The Dark

From as far back as I can really remember along side my interest in the paranormal has been an obvious link to the dark. Having children myself now I am all too aware of the common fear which effects some of the next generation, the simple fear which creeps in as the lights dim low. However, this simple fear of what was hidden in the dark, in the unknown went beyond our children and if we are honest some of us worry a little about the shadows too.


I guess the idea for this post came about after I was re-introduced to what may lurk in the darker parts of my childrens room. Sometimes when you have kids, even a simple bedtime can spiral out of control when the room isn’t illuminated effectively.

After spending the past couple of years actively investigating haunted locations in the dark, I suppose the pitch black and shadowed filled rooms have become more than my friend. In fact walking through a darkened room has become second nature now. Perhaps that childhood programming which made me pause for a moment, theorise what maybe lurking in the shadows and then hunt for the light, has been phased out due to prolonged exposure. Still the very essence of both child like and adult fear of the dark still appears in every day life for me. Whether its my children practically begging sometimes for more light to help them sleep or some of my friends performing the ritual of pausing for a light switch. Either way, whatever age, all concerned must deep down fear the dark a little.

I believe that in a number of cases, probably more so with children the fear factor is fired by a belief that ghost generally come out to play at night. I know it was so as I grew up hearing ghost stories from friends and family members alike. Generally there was also a dusty old house involved too or darkened wood in the dead of night.


Of course this theory is totally unjustified as there are actually more reports of paranormal activity during the day than night! Possibly due to more of us being awake or simply because there are more background elements misunderstood as activity. So, why do we head out in the dead of night to seek our spirits? To be honest, no one has really managed a definitive answer on this, but I have a few ideas. First up, simply is the fact that its quiet at night and usually the only ones about at the locations we visit are us crazy ghost hunters. This does have its advantages for an investigator though, an ever so slightly controlled environment to investigate. I say slightly as an actual controlled environment is impossible to find, unless its a locked down labatory. Still doesn’t explain the walking around in the dark, surely the chances of mistaking those shadows for wandering spirits are greatly increased. Still investigating the paranormal isn’t always straight forward logically science and half the time our senses become the best tool available to us. Sometimes experience is the key.

Should we really be afraid of the dark? Who really knows! After all I have to admit, I’ve seen some pretty odd stuff when the lights are low and I’m pretty damn sure they are not just shadows! I guess that means that I will continue hunting around dark old buildings for the unexplained, which is fine by me as I enjoy it. The dark isn’t scary anyways, its what you find that throws you!

Are you afraid of the dark?


The Mystery of Jack the Ripper

There has never been such a case in history more prominent than that of the case of Jack the Ripper. For many years we have told and retold the story, covering it from angle after angle, delivering theory after theory, but still the Rippers identity remains a mystery. Although usually I spend most of my time researching things which are extremely hard to prove, I thought perhaps I would have a look at a case based more on elements we can measure. Still the case of Jack the Ripper, leaves me chasing ghosts once again.

So, what do we know about the case. We know that the Ripper terrorised London’s East End in the years 1888 to 1891, that the task of catching the fearsome killer was entrusted to the officers of Scotland Yard and although they failed they followed all lines of inquiry that they could.

Let us attempt to look at the case from the beginning, perhaps disregarding some of the added dramatics and stories which have clung to the case over the years. The best place to start then is with the victims, which is also where we find our first line of confusion. Which is the blurring between the definable Ripper murders and the Whitechapel murders. However, the eleven Whitechapel murders does include the Ripper murders and at some point each has been connected to the Ripper. Still properly defining the murders which were related to the Ripper, adds clarity to the case.

The Whitechapel Murders

Emma Elizabeth Smith – Tuesday 3rd April 1888 – Osborn Street, Whitechapel

Martha Tabram – Tuesday 7th August 1888 – George Yard Buildings, George Yard, Whitechapel

Mary Ann Nichols – Friday 31st August 1888 – Bucks Row, Whitechapel

Annie Chapman – Saturday 8th September 1888 – Rear Yard at 29 Hanbury Street, Spitalfields

Elizabeth Stride – Sunday 30th September 1888 – Yard at side of 40 Berner Street, St Georges-in-the-East

Catherine Eddowes – Sunday 30th September 188 – Mitre Square, Aldgate, City of London

Mary Jane Kelly – Friday 9th November 1888 – 13 Miller’s Court, 26 Dorset Street, Spitalfields

Rose Mylett – Thursday 20th December 1888 – Clarke’s Yard, High Street, Poplar

Alice McKenzie – Wednesday 17th July 1889 – Castle Alley, Whitechapel

Unknown Female Torso – Tuesday 10th September 1889 – Found under railway arch in Pinchin Street, Whitechapel

Frances Coles – Friday 13th February 1891 – FOund under railway arch, Swallow Gardens, Whitechapel


Above is a map, courtesy of the internet from displaying most of these murders.

Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes, Kelly, McKenzie and Coles had their throats cut. Except for Stride and Mylett there was evidence of abdominal mutilation in all cases. Chapman and Eddowes had their uterus removed and taken away by the killer. Eddowes left kidney was also taken. Evidence also suggests that Kelly’s heart was taken. All horrific murders in a reasonable distance and time frame from each other, its easy to link all of these to one person. After all its harder to believe there is more than one individual capable of such graphic mutilations.

Over the years though, following the input of various Detectives and individuals working on these unsolved murders, the list of murders which were linked to Jack the Ripper was reduced to Nichols, Chapman, Stride, Eddowes and Kelly. Tabram has also gained favour as the sixth victim as the opinion of some historians.

Obviously, as Jack was never actually caught this still all remains very much theory with a little supporting evidence. Perhaps he killed more that we just don’t know about yet.

Now we have the numbers of Jack’s murders reduced to five or six, we look at the next piece of evidence. In this case its the letters which were sent to the Police and Press on the Whitechapel murders. Some, if not most of these letters have been regarded as fakes, created by individuals hoping to excite the terror already burdening the city. However, a few of these letters have been given some credibility. These are the ‘Dear Boss’ letter, ‘Saucy Jacky’ postcard and the ‘From Hell’ letter.

Even if the letter is a hoax, it was the first letter written which made reference to the name ‘Jack the Ripper’ and linked it to the Whitechapel murderer. On the 27th September 1888, this letter was received by the Central News Agency and was believed to be a hoax straight away. However, three days later the double murder of Stride and Eddowes soon changed their minds. The defining point being that the in letter ‘Jack’ mentioned that he would ‘clip the lady’s ears off and send them to the police officers just for jolly’ and a portion of Eddowes earlobe was found cut off. All of a sudden the importance of this letter was highlighted by the police when they reproduced it in the newspapers of the time, hoping someone may recognise the handwriting.

On the 1st October 1888 a postcard was received by the Central News Agency, making direct reference to the ‘Dear Boss’ letter and the double murder. It was also believed to be written by the same hand.

As ever the authenticity of this postcard is still questioned by some, stating that the reference to the double murder and ‘Dear Boss’ letter could have been revealed in an early morning paper on the 1st October. I guess without todays high tech forensics its hard to prove!

The final letter was received in slightly more gruesome circumstances, in fact you could easily pull it right out of a horror movie! October 16th saw a George Lusk, the President of the Whitechapel Vigilance Committee receive a particularly fearsome item in his mail. A three-inch-square cardboard box containing half a human kidney preserved in wine along with the following letter.

Inconclusive medical reports of the time reported the kidney to be very similar to the one that was removed from Eddowes. The letter, which started with the title ‘From Hell’ was aimed directly at Lusk. It stated that he had sent half the kidney to Lusk, but fried and eaten the other half. Sound familiar? He then added that he would send the bloody knife used to remove it, if Lusk would wait a while longer. It was then sign ‘catch me when you can Mishter Lusk.

All three letters and additional items can be seen as evidence that they were sent by Jack the Ripper, but you could equally argue against their authenticity. Perhaps we will never know, but still an interesting twist to the Ripper story. Perhaps this case will never be solved and given how long ago it occurred, with a lack of evidence from the time surviving its more likely it never will.

When the horrors of Whitechapel came to an end, its likely that the Ripper either became too old to carry on murdering or perhaps he was arrested for something else unrelated to the Ripper murders. Its even possible that he was smart enough to cease his murderous ways to avoid capture. However, the character that shines through in the letters and the pure evil he committed, makes me believe that ‘his work’ would never be quite complete.

Jump forward in time and reports paranormal activity around Whitechapel which are linked to the Ripper case in many ways, including location, sightings of individuals and more. There are many links to the Ripper case which pop up from time to time in the paranormal world. Its easy to understand given the deep emotional circumstances of the murders which could have inprinted on any of the areas. Thats ofcourse if you take in to account the ‘stone tape theory’. Still all in all the original case and related paranormal stories are very interesting apart and together.

Cases like this where the paranormal stories told have a deep impact in a particular location which has a very well known past. The Ripper case is one of those and for that reason will remain of interest to me and probably many others.

All comments are welcome, so please feel free to let me know what you think or even to add a little to what I have written.

The Sherlock Connection

Since I have been old enough to understand the whole concept of heroes and vilans, I soon began to hold certain characters in higher regard! Oddly enough these characters probably weren’t the usual choice of kids my age at the time. Perhaps I was slightly influenced by my parents, but lets be honest we all are really. However, I guess I will never really understand why I like the more technical geeky stuff of this world like gadgets and computers, but also the more old school history stuff too. I guess in a way this kind of explains why I picked Indiana Jones, Doctor Who & the likes of Sherlock Holmes instead of say Superman or Spiderman. However, I did still think Batman was pretty cool, lets be honest who doesn’t think that the Dark Knight is a touch of a hardcore kickass type of guy!

Still, as the title suggests this little dity is all about Sherlock Holmes and my round about connection to him, which isn’t just the simple fact that he is up there along side Indiana Jones for me! In fact the connection comes from a third person, someone who developed the connection later on in his life, long after Holmes became a distant memory and other more important thoughts were clouding his mind. I am of course talking about Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. Doyle created one of those odd characters which although completely different from the normality we are used to, struck a cord with many and soon grew in popularity!

Doyle was born in Edinburgh in May 1859 and lead quite a busy life up to his death in East Sussex in July 1930. In his 70 years he wrote many notable stories, not just about Holmes, and he also worked as a physician for many years. However it was the traumatic twilight of Doyles personal life which created the link to mine. Don’t get over excited though, there isn’t a dramatic connection here. Basically, following the death if Doyles wife Louisa in 1906, the death of his son, his brother and several more of his family, he sank into a depression. He eventually found comfort in spirituality and trying to find evidence of something beyond death. This later lead to his envolvement in the Ghost Club and the investigation of the paranormal with a more scientific approach. It was this interest and approach to paranormal investigation which I understand. Perhaps one day I may be able to make some significant discoveries in the paranormal field, like Doyle did..

So, the connection is actually the simple fact that we both have a keen interest in the paranormal. Perhaps those interests like many in the field may stem from different personal origins. Some more closer to an individuals heart, some are a product of experiences, but all are human nature and our need to find the answers to questions which man has faced since the dawn of time. Whether the questions are sparked by events in our personal lives or simply just questions, there are some of us which seek the answers.

Since a young age, thanks to my parents, I have questioned the world and its contents, perhaps thats where my interest in the paranormal developed from. Over the years I’ve been interested in the paranormal, even before Farsight, I found myself trying to investigate something. After all, if we don’t question the world around us, then we can’t appreciate it truly.

So, even if ghosts and the paranormal isn’t your thing, just take the time at some point to question what you see around you. What you find, if you dig beneath the surface may surprise you, it may even lead you to more questions! Let me know what you find though?

Burton Court with Phil Whyman’s Dead Haunted Nights – 30th October 2010

Saturday 30th October saw me travel across the country to Herefordshire to join Dead Haunted as a team leader once again. However, this time Aaron would be joining me and I would be leading a team alone!

After picking up Aaron from the Watford Gap Services on the M1, nothing seedy, just he was heading south at the time. We headed off to Hereford and Burton Court, which in all admission wasn’t quite as close as I had first thought !

Myself and Aaron arrived in plenty of time, in fact I think we were a good hour early and two hours prior to the DHN guests arriving. We took this opportunity to bring in our equipment, grab a quick break and take a couple of photo’s.

Burton Court DHN 30112010 (1)

The location itself is actually quite impressive and for Halloween (or near enough) carries all the essentials. For starters its out in the sticks a little, with nice little drive up to the main house. The exterior of the house was nicely lit with a very atmospheric looking main entrance! Perfectly setting the scene for ours and the guests arrival. The interior didn’t disappoint either, with a large Main Hall which had high ceilings peaked at the top. Not to mention the huge fireplace, very nice indeed. There was also the Billiards Room too, which didn’t disappoint with its table full of artefacts and other historical items dotted around the room.

Our base camp for the night was the bar which was close to the kitchen and the back stairs. A perfect little room to setup for the evening. And with a good hour to go that was exactly what we did in preparation for the DHN guests.

Burton Court DHN 30112010 (6)

It was slightly odd, as the four DHN team leaders left the bar for a brief moment to grab a coffee and on return we were greeted with half a room full of guest, with more arriving! No turning back now! We ushered them in, sat them down and began taking the register.

Following Paul’s ‘Welcome to Burton Court’, Ed took the guests on a tour of the areas they would have access to for the evenings investigation, which included the cellar, great hall and billiards room, some rooms on the first floor and the second floor servants quarters. He also informed them and me of some of the activity experienced at these locations, but held back on most of the history. This I believe would be for reference purposes later.

When we all returned to the bar, Mark gave the equipment talk, explaining its uses and that al important fact that none of it is designed to find a ghost!

Following a break we kicked things off! I took my first team up to the first floor for a vigil there. The group was made up completely of people that had never been on a ghost event such as this and expectations were varied. I started with some basics, a touch of glass work, a little calling out. I think one of the team had a voice recorder throughout..

However, when it became apparent that things were a little flat, I decided to find out a little more about my team, which always fascinates me. As ever they were a varied bunch with differing reasons for coming, but the usual came up, looking for a personal experience to solidify a belief, complete sceptic looking to be proven wrong! There was also a few who had experienced activity first hand, but not in a while and wanted to know more I guess! Suffice to say that vigil ended with little occurring. Which seemed to be the same for all four teams.

We took a break! Then I took a new team up to the second floor. This team had all come together and had past experience of investigations. Made up of some firm believers and some steady sceptics, they knew what they wanted. As ever I made some suggestions, but mostly let these guys run their own vigil. We pretty much started in the small room 3, asking out in a circle, with the K2 meter in the middle. Now the K2 did pulse slightly once, but we think this may have been a phone! For me I think this room held the most atmosphere for the entire evening! We moved down the corridor and split into boys and girls. The girls attempted some glass work whilst the more sceptic boys and I spoke a little about the paranormal. As ever another interesting conversation. Again with nothing of note occurring we headed back at the end of our vigil.

The third vigil placed me back with my first team of newbies down in the cellar. With the cellar being massive, housing its own well and without lights pitch black, you would hope for some atmosphere there. However, once again I was out of luck. We tried glass work, the human pendulum, moving two members of the team to the far end of the cellar, but I guess it wasn’t our night. This is the luck of the draw, sometimes the most active locations can just simply be flat..

However, as my team were experiencing no more than pitch black, another team managed to get some communication on the ouiji board going. They believed they made contact with a boy and a master who may have abused the boy. Obviously using the board its often hard to accept the information, sometimes way off, and then other times spookily spot on! I am not personally a massive fan of communication methods which involve too many variables or simply contact like glass work or the board. As an investigator though, you have to be open minded to all forms of information in regards to a location. The communication continued into the forth vigil and also into free time.

The forth vigil saw me back with the second vigil team, confused ? It can be, I never remember names! However, in this case I managed to remember one ‘Laura’ I think! The only reason for this was because she was simply the spokes person for her team. Well, actually I don’t think anyone else managed to get a word in edge ways and thus had just handed her the title! We started in the great hall, but following a little calling out and glass work headed off to the billiards room. It was here that I had an experience of my own! Nothing paranormal! I witnessed the nicest politest piece provocation I have ever heard! With things seeming a little flat I advised the team to attempt to demand or anger the spirits into showing their presence. To which Laura responded something like ‘I demand you to show us a sign of your presence’ then after a brief pause ‘if you don’t mind please’ ! She made us all laugh with that one! So, I won’t mention ‘peripheral space’, but that got me too! It wasn’t long before the vigil came to an end and we headed back to base.

 Burton Court DHN 30112010 (9)

The teams then had two sessions of free time, but as it was late and Paul had things well in hand, we decided to head off and make the long journey home. I must say though, I had another enjoyable night with Dead Haunted as ever!

I left Burton Court with an urge to return and investigate, looking further into its history and paranormal activity. Although my night was more than a little flat it hasn’t made me believe there is nothing at Burton Court, weirdly quite the opposite! So hopefully I may return with my team to investigate.

As for Burton Court being haunted? Well for me the Jury is still out for now, but I certainly wouldn’t write it off over one nights inactivity! Especially given the reports I have heard on the place, I just hope I manage to experience it first hand next time.

Thanks as ever to DHN for allowing me to team lead on this occasion. Thank you to Paul, Mark and Aaron (the other team leaders) for making it an enjoyable night. Also, thanks to Ed at Burton Court for allowing us in, great place , fantastic location. And thank you to those guests that attended you were great. .Burton Court DHN 30112010 (5)

Photo’s By Aaron Hardy

EVP – Fact or Fiction ?

    For as long as I have had an interest in the paranormal I can remember an association with Electronic Voice Phenomena (EVP). Even years back when I remember some friends trying out some EVP work with a cassette recorder. They sat there in a circle, with some atmospheric candle light asking out into the semi-darkness. Then after a short while they would rewind the tape and listen, most of the time the result was pure static, but now and then a few oddities would pop up!

    Since those early days, things have moved along a little more and its had a bit more high tech spin applied to it. With investigators using handheld digital voice recorders during investigations and then analysing the recording on computers after the investigation to find anomalies. However, the human ear is still the tool of choice for finding voices or sounds amongst the static.

    With EVP featuring on many paranormal TV shows now and almost always popping up as evidence for an investigation team, I find myself constantly questioning the integrity of this source of evidence. Hands in the air, on many occasions I have jumped up with excitement because I thought I had something paranormal on a recording. You have to ask yourself though, how certain am I that there is no other source for this? I have also watched many paranormal investigation TV shows where they have pointed out a captured voice, but alas I was unable to hear the voice let alone what they thought it might say!

    So, my question is quite simple, as an investigation tool or piece of evidence, how reliable is EVP to our cause?


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Derby Royal Infirmary with Phil Whyman’s Dead Haunted Nights

I am beginning to realise that in the paranormal field strange things do happen! However, this time round it came in the shape of an invite to join Aaron Hardy at the Derby Royal Infirmary for a nights investigation with Phil Whyman’s Dead Haunted Nights. An opportunity I didn’t want to pass up, after all who wouldn’t want to spend the night in an abandoned hospital!

A quick google of Derby Royal returned some loose historical connections with Florence Nightingale. Which in turn were obviously backed up by sightings of cloaked figures and shadows. Something there happens to be a lot of in hospitals, shadows that is. Having a few kids I have spent some nights in a hospital before an found myself in some dark abandoned corridors. Even in a working hospital the places can be very atmospheric.

Currently I don’t hold high expectations for this investigation as I tend to think its activity reports are probably based on the psychology of a dark quiet hospital in the dead of night, increased by the fact that the place has been abandoned. Its something I personally call the ‘haunted house effect’, which basically means, because the place is old, abandoned and kind of scary looking many assume its haunted. On entering a location with this expectation people can often mistake things and jump to conclusions.

Well the journey up the M1 went well and even though I was prepared for some Friday night traffic, it wasn’t too bad at all and I got to Derby with plenty of time to spare. Then Sat Nav decided it would be funny to take me to what looked like a large M&S store and head me in the wrong direct. After a small bit of re-negotiating, shouting at the Sat Nav, turning it off and going on instincts, I decided to call Aaron to ensure I was heading in the right direction. Ten minutes later I walked up and met Aaron and friends for the first time.

It wasn’t long before we wondered in to Derby Royal Infirmary, up some stairs and into must have used to be the restaurant. We all settled in and grabbed a drink, whilst the Dead Haunted Nights (DHN) Team setup and prepared to brief us on the location.

It wasn’t long before the DHN Team were ready and Phil Whyman headed up the intro to the investigation and the location. He quickly informed us about the Infirmary and moved onto the investigation kit he had brought along for us to borrow. The kit was a good selection of scientific and spiritual, making sure there was something for everyone to try. Something that Phil added which is constantly left out, is the fact that non of the equipment is proven to find ghosts or the paranormal. In fact he explained most wasn’t even designed for the paranormal, just adopted to it. Phil also added that even if you get an odd reading, say on the EMF Meter you should search out all other possibilities first. After all there could be a good reason which is far from paranormal. Reasoning which I always like to hear.

We then had a brief tour, which was a little disappointing, although I don’t think that was any reflection on the DHN Team as I think it was supposed to be led by a more local team. This was made evident as Phil and his team members seemed to be as confused to the content of the tour as we were.

Phil informed us of our groups and the area we would be in for our first vigil and sent us on our way! I have to admit now I had seen the location and a little on the way in I was itching to get to it.

First up for us was the A&E department, which I have to admit after a brief wander through the corridors to find it, the first thing that screamed to me was classic zombie or horror film! That wasn’t the reason for our visit though, we were there looking for some paranormal activity. Trying to ignore the atmosphere of the A&E Department we took a look around, explored the area a little. I grabbed a couple of EMF readings, but apart from some areas where there were obvious cabling the area was flat. We placed a few trigger objects and decided to attempt calling out in the resus area. Nothing of note happened during this, apart from hearing some noises. However, I have to rule them out as being paranormal as members of our team were walking around the area. Simon did pick up a glitch on the K2 meter as we walked through the main area, but again it was literally a brief moment when the LED’s lit up to yellow. We couldn’t make it reoccur and my own EMF meter picked nothing up. Time was called on the vigil after around 45 minutes and we returned to the restaurant area for refreshments and our next location from Phil.

It was then we found out two members of another team saw a face through the glass of a locked door down near the children’s ward, one of them being Sara Woodward part of the DHN Team. She described her as being middle-aged and just stood there staring through at them from the other side of the locked door. We had heard some of the commotion regarding this over the radio in our previous vigil, but not known what to make of it. Our third vigil would see us in that location and something to look forward to.

Next up was Ward 16, although it might have been 18! After all it was a large place late at night. Some of the team had a go with a ouija board, whilst myself Simon and Aaron had a wonder round. We tried a little EVP, but again it was a little flat. Simon did see a flash of light up one of the corridors, to which he ran at great speed to investigate. Once again though we were fumbled by the ‘was it, wasn’t it’ situation! There was someone down a connecting corridor taking photo’s with a reasonably powerful flash, so we couldn’t be sure if the light had travelled to us. We attempted to recreate the scenario with Aaron’s camera and were left thinking it could have been the camera, so in my mind that was debunked. Once again our vigil drew to a close and we returned to the restaurant for refreshments and chatter!

We headed off to the Children’s Ward, Barnum I think and for those of you that were there the code on the door please? Suffice to say we gained access with the four digit code, which I wont mention on here, just in case. Ah hell, its 1357! We settled in the main area of the ward to begin calling out, our concentration calmed following a brief Only Fools and Horses piece of entertainment thanks to a member of the team, focussing on contacting children. We even tried using trigger objects from the room to encourage contact, but nothing came through at the time. In the last ten or so minutes of the vigil I checked out the door where the woman had been seen. There didn’t seem to be anything there that could create the appearance of someone stood behind the door, no light or shadowing to that effect anyways. Which leaves the possibility of reflection, but this too is ruled out as I think Sara was close enough to recognise herself or someone directly behind her. Also, the apparition was witnessed by two people, just a shame it didn’t hang about to get its picture taken. I am beginning to think spirits don’t like their picture taken, but who does when they are not exactly looking their best. Myself and Aaron looked around a little more, whilst the others investigated the Gym area opposite the Children’s Ward, then we all headed back.

After some refreshments Phil joined us for out forth vigil in X-Ray 2. He kicked it off with some ouija board for some of the team and then left another DHN Team member to continue whilst he wondered around the area a little with us. After a little exploring and the others rejoining us we ended up towards the end of a corridor (one of many) near a large X-Ray room, which was still fitted with its equipment. As we split from Phil and he headed in the large X-Ray room, something appeared to have been thrown into the dark. A quick search with a torch revealed a plastic chair end on the floor which hadn’t been there before. We questioned Phil and co just to ensure that it wasn’t anything to do with them, to which he denied. In fact he was immediately serious and interested. So, I apologise if I seemed like I was implying anything, its just I am naturally sceptic of everyone and everything, to ensure something was paranormal. In fact he remained with us for a little while whilst we investigated further. We tried a little recreation to better discover what may have happened and we also tried throwing the piece of plastic into the dark asking for its return. I didn’t hear or see the phenomena reoccur though. With this vigil complete we returned for some well deserved coffee.

Finally was what DHN called freetime, which basically gave us all the opportunity to have a little free roam in the final 45 minutes and investigate or just explore the location. So our little group returned to the previous spot near the large X-Ray room to see if anything else could be found. Other than me scaring Simon half out of his skin by conducting a little experiment of my which involved throwing that piece of plastic, sorry Simon schoolboy error, there was nothing to report. However, something interesting did happen which was not paranormal, but proves simply how such a location in darkness and with reports of activity can easily fuel misconception or even create simple misunderstandings. If you visit a possibly haunted location you should with the mind set to investigate and chase those shadows that may confuse you. As we waited for freetime to end myself and Aaron walked around a little near to that previously mentioned X-Ray room, at one point we crossed a doorway and headed back to the rest of our little group. Anywhere between 5 and 10 minutes later some other guests of DHN came down with one of the DHN Team asking if we had just been up by the door, we responded ‘not just’, but offered the information that we had been up there around five minutes ago. One of the guests stated it was seconds ago and quickly ruled us out as a possibility for what they had seen. She left us believing she had seen some kind of apparition. The course of events also changed slightly as headed away from us. Shortly after freetime ended and we headed back to find out more about what the night had held for others.

Phil ran quickly through the evenings events and what had been witnessed or experienced by the other teams. Most of which seemed to be personal experiences similar to our own. The woman also mentioned the apparition she had seen, but now added a white shirt or doctors coat. Its funny how these things develop, but I am convinced she saw us and has now come to the conclusion she saw something more paranormal. The key here would have been to chase down what she saw, investigate and rule out the explainable before jumping to other conclusions. That’s what I would have done! However, not everyone wants to run down a dark corridor, especially if they are not too sure what it is they are chasing. In the woman’s defence, she said they did call out, but this shows simply how misunderstandings of even misconceptions of the paranormal can begin.

Derby Royal Infirmary was a really interesting location and from an investigators point of view I would love to take my team in there to investigate, but I fear a few things would stump me. The size of the place and ensuring we could focus on some actual hotspots, even just running a walk around investigation would be good. After all the location is fantastic. However, their rule that doesn’t allow you to take pictures or film, would mean that we couldn’t share any evidence or even just the investigation in the usual Farsight PRS manner. That’s something that puts me off. I am not sure if the rule is from the NHS or somewhere else, I know its not a DHN rule, but must put a slight downer on the location from a paranormal investigation point of view. All in all though an excellent location worth further investigation I think.

Many thanks to Phil and the Dead Haunted Nights Team for an excellent and enjoyable night. If your looking for a Ghost Hunt I would encourage you to check them out.

Finally, thank you Aaron for the invite and for presenting me with an investigation I couldn’t turn down. With and additional thanks to your group of friends for the hospitality too, no pun intended!

Enfield Royal British Legion – ISP Investigation !


Location History & Information

The Royal British Legion Club in Enfield has been a Legion Club since the 70’s. Before then it was an active Fire Station.
Members of staff at the club have made a few reports regarding certain areas of the building. Uneasy feelings, shadows, breaking glasses and moving doors are amongst these reports.

The staff also reported that it was possible that there had been three deaths on the premises. The first may have occurred back when the building was still being used as a Fire Station. We were told that possibly during a party in the upstairs staff quarters a woman drunkenly stumbled and fell head first down the pole opening and died from the fall. The second was believed to be that of a Fireman who was crushed to death by a tender. The final one was that of a Steward / Barman (former) who died of natural causes in the bar cellar on the ground floor.

Pre-Investigation Thoughts

As this was my first investigation with ISP I was apprehensive, but to be honest I was looking forward to it. Although I enjoyed the Paranormal Tour, I thought this might be slightly different. I know Jim and co would be using CCTV, camcorders, etc to investigate. I know that they also touch on the spiritual side of things and do a few things such as glass divination, but to be honest it’s the technical and debunking aspect of investigation I’m interested in.

The location on paper sounds quite good; it’s quite large and has quite a few different reports of activity in several locations. I was looking forward to helping out ISP and getting involved in their investigation.

However, I did have a few reservations regarding the location. I had tried to do a little research and had been unable to prove the deaths had occurred. Were these just stories which had grown and changed over time?

ISP Vigil One – The Loft

Once everything was setup and following a quick break we climbed the high ladder up into the loft space. We gathered in the main boarded area in the loft on the seats available. Even with the lights on movement around the loft is restricted to the boarded areas. With the lights off, walking around is simply dangerous. Luckily we had Jim and his torch to light the way.


Most of us remained seated, but Jim, Martin and Marc (the medium) headed over towards the opposite side of the loft. I think Marc was picking up on something, but not sure what! Jim followed Marc over, firstly lighting the way, but he was also armed with an IR thermometer. I don’t know why Martin went, possibly for the reason I should have gone and felt the need to take some pictures, but didn’t.

For a little while the three moved up and down the boards, Jim constantly checked the temperature with the IR thermometer. From time to time his light would come on, possibly for safety. None of us wanted to fall through the floor.

Marc confirmed he was picking something up, but was unclear to what. Jim reported some temperature fluctuations. Lofts are commonly draughty places with variable sources. Outside the building on that Saturday night the wind had already picked up. Personally I wouldn’t be able to rate these temperature variations as the environmental conditions were not controlled enough.

Without history any loft can appear spooky, particularly with its low light and low temperature. A female member of the staff stated she doesn’t like going up into the loft at all. It makes her feel uneasy and scared. Cliff picked up a name whilst we were in the loft, but I can’t remember what it was. He did mention ‘Carpentry’ or ‘Carpenter’.

This Vigil didn’t hold much for me though, no feelings or anything to myself that was unusual. Perhaps I have been up in too many dark lofts.

We then climbed down the ladder and took a break to lead us up to midnight, when the Legion closed.

ISP Meeting with the Legion Staff

Once the members had all gone home we headed downstairs to meet with the four staff members who wanted to join us for the evenings investigation.

The Legion Staff asked a few questions which Jim and Martin answered.

We then split into two groups, ‘Spiritualists’ and ‘Skeptics’ as Jim called them. However, Marc (the medium) joined our group, ‘Skeptics’. We headed upstairs to conduct our Vigil there.

ISP Vigil Two –The First Floor


We began by sitting around a table and quite literally calling out. It wasn’t long before Jim and Martin were off taking temperature readings and generally looking around the first floor.


We had already locked off the kitchen area. Jim and his team set a CCTV Camera with a motion detector and a voice activated digital recorder. We had been told that the kitchen swing door moved by itself. I think Jim’s aim was to try and capture this and establish if this was being caused by a natural means or that of the unknown.

The only thing we did pick up was some clicks or tapping on the digital recorder. We tried to recreate the noises, but the team then became split between it being the door or a tapping on the tea urn. A second check had some more taps and a lot of external noises from the street.


As it appeared that the activity was on a low we kind of eased off the investigation a little. Myself, Martin and Marc stood near to where the old fire man’s pole used to be. Jim and Ian stood at the opposite end of the room on the stage (near the CCTV screen). A final member of the team was looking around the back bar area. All of a sudden Jim asked if we heard something, specifying Jim asked if we heard someone say ‘hello’. None of us apart from Jim and Ian heard it. Ian grabbed his camcorder from the table in almost the middle of the room, which had been recording the whole time. Ian began to rewind it to see if he had caught anything. As he did so we talked amongst ourselves, double checking what we had said and what was heard. Ian found the location on the camcorder and played it, Jim instantly recognized it. Ian made it clearer by hooking it up to the nearby TV. It was as we listened to the recording that the theories on what was being said began. Initially it was thought to be ‘hello’, but it went from that to possibly being a name ‘Marlene’, the female member of staff thought it was an ‘old boy’ speaking.

ISP Vigil Three – The Ground Floor


Our team headed downstairs to conduct our Vigil in the Ground Floor Bar area. We started off with a little wandering around to get our bearings and a feel for the area. We then settled in one of the raised seating areas and talked a little. A couple of the team thought they heard some noises, but these could have easily been environmental. I took a few pictures and was reminded of ‘Flash Etiquette’.


Then Marc picked up on something, but yet again he didn’t feel as if it was a spirit, more of an energy. He moved from our location to the front of the Bar, but nothing seemed to come of it.

I decided to investigate behind the Bar and it wasn’t long before Ian (his camcorder) and Marc joined me. We entered the Cellar area and Marc conducted a mini Vigil in there. In the almost pitch black. I think he picked up on something once again, but again he didn’t specify or elaborate. After a short while trying to make contact we left it alone and returned to the raised area.


The rest of the Vigil was uneventful and it wasn’t long before we decided to call it a night and began to pack up.


We re-joined the group upstairs and switched the lights on. I helped collect the CCTV cameras and gather up the kit ready for our departure.

My Thoughts and Feelings on the Investigation

My personal feelings on the evening’s investigation, was that it was very different from the Paranormal Tour. It was interesting to see the team as they setup their equipment and done their best to cover the possible hotspots. It was also interesting to be a part of an actual investigation and discuss theories regarding the cause of certain phenomenon.

All in all an excellent experience, both educationally and personally.


Do I think Enfield Royal British Legion is haunted? My initial reaction is ‘no’, but saying that the recording places me right on the fence. If I hadn’t been in the room at the time and been there as it developed I may have disregarded the evidence. However, because I was there its credibility rates higher with me.

If, as we may believe the voice on the recording is a spirit. Not one of us, which we know it’s not, then the source is unexplainable. However, as a piece of evidence the circumstances under which it was obtained may slightly invalidate it. The reason for this is that it wasn’t a controlled environment that it was recorded in. Someone could easily explain it away as being one of us.

EVP by itself is difficult as a single piece of proof anyway. Ideally two types of evidence which validate each other are better, for example EVP with Video.

As we know though the paranormal doesn’t conform to laboratory conditions and likes to make it hard to obtain good evidence.

The Enfield Royal British Legion may not be haunted as such, but there could be something there. In my opinion this location requires further investigation. Hopefully we can then obtain further evidence.

Perhaps Marc’s theory regarding a kind of energy possibly related to some kind of bad luck, maybe what haunts the Legion.

Another part of this which needs looking into is the building history. Are the stories of the three deaths true and provable, or are they exaggerated accidents. I contacted the Police regarding the deaths, but they could not return any supporting reports. However, they did mention that some accidents which may have occurred whilst the Legion was a Fire Station may have been recorded by the Fire Service. Surely if a woman had fallen down the pole drunk and died, this at least would have been a matter for the local police.

I guess the jury is still out on this location and further investigation is required in my opinion.

As ever please feel free to let me know what you think, just drop me an email.

Salisbury Guildhall – A Paranormal Tour


Location History
The Guildhall itself is the forth building to actually be located within the City centre of Salisbury.
‘The Bishop’s Guildhall’ was the first to be built on the site and dated back to Tudor times. The Bishop would implement his feudal rights of criminal and civil justice from there.
The ‘Merchants Guild’ built a new headquarters in 1585 to the north of ‘The Bishop’s Guildhall’ near to where the present War Memorial stands. This new headquarters was known as ‘The Council House’.
After a banquet in 1780 ‘The Council House’ was burnt down. A generous offer of a new building was provided by the City Recorder, the Second Earl of Radnor. Due to the situation regarding the current ‘Bishop’s Guildhall’ an Act of Parliament was passed in 1795 to surrender the current Guildhall and create a new Council House and Guildhall Gaol combined.
The new ‘Guildhall’ was built pretty much on the site of the old one. The addition of the Grand Jury Room, extensions to the size of the courts and new accommodation for the judges were made during alterations made to the building in 1829.
Salisbury District Council, previously City Council has had the whole building under its control since the Municipal Corporation Act in 1835.

Pre-Investigation Thoughts
As me and my girlfriend Claire drove the two hour journey to Salisbury Guildhall, we spoke about how we were feeling about the night ahead of us.
Being my usual sceptic self and the Paranormal Tour at the Guildhall my first field investigation I was preparing myself for a quite night out. Whilst Claire on the other hand had one of her feelings! She doesn’t have these feelings regularly and they are usually related to the paranormal, although most of the time she would rather not experience these feelings. Claire told me that she felt we would experience something, but it was no more than a feeling just like anyone would have.
I took this onboard, but still believed that nothing would happen and prepared myself for nothing more than explainable events.
We arrived early as ever and promptly parked up outside the Guildhall. I rang Jim and met up briefly with him for a little chat. We then waited patiently as the Paranormal Tours Team set things up before heading into the Guildhall to get started.
Paranormal Tours Intro
We walked into the Guildhall and took a left into the main hall. Finding our allocated Teams table, we took our seats and waited for the event to begin.
Martin made the initial introductions to the Paranormal Team, himself, Kevin, Jim, Jenny and John (the medium). He then continued by explaining some of what we may expect during the night and what was planned for us.
The team then moved on to the Investigation Equipment which each team had on their table. They explained the items and their uses within a paranormal investigation. Each table was given the following equipment to assist them, a Canum, a Non-Contact Digital IR Thermometer, Torches, Digital Dictaphone, Dowsing Rods, EMF Meter, and a crystal.
Paranormal Tours Ghost Walk
The last member of the team to run through things with us was John the medium. John explained a few things regarding the evening’s events and how we shouldn’t be shy about coming forward about what we may feel or experience in a location during the night.
And with that we were prepared and briefed for the Salisbury Guildhall Paranormal Tour. The Team then led us onto the first location of the night for the Ghost Walk. This was so the historian could brief us on the location following John’s initial reaction to the room.
The first location was the Oak Court Room, where John picked up a few things, but mainly a Judge. He believed that connected with this Judge was possibly some negative energy and the name ‘James’. The Historian couldn’t confirm this, but did indicate that there was a very tough Judge Park, who had 28 death sentences to his name.
On the way to the second location, on the main stairs John picked up on a woman or possible two women that walked the stairs.
The second location was the Grand Jury Room where John felt as though the room had been used as a meeting place involving heated discussions. He believed it could be linked to the war and possibly D-Day.
We then moved onto the final location, the Juvenile Court and Cells. As we paused in the Court John picked up on a young girl and felt everything from laughter to anger. John also had a feeling that the room may have had a fire at some point. This was later confirmed, as the Elizabethan Guildhall was destroyed by fire in 1780.
As we headed down the stairs towards the cells, Jim of the Paranormal Tours Team pointed out a door lock which was unusually hot. It seemed to have no real explanation or reason for being hot too. My initial thoughts were more technical than paranormal, but at this point I didn’t have time to investigate.
We were shown the first group of cells and John picked up a few things. The historian added the history regarding the actual conditions criminals may have endured years ago. We then continued down to below ground, through the basement and then back up an alternative staircase into the Oak Court.
From there we headed back into the main hall for a break before heading out for our first Vigil in our teams.
Paranormal Tours Vigil One – The Oak Court Room
On entering the Oak Court Room for our first Vigil, in fact my very first Vigil I found myself apprehensive and more sceptic than ever. However, not one to miss an opportunity I grabbed my instrument of choice, a non-contact IR thermometer and began to take random readings around the room. Claire began snapping photo’s in the background. It wasn’t long before Martin announced that the lights were to be turned off. I think it was Kevin that flicked the switch and then we were in darkness, with nothing but torches and external light.
As we got going Martin began to feel cold near him up on the Judges chair, I pointed the thermometer to get a reading, the difference was only a couple of degrees and could easily be attributed to the external windows behind them.
I think it was then that Martin was to attempt calling out, for this he asked us to shut things off for complete quiet and darkness. I placed the thermometer on the desk in front of me and Claire turned off the digital camera and placed it next to it. Martin began to call out, for me the response was silence. However, it wasn’t long before that all changed.
The room was completely silent when Claire leaned over to me and whispered; ‘I think there’s a little girl here with us, I think her name is Emily!’
As Claire finished the word ‘Emily’ our digital camera vibrated and moved across the desk towards us. This shocked us both. We were totally unprepared for this kind of activity. Whilst everyone else in the room was working out what had just happened, we questioned each other trying to find a logical explanation for what we had just witnessed. There wasn’t one! With this Claire decided to take a breather outside the room to get her head around the event. I remained in the room and advised Martin of what had occurred.
I went through what had happened, trying to explain it. Could the desk have been knocked in some way? Well no, we were stood back from the desk. The desk was slightly angled, could it have slid down? Again, no it had been there for a while and not moved. Also, the thermometer had remained where it had been placed, nest to the camera. Plus the camera’s back had rubber on it making it difficult to slide. It would seem that whatever explanation we came up with, it really didn’t explain how a camera would vibrate and move by itself.
When Claire returned to the room, Martin thought it would be a good time to try some glass divination. He found a good suitable location and set things up. Two other ladies and Claire were to take part. I was going to too, but early on I decided not and continued to take some temperature readings. As ever to begin with there was no reaction to our initial questions, and then Claire tried to speak to a young girl spirit identified as Clare. This spirit was identified by Kevin as a possible sighting in the Oak Court. The divination returned a few more answers to questions regarding age and if the girl moved the camera, but nothing amazing. It’s easy to explain things like glass divination away though, such explanations as subconscious movement of the glass, for me it’s not really enough. That doesn’t mean I rule it out or exclude it.
Another display of possible activity was placed marble rolling to the floor. However, when this occurred I actually knocked a connecting desk, which may have caused the movement. Although myself and Martin tested how much force would be required to knock the marble to the floor, which was more than when I knocked it, I am still not convinced I had nothing to do with it.
This busy room also had some noticeable shadows moving about in the balcony and some additional names picked up.
Myself and Claire returned to the main hall on a Paranormal high, after witnessing the camera move. We were ready for the second location now and probably already hooked.
Paranormal Tours Vigil Two – Grand Jury Room
As we entered the room behind Paranormal Team member Jenny and the medium John, I felt like I could smell cigars for some reason. However, I kept this information to myself.
We quickly found our places and began to ready ourselves for the next vigil. Jenny explained that we would be trying out the planchet at this location and as soon as the lights went out we began.
The ladies of the Team started using the planchet and calling out to any resident spirits, I switched my camcorder on. I grabbed the IR Thermometer, placed the camcorder on the table pointed at the ladies at the end of the table and took a few readings.
It wasn’t long before John was picking up on a few things and mentioned that he felt a presence around where the ladies were seated. Claire asked John if the presence was close by to her and if it was that of a man, to which the answer was a yes. Claire believed that the presence was so close that she felt as if it was touching her.
Although Claire, John and other members of the Team felt a presence of one, two or even three different spirits, the planchet seemed to be unsuccessful.
I checked my camcorder on the table, which had appeared to have turned itself off. However, I wasn’t sure if this was me or the camera possibly at fault. I set the camera to record and returned it to its original location on the table.
A little while into the vigil, John suggested to Claire to maybe sit in the Judges Parlour (connected to the Grand Jury Room) by herself to see what she may possibly experience. Claire’s initial reaction was ‘No’, but I managed to talk her into it with me to go in with her. So we took our digital camera and headed in.
Claire sat on a chair, pretty much in the middle of the room with me crouched in front of her. She called out to see if we could gain any reactions, but it was hard to be sure of anything as there was quite a bit of noise coming from outside. However, once again Claire felt a presence and briefly as if something or someone touched her. Then she thought she saw something by the door and decided it was time for us to leave!
We returned to the main Grand Jury Room to continue investigating with the rest of the Team.
As we sat around the table with Jenny and John, many of the Team picked up on a few things, possibly spirits. I wasn’t one of them. However, as we sat there Claire sensed something. A little embarrassed to bother John, Claire asked me to pass on the information. I asked him if there was someone stood close by to him. He said ‘yes’, but then looked to Claire to answer his question. ‘Where about?’ he asked. Claire told him that the person was stood between me and John, but wasn’t that much taller than him sitting down. Claire then asked if John knew whether this person was a man or a woman. John told us he did, and Claire immediately asked if it was a woman. John replied ‘yes’. Then Claire and the other Claire in our group went onto describe what the woman was wearing, to which John confirmed most.
It wasn’t long after this that the Grand Jury Room vigil came to an end and we returned to the main hall for a coffee break.
Paranormal Tours Vigil Three – Juvenile Court and Cells
This was our final vigil location and to be honest the one I thought maybe something may occur. Jim our Paranormal Tours Team Member for this location lead there and took us straight through to the cells. However, for us this was decidedly the least active area. I spent at least ten minutes with two other team members in one of the cells, but experienced nothing. In fact I felt decidedly comfortable.
As we left the cells, myself and Jim paused to investigate the warm door lock, which was a little unusual. On initial review it seemed odd that the lock could be hot at the centre, but around the edges it was a great deal cooler. The wood frame didn’t even seem affected by the heat either. Is this Paranormal or logical explanation? Jim and I concluded that it was the actual lock and that the paranormal didn’t have a hand in this little mystery. Later analysis would show that this was a ‘Mag Lock’ and thus could get hot if installed poorly or left open for long amounts of time.
The Juvenile Court was also quiet and more of a wind down to the end of the night. We attempted a little calling out and placed a marble on a desk, asking a spirit to move it. However, we had no reaction to our requests and after a while called it a night.
We waited for the call on the radio for us to return to the main hall before heading back.
Paranormal Tours Conclusions & Round Up
With all Teams and the Paranormal Team Members returned to the main hall, Martin kicked off the debriefing. He crossed referenced our findings with the other Teams, asking each Team what they found in each location.
It was interesting to hear the variations between the Teams and what they experienced. For example my Team found the Cells fairly inactive, but other Teams found the Cells full of activity.
Martin’s final question to us all before wishing us on our way was simple. ‘Had the evening changed what we believed when we arrived?’ It hadn’t though, as it seemed I was the only sceptic and only one possibly who may have changed his mind. I hadn’t though, still sceptical through and through. You see after all what I had experienced I was still only left with evidence I couldn’t truly explain.
We thanked the Paranormal Tours Team and headed off on our two and bit hour journey home. Even though I was slightly tired and more than ready for my bed, I was on a high after what I had just experienced.
My Thoughts and Feelings on the Investigation
For me and Claire this was an excellent introduction to Paranormal Investigation. I had approached the event with the felling that I wasn’t going to get a lot out of it, but actually did. As a sceptic I always look to explain things away, with this investigation there was plenty of things I experienced which could be easily explained away. However, the movement of our camera for us was totally unexplainable. We tried along with Martin to debunk the movement, but couldn’t find a viable explanation.
This was a successful opening to field investigation in my mind, with plenty of good information and experiences.
Paranormal Tours present a good evening of ghost hunting of which I am now hooked, so hopefully won’t be too long before I join them again for another investigation.
Salisbury Guildhall had some good activity and is an excellent location, which deserves a proper all night investigation with all the ghost hunting gadgets.
Paranormal Tours proved excellent guides, but there are limitations to an investigation when you are attempting to guide several people around a haunted location. I realised that as soon as I experienced some activity I was hooked and wanted to investigate further, but time for us was short.
Is the Salisbury Guildhall haunted? I’m too sceptic to answer that, but I know some unexplained stuff happened there, which has left an after effect on me. If you get the chance to go to the Guildhall on an investigation, it may be well worth it. Although, I know others may not share this opinion as they experienced fairly little at the Guildhall.

All in all though a good night of ghost hunting with the Paranormal Tours Team. Myself and Claire thank you all.

As ever, please feel free to email your comments to the below address. Thank you for taking the time to read this and remember to keep an eye on Facebook and this site for my next post.