Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Oh Go Whistle........!!!!!!


It was with some interest - and more than a degree of worry - that we took notice of the 'new' version of the classic ghost story 'Oh Whistle And I'll Come To You My Lad' which was being advertised by the BBC for airing on Christmas Eve. It was a little puzzling, to say the least, that the programme was yet another remake of a tale already used in the 'Ghost Story For Christmas' series, previously being televised in 1968, with Sir Michael Hordern in the title role. With so many excellent M. R. James stories to choose from, pretty much all of them never being previously attempted by television, it seemed something of a potential waste to go for a story that had already been used previously.....

Yet, we the viewers were assured that it would be a 're-working' of the original story, set with a 'modern slant' and starring the classic British actor John Hurt..... At least the latter did appear to give the project some 'Umph!!', while the previous two considerations only served to set the creeping feeling of concern for James' story to a much higher level that before........ Call us old fashioned, but the notion of dealing with a 'classic' ghost story should be approached with a great amount of respect and care for the original subject matter involved(?)

Come the broadcast and all of our previously 'creeping' fears were let loose with an unbridled sensation of barrelling horror that washed away any degree of optimism that could have been held for the project...... In short, a 're-working of the original' obviously meant to mean a complete and rather ludicrous 're-write', with only small aspects of James' story kept in place to assure us that this was indeed 'Oh Whistle...' that we were watching.......

But - rather than waffle on here re. our crushing disappointment - we urge visitors to take and hour or so and view the broadcast for itself, which (at the time of writing) is still accessible via BBC IPlayer at this PAGE

Please do write in and let us know what you think?

All the best for 2011!!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Merry Christmas!!!!



Just a brief note to wish all of our readers a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2011 !!!!

While 2010 has, on the whole, been a rather quiet year for the W.M.G.C. - for a variety of different reasons - its end, in fact, marks our 21st full year in operation.......

We aim to make the next 12 months our most productive period so far...... and have already started lining up some investigations already. So, please do watch this space and, of course, our official website (which has just been recently updated for the Yuletide Season, as it happens). The update can be found at this 'LINK'

So - once again - the Seasons Greetings to all of our friends and........ here's to the next 21 years of investigations!!! Laugh!!!!

All the best,

The West Midlands Ghost Club

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Down In The Woods......


On December the 4th, two W.M.G.C. members paid a visit to a site that had initially become a matter of some, passing interest to us last year…. namely, a tract of woodland - Hopwas Wood - situated just outside Tamworth in South Staffordshire. Our attention had first become drawn to the area concerned when sightings of an overly tall, ghostly figure were reported to the group some short while earlier……

As a result of the above, a visit was made at the time of the report and research carried out into the history of the general area. During the course of this research, stories of 'Occult' or 'Witchcraft-like' activities, being performed in Hopwas Woods, were discovered. Such activity - when it first came to light during the early 1980's - merited a considerable amount of both media and public interest and speculation.

Purely as a matter of ongoing interest, our early December visit was subsequently planned….. the trip to the area being carried out with a metal detector. The latter mentioned item was included in the visit because, according to some reports, 'metallic' items of 'ceremonial' significance had allegedly been discovered in the region in the past…..

As it transpired, the presence of this piece of equipment proved of intrinsic value to our visit, as - during a sweep of a particular area of woodland - a copper plate adorned with (presumably 'Occult-related') script and designs was unearthed….. As the photographs show, there was a considerable blanket of snow on the ground at the time of the find and the plate was discovered some inches underneath the earth below.

Because of such an intriguing find, the W.M.G.C. contacted the Tamworth Herald with a view to potentially appealing for information on the object. The ensuing article appeared on Dec. 9th - resulting in the group being inundated with general enquiries and suggestions…. some even originating as far away as the U.S.! The story itself has now, subsequently, been picked up by a number of different blogs - frequently Pagan orientated - and other websites. The original T.H. article ran as below:

"Mysterious artefact baffles ghost hunters exploring ancient woods"

By Paul Kemp news reporter

"EVIDENCE has emerged of occult activity in Hopwas after a "copper plate" featuring engraved magical symbols was dug up in the village's ancient woodland.

The rectangular tablet, which features an illustration of a star alongside mystical writing, was found buried about four inches below the ground in Hopwas Woods last Saturday.

It was dug up by investigators from the West Midlands Ghost Club, who had been researching old stories of witchcraft and hauntings in the area.

Intrigued members of the club are now appealing for more information about the artefact and an explanation of what the symbols might mean.

John Conway said he discovered the tablet while using a metal detector at the site as part of his research into the area's mystical past.

He described the find as "totally unexpected" and "intriguing".

He told the Mercury: "Our interest in Hopwas came about two years back, because we had heard a couple of ghost stories from the area. On checking up on the history, we heard about things going on in Hopwas Woods."

He said: "We visited the wood with a metal detector – the purpose of the visit being to get an overview of the area concerned and, potentially, find evidence of some form of magical practices."

John said he was inspecting an area situated on former Ministry of Defence land when he picked up a "buried" signal with the metal detector, and started digging.

"We did not notice at first, but we were in the centre of a natural circle of quite old trees.

"We initially thought what we'd found was simply a thick piece of copper sheet, but, upon further scrutiny, we found it was deeply etched with peculiar symbols and writing, quite evidently of an occult-related nature."

After cleaning up and polishing the item, the magical symbols could be seen.

But he said he realised the "ethical" implications of digging up a potentially sacred item.

"We realise someone has put something there purposefully. If they want to contact us privately we would be quite happy to hand it back."

In 1984, reports of naked "witches" in the woods emerged after a raid by police in which several people were detained.

At the time, the leader of the group, part of The Order of the Silver Star, spoke out and defended the group's actions.

Members denied being witches and described themselves as "serious occultists" who had been using the woods since the early 1970s.

During rituals they claimed they "connected with the stars and planets".

Photographs of the plate itself can be viewed on the following 'LINK', which, of course, is part of the West Mids. Ghost Club Photo Album.

Interestingly - though probably unrelated - is an account also run by the Tamworth Herald concerning the sighting of a presumed Alien Big Cat (ABC) in the region of Hopwas Wood:

"Driver shocked by the size of cat that crosses his path"

Big-cat sighting... The animal was seen crossing from Hopwas Woods.

By Helen Machin news reporter

ANOTHER sighting of a big cat has been reported in Tamworth – but this time not fitting the description of the black leopard seen most frequently.

A Whittington man has reported a golden-coloured cat running across the road from Hopwas Wood.

David Cooke (27) said he was approaching Hopwas at around 6.30am on Monday, September 6 when the animal ran across the road in front of his car.

He told the Herald: "Just as I was entering Hopwas about halfway down the slope, I saw a big cat run out in front of my car from the wood on the left and into to less dense woodland on the right.
"It was only in sight for about two or three seconds but I got a really good look at it. It was quite clear in my headlights.

"I was around 15 metres away and I'm convinced it was a big cat. It ran like a cat, not like a dog or a fox."

He added: "It was like a cougar. I'm 6ft 2in and I think it would have been around knee-height on me, but powerfully built. It had a long tail, about three feet in length.

"It was an orangey-golden colour, similar colouring to an American mountain lion.

"There was one car behind me and one coming in the opposite direction – I'm sure the car coming in the opposite direction must have seen it too."

Were you the other car driver and did you see the big cat? Contact helen.machin@cintamworth.co.uk with your big-cat news.

All the best,

West Midlands Ghost Club

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Charity Event For Feb. 2011 - Coventry City

On February the 18th, 2011, members of the 'W.M.G.C.' will be hosting a 'sponsored investigation' at the notoriously haunted St. Mary's Medieval Guildhall in Coventry. All proceeds from the event are being raised on behalf of MacMillan Cancer Support. A previous charity event held at the site by the Club in November 2005 raised £500 for Birmingham Childrens Hospital.

The Guildhall itself is some 650 years old and has a long-standing history of 'ghostly goings-on'…. securing it's reputation as possibly the most haunted property in the City Centre. During our 2005 investigation of the site, a number of potentially 'paranormal' incidents were recorded by attendees - making for both a very interesting night, from a research point of view, and a most fulfilling exercise with regards to monies raised for the charity concerned…..

For Details of how you can contribute to the event - either by sponsoring or by straight donation - please contact the W.M.G.C. via our email address, or by telephone on: 079444 78708.

As places on the investigation have been going fast, can we urge anyone wishing to attend the event to contact us ASAP. While we are working on a 'first-come, first-served' basis currently, some limited places may become available over the coming months, etc. All that is required from attendees is a guarantee that a minimum of £35 in sponsorship will be raised.

As a matter of interest - an endeavour to 'whet your appetite' - an overview report of our interesting 2005 investigation is included below:

INVESTIGATION REPORT: St. Mary's Guildhall - Coventry.

On the 25th of November 2005, a group of 21 people conducted an overnight investigation of St. Mary's Guildhall in Coventry city centre. The event - a fund raising 'ghost hunt' held on behalf of Birmingham Children's Hospital - was organised and co-ordinated by members of the West Midlands Ghost Club.

As the visit was primarily intended as a 'Charity Event' - incorporating a number of people who had never experienced a potentially 'haunted' situation previously - investigation protocol for the duration of the night was purposefully kept at a reasonably 'casual' level. However, thanks to the excellent co-ordination skills of W.M.G.C. member Kevin Wallace, who was mainly responsible for this visit, investigation process and protocol was still maintained at a high level throughout our stay.

Overall, a general investigation was made of the property incorporating four groups of 5 / 6 people. (Each team headed by members of the W.M.G.C.) Our investigation mainly focussed on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance or importance regarding the alleged paranormal history of the site. During the night, investigation procedure incorporated periods of first person audio / visual observation, with vigils being conducted for approx. 40 minutes each. (A 20 minute break was held between every session).

As well as manned observation periods, static (area based) audio / visual recording sessions, incorporating both standard and night shot camera's, were also carried out. General temperature recording throughout the building were also monitored for the duration of the stay and a number of 'trigger objects' placed in particular sections of the building.

With regards to the investigation itself, a number of potentially interesting events were noted during the night.

While nothing of interest was detected by any of the groups concerned during the first vigil of the stay, group member Steve Chew appears to have caught - what sounds like - a section of rather rough, 'choral singing' on a video recording made in the Great Hall of the Guildhall. While there was a considerable amount of external noise coming from the streets circling the building for most of our stay, this 'singing' strikes the listener as rather 'alien' to such surroundings. While the voices are seemingly rough and uncultured, the footage gives a definite impression of a distant choir, delivering Christmas carols or some such songs….. Mr. David McGrory - W.M.G.C. patron, who has strong connections with the Guildhall - says that he has also heard this effect when in the building during the daytime. He has always put this down to the effect that the P.A. system in the property is apparently on the same wavelength as the nearby Cathedral security….. leading to a tentative, airwaves connection. However, while this theory might cover such happenings during the daytime, surely there was no choir practising in the Cathedral at almost 11.30 at night? And from the sound of the voices concerned - such a choir would need all the practice it could get…!?

During vigil two, a group of people situated in the Drapers room report hearing a sound akin to something being rolled across the floor. Someone else in the group said they thought the noise was like 'someone sweeping a chimney'. During a 'baiting session' a little later on, the same group hear a loud knock seemingly coming from one of the walls of the building, apparently in response to one of their questions. When confirmation was requested, however, no other noises were heard.

A group situated in the Undercroft area for the duration of vigil three heard a loud noise, like the sound of movement, coming from the nearby Kitchen. They could find nothing to account for the noise upon investigation. A little later on in the sitting and W.M.G.C. member Kevin Wallace was standing near the kitchen sink, with Ellen Wallace walking towards him along a small, side corridor. At this juncture, they both describe hearing a noise originating behind Ellen, like someone moving a series of fine, hanging chains, which make up a blind across a section of the passage. No one else was present in the area at the time. Kevin says that the noise was very distinct.

During this same period, two investigators responsible for covering the first floor section of the building reported having seen a 'ball of light' moving around erratically inside (what is referred to as) the Sloping Room. At 1.20 a.m., the group gather within the Mary Queen of Scots Room for an experimental 'séance' session. Three light 'knocks' were subsequently heard in what would appear to have been response to direct questioning. However, it has to be stated that, with the amount of people in the building at the time, these sounds may well be of a perfectly natural origin.

At one point during the same session, Steve Chew heard what he took to be the sound of faint, little footsteps, seemingly coming towards the door of the Mary Queen of Scots Room. Two other members of the party thought the noise had sounded like the swishing of a long dress.

During vigil four, the group of investigators responsible for covering the Great Hall area experienced a 'fast-moving light' appear in the topmost section of the hall. The light proceeded to move over the balcony, down the hall wall, underneath the balcony…. then move over the side wall and half way up the hall in a sort of a curved motion. This effect only lasted a second and was very fast.

No one in the hall had their torches on, though - to witnesses - the light was evidently not that created by a torch. The light could not have originated with investigators inside the armoury as it travelled down the back wall, which is clearly not within their line of sight.

Witness Kevin Wallace says that the light reminded him of what he and a researcher attached to another society had previously witnessed in exactly the same location, but on the other side of the hall, during a separate investigation of the site.

of the Main Hall. They said that this had sounded like the creak of one of the wooden floor panels when someone moves across it. No one was sitting near the stage at this point.

Towards the end of vigil four, a very exciting and dramatic event occurred concerning the party of people situated on the First Floor level. Four of the girls present - non-W.M.G.C. members - had been seated at an oblong table, near the entrance to Mary Queen of Scots Room. Two members were seated one side of the table and two the other. They had been in the process of conducting a 'baiting session' (levelling questions to the room itself) when attendee Jennie Elwell had - through the open doorway - allegedly seen a tall, dark figure pass across the landing, just outside the toilet block. The figure had moved quickly from right to left, as if having come up the steps from the walkway to the main Council Building. When later questioned, she could not say whether the figure had gone into the toilets, or into a small kitchen area immediately in front of the steps. Upon seeing the figure, she instantly became hysterical and sparked off a like reaction in the other girls. (When group members Nick Duffy and Darren Simpson had entered the room - alerted by the girls screams - they had found Miss Elwell clutching the edge of a table, crying hysterically and seemingly unable to move for some time).

This event obviously attracts the attention of other teams nearby and the general proceedings were disturbed for a short time. Up until this point, investigators covering the Mercers Room during this period report having experienced a very 'uneasy feeling' in that section of the building which they simply couldn't brush off.

At 3.39 a.m. - vigil five - Kevin Wallace and his group were situated in the Council Chambers and Treasury room, when they saw a series of lights showing under the door into the great hall. This appeared as if someone had walked past the door with a bright torch. These lights lasted a few seconds at a time, until Kevin opened the door to find absolutely nothing - except a very dark and quiet hall. On the first floor level at exactly the same time, Frazer Smith reports over the radio that his group has also seen strange light anomalies apparently coming from the Great Hall area.

At roughly the same time, Steve Chew and his group were situated in the Undercroft and Kitchen area. While standing in the Kitchen, Steve reports having heard very distinct footsteps descending the stairs that lead from the Great Hall. The steps, which sounded as if they were made by someone heavy set, were heard to stop - followed by a few more tentative steps - then by a loud noise, as if someone were 'rummaging' through boxes. Strangely, two other attendees were standing in the same area with Steve and one only heard the loud footsteps descending the stairs, while the other only heard the 'rummaging' noises. Two other attendees were situated in the nearby Undercroft at this point and they heard exactly the same sequence of noises as Steve. The area concerned was immediately investigated and nothing to account for the sounds was found.

On trying to recreate the footsteps, even when stamping, Steve could not replicate the same 'hefty' sounding footfalls. It was also noticed that the steps sounded as if they were possibly on an old creaky wooden floor, not the more 'modern', supported floor that is in place today!

Towards the end of vigil six, it was noticed that 4 coins which had been used in one of our 'trigger' experiments, had been moved. The coins concerned - ringed on a sheet of white paper - had been situated on the ledge of a bureau which stands outside the toilet block on the first floor landing. Two of the coins were now on the floor immediately below the ledge and the paper on which they rested was now partially hanging off the ledge itself. Unfortunately, because of the constant human traffic moving around the building during the night, it could not clearly be ascertained whether this had accidentally been done by someone in attendance….

Following the official end of the investigation, Kevin Wallace happened to shine his torch down the stairs from the Main Hall to the Kitchen area and saw something moving at the bottom. His first impression was that it was a female figure. Having just seen three of four girls attached to one of the groups in that area, he thought that the figure he'd seen must have been the 4th girl. Going down the stairs into the kitchen, he found no one there. As he entered the Undercroft, he found that the 4th girl was already sitting at one of the tables, with a number of other people situated at the very end of the room. He asked the girl if anyone had entered just before him, or had she possibly only just come down the stairs herself? She answered no to both questions………

All in all, a considerable number of potential paranormal happenings were reported from the different teams during the night, including both audio and visual activity. The above mentioned list of occurrences only constitutes a section of incidents reported during the night in question.

The volume of possible incidents reported was quite high in comparison to other W.M.G.C. investigations, and it cannot help but be questioned whether such an increase has something to do with the sheer volume of people concerned with the event, as well as the fact that many attendee's were experiencing such conditions for the first time? Having said this, while a [wholly expected and understandable] state of trepidation was obvious in a couple of the attendee's, the bulk of the group concerned acted in an exceptionally serious and level headed manner.

Whatever the validity of our findings as potential paranormal happenings, it has to be said that all who attended the Guildhall investigation thoroughly enjoyed the experience.

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.


The Death Of 'Most Haunted' - Hurrahhhh!!!!


A friend of the W.M.G.C. called last night to tell us that Living TV have now, apparently, decided to drop the show 'Most Haunted' from their schedule.

It had already been mentioned, some weeks ago, that there wasn't a live, Halloween edition of the programme planned for this year...... an omission which had been a surprise to many, it has to be said.

The news that Yvette Fielding was planning to give up hosting the show, was announced some months ago, but it was mentioned (in the piece concerned) that some alternative host was to be found.....

Evidently, it appears that this proposal didn't happen in the end.... or else Living TV's decision to pull the plug on the show has put pay to any further plans / action in this quarter.

Unfortunately - in place of the usual M.H rubbish - an alternative 'live' show is planned..... It's is currently being billed as a show which will involve two paranormal groups - one scientifically motived, the other psychically motivated - going 'head-to-head' in some haunted location somewhere.........

The same old rubbish again it seems and, given that this form of ill-advised, reality bullsh*t has already outstayed it's welcome on British TV - especially where paranormal related programmes are concerned - well..... will anyone actually bother to watch more of the same biased drivel????

Interesting Poltergeist Case:

Just a brief note to say that two members of the W.M.G.C. were recently called in to a Black Country home, where a poltergeist-type-effect has been experienced in one of the bedrooms of the property. The mother of the house gave us permission to repeat the details of their experiences here - needless to say, with certain omissions, etc.

The effect began earlier this year - some time in March - when a daughter of the family reported hearing a slight scratching noise from under her bed (on her 20th birthday, as it happens). While the family (initially) passed the matter off as nothing, the girl was sufficiently perturbed as to bother recording the noises on her mobile phone. (A recording which she still has). Strangely, these noises only happened in the one, small, front bedroom - and only when the girls boyfriend was staying overnight with her. If the girl, or anyone else stays in the room alone.... then there is no disturbance whatsoever!?

Within a short period of time, the scratching noises had escalated into two separate sounds: a rapid, short scratching and a long, drawn-out noise like something being slowly, deliberately dragged over a surface.

Members of the family - and neighbours - were asked to come and hear the noises concerned and endeavours were soon being made to 'converse' with the noises (with, by this point, a knocking sound also regularly manifesting). Interestingly, the sounds seemed quite happy to 'speak with' people - knocking out answers in reply to 'yes and no' questions and imitating sequences of knocking noises made by spectators.

A typical instance of this form of 'interaction' came where there were 7 witnesses (in the bedroom concerned and on the landing of the house) to a question and answer session with this 'whatever-it-is', with three others allegedly asleep (elsewhere). They asked how many people were in the house and it knocked back 10 times.... They asked how many people were asleep and it knocked back twice...... Knowing that there were 3 people in bed, not two, as indicated, they checked and found one of the children was out of bed and playing on his X-Box at that time!!!

The mother of the family told us that they had first assumed the intelligence behind these things to be a deceased relative - but she had then changed her mind about this, relating the effect as more like the actions of a sub-human, goblin-like intellect!! In asking questions of the thing, she observed that 'you didn't know whether to trust it' - i.e. some of it's answers had been contradictory, or blatant lies, etc.

Over the space of some six months (give or take), the nature of the activity had escalated - again, only when the boyfriend made endeavours to stay in the room with the daughter concerned. The problems had become exceptionally bad..... with loud banging sounds (loud enough to disturb the neighbours on occasion), manipulation of the mattress on the bed (mattress being 'lifted up', or seemingly 'pushed up' from underneath the bed). The couple had tried to 'sit out' the effects concerned, but they just seemed to get worse and worse over the duration that they tried to stay in the room. The end result was invariably the same; an admission of defeat in the end and a retreat to the sitting room to spend the night! (On one occasion, the effect was so bad, the banging noise appeared to follow them down to the living room). This was on a night when the bedroom concerned had just been freshly decorated..... We were told by the mother of the family that this was the worst night so far, probably.....

The mother of the family was happy to keep in touch with the group and sporadically give us updates on the affairs in her home.....

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Friday, 26 February 2010

Haunted House Story....


The following account was sent in to group members recently:

"Me and my finacee moved into our home in Shropshire in mid-06.

3 weeks after we moved in I was out and my partner was asleep. She woke and there was a figure sat next to her on the bed, wearing a navy uniform, including hat with medals all over his chest. She fell back to sleep and woke again twice seeing a dark figure bending over her.

3 weeks later during the day, I took a nap. As I was falling asleep, I was thinking I should have shut the bedroom door because the sun was shining through the landing window and bothering me. After an hour or so of being asleep, I became aware of fast whispers in my ear and, as I came round, a dark shape was leaning over me and it cut out the sun light; as I quickly sat up, it disappeared. A few weeks later, I was in the kitchen and I heard footsteps running down the stairs - and saw someone, out of the corner of my eye, run into the living room. Assuming it was my partner, I started talking to her and walked into the living room, but she wasn't there. I called out to her and she was upstairs in the bathroom...... she'd been there the whole time.

On the 1st of October, during the night, my partner saw a dark figure of a man pointing out to the window. She has also heard footsteps in the attic. When we unpacked, She had discovered one of her necklaces was missing and she knew she'd put it in one of her bags which were in the nursery room in a box. She looked everywhere for them, but.... no luck.

3 weeks ago, I was in the attic and found the necklace in some rolled up carpet which had been in the loft before we'd moved in!! My partner had never been in the loft, so it's a mystery how it got there. She has also heard bangs downstairs and heard footsteps above the kitchen (in the bathroom) and dining room (in the bedroom). We have been told there was a sanitarium behind our house sometime ago and our house was built in the 1930's......"

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Brum. Club Investigation....

From The Archives:

INVESTIGATION REPORT: Edwards No.8 Rock Club – Lower Severn Street – Birmingham City Centre.

Present:

Investigative Team - Leonard Jackson; Frazer Smith; Nick Duffy; Kerrey Cooper; Steven Cooper and Vicki Cooper. Also present on site were Club Manager, Colin Wall, Peter Wall, plus Mr. Wall (Snr.) and two members of Club staff.

This daytime group visit to the Club was made in the presence of three non-team members – Kerrey, Steve and Vicki Cooper – who are relatives of (W.M.G.C. member) Frazer Smith and have accompanied the group previously on investigations. As a matter of interest to our visit was the fact that Vicki Cooper is believed to have a heightened receptivity to potentially paranormal atmospheres.

It has to be clearly stated that the W.M.G.C. ‘strictly’ do not endorse the use of psychic / mediumistic types on investigations. However, for the sake of true objectivity, the group has on occasion incorporated potentially ‘sensitive’ people into an investigation scenario.

[I]. Aims / Inv. Process:

General investigation of property, mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance / importance regarding the paranormal history of the site.

Investigation procedure incorporating:

1st person audio / visual observation. (‘Casually staged’ in this instance. See ‘Summary’ section below).

Static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard video camera’s.

General temperature / humidity recording. (Incorporating ‘ambient’ devices).

Note* No ‘trigger objects’ were used during this particular visit. Also, because of the fairly open plan nature of the site, no thermometers were employed – save for a standard, ambient unit situated on a table top (under the portrait of Jack Nicholson) in the Gothic Room.

[II]. Primary (1st Hand) Notes: Investigation Procedure, plus Findings, Experiences / Poss. Significant Events:

Immediately following our arrival at the site, we were given a guided tour of the property – and the attached Gallows Bar – by Pete Wall.

At one point in the tour, we were shown a stairway which runs the full height of the building and is situated on the Lower Severn Street side of the property. Upon mounting the staircase and moving to hold onto the handrail, Vicki Cooper says that she felt a ‘pushing’ sensation. She found that she had to walk around the area concerned before continuing down the stairs.

Upon entering the Cellar, Vicki also said that she received the mental image of a young boy waving at her. He was described as being approx. 8 – 9 yrs old, with short, dark brown hair.

Following the tour, the group split into three groups of two and begin a series of (casual) ‘vigil’ sessions.

Session One – 1.20 p.m. to 1.50 p.m.

Nick Duffy / Len Jackson - General Cellar Area.
Frazer Smith / Vicki Cooper - Lwr. Severn Street Stairway.
Kerrey Cooper / Steve Cooper – Store Room. (Formerly a bar area, but now used for general storage).

During this period:

Vicki Cooper says that she heard a single ‘cough’ sound. (Not heard by Frazer Smith). She also picked up the name ‘Louise’, which she believed was associated with a separate part / level of the building.

Nothing was reported from either of the other two groups.

Session Two – 2.10 p.m. to 2.40 p.m.

Nick Duffy / Len Jackson – Store Room. (Vigil conducted in presence of Mr. Wall Snr. who told us some historical information about the property and guided us around some ante-rooms).
Frazer Smith / Vicki Cooper - General Cellar Area.
Kerrey Cooper / Steve Cooper – Lwr. Severn Street Stairway.

During this period:

Both Vicki Cooper and Frazer Smith report having heard a distinct ‘cough’, which was loud enough to have been heard over the native sounds in the Cellar. No one could be found to account for the noise.

Vicki also reports having seen a ‘light anomaly’ – around 2” wide and 5 feet in length – near the cellar door frame. This occurred at a time when Frazer Smith was conducting a ‘prompt’ session (i.e. asking questions out loud to the general room).

She also picked up the name ‘Joseph’, which she felt was being called out by someone situated behind the Cellar doors.

Session Three – 3.00 p.m. to 3.30 p.m.

Video recording session staged in Gothic Room, incorporating three separate video camera’s running at the same time. Frazer Smith asked Pete Wall if the room could be kept empty (of staff) for the sake of the recording session.

It is believed that Colin Wall was situated in the general area of his office – on the same floor - for the duration of the session.

Camera One: – situated near main entrance to room, just in front of Jack Nicholson portrait, facing towards the Stage Area.
Camera’s Two and Three: situated on the Stage itself – ‘one’ stage left / ‘two’ stage right – both facing towards bar area.

During this period:

Entire group situated downstairs in main Rock Bar area.

Session Four – 3.35 p.m. to 4.05 p.m.

Nick Duffy / Len Jackson – Lwr. Severn Street Stairway.
Frazer Smith / Vicki Cooper - Store Room.
Kerrey Cooper / Steve Cooper – General Cellar Area.

During this period:

Nothing of potential interest / relevance reported by any group members.

Approx. 4.30 p.m. – group vacates the premises.

[III]. Secondary Notes: Audio / Visual Results.

Of the video recordings made during ‘Session Three’, all cameras detected the sound of a door closing (distant, in building); a brief sequence of footsteps (distant, in building) and a sharp, loud crack / brief crash that, by it’s clarity and volume, would appear to have originated somewhere within the Gothic Room. (Or potentially outside, but close by).

[IV]. General Observations and / or Summary.

* Due to the situation under which members had decided to make this visit – during daytime hours; staff members present and operating under daily working conditions; the size of the property and it’s position within a busy city centre, etc – a number of aspects of usual W.M.G.C. investigative protocol were dispensed with. The visit was staged in a general and casual fashion and treated mainly as reasonably brief, acclimatisation exercise.

* The building itself – the former Birmingham and Midlands Skin Hospital (Ref. ‘Kelly’s Directory of Birmingham’ for 1932, 1940, etc) – is truly immense and has evidently been structurally changed, most dramatically, over the years. While potential paranormal activity has been experienced at the site, the general layout / size / appearance / former use of the building would also, on a psychological level, potentially have some influence on it’s status as an allegedly ‘haunted’ property(?)

* One particular aspect of the buildings (current) make-up which could possibly have a bearing on supposed activity at the site, is the situation of the buildings full height stairwells……… in particular, the one which leads from the Gallows Bar, up past the Rock Bar and into the Gothic Room. It was noticed that this stairwell certainly appears to channel a considerable amount of sound from (suggested by Pete Wall) the air conditioning process inside the property.

While only being a matter of conjecture, in lieu of the proper, defining experiments, the stairwell concerned could possibly be responsible for channelling / causing ‘Infra-Sound’ waves, which – as suggested by some researchers – could well have an adverse effect on certain people within the building.

Doc. Ends.

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Saturday, 20 February 2010

Carol Arnall New Book Available!!

Just a brief note to our readers to say that Carol Arnalls excellent book, 'Mysterious Happenings', is now available from Amazon.com. As with all of her previous offerings, Carol presents her readers with a fascinating array of paranormal tales, mainly based around the (English) Midlands area.

For copies of her book please click on this LINK.

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Harbourne Haunted Pub!!

From The Archives

The Court Oak – Balden Road – Harborne – Birmingham

Introduction

Built in 1932, the Court Oak could hardly be classed as an 'ancient hostelry' - though, for what it lacks in years, it amply seem to make up in ghostly activity! Pub Manager, Lillian Campbell, told the W.M.G.C. that she didn't really believe in ghosts until she moved to Harborne in November 2000.

While she had apparently resided at a number of pubs that supposedly held a 'haunted' reputation, none have ever given her the slightest cause to revise her somewhat sceptical outlook on the subject of ghosts. 'But do you believe in them now?' we enquired after hearing the impressive catalogue of happenings currently occurring at the site….

'Yes!' came the most definite of answers: she either had to believe something was going on at the pub, or - quite simply - she was going mad!...... It is rumoured that the town gallows once stood in close proximity to where the Court Oak is now situated, and the pub ghost - said to be the apparition of a woman dressed in black and white - was one of the unfortunates who lost their life there. Local legend has it that the woman was tried and executed on a charge of 'infanticide' - a crime that she didn't actually commit! (Subsequent contact with an authority on the history of the Harborne area failed to turn up any leads regarding the site of the town gallows, or any reference to the aforementioned murder and /or execution?)

Much of the alleged activity is said to go on in a section of the pub which Lillian affectionately called The West Wing. (Having checked with a compass, we can now reveal that, technically, this is actually a North wing!) It has to be pointed out that – circa. 2001 - the premises had undergone a £500,000 refurbishment and alteration process; a procedure that has quite commonly been associated with possibly ‘instigating’ ghostly phenomenon in a number of situations.

A whole plethora of potentially paranormal activity has been reported at the Court Oak. Bottles of wine are found to have been smashed in the locked wine cellar overnight; objects regularly move seemingly of their own volition and entire light fittings have been pulled from their fixed positions. Contrary to the legend that the pub ghost is female, the Manager reports having possibly seen a male apparition on two occasions in the bar(?)

Both times the figure had only been seen fleetingly out of the corner of her eye leading the objective Mrs. Campbell to inevitably question what she may have seen. On both occasions, she had received the impression of a light blue (pale denim) colour associated with the form; peculiarly, the same colour as the uniforms worn by pub staff members. (Though, clearly, no members were present at the time).

Around the day that the pub first opened, one staff member, Trish, was working alone in the Store Room when she heard a knocking noise apparently coming from an external wall. Thinking it may have been a Business Rep. wishing to gain entry to the building, she went through a nearby fire exit, but found no one outside.

Re-entering the Store Room only seconds later, she was dumbfounded to find a large carton of cream, from a nearby shelf, standing upright in the centre of the floor. (* It should be explained that some of the old, external doors to the building have now been covered over internally, but still externally look like functioning doors. One such door apparently features in the wall of the Store Room and this was the reason why Trish initially believed a Rep. might have been knocking in that area). Within the 2-3 weeks immediately prior to the Ghost Club investigation of the Court Oak, potential paranormal happenings were noted.

Lillian Campbell had her second possible sighting of a male figure in the bar, and also later heard the sound of mops and buckets being moved in the empty female toilets. A member of staff was checking her hair in a mirror attached to the boiler Room door in a cellar corridor, when the door started opening of its own accord. The staff member is said to have fled in terror!

Visit One: Fri. 23rd - Sat. 24th March 2001

Investigators present : Len Jackson, Darren Simpson, Roger Simpson, Geoff Brown and Anne Brown. (The latter mentioned two investigators are members of the Black Country Paranormal Society). Also, until approx. 2.45am, Court Oak Manager Lillian Campbell was present. Two 45 minute vigils were held during the early hours of the morning. Vigil one was held with all researchers in the bar area of the pub, while vigil two saw three researchers in the bar and the other three in the cellar(s).

Nothing of significance was noted during the vigils, save for some anomalous white lines crossing a security surveillance camera being monitored by Roger Simpson. Upon checking through the video footage that had been taken throughout the night, it was found that nothing of an anomalous nature had been picked up visually. However, a number of inexplicable sounds had been caught on the audio portion of the footage which had been taken in the 'Wine Cellar'.

The sounds concerned, included: numerous footsteps; a very loud crashing sound, and a noise akin to someone blowing across the neck of an empty bottle! No anomalous sounds were detected on any of the recordings made in other parts of the building.

Visit Two: Fri. 15th June - Sat. 16th June 2001

Investigators present: Len Jackson, Darren Simpson and Roger Simpson.

Having phoned the Court Oak in order to arrange a second visit, the Ghost Club was informed of another possible sighting of an apparition at the pub. Only a matter of days prior to our calling, Lillian Campbell and her partner, Mark, had been in the bar after closing time (approx. midnight, on June 10th) when he suddenly claimed to have caught a fleeting glimpse of a masculine figure, dressed in a light blue, denim colour, passing through the room. Unfortunately, Lillian happened to be facing in a completely different direction at the time and saw nothing - though both the general description of the figure and the location in which it was seen tallies almost exactly with Lillian’s own experience at Christmas. (See 'Introduction' above). A further sighting of the 'denim clad' figure comes from one of the pub's regulars, who claims to have seen such a form in a supposedly empty section of the building at a time before the extensive refurbishment took place.

The main point of our second visit to the Court Oak was to endeavour to investigate the array of inexplicable sounds that had been recorded in the Pub's 'Wine Cellar' during our previous stay. A number of recordings - both (Digital) audio and Video - were made in this area throughout the night, and a single vigil was held by the entire team at 3.40 am. During the latter mentioned sitting, all of the group heard a loud 'crash', very much like - if not exactly the same as - one of the sounds from our recordings. Initial investigations proved fruitless - though a very similar noise was subsequently noted as coming from a piece of cellar equipment that was later identified as an ice making machine. This machine is activated by temperature fluctuations via a thermometer, rather than a timer. If the sounds had been regularly spaced, we would have no doubt soon realised that it was merely an effect of some controlled machinery. Under the circumstances, the sheer 'randomness' of the sounds gave considerable food for thought and took us a while to unearth their true origins…..!!

As yet, both the considerable amount of 'footsteps' and the 'blowing sound' that were recorded in the early hours of March 24th remain unexplained. Extensive 'stomping' in the bar area by a 16st.+ member of the Club (wearing 'Army Boots') failed to be detected at all by two colleagues in the 'Wine Cellar' directly below. From this, it was deduced that the numerous examples of - completely casual sounding - footsteps previously recorded on video couldn't possibly have been picked up under 'normal' circumstances.

Visit Three: Fri. 13th June – Sat. 14th June 2003

Investigators present: Len Jackson, Darren Simpson and Frazer Smith. Also present until approx. 1.30 am was Danish newspaper reporter, Karina Harristrup and her brother, Michael Harristrup.

The main points of this follow up investigation was to generally check out the current / continued ghost-lore of the site and also help Miss Harristrup with an article she was writing for the ‘Birmingham Post’ newspaper.

In the subsequent 2 years since our last visit to the site, the Court Oak had changed hands - the present manager having been on the premises for approximately 8 months at the time of our visit. Potential paranormal activity had allegedly continued at the site, much of which was reported from the staff ‘living quarters’. Because of such disturbances, the present Manager had developed a habit of never going to sleep without the television being switched on in the Sitting Room; an area allegedly favoured by the Victorian, female apparition. Unlike previous visits, W.M.G.C. members were kindly given access to this part of the building for the duration of the stay.

Unfortunately, our visit was completely uneventful, the only matter of any real interest being the fact that the current Manager reportedly couldn’t call to mind one single instance of bottles of wine being inexplicably broken in the cellar…!? (This, it has to be said, we personally found quite startling - as such activity was said to be fairly ‘rife’ when Lillian Campbell had looked after the property!?)

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Naked Phantom????

Just a brief note on this matter, but a vague story has reached WMGC ears concerning an allegedly 'naked ghost' being seen at the window of a house in the Walsall area. The form - supposedly that of a young male - is said to have been seen by a number of people passing through the road concerned, causing considerable consternation to many!! (Doubtlessly!!)

The figure is said to only appear when the occupants of the house are not on the premises. It is rumoured that the police and social services have been called by worried passers by and local residents, but the family who live in the house are (or, were previously) totally oblivious to the events described.......

As mentioned, this has only come to the group as a tentative note, so we are unsure as to how much more data on the matter can be gleaned. In the event that further information is forthcoming, we will doubtlessly relate as we find.....

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Staffordshire Pub Investigation.

From The Archives:

INVESTIGATION REPORT: The Star and Garter Public House – Grange Street – Burton On Trent – Staffordshire.

Date Of Visit: 11th / 12th March 2005
Duration Of Visit: Approx. 5 hours.
Time of Arrival: Approx. 11.00 p.m.

Present:

Investigative Team – 6 W.M.G.C. members and Star and Garter Barman – Steve Ousby – stayed with team for the duration of the visit.

Also Present in Building at time of visit - Landlord Alan Wood, partner (unnamed) and two dogs.

[I]. Aims / Inv. Process:

General investigation of property, mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance / importance regarding the paranormal history of the site. Investigation procedure incorporating:

a) 1st person audio / visual observation.

b) Static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard / night shot camera’s and digital audio recording equipment. Also wireless (radio) security camera.

c) General temperature / humidity recording. (Incorporating ‘ambient’ and ‘Gun’ devices).

d) Trigger objects – listed below:

• 12” tall mannequin figure – positioned on brick ledge in disused cellar room, opposite doorway.

• Large cross – outlined on sheet of white paper – placed on brick ledge in main cellar room. (In general area where a ceramic mug has recently been found by staff, inexplicably shattered. *See ‘Appendix: [2] – part 5’ below).

• Small bible – primed with movement sensor / alarm device – positioned on bay window seating in ground floor lounge.

[II]. Primary (1st Hand) Notes: Investigation Procedure, plus Findings, Experiences / Poss. Significant Events:

*12.37 a.m. – Video recording session utilising two video camera’s situated in disused cellar area. (Both using ‘night shot’ capacity). ‘Camera One’ placed at front wall of room facing rear of property. (Situated directly under Lounge bay window on ground floor). ‘Camera Two’ situated on tall wooden bar stool in front of cellar door, facing mannequin (trigger object), diagonally across room. Session ended: 1.37 a.m.

*12.43 a.m. – Video recording session set up in 1st floor function room. Camera situated at far rear end of room, facing entrance door. Small children’s toy – a rattling ball – placed on carpeted stage directly in front of camera. [*Note: Sound of T.V. carrying through from private quarters of building noticed during session set up]. Session ended: 1.13 a.m.

*1.15 a.m. – Video recording session set up in disused cellar area. (Night Shot capacity). Camera again situated on wooden stool in precisely the same manner as 12.37 a.m. session. Session ended: 1.45 a.m.

*1.50 a.m. – Vigils held in ‘function room’ and ‘disused cellar area’:

a) Cellar vigil – Frazer Smith, Darren Simpson, Steve Chew and (barman) Steve Ousby. Group conducted experimental question and answer session, but elicited no obvious response.

b) Function room vigil – Len Jackson and Kevin Wallace. A number of sounds were heard sporadically throughout this session, but it was evident that the bulk of these noises could be pinned down to activity within the private quarters of the building. (Dogs scratching at doors, etc).

At the same time as the above, a video recording session was made in the function room. Camera facing bay window area of room. All sessions – vid. Recording and vigils - ended: 2.20 a.m.

*2.40 a.m. – digital audio recording session set up in disused cellar area. Mini-disk recorder placed on tall wooden stool. Session ended: 3.10 a.m.

*3.15 a.m. - Vigils held in ‘function room’ and ‘disused cellar area’:

a) Cellar vigil – Len Jackson and Kevin Wallace. Video recording session ran in cellar corridor – facing bottom of cellar steps – throughout vigil session.

b) Function room vigil – Frazer Smith, Steve Chew, Darren Simpson and (barman) Steve Ousby. During the vigil, Steve Ousby reported to the group that he could feel a ‘pins and needles’ effect in one of his hands. Apparently, according to Steve, this is usually taken as a sign that there is some form of ‘ghostly activity’ afoot. (Though nothing further occurred to back up this notion).

Both sessions ended: 3.45 a.m.

*Just prior to 4.00 a.m. – Investigator Steve Chew cataloguing cellar area with a digital camera produces three images, in quick succession, containing a peculiar misty, orange effect across the photographs. The effect differs in intensity and size between the three shots. Upon scrutiny, no obvious reason could be found to account for the images, but some form of technical / camera effect cannot be completely discounted.

Group leaves building at approx. 4.00 a.m.

Brief Site / Staff Notes and Considerations: Unfortunately, a number of factors associated with the premises in question were somewhat non-conducive to an ideal investigation scenario. Firstly, the buildings clientele appeared reluctant to leave the premises – resulting in a rather late start to the night’s proceedings. While certain checks and inspections were made prior to the last customers finally leaving – around 1.30 .a.m. – there was considerable debate within the group concerning the point of carrying out any form of recording sessions, etc, due to noise contamination from the main bar area. Despite the latter mentioned, it was suggested that two of the allegedly ‘most haunted’ area’s within the pub – the cellar and the function room – were sufficiently ‘out of the way’ as to merit some attention. (Hence, 3 recording sessions – in succession – being held in these particular area’s between 12.37 a.m. and 1.50 a.m.)

Once the investigation had begun, it was also noted that certain contamination – mainly noise related – would probably be carrying into the body of the building from the private living quarters. (Television, dogs, residents movement, etc). Main recordings affected by this situation would be those made in the function room area, which is situated close to the private quarters. Also, noise from the street outside – passing cars, drunks, etc - seemed particularly loud in the function room.

Landlord and staff members appeared to be all ‘pro-paranormal’ with regards to their views on activity at the site. Both Alan Wood and Steve Ousby claimed to have experienced happenings first hand, with the latter being pointed out as someone who was a ‘conductor’ for supposed ghostly incidents. (Quote: Mr. Wood). Mr Wood told the group that he had been a sceptic (with regards to the paranormal) prior to moving into the premises, while Steve Ousby admitted having a considerable interest / belief in the subject.

It was ascertained by the group that the Star and Garter was ‘not yet’ on the Burton Ghost Walk, but was, hopefully, going to be added to the list of places visited.

[III]. Secondary Notes: Audio / Visual Results.

None of the video / audio recordings taken during the investigation contained anything which might be regarded as of obvious ‘paranormal’ significance. Most of the recordings did contain some form of sporadic noise – click’s, knocks, taps, distant movement sounds, etc – but most of these could be put down to being naturally occurring contamination within the building itself – i.e. persons / animals moving around in the private quarters; the building settling; pub related equipment / machinery, etc.

[IV]. General Findings / Conclusions.

Nothing of an obvious paranormal nature was detected during the investigation. Only one item of passing interest were noted – namely, the three ‘flawed’ photographs taken just prior to 4.00 a.m. While being of interest, some form of rational explanation – i.e. camera fault - cannot be ruled out.

Thermometer readings taken throughout the night revealed that the temperature in the disused cellar area fluctuated by only .2 of a degree during the stay. The temperature in the function room fluctuated by one whole degree.

[V]. Appendices:

Appendix: [1] – Paranormal Related History. (Source: Sent to group by Chris Campbell-Brown of The Burton Ghost Walk).

The ghost that reportedly haunted the former British Oak at the time of this particular tale was said to be a playful one. He has many tricks up his sleeve, one of his favourites is to draw off exactly half a pint of beer, and the landlord knew the exact quantity because he put a glass under the tap to catch it. This happened on several occasions over the years, although from time to time it was changed from beer to cider, until the landlord disconnected the pipes to the cellar. Although the alcohol stopped dispensing the noises from the pumps continued as the ghostly presence tried to get himself a drink, but he never managed to magic one.

The cleaner and occasional barmaid was collecting dishes in the bar, she was carrying empty plates into the kitchen when a light fitment came crashing down from the ceiling leaving torn wires dangling. The bar staff after an evening serving in the pub have found to their amazement that the taps on the pumps in the barrels have been switched off in the cellar. It is impossible to serve draught beer without these.

The doors in the upstairs living quarters have rattled ominously but nobody is there and strange things happened in the bar area. The landlord would lock up every night and switch the lights of only to find them all switched in again in the morning. Ashtrays would move from table to table or disappear all together.

This activity was not only isolated to this period previous landlord’s have spoken of bottles flying of the shelves and smashing on the floor of the bar and ashtrays flying of tables. A party who used the upstairs function room at the time heard strange noises but when they checked there was absolutely nobody there at all.

The landlords dogs were afraid to go down the cellar, they trembled and ran upstairs with fright. One dog that normally had a good appetite could not eat for a week after being in the cellar area. Rumour has it that the area in the cellar where the dogs where so scared is where an ex landlord had committed suicide, although we have been unable to find any historical records to verify this. Also located in the bar area is a dead mans chair, that to this day regulars refuse to sit in due to it’s history of users dying shortly after sitting in it.

Another former landlord striped down the wallpaper on a wall to find a picture of Ben Truman (the pub was a Truman’s house before being sold to other brewers). All attempts to cover the picture failed miserably as it showed through layer upon layer of paint, eventually they papered over it.

Is this the ghost of the former British Oak Ben Truman who doesn’t like you drinking other breweries beer or is it the alleged hanged man we will leave that for you decide.

Appendix: [2] – Paranormal Related History. (Source: Information related to group by residents of Star and Garter on night of investigation).

1. Current occupants moved in to premises on Aug. 19th 2004 and alleged paranormal activity began within days of them taking over the property. Landlord – Alan Wood – claims to have been a sceptic before moving into the Star and Garter, but, through exposure to alleged activity within the property, he now admits that he has to revise his beliefs on such matters.

2. W.M.G.C. members informed that a number of past owners / staff had reported supposed paranormal activity.

3. People living near to the premises have allegedly spoken of hearing barrels moving both in the cellars of the building – late at night – and in the yard situated at the rear of the pub. The sound of horses have also been heard from the yard area – though only by people living in close proximity to the property and not by residents of the pub itself. Apparently, the landlord’s dogs will not go into the arched area, attached to stable block, in the pub yard. Steve Ousby also admits to having had ‘strange feelings’ about this particular area on at least one occasion.

4. Landlords dogs refuse to go into pub cellar.

5. General Cellar: Staff apparently believe that both an adult, male presence and that of a child exist in this area. Mr Wood reported that he sometimes feels his ‘hand being held’ in the cellar – something which he ascribes to the child-like presence. / A plastic jug – usually left in the cellar sink – has been known to move, supposedly of it’s own accord. / Buckets move of own accord. / A ceramic mug, accidentally left in the cellar by Mr. Wood, was later found smashed to pieces in the main beer cellar area. (Mug fragments still in situ at time of visit and photographed by group member). / Numerous cold spots and feelings have allegedly been detected in this area. / Damp marks visible on the wall of the disused cellar area were pointed out to W.M.G.C. members as being potentially ‘sinister’. / Gas taps sometimes turned off in cellar, apparently of own volition.

6. Gypsy-like woman, allegedly seen by Steve Ousby, in the process of descending the main staircase to the function room / private quarters. Vanished after a couple of seconds.

7. Following a ‘Karaoke’ session in function room one night, Steve Ousby and another (unnamed) witness apparently saw dark figure standing near to window overlooking pub yard. No real description could be given for the figure concerned. Vague and indistinct form.

8. Vague figure sometimes seen in short corridor leading from lounge room to main bar area. Steve Ousby suggests that this may be the same form witnessed in the function room area.

9. Odd noises – laughter, etc – sometimes heard from private quarters of building.

10. Staff report having seen the figure of an old man seated in the lounge, to the left hand side of the bay window seat. Present for a matter of seconds, then vanishes. Remarked that he is seen when bright sunlight is streaming in through the bay window(?)

All the best,

West Midlands Ghost Club

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Fast Food Ghosts????

From The Archives:

Mini / Preliminary Investigation Report: Fast Food Restaurant (?) – The West Midlands Region.

Note* The W.M.G.C. were specifically asked not to divulge the precise name and location of the site concerned. Suffice to say, the business involved is part of an international franchise. It should also be pointed out that there are a number of other, allegedly haunted sites within a very short distance of the property concerned.

This visit to the site was purposefully kept brief and served as a preliminary investigation, primarily aimed at a general assessment of the premises.

Date: Sunday 27th to Monday 28th August 2006

Duration Of Visit: Approx. 3.5 hrs

Investigators Present: Steve Chew, Frazer Smith and Len Jackson. Also – Restaurant Manager and three guests.

Site / Haunting History

While the building concerned was only constructed in recent years, there have been numerous reports of poltergeist-like effects at the site. Such happenings include: stall doors banging of their own accord in the toilets and glasses and other objects falling or flying from shelves seemingly of their own volition. ‘Scuffling’ noises have been heard from various parts of the building, including the Kitchen Area, Office Corridor and the walk in Freezers. The sound of something apparently ‘banging on the inside of the door’ of the latter mentioned has also been reported. Taps have switched themselves off while staff have been using them and noises – including footsteps – heard from portions of the building known to be empty. There has only been one, potential reported ‘sighting’ of anything on the premises and this was a fleeting glimpse of something which resembled a woman with blonde hair.

Locally / historically speaking: The area now occupied by the restaurant was formerly an industrial area, lying on the periphery of an immense factory site. It is known that a woman was found dead – under somewhat dubious circumstances – not too far distant, only a few years ago.

Investigation:

12.45 am – While group is still acquainting themselves with the premises, Steve hears a noise in the Kitchen area, seemingly originating from the Freezer end of the room. The noise was described as the sort of sound made by a cardboard box full of cutlery being moved.

Around the same time, Len gets an impression of someone walking past the window of the building, but, upon investigating, can see nothing. He moves away from the window and experiences the same effect a second time. Still there is no one there. It was noticed throughout the night that a number of vehicles passed within close proximity to the building, though no one on foot was ever seen.

Session One: 12.51 am to 1.21 am

*Camera 1 was set up in Kitchen area – directly opposite / facing the Office Corridor. On the work surface, directly in front of the camera, was placed two crucifixes (utilised as trigger objects) with an audio alarm attached to both.

*Camera 2 was set up in the Ladies Toilet area, facing the end two stalls – furthest from the door – in the row.

1.07 am – the restaurant telephone rings and the manager answers it, but reports that there is no one on the other end. A couple of minutes later, it rings again and it is, apparently, an acquaintance calling.

1.15 am – Steve, Frazer and one of the guests hear what they describe as a loud, female whisper. (All seated in Middle / Right of Main Dining Area). Frazer and Steve seem to think that the noise originated in the Kitchen area, while the guest assumed that it had possibly been Len – at the other end of the room - making notes with a hand held cassette machine. Len had previously been taking notes in this manner during the session, but had ceased to do so some 10 minutes earlier.

Other click / knock noises heard during the vigil, but these were deemed to be structural / native in origin (i.e. the wood of an empty chair creaking next to an investigator, etc).

1.46 am – Steve, Frazer and Len talking in Kitchen area. Former mentioned standing near Freezer end of room, with latter two in centre section of room. All hear loud, rippling ‘farting’-type noise, seemingly coming from work / ice machine area. Noise heard twice in reasonably quick succession – a minute or so apart – with the second sound being slightly different to the first. Steve likened the noise to someone getting up from a creaky leather seat – which was an accurate comparison.

Around the same time, Steve also heard a ‘clump’ noise from the Freezer area of the Kitchen.

Session Two: 1.52 am to 2.22 am

2.00 am – Steve and Frazer react to a very loud noise in the Kitchen, seemingly originating from the region of the work / ice machine area. Noise described as very loud and sounding like a ‘stack of objects’ being moved or shaken. Steve tries to replicate the sound with items / equipment around the area, but cannot. It is noted that many of these sounds seem to originate in the region of the ice machine – such equipment being notoriously noisy at the best of times and frequently turning out sounds identical to those heard by group members. The sound was heard twice in fairly quick succession, the first time being much quieter than the second.

2.33 am – entire group seated, talking casually in the Main Dining Area. A ‘hissing’ noise from the Kitchen attracts everyone’s attention and the Manager investigates to find that the sliding lid of the ice machine is open. (He has closed this by the time anyone else gets into the area, unfortunately). W.M.G.C. members were last out of this room – having been examining the machine – and it is known for certain that the lid was closed when they vacated the area.

Other sounds were noted during this period, but the bulk of these were assessed as, most likely, noises native to the building.

Session Three: 2.43 am to 3.13 am

2.47 am – A ‘scuffling’ sound is heard in the Kitchen area by Len. Noise appeared to originate in the room, off to the right of where Len was sitting. (Beyond the region occupied by the ice machine).

2.58 am – Loud noise from same area as previously. Tom hears a ‘crack-like’ sound, but Len says it was more like a ‘sneeze’ (?)

3.30 am – Visit finishes and we vacate the premises.

Temperatures:

The temperature inside the building dropped by one degree during the visit.

Recordings:

Camera One: Session One:

There are a lot of sounds that could be regarded as ‘native to the building’ - knocks, bangs and switching sounds…..most of which probably originate with the freezers, machines cooling down etc. During the recording there were, at three different points, the sound of something or someone messing around very close to the camera. Two of the instances are very striking; seemingly not the ice machine, nor anything automated.

Camera Two: Session One:

1.03 am - a loud ‘crack’ sound was picked up – seemingly close to the camera. This could have been a sound which was noted by an investigator seated in the Main Dining Area around the same time(?)

1.20 am – Camera picks up four fairly loud ‘knocks’. The sounds are quite clear, but not necessarily inside the toilet area itself.

General Notes:

It couldn’t help but be noticed that an the equipment within the building – freezers, air conditioning, etc – caused a substantial amount of noise under normal / daily working conditions. From this, it is assumed that any noises noticed by staff members as potentially paranormal in nature – i.e. scuffling sounds, footsteps and such – would have to be of a reasonable magnitude to be noticed. (This, of course, taking into consideration the fact that the staff members are probably well accustomed to such sounds and would possibly be able to differentiate between these and other, ‘unnaturally occurring’ noises?).

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Friday, 29 January 2010

The Kings Arms Public House - Harborne

From The Archives:

Investigation Report:‭ ‬The Kings Arms Public House‭ – ‬Harborne‭ – ‬Birmingham‭

‬Date of Investigation:‭ ‬October‭ ‬15th to‭ ‬16th‭ ‬2004.‭

‬Notes On Alleged Haunted History:‭

*‬1st night on premises,‭ ‬landlady saw‭ ‘‬someone‭’ ‬looking around pillars in bar area of pub when building was otherwise empty.‭

*‬Movement of objects‭ – ‬glasses smashed‭ ‬/‭ ‬thrown from shelves.‭ ‬Bathroom cabinet flew across room towards person in shower.‭ ‬Heavy vase flew across kitchen and smashed.‭ ‬Magazines from rack scattered in three different directions,‭ ‬etc.‭

*‬Cellar lights switched off and on of own accord.‭ ‬Feeling of being watched in general cellar area.‭

*‬Sound of movement heard in private apartment corridor at‭ ‬2‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬Upon investigation,‭ ‬drawers of sideboard in corridor found open,‭ ‬with everything thrown out.‭ ‬As ghost is allegedly called‭ ‘‬Harry‭’‬,‭ ‬landlady shouted:‭ “‬F‭*** ‬Off Harry‭!!”‬,‭ ‬and heard someone laughing and running away down corridor.‭

*‬Landlady situated in kitchen and saw someone run into her daughters room.‭ ‬Music came on in room.‭ ‬She went in to turn music off and saw‭ ‘‬someone‭’ ‬darting into her own bedroom.‭

*‬Footsteps and banging noises often heard.‭

*‬Staff member tapped on shoulder and had her hair pulled.‭

*‬Feeling of someone getting into bed with you.‭

‬Investigation:‭

‬Present:‭ ‬Steve Chew and Frazer Smith.‭ ‬Also‭ ‬5‭ ‬people associated with pub itself‭ – ‬Z,‭ ‬L,‭ ‬A,‭ ‬C and O.‭

‬Vigil One‭ – ‬Cellar Area:‭

‬Steve Chew hears‭ ‘‬clang‭’ ‬sound from outside cellar door.‭ (‬Like noise made by a metal pipe‭)‬.‭ ‬Boiler room situated nearby.‭ ‬O possibly hears same noise‭(?) ‬Traffic sounds detected from outside property.‭

‬During vigil,‭ ‬O and Z allegedly saw‭ ‬/‭ ‬sensed‭ ‘‬flames‭’ ‬in the cellar area‭(?)

‬Later,‭ ‬O and Steve hear a‭ ‘‬shuffling‭’ ‬sound.‭ ‬Z becomes‭ ‘‬spooked‭’ ‬and believes that someone has touched her.‭ ‬Z visibly shaken by this experience.‭

‬Post vigil‭ – ‬Steve Z and L walking back into bar.‭ ‬All hear‭ ‘‬bang‭’ ‬come from the stairs area of function room above.‭

‬Vigil Two‭ – ‬Function Room:‭

‬Group conducting‭ (‬experimental‭) ‬recording‭ ‬/‭ ‬ghost baiting session and O asks if the ghosts are happy with the way that the premises are being currently run‭? ‬If so‭ – ‬then could they let someone know‭?

‬At this point,‭ ‬Steve is setting his camera up on the function room stairs and feels himself being physically‭ ‘‬pushed‭’ ‬into a nearby door frame‭! (‬Action possibly in response to the question being asked‭?)

‬Vigil Three‭ – ‬Function Room Stairs:‭

‬Ghost baiting session conducted in endeavour to replicate‭ ‘‬pushing‭’ ‬scenario.‭

‬A and C leave premises at‭ ‬3.02‭ ‬a.m.‭

‬Z believes that she hears footsteps in function room.‭ ‬Other noises also heard from‭ (‬poss.‭) ‬function room and corridor.‭

‬Vigil‭ ‬4‭ – ‬Cellar Middle Room:‭

‬Squeaking noise heard.‭ (‬Poss.‭ ‬from cellar pipes‭)‬.‭ ‬Other unidentifiable sounds heard.‭ ‬Couple of people present claim to hear sounds of muffled voices.‭

‬Vigil Five‭ – ‬Function Room:‭

‬4‭ ‘‬tap‭’ ‬noises repeated twice,‭ ‬seemingly from glass lamp shade.‭

‬Floorboards heard creaking,‭ ‬as if someone‭ ‘‬rocking to and fro‭’ ‬on them.‭

‬Researchers leave pub around‭ ‬5.30‭ ‬a.m.‭

‬Brief Summary:‭

‬Researchers observe that visit‭ ‬/‭ ‬investigation conducted in already paranormally charged atmosphere.‭ ‬Previous visit by‭ (‬dramatic‭ ‬/‭ ‬psychic motivated‭) ‬group added to ghost-lore‭ ‬/‭ ‬paranormal expectations of site.‭ ‬Clearly general sense of heightened expectation‭ (‬re.‭ ‬potential paranormal happenings‭) ‬from site based personnel.‭

‬Degree of‭ (‬site based‭) ‬prompting‭ ‬/‭ ‬feeding occurring throughout visit.‭

‬Landlady spoke of being forewarned about ghostly reputation of site prior to moving into premises.

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Haunted Homes #1

Recent events mentioned in a post below have brought the subject of ‘Haunted Homes’ (not the rubbish TV series, we hasten to add!! Laugh!!) to the fore.

Below are details of an allegedly haunted house, situated in the Black Country area, which were sent in to the group recently….

According to the former occupants of the property in question, the site was the focus of many inexplicable happenings. Strangely, activity only seemed to really occur in any great volume if the family living at the site carried out some form of renovation-style activity at the house, i.e. painting and decorating, or anything to do with their garden. Needless to say this is a detail frequently mentioned in conjunction with hauntings at times. The mother of the family discovered that a very house-proud, elderly gentleman used to live at the property and had actually passed away there. He is said to have loved both his home and garden very much.

During their time in the house, the family concerned report having experienced many peculiar happenings, including glass bowls flying of the table and smashing against walls, the sound of heavy footsteps traversing the bedroom floor at night, disembodied voices... and a variety of different objects going missing and then mysteriously re-appearing again, many months later.

One day, when the son and daughter of the family were very young, they ran in to their mother, shouting that they could see a ‘ball of fire’ floating in the bathroom! When she rushed to the bathroom there was nothing to be seen. She asked them where they had seen the ball and they both pointed to the same spot in the air; both said it was round in shape and had looked just like fire….

At the time, the family had a dog which would sit by the living room door, growling into the empty hall. Certain family members - and visitors to the house - had spoken, at times, of seeing an indistinct shape walking along the hallway towards the front door of the property. This shape was only ever seen through the glass of the closed, living room door and resembled someone short of stature dressed in dark clothing.

The family concerned eventually moved away from the house, though not because of the peculiar activity they had experienced while living there. They tell the WMGC that they have never experienced any further happenings at their new address…..

All the best,

The W.M.G.C.

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Appeal.....

The West Midlands Ghost Club is always on the lookout for potentially paranormal related stories and data from around the Mercia region, as part of our day-to-day running of the group itself. However, as we have maintained this blog for almost a year now, gaining reasonably good visitors figures in the process, we were hoping that 'you' the visitors to this site might be willing to share some of your experiences, anecdotes and comments with us?

If you do have anything you would like to see up on this blog - personal ghostly encounters, rants and moans, or perhaps word of your own research group or pursuits, etc - then please do contact us!! We are always on the look-out for contact and feed-back from our visitors and, from the figures we've seen over the last year (give or take), people are still clearly finding this page to be of some interest..... Needless to say, we should like to build on this interest and, as a result, both bring our readers more, fresh data to mull over and generally get people more involved in what is seen here. 'You' are obviously using this blog, so why not have a part in what is said here?

We have 20+ years of stories and personal anecdotes to draw on for our posts, but we would like to see the blog become something more than just WMGC reminiscences and related waffle, if possible? Who are you? Where do you come from? What is your interest in this field? Tell us...... we're sure others would like to know too!!!

All the best to everyone - and we do hope to hear from you soon!!

Regards,

The W.M.G.C.

Ghost Of The Living.....


Just one solitary ghost story to be posted this week folks, but we're sure it will make an interesting read and hopefully inspire readers to contact us with their thoughts or any similar instances(?)

The following matter has recently come to the attention of the WMGC and the author - who wishes to remain nameless - has asked us to appeal for any similar data or references from the blog readers and visitors:

"I should begin by stressing that I loved my previous house – my home from early childhood and then onward for many years – with a passion. It was where I spent the best years of my life and I would not have left it for the world if I’d have had any say in the matter. While skimming for the sake of brevity, it should be stressed that, at the time of leaving the property, a lot of anger and frustration went into thoughts of the place. Just prior to this and during the period of leaving, a considerable degree of abnormal psychology was played out there.

As some of my friends still live in the area concerned – certainly not a million miles from my current home – I still occasionally walk past the house. I’m sure a lot of people would know what I mean in saying that it ‘physically’ hurts me to see the place at these times, knowing that someone else now lives in ‘my home’. Despite the fact that I’ve been in my current address for some years now, started a family and so on, the old house is still regarded as ‘home’ – the image that immediately pops into the minds eye - when anyone mentions the word.

Since leaving the property, I have, on a regular basis, re-visited the house in my mind; walking through every inch of the place, trying to refresh and re-refresh my memory of every nook and cranny, stair and floorboard creak.

I don't mind admitting that, for some years now I had half joked about ‘myself’ possibly ‘haunting’ my old home in some way(?) In thinking about the house, I had got into the way of seldom missing out a ponderance over whether, at some points in time, my ‘apparition’ isn’t witnessed by the current occupants, shambling across the living room carpet or perhaps bounding up the stairs of the property!

On this subject, I must admit that I have taken the notion further in actually ‘wishing’ myself on the property at times. I’m embarrassed to admit that this had been done in mixture of frustration and misguided anger at thoughts of my unwanted ejection from the place and the current residents…. “Look at me!” my ghost rages, “This is ‘My’ home that you’re living in!”. While moderately cliché, the subject of a thousand and one haunted house stories, this is a scenario that – embarrassment again – I have envisioned, in one form or another, oh-so-many times…..

Come forward to the time of writing this piece – January 2010 – and, only a few days ago, I receive a phone call on my mobile. There is person on the other end of the line who seems rather hesitant to speak with me to begin with; but they eventually ask me if I can possibly help them with some details on the history of a particular house? When I reply ‘if I possibly can….’ I'm thrown with the information that it is a place which they believe is known to me…. being my previous home! I initially thought that someone was possibly having me on, but – perversely and instantly intrigued - I still ask what sort of things have supposedly been going on there. I'm told of some fairly standard happenings – including footsteps heard coming from upstairs and voices – and I instantly jump on the latter, asking what the voices sounded like and if anything could be heard clearly? It's bizarre to relate, but I’m instantly looking for a connection with either myself or others I had lived with, and find myself crestfallen when I'm told the voices heard are those of their own family members who allegedly did not make the noises heard at the times they have been reported. On the same tracks, I then ask if anything has been ‘seen’ in the house….. but, again, I’m told that only fleeting ‘shapes’ have been witnessed, and, on one occasion, a small child seemingly saw the figure of 'a man', but was far too young to describe anything about him in detail.

The emphasis on the phonecall is clearly a query over whether I or my family had ever experienced anything of a paranormal nature in all of the time that we lived there. My simple answer is - if that house was haunted back 'then' - well, I am a Dutchman!!

Regarding the details of the happenings, suffice it to say, I could make no blatant or direct connections with myself or any of my family members and the activity concerned. What is mentioned appears to be a standard, poltergeist-like effect, quite typical of pretty much any other alleged haunting currently being reported in the early 21st Century.

I was told that another family had briefly lived in the house immediately after my departure and in the mere 12 or so months that they were there, they had experienced some rather worrying happenings. The current family had taken over the property at the end of one month and, by the middle of the next, things apparently began happening.

A quick digression should be inserted here on the subject of, so-called, ‘Apparitions Of The Living’. Such things are supposedly a recognised phenomenon in ghost-related circles and, according to statistics, 'more apparitions of living people are seen than apparitions of the dead'. Personally speaking, I think such a quote is utter hog-wash, but where 'mechanics' are concerned, the common notion about such things is that someone might think about a building so much, through a passionate love of the place, for example, that they somehow, by some para-physical means, actually ‘project’ an image of themselves onto the site concerned.

Could this be the reason for the 'haunting' in my old home, do you think?"

Friday, 15 January 2010

Another Hotel Affair....


From the Archives....

On December the‭ ‬11th,‭ ‬2005,‭ ‬W.M.G.C.‭ ‬members conducted an overnight investigation of the Tudor House Inn,‭ ‬Warwick,‭ ‬in the presence of an I.T.V.‭ ‬film crew.‭

An initial‭ – ‬exploratory‭ ‬-‭ ‬visit was paid to the Tudor House last Summer by‭ (‬then‭)‬ group member Frazer Smith and Dean Steadman.‭ ‬While searching for a suitable venue for a proposed Central T.V.‭ ‬documentary in late‭ ‬2004,‭ ‬Steve Chew re-approached the site’s owners who kindly agreed to allow an investigation.

The building itself has a considerable supernatural reputation.‭ ‬Built in the early‭ ‬17th Century,‭ ‬the site is said to be haunted by a ghost known as‭ ‘‬Jennifer‭’‬,‭ ‬who announces her presence by switching lights on and off,‭ ‬rattling iron gates and creating eerie feelings in a number of rooms.‭ ‬Footsteps and the sound of singing have been heard in the main bar and a visiting psychic allegedly detected the spirits of two children on the premises.

One burly‭ ‬6‭ ‬ft builder who rented a room one night was apparently found outside,‭ ‬crying on the bonnet of his car‭ – ‬having fled the building in terror‭!! ‬He wouldn’t say what he had experienced,‭ ‬but allegedly had to spend the rest of the night sleeping in the same room as the‭ (‬male‭) ‬owner of the inn‭!!

Despite the buildings ghostly heritage,‭ ‬our visit appeared to pass very quietly indeed.‭ ‬Only one potential happening occurred during the stay,‭ ‬when researcher Len Jackson reported hearing a sound‭ – ‬akin to a‭ ‘‬hiccup‭’ – ‬in a corridor near the hotel reception area‭…

Our investigation notes for the event concerned ran as below:

Date Of Visit:‭ ‬11th‭ ‬/‭ ‬12th December‭ ‬2005.‭
Duration Of Visit:‭ ‬Approx.‭ ‬7.5‭ ‬hours.
Time of Arrival:‭ ‬Approx.‭ ‬9.00‭ ‬p.m.‭

Present:‭

Investigative Team‭ ‬-‭ ‬Leonard Jackson,‭ ‬Steve Chew and Nick Duffy.‭ ‬Also,‭ ‬for part of the investigation‭ ‬-‭ ‬Tudor House Manager‭ ‘‬Sweetie‭’ ‬and I.T.V.‭ ‬Film Crew x‭ ‬3‭ ‬persons.

For the duration of the night,‭ ‬three paying guests are housed in rooms situated on the‭ ‬2nd Floor landing.

Aims‭ ‬/‭ ‬Inv.‭ ‬Process:‭

General investigation of property,‭ ‬mainly focussing on sections of building noted as being of particular relevance‭ ‬/‭ ‬importance regarding the alleged paranormal history of the site.‭ ‬Investigation procedure incorporating:

1st person audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬visual observation.‭

(b‭) ‬Static‭ (‬area based‭) ‬audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬visual recording,‭ ‬incorporating standard‭ ‬/‭ ‬night shot camera’s.‭

(c‭) ‬General temperature recording.‭ (‬Incorporating‭ ‘‬ambient‭’ ‬devices‭)‬.

‭(‬d‭) ‬Trigger objects‭ – ‬listed below:

‭*‬12‭” ‬tall mannequin figure‭ – ‬positioned on table in Restaurant area of building.‭
*Cross‭ – ‬outlined on white paper‭ – ‬on small,‭ ‬corner window ledge of Mary Tudor Bedroom.
‭*‬Childrens chiming ball‭ – ‬situated on dresser in Mary Tudor Bedroom.
‭*‬Bible‭ – ‬placed on chair at top of Bar Room Stairs.

Brief Investigation Notes:

*9.00‭ ‬p.m.‭ – ‬W.M.G.C.‭ ‬members arrive at site.‭ ‬Speak with Tudor House staff and gather general data concerning alleged haunting of site.

‭*‬10.00‭ ‬p.m.‭ – ‬I.T.V.‭ ‬Crew arrive.‭ ‬Begin with filming external views of building,‭ ‬followed by‭ ‘‬interview‭’ ‬sessions‭ – ‬in Main Bar Area‭ ‬-‭ ‬with group members.‭

*11.30‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬I.T.V.‭ ‬crew film group members setting up investigative equipment in Mary Tudor Bedroom.

Camera‭ (‬utilising night shot capacity‭) ‬positioned in‭ (‬door‭ ‬/‭ ‬main window‭) ‬corner of bedroom,‭ ‬facing‭ – ‬diagonally‭ – ‬towards small,‭ ‬corner window‭ (‬on the ledge of which the‭ ‘‬cross‭’ ‬trigger object is positioned‭)‬.

Thermometer and childrens ball situated on small dresser against corridor wall of room.

Door to M.‭ ‬T.‭ ‬Room locked at‭ ‬12.15‭ ‬a.m.

‭*‬Approx.‭ ‬12.30‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬I.T.V.‭ ‬Crew leave building.

‭*‬1.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬video recording session in Mary Tudor Bedroom finishes.‭ (‬At this point in the morning,‭ ‘‬Sweetie‭’ ‬retires for the night to Room‭ ‬5‭ ‬on the First Floor landing‭)‬.

‭*‬1.15‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬2.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬Group members conduct vigil on staircase between Restaurant area and‭ ‬1st Floor Landing.

During this period:‭

Video recording session running in Main Bar Area.‭ ‬Camera facing up Bar stairs to‭ ‬1st Floor area.

‭*‬2.10‭ ‬to‭ ‬3.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬Group members conduct vigil in Bar Area.

During this period:

Camera‭ ‬1:‭ ‬positioned on‭ ‬2nd Floor Landing,‭ ‬looking towards Room‭ ‬10‭ ‬area.

Camera‭ ‬2:‭ ‬positioned on‭ ‬1st Floor Landing,‭ ‬facing upstairs towards‭ ‬2nd Floor Area.

Camera‭ ‬3:‭ ‬positioned in Restaurant Area,‭ ‬facing rear of property.

At approx.‭ ‬2.49‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬Len Jackson walking along Reception Area corridor‭ (‬going to retrieve camera‭ ‬3‭ ‬from Restaurant Area‭) ‬when he hears loud‭ ‘‬hiccup‭’ ‬type noise.‭ ‬Cannot find source of sound and admits that the experience causes him to be momentarily reticent to enter Restaurant Area.‭

*3.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬to‭ ‬4.00‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬Group conduct vigil in Mary Tudor Bedroom.

During this period:

Video recording sessions in Main Bar Area.‭ ‬Camera‭ ‬1‭ ‬situated on Bar Balcony‭ – ‬1st Floor level‭ – ‬filming down towards great fireplace end of room.

Camera‭ ‬2‭ ‬positioned facing Bar Stairs.

‭*‬4.30‭ ‬a.m.‭ – ‬Group leave site.

Conclusions‭ ‬/‭ ‬Summary:

Nothing of an obvious‭ ‘‬paranormal‭’ ‬nature was detected during our visit.‭ ‬The only event of any potential significance was Len Jacksons experience at‭ ‬2.49‭ ‬a.m.‭ ‬in the Reception Area Corridor.

Temperatures within the building dropped steadily by‭ ‬1.5‭ ‬degrees during the course of the stay.

Doc Ends.

The resulting I.T.V.‭ ‬documentary‭ – ‬produced as‭ ‬an episode of‭ ‬ the popular‭ ‬‘Central Extra‭’‬ series‭ – ‬aired on Tuesday,‭ ‬January‭ ‬10th‭ (‬06‭)‬.

Best wishes to all,

The W.M.G.C.


The Moat House - Tamworth


‭From the W.M.G.C. archives.....

C‬onstructed around‭ ‬1575,‭ ‬the impressive Moat House Restaurant in Tamworth,‭ ‬South Staffordshire,‭ ‬has been utilised for a variety of purposes during it’s lifetime,‭ ‬including periods as a private residence,‭ ‬a gentlemen’s club,‭ ‬a hospital,‭ ‬an asylum and,‭ ‬more recently,‭ ‬a public house and restaurant.

Reports of ghostly activity at the site stretch back at least three decades and include a vast array of diverse happenings.‭ ‬Apparitions,‭ ‬poltergeist effects and mediumistic‭ ‬/‭ ‬psychic episodes have all been regularly experienced.‭

Just some of the apparitions allegedly witnessed on the premises include an old woman in a rocking chair and a lady in Victorian costume both seen in the library.‭ ‬A gentleman wearing a smoking jacket‭ ‬-‭ ‬carrying a brandy glass and smoking a cigar‭ ‬-‭ ‬has been seen in the main entrance hall to the building.‭ ‬An‭ ‘‬ugly‭’ ‬little girl apparently resides in the Restaurant‭ ‘‬Tower‭’ ‬and a‭ ‘‬grey lady‭’ ‬has been witnessed in the kitchen and living room of the resident staff accommodation.‭ ‬A terrifying face‭ – ‬so horrible that one of the witnesses concerned had to leave the premises upon seeing it‭ – ‬has also been spotted peering through the kitchen window‭…‬.

Some of the more startling poltergeist-like effects reported include:‭ ‬A kitchen knife allegedly sailing past the face of one staff member,‭ ‬in an otherwise empty room,‭ ‬before embedding itself in a nearby notice board.‭ ‬On another occasion,‭ ‬two members of staff were alone in the building when a heavy metal rack,‭ ‬loaded with literally hundreds of plates,‭ ‬toppled over of it’s own accord in the kitchen.‭ ‬Bottles have been witnessed flying across a bar and smashing onto the floor‭… ‬again,‭ ‬seemingly of their own volition.‭ ‬One staff member has heard her name being called out by a disembodied voice‭ – ‬while the sound of a woman singing a lullaby and the noise of a baby gurgling have been reported from the Function Room‭……‬.

West Midlands Ghost club members carried out an investigation of the property on‭ ‬the‭ ‬9th of July‭ ‬2004.‭ ‬The duration of the investigation lasted approx.‭ ‬6‭ ‬hours.

As with most of our investigations,‭ ‬the event was‭ ‬based around particular areas of the property which had been specifically pointed out to the group as sites of‭ (‬alleged‭) ‬paranormal activity,‭ ‬with a‭ ‬number of‭ (‬manned‭) ‘‬vigils‭’ ‬and audio‭ ‬/‭ ‬visual recording sessions‭ ‬being‭ ‬staged in various parts of the premises throughout the night.

As with a great many investigations,‭ ‬the evening passed mainly without event,‭ ‬save for a trigger object‭ ‬-‭ ‬based in‭ ‬a‭ ‬2nd floor Children’s Room‭ ‬-‭ ‬being found to have moved twice during the night.‭ ‬Following it’s initial movement‭ (‬of approx.‭ ‬1‭ ‬cm‭)‬,‭ ‬the object was re-positioned and,‭ ‬some‭ ‬50‭ ‬minutes later,‭ ‬was found to have moved again‭ (‬by‭ ‬0.5‭ ‬cm‭)‬.‭ ‬On both occasions,‭ ‬the object had moved in the same direction.‭

This particular site was purposefully chosen for this experiment as,‭ ‬during a recent visit by another local research group,‭ ‬a trigger object had allegedly moved of it’s own accord in the same position.‭ ‬Having mentioned the above,‭ ‬basic experiments with group members moving in close proximity to the object concerned did cause vibrations and led to the movement of the object concerned.‭

With regards to‭ ‘‬recorded‭’ ‬data,‭ ‬the only matter of mild interest were some peculiar‭ ‘‬knocking sounds‭’ ‬which turned up on video recordings made in the Library area of the property.‭

An article,‭ ‬briefly mentioning‭ ‬the groups visit to the Moat House,‭ ‬was subsequently released in the‭ ‘‬Tamworth Herald‭’ ‬newspaper on July‭ ‬15th‭ ‬2004.

Regards to all,

The W.M.G.C.