Tuesday, 5 December 2017


Tuesday 5th December 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday 5th December 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, 28 November 2017


Tuesday 28th November 2017

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday November 28th 2017

*Just a brief explanation on the posting of this rather outdated waffle below, but I have - in recent months - had call to show such views to different parties and have not had the material 'readily available' in an online, easily accessible source.....  It goes without saying that the piece concerned possibly needs updating considerably at this point, but, while some of the technical data, dates, etc, therein may be a little 'out', the general emphasis of the discourse still holds true...... 

"Some Misanthropic Musings On The Nature Of The ‘ORB’

The following discourse initially began as a fairly brief article – a simple argument against the Orb (as an aspect of potential paranormal phenomenon) - which was published in a (supposedly) paranormal related newspaper in mid-2004. This greatly expanded – and far from finished! – version of the article reached it’s current state in October 2005.

While I would hope that the key points outlined in this piece would, if presented in a more serious light, be valid in any balanced, measured, argument on this topic, I will certainly make no excuses for my blatant contempt towards this particular subject – or any negative views implied against the paranormal field itself.

While this is still, in essence, a diatribe against the appearance of the Orb and it’s subsequent, surrounding mythology, I would ask you to ‘read between the lines’ and also note at least some of the myriad intimated failings that are currently rampant within the ‘ghost research world’ itself.

The Orb is only one small aspect of the type of thing that is wrong in this field today. However, it’s very presence – it’s implied traits, personality and, in many circles, it’s unquestioned acceptance – typifies all that is currently wrong in the field…..

In reading this, I sincerely hope that some people will be able to decipher my ‘babble’ and evidently understand the bigger – disastrous and damning - implications such matters mean to the paranormal world in general. For those who choose not to try to entertain these notions – the ‘Orbs exist because Derek says so’ brigade – don’t worry too much…. this isn’t really for you – it’s all about you!

So - What Is An Orb?

Over the five or so years, at least 98% of all potentially ‘paranormal images’ sent in to the W.M.G.C. have comprised of so called ‘Orb’ shots.

For the uninitiated, in simplest terms, Orbs are: (a) spherical blobs of varying light intensity that tend to appear on (mainly) digital stills photographs and (b) moving blobs of light caught on (often digital) video footage.

So – Really – What Is An ‘Orb’?

Technically speaking, ‘Orbs’ are mainly a by-product of digital technology and C.P.C. – Close Proximity Contamination – involving airborne debris, such as dust particles, pollen, rain drops / moisture droplets, etc. The effect concerned will generally be most noticeable when taking a photograph in relatively poor light conditions when using a flash or, on video footage, if utilising the on-board light source or night-shot capacity. Out of focus C.P.C. particles are subsequently distorted and misinterpreted by a combination of light source / night vision and the camera technology involved.

The effects concerned are mainly confined to ‘digital’ cameras because they have a small focal distance – in comparison to 35 mm cameras – leading to a greater depth of field. Due to this, small airborne particles can be ‘picked out’ by digital cameras, but not (or seldom) with 35 mm models. Under normal daylight conditions, such debris will not generally show up, but, when utilising a flash against a dark background, the projected light serves to emphasise C.P.C. particles.


I have purposefully used the word ‘mainly’ at the beginning of the above statement simply because I have seen one, solitary example of orb phenomena on a 35 mm photograph. (The shot concerned was taken by a member of the W.M.G.C.). Needless to say, there will always be exceptions to the rule, though the anomaly within the image concerned would doubtless be down to the somewhat peculiar – round – design of the camera concerned. (The flash being situated exceptionally close to it’s lens).

Interestingly, the make / price range of different cameras would often appear to have a direct effect on the appearance of (so called) orb phenomena. Some makes / designs of camera seldom produce orb bearing images. My own cheap and cheerful ‘Fuji’ model is particularly prone to churning out orb shots, while another W.M.G.C. member with a more up to date – more expensive - version of the same camera hardly ever produces this effect. (The manual to my Fuji camera contains a section actually addressing the orb effect as a form of technical fault).

On the subject of personal, photographic experience, the last 2 years of my utilising a digital camera has been resulting in my obtaining an orb effect every five or so shots, on average. During the previous 20 years of owning and regularly using a standard 35mm Camera, I had never ‘caught’ an Orb once.

In recent years, I have spoken to many professional photographers who use the more expensive digital rigs - £1000 and upwards – and none could recall ever having taken photographs containing Orbs. While initially perplexing to some, this factor can be easily explained in considering the sheer quality and design of the product concerned. The more expensive the camera, the better quality the internal technology. The bulk of camera’s producing orb effects are those with a small ‘charged couple device’ – simply put, the digital sensor which captures the image – a detail which would also greatly be affected by the range / price range concerned. As a general rule - the better the technology, the less ‘faulty’ the end result. Also, this style of camera – detachable, telephoto lenses, etc – will, by physical design, never suffer from the lens / flash / depth of field equation required to produce Orbs.

A brief example of this latter mentioned aspect occurred relatively recently, when, simply from observing the design of an acquaintances camera – with a protruding, hooded lens – it was possible to ‘guess’ that it probably didn’t suffer from the Orb effect. The gentleman concerned admitted that C.P.C. did occasionally affect his photographs, but, on the whole, very infrequently indeed.

Furthermore, only a week or so later, I attended an investigation at an exceptionally ‘dusty’ site with the researcher concerned. We both used our cameras during the stay…. my snapshot style model never failing to capture an orb, while his photographic exploits were, apparently, totally orb-less!

Putting the Orb into true historical context, it has to be stated that - in some 20+ years serious study of ghost research - the very first time that I heard the word ‘Orb’ associated with paranormal activity falls well within the last decade…. Unfortunately, this is the place where one of the key sticking points in the pro / anti Orb argument appears – i.e. Very few (so called) investigators working nowadays have personally seen / lived through the ‘birth’ of the Orb effect. Personally speaking, this development occurred more than mid-way through my foray into the research field. In comparison, 99% of (alleged) researchers have, themselves, been ‘born’ into an already ‘Orb charged’ field!

Historically speaking, Orbs first began appearing on U.S. based web sites during the mid to late 1990’s. At that time, very few people this side of the pond had ever heard of this (alleged) phenomenon – and those that had could only draw their experience of the subject from State-side internet sources. The reason for the Orb literally being ‘born’ in the U.S. was simply the fact that the States are, as a rule, more technologically advanced – from a ‘man on the street / consumer’ point of view – than us Brits.

The greater accessibility of the Internet in the U.S. at that point meant that a great many American paranormal research groups had their own web site. (In comparison to the four or so British sites that a general search on ‘Yahoo’ could uncover at the same date). Likewise, the digital camera was already being used by U.S. consumers some while before such technology was generally accepted and utilised in Britain. Needless to say, this gave rise to digitally produced images – and all their associated faults – appearing generally in the U.S. first.

Orbs: Damage Done – Associated bunkum:

At the end of the day, what I find infinitely more perplexing than the actual mechanics of the phenomena itself is the sheer ease and speed at which a simple ‘technical glitch’ has become an integral part of modern ghost-lore!

At a core level, the acceptance of the Orb (as an aspect of ghostly phenomenon) is undoubtedly rooted in society’s current ‘quick fix’ attitude to most matters. Interest in the paranormal has never been so strong and, as with any topic that attracts the attention of the masses, there invariably follows an overwhelming need to immediately ‘experience’ a subject first hand. For many, the quirks of camera technology provides the opportunity to fulfill this requirement without question or too much effort, no matter the end cost to the field concerned.

Something highly revealing, from a psychological / sociological angle, is the (often bewildering) array of theories now being openly bandied about in (so called) research circles regarding these anomalies. A number of peculiar claims have emerged in recent years which, at face value, are solely aimed at backing up the ‘orb as a form of paranormal activity’ theory. Typically, even under the mildest of scrutiny, such claims clearly carry no weight whatsoever –which can only serve to cast doubt on the sincerity, general investigative prowess and very intellect of the people bandying such theories about(?)


One of the most preposterous of the above mentioned notions is the (a) ‘Orbs are the first stage in the physical manifestation of an apparition / spirit’ claim. (Anyone who has had the misfortune to have seen Living T.V.’s ‘Most Haunted’ will no doubt be familiar with this ridiculous suggestion). Looking into the statement objectively, by this rationale, someone has evidently scrutinised an orb (with the naked eye) and, at first hand, watch it physically develop into an apparition….. No – I don’t think so either! The statement is, by far, the most widely used maxim regarding this subject, with not one scrap of evidence ever actually proffered to back it up! Still, it has now – to many – become an accepted ‘fact’.

In furtherance to the above, what is now to be thought of the (so called) psychics who claim to be able to ‘sense’ Orbs? With the understanding that such things are merely CPC – what is this saying about the honesty and reliability of the medium concerned?

Another such notion is the (b) ‘Orb’ / ‘True Orb’ conundrum. I first became aware of this ridiculous phrase a couple of years ago, after voicing my opinions about the alleged phenomenon on a paranormal related internet forum. A number of correspondents immediately took me to task and told me that they had actually been talking of ‘True Orb’s’ and not the kind produced by C.P.C.?

When I questioned them as to precisely how they could differentiate (if there was actually anything to compare between in the first place?), I was informed that their photographs had been sent to paranormal ‘experts’ who had studied the images and proclaimed them to be ‘True Orb’s’ and not dust, etc. This same phrase was later used on a popular paranormal related T.V. programme by an alleged researcher who said that they had to study some orb related images to ascertain whether they were ‘True’ in nature(?)…..

Needless to mention, any such abilities are completely unfounded and undoubtedly rooted in the swollen ego of the (alleged) researcher concerned!!

One particularly pathetic suggestion that you will frequently find mentioned is the argument that (c) digital cameras are possibly ‘mediumistic’ in nature! Needless to mention such a notion truly transcends the state of ‘clutching at straws’…..

Another frequently quoted, clearly erroneous, maxim is the (d) ‘Why do Orbs only appear on photographs taken at haunted sites?’ (An observation usually produced halfway through an argument with the word ‘then’ tagged on the end of the question).

From a psychological angle, perhaps the most telling by-product of this subject is the sheer number of people who now claim to be (e) ‘seeing’ orbs with the naked eye. It has to be implied that this is nothing more than a ‘by-product’ simply because this form of sighting motif has only become popular in recent years – i.e. since the orb craze began. Needless to mention, there is precedence for sightings of such things as ‘spirit lights’ going back many centuries, but, even then, the bulk of such encounters seem firmly rooted in ghost-lore itself rather than hinting at any real, credible instances. Also, the physical description of such lights does not tally with the unmistakable, cellular appearance of the photographed orb.

First person visual encounters with orbs – matching descriptions that tally with photograph examples – are a wholly recent development and, as such, have to be treated as highly suspect indeed…..

Orbs: Damage Done 2 – A Few Personal Examples:

At the time of writing (Oct 05), one particular gentleman has recently taken me to task regarding my beliefs on this subject and subsequently e-mailed me a number of digitally produced photographs containing Orbs (and other examples of so called ‘light phenomena’) which he claims to have seen with the naked eye before photographing. All that can be said on the matter is the simple fact that: (1) the Orbs depicted in the photograph are all too clearly out of focus airborne debris particles and (2) the bulk of the ‘light phenomena’ shown conform to other faults and effects typically associated with such cameras / camera technology….(?)

As with any subject, the act of challenging personal belief systems is a frequently infuriating and fruitless task, whatever the grounds of your argument. The unbending power of belief - and the potential for bending the truth in defence of such – is a motif which clearly runs the full length of the paranormal field, from potential witness to (alleged) researcher.

Only a few months ago, a young man phoned me up one day and kindly offered to show me some 60 orb photographs that he and his partner had recently taken in their new flat. He had already begun musing over the fact that he hadn’t realised that their flat was even ‘haunted’, when I reassured him that ‘dust’ was the problem in question rather than anything ‘ghostly’ in nature….

The subsequent silence spoke volumes, until the gentleman eventually piped up, somewhat incredulously: “So you’re trying to tell me that I’ve taken 60 photographs of dust….!?!” As soon as I replied in the affirmative, he instantly thanked me for my time and unceremoniously hung up!

As far as the young man was concerned, (a) I evidently had no idea what I was talking about and (b) he would seemingly be happier in thinking that his new home was ‘haunted’ rather than consider the fact that the flash was situated too near the lens of his digital camera!?

While both a ridiculous and, unfortunately, familiar motif, the real irony is you could have bet that, within a minute of hanging up, the gentleman concerned would have been back on the internet looking for another group who would take his photographs ‘seriously’. Needless to say, under the current climate, he wouldn’t have to look very far and – following some visits from gesticulating psychic types – his flat is currently undergoing an exorcism as I write……!

On a number of occasions, I have found myself voicing reservations over (digitally) produced orb images, only to be told that the parties offering the shots also had a selection on standard ‘film’ photographs too. I have never failed to ask to see the (film) photo’s concerned, but, despite being promised the proof time and time again, not once has anyone ever come up with the goods!

In mentioning the above, I am certainly not doubting the fact that the orb effect can be obtained through the use of film cameras. On the contrary, as already stated, it is quite possible, though exceptionally rare. Of course it is purely a matter of conjecture on my part, but from a psychological ‘personal belief being challenged’ angle, what I am actually willing to question is the simple notion that the particular images mentioned above had actually existed in the first place?


Such images only seem to have been proffered following an anti-orb diatribe and a guess that the technology concerned was almost definitely digital format. Would it be presuming too much that, as with any sudden challenge to a strong belief, a knee jerk reaction will frequently follow in defence, possibly leading to the: “Oh no – I have captured orbs with a film camera too!” retort?

As the sole basis of our field is (or should be) the objective assessment of evidence – both first hand and proffered – we can only, to the best of our ability, draw our conclusions from what we are (or, often more tellingly, what we are not) presented with…… As in any walk of life, people are seemingly quite willing to lie – or perhaps ‘bend the truth’ a little - in defence of their personal belief system.

From a research point of view, a prime example of ‘fact bending in defence of belief’ occurred a number of years ago now when I became embroiled in an internet based argument with a particular (self-professed) research group. Cutting a long story short, the group concerned had gained some fame (notoriety) around that time by their presence in a Cable / Sky TV documentary series.

Through a forum, I had condemned a number of their alleged research practices and beliefs – with one of the main points at question being the fact that they were unquestioningly presenting Orbs as a type of paranormal phenomenon. Time and time again throughout the argument, I had stressed that such effects were all too obviously technology / camera based….

Some months later, the group concerned appeared on TV again – this time in a ‘live’ ghost hunt broadcast. At a point during the show, the group leader – my main adversary throughout the above mentioned fracas – appeared on screen and blatantly addressed the subject of Orbs. In brief, he claimed that the expert technicians involved with his group had recently been carrying out considerable tests regarding the appearance of Orbs and they could now categorically state that such things definitely had nothing whatsoever to do with the camera technology….. (The only thing missing was a knowing wink and V sign at the TV camera!)

Needless to mention, the main problem with their argument was the simple fact that, had they truly donated a mere few minutes of their time to investigating the effects of C.P.C. on digital technology, they could not have possibly failed to have proven, without a doubt, the simple formula: Digital camera + Airborne Debris = ‘ORBS’!!

The very fact that the group concerned chose to overlook (lie about) such a glaringly blatant outcome clearly bears out their willingness to ‘bend facts in defence of their beliefs’ and only stands to highlight their reliability and integrity as supposed paranormal researchers…..

Brief Summary.

As mentioned previously in these notes, the orb is only one small aspect of what’s currently wrong with the paranormal field today. A multitude of other topics would have adequately served as the basis for this type of ‘rant’ – i.e.: the gratuitous and unquestioned use of psychics as investigative tools; use and abuse of E.M.F. meters and other, completely useless examples of ‘tech’ as investigative tools, etc. However, no other subject within the paranormal realm could have so perfectly encapsulated and illustrated the blatant, wanton stupidity that we constantly find ourselves being presented with these days in the name of ghost research!

At it’s most basic level, the orb has transcended it’s original, paranormal framework and serves to wonderfully reflect the - frequently mind boggling – gullibility / arrogance levels of the society in which we live.....

But really - this has always been the basis of such a problem, hasn’t it? When dealing with a matter that has been laid open to and so actively attracted the attention of the masses, we are now basically having to deal with the general mentality / intellect / integrity levels of the society which we are living in. This is not to imply that society is, as a whole, ‘stupid’ or ‘dishonest’ – but we only have to look in the evening newspapers and read any average days tales of murder, riot, theft and intrigue to see what the world about us is actually capable of. As with the world around us, the paranormal field – from the layman ‘Most Haunted’ fan to the supposed, accredited paranormal researcher and everything in between – is made up from the very same melting pot…..

Cutting an already long story short, I will be the first to hold my hands up and admit that I honestly do not have the first notion about the paranormal. However, as I hope that this diatribe will convey, I do happen to know a few things about people….. and, as they say: ‘There’s nowt so queer as folk’!!"

Saturday, 25 November 2017


Saturday 25th November 2017

The W.M.G.C. were recently excited to learn that our good friend, Fran Norton, has now published another Medieval, historical novel, entitled:  'The Twisted Legacy'.

Regular visitors to this page will doubtlessly remember Fran for the work that she has previously done on one of our favourite legends.... that of Madam Pigott at Chetwynd, in Shropshire.  As you will remember, she and her friend Marie Williams subsequently released a booklet - 'The Mystery Of Madam Pigott' - on the subject.

'The Twisted Legacy' is Frans third novel, following on from her previous releases 'Throne of Shame' and 'In The Shadow Of A Tainted Crown'.  The story follows the life of Maude de Braose, granddaughter of the famed knight, William Marshal.  Her father, William de Braose, is hanged for adultery with the wife of the Welsh Prince of Wales, Llewellyn Ap Iowerth [The Great], thus she inherits the twisted legacy of both pride and shame....

A marriage to Roger Mortimer, Lord of Wigmore, sees Maud at the heart of the fateful events which dog England in the 13th Century, which ultimately culminates in civil war. Loyal to the crown, the Mortimers come into direct conflict with Simon de Montfort, Earl of Leicester, who is the leader of the rebellious barons. Maud faces threats from both Wales and de Montfort and how she plays a vital role in England's history is revealed within the pages of 'The Twisted Legacy of Maude de Braose Lady of Wigmore'.....

This latest work, Fran tells us, is based on historical fact... but, is the author's interpretation of Maud's character with a few mythical characters for good measure. 

The book can be purchased through contacting Fran directly at: fvnorton2@gmail.com, through Amazon, or via the website of Youcaxton Publishers at www.youcaxton.co.uk 
   


Saturday November 25th 2017

I was first told of the alleged haunting associated with Sandwell Priory, in West Bromwich, during the mid 1980's.  I'd not even so much as 'heard' of the site at that time, though - interest piqued - I subsequently did my best to look into the matter and discovered a mass of intriguing lore that spanned back a number of decades at least.....

I use the word 'lore' above, as it seemed that the priory area was akin to a great many other, supposedly haunted, sites, insomuch as it clearly had 'stories' associated with it..... though the tales concerned were pretty much all many years old, third-hand (at best) and, most likely, apocryphal?  As with any such cases, however, the data concerned was collected, checked and catalogued as fully as possible.....

For anyone who does not know the area concerned, the site of the 12th Cent. Benedictine monastery lies in the depths of Sandwell Valley Park, a couple of hundred yards from the busy M5 motorway (which cuts straight through the entire region).  Up until the late 1920's, the whole of the immediate area was occupied by the palatial Sandwell Hall, though, upon it's demolition, remnants of the former ecclesiastical structure were discovered and subsequently played host to a number of archaeological investigations, which, of course, give us the remains that can be viewed today.   Along with the little that can still be seen of the priory site, visitors can also view the nearby, ancient 'Sand Well' itself..... from which the borough takes it's name.

With regards to the 'haunted history' of the region, it's unsure exactly when tales of 'ghostly monks' first surfaced.... but coverage on the subject from a former paranormal research group in the region - The South Staffordshire Metaphysical Society - certainly aroused public interest in the topic a few decades ago, via the local media.  Most - if not all - of the stories we see today would appear to stem 'from' this period, onward, it seems(?)

And so, coming to the point of this post, it would seem - as mentioned above - that the bulk of the 'ghost stories' associated with this case are, at best, a little dusty and moderately questionable.  With this in mind, it was, however, rather exciting to recently speak to someone who reports that they saw the figure of a 'monk-like' character in the region some 5 years ago - an apparition that was seen to walk along the side of the road they were travelling on before 'vanishing' from sight!!  What makes this situation even better is the fact that the person concerned was not alone in their experience, but happened to be in a car with 3 other family members.... everyone present sharing in the encounter!! 

Quickly moving from a 'plus' to a definite 'negative' on Sandwell Valley ghosts though:  in the same week, I happened to speak to a gentleman who pours considerable scorn on the notion that the aforementioned section of  M5, that transects the region in question, might be also haunted!?  These particular tales are fairly well known and much repeated, it seems, and usually entail people - using the section of motorway nearest the priory ruins - either seeing monk-like figures in the cutting concerned.... or sometimes having to swerve to avoid such phantoms!?  It is frequently claimed that the people concerned are not locals and do not know of any spooky reputation to the area and that a number of these experiences are reported to the police.......  Personally speaking, I heard this story during a 'ghost talk' being given by a local historian some years ago now and must admit that I'd never heard of that specific angle prior to this.

As mentioned, however, I've now been informed that such tales - or at least aspects of the stories - are potentially hog-wash!?  The gentleman informs me that he had been chasing these encounters up some while ago as part of a media-related project and, in speaking with a policeman whose job it has been to patrol the section of motorway involved since it was built.... and he had NEVER heard a single ghost report, it seems!?  As the man commented to me:  "Just goes to show..... if 'ghosts' don't exist, sometimes, people just invent them.   It all makes for a good story......!!"

Saturday, 4 November 2017


Saturday 4th November 2017

The accompanying photograph was obtained by someone who was out taking a walk in a local (West Mids.) tract of woodland.  Nothing was 'seen' at the time that the picture was taken, but, on viewing the shot later, it was noticed that a white, human-like figure was visible in the image........

While a great many people will doubtlessly suggest a simple case of pareidolia as the cause of such an image, it was interesting to note that the area concerned has something of a history of a 'white clad' ghost being seen flitting around...... namely a 'white lady' who has featured quite heavily in the history of the region - especially so, going back a few decades...!?

A few years ago, the W.M.G.C. interviewed a gentleman who reported having seen this ghost while riding his bicycle in the area during the 1950's and the stories involved have appeared in the local press on a number of occasions in years gone by...!?  Our group members - along with representatives from other, local associations (i.e. Wayne Pickrell and associates from the 'Black Country Paranormal Society') - have frequently visited the region involved, over time, in response to this and other aspects of ghostlore associated with the more general area. 

Needless to say, the photographer concerned - and the W.M.G.C. - would very much like to hear what page visitors make of this intriguing image?   

Tuesday, 31 October 2017


Tuesday October 31st 2017

A very 'Happy Halloween' to all of our visitors.....  Whatever you're 'getting up to' tonight, please stay safe!!

Tuesday 31st October 2017

One of the founder members of the 'West Midlands Ghost Club' was recently asked to speak on BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire concerning the Kenilworth Castle related matter mentioned on this page..... 

Tuesday 31st October 2017

I was recently interviewing a gentleman about an experience that he and 2 friends had, some years ago now, on a patch of open grassland in the Black Country area....   While the location will remain nameless in this account - for the purpose of protecting the ghostlore concerned - it can be mentioned that the area involved has something of a reputation for being 'haunted' by female figures..... one of which has been mentioned in past press reports as being 'Nun-like' in aspect.....

As it transpires, the figure seen by the gentleman and his friends certainly held features that led them to possibly believe that they were perhaps 'seeing the ghost of a nun'.... though, as with many such sightings, their figure was completely white in colour, including the headdress of the form.....

In relaying the associated information to my old friend Wayne Pickrell - of the 'Black County Paranormal Society' - he kindly suggested that we might visit the region in question for a little 'nocturnal ramble'.....  With W.M.G.C. founder member Leonard Jackson joining us, we visited the area concerned on Friday the 27th and spent a couple of hours walking some of the spots where the aforementioned sightings have been reported over the years......      

Tuesday 31st October 

There's no doubt that Kenilworth Castle, in North Warwickshire, is an absolutely magnificent ruin.  However, speaking to a BBC researcher this morning, I was informed that the site had, apparently, just been dubbed their '2nd Most Haunted Site...' by English Heritage?  

The young lady admitted that she was somewhat surprised when I'd instantly said 'bullsh*t!' to such a suggestion....... though, in my defence, I certainly had first-hand experience to back-up my sceptical view!!

Upon first visiting the castle, well over 20 years ago now, I had - as I invariably did back then - gone to see the site with a view to learning of any associated ghost stories or spooky legends....  Sadly, on speaking with staff members, I was told that there was basically 'nothing' to suggest the site was actually haunted......!  In fact, I'd been so clearly crestfallen by this news that the staff concerned suggested that I get in touch with Ashby De La Zouch Castle in Leicestershire, where a photograph - supposedly containing a ghostly figure - had JUST then been taken!  (*as a matter of interest, I DID write to Ashby Castle and they kindly sent me an artists impression of the figure supposedly seen in the photograph involved!)

Meg Elizabeth Atkins, in her excellent book 'Haunted Warwickshire' (Publ. 1981) does actually list a single, spooky experience for Kenilworth Castle, where a visitor was watching a re-enactment group dressed as medieval musicians.  During the show, the witness claims to have seen the figure of a woman 'materialise' amid the performers..... a figure that was also dressed in period costume, but was seated and seemed to be in the process of sewing.....  The witness was present with friends, who were also looking in the same direction at the very same time, though neither of her companions saw anything amiss.....!?

Of course, the above-mentioned story certainly does not constitute a 'haunting'..... and, while not actually doubting the witness' testimony, it may not even constitute a genuine 'ghostly experience' as such, needless to say!?  As far as can be ascertained, this is the only 'ghost-like' encounter to have been reported and recorded in the last few decades at least.......?

Yet - as mentioned above.... Kenilworth Castle is now, it seems, English Heritage's No. 2 'go-to' site for 'spooky happenings'!?!  How exactly does this status pretty-much 'suddenly' come about, you can't help but wonder? 

Well - given the popularity of 'paranormal matters' over the past 20 years or so, it is quite obvious as to 'why' a lot of places that are open to the public suddenly seem to have 'developed a ghostlore'!?  I won't insult your intelligence in bothering to go into the matter any further than that, but, suffice it to say 'Ghosts = Cash' in this day and age!!

Of course, there is a definite knock-on effect to this kind of thing and it's really no exaggeration to say that this kind of clear mis-representation of ghostlore is having a detrimental effect on the subject for future generations of serious research / researchers.  Sadly, the effects concerned are irreversible and - given the nature of this field - everlasting.....  The REAL horror of the situation is the simple fact that the damage is being done purely to extract money - 'make a buck' - from those who would, in this day and age, class themselves as 'serious ghost researchers' just because they are willing to stick their hands in their pockets and attend these shenanigans!?  Rolls eyes....!!

Anyhow - rant over....... but within the last few hours of tapping out this note, I have noticed a number of newspaper articles advertising another, formerly 'non-haunted', property as NOW seemingly 'brimming with ghosts' too........!!    

Thursday, 12 October 2017


Thursday 12th October 2017

We're afraid it's a little late in the day, but just posting a quick note to say that our good friend - and 'Ghost Investigator' - Tracie McMeekin will be carrying our a 'Sponsored Sleep-Out', on the streets of Wolverhampton, tomorrow night!!  All monies raised will be going towards supporting the 'homeless' residents of both the Walsall and Wolverhampton regions......

While the event itself is only just over 24 hrs away, Tracie WILL still be accepting sponsorship for the next two weeks, so - needless to say - anyone who would like to help this worthy cause.... please do feel free to donate!!

Tracie can be contacted via her 'HANDS TO THE HOMELESS' page on Facebook HERE or directly, by email, via supermcmeekin@aol.com 

Sunday, 8 October 2017


Sunday 8th October 2017

For anyone living in the Black Country - or immediate surrounding regions - the W.M.G.C. are excited to report the opening of 'Reiki Fallen Feathers', a new 'healing room' being launched by a friend of the group, Michelle Hyde in Darlaston, near Walsall.

For anyone 'not in the know' on this positive-energy treatment system:  'Reiki' is a popular, Japanese technique for promoting stress reduction, relaxation and encourages overall healing.  As with a number of alternative, healing systems, treatment is administered by the "laying on of hands".... hinging on the application of positive 'life force energy' to promote general happiness and good health.  The system - a wholly natural and completely safe form of 'spiritual' healing - is applied in order to treat the 'entire being'.... which includes both physical and psychological aspects of the recipient. 

Michelle herself has been a Reiki practitioner for some 6 years now, having passed degrees 1 and 2, and attaining the level of Masters 3.   She uses oils as part of her treatment process and, needless to say, is fully insured. 

Michelle tells us that she will be opening her rooms on the 16th of October, from 10.00 a.m. till 2.00 p.m. and - needless to say - ALL are welcome to drop in for a chat, consultation and tasters!!  The shop itself is situated at number 73, Walsall Road, Darlaston, and is situated at the rear of the 'Link Up' phone shop.  Postcode for the rooms is WS10 9JU, for anyone relying on SatNav tech to navigate, and - for more direct contact - her mobile number is 07514 401628.  Anyone using Facebook can also visit the 'Reiki Fallen Feathers' official page 'HERE'

Needless to say - the West Midlands Ghost Club wish Michelle every success in this venture!!  All the best.......!!

Friday, 29 September 2017


Friday September 29th 2017

Speaking as one of the founder members of the West Midlands Ghost Club, I must admit that it feels wholly bizarre to contemplate that the group is now less than 2 years away from it's 30th birthday!!  How time flies when you're having fun, eh!?  Lol!
  
On the subject of passing time though, I was making some posts on a social media site about the Bushbury area yesterday, when I happened to dig out a couple of newscuttings related to our investigations at the gorgeous, black-and-white-beamed, Northycote Farm in 1997.....
  
'Early 1997...' I thought, somewhat amazed: 'Lord.... that's just over 20 yrs ago now!!' In turning to the blog to search out more details of the affair to share... I realised that - for whatever reason - we had never actually posted a report on this particular matter before...!?  Thankfully, however, information had been previously posted on our website and that data had been 'saved for posterity' when the site was closed down some years ago. For the sake of brevity and, without further ado.... the following is a slightly edited version of the aforementioned information:     

"In late January, 1997, a correspondence was received from the House Guide for Northycote Farm and Country Park in Bushbury, enquiring whether members of the W. M. Ghost Club would be interested in looking into a number of potential 'paranormal experiences' said to have occurred at the farm over the space of a number of years.

Northycote Farm itself was built around the year 1600 and throughout the duration of the 17th Century was the home of the Catholic Underhill family. In 1845, the farm is listed as being the property of George Thomas Whitgreave and, at that time, comprised of a tight complex of structures including the farmhouse, a number of outbuildings, a yard, and a Chapel belonging to nearby Moseley Court. From the 19th Century onward, the farm was lived in by a series of tenant farmers involved in arable and pastoral farming.

Wolverhampton Borough Council took over the site in 1978 - five years before the last remaining farmer left. In the early 1980's, the farmhouse and outbuildings were in a deplorable, derelict condition. Under the supervision of F. W. B. Charles, one of the most experienced architects in the study and preservation of timber framed buildings, Northycote Farm was successfully restored to something approaching its former glory.

During August 1984, Workmen digging drains on the site of the former Moseley Court Chapel to the rear of the farm - unearthed two small skeletons. Despite initial police interest, it was eventually discovered that they were, in fact, the remains of two children of Whitgreave family descent, who had been interred in brick built tombs in the - at the time still extant - Chapel.

A History Of The Haunting

In 1651, a representative of the fugitive King Charles II - fleeing from his crushing defeat at the battle of Worcester - called at Northycote Farm, appealing for shelter for his sovereign. With her husband away from home at the time - possibly engaged in 'Royalist' activity somewhere - the farmers wife apparently turned down the request....... resulting in the King taking refuge at Moseley Old Hall, less than a mile away. Perhaps as a gesture of penitence, there is said to be some historical record to suggest that an attractive maid was sent from the farm to Moseley Old Hall, presumably to serve as 'amusement' for the King during his brief stay. Following this dalliance, the maid was seen to leave the Hall, travelling back in the direction of the farm. Whatever fate befell her during her return journey home is not known; however, local legend dictates that the unfortunate girl was never seen again. Despite this tale being the basis for the main 'Ghost Story' associated with Northycote Farm, it is not the vanishing maid who is credited with haunting the site. It is actually her grief stricken beau - a lowly farmhand - who, dying with a broken heart, is said to return to the farm, searching for his lost love.

The Blue Room: According to the farm guide, some 30 to 40 visitors (per year) had reported sensing 'something strange' upon entering this room. (However, the bulk of these experiences fall into the Psychic Impressions category and, as such, do not necessarily represent actual paranormal incident). In the Summer of 1996, the Site Manager was standing in the Blue Room when his accompanying wife complained of feeling cobwebs brushing across her face. The Site Manager looked across to where she was standing and allegedly saw what he took to be a 'shadow' next to his wife which didn't move when she did. Checking the room later, there were supposedly no cobwebs to be found anywhere. (See 'Vigil 1' below).

Parlour: During a Craft Fair, a trader looking after a stall set up in the Parlour claims to have heard the sound of footsteps cross the length of the floor above her - closely followed by a noise akin to someone falling down. Somewhat concerned, the trader mentioned the sounds to a member of staff who immediately investigated. The stairs leading to the upper floor had been securely fastened against members of the public and there was no sign whatsoever of anyone having been in the area.

The Tea Room / Restaurant: A number of 'Poltergeist-like' occurrences have happened in this converted milking parlour. One member of staff claims to have seen a vase fly from the Tea Room counter onto a nearby table, while another is said to have entered the kitchen area and found a mysterious woman apparently sweeping the floor with a broom. Rushing outside and quickly returning with a friend, they found that the woman had disappeared. A female customer reported feeling uneasy and experiencing 'extreme cold flushes' while dining at the restaurant. She says she was constantly putting her jacket on and taking it off, and complaining of an intense cold blast that other diners were apparently oblivious to.

Womens Toilet: Upon leaving the Restaurant, the customer mentioned above visited the toilet and, as she was washing her hands, saw the figure of a man - standing behind her - reflected in the mirror on the wall above the hand basin. The man is described as being somewhat swarthy in appearance and wearing a black, or dark brown, suit, with a tall top hat. (Possibly mid-Victorian in style). The man 'doffed his hat' to the woman before disappearing.

Stable Block Staircase: Two men looking after a stall at a Christmas Fete (Circa. 1994) claim to have seen a ghostly 'Cavalier' walking up the Stable Block Staircase towards them. The figure was described as having long black hair and a brown hat with a white band and white feathers stuck in it. He wore white gloves - with the cuffs of a white shirt showing below his outer garment sleeves - and carried a sword of some description. Reaching the top of the stairs, the figure is said to have 'doffed his hat' at the bewildered witnesses before turning to his left and disappearing through an external wall of the building. Despite having been seen walking up the bare, wooden stairway, the figure made no sound whatsoever.

Stable Block Office: A notepad was seen to turn over by itself in front of a number of witnesses during an official farm meeting.

Farmyard: During the 1960's, the owner of the farm often spoke of seeing the figure of a 'Cavalier' at the end of the farmyard. The mysterious sound of horses hooves were also said to have been heard around this area.

Moseley Court Site: Local legend has it that the last owner of Moseley Court is said to haunt the area around where the house once stood. There is also a tale concerning a phantom horseman who supposedly gallops up the driveway to Moseley Court - a trackway situated just to the rear of Northycote Farmyard.

The W.M.G.C. 'Visits':

Visit 1: Sat. 8th - Sun. 9th March 1997


Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Len Jackson, Adrian Beckett and Nicholas Duffy. Also present Farm Guide Chris Modd.

Early on in the investigation, a researcher entered the Blue Room and immediately reported walking into a sizeable quantity of - very real - cobwebs. He presumed this might explain away previous reports of experiences with seemingly non-physical cobwebs in this area. (See 'History of Hauntings: Blue Room' section above).

Temperature readings from thermometers set up at various points around the farm showed constant readings throughout the night. Despite this, the temperatures actually physically experienced by all investigators present plummeted to most uncomfortable levels during the early hours of the morning.

Two separate researchers reported a feeling of 'nausea' during their respective vigils in the Blue Room. One found himself so affected by the Blue Room, he was unable to stay there for any real length of time.

From 3.30 to 4.30am, two investigators conducting a vigil in the passage between the Blue and Green Rooms reported experiencing potential paranormal activity centering around and incorporating a collection of dried flower heads which appeared to have moved around the room of their own volition.

Throughout the night a number of audio and video recordings were made in various rooms. While nothing was caught on video tape, a considerable array of sounds - mainly inexplicable clicks, bangs and cracks - were found to have been picked up by a cassette machine left in the Tea Room / Restaurant.  Also, a number of Photographs taken during the nights activities contained irregularities that may be a result of some form of paranormal activity.

Vigil 2: Sat. 10th - Sun. 11th May 1997

Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Leonard Jackson and Nicholas Duffy. Also present Farm Guide, Chris Modd.

Throughout the night, uncomfortably cold temperatures were experienced by all of the investigators, despite constantly mild temperature readings given by thermometers positioned around the building.

One investigator reported a feeling of 'nausea' again upon spending time in the Blue Room.

Unfortunately, the Tea Room / Restaurant wasn't open to investigators on this occasion, so all audio / visual recordings were carried out in the Blue Room and on the Stable Block Staircase.

Again, nothing was picked up on video, but a cassette recorder positioned in the Blue Room did detect a clear sound sequence containing what appears to be someone 'walking away' from the cassette recorder - approx. 12 paces - followed by the sound of a distant door squeaking open and closed. (There was no indication of anyone actually 'approaching' the recorder to begin with). A number of doors around the farm had definite 'squeaks', but, upon checking, none could be found that came close to matching the particular sound picked up by the recorder.

None of the photographs taken during the vigil showed any irregularities whatsoever.

Vigil 3: Sat. 21st - Sun. 22nd June 1997

Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Leonard Jackson and Nicholas Duffy. Also present Farm Guide, Chris Modd.

Audio / visual recordings taken during the night revealed nothing anomalous. Temperatures remained 'reasonable' throughout the night.

Vigil 4: Sat. 20th - Sun. 21st September 1997

Investigators Present: Roger Simpson, Darren Simpson, Leonard Jackson, Adrian Beckett and Nicholas Duffy. Also present were the usual Farm Guide, Chris Modd; Kharis Harvey (the customer who had witnessed the 'top hatted figure' in the Womens Toilet); two (unnamed) male acquaintances of Miss Harvey; and Darlaston based 'White Witch' and 'Psychic', June Smith, and her (unnamed) apprentice.

Around 2.00 am, a number of investigators left the farm and walked down to Bushbury Church to take a look at the grave of a supposed local witch - the infamous 'Clutterbuck Grave' - and the area known as 'The Plantation', situated just outside the main Church Gate. Leonard Jackson dowsed 'The Plantation' briefly (with rods), and picked up considerable traces of energy from the collection of large stones piled up at the centre of the site.

Again, audio / visual recordings taken during the vigil revealed nothing anomalous.

More Happenings Down On The Farm?

Neil Prosser is a postal worker from the West Midlands area who holds a keen interest in 14th to 16th century history. A member of 'The Stafford Household' historical re-enactment group, Neil took part in his first public display at Northycote Farm some three years ago - a visit he not likely to forget in a hurry! At the time, Neil was certainly no stranger to the site, as he openly tells us that he had already heard some of the weird tales associated with the building, and had visited the Farm a number of times with his partner and their children.......

On the day in question, Neil and his fellow enthusiasts carried out their display for the public and, as usual, had stowed their kit away ready for the next days show. Because of the distances some of the other group had come, they were told that they could all stay in the farmhouse overnight. Despite not living all that far away, Neil says that he decided to stay too - thinking it would be a good opportunity to get acquainted with some of the other members.

During the early hours of the morning, Neil had been having a few drinks with his friends when he suddenly felt a 'call of nature' come on. Making his way downstairs - past the rest of the group who were seated in front of the fire - he went outside to find that the 'Gents' toilets were securely locked!

Tentatively knocking on the door of the 'Ladies' room, he received no answer and went inside. Having used the toilet, he set about washing his hands. While in the process of washing, he suddenly turned round to see - what he could only describe as - a 'Cromwellian Soldier' apparently in the process of going out of the door!

Despite the fact that he only saw the rear of the figure, he immediately registered a tell-tale 'Lobster Pot' helmet, brown sur-coat and long black boots.......

Incredibly, he tells us that he could not see the man's feet; his boots could be seen to run from the top part of the leg, but ended just past the middle section of the shin.......!

Initially, he admits that he did not take all that much notice of the costumed figure, because he still had his uniform on too. However, Neil and his associates were all wearing costumes associated with the 'Wars Of The Roses' (15th Cent.) period - a far cry from the styles worn during the English Civil War. (17th Cent.) The person that he had seen was definitely 200 years out of time!

Neil readily admits that he suddenly found himself going cold - even though it was a January night, he felt that this cold was coming from his very insides! He stood still for a moment, considering whether his experience might have been a by-product of the beer, but he really hadn't consumed very much.

Eventually going back inside the farm and venturing to tell the others what he had just seen, Neil was rewarded with scorn and laughter. Evidently, to them at least, it was all just down to the effect of drink........

Neil tells us that he did brave the rest of the night at the farm - but, understandably, he didn't get all that much sleep!

In Mid-June, 2008, the W.M.G.C.'s John Conway made enquiries at Northycote Farm, resulting in the opportunity for the group to, yet again, investigate the site.  Our follow-up visit, after a gap of some 11 years (almost), was made on Fri. the 13th of June 2008.

Present:

Investigative Team – John Conway, Julia Whiston, Steve Chew, Len Jackson and Nick Duffy.  Also present on the property (in the office portion of the site throughout duration of investigation) were Ian and Penny Nicholls.  Within a hundred yards of the farm were 4 men, associated with the site, who were engaged in the process of disposing with farm rubbish.  (No discernible noise whatsoever from this quarter throughout the visit).

Aims / Inv. Process:

General, brief 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.
* Static (area based) audio / visual recording, incorporating standard / night shot cameras and digital (audio) recording equipment.


Investigation:

Visit began with a tour of the farm site and completion of a risk assessment form (by John Conway) in the presence of Ian Nicholls, Fire Marshall to the property.   On this recent visit, slightly more areas of the overall site were kindly opened to us, in comparison to our 1997 investigations.  During the tour, Ian specifically pointed out to the group certain parts of the property which were alleged to be ‘paranormal hot-spots’, though purposefully did not reveal ‘why’ this was said to be so.

Subsequent questioning (later on in the evening) revealed that the area of the building situated above the Tea Room Kitchen – specifically, a Small Stock Room – had once been mentioned as significant by a visiting psychic.  It was said that ‘children’ were present here and that ‘they’ had expressed happiness at the presence of a Christmas tree in this area.  They had asked for the Christmas tree to be there every year, or some such related sentiment.

The same psychic had apparently refused to venture down the cellar of the Laundry Room (outbuilding at the rear of the farm) as they had been too scared to do so.

Both areas had been previously closed to the group, but were open during this visit.

Other information gleaned included staff in the Tea Rooms reporting a feeling of something akin to a dog brushing against their legs – though no animals were found to be present at the times concerned.

Penny Nicholls mentioned to group members that she had felt a sensation akin to a cobweb brushing over her face / head on entering the farms Blue Room on one occasion.  (See 1997 investigation notes for more information on related incidents).

Ian says that he once witnessed a Post-It note ‘flipping’, seemingly of it’s own accord, in the office area of the farm.  (See 1997 investigation notes for more information on related incidents).

Vigil One – 10.40 pm

*Camera set up in Blue Room.  Situated: far, left hand corner of room, when viewed from entrance, facing / filming towards entrance.
*Camera set up in Antique Wallpaper Room.  Situated in centre of table set against wall, furthest from Blue Room.  Facing towards passage to Blue Room.
*Camera set up in small Stock Room above Tea Room Kitchen.
*Entire group seated in main body of Tea Room – just to right of main doors as you enter.  Casual conversation throughout sitting.

Vigil Two – 11.44 pm

*Camera set up in Tea Room.  Situated just inside main door, facing across to ‘cattle stalls’ / tables area of room.
*Camera set up in Ladies Toilet area, facing towards entrance.
*Steve and John situated in downstairs Panelled Room throughout vigil.
*Len, Julia and Nick situated in Blue Room.
(Casual conversation – both groups).

During this period:  (Blue Room group): group of men previously disposing of rubbish  seen leaving area.  Warden – previously engaged with latter mentioned activity – enters his cottage on end of farm and noises of movement detected through dividing wall of premises.  Also, muffled, vocal sound of investigators downstairs heard.

(Panelled Room group):  At end of vigil, Steve asks if anyone has been walking around in the Blue Room just after midnight, as they had detected a sound akin to this.  No one had moved from their seats in the Blue Room throughout the vigil, though there may have been some accidental movement of chairs / feet during the session.

Vigil Three - 12.50 am

*Steve and Nick situated in the upstairs portion of the Tea Rooms.
*John, Julia and Len situated in the Education Centre.
(Casual conversation – both groups).

Vigil ends approx. 1.30 am and group pack up and leave building.

Comments:

Apart from the potential footsteps heard during Vigil Two, nothing of interest was encountered during the stay".