tells us:  "This new book is a ghostly guide to over 150 spooky locations in and around the 'Black Country' region.... presenting readers with a whole host of haunted houses, castles, pubs and hotels that have been carefully researched and mapped over the space of many years.  ALSO included in the book are some ghostly tales from a little further afield.... such as the popular 'Drakelow Tunnels' in Wolverley, which I've personally investigated on a number of occasions....."

Copies of 'Black Country Ghosts and Hauntings' can be obtained  through Amazon, via this LINK though people are also urged to check out Andrews web page which also contains comprehensive details of all of his other works too: