Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Wednesday 21st March 2018

As sometimes happens in such instances, a member of the W.M.G.C. was recently asked to appear on local radio - B.B.C. Radio WM,  'Danny Kelly Show' - to comment on some 'paranormal shenanigan' or 'spooky matter' that has caught the attention of the media......  

The incident in question on this occasion is the section of video footage that has - many are suggesting - possibly caught the ghost of Admiral Nelson's wife, manifesting on the HMS Victory in Portsmouth. 

Articles on the matter have - no doubt - appeared in a variety of newspapers throughout the world (?), but one of the initial reports can be viewed here at The Metro 

Wednesday 21st March 2018

Some years ago now - going back to the early 'noughties' - we were briefly involved with an allegedly haunted ruin situated close to the West Midlands / Staffordshire border.  At the time we became aware of the site in question, there was very little left of the place.... though it had been a substantial and reasonably well-to-do property in it's actual lifetime.....

What actually drew our attention to the place was a phone call from a woman who said members of her family had worked at the site - many years earlier - and the figure of a cloaked and top-hatted man had been seen around the place (including by her, as a child).

As frequently happens, however, we discovered no more about the place and, despite a few visits to the site over time, nothing more came of the matter.

Coming forward to recent weeks, however, and we have just learned that a gentleman had been driving along the road in which the ruin stands when he received a phone call and pulled over to deal with it.  While so engaged, he witnessed the figure of an elderly man - dressed in what he estimates to have been Victorian or Edwardian-style clothing - walk across the road in front of him and 'disappear' as he reached the other side.....!?

As well as the period style dress, he described the figure as remarkably clear, but the facial features were 'blurred'.... akin to when you use eye drops, and your vision clouds over.  The figure appeared to be walking with purpose - as if it had somewhere to go - but was seen to 'fade away', like cigarette smoke, after it had passed over the kerb!?

Something that I always like to personally hear when speaking to someone about their encounters is that the witness concerned describes himself as a 'no nonsense, no bullsh*t kind of person..... not given to flights of fancy'.  In fact, a non-believer.... until he had this experience a couple of weeks ago!?  Also, interestingly, the man concerned had no idea of any 'ghostly reputation' to the area concerned - a fairly secluded spot - so that coincidence alone, given the previous history of the place, is fairly impressive!?

Intriguingly - along with the sighting - the gentleman appears to have potentially 'picked up' some (what he describes as) 'random things' that crossed his mind at the same time......  While maintaining that he would not regard himself as 'psychic' in any way, he got the impression of the year '1909', 'coal' and a specific, nearby, 'railway station'? 

While we have checked the location concerned in historical records for '1909', we have not been able to locate any specific details that seems to tie-in with that year.  Re. 'Coal'.... this is invariably going to be a reasonably vague reference at best, as - with the bulk of the Black Country and surrounding areas for some distance - coal mining was an integral part of the regions history, in some way, shape or form, for at least two centuries?  With regards to the railway station, we have discovered an account of an accidental 'decapitation' there in the very early 20th Cent. - someone was hit by a passing train after straying onto the line - but such things were certainly not a rarity in those days, by any means......  

Saturday, 3 March 2018

Saturday 3rd March 2018

The first of 2 stories concerning peculiar sightings on 'bridges' was related to me quite recently by someone whose strange encounter occurred some years ago in Brewood, South Staffordshire.

They and their partner had been out walking and were approaching a small bridge on Shutt Green Lane - a rural thoroughfare - when they saw what they described as a 'thick shimmer' jump over the bridge and disappear into the ground.....!?!  They both instantly went and looked at the spot concerned, but there was nothing to be seen to account for the effect.... no dust, or sign of water, etc!?  I had asked if they thought what they'd seen could have possibly been something naturally occurring - i.e. a swarm of gnats, or some such effect - but they laughed at the suggestion and reiterated.... telling me that the effect resembled a 'silvery arch' that 'came over the bridge' and seemed to 'sink into the road', leaving nothing to see!?! 

The person admitted that they had got the impression of a 'horse' jumping over the bridge..... something they couldn't personally help but associate with the historic, 'English Civil War' activities that are known to have taken place in the region concerned?

I must admit that I've always taken a special interest in any stories that I hear about the Brewood region, simply because there is a 'family' ghost story attached to that area.... 


My Great-Great Aunt and Uncle were in service at Chillington Hall, Brewood, many years ago... she in domestic service and her husband a farm worker.  They were apparently walking to church - along the drive to the hall - one Sunday morning, when they spotted the figure of a woman sitting on a log nearby.  The woman appeared to be distraught, in tears, so - after they had passed by - the Aunt suggested to the Uncle that he go over and see if the woman needed help of some kind.  As you can probably guess - when he turned to check - the woman had completely vanished from sight, with no possible, natural means of having done so!? 

Saturday 3rd March 2018

Our 2nd 'bridge' related experience this update concerns a 'rail bridge' in the Black Country area.... 

In the late 1980's, a young man was walking in the direction of the bridge, late one night, when he happened to look behind him and saw another person.  It was a quiet night, with no one else around, but the figure was walking in the same direction as him..... though some distance behind and situated on the other side of the road.....

As he reached the bridge, he happened to look back again.... but the figure was now pretty-much level with him!?  He says:  "They couldn’t have made up that much ground so quickly.... and I couldn’t understand how 'she' had done it? I say 'she', because I could clearly see it was a lady.....  She was wearing a long, flowing dress.  It's hard to describe how she looked; definitely human figure and frame, but she was like a 'grey statue' to look at......"

At this point - quite understandably, we hasten to add - the youth began walking a lot quicker....  Looking around a further time, he saw that the woman had stopped moving - at a point around the centre of the bridge - and appeared to be looking in his direction, without seemingly acknowledging him.  As he looked at her, however, she began to 'lift off the ground' - slowly - as if levitating......  She proceeded to slowly move over the side of the bridge and out of sight.........

"I know that it sounds mad," he tells us, "but that’s what I saw.... and the only explanation I can come up with is that it was a spirit".           

Unbeknown to the gentleman concerned was the fact that there seem to be a number of 'bridges' in the immediate area concerned that have 'strange sightings' attached to them, it seems.  Around half a mile distant is a site that allegedly has female and male figures attached to it and yet another - much closer - where the figure of a well-dressed man has been seen leaping from the parapet of the bridge...... only to seemingly vanish!?! 

Friday, 2 March 2018

Friday March 2nd 2018

In general ghostlore we have often come across stories of 'haunted', or possibly 'cursed', objects..... but this isn't something that - to our knowledge - features heavily in tales and experiences from the lore attached to the English  Midlands.  That said though, we HAVE recently spoken to one individual who certainly seems to have experienced a situation that would appear to be somehow 'linked to' a particular 'object'..... rather than the more usual 'location', maybe?

"Well, it all started around 13 yrs ago when I came across a book on a car boot sale, being sold on the stall of a very odd-looking couple.  The book was about the occult and witchcraft.... and the history of how it all started in Britain.   As I handed the money over, I distinctly remember feeling a little uncomfortable with how the couple looked at me?

Anyway, I took the book home and tried to have a quick read through it later that evening.  Some of the paragraphs were in Latin, so I ended up getting fed up and putting the book on the side....   A few days later, however, I picked up the book again and started reading it.  Not the Latin parts; I tried to make sense of them, but I couldn't....  For whatever reason, I remember feeling a little queasy after the first chapter and went to bed.

Later that night, I woke up to hear something... and sat up to see the handle of my bedroom door moving!  As my door opened -  I still find this part hard to think about - I saw a small, black figure in my doorway.  Although I don't remember seeing eyes, I knew that it was staring straight at me!   Like a child, I pulled the duvet over my eyes... then pulled it down and looked again.  I can assure you that, by then, I'm fully awake; my eyes are adjusted to the light and 'it' is still there.... just staring!!

It appeared to be wearing some kind of black gown with a hood.  It's arm, although I couldn't see a hand, was on the door handle.  It was only about four foot tall.  I was petrified.  I shouted for it to 'go away...' and 'leave me alone'...  I pulled the duvet over my head again, my heart thumping!  Again, I looked and this time, the thing - whatever it was - slammed the door shut!  I actually heard footsteps running down my landing, but no sound from the stairs.....

I sat there in the dark, frightened of where it was and what to do next.  I decided I had to go and look, so I grabbed a hairbrush.  I know it's crazy, but thought I could 'strike it' if it was still there and went to harm me!  It wasn't, however; it was gone.   I went downstairs and checked the whole house. 

The experience left me very shaken.  The next morning, after trying to sleep with a light on the landing, I came down and saw the book....  I decided the only thing to do was to get rid of it, as I no longer wanted it in my house!  My father was going to the tip that day, so I grabbed a bag of rubbish, put the book in, and asked him to take it.... 

The following few weeks were fretful and I just didn't feel right.  I have to say the matter played on my mind a lot... to the point where I got in touch, online, with a paranormal lecturer in America.  I decided to tell him my story, via email, as I felt I just needed closure.  Three or four days later, he replied and said - in his opinion - I had definitely awoken something?  It had come as a warning to me to not delve into things I don't understand and to never delve into the occult again.

The image of that figure has haunted me ever since.  

The thing is - and is where people would think I'm a 'nut job', and why I don't openly share these details - but, ever since then, my 'senses' have changed......  I find that I have 'feelings':  smells of things, for no reason.... like pipe tobacco, or   old perfume.  I've even had 'flash backs' of things from my childhood that had genuinely happened.  Ive questioned my mom and she has confirmed these things.  One of the things I remembered was walking home from school in XXX and I walked into the road, right in front of a car!  A tall man, dressed in black, grabbed me and pulled me onto the pavement.....  When I looked up, the driver had his head in his hands.... but the man in black was gone!?!  The driver got out his car and just shook his head... asking how I had got out the way?  I never had any recollection of this incident until I saw that figure.... but, apparently, it did happen!"

In responding to the person involved, it was suggested that - reflecting from paranormal culture - a lot of people would probably suggest that it is possible for people - through 'occult dabbling', purposeful practices or whatever - to 'conjure up' something which had perhaps become attached to that book, for some reason?  (This is pure conjecture, of course).  In buying the volume, would it be possible to somehow 'take on' the related influence and have these negative experiences that appear to have come afterwards?   Needless to say, paranormal / occult history is chock full of different examples of how certain objects have somehow - purposefully and accidentally - been 'invested with' some form of 'guardian spirit', or 'malign attachment' that has potentially affected people innocently coming into contact with that item....... 

Friday, 12 January 2018

Friday 12th January 2018

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

The piece concerned can be found by clicking on this LINK

Friday 12th January 2018

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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