Who is Vivien Powell?
As we are now under a month away from this years Paraforce UK Paranormal Convention, I thought who better to chat to than Vivien Powell one of its organisers.
Vivien has been interested in the paranormal for a large part of her life. This has meant that she has found herself involved in both team investigations and public events too over the years. An involvement that no doubt evolved into the organisation of Paraforce UK.
If memory serves me well (which isn’t always the case) I first met Vivien at Paracon UK 2014 and like many I met that weekend became friends thanks to our familiar interest in the paranormal.
So, ahead of the convention I thought it would be excellent to ask Vivien a few questions, so we could find out a little more about her and her paranormal interest. Here goes then..
How did you originally become interested in the paranormal field?
As ever I find it interesting to discover where other’s began their paranormal journey, what were the triggers that started them off down this path of discovery. One which may often help you learn more about yourself than finding answers regarding the afterlife.
“I had my first experiences as a very young child, seeing a strange man in my house. I lived in a very haunted house for the first 7 years of my life. Very frightening indeed and not understanding what I was seeing. It made my very young childhood years, very miserable indeed.
I grew up seeing more and more, and not just in my house, and it was in my teens I found that I could hear disembodied voices too!
It all reached a peak in my early twenties, where I was taken to a spiritualist church in Ashford Middlesex and I joined a closed circle.
With the help of a great Medium called John Reese in Uxbridge, these gifts were explained and I was guided and it was not very long before I was serving the churches in and around Greater London giving demonstrations of mediumship.
It was here that I was asked to help a family in need, in their home and it was then that my interest and study into the paranormal began really.”
Is your approach more spiritual or scientific; or perhaps a mixture of both?
Vivien’s paranormal start certainly seems to be one that was relatively spiritual, but I wondered if this approach was still dominant in her investigations or not. Often you may find in the field that some will start very scientific and end up follwing a much more spiritual approach. Of course if you begin from a spiritual aspect is there still a possibility for science I wonder!
“Depending on the type of investigation. On public events I stick to scientific, though I do get a helping hand from spirit sometimes. Private ones where people are seeking my help is a different matter completely.”
Vivien is absolutely right, it would always depend on the type of investigation I guess. There is a place for both in any investigation, but equally there is a time and a place. Personally I think with the right Medium and indeed team both the approaches can work together really well, but there must be validation using the science in order for it to have a positive impact on the investigation. Which can occur in various ways.
Who are your paranormal heroes ?
A question I love asking those in the paranormal, especially those that have been in the field for number of years, is all about their inlfuences. The people that over the years may have contributed in such a way that it had an impact on them, perhaps even inspired their work. I know I have a few of my own. Here are Vivien’s.
- Maurice Grosse
- Doris Stokes
- Arthur C Clarke
- John Reese
- Jack Dempsey & Great Bear
Great choices from Vivien and some classic, but great members of the field in there.
How do you see the field progressing or how would you like to see the field progress over the next 5 to 10 years ?
Once particular area of the paranormal that I cerainly wish to understand and help develop is its future. What happens over the next 5 to 10 years is important to me and hopefully to the rest of those out there in the paranormal.
Vivien has certainly made some valid points on this one in my opinion.
“I would like to see the field taken more seriously, and not just a way to make money. More experimentation to gain a better understanding both spiritually and scientifically. Most of all I would like people to get to love History, find out more, research the building and events that took place; and to take pride in heritage rather than:-
”just go on a ghost hunt”
We are so lucky here in the UK to have the history, the places and buildings that go with it. Something that is seriously overlooked these days.”
Understanding the history of the locations that we investigate is something that I used to love doing when researching the cases. Often when doing that research you can discover so much more about why the place maybe haunted or believed to be haunted too. Sometimes the answers are sitting waiting for us in the library.
What has been your most scariest experience to date?
It wouldn’t be a paranormal interview without this question, let’s behonest. Vivien outlined her fearful moment for us.
“The most scariest experience to date, is more of a feeling. Let me explain……
I was investigating a Sea Clipper that was extremely haunted with the last death on board only in 1984.
The Clipper was used in the 2nd world war to ferry Jews in occupied Europe to safe haven. During this time there were numerous deaths on board as you can imagine.
2 of the crew on a certain part of the vessel were washed overboard on one of the trips with the Jews. It was on that part of the Clipper hidden away by the cabins there that I had a feeling of dread and fear.
I was with my fellow investigator Nery. We both witnessed a shadow man walking back and forth, we heard 2 men talking and we witnessed the cabin door unlatch, open and close.
Great to investigate and to get so much, but the fear and the feeling of dread, kind of like I know I am about to die kind of feeling……it’s very hard to put into words. What made it worse, there was no quick way out as there was only one way in and out and you had to climb a vertical ladder to get out. Something you could not do very quickly.”
What are your top five places that you have investigated ?
Oh come on, it wouldn’t be the same without a few classic top five questions. I can hear the classic Top of the Pops music in the background now..
- The Tower of London
- Castle Rising
- Redoubt Fort
- Derby Gaol
Great list from Vivien on this too. Castle Rising keeps poping up for me, perhaps I should visit. Another interview I have recently completed with David Farrant mentions to, plus a friend mentioned it to me today! Synchronicity no doubt!
What are the top five places that you would still like to investigate ?
Once you’ve asked someone what their top five investigated locations are, it makes sense to find out the places in the world where they would love to go and investigate. Here’s Vivien’s.
- The Houses of Parliament (Tunnels) & Big Ben – London
- The Taj Mahal – India
- The Chinese Theatre – California USA
- HMS Belfast – London
- Catacombs of Paris – France
Another group of five greats there. I think for me the Houses of Parliament and the Paris Catacombs shine through more so though. Both of those are locations I would really love to investigate one day, if I can.
If you could create a team of investigators from anywhere in the world at any time, past or present, who would make the top five?
This is a newer question that I have starter to ask from time to time and it never fails to throw up some excellent results. Oddly they have ranged from deadly serious responses with detailed explanations to slightly more ‘out there’ let’s say responses.
Question is who does Vivien want in her team…
- Maurice Grosse – For the serious stuff
- Louis Spence – For the laughs at scary times
- Adam Ant – To hold my hand
- Nery Kirby – For protection
- Juwan Mass from Ghost Brothers – ‘To pop the trunk’ & Tech guy
Not a bad bunch to investigate with I’m sure. Grosse would certainly hold it all together.
What’s your most favourite ghost story or folk tale ?
“The tale of the headless horseman on the Windsor Walk, if you come across him apparently you are supposed to suffer heart attack and die on the spot.
Executed by Henry VIII apparently.
Never seen him yet or heard of anyone else come to that. A great tale!!!
A local legend from near my home town.”
I’ve heard of a few headless horseman tales, but not come across one where seeing him causes a heart attack. Think I will be looking that one up for sure. I do love a good old folk take.
Do you have a favourite supernatural creature ?
“The Black Shuck or sometimes known as the Devil’s Dog.”
Now this one I have heard of, who hasn’t! In fact I have also written about the Black Shuck in a previous post as it was sighted near my home town.
What are your plans for the next few months paranormally speaking?
“At the moment, getting the final bits and pieces ready for Paraforce UK with Sean Cadman.
I am giving a lecture this year. Writing, getting more of the book completed.
I will be attending a few Ghost Hunts and I will get away to Yorkshire for a few days rest to recharge the batteries.”
Now that sounds like a packed month ahead for Vivien then; and also Sean too.
Why did you decide to put together Paraforce UK ?
“Both Sean and myself worked behind the scenes at Paracon UK a few years ago.
Sean and I had so many people contact us asking us to put something together. We both had a chat and decided that because we do this for a passion of the paranormal and not for money-making, that we could do it again for the people.
Our main objectives were and still are, to bring people together to share experiences, swap ideas, learn from others, make new friends and contacts and to not feel embarrassed about their passion or hobby.
We try to cater for all the field of Paranormal, from UFOs, Ghosts, Crypto (Ghostly Creatures), Occult, spirituality, etc. We also try to make it accessible for all by keeping our prices as low as possible.”
What are your future aspirations for the convention?
“We are seeing the convention grow every year. We would love for more people/teams/stalls whatever to get involved no matter how big or small.
At the moment Sean & I are holding it as a yearly convention, you never know what the future holds?
We are always on the look out for speakers/authors etc no matter how controversial.
Sean & myself would love to see this grow each year. We love seeing everyone coming together and enjoying themselves in the relaxed atmosphere that we provide.”
Thank You Vivien
As ever I would like to say a huge thank you to Vivien for taking the time to answer my questions. Hopefully they weren’t too bad!
The Paraforce UK 2017 Paranormal Convention kicks off at the end of this month, so if you’ve not got tickets check out my previous post on the convention for details – Paraforce UK 2017 Paranormal Convention
If anyone would like to get in touch with Sean or Viv, here’s their contacts: