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Exploring Everything

CURIOUS

Leeds in 1842 Issue 1 16 December 2011

TV personality Barrie john EYE ON THE SKY - Alien sighting Ghost hunting with Lynne Robinson


Editorial

urious is our attempt at making an openminded and mature magazine at looking at cultural ideas that are unusual, uncommon or just plain weird. This can range from ghosts or interesting behaviours that are to say the least interesting.

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Although some things may turn out to be proven fake, we’re the ones who will be listening to new ideas, giving them a platform to speak from, but with that platform they will be judged just as everyone else is, whether this is with science or with logic.

The idea of our magazine however is not to link these items to a negative connotation, but to just to explore what we know and to judge them appropriately. It’s very easy for people to be judgemental and negative of things that are unusual just because it’s the status quo. Our aim in the magazine is to avoid this bias, and just look at items as interest. We’re curious!

With this issue we debut some of these ideas in the articles we have. We go ghost hunting, Lynne Robbinson visiting famous locations where ghost’s supposedly are, and see if our reporter sees a ghost or their active imagination.

However, there is a responsibility to be made. Sometimes things can be made up, exaggerated or misunderstood, just as some people do with the some supposed ghost sightings or ideas about history.

In Leeds 1842, we take a historical look at Leeds and how it once was compared to how it is now. We look at how the standards of living have changed and how people suffered until one man changed it in his popular report. We also take a look at a supposed alien sighting, as well as a scientific view oh the existence of ghosts. And much more!

The Team

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Daniel Moore

Richard Bywater

“To create the “Curious” magazine that explores and investigates rather than laughing and dismissing the unknown.”

““Curious”,for me, is about studying our culture and bringing an element of scientific credabillity to the unknown”


Contents

Haunted Leeds

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A night in haunted Leeds. Also feautures an interview with professional medium and televsision personality Barrie John.

Leeds in 1842

Page 9

See how Leeds has changed in 160 years

Seeing through the paranormal

Page 7

32% of American’s believe in ghost’s, but how does science see through it

Page 8 Keep your eye on the sky eye witness account of a possible alien sighting on the streets of Leeds

Strands

Page 12

A page full of quotes, facts and eventually your reader ripples.

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Haunted Leeds A sceptics night with paranormal expert Lynne Robinson By Daniel Moore

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Ghost Hunting with Lynne Robinson

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hen it comes to ghosts, I am a complete sceptic. So typing ‘hauntings in Leeds’ into Google I couldn’t help but expect a plethora of staged YouTube videos and a few crazies offering advice on how to deal with poltergeists and possession. To my surprise, it appeared Leeds was more paranormally inclined than I had expected. Being a person who finds hilarity in films, which keep others awake for weeks, I wasn’t prepared for the fright I was about to endure. Ranging from a manifestation of a Victorian lady in late in the 21st century, to a phantom. Which eventually forced a family from their home in 1932. The stories, which arose (from various sources) could create doubts in the most sceptical of minds. Obviously in such a situation I felt inclined to go out and find out the truth behind some of these stories.

The blue lady, apparently the best-known and most sighted ghost in Leeds appeared from search engine to search engine time and again. This apparition, dwelling in the halls of Temple Newsam, is rumoured by many to be the spirit of Mary Ingram. Attacked by highway men returning to the stately home after visiting relatives, she was dragged to the floor and robbed of her possessions, giving explanation to the screaming and sound of something heavy being dragged across the floor which has been reported by guests. The attack was said to be so traumatising Mary often hid her belongings in fear of a repeat attack, and the spirit of the blue lady has been reportedly seen searching high and low for lost items. Leeds killer Charlie peace was the next most documented sighting I came across, evading capture for years after numerous murders and robberies, peace was finally sent to Leeds town hall Victorian cells,

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where he awaited trial and was finally hung on February 25 1879in Armley prison. The limping ghost of Peace is said to have been both seen and heard numerous times in the dark prison cells once used to hold prisoners awaiting trial. Spooky. It became evident many people in Leeds offered an opposing view on the paranormal. The tension I felt already had me questioning my beliefs, and I wasn’t sure at this point how much I was looking forward to visiting these places myself. My search for contacts sent me straight to Lynne Robinson. Herself she, along with television medium Barrie John and a small team of Yorkshire Evening Post journalists were the driving force behind a small series of films names ‘Haunted Leeds’ which explored the very places which I had decided to be the setting for my own séance of sorts, everything was falling into place. Lynne Robinson met us at Temple Newsam just as the sun was setting on a strangely warm October night. It seemed a perfect setting mere days before Halloween in what she described as ‘the most haunted place in Leeds” As Lynne described the apparition of a woman standing around and watching the ‘Haunted Leeds’ team on her first visit, me, and my partner nervously smirked, with eyes wondering the halls in anticipation. She shrieked and stiffened quite often. Exaggerating small noises, which I initially found somewhat comical. We’d wondered the grounds for around an hour. Apart from the odd tapping, Which Lynne linked to footsteps not much had happened to sway my beliefs. Then, minutes before nine I noticed something from the corner of my eye. I feel ridiculous, and quite cliché writing this, but I was sure I’d seen the misty silhouette of a woman further down the corridor, and then witnessed her hauntingly drift out of view.


Interview with TV medium Barrie John below

A nervous bellow of laughter left my mouth. As I told Lynne and my partner the excitement and passion for the paranormal filled Lynne’s eyes, whilst my partner’s was a gaze of disbelief. Much of the same came after this, and Temple Newsam failed to completely end my scepticism. Although my possible run in with ‘The blue lady’ left me question ing the core of my beliefs. Our time with Lynne was up, from Temple Newsam, me and my partner made our way to Leeds town hall. Ashamedly the more I thought about it the more my earlier experience plagued my mind. It was strange how quickly our laughter had turned to silence. Leeds town hall cellars will forever remain as the place where I became a believer. Whether my mind was playing tricks, or Lynne’s expertise lay not with the paranormal, but making people believe in the paranormal,

amounts of sweat ran down my back. Unfortunately I couldn’t stay any longer and used a feeling of sickness as my excuse to leave.

10 minutes with TV medium Barrie John

Although nothing had pushed, or touched us At what age did you discover your gift? that night I felt very different following the ex- I was aware of spirit from a very perience. Earlier that day Lynne had given me young age, i remember around the the contact information for TV medium Bar- age of 8 feeling an icy hand on my rie John, I contacted him expressing my con- shoulder, it all started from there. cerns about the evening, in response he said. Did your gift ever scare you as a child?

“As with any paranormal event the mind I have never been scared of the spirit, alwill always play games and see things though strangely i am afraid of the dark, this that it can create. We just have to be open- is more due to not knowing than knowing. minded and expect nothing from the night, that’s the best way to have a vision or to feel Can these spirits be dangerous? something around you. Ghost and Spirits are I don’t believe in bad spirits, although i think we all mantain the same character in the next life, so i believe there are spirits of bad people.

“I was sure I’d seen the misty How can you tell initially if silhouette of something is in the room with you? I immediately put on my a woman mediumship eyes and scout the room further down the energies and check every corcorridor, and then for ner, i wouldn’t hesitate to pish anywitnessed her hauntingly one out of the way to leave a room. Barrie is planning many more medrift out of view” dia events in the near furute and

I’d been beat. Noises and bangs filled the cellars, very unnerving after being assured you are the only people inhabiting the space. I remember the time perfectly 23:12 I looked at my watch, with a brave face, feeling very claustrophobic and ready to leave. We’d stopped walking and discussed turning round and calling it a night, a scraping sound, which echoed from a cell down the hall, furthered our desire to leave.

very different and work in opposite ways. Ghost wont acknowledge or communicate they are purely a video recording that has been impregnated in the buildings structure. Spirits however have knowledge and will want to offer you information and in some cases they will want to make you jump!”

As I squinted my eyes in the darkness, as my scepticism was questioned once more, accom panied by the dragging sound

Whether we had been seriously ‘pranked’ (which I’d like to believe) or witnessed a haunting that night, I would definitely urge anyone to give a night like this a try.

I had read about only days previous, my eyes fixated on the shadow of a hunch backed stranger further down the hall. I actually felt freezing, although endless

However please don’t do it alone, without permission and without guidance from a professional.

can

be

found

at

BarrieJohn.org

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A scientific look at the paranormal

Seeing through the paranormal Richard Bywater

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he paranormal has always been part of our culture. Yet many are still asking, what is the ‘paranormal’ anyway?

Popular usage shows that it usually refers to the presence of a ‘soul’ deceased person, although historically ghosts have been referred to in many religions and are not exclusive to Christianity. For some people, ghosts may be the vague outline of a former person, while others will see white mist or floating light orbs, but it seems that ghosts comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Shockingly, 73% of people in America believe in the paranormal in some way. A poll, conducted in 2005 by the Gallup Organization, found that 31% of the people interviewed believed in in ghosts, 32% Believing in ghosts seems to be the most acceptable kind of weird. Yet although the paranormal is part of our culture, scientifically there have been no conclusive tests that prove their existence. Famously James Randi’s the One Million-Dollar Paranormal Challenge has had nobody successfully complete the challenge. The challenge has had over 1,000 applicants but none have passed the challenge One of the tests included a psychic who claimed to be

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able to see auras around people, and that the auras were visible by at least finches around the person. To test this, there were ten screens numbered one to ten in which people may or may not be able to see behind them, with the test testing to see if the psychic could see them behind the screens. During the test there were only 4 people while the psychic claimed to see auras of all ten people. Hardly compelling evidence. When you think about it though, it is very easy to claim to have seen a ghost sighting. It’s because every ghost sighting is anecdotal, it’s information that is not verifiable and cannot be tested. This means that the source, or the person telling you, may be mistaken, or confused or even lying about their sighting. The problem is that usually the person doesn’t know what they have seen, but because the paranormal is engrained in our culture, it is the go to suggestion for the seemingly unexplainable. Some have photographs or even film footage of ghosts, moving objects or even light orbs. Yet most of these have still proven to be real, with light orbs being reflected dust and pictures being staged. Indeed, with a computer and

some skill it is easy to produce a ghost picture With no scientifically proven studies it’s hard to see that ghosts and the paranormal are real, but however like with many things, many people will still continue to believe in them despite the lack of evidence.

Creating a Ghost Picture All you need to create an authentic looking ghost picture is a computer, a dark environmental picture and a spooky looking person. Using an image-editing program such as Photoshop allows you to edit both pictures together. The apparent ghost on the side only took 10 minutes to produce.


Alien sighting in Hyde Park

Keep an eye on the sky - Leeds Daniel Moore

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s the unveiling of the ‘Alien’, which has spent two years chilling in a Russian fridge, catapults Russia to a Roswell status, Leeds seems to have some little green monsters hiding in its own fridge. In early 1990 a man entered Ladbrokes bookmakers on Lower Briggate in Leeds city centre, so sure aliens would have landed by the end of the 20th century he put a bet on that would land him with a £1,700 pay-out, if the unworldly visitors were found. Unfortunately for him, the ministry of defence said there was no evidence to show aliens have landed, but I believe there’s a lot to support the idea they are considering it. Lindsay Cassidy, 20, a civil servant working at Leeds Magistrates court told me. “I was in the Hyde park area of Leeds around the 7th of November last year, when I noticed a strange

formation of lights, three or four, which soon turned to six maybe more moving silently across the sky. I stood still, as did a few others’ as the lights seemed to multiply and fly towards the picture house and mosque. We all agreed they couldn’t have been from an aeroplane, they were too fast, too low and too quiet.” Lindsay and her friends all seemed sure this was an alien sighting, and similar things had been reported around Leeds for a long while. 13th of June 2009, six spherical orange lights circling through Bramhope, a mere six miles from the sighting I’d been alerted to. This post on a Leeds U.F.O blog was greeted with amazing response, many others validating the claim having seen the same bunch of Orange lights, at different times around the Leeds’ area. One onlooker describing it as a ‘fireball.’ The guardian website unexpectedly provided me with the most relevant UFO sighting, November 2010 in Whinmoor, Leeds. “Just seen a bright orange light in sky. Def not a firework as it was not moving. At the same time about ninety degrees north of this, 2 other lights exactly the same shape but a distance apart started travelling towards the first light at a constant speed. I stopped driving so I could a better look and noticed a third light following behind.” None believers shunned the sightings, claiming they were simply Chinese lanterns, children’s toys or small hot-air balloons. Whilst all the listed are possible, those who had experienced the sightings first hand,

held on to what they believed claiming, “They moved to a spot and stood still.” And “It’s impossible, how would a Chinese lantern have awareness of objects, it stopped near my window and climbed toward the roof of the house.” Whether you believe these sightings are linked and or true is your prerogative. If you have an interest in the existence of alien life forms, right here on your doorstep is a great place to start your investigation. Anyone who wishes to experiment further Leedsufoclub.wordpress.com is an excellent place to start, but a general Google search will find you endless contacts and people with the same interests. Keep your eye on the sky.

“I stood still, as did a few others’ as the lights seemed to multiply and fly towards the picture house and mosque. We all agreed they couldn’t have been from an aeroplane, they were too fast, too low and too quiet.”

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1842 museum exhibition

LEEDS IN 1842 BY RICHARD BYWATER

A day at the Leeds Thackray medical museum, literally takes you back in time for a day, i take a look at the curious cultuaral and social changes evident between 1842 and the present day.

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ometimes it’s hard to appreciate how far we’ve come without seeing our roots.

Today in 2011 Leeds is a one of the biggest cities in England outside of London, full of businesses and people alike. With the modern day luxuries of fast-speed internet and mobile phones that can almost do everything, it’s almost hard to imagine at that one points these Leeds in 1842 is an exhibition at the Thackray medical museum, showcasing a snap-shop of the living conditions in Leeds in 1842. Based on reports from Robert Baker and others, it sets out to replicate those same conditions for us to experience. The first thing you’re introduced to when you enter is that the exhibition is based around eight characters that are persistent throughout the experience. Each of these characters comes with a disease common in the day, such as Alice Finch who has the measles or Thomas Sowden who has Typhoid fever. This set’s the scene and gives the exhibition a narrative, look at how these characters lived and even suffered in Leeds in 1842, When you enter you see how much effort has been put in to replicate Leeds back in the day, the street is cramped, with models of people frozen in time as if they doing their daily activities. There buildings are

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small and cramped, the sounds of people and animals echo throughout, the lighting is dark and thick due to the air pollution of the industrial revolution and surprisingly they have put effort into the smell – it stinks! It was stale and the smell of air pollution was clear. It was a reminder that Britain was not so great as it is was one that was somewhat depressing. One of the first things you notice when you arrive is the pub. For many, the pub is a pastime, especially for students, and it was the same in 1842. However, it was also an excellent way of coping with the poor living conditions many found themselves in, but more importantly it was somewhat safer to drink than ordinary water. Most people were still drinking river water, which is shocking because the river Aire was still being used

“Most people were still drinking river water, when the river Aire was still being used as the common sewer for the town”

as the common sewer for the town. It’s to no surprise that diseases such as typhoid, dysentery and cholera plagued Leeds. When water supplies did come in 1841 they only served a few areas. The slaughter house was out in the open with decapitated animals hanging from the rails. Next to it was a sectioned off area with manure. It’s to no surprise that a variety of diseases spread in Leeds in the 1800s considering the living conditions of the inhabitants. Yet food control wasn’t great, especially for the poor. Some cuts would be diseased and few working classes could afford to eat meat twice a week. It strikes how far living standards have come since then, especially in the sense that we’re not dealing with an obesity problem the most of western civilisation. It’s to no surprise that religion was so prevalent back then. The poor and sick found religion as a way to cope with their poor living standards they had to live with. Christian organisations helped the poor, by giving them food, warmth and medical treatment when others wouldn’t. However, despite the help the church offered only an estimate of 1,838 said that of the 60,000 of the working class in Leeds, only 20,000 of that went to Church. Shamefully until Robert Baker’s report the state was unaware of the conditions in Leeds and did nothing because of it.


The working class often lived in poor livingconditions. The machinery in mills were unfenced and unsafe, leaving many children to be hurt and maimed for the rest of their lives.

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A man stands holding a child in his arms, behind him is machinery that children were employed to clean. Around 23,000 children worked alongside adults in Leeds in 1842. The exhibition cites that they worked for 12 hours a day for six days a week. Despite how much child work laws have progressed since then, back in 1842 most of the machinery was unfenced and it was easy to get hurt or killed by them. In fact some were injured, few were unfortunate and had to live with disabilities gained from their work and others grew up with breathing problems due to air pollution.

their family, a lodging house or a working house – which most would avoid because of horrible treatment which was intended to keep the healthy away because they offered free benefits.

health and lack of medical treatment. Although today we have plenty of problems, they’re a drop In the rain compared to how Leeds once was in 1842.

Although the old and young suffered, one group that lived in poor conditions was the Irish. In 1841 there were 5000 Irish workers in Leeds. The room the exhibition showed was tiny, with them sharing it with a pig and with simple cloths on the cold floor for their beds. Their diet was poor, consisting of bread, tea and coffee. The room was dark and was stale as it could be and it’s to nobody’s surprise that disease could spread with conditions like this.

The museum is open daily 10am – 5pm. Closed 24th-26th and 31 December and 1st January. Admission Charges are Adult £7.00, Child £5.00, Concession £6.00, Family (2+3) £22.00,Under 5’s Free. Parking £1.

Yet it wasn’t just the young who suffered, but also the old. There was no stately pension or other aids from the government. For the old, they were left with only a few The end of the exhibition ended, reminding options; they could live in their own home us that the eight of those characters who we began with, most of them died of poor but without any or little financial income, live with

Medical facts for 1800:

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.In 1872 a German doctor called Robert Koch read Pasteur’s work – in it Pasteur discussed how germs could cause disease to spread and work in the same way as decay does. Koch decided to test this and he studied anthrax, and he tested it by taking bacteria from organs of sheep who had died, growing the bacteria and then injecting it into other mice. He then took the same blood and injected it into other mice and repeated this 20 times – they all caught anthrax proving that germs cause diseases.

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.Only the rich could afford to go to GPs, who were family doctors in private practice. The doctors often competed for business, so they charged what they thought you could afford. Some GPs offered some free treatment to the poor.

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.Homoeopathy was brought to Britain from Germany in the 1830s. It was expensive but because popular with the middle and upper class, and supposedly the Royal Family too!


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There are more ways of arranging a pack of playing cards than there are seconds since the universe began

A sneeze travels out of the mouth at approximately 100mph

STRANDS

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The tongue of a mature Blue Whale has approximately the mass of an entire Elephant China is the source of 70% of the worlds pirated goods

Cows sleep standing up, but can only dream laying down

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Curious - Richard