The Paranormal: I’ve seen some weird stuff.

We don’t necessarily have to understand and explain a phenomenon to know that it is real.”

Stephen Braude

With the 21st century’s love of horror movies, it would appear that the majority of individuals have a curiosity for the unknown. However, i have found that having a strong fascination into this subject is either developed naturally from a young age or routed from a personal, highly unusual experience.

For myself, it was a little mixture of both. As a child i had a strong fascination with myths, legends and spooky tales. My grandmother owned a hardback dog-earred Readers Digest book which contained the legends and spooky stories from all over the country. I can recall sitting in her living room and reading these over and over again.

Although i had a bit of a “weird kid” label throughout secondary school, this interest took a backseat during the awkward teenage phase. Unfortunately, after the introduction of boys and alcohol, came the turbulent relationships and university years where i battled a whole bunch of personal problems. Yet despite turning my back on the supernatural, it still managed to keep a grasp on my curiosity. Even when i was so immersed in my own issues, in the  mundane daily routines, it still managed to get through to me. It was only when i received my own personal proof of an afterlife (it was either that or a 1 in a billion coincidence) that i made my way back to being the “weird kid” again.

Still from Beetlejuice (1988)

After graduating with a 2.1 in Religious Studies, clearly a very useful degree, i managed to secure a job with the local museum service. Part of my job required working solo in the museum – which just so happened to be a 13th century city gate. The possibility that this building could be haunted had not really entered my mind. I think i was still in shock that they were actually allowing me to look after one of the town’s historical landmarks. Nevertheless, something happened that sparked it all up again.

It was a Sunday morning around 9 o’clock and i was sweeping the floor below the stained glassed windows. These windows faced down towards the high street and underneath was a simple wooden bench. As i was sweeping underneath this bench, what i can only describe as “a ball of grey mist”, materialised out of thin air and shot towards me. It came to a halt about two feet away from me and was roughly at knee height. It hovered for a second and then shot off to the left and disappeared. Sounds pretty crazy doesn’t it?

The rational, skeptical person would say that it was my imagination. I will agree that my imagination is rather vivid, but it has never created anything on this level before. “Perhaps it was a bird? Or a rat? Or maybe it was a car light reflecting off the window onto the floor?…” Now i know that the majority of paranormal experiences tend to be easily explained, but this has been one incident that has never sat right with me. It was a sunny morning, i was relaxed and i certainly wasn’t looking to having a face-to-face encounter with anything other than a member of the public. The most peculiar aspect of the event was that i shrugged it off. Even as someone who is open to the idea of the paranormal, i still ignored the whole situation. It was almost as if i couldn’t register it into a category and just dismissed it entirely.

I don’t think i really thought about the “ghost ball” again until we picked up some strange anomalies in some photos to market our Halloween event. The first few photos were perfectly normal and then this shadow appeared. The cameraman didn’t say anything at this point and continued to shoot further images. It was only when the shadow seemed to cover my whole side (excuse the poor modelling skills) that he mentioned the anomaly. He said that he had never seen his camera do this before and attempted to re-create the photo, but to no avail. With the museum’s bright spot lights and overhead lighting, we couldn’t find an explanation for this. Although it is possible that it could have been something on the lens, it did remind me of the “entity” that i had seen a few weeks back.

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Ghost? Or maybe something on the lens and some awkward posing

It was this experience that led to me to contact a local paranormal investigation team. As a shy 21 year old, this was a pretty daunting experience but it was probably one of the best decisions i have ever made besides going travelling. Attending the investigations has allowed me to see and experience all sorts of phenomena, but it has unfortunately left me with more questions than what i started with. The team have now broken up, but the paranormal occurrences have not ceased. As mentioned in a previous post, activity seems to have increased within my family home. One particular, rather dramatic event caused me to nearly flee my house in fear. I genuinely thought i had a physical intruder in my house and luckily my friends came to rescue me at 4am – a sign of true friendship! This is one story that i will definitely have to leave for a future post.

I have barely touched upon the surface of the experiences i have had. Pro actively investigating the paranormal is possibly one of the most time consuming, least gratifying and frustrating interests to have. It has rather unsociable hours, everyone presumes you’re a massive weirdo and anything you do capture ends up being scrutinised and claimed as “fake”. Despite all this, it is definitely a labour of love. Where other hobbies have entered and left my fickle mind, Ghost Hunting is here to stay. Maybe one day, one of us will finally capture the Holy Grail of evidence. But until then i will just continue my cursing when i realise that my camera was pointing in the wrong direction…yet again.

 

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A New Direction

“I never want to stop travelling!”

– Myself, early 2013 (probably before the bedbugs)

I am in England.

I haven’t left the country for a year.

It did help that the UK looked like this last summer. Taken in Salcombe, Devon
It did help that the UK looked like this last summer. Taken in Salcombe, Devon

So, what has changed? Well, first of all i got a full time job in my hometown. My intention was to save up as much money as possible in order to fly off again at the first chance that presented itself. The position was even a fixed term contract – perfect! However, my move-to-Canada-and-work-on-a-ranch plans were promptly launched out the window by a 6ft 4 male species that i met at my new workplace. Yep, it happened. I met someone and i actually couldn’t be happier. I also learnt to drive (finally), got myself a contract iPhone (FINALLY) and all of this before Christmas. Oh, and the fixed term contract job? I ended up getting a promotion. Basically, these are all variables that will prevent an individual from gallivanting round the world.

Before my travels, i spent a large amount of my time researching places to visit, costs, journey times…symptoms of various exotic diseases (just in case). Now that i have no desire to escape this rainy island for the foreseeable future, i have been focusing on my other interests. It is because of this change of heart, that my blog will also take a similar direction. You can’t really write about travel when you’re quite happy to mooch around the town you were born in.

However, there is one interest that rivals my love of travelling. It is also an interest that has inspired me to journey across the world to visit certain historical places – The Paranormal. Are you a skeptic or believer? Either way, everyone has a  natural curiosity for this subject which makes for one hell of a dinner party conversation. This innate curiosity eventually developed into a firm obsession, through the assistance of some strange esoteric encounters. After graduating from university in 2010 i joined my local investigation team and have been lucky enough to visit some incredible historical locations.

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Leap Castle, Ireland – One of my favourite investigation locations

Although the supernatural  is now firmly nestled within popular culture (cheers, Ghost Hunters! *cough*mosthauntednearlyruinedeverything*cough*) investigating haunted locations is still one of the more unusual weekend activities for a 20-something. I am more likely to be found clutching a night vision camera than a drink in an overcrowded bar. I had always planned to write about my interest in the paranormal but as the weird events in my life increase, i am inclined  to start documenting these on a regular basis. These will include my past experiences, my formal investigations with my local team and the main inspiration for this blog – my house. Even as i am writing this, the landing light just turned itself on. 

The activity in this household tends to wax and wane. Lights being turned on and off is small in comparison to what i have experience here. Believe me, it can kick off in a spectacular fashion. I will state now that i am  a believer in paranormal activity but what is causing these events, remains a mystery to me. I will always look for the rational explanation but i have learnt that there are certain occasions where happenings cannot easily be explained. For arguments sake i call them “ghosts” but i am not quite able to say that these are definitely “spirits of the dead”. For all we know, these could be demons, a serious mental condition (lets hope not), a natural phenomenon or even a glimpse into a parallel universe. We just don’t know and that both terrifies and fascinates us.

So, expect some weird stories and videos on here soon.

Any questions, ideas, theories or even explainations – let me know. I love a good debunk.