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“ARE TWO EDS BETTER THAN ONE?“ We would like to welcome you all to this very special issue of Haunted magazine! Why is it so special? Well, we shall tell you… The big cheese, Mr Paul Stevenson has given UK Haunted the reigns. To look after his editorial comfy seat for one issue only!

Why wouldn’t you want to know what happens when you pass over? We are not here to preach people that ghosts and spirits are real. We are simply travelling on our own journey to see for our own eyes, what really is the truth. (But of course we take a camera with us).

We are honoured to have written various stories in Haunted digital magazine over the last couple of years and when Paul invited us to guest edit this issue of the UK’s best FREE paranormal magazine, we jumped at the chance! For those who have never heard of us (Do you not have the internet? LOL) we are UK Haunted, Miki and Alex. A two man paranormal research team who travel all over the UK, investigating some of the most allegedly haunted locations, looking to gain credible evidence of the paranormal.

Although we have been interested in the paranormal field for many years, our journey as UK Haunted started in 2012 on Twitter, and so began all of the tweets! (Over 41,000 now!) We are extremely grateful to all of our great friends across our social media, on Twitter and Facebook etc. for all of the amazing support they have given us over the years. When we began making ‘webisodes’ for our YouTube channel – OfficialUKHaunted we never thought we would get to where we are today. With over 80,000 friends across social media and 200,000 views on our YouTube channel. We have now decided to take the next step up into television broadcast!

The paranormal is a funny old game. Most people think we are crazy doing what we do. Sitting in a ‘haunted’ location, in the dark, freezing cold and talking to ourselves. Well, that does sound pretty crazy when you talk about it like that. But the truth is, when you see, hear or feel something that you honestly can’t explain, we don’t think it’s crazy at all.

We are currently in the process of filming 6 UK Haunted episodes for television broadcast. Obviously TV is a totally different ballgame to YouTube. We have upped

our whole production, with new cameras and sound etc. but we have also tried to keep the balance of a real investigation. We have always tried to improve our format, whilst trying to keep it as real and raw as possible, to make people feel like they are ‘there with us’ on an investigation. The one main element we have changed is that we felt, we needed to have a conclusion/evidence review at the end of each episode. So we decided to ask our good friend and world renowned parapsychologist, Dr Ciaran O’Keeffe, if he would like to come on-board with us to offer up his professional opinion. Thankfully he agreed! We feel that this offers a very balanced feel to our show and we hope that everyone will like it when it comes to air. Well, we will now leave you to go and read this AMAZING issue of Haunted digital magazine. (The best one yet!) We also loved answering your questions, thanks for ALL your brilliant questions, we’ve been as honest as we can. But remember…

#DontBeScared Miki & Alex

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Issue 14

THE UKHAUNTED TAKEOVER 008 The House of Shadows with Pat Bussard 012 Interview with Olivia Williams 016 Ghost Hunting at Wayne Manor with Haunted Events UK 020 Physical Research and the 'Attitude of Incredulity' with SPR 024 The Appliance of Weird Science The Secret Ghosthunter 026 Want to Experience 3 Girls in the Dark?! 030 Small, Medium or Fake with Author John Bowen 038 Book Reviews Haunted and The Electric 040 Interview with Helen Lederer 048 Big Boys Play with Dolls with Miki from UKHaunted 050 Court in the Act with Calamityville Horror *** COVER FEATURE ***

057 The Enfield Haunting Interview with Eleven, 1977, Cast Interviews with Timothy Spall, Juliet Stevenson, Matthew McFadyen, Rosie Cavaliero, Eleanor Huntingdon Cox, Director - Kristoffer Nyholm and Producer - Adrian Sturges

074 Interview with Guy Lyon Playfair 080 Interview with Douglas Bence 4

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086 The Enfield Poltergeist What Really Happened?

090 The Other Poltergeist House 30 East Drive, Pontefract

100 The Lowdown on Witches with Leonard Low featuring Dr Lamb and the Witches, The Unfortunate Duke of Buckingham, The Changeling: Bridget Cleary, The Real Witches of Macbeth

112 Everyone Loves A Scary Movie Right?! with Miki from UKHaunted

116 50 Questions with UKHaunted



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A WORD FROM THE BIG CHEESE For the last issue of our horror magazine Haunted: After Dark I let legendary author Shaun Hutson write the editorial whilst I basked in the sunshine and drank alcohol fuelled drinks. I could get used to this, I thought, imagine guest editors for EVERY issue. Sadly when my co-director Andy saw the last month’s expenses and the several bottles of Bombay Sapphire that were on it my answer “research (hic)” just didn’t cut it, “whilst the idea of guest editors is a novel idea there has to be cut backs, I think I heard him say as I collapsed into a drunken stupor. As I sit in the broom cupboard of our office penning this the candle burning bright on the dusty shelf, sipping lukewarm tap water from a recycled paper cup I am delighted to have two good friends write the editorial and feature so heavily in the magazine. Alex and Miki have shown over the years that they love the paranormal, they love ghost hunting and just like the magazine, they like to be different. After the very popular “Zak Bagans”/ Issue 13 of Haunted Magazine it was mightily important not to rest on our Laurel & Hardys and to do something special with it. As it happened the timing was perfect for us to feature UK Haunted & probably one the most famous UK hauntings of all time, The Enfield Poltergeist. The recent dramatization of it on Sky TV has proved very popular and on a personal note it has awoken and evoked memories of the late 1970s, which is when as a young boy I found myself having an interest in the supernatural, thanks to a certain little book, ‘Usborne Guide to the Supernatural’. The paranormal world is an ever changing world and we’re blessed with gadgetsa-plenty but I would give it all up in an instance if I had the chance to go back to 1977 with a tape recorder and a microphone. We hear a lot about the Victorian séances, ectoplasm and Harry Price and then all of a sudden there seems to be a gap in the history of the paranormal and The Enfield Haunting has brought it back to me and made me want to find out about this era. We’re so pleased to be able to interview the excellent cast of Sky Living’s TV show but we were keen to seek out people who were actually there back in 1977 and

our paranormal mintballs are chuffed as anything when we got the chance to interview one of the original investigators, Guy Lyon Playfair and the Daily Mirror reporter who broke the story, Douglas Bence, who incidentally both have different views on the events from 38 years ago. We hope you enjoy this issue, as usual we have lots of paranormal features for you to enjoy from both regular and new writers, we’re striving to be better each issue, there’s a wealth of paranormal out there that needs to be reported, needs to be featured in the magazine and needs to be read by you. The candle is burning out now, the light is fading, “ANDY, can you come and unlock the broom cupboard door please, I promise not to buy any more expensive gin, EVER!!”… (Fingers crossed, note to myself – edit that ‘fingers crossed’ bit out later)

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Paul 7

The Nickerson Snead House, Virginia

Written & Photographed by

Pat Bussard 8

Haunted Magazine Issue 14

The Nickerson Snead House,


Witnesses have reported phantom sounds, moving shadows, and full body apparitions at the old Nickerson Snead House, located in Glade Springs, Virginia. The home, built around an original 1770 cabin is aged enough to have accumulated a number of ghosts who walk the hallways and rooms of the now decaying mansion. These shades are layered between the space and time dimensions that have ebbed and flowed during the duration of its existence. In this energetically powerful place, even Chronos, the ancient god of time would find that past and present co-exists. Time progressed around the antebellum house, I-81 has become a close neighbour and a gas station, motel, and other modern buildings currently surround the old manse. Chronos turned the hands on the clock forward, but the Nickerson Snead

House refused to cooperate. It stands, almost exactly as it was built, and presently encapsulates the souls of those who refuse to call anywhere else home. The red brick, southern, manor has been home to several families since it was built in the 1830’s. It was originally the estate of Dr. Nickerson Snead, for which the mansion is obviously named. The good doctor did

treat Confederate soldiers, as well as those who lived in the surrounding community. As part of his professional business as the region’s doc, he used the basement as a mortuary when someone had to misfortune to die under his ministration. The basement was also used to store bodies when the winters would be cold enough to turn the fertile Virginia soil into unyielding frozen tundra. The country doctor died in 1886 and was survived by his wife, Betsy for several more years. After wife Betsy’s demise the house was bought by the Mason family. The Mason’s lived happily there, until a darkness fell over them. Their beautiful daughter Josephine was tragically killed at the tender age of ten by the dreaded disease, diphtheria. Her small phantom is often heard on the second floor of the home and she is not alone.

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The Nickerson Snead House,


A small boy of eight named Douglas was kicked in the head by a horse on the property. He subsequently perished in the house. Although he has not been heard from in specific to this point, the laughter of children is, on occasion, noted by those visiting the old mansion. It is a possibility that Douglas and Josephine keep each other company as the decades drag forever onward. The beautiful manor was bought in 2004 by the Caudill family. Although the family name is not Addams, this DNA sharing unit has its connection to “other than normal” energy through mother Ronda. Her great aunt was known as a natural healer to those who sought her help. Ronda, her husband, Ricky and daughters Brittany and Nikita are the next generation to imbue the location with their energy. “We originally bought the house to renovate for our private residence,” said Ronda. “We then rented it to someone who used it as an antique shop and now we’ve decided to open it to paranormal investigators and to others to experience,” she said. Paranormal investigators and those who are simply fascinated by questions yet answered about what comes after death, often go to sites that have the energetic imprint of too many people who have visited before them. This can have the result of draining the spirit energy that resides at the scene, in essence energetically drowning out the voice or manifestation of that spirit.


Haunted Magazine Issue 14

The Nickerson Snead House,


The exciting aspect of this reportedly haunted location is that it is an emerging site of paranormal significance. It provides a new and relatively unchartered opportunity for serious preternatural experimentation and investigation. “The Nickerson Snead house has both a rich and interesting history as well as paranormal activity. For what more can one ask?” said Alan May, founder of the respected team of supernatural investigators, Bedford Paranormal. Alan and his band of preternatural enthusiasts were invited by Ronda to examine the home.

The investigators with May that night were: William Ondell, Ronnie Anderson, and Scott Detamore. After a thorough investigation of the house, the evidence collected was startling. Children laughing and whispering and specific responses to questions asked by team members were captured in several rooms throughout the house. “Unfortunately, we didn’t capture any video or photographic evidence,” said Alan. He continued, “But, we felt confident enough about the audio evidence to consider the Nickerson Snead House a haunted location.” Ronda and others can also attest to the legitimacy of the haunted character of the former home. “I’ve seen a small black shadow moving between rooms, voices calling out, children laughing; but the most memorable account I can share took place one night during a sleepover. Several friends and family members were all together in one room on the first floor. We were in sleeping bags and my sister had situated herself in a position where she was stretched out sideways right

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above my head,” said Ronda. She continued, “I woke up during the night to see a woman standing with their hands behind her back as if she were looking down at something.” Ronda thought that it was her sister, only to find out the next day that her sibling had not woken up at all during the night. “I found out later that a wake had taken place in that very room and the coffin had been located exactly where I saw the woman looking down,” she said. The scene may have been a ghostly imprint, the phantom’s grief forever seared into the fabric of time and space. These scenes are known to play over and over, unveiled to eyes that can see into the netherworld. For those who are brave enough to enter into such a world, they may book an investigation of this darkly fascinating mansion by emailing to No one reading this can say they weren’t warned of the ghosts they may find in this house of shadows. CREDIT LIST Photographer/Writer Pat Bussard -- Models -Brittany Helton, Nikita Caudill, Mark Stewart, Aus Pucket, Steven Hebert, Stephen Shew, Daniel Shew, Monica Shew, Katie Tucker, Courtney Tucker, Jaime Alter, Jennifer Mullins, Jennifer Blevins, Katie Black, Ashley Brook, Duane Holiday, Dave McConnell, Heather McConnell, Arianna Holloway-Wilhide, Matthew Fields, Susan Stiltner, Lindsay Stiltner, Danny Parks, Kim Parks, Travis Helton, Brandi Helton



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a n i n t e rv i e w w i t h T H E H AU N T I N G O F R A D C L I F F E H O U S E ’ S

Olivia Williams ‘Spine-Chillingly Good’ Frightfest ‘Bleak yet beautiful... credibly creepy with some utterly scorching moments’ Starburst ‘Satisfyingly spooky… if you don’t leap out of your seat at least once, you’ve got nerves of steel’  Radio Times

When a family move to a remote estate on the Yorkshire moors, demonic forces are unleashed in Nick Willing’s spellbinding ghost story The Haunting of Radcliffe. Olivia Williams (The Sixth Sense) and Matthew Modine (The Dark Knight Rises) star as husband and wife Meg and Alec who move to the darkly beautiful but desolate Radcliffe House with their two children. A mosaic on the floor hints at the terrible murder by Radcliffe of his wife Isabella – the result of a demonic black magic ritual that led to his suicide... or did it?   Ghostly creatures haunt this house, teasing, taunting and invading those who linger within and something is driving Alec, maniacally, to recreate the presence of Isabella in the body of his wife.   The ritual is about to be enacted once more, the past bloodily thrust into the present.  Will anyone survive The Haunting of Radcliffe House? We caught up with Olivia Williams during a press junket Hi Olivia, thanks for talking with me today! Whilst researching The Haunting of Radcliffe House I found that it was originally called Altar, thank heavens for the name change, any idea what made them alter the name (see what I did there?) The producer emailed me and said it had been changed for the broadcast. I quite liked the original pun, but I admit I found myself having to explain it when I talked about the film. Nick, the writer/director, is a friend, and he and I are both word nerds, and love nothing more than the difference between disinterested and uninterested.

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Haunted Magazine Issue 14

When you’re not busy with filming or acting on the stage how do you relax? I rarely relax, but I love my flat in London, I love it when my family are all together. I love watching my kids roller-skate up and down the street. Food is a major pastime in our family. We had an amazing holiday in France, floating downriver in rowing boats eating baguette and chèvre drinking rosé. Who demands the most attention, your husband or your children? You played Anna Crowe in The Sixth Sense! What was it like working alongside Bruce Willis? He was a big movie star back then, a big presence on set. We had a laugh shooting the wedding video and drank a decent glass of claret over the opening dinner scene... Were you aware of how successful the film would become, or were you oblivious, until the reviews and box office returns started coming in? There had been a tremendous bidding war for the script so there was much creative excitement as we worked, but I had no idea it would be such a great movie, that had such lasting effect. I know much more now - that it was beautifully shot and that Night controlled the story with such subtlety. But it was such a quirky idea at the time, Bruce in the same grey shirt playing a child psychologist.... no sex no gun... I didn’t think anyone would see it.... Have you any memories of working on the film you can share with us today? I made great friends with Toni Colette - we are still in touch now. She is and was a force to be reckoned with. I remember driving from Philadelphia to New York for an Elvis Costello gig and just making it back in time the next morning to go straight to set - very unprofessional

My husband is very low maintenance. He is negative maintenance. He doesn’t demand attention at all, so we carve out time to pay attention to each other. I like paying attention to my kids. They probably wish I paid them less attention. We live in a world where we’re taught that everyone is and should be treated as equal. Why then do Hollywood appear to pay male actors more than female actors? Doesn’t seem very fair does it? Anyone looking for fairness and justice from the entertainment industry is going to die young and frustrated. Martin Luther King pointed out that lynching stopped only when it became illegal. You have to legislate to make people behave in a civilised way. Olivia, many thanks for taking the time to speak with us today.

t h e h aunti ng of r a d c li f f e hou s e is out now on blu-ray and dvd Haunted Magazine Issue 14



Haunted Magazine Issue 14

Ghost Hunting


or Wollaton Hall as we know it!


or the second month in a row the Haunted Events UK team set off to investigate on a Friday 13th. This time though rather than at the Village which was a rundown old building (see issue 13) they were heading for Wollaton Hall in the heart of Nottingham. Wollaton Hall was originally designed by Robert Smythson and built for Sir Francis Willoughby, being completed following eight years of building work in 1588 the year of the Spanish Armada.

The building is in the English Renaissance style and its flamboyant design is considered to be a masterpiece. Following a fire in 1642 the interior was extensively remodelled, and again radically redesigned by Sir Jeffry Wyatville in the late 18th and early 19th centuries for the 6th Lord Middleton. The exterior remains little altered since its construction and is as stunning as it was in 1588. More recently Wollaton Hall was home to Batman as it took

Friday March 13th 2015

“Did it drive us batty?” centre stage for the Hollywood blockbuster Batman Dark Knight Rises staring Christian Bale, Michael Caine, George Freeman to name but a few. In 2006 the then manager of Wollaton Hall contacted me to see if we would attend an open night to run events at the hall, this was attended by many other paranormal investigation teams but after all was said and done Wollaton Hall decided that myself and my team were the best to take the events forward. We have been running events there ever since on an exclusive basis and proud to call Wollaton Hall the home of Haunted Events UK, when Batman is not around obviously. The teams on the night were set up in to 3 groups as usual with the Haunted Events UK team picking various areas to concentrate on.

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Team 1: Lee Roberts (myself ) and Helen Brice were in the Grooms room in the lower floors of Wollaton Hall.

Team 2: Maryanne Roberts and Rosie Knight were in Room 19 and the 1st floor Museum

Team 3: Simon Powell and Jason Wall were in the old wine cellars under the hall itself.

The Grooms room is a very dark room and sets the scene nicely for any ghost hunt, it is dark at any time of day or night as it sits under the hall and has no windows. There I always run a table tipping exercise. Since starting there in 2006 we stumbled amongst this experiment in here and it was that much of a success we have carried it on, we always use the same table also as it belongs to that room. In 2011 we ran the experiment and the table began to move, it moved that much we even sat the medium at that time Michelle Hare on the table to prove that no human could be moving it, it still moved and not just a little, we are talking 10-15 feet. The aim was to get the same reaction again. Mean while Maryanne and Rosie were in the museum, they had decided to show there group


a demonstration on how to run a vigil with a glass moving exercise and also the voice box to see if they would get any communication. On that floor is room 19, this room is known as the most haunted room in Wollaton Hall, rumours have it that a young girl had fell down the south east stairs and had had a back injury in the 17th century, the injury was that severe that they left her in bed in room 19 to die after they realised the injury could not be fixed. Jason and Simon had taken there group under the hall into the cellar. The cellar is always a popular place to investigate as it is a long winding corridor and not many people get to see the

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cellars on normal tours. They had decided to use some of the modern gadgets including laser pens, voice boxes and K2’s to see if they or the guests could capture any evidence. Back in the grooms room the table was not doing much, a few taps here and there but nothing really solid. I find that vigil one is always a slow one, the guests are still nervous and also they could be with another 9 people they had never met before and so it leaves it up to me and the team to call out and get some interaction. Once the second group arrived things started to liven up a little, we got some slight movement


WAYNE MANOR on the table and at one point it lifted up on to two legs, what was interesting was that when I tried to apply pressure to the raised end there was a pressure pushing the other way, how can that be if no one had their hands under the table? This happened on a few occasions with the second group but nothing more. Then came the third group, the third group of the night is usually the most active, they have already had 2 hours together, getting used to each other and their surroundings and so more at ease and also willing to get involved more and shout out. This makes my job so much easier as the group takes over and does what the events are designed for, for them to do the investigation how they want too.

Initially the table didn’t move so we tried swapping to an all male table, the grooms room in its day would have been an all male room and no females allowed in there. Straight away the table began to move, not tip like in the second group but drag across the floor, it was getting fast and stronger as we asked more and more questions. We swapped and tried an all female table and the activity stopped immediately. After 10 mins of trying it was clear we needed to revert back to the all male table again. Again the table began moving straight away, was it a spirit, someone pushing it or something else? All eyes were peeled on the table and the hands around it, the table was moving in all directions and with some pace now and force. The group were getting excited

and began shouting for more activity. The grooms room has 2 posts in the middle of the room and the table was initially set up in between them. The table was hitting the posts with some force and one of the guests was shouting at the table “GO ON RAM IT” which caused quite a stir amongst the group, this just made the table move faster and stronger swaying and twisting in all directions. The worst thing about investigations on a public domain is that the events are very structured in terms of timings and even though we were at the peak of the activity time was up. We had to leave and meet up with the other groups to see how their night had been. The other groups had similar activity in terms of a slow start and it grew as the night went on. Wollaton Hall is a maze of rooms and the beauty of that is that we can run 7-8 events there and guests don’t see the same rooms twice. We return for Halloween night to an already sold out event.

Lee Roberts Twitter: @MrLeeRoberts Facebook: Officialleeroberts

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‘Founded in 1882, The SPR was the first society to conduct or ganised scholarly research into human experiences that challenge contempora ry scientific models.’

Seeing that it was the SPR that sent Maurice Grosse to Enfield we approached them to see if they would write a few words, not necessarily about The Enfield Poltergeist but about all things paranormal. They have duly obliged.

Psychical research and the “attitude of incredulity” “I say it is a scandal that the dispute as to the reality of [psychic] phenomena should still be going on, that so many competent witnesses should have declared their belief in them, that so many others should be profoundly interested in having the question determined, and yet the educated world, as a body, should still be simply in the attitude of incredulity.” This could have been written yesterday, but actually it was part of the first presidential address to the newly-formed Society for Psychical Research, given in 1882.1 The speaker was a Cambridge don, Henry Sidgwick. He added, “Scientific incredulity has been so long in growing and has so many and so strong roots, that we shall only kill it by burying it alive under a heap of facts.” Well, the heap of facts has grown into a mountain, but the scandal continues. So what has gone wrong? It seems that Sidgwick miscalculated the strength of the many and strong roots of incredulity that strangle our supposedly liberated academic culture. A long


shadow has been cast over psychical investigation since the time of the so-called Enlightenment of the seventeenth-eighteenth centuries. A dogmatic materialism, which denied the possibility of these phenomena, was established that became ever more entrenched. Dogmatic? Well, consider a declaration by perhaps the most influential philosopher of the time, Immanuel Kant. He wrote in 1784, “All spirits and ghosts, apparitions, dream interpretations, precognitions of the future, sympathy of souls are altogether a most objectionable delusion ... and even if real ghosts exist, a rational person must still not believe in them, because it corrupts all use of reason.”2 Why would he say something so prejudiced? Would a philosopher of great renown engage in prejudicial thinking? Well actually, yes. Kant named for the first time the different “races” of humanity defined by skin colour and place of origin, arranged in a hierarchy from Europeans at the top through Negroes to American Indians at the bottom.3 We have rejected this one-time influential racism, yet his prejudicial stance on psychic phenomena is still nearly as influential as ever. It suited promotion-seeking Kant to take this attitude, associating himself with the sceptical tenets of the times. That strategy is still successfully followed to this day if you want media attention and academic security. The “attitude of incredulity” that Sidgwick bemoaned has a rotten core. That is one reason why organisations like the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) have not made too much headway against the scandal. The aim of the SPR is to encourage openminded investigation into psychic phenomena, generally taken to be phenomena that lie outside physical explanation. But the incredulous attitude of the average academic and scientist

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reneges on the ideal of open-minded enquiry; they are still embedded in Kantian prejudice. The great psychologist William James, who was instrumental in taking the idea of a psychical research society from the UK across to the USA in 1885, tried inviting prominent scientists to observe mediumistic phenomena. The result? Invitations were turned down. He reported what a leading biologist said about psychic phenomena:

to questioning. It had already struck some investigators that rappings seem to come from the material itself, as if there were some molecular or sub molecular disturbance. This is a remarkable and seemingly significant scientific finding, so the SPR sent press reports to several media. No prize for guessing what happened—or didn’t happen. No media channel picked the story up. Sidgwick’s scandal lives on.

“Even if such a thing were true, scientists ought to band together to keep it suppressed and concealed. It would undo the uniformity of Nature and all sorts of other things without which scientists cannot carry on their pursits.”4

So what are able to do about it? It seems that Sidgwick and the co-founders of the SPR were over-optimistic about the strength of factual evidence alone. For that matter, there are a couple of people even in professional parapsychology who deny there is any compelling evidence for psi phenomena.6 Would presentation of a theoretical basis for psi phenomena make a difference? There have been attempts, so far not too successful in attracting wide recognition. I have found problems with this in putting forward the work of a South African polymath, Professor Michael Whiteman. He showed Kant’s position to be untenable as long ago as 1967 in a book on the philosophy of space and time.7 An honorary member of the SPR, his concepts were wideranging and supported by his own extensive experience.8 But the take-up of his work has been limited, because a theoretical basis for the occurrence of psychical phenomena is bound to be mind-stretching; it requires coping with the idea of non-physical awareness and existence, and this seems to lie beyond the comprehension or boggle-threshold of most people, even some parapsychologists.6

Well that is what the SPR has been up against for its 123 years of existence. And this despite publishing many experiments that incontrovertibly demonstrate the existence of psi. Here is one example that has connections with the origin of spiritualism, a movement that started with the rappings heard by the Fox sisters in 1848. As shown in the recent Enfield case, the raps and knocks can respond to questions, which suggests a communicator of some kind behind them. They also occur in situations that cannot be explained simply by physical knocking. This was firmly established in a paper published in the SPR Journal of 2010 by Dr Barrie Colvin,5 who made sound spectrographs of recorded raps taken at several sites, including Enfield. Here is what he wrote: “There appear to be reasonable grounds for concluding that unexplained rapping effects produced at various apparent poltergeist cases in a variety of countries exhibit an unusual acoustic waveform pattern, characterised by a relatively slow rise to maximum amplitude, followed by an equally slow decline in amplitude.” This contrasts markedly with the pattern produced by normal raps, which show “an instantaneous amplitude increase followed by relatively rapid decrease.” It seemed as if there was “the relatively slow buildup of a stress within the material culminating in an audible sound when the level of stress reaches a specific magnitude.” The only similar waveform recorded in nature occurs in earthquakes, but earth movements cannot account for very localised rappings, often associated with intelligent responses

People tend to be held in what Whiteman termed a “one-level naturalism”. Or call it materialism, or matterism; it holds that things, events and their causation can happen only in a physical world, at a physical level. Experiencing non-physical phenomena is ruled out of court, since, as Kant wrote, the idea contains “concepts the possibility of which is altogether groundless, as they cannot be based on experience.”9 But this was only experience as Kant saw it; he did not take into account the experience of Eastern spiritual practitioners, for example. That counted for nothing among superior Europeans. Nowadays the situation is different. There is widespread dissemination of Eastern mysticism, mind-altering techniques of meditation, drug

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use, and exploration of consciousness as a primary feature of experience. It is through personal experience that the idea of nonphysical awareness and existence becomes increasingly comprehendible, even if Kant thought that experience could not stretch that far. It is the simple matter of experience that most effectively erodes the “attitude of incredulity” that worried Sidgwick. It can erode it more effectively than facts and theory. But it can do so only relatively slowly; being personal experience, it spreads individually, mainly person to person. Do organisations like the SPR, then, have no role in dealing with Sidgwick’s scandal? In my experience they can prepare the ground for a wider acceptance of psychic phenomena. If facts and theory are not very good at changing minds, at least organisations can support people who have changed their minds from an attitude of incredulity. I can speak from my own experience. I happened to come across dowsing for water. I found that a savvy landowner would not call on Geological Survey to find water, but would find a dowser, who—with whatever technique he found worked—could locate an underground source of water, and often accurately predict details about depth and yield. He could even do it from a map, which showed that he was not just picking up clues on the ground; the basic procedure was mental. In other words, the sensing was not physical; it was classic extrasensory perception or ESP. I was a completely conventional Kantian scientist before then, with the standard attitude of incredulity towards spooky things. Kant had included “the dowsing rod” among “nonsensical things” along with “spiritual healing” and “precognitions”,10 yet here


was something that could be experienced. So even according to Kant’s own criteria, if it is actually experienced it could not be “nonsensical”. I had to swallow it, just as the water I drank came from a dowser’s discovery—in fact two independent dowsers, using different methods. So I had to ask, what other processes are like this, which Kantian prejudice regards as nonsensical? I found the best way of finding out was to get involved in an organisation that encourages research and has active publishing and meeting programmes. These are psychical research or parapsychology organisations. The critical and careful work carried out by their members shows (at least to the open-minded) that ESP is not just Error Some Place11—poor research techniques and misinterpreted results—but something that points to wide worlds of nonphysical realities. That, at least, is a generally accepted view in psychical research, although institutionalised parapsychology is less inclined to acknowledge these realities, and includes materialists among its professionals.6 This difference does not mean that people in psychical research are soft in the head compared to parapsychologists. The Londonbased Society for Psychical Research is run by a Council of twenty-two, more than half of whom have a doctoral degree, and nearly a quarter have professorial status. One could say that “psychical research” is an older term, and that “parapsychology” has a newer professional side to it with affiliation to the American Association for the Advancement of Science. But anyone can call themselves a parapsychologist, which opens the term to trivialisation. It is in the burgeoning area of consciousness studies that psychical research currently has greatest significance, I think. Attempts to explain psychic phenomena in physical terms have failed, as have attempts to explain consciousness in physical terms. Here one is dealing with the activity of mind, activity that can show independence from physical things. Many books are now appearing on this theme, notable among them being Irreducible Mind: Towards a Psychology for the 21st Century.12

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It is interesting that this book refocuses on Frederic Myers, one of the founders of the SPR, and William James, as if psychology had largely lost its way during the course of the twentieth century. Psyche—spirit— had become eliminated from psychology, but is now finding its way back. Psychical research and parapsychology were side-lined by Academe during the last two centuries, yet now they are appearing as set courses in several British universities. Psychical research will come into its own when one-level naturalism and Kantian prejudice are eliminated from what Sidgwick called “the educated world”. There are signs of this happening at a gathering rate, shown by the publication in 2014 of a “Manifesto for a post-materialist science” in the Journal of the Scientific and Medical Network, a fairly large international organisation.13 The mind is seen as “fundamental in the universe, i.e. it cannot be derived from matter and reduced to anything more basic... the brain acts as a transceiver of mental activity, i.e. the mind can work through the brain, but is not produced by it.” Research into near-death experiences and mediumship “suggest the survival of consciousness, following bodily death, and the existence of other levels of reality that are non-physical.” These developments are leading to a more confident attitude in the beleaguered psychical research/parapsychological community. For example, the SPR is working on an internet “psi encyclopaedia” to counter the strong anti-psi bias shown in Wikipedia. The encyclopaedia should be out later this year. The “attitude of incredulity” is as assertive as ever, but it is being met with an increasingly impatient challenge. We are in momentous times. More can be found on the SPR website

Notes Proceedings of the SPR vol. 1, 1883. Volckmann Metaphysics c. 1784 in G.R. Johnson Dreams of a Spirit-Seer and Other Writings, Swedenborg Foundation, 2002. 3N. Jablonski, New Scientist no. 2880, 2012. 4The Will to Believe. Harvard University Press, (1979). 5Journal of the SPR vol. 73, 2010. 6A. Ananthaswamy, New Scientist no. 3018, 2015. 7 Philosophy of Space and Time, George Allen & Unwin, 1967. 8Proceedings of the SPR vol 59, 2011. 9Critique of Pure Reason, 1781, p. 270. 10Dreams of a Spirit-Seer, 1766, See Note 2. 11C. Honorton, Journal of Communication vol. 25, 1975. 12E.F. Kelly et al. Rowman & Littleford, 2007. 13M. Beauregard et al., Network Review, no. 115, 2014. 1 2

Prof. John C. Poynton, MSc PhD

John Poynton is Professor Emeritus of biology at the University of Natal, South Africa, a research associate of the Natural History Museum, London, and a scientific fellow of the Zoological Society of London.  His main research has been in African zoology and biogeography; he has also published in the philosophy of science and in psychical research.  He served on the council of the South African Society for Psychical Research, and subsequently served on the council of the Society for Psychical Research in London, where he was the Hon. Secretary from 1997 to his election as President in 2004.  On standing down as President in 2007 he resumed the post of Hon. Secretary.

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I get sick of pseudo-science. It kills me. It sucks the life out of me! My paranormal team recently gave it a go. We’d discussed how upset we were when sceptics mocked our spiritualism, the séances and Ouija boards and clairvoyance which they sneer at as superstitious nonsense. It doesn’t matter that sometimes it works and we get results with it. You’re made to feel ashamed of it. It’s not in vogue with the socalled popular commentators on the supernatural. Their scepticism (or cynicism) is closer to a dogmatic belief system than they would like to believe, and they lecture on the need for scientific validity as if it was the answer to every problem. Mind you, short of putting a ghost on Newsnight for an interview there’s little chance of finding evidence that would convince people or upturn certainties


about the world. All of it – the photographs, video evidence, eyewitness accounts, years of detailed measurements of heat/ EMF/infrared/radio waves – all of it is routinely thrown out as fake or misguided, or a misapplication of the scientific process. Even science is not enough for the advocates of science. We went ahead and trialled a scientific agenda. There was an investigation at an office block with stories of mysterious bangs and shadowy apparitions. The cleaners loathed being in the offices by themselves, and it was worse at night. We settled down that afternoon (it was a bank holiday), and got out our scientific gadgets to check for cold spots, EMF, ion detectors, checked out the electrics, the wiring – after spending hours poring over incomprehensible structural plans and the history of the building and surrounding area. One of my friends had interviewed the office

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staff. We set up cameras and audio recorders of all varieties. It was dull. Really deathly dull and stultifying. All our research had little or no bearing on the eventual phenomenon for which we spent forever eliminating alternative explanations. Once it was dark we had a door slamming and we checked for wind, air pressure, the angle at which the door hung (!!) and came away with no better idea of why it was happening. Our clairvoyant knew why, but her intuition was unscientific. When a trigger object was found a metre away from its original position the wealth of high-tech equipment made no difference in our search for a natural explanation; and when a window cracked in an empty room next to where we were exploring, science didn’t help us. We measured heat, the EMF readings; and it didn’t lift the veil on the cause of the crack.

“It takes critical thinking to assess phenomenon, to provide explanations for superficially bizarre occurrences”

A logical thought process is more useful than scientific gadgetry. That’s something I can’t deny. It takes critical thinking to assess phenomenon, to provide explanations for superficially bizarre occurrences (once I was in a haunted cave with newbies and when pebbles were thrown at us I looked around and reasoned that they might have fallen from tiny ventilation holes in the ceiling or were dislodged as we passed by); and a talent for psychology is good for when people claim to be possessed or if you suspect they’re influencing table-tipping or a Ouija board. That fracture in the window at the office block, it’s possible that a sudden fall in temperature had caused an old fragile pane of glass to crack. That’s a logical suspicion, but scientific equipment had no bearing on it. That night at the office was not the best experience of my career. All night we kept up the

restrictive and self-conscious pretence, tiptoeing around and measuring things which, even with the best technology, are enormously-difficult to measure. If it was that easy to confirm the persistence of consciousness after death then we’d all be at it. We were guilty of an amateurish attempt to ape the behaviour of ‘good’ paranormal researchers just to prove we weren’t ‘bad’ ghost-hunters. There’s a difference between the two. I think that ghost hunting is more about fun and excitement, with an emphasis on spiritualism (séances, Ouija boards, psychics) and chasing after things. It might seem daft but it’s fun and, as I’ve said many times, it can get results. Paranormal research, if you narrowly define it by the appliance of science, can get results too, but it’s usually deathly dull, like the worse science lesson you ever had at school. It kills the atmosphere.

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I like to let rip. I want to go and encounter spooky things and make contact with spirits and entities from outside spheres of existence without worrying about taking their pulse. We don’t often strike lucky, but when we do it’s breathtaking. Feelings and emotions can be insightful, no matter what sceptics say, and surely spiritualism is necessary for dealing with the spirit, something perhaps beyond the ken of this corporeal existence. If we can’t prove the actuality of ghosts at this point in mankind’s progress, then let’s go for personal enlightenment (and have a laugh at the same time!). For my team it was an experimental thing; we’re not going to persist with the science to the same insane level of effort and detail. A sprinkling of science (cameras are always useful) but we’re not going to drown in it, and no matter what I’m gonna get out my Ouija board!




IN THE DARK?! No, it’s not a competition! Read on...


ow don’t go getting your panties in a bunch, these broads are the real deal! They have tackled everything from half sunken show boats to dilapidated brothels, and of course, your classic haunted hotel. They’re taking on their biggest challenge to date, by agreeing to write regularly for the magazine. So what better way to start then to find out more about 3GITD. Whereabouts are you girls from then? We’re centrally located in the Midwest, right out of St. Louis – We’re not far from many notorious haunts, and can handle a decent road trip when duty calls. You can get a taste of our investigation style and evidence findings from our website But because we have girly parts, we’re all over social media! Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Vine, you name it, so if you can’t find us you might want to check up on your investigation skills.


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So, come on, we need the lowdown, who are 3 Girls in the Dark? Well I am Emily (the Boss lady), a semisceptic logical thinker who’s scared of the dark, and then we have Gina a no Bull Shittin’, how the hell does this happen go getter, and there’s Christy the sweet soul stealing empath. We each have 3 completely different views on the paranormal, you think this would work against us, yet that is one of the best parts about us. We are constantly pushing each other to see things in a new way. It also makes the perfect situation for heated debates! I (Emily) am the Scully*, Gina believes in energy and Christy relies on her abilities for answers. Between the 3 of us, there is no ghost butt left unsniffed! We also have 3 Crew members! Shona, our Case manager, Rob, our Para gadget Guru / Tech guy and Jeff our EVP/ Research Specialist. These three are the heart and souls of base camp, which is why we call them our base camp bitches! Shona is a highly professional woman with the mouth of a sailor! She handles emails, calls, scheduling and clerical tasks that we don’t have the patience for.

*scully (verb):

To concoct a logical but elaborate or statistically improbable explanation for phenomena that appears supernatural.

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She also runs base camp (has been dubbed queen of the base camp bitches). Being an empath as well, Shona helps Christy when cleansings are needed. Where do we get our toys (ahem – our PARANORMAL toys) from? From our Para Gadget Guru - Rob of course. Watch out for this tech monster! Rob is always making sure us girls are on top of our tech game with the latest gadgets. He is building new, original equipment, as well as tweaking the old for some very interesting toys to play with. For example he made our sonic detector, data logger, modified K2, handmade REM pods, oh and don’t forget our Johnny-5! The Johnny5 is our P.R.E.N.I.S lighting platform. It stands for


Paranormal Radiant Energy Night-time Infrared System. But let’s not give away all our secrets… Well actually we like to, everyone on this team is all about the “Para Power”, we believe in sharing information, helping out other teams and making friends. Now that’s weird! The more information you share with others, the better the research and closer everyone gets to finding answers. Speaking of research, this is where our Cougar Killer, Jeff, comes in. Jeff is our Research Specialist. He is a people person, especially if they’re older women! He interviews clients onsite covering each claim documented, as well as

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mapping the building and property for equipment setup purposes. Rob also gets to shoot his research load by thorough Internet stalking to gather historical facts and information for our cases. Jeff is also our EVP specialist that reviews recordings instantly at base camp during investigations. He’s using his noodle to develop more efficient ways to review recordings and analyse unidentified sounds. He comes in really handy when setting up equipment too. Nothing wrong with a background crew AND I guess 4 Girls & 2 Guys in the Dark doesn’t have the same ring to it?

Exactly, let me explain clearer. We 3 girls are the ones who investigate. We do, however, send in some of the crew members during investigations if we need to shake it up a bit. The other equally valued crew members help with equipment set up and tear down, hold down base camp by keeping an eye on their live feed DVR cameras, evidence review, editing mini documentaries, and everything else it takes to run a successful paranormal group! And as for successful, check out the evidence portion of our website. I recommend “This fog consumes me” EVP from the “Whisper House” case.

So if your house is haunted or your business has a shadow man hanging around, get in contact with us - 3 Girls in the dark. We can offer up cleansings, investigations, information, and paranormal help for your sanity purposes. And just remember, there are at least 10 ghost butts on you at all times… just try not to yawn! NEXT ISSUE: 3 Girls in the Dark talk about their experiences, (ahem – their paranormal experienes, what are you lot like?)

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THE Confessions of Author John Bowen

Okay people, cards on the table: I’m not sure I believe in spirits and mediums. Phew. There it is, out in the open, what a weight off. The thing is I’d really, really like them to; so much so I even wrote a novel surrounding the subject, inventing ways the whole business might work. The implications are so exciting, regarding an afterlife and our fundamental understanding of, well, everything. So what’s my problem then? I’ve seen mediums at work, haven’t I? Seen them connecting with dead folk with names beginning with E (or possibly an... A?), watched them offer startlingly accurate information which only the individual they’re talking to could possibly know, like the fact they’ve been looking at photos of a friend or family member who recently passed on, for example... Is this not proof enough? Erm, well, frankly no, it isn’t.


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My sticking point, the reason I find it so hard to believe, is just how easy it is for someone dishonest to comfortably fake what a medium does. Once aware of the techniques available to a charlatan, and some of the counter-intuitive ways we human beings actually collect and sort information, distinguishing a real medium from a fake one becomes very hard indeed, especially if you’re willing to concede that even if genuine ones do exist, countless fakes must practice alongside them. In an effort to sort the wheat from the chaff, I’d like to take a closer look at some of the ways a fake might be able to give a real medium a run for their money, but let’s back up a little first. While the history of mediumship reaches back centuries, the medium’s real place in popular culture begins in the 19th century, interestingly enough with a famous example of fakery, involving three sisters from New York. Two sisters, Kate and Margaret Fox, used a system of ‘rappings’ to convince their elder sister, Leah and others they were communing with spirits. Suitably convinced, Leah proceeded to manage their career as mediums. The Fox sisters became very successful and quite famous. It was only many years later that Margaret, a grown woman in late middle age, admitted their whole act was a hoax, and publicly demonstrated how they had worked it. Interestingly, and demonstrating something of a trend for mediumship in general, this did remarkably little to damage the burgeoning spiritualism movement. Then, as now, those who want to believe are as resistant to accepting fraudulent behaviour as staunchly sceptical folk are to accepting there might actually be people who can speak to the dead.



To some degree this is understandable. Frauds can look very convincing, especially if you’re unaware of how they do what they do. There are a great many techniques, both blunt and subtle, to choose from and study. Let’s take a look at how and why they might help a fraud give someone host to a real gift a run for their money. Beyond outright deception, collusion and plants in an audience, the fake mediums’ primary tools are language and the frequently illogical way we human beings actually collect, process, sift and sort information. A good place to start regarding the latter would be with the Forer Effect, also known as the Barnum Experiment, so called because of the American showman P.T. Barnum and his observation, “We’ve got something for everyone.” In 1948, the psychologist Bertram R. Forer subjected his students to a test. They were given a series of questions and told that a personality profile would be produced


“the fake mediums’ primary tools are language and the frequently illogical way we human beings actually collect, process, sift and sort information.”

through the analysis of their answers. The resulting profile contained a series of statements, • detailing character traits and viewpoints each of the students possessed. The statements included some of the following: • • You have a great need for other people to like and admire you. •

You have a tendency to be critical of yourself.

You have a great deal of unused capacity which you have not turned to your advantage.

While you have some personality

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weaknesses, you are generally able to compensate for them. Disciplined and self-controlled outside, you tend to be worrisome and insecure inside. At times you have serious doubts as to whether you have made the right decision or done the right thing. Security is one of your major goals in life.

On average Forer’s students rated their assessments as being highly accurate, the average being 4.26 on a scale 5, which must have come as something


of a shock when the students swapped their assessments with their peers and discovered they were all identical. What the Barnum Experiment demonstrates is this: not only can statements be composed to appear far more specific than they actually are, but people are wonderful at making information fit if they want it to. An interesting thing to note about this willingness to make information fit is the oftreplicated Forer Effect can be cancelled out by skewing the statements in a negative direction. People are far more ready, it seems, to accept something they want to hear than something they don’t. If a comforting message from a dead loved one is what someone’s hoping for, they’re probably much more willing to make the information a medium supplies fit. In psychology and cognitive science this is called Confirmation Bias, a well-studied, recognised and accepted tendency to attribute greater weight to evidence which confirms our existing

view or preconceptions. In fact, it turns out human beings are not actually as hot at processing what’s going on around us as we might like to believe. Our ability to collect information, even seemingly obvious, clear and right in front of us is a great deal more limited and unreliable than we imagine. In reality, human beings can only process a portion of the information delivered to us through our senses; we’re subject to bandwidth. To make best use of that bandwidth we’ve evolved to focus upon the bits we feel are of most importance, and in doing so we actually tune out stuff we subconsciously designate an unimportant. In psychology terminology there’s a type of cognitive bias called Anchoring or Focalism, which describes the inclination to rely too greatly on the first piece of information which seems, or is suggested to be, important.

“The Forer effect refers to the tendency of people to rate sets of statements as highly accurate for them personally even though the statements could apply to many people.”

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There’s a terrifically entertaining and illuminating experiment involving this kind of anchoring of perception called The Invisible Gorilla. Like the Barnum Experiment it has been replicated again and again over the years, all across the world on all different types of people. For the purposes of the experiment a group is filmed throwing a ball amongst each other. One half are wearing black shorts, the other white. Observers of the film are asked to count how many times the black team catches the ball, and how many the white.



What they are not told is that at some point a chap dressed in a gorilla outfit will wander through the game. Commonly a full 50% fail to notice the gorilla—yup, a bloke dressed as a gorilla! What the experiment demonstrates is just how unreliable and blinkered a human being’s perception of events is happening right in front of them can be. Given that we are rarely impartial in any situation, the likelihood of seeing

what we’re looking for, and tuning out that which we’re not, is high. We are not video recorders. Again, it’s easy to see why we might be inclined only to recall the information mediums offer which seems spot on, and forget the stuff they said that fell flat on its face. We are always sifting and sorting for the thing we are looking for. To a bird-watcher a stroll to the news agents will be chock full of sparrows and magpies, to a motor enthusiast it’s all Hondas and Fords. Our ability to augment vague, patchy or incomplete information is really quite remarkable. The phenomenon, known as Pareidolia, observes our compulsion to fill in gaps as we attempt to form a more complete


picture of the world around us. A common visual example is our tendency to see images in clouds, faces, animals, etc, but it also applies to hearing: voices hidden in white noise, or messages in records or audio played backwards. It can be a powerful advantage, allow us to create a more complete picture than our senses alone can sometimes provide. Just completing a simple jigsaw puzzle would prove almost

impossible without it, but there’s a downside too. Pareidolia can often lead us to mistake utterly meaningless information as significant. Hard-wired to seek patterns and order in the information we collect, as with Rorschach’s famous inkblot test, the picture we form can often say more about us than the raw information we’ve taken in. Beyond our intrinsic weaknesses when it

“The phenomenon, known as Pareidolia, observes our compulsion to fill in gaps as we attempt to form a more complete picture of the world around us.”

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comes to collecting information, there are many other ways a fake medium can appear to be more accurate than he is. Artful linguistic construction plays a huge role. There are many ways of phrasing a question (we’ll touch on this in a moment) or statement which make it appear that a medium is hitting upon very specific-sounding information, piercing and definitive, when they’re doing nothing of the sort. Let’s take the ‘question masquerading as a statement’ construction first. Here the fake medium will appear to make a statement when they’re really just asking a question, or fishing to gather more information. A common example would be the following:

Medium: “Who’s the older woman who passed, the mother-type figure?” Apart from being statistically quite broad, half the world’s population are women, if we take ‘older’ to mean anyone over twentyone; this could give us something like 40% of all human beings. The definition of ‘mothertype figure’ is equally broad. What actually defines a mother-type figure? Does the fake medium literally mean mother, or does he mean grandmother, or perhaps an aunt, or even a mentor figure, or maybe even older neighbour... or friend? Is there any of us who couldn’t make someone we know fit such a loose definition? And even then the fake medium isn’t actually stating

the ‘older mothertype figure’ is directly connected to the person they’re talking to, perhaps they’re referring to a partner’s mother, grandmother, etc. In fact the medium isn’t making a statement at all, he’s posing a question. If the person he’s addressing doesn’t bite, he can barrel right on without having pinned himself down. In general, if you listen to any medium it’s worth noting just how

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many actual statements a medium makes versus questions, and even when, technically, they do make a statement there’s often enough of what’s called a High Rising Terminal (that uplift which makes a statement sound like a question) to make Crocodile Dundee raise an eyebrow. Beyond almost every statement actually being a question, fake mediums are extremely fond of the ‘not’ construction.



Consider the following question, when the fake medium might say something like: Medium: “You’ve not been walking a lot lately?” If the answer which comes back is yes the medium can say, “Yes, that’s what the spirit is showing me.” If the answer which comes back is no they can say, “Yes, that’s what the spirit is showing me. They say you should get more fresh air and exercise.” The ‘not’ construction allows the medium be correct either way. In general it’s all too easy for the person the medium is talking to do all the heavy lifting. Another example: the medium asks (rarely a statement, right?) something like, “What’s the thing with the mouse?” If the person who is being read can quickly find a connection, the medium looks like he’s gotten a hit, but really how many of us can’t think of something connected to a mouse if we try? The


“If the person being read wants the process to work, she’ll find a connection, which brings me to...”

whole question features just one hard point of information, and even then it’s not specified what kind of mouse. Does he mean a real mouse, a cartoon mouse, a toy mouse, an image on a piece of clothing, a bedspread, on TV, a song, a film, a person who’s maybe a little timid and mousy? If the person being read wants the process to work, she’ll find a connection, which brings me to... Generally any audience who turns out to watch a medium, either on stage or television, are not by and large sceptics. I don’t watch Antiques Road Show. Why? I’m just not that interested in antiques. Simple. Given that, a medium will invariably be performing

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to an audience of believers, people who don’t require convincing anyway, who probably aren’t even looking to pick holes in the medium’s performance, unless it falls below even the low and imprecise bar the medium will set for it. The first thing a medium will do is make clear the whole process of talking to spirits is woolly and imprecise, dependant on energies, and images, and making sure you know that spirits don’t communicate like you and I—except when they suddenly choose to, when the medium has someone who appears willing to make anything she says fit with her situation. I saw a woman on a TV show recently say that yes, she had lost


a younger man recently, her husband. The show was good enough to present a picture of the man, who couldn’t have been a day under sixty years of age. The medium’s response when the man’s age became clear? That by ‘younger man’ she generally means anyone taken ‘before their time.’ So pretty much anyone younger than around eighty, then? Maybe ninety, maybe even a particularly spry a centenarian? This was from a big US medium with a hugely popular television show. If we apply these effects and techniques to mediums, we can begin to see what forms the basis of Cold Reading. By speaking in generalities that appear quite specific, employing experiences that are in truth common to many people and often statistically high (how many of us know a father-type figure with a name beginning with the letter J?) and using feedback to tailor their responses, viewed by an audience which wants to believe (why would you be watching

a medium in the first place?), a medium can appear to know quite startling information about someone. And this applies to stage mediums, so, consider the possibilities television affords... If you think about it, television is the perfect medium for, well, a medium. Unlike a stage show, the scope for judicious editing can make mediums look very good indeed in the context of a twenty-five minute show, especially if they’ve been filmed for a couple of hours and reduced down to their best bits. The scope for prior research is also greater, and for prepping a studio audience for best effect when seen by a purely TV-viewing audience. The chief thing to consider when watching a TV medium show is that even if the medium claims to genuinely be communing with spirits, the broadcaster usually will not. Medium shows are categorised as entertainment shows. As I said to begin with, I honestly am open to the possibility of real

mediums, and there are James Randi Educational a few I enjoy watching Foundation’s ‘Million quite a lot. I find Dollar Challenge’, first Derek Acorah hugely introduced in 1964 entertaining, if not when Randi offered wholly convincing, and $1,000 to the first the US medium John individual who could Edward both fascinating offer proof of the and very watchable. He’s paranormal, is after extremely good at what he does. I’m just not sure more than 50 years still if that’s talking to the up for grabs... dead or manipulating his audience. He’s either a master at Cold Reading or truly proving the existence of life after death. I just don’t know. What I do know is millions of people clearly are convinced. Many of the world’s most famous mediums are in great demand, and the public’s appetite shows no evidence of waning, some filling stadiums with tickets priced at hundreds of pounds/dollars. John Bowen lives in the UK. So where does this leave us regarding the whole real medium conundrum? How are we to know if what we’re watching is trickery or genuine communication with the dead? It may perhaps be worth noting that the

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When not playing videogames, catching up on movies, going to the gym, and enjoying time with his wife and children he occasionally finds time to write... Check out his author page B00K3NTOTW




BOOK REVIEW – HAUNTED Edited by Alex Davis and Ryan Merrifield Boo Books, limited edition paperback out no Reviewed by Andrew Angel at The Ebookwyrm Review blog, http://www.ebookwyrm.

This collection from Boo Books is just the right thing for those readers whose taste is drawn to a good old fashioned ghost story – five tales from five different authors and not a bad story among them. They are; The Snap End Morris Men by Paul Melhuish, Cloven by Amanda Bigler, Turning the Cup by M.R.


Cosby, Little Spring by Michael Bracken and Promises You Can Keep by Kevlin Henney. If I had to pick a favourite I would go with The Snap End Morris Men, partly because I liked the setting and partly because it is kind of relevant to now, but that is not to take anything away

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from the other tales. Each one is spooky, and some may wrong foot you (Cloven certainly did me!) So, pull a chair up to the fire, get yourself comfy and prepare to be spooked. An excellent quality collection – congratulations to all involved.


arlier this year I met up with Alex Davis, the publisher and editor of Boo Books, at a comic fair in Sheffield. During our chat he mentioned a book that was going to be published by his press in the near future, which was about a cinema showing films for ghosts made by ghosts. I must say I was intrigued by the premise and looked forward to the day I could get my hands on a copy.

Reviewed by Andrew Angel at The Ebookwyrm Review blog: http://www.ebookwyrm. The Electric is out now in paperback, available for the Boo Books website at the-electric-paperback/ for £7.99 plus P+P. Delivery to UK and Ireland, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand is available.

The story plays out over the last week/weekend of the school summer holidays in 1985, and starts with the lead character Sam Crowhurst cycling by the river after saying goodbye to his friends David and Emma. Sam is still getting over the death of his father, as is his mother, which is why he is in no rush to get home. While meandering by the river Sam comes across an old shack with a bit of an old movie poster in it. The shack leads to a path which leads inevitably, to The Electric, an abandoned cinema. Though it is deserted and nigh on derelict Sam feels drawn to it and sets off to explore. What he, and his friends when he fetches them to see it the next day, will find at The Electric will change them all. I can’t say too much about the plot as it may well spoil the reading experience of this quite wonderful book, but the general gist is that there are ghosts in The Electric and they are watching films that were never made, starring actors from different eras of cinema. There is a magic on the screen

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but also, there is a magic here in the printed word. The Electric is, at heart, a ghost story, but more chilling than horror in style. It is also, though, a coming of age tale. The three lead characters are all fifteen years old, approaching the last year of school and on the threshold between childhood and adulthood. Two of them have lost a parent so there is grief and sorrow thrown into the mix of teenage emotions. I thought I had the general idea of where the story was going to end up but I’m not ashamed to say I was only partly right. There were two scenes at the end that I honestly believe will stay with me for a very long time, and one sentence that actually brought tears to my eyes. On this showing, Andrew David Barker is one to watch for the future, an author with a writing style that draws you into the book and into the story knowing you are in safe hands but not sure what will be round the next corner. The book reviewed is a limited edition hardback (98/150) but is also available as a kindle edition and also now as a paperback. I bought the copy myself so feel justified in giving it 10/10 for both the story and the physical book itself. Andrew David Barker and Boo Books (Alex Davis) remember those names, you’ll be hearing more from both of them in the future.



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ne thing we are renowned for at Haunted is our interviews, YES we are a magazine about all things spooky, ghostly and things that go bump in the night but from time to time we get to interview some fantastic people who are not involved in the wicked and weird world of the paranormal. That’s not to say that they don’t love a good ghost story, nor do they profess a hatred for ghost hunting. The paranormal is not just some secret club that only scientists and proper believers are allowed in, if it was, we wouldn’t be allowed in it. So before you ask “why the chuff is HE / SHE / THEY (delete as required) in Haunted Magazine”, have a read and you might be pleasantly surprised.

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HELEN LEDERER Helen is currently touring festivals, bookshops and theatres across the UK to discuss all things literary and beyond: her own comedy novel, the new genre of mid lit, comedy fiction for women - … and, well, all sorts of things including a tongue in cheek journey around her brush with show business, literati and reality TV. From book clubs, theatres, festivals, tea shops – indeed anywhere … Helen is poised … tour.html ‘Losing It’, Lederer’s first novel (published by Pan Macmillan) is the hilarious story of Millie, agony aunt for ‘The Good Woman Magazine’. In debt, divorced and desperate, she’s about to lose her house. Worse, she has no money, a best friend with a better sex life than her, a daughter in Papua New Guinea and too much weight in places she really doesn’t want.   Can a middle aged woman really have it all? ‘Losing It’ is a hilarious, brutally honest exploration of a woman who still feels 30 but can’t deny the odd stray grey …


Hi Helen, thanks for agreeing to our interview today! Can you introduce yourself in the manner of a door to door sales person trying to sell me a completely useless item? ‘Hi, I’m quite a plump person wanting to tell you it‘s all fine? Have you got a doughnut on you? No? I have in my bag… I remember watching you (and those eyes) in Naked Video, how would you say the world of comedy has evolved since the 1980s? Is there anything you particularly liked or disliked about yourself back then? The world has multiplied in terms of more agents more acts and more panel games-(male) I wish I hadn’t been so anxious and enjoyed the crack more... but when you are you take everything a bit seriously don’t you! Losing It is the hilarious story of Millie, who as an agony aunt appears to be suffering from more agony than she deals with her in her agony aunt column! What I particularly liked about the novel was that you touched on problems facing every woman in the world today, with

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a mix of comedy and tragedy. How were you inspired to write the novel and did you use any of your friends as inspiration? I was inspired to write the plot because (ahem) the offer of money LOL – but I wanted to share what was inside my head and to my delight and amazement tis seems I’m not as unusual as I thought ..So many readers have shared their own love hate dependence with the fridge as well... which has been rewarding Still talking about Losing It so to speak, you recently lost your at home spray tan virginity! How was it for you? Well the skin heats up after the dye has been sprayed so it’s a double flush later on in bed – and the sheets turn orange which they don’t put in the aftercare pack What is your view on horror? Have you a particular favourite horror film you can watch again and again?   I loved hated The Birds by Alfred Hitchcock... all them pigeons swooping... nightmare –but the photography darling was superb

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HELEN LEDERER If you had the power to eradicate one television show from the television which one would it be and why? I get rather depressed when match of the day is on –on Sunday morning which clashes with my croissant and coffee… I want the NEWS not footers. What pearls of wisdom can you share with our readers who are looking to enter the world of acting, writing and playing? Believe believe believe... and then pay someone to tell you to believe – if it starts getting more painful than good – try copy writing for adverts   You recently returned to Hollyoaks as Mariam, the midwife who accidentally switched Diane O’Connor and Tegan Lomax’s baby daughters. How was reprising the role? Did you slip right into the role or did you have to channel your inner demons?  It was a mix of a character I must say – Mariam had once been quite together... but she had her disappointments in love and rather depended on the vodka... until she gave


up… but she was feisty and tried to get it all back... you’ve got to try haven’t you! What’s in store for you over the coming months? Anything we can know or are you sworn to secrecy? I’m hiking my book around the literacy festival scene ... ALL THE TIME Chipping Norton, Edinburgh, Hay etc. And trying not to drink too much. I start the next book soon and hope Losing It will be on TV. Helen, do you believe in ghosts and spooks, have you ever had any paranormal experiences? In my book ‘Losing It’ there was a moment of a person ‘passing over’ which really happened in my house ... apparently the woman has passed over now though, which is a relief for all. I didn’t sense anything but the Feng Shui lady did. (Got a shudder thinking about it)

More about Helen: Helen is probably best known for her role as the dippy Catriona in Absolutely Fabulous in which she appeared alongside Jennifer Saunders in all six series, as well as creating the ‘Girl at the Bar’ in Naked Video. However, to many she is known for her unique wit and observational humour. A comedy writer with an extensive portfolio that includes writing and performing her own material, Helen has starred in a great number of top TV comedy and radio shows. Helen was part of a group of early 1980’s comedians, including Dawn French, Jennifer Saunders, the late Rik Mayall and Ben Elton who made their names at London’s Comedy Store. She was a guest on ITV’s Saturday Night Live with her solo comedy act as well as performing at the first ‘Just for Laughs’ comedy festival in Montreal with Lenny Henry. TV appearances span such shows as the Young Ones, French and Saunders, Happy Families, One Foot in the Grave, Bottom, Love Soup, Miss Marple and Hollyoaks. Children’s TV include the much loved children’s favourite ‘Miss BowlineHitch’ along with Bernard Cribbins for CBeebies’ Old Jacks Boat as well as the film of Horrid Henry.

Helen, it has been an absolute pleasure speaking with you today! Thank you once again

On BBC radio she has written and performed her own comedy series Life with Lederer and All Change as well as being a panellist on shows such as The News Quiz, Just a Minute, Quote…Unquote, A Good Read, Open Book and Woman’s Hour. Her columns include Woman&Home, The Independent, The Mail on Sunday and The Daily Telegraph.

No thank you xxx

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actually have three ‘haunted’ dolls. My wife let me have them on one condition, they were not allowed in the house. So they now live in the shed (the dolls not my wife LOL) She can’t look out of our bedroom window at night anymore, because she is scared that maybe one of them is staring back up at her!

Satan Sadie

My first doll was a pretty looking doll, her name is Satan Sadie. I purchased her from a man whose parents used to collect ‘haunted’ dolls. His mother would keep a diary for each of the dolls and note down any activity that occurred from or with that particular doll. The story behind Sadie is that she would have dark shadows around

“I love the idea that an object can be haunted by a spirit or entity. Now if the object were to be a creepy looking doll, then all the better as far as I’m concerned.” - Michael


her, a loud evil witch like cackle would be heard and when she was kept in the attic, the owner would hear footsteps running up and down the floor. The reason I acquired her is because these dolls were passed down to this man when his parents passed over and they basically just freaked him out and wanted to get rid of the ASAP.


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When we got out on investigations, I take Sadie with us. We normally lock a camera off on her with a digital voice recorder and just leave her for the rest of the night. We don’t go near her and make sure that no one else goes near her either. We try to see if we can capture any of the reported phenomena that goes with her. This type of experiment has worked a couple of times. One time we were at Fort Paull in Hull, on an investigation with the brilliant Totally Paranormal Events. We locked Sadie inside the witches’tunnel and left her for the next 6 hours. When we got home and checked our footage and recordings, we were very happy. We had no visual evidence, but we did capture loud bangs of stones being thrown that was caught on video camera and also the digital voice recorder. This was captured 4 times during the night and it was not caused by any of the team or Alex or myself.

This is an avenue that Alex and I want to investigate further and try and find evidence that spirits can attach themselves to objects. Could a spirit really be attached to Satan Sadie? Is it an earth bound spirit or is it demonic? More research and time need to be spend on trying to find answers... Rosa is my little small Spanish ‘haunted’ doll. She was purchased form market stall in Spain some years ago. The lady who I got her from, said she was drawn to her and that there was something strange about her. It’s been about 5 years now that Rosa had been in this woman’s care. She told me that she couldn’t wait to get rid of her. I had to find out the reason. She told me she would see black shadows coming out of the doll. A child speaking Spanish would be heard in the early hours of the morning, and she doesn’t have any children. Also her cat would refuse to go upstairs where the doll was kept, and would just sit at the bottom of the stairs and hiss and screech in the dolls direction.

These are obviously some amazing claims and ones that we will be looking into trying to prove in the years to come.


My third ‘haunted’ doll is called Edward, he looks like a posh little boy from a rich family. I have only recently acquired him within the last month and have had experience with trying an experiments with him. His story is a nice one though. He is supposed to have a spirit that holds your hand when you feel sad or low. He likes to runs around and make you hear his footsteps and also a shadow that watches you at night while you sleep! I don’t mind the first 2, but I don’t want shadow people looking at me while I sleep. No thank you very much LOL! So where do I go from here? I would love to do more experiments with the 3 of them, using equipment to see if they can interact with us and also to try and prove that haunted items are real and that spirits really can attach themselves to objects. It’s a good idea but will we ever be able to prove it? Who knows...?

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COURT IN THE ACT! “Lost on the streets of Monmouth, dressing as barristers and convincing a stranger to participate in a mock trial. After a two month break, Calamityville Horror returned with a vengeance.” We hired Monmouth Shire Hall and invited our friends, Tom and Amy. Tom was Neen’s stand-in at Berkeley castle but his girlfriend Amy was new to ghost hunting. And what an introduction she got to Calamityville’s weird world of ghost hunting.

We were super-organised, even getting directions to a free car park. Grabbing our gear, we set off for the Shire Hall. Only to spend 15 minutes walking in a circle because Lynx mistook Cat’s red line on the map for a road then we trespassed a school because Cat thought it looked ‘Shire Hall-esque’. Neen’s Satnav rescued us. After we’d failed to prise open the Shire Hall’s automatic doors, worker Thom said parking outside the hall was free. We averted our eyes from our group’s uncomfortable stares and reminded them exercise was healthy. It’s a good thing everyone was too tired to lynch us. Thom, who’d volunteered to stay, gave us a tour. The Ghost Radar blurted out ‘fire’. We assured Thom we wouldn’t burn down the building. He seemed pleased.

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Judge Nicholas Tindal’s mannequin sits in the judge’s chamber, graffiti-ing the desk. The K2 bleeped by him. We claimed the learning room as basecamp then Neen found gowns and wigs in the judge’s chamber. In her excitement, Lynx tripped over the raised platform by the judge’s seat in courtroom 1. It triggered a night of clumsiness that surpassed every episode, with Lynx and Amy competing for the Trip Awards and Tom smacking his head in the air raid shelter, drawing blood. Serves him right for being tall. We did what good friends do – laughed and photographed it. Thom found us donning gowns and wigs and said: “You’re not like other ghost hunters we’ve had. They’re really serious.” He’d seen nothing yet. Built in 1724, Monmouth Shire Hall was designed by Philip Fisher.


COURT IN THE ACT Monmouth’s Shire Hall Investigation the vote to include women, but was advised to change it in case they lost support. When leader Henry Vincent was imprisoned and convicted, riots erupted on November 4th 1839, led by John Frost, Zephaniah Williams and William Jones. Jones was captured and held inside the Westgate Hotel in Newport. Chartists gathered outside, demanding his release.

An Elizabethan court occupied the site in 1536, which was replaced by a timber-framed building in 1571. Those timbers were used Shire Hall’s construction, which had an open trading area for the market, with rooms above. In 1725, the court of Assizes moved in on the first floor, above the market’s open arches. In 1828, Thomas Hopper remodelled the interior and added an exterior stair tower with a glazed lantern, which enclosed a grandiose staircase. In 1837, trading except for hops, wool, corn and flour moved to Market Hall in Priory Street.

the cobbles outside host civic functions. Courtroom 1 was restored to how it looked in the 1840s. Monmouth Shire Hall held one of history’s most famous trials – the Chartists’ trial. Chartists wanted the vote for all men over 21. William Lovett, who wrote the Charter, admitted he wanted

It’s a Grade 1 listed building and home of Monmouth Town Council. Civic meetings take place in the Mayor’s Parlour and


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A gun was fired, which was seen as an assault on the hotel. 10 Chartists were killed by soldiers inside. On 31st December, Frost, Williams, Jones and 5 others were trialled in courtroom 1 for treason. Nicholas Tindal was one of the judges. On 16th January 1840, they were found guilty and sentenced to be hanged, drawn and quartered. The day before their execution, under Judge Tindal’s advice, Lord Melbourne asked Queen Victoria to change their sentences to transportation. On 2nd February 1840, they were put on the steamer Usk for Van Diemen’s Land, now Tasmania.

COURT IN THE ACT Monmouth’s Shire Hall Investigation

In 1855 they were pardoned unconditionally. Williams and Jones stayed in Tasmania but Frost returned to a hero’s welcome. Ghosts rumoured to haunt Shire Hall are: a family hanged for stealing food; three girls tried for witchcraft; a judge; and a woman in white that staff see entering rooms only to disappear. Doors close and a trotting horse’s hoof beats echo on Monnow Street. In 2006, a caretaker who’d worked there for 10 years heard a door close on the floor below then saw someone’s legs, and a black cloak the person wore. They disappeared behind a pillar. There was no-one around. Visitors feel like they’re being watched. An area on the stairs becomes cold where there’s a lingering smell of

perfume. Like at the Debenhams perfume counters. He doesn’t like entering the courtrooms at night. A medium saw a ghostly figure wearing black robes and a wig in the smaller magistrates’ court. In the other courtroom, she saw a judge in red robes, fierce dogs, armed guardsmen and smelled burning. She claimed a previous building on the site burned down. The Ghost Radar saying ‘fire’ now

looked ominous. She refused to enter the cells. Not surprising. Frost, Williams and Jones’s mannequins reside there. Or rather, their heads and shoulders. We staged a trial and had brought Ketch, our cuddly executioner, a gavel pen, (both from Edinburgh Dungeons) and shackles from Oxford Castle. Tom was put in the dock for dogging and Lynx for witchcraft, but in a surprise twist, Cat was found guilty. When Neen and Cat were reading out information in the cells, they harassed each other with Zephaniah’s mannequin. Being able to recite information while under duress from a frowning, bodiless mannequin proves we’re professionals.

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COURT IN THE ACT Monmouth’s Shire Hall Investigation We held vigils in the cell area and air raid shelter, leaving the JVC in courtroom 1 with motion sensor lights and the Ghost Radar. When we returned, the last word spoken by the Radar was ‘vote’. In courtroom 2, Amy joined in with a Calamityville tradition – dancing. We treated the ghosts to the Monster Mash and Time Warp. Their lack of applause was quite frankly, rude. In courtroom 1, the K2 bleeped whilst lying on a table. We moved the DVR and a battery away from it but it continued bleeping. We returned to the judge’s chamber but Nicolas failed to make the K2’s needle rise. The vigil there is best

described as ‘hilariously inappropriate’. We placed a motion sensor light on the windowsill by the judges’ wigs. Shortly after Tom asked spirits to lift a wig, the motion sensor lit up. Tom and Lynx thought they’d triggered it, so repeated their movements. It stayed dark. Neen found a script for the trial of Count Dracula in a craft box so vigils were abandoned for another trial. We needed another participant. Worker Thom was happy to oblige so we again dressed up. Cat was the judge, Neen the defence barrister, Lynx the prosecutor, Amy the usher, Tom was Count

Dracula and Thom was Boris the Bat, Isabella, Spook the cat, Frank Bolt and foreman of the Jury, complete with voices. In a shocking show of unprofessionalism, Neen kept tripping Lynx up. Thom was right when he said we’re not like other ghost hunters. If we were in charge of public groups, we could’ve had a jury and filled the public gallery! Thom: “Are you actors?” Nope, just better at staging trials than ghost hunting. Then we split up for lone vigils. Neen had the


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air raid shelter, Cat the cells, Tom courtroom 2 and Lynx and Amy took courtroom 1 as we only had 4 cameras. The Ghost Radar remained silent for Tom. Lynx and Amy spent their vigil trying to frighten locals outside the pubs with their lights. They failed miserably. Some people have no respect for other people’s pranking. Neen commandeered courtroom 2 where the Ghost Radar chatted nonsense and the motion sensor light switched on. Cat sat in the air raid shelter and asked for

COURT IN THE ACT Monmouth’s Shire Hall Investigation

footsteps. She got them. She was alone so couldn’t be sure it wasn’t one of the others. She headed upstairs for a new tape and battery and returned with Tom. They asked the ghosts to use Hollywood as inspiration for activity, such as picture shaking & flickering lights. The IR light started flickering. Neen took courtroom 1 so Lynx and Amy moved to the cells. They heard footsteps and presumed it was Neen. Neen hadn’t moved. We regrouped and Lynx took a walkie-talkie to the cells while Cat walked around basecamp and the courtroom to recreate

the footsteps. Lynx heard footsteps when Cat was in the courtroom but wasn’t sure if they matched. There’s an office above the cells so the footsteps most likely came from there. We had no EVPs. We took a group photo with Nicholas, who got revenge by getting Cat in a headlock. It’s the first time a mannequin has fought back. We released the Count Dracula trial as a special episode, Calamityville Horror QC.

Useful links: Facebook: Twitter: @CalamityHorror @clraven Blog: Monmouth Shire Hall:

Maybe Calamityville should be tried for crimes against ghost hunting. They’d have to catch us first.

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Interview with


Hi guys, thanks so much for taking time out to speak with us. Firstly would you be so kind as to introduce you both and what is ELEVEN all about, who? Why, when and where? Joel Wilson and I started making documentaries for Channel 4 in 2001. We set up Eleven in 2006 and have since been making drama and documentaries, including GLUE, THE SECRET LIFE OF THE PUB, and THE ENFIELD HAUNTING. So, tell us how you came to be involved with The Enfield Haunting, it’s going to give the paranormal a massive boost in terms of audience.

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We worked with a film maker called Nick Jones in 2007. Nick had just made a documentary called Interview with A Poltergeist, for Channel 4; and he told us about Guy Playfair’s book This House is Haunted. We discovered that Guy had never sold the TV rights to his book, and so we began discussing with Guy how a TV drama version of the book might work. A year or two later, we had a deal. On a personal level do you believe in ghosts, poltergeists and spooks at all, and has your perception changed on them since working on it? I’m open minded. I do like empirical evidence, which is why I found Enfield so compelling: Guy and Maurice had assembled an extraordinary

“Broadly speaking, if the script doesn’t work, the show won’t work. So you have to start with a great piece of writing, and we were fortunate with Enfield because Joshua St Johnston produced something that was moving, funny and very scary”

array of meticulously compiled evidence. I also really liked the fact that neither Guy nor Maurice were ever dogmatic about what exactly the source or cause or explanation for the activity in the house was. They kept an open mind, to the end, and conceded even after all that evidence that they didn’t really know for sure what was behind it. I liked that openness – it had the ring of truth about it.

we were fortunate with Enfield because Joshua St Johnston produced something that was moving, funny and very scary. It treated the audience seriously and revelled in the genre. So the script is essential. But the dream is that you can find a stellar cast to elevate the material even further; so we were lucky that Tim, Matthew, Juliet, Eleanor and Rosie all came together. It was a dream cast.

You said in a recent Q&A that you just had to get Timothy Spall to play Maurice Grosse, how important is a cast to a show, is it more important than the script sometimes or is it a case of if the script / format is gold then the cast are not as important?

Living and breathing the paranormal world, as we do, we can see the effect that The Enfield Haunting is having in our industry. When you first started this did you realise that you had something pretty special on your hands, and would you do more spooky, ghostly stuff if you were asked?

Broadly speaking, if the script doesn’t work, the show won’t work. So you have to start with a great piece of writing, and

What appealed to us was the fact we could make a drama based on real events, where the real events were so intriguing. We’ve been looking at other true events to adapt in this genre, we’re very excited about doing more. It’s all about finding the right stories.

We knew that many, many people had been fascinated by Enfield, so we hoped there’d be an audience.

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who hasn’t If there’s anyone eld Haunting I’d heard of The Enfi e the heck have like to know wher last few months. you been for the paraphernalia Amongst all the al brings this that the paranorm has dusted away three part drama ebs anyone may any ghostly cobw have had.

Do you think that there is a growing trend for more horror and the supernatural on TV? Ideally. We’d like to make more. We interviewed Guy Lyon Playfair a few weeks back and whilst we didn’t know him back in 1977 I think that both the script and Matthew Macfayden have him nailed down to a tee. Obviously the story is based on his book, did he have any creative control over the show? Guy was a consultant on the show right from the start; and his input has been invaluable. He was generous enough to allow us to get on with adapting his book and to trust us to get it right. So I’m glad you feel it worked out.

e most watched It has become th Living and the programme on Sky e history of Sky third best in th (ever). t wind of what When we first go doing we knew Sky Living were do just more that we wanted to e cast. We’re than interview th we had a sneaky not psychic but blast from the feeling that this have a massive past was going to ranormal... impact on the pa ist didn’t tell And no a polterge us...

What are your plans for the rest of 2015 and beyond? We have quite a few series in development with the broadcasters in this country; and also with Fox in America, where we’re developing a show called Nazareth, about the teenage years of Jesus. So it could be an interesting year or two. Pleasure speaking with you both.

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“Gripping, terrifying and extremely touching all at the same time, an outstanding portrayal of the real-life events of 1977 in that famous household in Enfield, with emotionally rich characters and great storytelling. And it’s incredibly spooky.”

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An ordinary house is gripped by extraordinary events in this three-part psychological thriller starring BAFTA nominee Timothy Spall (Mr Turner), Matthew Macfadyen (Ripper Street), Juliet Stevenson (The Village), Rosie Cavaliero (Hunderby) and TV newcomer Eleanor Worthington-Cox. The Killing’s Kristoffer Nyholm directs from a script by Joshua St Johnston (Walking on Sunshine).

that he and wife Betty (Stevenson) are struggling with the loss of a daughter in a motorcycle accident. Is this why Maurice is so desperate to help Janet? However, everything changes when Guy confronts the malevolent forces at work, a poltergeist by no means ready to move on. Adapted from Guy Lyon Playfair’s book This House is Haunted.

Amateur paranormal investigator Maurice Grosse (Spall) has more than a passing interest in ghostly goings-on and the unexplainable, so he’s instantly intrigued when he receives a phone call from the Society for Psychical Research (SPR) asking him to look into a potential new case. It’s a phone call that turns his world upside down. A North London council house has apparently been hit by a series of inexplicable oddities, from incessant knocking to furniture with a life of its own. Fascinated, Maurice heads over to meet the family who live there, single mum Peggy Hodgson (Cavaliero) and her four children, including 11-yearold Janet (Worthington-Cox), the youngster at the centre of the happenings. Photographic evidence captured by a pair of journalists from the Daily Mirror point to the presence of a poltergeist, but, spending the night, Maurice doesn’t witness anything abnormal and he starts to wonder whether theentire hubbub is simply the creation of an imaginative child. Then he experiences the handiwork of the home’s unwelcome guest. Assistance arrives in the form of old-school supernatural sleuth Guy Lyon Playfair (Macfadyen), who smells a sham. His scepticism only grows when he learns more about Maurice’s personal life, the fact

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CHARACTER: Maurice Grosse, 58 PROFILE: Inventor and keen member of the Society for Psychical Research ------------------

‘‘I believe that a world that doesn’t have some kind of magic in it wouldn’t be worth living in.’’ What was it about The Enfield Haunting that grabbed your attention? When I first read the script, I actually turned it down because it frightened me. In what sense? It was just so convincing. What makes it terrifying is the fact it is so normal. The world it’s set in is not a Gothic castle or an 11th-century cathedral, but a slightly run-down council house in Enfield that’s home to an ordinary family. They’re not Satanists or anything. When scary things happen in normal environments, it amplifies the terror. If our horror is served up in a Gothic bowl, it separates us from it. A suburban home, though, makes it seem possible. So what made you change your mind? I read it again and I realised it wasn’t a negative story. In fact, it’s very positive. One of the reasons it frightened me was because it was so good and believable, but then I read it from the point of view of the

relationships, of what caused these things, of what made it frightening, of what frightened me. I understood it more. It deals in mysteries, things that people don’t know about themselves that suddenly manifest. It’s beautifully written, too. Clever and sophisticated without wearing those qualities on its sleeves, which, to me, is the best kind of writing. It’s a nuanced drama that happens to have a poltergeist in it, not a straight-up horror. I wouldn’t have done it if it was. It’s about relationships and unusual connections, tragedy and anger, unresolved problems that surface and come together. How much did you know about the Hodgson case before you signed on? Not a lot. Interestingly, though, I grew up on a street in south west London, in Battersea, and it turns out a woman who lived four houses down from me has since written a book about having a poltergeist. I spoke to my mum about it and she said, oh, yes, I vaguely remember whatshername having a poltergeist.

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We didn’t make much of it. Would you class yourself as a ‘believer’? I don’t know. A question mark hangs over the show, which makes it more interesting. I’ve never seen a poltergeist, but I do believe there is more than what we see, that there is more than just this. I believe that a world that doesn’t have some kind of magic in it wouldn’t be worth living in. What can you tell us about your character, Maurice? He is a man from another age, one of the last Edwardian characters. He went through the war and has old-fashioned standards, but, being an inventor – he invented the revolving bus stop advert – he is also very forward-thinking. It’s a lovely mixture. He has a wonderful open mind, a great warmth and is a man of natural kindness. His life, though, is coloured and scarred by a terrible loss. It’s hurting him, it’s hurting his wife and it’s hurting their relationship, but he’s putting a brave face on it.


CHARACTER: Betty Grosse, 55 PROFILE: Wife of Maurice. Struggling with the recent loss of a family member ------------------

‘‘It’s as much about ordinary people’s lives as the situation they’re embroiled in.’’’

Why did you want to be a part of The Enfield Haunting? I’m very interested in the phenomenon. On the face of it, I would say I don’t believe in poltergeists, but I do believe something is going on. Perhaps science just hasn’t caught up yet. What persuaded me about the script is that it is as much about ordinary human lives as the extraordinary situation they’re embroiled in. It’s a bewildering and thrilling but also intelligent and humane look at the story of all the lives involved and how they became plaited together. I was excited about working with Kristoffer Nyholm, too. Had you heard about the ghostly goings-on at the Hodgson house before the script came your way? No, I hadn’t, but I bought Guy Lyon Playfair’s book and read chunks of that, although not all of it because there’s quite a lot of detail. I also went on YouTube and watched interviews with the family at various stages of their lives. It’s fascinating stuff.

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What’s your opinion on the matter? Do you buy the Hodgsons’ claims, or do you think they’re bogus? I’m totally puzzled by it. By nature, I would be a sceptic in this situation. People don’t go trailing around in grey rags, holding their heads under their arms – I don’t believe in that kind of ghost. I do believe, however, that there are kinds of energy left behind in buildings, a potent human experience, maybe, that remains. It’s especially interesting that these stories often involve young girls. There is a chaos in that burgeoning sexuality, the coming into adulthood, of a young girl caught between childhood and womanhood, unplaced energy in that transition of identity. I don’t ultimately know what to believe, but I don’t think it was fraudulent or hocus pocus. How would you describe your character, Betty? Betty is a lovely person. Before tragedy struck, she was very happy, outgoing and popular, a loving wife and mum. Then she lost her youngest daughter and,

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suddenly, she and husband Maurice are thrown into this lost, wretched phase of their lives. She’s not only struggling with the loss of her beloved daughter, but her husband, who keeps disappearing into the vortex of the story, to this strange, unknown family. She is terrified of losing him at the very moment when she needs him most. She feels things are spiraling out of control. The great Timothy Spall plays your on-screen husband, Maurice. Was he a joy to work with? I love working with Tim. We were at RADA together all those years ago. I think I was one year above, but I remember him vividly. Then we worked together on a wonderful film called Pierrepoint, which is about the last executioner in England. I played his wife in that, so we’ve been married before. We go a long way back, which is lovely when you’re playing man and wife. You get a lot of marital history for free as it were. Tim is a complete pro. When you’re playing a scene, you look into his eyes and he simply is that character. You don’t ever see any cogsworking. He’s funny off set as well.

CHARACTER: Guy Lyon Playfair, 42 PROFILE: Paranormal investigator with experience in exorcisms -----------------How much did you know about the Hodgson case before you signed on? I didn’t know anything about it and, stupidly, I didn’t read The House is Haunted, the book by Guy Lyon Playfair that the series is based on. I came straight from Ripper Street on to

What attracted you to the project? Timothy Spall and Rosie Cavaliero, both of whom I’ve worked with before. I worked with Tim on a Stephen Poliakoff drama called Perfect Strangers, and I did Little Dorrit with Rosie for the BBC. It always comes down to the script, though, which was well-written, fascinating and properly scary. Were they the sort of scripts you could just rattle through? That’s my litmus test, how quickly I can get through them. You know it’s a chore when you think, oh, I could be doing something else right now. The Enfield Haunting isn’t just a jolty story about a mean poltergeist, either, is it? No, it’s nuanced and beautifully written. It’s not a documentary, but a dramatic retelling, so there are bits which are teased and pushed in certain directions for the purposes of telling a story. I love everything to do with Maurice and his daughter. If it hadn’t been so delicately handled, it could have been quite naff.

this and was a bit frazzled. They kindly organised for me to meet the real Guy, though, which was interesting. What did you make of him? He’s in his 80s now and absolutely fascinating. It’s always daunting when you play someone who is real, although I’m not doing an impersonation, that’s not the gig. I’m just taking what I fancy. Saying that, I hope Guy isn’t too horrified at what he sees. I’ll have to write a letter of apology. The Hodgsons’ story is very divisive. Some people believe them; others think they made the whole thing up. What’s your take? I have an open mind. I think the sensible stance to take in this situation is to be agnostic and go, I just don’t know. I’ve never experienced anything like it, but I know plenty of people who have and they’re not gullible. There was definitely something going on, it’s just unexplained. I’m certainly not in the ‘that’s all cobblers’ camp. That would be very shortsighted. Going back to your character, how would you describe Guy?

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My Guy is not the same as the real Guy. He’s an odd bod, eccentric and posh. We wanted there to be a contrast with Maurice, so even though he’s quite geeky, there’s also something raffish about him. He rocks up in a velvet jacket and long hair. He’s not brilliant socially, though, especially with the kids. The real Guy was very fond of Janet and the rest of the family and he became good friends with Maurice. What is Guy and Maurice’s relationship like? It’s fairly antagonistic at the beginning because Guy comes in under the pretense that he’s helping the Hodgsons out when, in fact, he’s been sent by the SPR, the Society for Psychical Research, to debunk it. Then he realises that something is indeed going on. How impressed have you been with the younger members of the cast, especially Eleanor? We were talking about this the other day, the grown-ups that is. Eleanor and Fern [Deacon], who plays Margaret, are superb. They make me feel like an old ham. Did you find any aspects of the shoot particularly challenging? It hasn’t been challenging, it’s been fun because the writing is so good and you’re working with fantastic actors. Big scenes can be tough, like the time we shot a seven-page scene, but, then again, you tend to overthink shorter scenes. If you’re allowed to have a three or four-minute take, it feels like you’re doing a play. You forget the camera.


CHARACTER: Peggy Hodgson, 40 PROFILE: Hard-working single mum of four ------------------

Why did you sign on to The Enfield Haunting? What sold it to you? The script, which is brilliant. I loved it. Then, obviously, the actors involved. You’ve worked with Timothy and Matthew before, right? Yes, I worked with Matthew on Little Dorrit about six or seven years ago, and Tim and I did a film together called Topsy-Turvy. We didn’t have any scenes, but we crossed paths. He’s an amazing actor. How much research did you do into the Hodgson story? I wasn’t aware of it until I read the script and they said it was based on a real-life story. I looked at a few old documentaries and reports and tried to get some footage of Mrs. Hodgson, but I didn’t want to do too much digging because the series is a dramatic retelling. Is there more pressure playing someone who lived and breathed, rather than a completely fictitious character? There was a responsibility. I’ve been told that Peggy was a wonderful woman; completely unruffled. Nothing ever fazed her. She wasn’t emotional, so you’ve got to use a bit of creative license because it’s such a dramatic story. If I’d played it completely unfazed, it might be a bit dull. It must have been tough for her, being a single mum. She had to cope on her own. I remember reading the script and thinking, gosh, how could she let all of this happen? Then

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I thought, well, she didn’t have a lot of options. She didn’t have money, she couldn’t re-house, she couldn’t move, and she didn’t have a husband to help her out. She just had to get on with it. I think she was a straightforward woman, not analytical. That generation didn’t talk about feelings – put the kettle on and let’s have a cup of tea. Fundamentally, Margaret was a kind woman who wanted the best for her family. Did you enjoy working with your on-screen daughter, Eleanor? She’s absolutely amazing. What a difficult part. She embraced it and got stuck in straight away. She’s an example to all of us. The set is incredibly detailed. How do you feel about the validity of the Hodgson case? I’m open-minded about it. My instinct would be to be cynical, but if someone tells me they’ve had an experience, I’d like to think I’d be open to believe that person. Some people are more sensitive and susceptible to things. That’s just the way they are. Are you quite a spiritual person? I was brought up in a very Catholic house. I wouldn’t say I’ve completely lapsed because I think,

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once you’ve had that in your life, it’s always there, always part of you. I took refuge in church when my mum died because she was a strict Catholic, so I used to enjoy going here to think about her and remember her, but, no, I’m not really a practising Catholic any more. Have you ever been to see a medium or anything like that? I’ve had a couple of experiences. A friend had a little party, invited a few of us and got this guy in to ‘read’ everyone. It was nonsense, comical. I remember he arrived late and said, “I’m sorry, I’ve had a stubborn exorcism in Cornwall.” That just set me off. I once watched a female spiritualist doing the rounds and that was interesting. A lot of the stuff she was getting through from the other side was quite mundane, like, the shed is messy again. When she talked about my mum, though, she did say her name, Mary, and there was no build-up or anything. She said, she’s holding your dad’s feet, and my dad at that point had an infection on his legs. I’m definitely open to it, I’m not shut off.

CHARACTER: Janet Hodgson, 11 PROFILE: Schoolgirl who claims to have been plagued by a poltergeist ------------------

How would you describe The Enfield Haunting? It’s a very contained story but, for me, it was just an amazing experience. Yours is a very tricky part. What was your take on Janet? She’s bright, bubbly, highly intelligent, a bit cheeky and very brave. More than anything, she was great fun to play. At one point you have to speak like a demonic old man. That must have been tough? I had to be Joe Watson and do a scary voice, which was hard. But in the end it worked out well. I didn’t get a sore throat or anything. There are a lot of clips and old interviews with Janet on the Internet. Did they inform your performance in any way? I watched a couple of YouTube videos, like an interview she did with This Morning. I wanted to see what she’s like now, but I didn’t watch anything of her as a child because I didn’t want to go on set overloaded with preconceived ideas. The story, though moving, does deal with a disturbing subject matter. Did you or your parents have any reservations about accepting the role? We sat down as a family and had a talk about it. I told them it was a fantastic script, a wonderful story and an amazing opportunity. Plus, its acting and acting is the thing I love most in the world.

Do you believe the Hodgsons were haunted? I would love to believe in the supernatural, but I just don’t. However, I do respect people who have those views because people are entitled to have their own beliefs. That’s another exciting thing about the story. You just don’t know what happened. The Enfield Haunting has got a cracking cast, from Timothy Spall to Juliet Stevenson. How did it feel to be a part of such a classy company of actors? They were the most amazing people to be around, so fantastic to work with. They were equally complimentary. Indeed, a lot of them said they felt like they were learning from you. Wow! I didn’t know they said that. I was just completely starstruck to be around them. They were the loveliest people to be around. You share the bulk of your scenes with Timothy Spall, who was recently nominated for a BAFTA for his role in Mr. Turner. Did he give you any advice?

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What an actor. We never really talked about tips, but we did put the world to rights. He’s a lovely person and, on our very last day, he gave me something that now takes pride of place in my bedroom, a Lord of the Ringsstyle fantasy landscape with a personal message that he’d hand drawn. I love reading and I’ll read anything I can get my hands on. One of the things we talked about was books and he knew I was a big fan of the Rings books and The Hobbit. When did you realise you wanted to act? Honestly, I can’t remember a time I didn’t want to act. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do. From the age of two I’ve gone to the Formby School of Dancing and Performing Arts and they’ve helped me become the actress I am today. Where would you like to be in10 years’ time? To be lucky enough to keep on getting opportunities like this one. There is no specific role that I’m after. I just want to keep on working. I love it.


NAME: Kristoffer Nyholm PROFILE: Director PREVIOUS: THE KILLING, ENDEAVOUR, AT THE FABER ------------------

When you took on the project, were you aware of the Enfield poltergeist? I live in Copenhagen. I don’t think the story hit my town in the same way it hit London and the UK. They say the Enfield case had some influence on Poltergeist the film, so from that I was secretly drawn to this mystery. Where did you get the inspiration for the look and tone of the show? My first thought was, looking back, that the 1970s was a tough period. You could look at it as if people were under a certain pressure at the time, especially the Hodgson family. I decided it was important to have them there without being victims: meeting them at eye-level coming into their house and not making it a dark place or into a predictable mystery. The nice thing is, things happen in our lives when we don’t expect them to happen. It would be very easy to frame the family in ‘genre’ terms. So from the start I wanted them to be happy, a typical family with lots of colour. They are living their lives in the 70s and when you live through a tough period you don’t necessarily think, ‘oh it’s tough’. I wanted to go in there, film the colours and light of the time. I compare it to the Great Barrier Reef. You dive down there and it’s a beautiful world when the sunlight shines. But at the same time there are places the light doesn’t get to and there is darkness and shadow. I used this principle while filming. We used one light source in order to cast shadow, hidden darkness and areas you can’t see. Have it bright, let the sun in, but have a clear idea about the darkness and how it figures. The Enfield case is heavily documented. Did you refer to the real case material?

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Not directly, but in some ways there were inspirations. We didn’t try to copy it but we tried to be honest in a certain way as to not make it something totally different. We simplified the interiors of the sets. We didn’t want to make them look like a museum. We went with items from the 70s but without going overthe-top. The still pictures from the case reminded us that some of the strongest emotions can come from something that is not moving. A still picture can be a dramatic thing. Something happened before and after the picture and you are looking at a captured moment. This principle had an influence on the way we filmed. We didn’t move the camera a lot. We tried to keep it in a fixed spot and wait for things to develop. Can you talk us through some of the special effects used in the drama? We wanted to keep things simple. Anything is possible these days and effects can look very realistic but at the same time they can make things harder to believe. So we wanted things to move in an organic way. If a cupboard were going to move we would have a man moving it. When the teapot moves, we had a puppeteer flying it into the air before crashing it down. These are effects you could easily create with a computer but doing them in a simple way adds something more human.

Have you made the drama scary? Is that important? We tried to go with the deepest emotions of the characters. These are people you get involved with so when things that are unpredictable, bad and scary happen, you experience them too. You are thrown into the darkness. The key was to make a story with a human interest. If you are not part of these people’s lives you won’t care about them when things go wrong. It’s a beautiful script that allows this to happen. It was the main reason I said yes to the story. Have you worked with anyone who was involved in the original case? I have met Guy Lyon Playfair, who is the real Guy who wrote a book about the happenings. The book is scientific. He talks about it in a very straightforward way with no mystery. It’s about what he experienced. He was very relaxed and pleasant about this project.

How did you create the scene in which the curtain attacks Janet?

Has anything supernatural ever happened to you?

That scene was played backwards. The curtain was lowered, tied around Eleanor, who plays Janet, and then pulled off her. By playing it backwards you create the illusion of a curtain coming down and attacking her in a very organic way. It’s an example of how we tried to do the effects: simple, organic, but hopefully scary.

Not to my knowledge. A lot of things happen but perhaps I have been too naïve or ignorant. I have not experienced anything like this, though [The Enfield Haunting]. You have to be open to it. The poltergeist reacts to your emotional behaviour so some people are more exposed than others. I don’t think I am that exposed… but maybe I am wrong.

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What was your gut reaction to The Enfield Haunting? I’d read one of the early drafts of the first episode and was fascinated by the way the writer had approached the subject. I didn’t know much about the Hodgson case prior to reading, but I was immediately interested in telling such an unusual real-life story in a dramatic, emotional and entertaining way. Did Sky give you a brief in terms of what it wanted? Sky loved the fact it was a ghost story and that it had real-life elements, that it was exciting but also moving. The real story took place over 18 months, so we had to find a way to condense it and make it work as a dramatic piece over three episodes. By necessity that involves some departures from the real-life story but Sky encouraged us to be in touch with the people involved in the case that were still alive, and Eleven Film secured the rights to Guy Lyon Playfair’s book, which is the key text on the subject.

NAME: Adrian Sturges PROFILE: Producer PREVIOUS: The Escapist, Albatross, The Disappearance of Alice Creed -----------------That’s really the story we get What’s interesting in our story into. There are certainly a lot of is that it’s an ordinary council things that are unexplained that I house in Enfield in the 70s. That’s couldn’t explain and I don’t think something that people can relate it is right to just dismiss them. to. A lot of the paranormal activity You have to ask the question. Guy comes from an ordinary place, like maintains that, one day, science a chest of drawers, a teapot or a will be able to explain it all. There lamp. It’s not demons jumping out is a subtle difference between the at you. I remember coming home supernatural and the paranormal from work one night and finding and I’m still open to the idea of my wife at the top of the stairs. something paranormal. She was upset about the fact that Does the series take a line on the someone had drawn all over the subject? walls. My four-year-old daughter was adamant it wasn’t her but We’re not trying to pass judgment ‘something else’. It unsettled me and we’re not saying that they did as we’d just filmed a very similar all of it. Nor are we saying it was scene in the programme… made-up. We want the audience to make up their own minds, for Which camp do you stand in it to be the starting point of a with regards to the Hodgsons? discussion. Were they telling the truth or spinning a tall tale? What preparations did you make before shooting? I’m fairly sceptical as a person. When I first read the script, The biggest source for us was I thought, is it going to be a Guy, who was a consultant on problem that I probably don’t the project as well. We met him believe it. But, actually, I don’t several times and he also met think it is. The fact that all these with Timothy Spall and Matthew Macfadyen as part of their people believed it is in itself preparation. interesting.

What separates the series from other supernatural-themed dramas that have been made? There are lots of rules that people follow – for example, the haunted house is often a big mansion in the woods.

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I also spoke to some of the other witnesses, including the photographer and the two journalists who visited the house. Mrs Hodgson and Johnny are both sadly no longer with us, but we’ve been in touch with Janet and Margaret. They acknowledged the existence of the project, but they didn’t want to be involved directly. It’s something that dominated their lives and understandably they don’t want to keep talking about it. Janet is still in touch with Guy, though. The programme is not a drama documentary, it’s a drama, but, where possible, we tried to make use of what’s available from the real story. From a stylistic point of view, how would you describe the look of the show? We wanted a look and feel that was of the period, so it’s 70s but not flares and big hair – there’s a danger you can go into Austin Powers territory – much as I love that film, this is something different. We used lots of deep browns, reds and yellows. It’s dark, but also quite beautiful thanks to our brilliant designer Jacqueline Abrahams, who won a BAFTA for her work on Wallander. The set supports the creepiness and strangeness of the story. We designed the corridors so that

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they had unusual corners around them; people could creep about and the camera would follow them in a continuous motion. Did you pull on any film or TV references? We looked at a lot of earlier horror films and thrillers, like Rosemary’s Baby and The Haunting, mainly to avoid copying them. We didn’t want it to feel like anything else directly. What was the biggest challenge during filming? The effects work? They were a big part of it and needed a lot of planning because we wanted to do the bulk of the effects in camera. There’s a big scene featuring a chest of draws and that was puppeteered from the inside. Practically, though, the biggest challenge was the fact we had a lot of kids in the cast, so we were shooting shorter hours than you’re normally allowed or used to. We were very ambitious. If you had to pinpoint what director Kristoffer Nyholm brought to the party, what would it be? A really strong vision. Kristoffer was a great choice because what he did with The Killing is exactly what we were looking for here. This is the first time he’s worked in this genre, but he embraced it

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and really threw himself at it in a really exciting way. The actors loved working with him as well. Can you tell us more about the casting? How happy were you to land Timothy Spall, fresh from his acclaimed performance in Mr Turner? I was so delighted and we were very lucky because he’d just won the Cannes Best Actor prize. I knew we had a high quality script, though, and he really responded to the story. We were shooting while he had to fly around the world to promote Mr Turner, so he was working all hours, but he was completely dedicated and great fun. And Eleanor? She’s a great find. Janet was the hardest part to cast by a long way because it’s such a demanding role. You have to be an innocent child and then, at the flip of a switch, speak with the voice of a 70-year-old man. It’s an incredible range of emotions at play. Eleanor actually came in right at the end; off the back of someone I know who had seen her in Matilda the Musical. I remember very clearly her coming into the casting office, beginning her audition and looking across to Kristoffer and us both realising we’d found our Janet. She’s very natural and has a great future ahead of her.


a n i n t e rv i e w w i t h

Playfair Guy Lyon b y p au l s t e v e n s o n

Guy Lyon Playfair was born on April 5th 1935 in India. After moving to the UK and obtaining education at Cambridge university he travelled to Brazil to begin what has become one of the most revealing journeys into parapsychology ever undertook by a single human being. His expertise is unmatched in its field, and with an impressive compendium of books under his belt, Playfair is certainly an authority to be reckoned with. Many people are blissfully unaware of the contribution GLP has made to the field of psychical research and many people have only heard his name mentioned with reference to The Enfield Poltergeist and the subsequent Sky Living three part drama The Enfield Haunting. Haunted Magazine felt that whilst we were covering Sky’s new foray into the dark world of poltergeists, we wanted to interview people who were actually caught up in the original case back in 1977. Now 80 years old BUT as sharp and straight to the point as ever we had the massive honour of catching up with one of the original investigators.

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What first attracted you to the field of parapsychology? I suppose I grew up with it. My mother was a member of the Society for Psychical Research so I used to read its journal along with my comics and jazz magazines. I couldn’t understand all of it, but I liked the articles about ghosts and poltergeists. 38 years later and still The Enfield Poltergeist is still as “popular” as ever, what is it do you think that has attracted so much interest so that Sky Living have commissioned a three part drama about it? I really don’t know. You must ask them. What was it like working with Maurice Grosse? From my recollection of it whilst Maurice was a lot older than you, he was not as experienced as you in the world of the paranormal, would that be fair to say? This may have been his first case, but he handled it very tactfully and competently. He was great to work with and we remained good friends to the end of his life. Do think Matthew MacFadyen makes a good Guy Lyon Playfair? He’s a very good actor and better looking than I am. I was quite flattered to be played by him.

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The Enfield Haunting is based on your 1980 book “This House is Haunted”, where you consulted / involved the screenplay / writing of this new drama? No. When you sell film rights, you don’t have any control over what is done with them. Why do you think that this case made the national press? Was it the era? You don’t get much national press coverage of the paranormal these days, and I think the one before The Enfield

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Poltergeist was back in 1929. That was thanks to the Daily Mirror. Then LBC and the BBC followed up its story and it just went on from there and is still going.  You worked in Brazil in the late 1960s / early 1970s and worked in Brazil’s first (and only) serious physical research organisation, what made Brazil set such an organisation up? That’s all in my first book The Flying Cow (1975). It was a small group of friends who were inspired by our Society for Psychical Research.

Talking about your book The Flying Cow, you present many compelling cases from your time spent in Brazil in the early 1970s. Of these cases, some of the most interesting are those that involve psychic surgery. What is psychic surgery? Psychic surgery is what we call operations performed by unqualified ‘surgeons’ using either their bare hands or conventional scalpels and things, but with no kind of anaesthetics or sterilisation. I saw several of them in action and was able to get to

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know one of them quite well and watch him at close range. A lot of them are frauds; their tricks are easy to spot if you know what to look for. But some of them do things that I have yet to hear explained. The Paranormal is as popular as ever, there are more paranormal events companies than ever before, giving members of the public the chance to pay to go ghost hunting, do you think that this is a good thing or takes away some kind of work that private paranormal investigators are doing?

The more interest the better. Some of it leads to irresponsible sensationalism, but luckily there are serious researchers around. Maurice Grosse was one of the best. Do you believe in ghosts? I believe in the paranormal. Can you explain your views on the paranormal? Not briefly. Have your views changed over the years? I’ve become more convinced that some phenomena are real (especially poltergeists) and some probably aren’t. How did it happen that you and Maurice got to investigate The Enfield Poltergeist? The Mirror reporter, George Fallows, kindly phoned the SPR and asked them to send someone, so they did. Not many reporters would have bothered. He just wanted to help the family, and he did. What’s the strangest case that you have had to investigate?

Were you sent by the SPR to “shut down” Maurice’s investigation because of the newspaper story?

They are all strange, or they wouldn’t be ‘paranormal’. The Enfield case was the longest, so the one I remember best. Luckily I managed to describe it from start to finish, which hadn’t been done before.

No. The SPR doesn’t send people anywhere. I went because Maurice appealed for help, which nobody else offered so I felt I had to. There was no question of his investigation being ‘shut down’. That’s total nonsense, like much of the Sky version.

Nearly 40 years after it occurred have your views, opinions and thoughts changed on what you saw, witnessed and heard back in 1977? Not much except as I just said - I’m more convinced that the real stuff is real.

So, Maurice appealed for help and you offered?

With so many computers and ghost gadgets available for the ghost hunter these days, what was the standard ghost hunting research equipment / kit in 1977? Mine was just a tape recorder and camera. I never bothered with anything else. In 1977 how many cases was the SPR getting, and where they assigned to various departments like the Spontaneous Cases Committee dependant on certain criteria? We didn’t have a SCC then. It was founded later by Maurice. Cases were assigned to whoever was available.

No, not really, it was a series of coincidences. I’d been to the monthly SPR lecture in September 1977 which happened to be on poltergeists. I was sitting right in front of a fellow named Maurice Grosse, whom I hardly knew, and at question time he jumped up and said he was investigating a case right now and would like some help. Nobody volunteered, including me. I had just finished a long book and felt like a holiday. The next day, a Friday, I planned to go to the Romanian embassy to get a visa. After waiting half an hour for the 74 bus I gave up and went home, deciding to try again on Monday. Then on the Sunday lunchtime news I heard Maurice describing the time he had just spent in the Enfield house, and knew I had to forget my holiday and get up there which I did.

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Are you still in contact with Janet and other members of the Hodgson family?

get to hear about them. They are more common all over the world than many seem to think.

Only with Janet, who has made it very clear that she just wants to be left alone by the media.

Do you think modern gadgets, cameras and equipment like there is today would’ve made any difference to you back in 1977?

Whilst there is hardly any press coverage of “poltergeist” activity in the newspapers do you believe that there’s lots of paranormal happenings going unreported?

Possibly. We did have some good gear - best being Graham Morris’s motor-drive Nikon (then quite new) which got at least three sequences showing objects in The SPR has started an movement and several archive of poltergeist of Janet in mid-air, some reports and we now have showing her bedclothes about 160 including have not been turned several from recent years. back. We also recorded They tend to be reported, numerous raps which if at all, in obscure have now been analysed local papers, and if the with technology we national press/radio don’t didn’t have access to at pick them up we don’t the time.

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Going back to The Enfield case, can you recall the very first things you witnessed at the house?

This House is Haunted is the source material for Sky Living’s excellent dramatisation The Enfield Haunting

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The first thing that struck me was the atmosphere in the house. The family were absolutely terrified. They were sleeping all in the same room with the light on all night, and they wouldn’t go anywhere in the house on their own. Why would they be faking that? Then things started flying around, sometimes more than I could record in my notebook. Luckily I could and did record a great many of them on tape, and without those tapes I don’t think I’d believe today what I saw then.

And is there a specific event that made you realise that this case was the real deal? I suppose the best one was seeing a heavy armchair slide backwards and fall over when there was nobody near it. You actually saw that? I’ve also done some research on the case and there were reports of levitation (and I am not talking about the pics of the girls jumping from bed to bed), what are your thoughts on that? Yes I saw that but I didn’t witness the levitation directly, but the lollipop lady right across the road did, and said so very clearly several times to the media. And the girl didn’t just levitate - she went through the wall into the house next door and left a book there. There was no normal way either she or it could have got there as there was nobody in the house at the time. It was absolutely impossible, but it happened. This is what psychical research is all about. I have heard the audio tapes of Janet speaking in a gruff, throaty voice, can you remember much about it and what’s your take on it? Yes, that’s the kind of thing you don’t forget. I was there, and taped the whole session. It was an extraordinary noise for a young girl to make and we even got hold of a speech therapist later who was totally freaked out and wouldn’t even give me a statement. People’s reactions to these things are almost as interesting as the phenomena.

You remained on the case for 18 months so, was it as intense for the whole duration or was there a natural ending to the case? It was far more intense early on. Once I managed to record ten incidents in a single minute. The ending was quite abrupt and followed the visit by a Dutch medium who said he was going to stop things and apparently did without seeming to do anything. It may have been a case of indirect suggestion, which any hypnotist knows can be as powerful as the direct kind. Whatever it was, it worked. He was the fifth medium to get involved at various stages, and they were all helpful in various ways. Do you think that if the press or the SPR hadn’t got involved then this would’ve just disappeared into the ether and we’d have never heard about this? No. More than once, Maurice and I deliberately stayed away to see if things would calm down, and they didn’t and we were begged to come back. Nobody else was willing or able to at least try to help, so what were we supposed to do? Just abandon them? Thanks to Guy for taking the time to speak with us and to answer the questions, having watched The Enfield Haunting and been blown away by it, I do wish I had been there back in 1977, sadly I was 8 and I don’t think my Mum would’ve allowed it. Joking apart it does show what a crazy world the paranormal is, there’s a fine line between reality and drama and an even finer line between fact and fiction.

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Haunted Magazine Issue 14

a n i n t e rv i e w w i t h


BENCE b y p au l s t e v e n s o n

Douglas Bence was born in London, but has been working from Cornwall for 25 years, as a journalist and teacher. A long career in national newspapers included the Daily Mirror and Daily Mail, but he left full-time journalism in 2008 after four years with the on-line financial website Citywire. After working for tyrants like David English and Robert Maxwell, his current webmaster and marketing work with his wife’s Natural Fibre Company is relatively painless. He still teaches part-time at Cornwall College and the WEA, has had three books published and hopes for another in 2015. He has been involved with TV documentaries for ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and Sky, but won’t talk about his guitar playing.

Douglas Bence was the reporter who broke the Enfield Poltergeist story in the Daily Mirror: “When a reader’s telephone call resulted in Daily Mirror photographer Graham Morris and I driving to Enfield all those years ago, we had no idea what we were getting into. Neither did we think we’d both feature in a Sky mini-series” 38 years later and still The Enfield Poltergeist is still as “popular” as ever, what is it do you think that has attracted so much interest so that Sky Living have commissioned a three part drama about it? I don’t think it is as ‘popular’ as ever. If you look it up on Wiki, the copy now is less than effusive and vaguely discrediting. As for the script, I understand that Maurice Grosse’s son, a lawyer, has been hiking it around in recent years. There was talk of a feature film, but after the likes of The Omen and Halloween it’s nowhere near gory enough. 

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What was it like working (if working is the right word) with Guy Lyon Playfair and Maurice Grosse? Were you there just to report what was happening or did you feel like you were taking part in something pretty amazing?

Can you tell me how you got involved in the case and what experiences and happenings you witnessed / heard during your times there? Graham Morris and I volunteered to visit the house after the neighbour Vic Nottingham kept ringing the news desk. It was, so far as I recall, a quiet night and around 11 pm. Nothing happened at the house and we got back in the car to return to the office. At that point Vic ran out and said ‘it’ had started again. We went back. Peggy


Hodgson and her four children were terrified and screaming. Various small objects were flying round the room so quickly that you couldn’t see them in flight. I might have heard them bouncing off walls and furniture, but there was so much screaming you couldn’t hear anything. It was then that Graham was hit with a Lego brick. I went back several times and took a colleague with me called George Fallows (he’s dead now) and we agreed that the family needed help and contacted the Society for Psychical Research.

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I’ve never met Guy Playfair. He wrote to me about his book and I sent him a copy of the contemporaneous note I typed when I got back to the office after the first visit. He never acknowledged it. Maurice Grosse was a gentleman who cared about the family and took his role very seriously. I was with him on the landing once when there was a noise in Janet’s room. We went in and her bedside table had toppled over. It could have a poltergeist, but Janet could also have done it herself. Maurice saw that the leg of the table was bent and convinced himself that this had been caused by a paranormal force. When I asked him if he’d checked the leg earlier (he hadn’t) he wrote me off as a sceptic. Never forget that if you look hard enough for something you’ll find it, or persuade yourself you’ve found it. The family must have been going through a terrible ordeal, did the Mirror think twice about getting involved and publishing this story for fear of any reprisals or repercussions against the family? We didn’t think twice because it was the family, through Vic Nottingham, that called us in. George, Graham and I were more concerned about the family than anything and our behaviour,

even by the standards of the day, was exemplary and in 38 years no one has ever said otherwise. The Mirror thought long and hard about publication and if I remember correctly the story hung around for around ten days before it was used on the front page. Ghostwatch in 1992, the BBC “drama” is said to be based on The Enfield Poltergeist case, are you worried that The Enfield Haunting will over dramatize certain things and will just make the doubters doubt even more? It’s a Sky mini-series, a drama that is only based on the facts; it doesn’t have to follow them. It’s not a documentary. How they dramatize it is up to them. This doesn’t worry me as you suggest. They weren’t there and can never know the truth. The only way the story can sustain interest for three instalments in my opinion is by focussing on Maurice Grosse who had recently lost a daughter, I believe in a motorcycle accident, and he thought she may been trying to contact him from the other side.  Why do you think that this case made the national press? Was it the era? You don’t get much national press coverage of the paranormal these days, and I think the one before The Enfield Poltergeist was back in 1929 and from my recollection there’s been no national “paranormal” stories since. Why?

Short answer is that The Daily Mirror used to report on the findings of Harry Price but the

paper dumped him when he was apparently exposed as a fraud, this may have been a reason as to why national newspapers were reluctant to feature anything like that, until 1977 that is. While the Enfield story has made headlines over the years it is because the early manifestations were well documented and Maurice Grosse was a character who earned people’s respect. The headlines didn’t happen immediately after the Mirror piece. The socalled ‘red tops’ left it alone and

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probably thought the Mirror had lost its marbles. The first to follow was The Observer and then not for some weeks. The Paranormal is as popular as ever, there are more paranormal events companies than ever before, giving members of the public the chance to pay to go ghost hunting, do you think that this is a good thing or takes away some kind of work that private paranormal investigators are doing?


“I never saw drawers opening or tables moving, small objects flying about, yes. As for the voices, I never accepted those.” - Douglas Bence

Mostly I think this is harmless, but the introduction of a commercial component could encourage fraud. The former police college at Bramshill House in Hampshire is said to be one of the most haunted houses in England and there were a number of open days last year before the place was sold. I see nothing wrong in this. But paying to witness the paranormal can be similar to the Victorian exhibitions of the weird and grotesque - The Elephant Man and all that. People can do what they like, but I don’t approve of that kind of thing. Do you believe in ghosts? Can you explain your views on the paranormal? Have they changed over the years? The short answer is no. But I believe the human mind is capable of creating images that


aren’t there - it is quite common, I believe, for the bereaved to ’see’ a deceased parent, for example. I also think there are energies on the planet that we are not able to measure or understand. My views haven’t changed much over the years. There’s been allegations that this was made up by the family and the daughters in question, what are your thoughts on that? Margaret and Janet have admitted making things up and this is probably the reason that the Green Street affair isn’t quite as highly rated in paranormal terms as it was. I never saw drawers opening or tables moving, small objects flying about, yes. As for the voices, I never accepted those. What got you into journalism in the first place, what’s the

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strangest story that you have had to investigate? Journalism was always where I intended to go, but all my ideals of truth seeking have been dented over the years. As I enjoy people, know how to ask questions and can string a few sentences together, it came pretty naturally and I was proud to have worked for the Daily Mirror when it was a great newspaper selling four million copies a day. Although the Green Street story has lasted and sticks out, it isn’t alone. As has been pointed out many times, truth is stranger than fiction. And finally, nearly 40 years after it occurred have your views, opinions and thoughts changed on what you saw, witnessed and heard back in 1977? Not at all.


There are many alternative versions, theories, shades of truth and sides of what really happened at 284 Green Street, Enfield and now with the success of the Sky Living dramatization of it this has only added fuel to the fire of what actually happened, the fine line between fact and fiction has never been more so. We weren’t there so we will never know what happened de facto and no matter how much research we have done, or who we have spoken to, we will never know the full and unequivocal truth, which frustrates the hell out of us but intrigues us even more.


Green Street is an unassuming residential road in an area called Brimsdown - part of the London Borough of Enfield. If you’ve ever ridden the Stanstead Express, you will have passed Brimsdown without even knowing it- at the eastern end of Green Street there is a level crossing, through which trains regularly whisk between Stanstead airport and Liverpool Street station. Blink and you’d miss it… In the 1970s, 284 Green Street was home to Peggy Hodgson, a single mum with four children: Margaret (aged 12), Janet (11), Johnny (10) and Billy (7). It was on the evening of August 30th 1977 that weird things began to happen in the Hodgson’s Enfield residence…

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Upstairs, in one of the bedrooms, the children were alarmed to feel their beds wobbling. Janet called down to her mum - but Peggy, understandably, suspected that her kids were mucking about and shouted back up at them to settle down and get to sleep. The following night at around 9.30pm, Peggy heard a loud crash. Assuming her children were once again up to mischief, she stomped upstairs to administer a scolding. As she entered the bedroom with orders to “pack it in”, Peggy spotted a chest of drawers being hauled forward by its own accord. Instinctively, she attempted to force the furniture back- but was thwarted by an unseen force, which appeared to be pushing its might against her- rather like two opposing magnets.

So I go through all the pipesno airlocks, nothing like thatand it wasn’t a knock like that anyway; it was a distinctive knock on the wall.”

Next came the noises; odd knocks and taps which started to rap around the house. Scared witless, the family hastily donned their dressing gowns and slippers and fled, seeking refuge with their next door neighbours, the Nottingham’s’. Head of the Nottingham household was Vic; a roofer by trade whose tough demeanour and practical nature made him the ideal candidate to inspect the strange goings on. Hoping to calm his terrified neighbours, Vic ventured into the house- he later described his experience in a 1978 radio documentary: “All I could here was this knocking… and I didn’t know what it was; no idea what it was; just a strange knock on the wall. I went up the stairs and this knock followed me; three distinctive knocks on the wall. I carried on up the stairs into the front bedroom and there were three knocks on the wall again… strange I thought to myself. I’m beginning to shake. I go into the back bedroom… same thing again; the knocks followed me. Anyway, being in the building game I thought to myself, well I’ve got to have a look around the house; be brave like to try and find out what it is.

Vic popped back next door and fetched his son and grandfather. The three men positioned themselves at different rooms within the house- and each reported the distinctive knocks at their separate locations. With even Vic spooked, the Green Street residents decided to phone the law - whose first question was “have you been drinking?” Reluctantly, the police sent a squad car with two constables from nearby Ponders End. The police too heard the distinctive knocking and, downstairs, WPC Carolyn Heaps witnessed a chair move unaided across the floor; something which she testified to in an official document- a brave move considering the possible ridicule from her friends and colleagues: “On Thursday, 1st September 1977 at approximately 1am I was on duty in my capacity as a police woman when I received a radio message to Green Street, Enfield. I heard the sound of knocking on the wall... Within a few minutes the eldest son pointed to a chair, which was standing next to the sofa. I looked at the chair and noticed it was wobbling slightly from side to side. I saw the chair slide across the floor towards the kitchen wall. It moved approximately 3-4 feet and then came to rest.”

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Although sympathetic, the police had to inform the family that the ominous situation could not be classed as a police matter- after all, no crime had been committed… Nervously, the Hodgson’s returned to their home, but over the following months, the distressing activity would grow far worse… much of it witnessed by friends, neighbours, psychic investigators, council workers and news reporters. One phenomenon involved Lego bricks and marbles being hurled around the house at high speeds and odd angles- which, even more bizarrely, would stop dead still rather than bouncing when they landed.

They were also hot to touch when picked up. One journalist from The Daily Mirror was hit just above the eye by one of these small missiles- and received a small lump, a testament to the velocity at which the items were being hurled.


Soon, larger objects were being flung. One reporter witnessed a t-shirt hop off of a table and fly across the room. The living room sofa was seen to lift above the ground … and then spin around. The bulky television shuffled position and, in the children’s bedroom, a brick was wrenched away from the fireplace. Puddles appeared and cups filled themselves with water. Matches were scorched in their boxes and a pair of oven gloves selfcombusted. A mirror also caught fire … the charred remains of which were later collected by Turner-Prize nominee artist, Cornelia Parker, as part of her 1997 art installation. On one particular night, the BBC set up camp at 284 Green Street to capture audio evidence … only to later find that metal components in the machine had been bent and the recordings erased. Terrified, Peggy and her children took to sleeping in the same room, where they would huddle together with the light kept on.

In an attempt to garner some clarity, the editor of the Daily Mirror, George Fallows appealed to the Kensington based Society for Psychical Research (SPR) to come and see if they could work out what was going on. For the next 13 months, the Hodgson’s and their home were put under intense scrutiny. Maurice Grosse, a former military man and veteran of the Dunkirk evacuation, led the investigation. After the war, Maurice had established himself as an inventor- his most successful patent being the rotating advertising board. Tragically, in August 1976, his 22-year-old daughter, Janet was killed in a motorbike accident. It was her death, which led Maurice to join the Society for Psychical Research, no doubt as a way of helping to cope with his grief. Although open to psychic phenomenon, Maurice’s background as an inventor meant that his mind worked in a scientific, methodical manner and as such he was considered the ideal analyst for the Enfield haunting. He was soon joined by another experienced investigator; Guy Lyon Playfair who published an account of the haunting in 1980. At first, Guy was reluctant to become involved; convinced that the whole thing was a hoax. However, when he arrived at the house, he soon changed his mind… By now, the events at Green Street had become even more intense. As well as household objects being lobbed around, 11 year old Janet - who appeared to be the poltergeist’s main focuswas herself subjected to apparent


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levitations. An example of this, which took place one morning at approximately 3am, was caught by an automatic camera, which had been installed by the investigators:

On two occasions, two separate witnesses outside the house with a view towards the bedroom window claimed they spotted Janet floating in the air. The first sighting, which took place at around lunchtime on December 15th 1977, was attributed to Hazel Short; a lollipop lady who worked on the zebra crossing close to the Hodgson’s home: “All of a sudden I heard a bang… and saw a book hit the front bedroom window and that was followed by a pillow, then the book, then the pillow again. All of a sudden, I saw Janet going up and down in front of the windowI thought she was jumping up and down on the bed, but when I looked she was horizontal going up and down with her arms and legs going everywhere; I suppose about half a dozen times. It was

frightening… I didn’t think it would be, because to be truthful… I was a bit sceptical… well after that I wasn’t.” The second witness was John Rainbow, a baker delivering bread to the school opposite. “Before that day I would never have believed anything about it although I had heard various rumours about what had been going on in the house. The child appeared to float around the roomat the same time the curtains were blowing into the room as if there were a draught- although the windows were completely closed… articles and the child appeared to be revolving around the room in a clockwise direction. The child’s arm banged against the window twice and I was frightened that the force she banged against it- that the window frame would’ve gone- I fully expected her to drop onto the road. I was frightened, there’s no doubt about it.” Even more disturbingly, the poltergeist was supposedly beginning to talk through Janet … The young girl, who also suffered from alarming seizures, would often adopt a deep, gruff voice which identified itself as belonging to a mysterious figure called ‘Bill.’ Janet would speak in the gravelly, menacing voice for hours at a time. In one experiment, she was made to hold a quantity of water in her mouth … yet the voice still came through. Further vocal tests were carried out by a Professor from Birckbeck College (now part of the University of London) who concluded that it was next to impossible to speak at length in such a way due to the damage

such speech would cause to the vocal cords. The academic also stated his belief that Janet was not producing the voice consciously. Unsurprisingly, some sceptics accused the 11 year old of ventriloquism- which led Maurice Grosse to offer a £1,000 reward for anybody who could replicate a similar voice. There were no takers. With his often foul language and grumpy attitude ‘Bill’ made for a very sinister houseguest. In one session - which, like many others, was caught on tape - Bill, speaking through Janet, stated that he had once lived and died at the Green Street home. However you chose to look at it, the description of death, which the supposed entity provides is most disturbing when you remember that it is being spoken by an 11-year-old girl: “Before I died I went blind … then I had a haemorrhage and I fell asleep and I died in a chair in a corner downstairs” Three years after the main events of the haunting, the Hodgson family were contacted by a man who claimed that his father William (aka ‘Bill’) Wilkins had indeed lived in the house years before…and had died of a brain haemorrhage whilst resting in an armchair. By the autumn of 1978 the hauntings began to die down. However, the knocks and taps continued and there was a further burst of activity during the summer of 1980. Following the haunting, the lives of the Hodgson’s were far from blessed. Johnny died of cancer aged just 14 and Janet lost a baby son to cot death when she was 18. Speaking, a few years ago, Janet

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said in a rare interview: “I know from my own experience that it was real… it lived off me, off my energy. Call me mad or a prankster if you like. Those events did happen. The poltergeist was with me- and I feel in a sense that he always will be.” In 2003, Peggy Hodgson died and the Green Street home was taken over by Clare Bennet who, like Peggy, was a single mum with four children- although in this case they were all boys. Of her time at Green Street, Clare said that she frequently felt a presence; as if she were being watched- at first, she had no idea of the home’s dubious history. Her boys would sometimes wake up in the middle of the night, saying that they could hear voices downstairs. One of the lads; 15 year old Shaka, claimed he was woken up in the middle of one night and confronted by a ghostly vision of a man standing in the room. The Bennet’s stuck Green Street for just two months. We hope that our interpretation of what really happ ened frustrates the he ll out of you but intrig ues you more. We can’t sa y it’s 100% factual or 100% fictitious but it may provide some nugg ets that you were unaware about. It won’t give an yone “closure” and I don’t think there’s ev er going to be one full an d frank version of events that will do this. Th is is why WE love the para normal and this is why YOU love it too. That much is true!!





30 EAST DRIVE, PONTEFRACT Ten years before we were aware of the terror of the haunted Amityville House and the horror of the Enfield hauntings there was another, more sinister, more violent and much more horrific Poltergeist wreaking havoc on a semidetached house on a quiet residential street in the town of Pontefract. 30 East Drive was the home of the Pritchard family, consisting of Jean and Jo Pritchard, Philip aged 15, their son and Diane, their daughter aged 12. The aptly named Poltergeist House is an unassuming semi-detached house that was so haunted it caused a family to flee in terror. The house itself stands at the top of a hill, on the corner of an area that was once used for the town gallows. Haunted Magazine Issue 14


THE OTHER POLTERGEIST HOUSE 30 East Drive, Pontefract Named The Poltergeist House, the occupants of 30 East Drive endured unbearable suffering at the hands of what became known as the Black Monk of Pontefract. Seen as a mysteriously robed figure by many, the entity was thought to be responsible for the terrifying activity that occurred here in 1966. Author Tom Cunniff identified the Poltergeist as a 16th century monk who was hung for the rape and murder of a girl during the reign of Henry VIII. Intriguingly the Pritchard’s house was built next to the site of the town gallows. This overwhelming paranormal activity included objects levitating on their own, things flying through the air, unexplained knocks and taps, things disappearing and then reappearing from nowhere, disgusting smells like farm animals, furniture being turned over or stacked up, pictures being ripped from walls and torn, pools of water forming from nowhere and intense drops of temperature. The appearance of this cloaked figure was captured on cameras.

Fear could not even begin to describe how the Pritchard family felt about this unwelcome visitor to their home and in their attempts to rid it of this malicious entity they contacted a local vicar who unsuccessfully attempted to exorcise the house. The police were called on many occasions due to the violent outbursts of this poltergeist and in fact even a local MP visited in an attempt to validate the fact that this was not a figment of imagination.


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“This overwhelming paranormal activity included objects levitating on their own, things flying through the air, unexplained knocks and taps, things disappearing and then reappearing from nowhere, disgusting smells like farm animals, furniture being turned over or stacked up, pictures being ripped from walls and torn, pools of water forming from nowhere and intense drops of temperature. “

All three reputable bodies bore witness to what was happening to this family but were failed to be believed.

The activity first began in August 1966, a Bank Holiday weekend. 15 year old Philip was at home with his grandmother. She noticed feeling an icy breeze that made her shudder even though it was a really hot day. When Philip returned home white powder covered both himself and his grandmother, they were both terrified but became even more afraid when they noticed pools of water forming on the floor. When more and more puddles appeared the water board were called but no reason for the leaks could be discovered. That night other things began to happen which were hard to believe, things in the kitchen moving on their own and tea leaves being emptied over the worktops.

In the chaos the Grandmother screamed for it to stop. Suddenly there was a loud crash in the hallway and the lights started to turn off and on

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THE OTHER POLTERGEIST HOUSE 30 East Drive, Pontefract by themselves. As they moved through the hallway they found objects on the stairs along with bangs from other rooms. The boy and his Grandmother were frankly terrified. This chaos went on for hours, with cupboards opening and closing, crockery banging and heavy objects of furniture moving of their own accord. Philip and his Grandmother were so terrified they slept at a neighbour’s, fleeing the house in fear. By the time Jo and Jean had returned from their vacation things had settled down and for a couple of years there was nothing to write home about. When it returned though it came back with a vengeance and plagued the family for years. In fact it became so commonplace that the family learned not to react and they even named the Poltergeist “FRED”. Things took a distinct turn for the worse though when Diane, the daughter started to become the main focus for Fred. He would physically manifest himself, showing himself as a black-cloaked figure hovering over her bed. He would throw her from her bed, drag her up the stairs by her throat and scratch her neck. When she was around there would be objects sent crashing through the air and when anybody came to the house to visit Fred would make large crashing sounds sending their guests fleeing from the house. The two exorcisms that were performed by the local vicar only served to exacerbate the situation.


The intensity of this Poltergeist prompted a film to be based on The Black Monk of Pontefract ‘When the Lights Went Out’ directed by Pat Holden. Jean Pritchard was Holden’s aunt and he witnessed these extraordinary occurrences first hand. Next-door neighbour, Carol Fieldhouse, said things started to take a sinister turn shortly after this film was released. Carol didn’t know the former owner Philip Pritchard had just sold the long-empty property to the film’s producer, Bil Bungay who is the current owner of this notorious property. The family fled the house as in the end they truly feared for their lives, in particular for the life of their daughter Diane, who had suffered so much at Fred’s evil hands. Haunted Happenings made the decision to carry our ghost hunts at the property and what we have found to date confirms that something really is going on here.

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With morse-code type tapping and bright lights shining out under the doors along with trigger objects going off constantly, this activity is hard to ignore. We have put web cams downstairs and watched what happens upstairs and it is phenomenal. We have many nights of ghost hunting booked throughout this year, including the Halloween week where will be watching the film ‘When the Lights Went Out’ - the movie about the house in the actual house prior to the ghost hunt. An experience definitely not to be missed. If you would like to book a ghost hunt at The Poltergeist House, 30 East Drive then please visit our website and book online at or and visit our Project Hauntings section on the websites. Alternatively you can call to book on 0115 9720570

Hazel Ford

Haunted Happenings


Bil Bungay, Ad Man, Film Producer and new owner of the property reflects on the not so well known poltergeist story…. And ponders why he bought it.

“What possessed me (forgive the pun) to buy the most infamous haunted house in Europe? Simply because I had recently made a movie about the house called When The Lights Went Out with director and good friend of mine, and native of Pontefract, Pat Holden*. After completing the movie, I was looking for original ways of promoting When the Lights Went Out when I discovered that the actual house, where all these incredible events allegedly happened, was for sale – and it was…err, cheap – so I bought it! This resulted in the coolest Red Carpet Movie Premier ever (check it out here watch?v=ttFE6pqLsus), where two competition winners walked the tiny red carpet down the garden path into Number 30 East Drive to watch the movie about that actual house.  Of course, the truth is that despite having visited a very dark house in Coventry whilst researching for the film (check it out here https://vimeo. com/46430166) and spoken with a family that were being terrorised by a poltergeist, I still remained stoically sceptical. To me, IF the Black Monk ever existed, then surely after 40 years, it would be long gone?? An assumption that proved to be terrifyingly wrong. During a gathering of the stars of the movie at the house, I met the neighbour Carol.

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She was quick to inform me that now the house was once again open to visitors – lots of visitors, the activity had started again in earnest – ‘and by the way, Fred was stood by the stairs observing us’. Turned out that Carol was something of a psychic and had encountered the poltergeist a number of times in her adjoining property. Needless to say, I was reluctant to regard her comments with anything less than the same healthy degree of scepticism I had carried around with me since I was first told the story by Pat some 20 years earlier. For me the idea of making a movie about a ‘poltergeist that moved into a council house’, instead of the clichéd creaking mansion house or dank medieval castle, was a sitter – I didn’t feel I needed to believe in the existence of ghosts or poltergeists in order or justify making a movie about them. I mean – come on?!



Then I met Hannah Clifford and Tasha Connor, the two starlets from my movie and suggested a photo as a memento. As we posed, a friend took a pic on my iPhone – and a phone with 75% charge went flat and died in a beat. I tried not to think anything of that either, blaming a technical fault on a perfectly healthy iPhone, but I had to let the photo opportunity slip. Or so I had thought. After I had recharged my phone I checked to see if the pic was there, to no avail. In fact it wasn’t until weeks later that the photo suddenly appeared on the phone. I was fairly sure it hadn’t been taken and I am certain it wasn’t in my photo library immediately after I had recharged my phone, I checked thoroughly. Then the stories started coming in from Carol the neighbour and now Key Holder of the house. Reports of 3-4am bumps and bangs coming from number 30, glowing blue balls of ‘energy’ in the corridor, the duvet on Carol’s son’s bed being formed into the shape of a man on his bed, the black shadow of a very tall entity coming through the wall into her house and so on. ‘It’ was back! Or rather, the truth it seemed was that ‘It’ had always been there, living in quiet harmony with Jean Pritchard all the while, as in fact the activities had ‘restarted’ before I took possession of the property with the apparent sound of a TV blaring in Number 30, despite the property being completely empty; a report that had Phillip Pritchard, now in his late 50’s, understandably quite alarmed.

Haunted Magazine Issue 14

“THEN I WITNESSED SOMETHING INDISPUTABLE, WITH MY OWN FLIPPING EYES” A documentary about the house was being made and I took the opportunity to visit the production crew on their last day of filming. Being professionals they were fairly understated about any events that may have happened while they had filmed at the property; the kettle switching on and ‘superheating’ of its own volition, the case of the constantly missing thermostat (the remote kind that you sit on the mantelpiece), the researcher being pinned down onto the bed in the small room (might have been a night terror?) and my personal favourite – possible evidence of the poltergeist’s continuing fascination with keys?

Back in the Pritchard’s day, a bunch of keys consisting of all the keys of the house fell from the chimney when Jean was brushing the flue (including a peculiar key said to be a large medieval door key) – so it was intriguing to me that a bunch of keys belonging to one of the producers had gone missing. The crew hunted high and low and had all but given up finding them when someone had the idea to look inside the old vacuum cleaner I had purchased from a charity shop to dress the house. To my knowledge, it doesn’t work. And even if it did it would never have the power to suck up a heavy bunch of keys! Plus, I suspect you’d notice if you did… The crew hit the road at around 2am leaving me alone with two colleagues to tidy up. I went out into the garden to clear up any litter. Now what’s interesting is that when you are in an environment like that – a place with a paranormal reputation – you find yourself being extra

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vigilant (and by now my spider senses were more than tingling). You think about every move you make. ‘I am picking up this piece of litter, I am walking it to the wheelie bin, I am lifting the bin lid’, and so on. So I remember clearly that it was a very cold and calm night, the streets were completely clear and I was definitely alone outside. I looked at the double gates and naturally wanted to secure them before my departure. One side of the wrought iron double gate was open, so I closed it, dropped the plunger into the hole and pushed, using a bit of effort, a concrete block against the gate securing it firmly. Nothing less than a determined individual was going to open that gate. And before you say it – there’s no slope, no spring in the gate, no bush to hide a prankster in, nothing. I turned back towards the house and decided it was time to get my colleagues out of the house for us to hit the road.



They came racing out of the kitchen door (the only door I had the key for and therefore the only door open) and were understandably very relieved to finally get out. I’d lock the door and we’d be done. Except the keys had gone. No sign of them. But that wasn’t the half of it. I glanced over at the back gate one last time and to my horror, the side I had closed 2 minutes earlier – plunger and all – was open again, and I mean completely open – 90 degrees, the concrete block simply pushed aside! My first response (everyone does it) was to accuse my two colleagues of playing tricks on me, but I knew they had been upstairs installing a lampshade (in the dark!) the whole time. I definitely closed the gate and there was absolutely no one out at all. The hairs on the back of my neck took about an hour to settle back down. It wasn’t until the following day, when the locksmith was replacing the lock, which Carol my psychic neighbour casually explained to me that it “happened all the time”. ‘It’ or ‘Fred’, as by now I too had started to call him out of some form of respect (in the vain hope that he would spare me), moved around the neighbourhood, this confirmed by other neighbours that have subsequently complained to me personally about the entity running passed their windows after hours… as if I could somehow stop ‘Fred’ from freaking out the locals?? Friends have since had the courage to stay overnight – smart, grounded, healthily sceptical friends. The list of things that occurred to them boggled the mind, subtle stuff, but nevertheless real – Other visitors described columns of icecold air in the corridor, every radiator in the house being turned up full (reported by a friend that installs radiators, he had turned them all down himself and was bemused by what had turned them all full on by the morning) and the cupboard under the stairs being impossible to open – trust me, it opens easily… Only one group of friends seemingly had nothing happen to them, but I had observed how calm the house felt when they went for their visit. Plus they did reach for the beers (perfectly understandable!) and it is recognised that stimulants are not advised if you


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want to experience something paranormal – don’t ask me why, but a lot of the stuff can be quite subtle, and a few bevvies have been known to take the edges of things! That said, when we walked in Darren from next door was trying to put a hundred pieces of puzzle, that had been spread all over the carpet, back into their box – except the box was thoroughly taped up, as it had been since I bought it from the charity shop. He broke the side of the box in my presence to return the pieces. So now what? Well, given no one wants to buy my house (which is fair enough I suppose) yet

many people have expressed an interest in visiting – so why not offer it up to visitors? Not as your run-of-the-mill guesthouse, but something out this world, literally. But here’s the thing, I pay the council tax on the goddam place and I promise you I have never stayed there and nor do I have any intention of staying there! I know, I know “lightweight” I hear you say – but I have now firmly left the School of Sceptic. There is definitely something deeply profound and intimidating (though I am of the view there is a scientific explanation – but that’s another story**) in this house, so frankly I think you’d be nuts to stay here!”

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* Pat’s association with the house is a family connection with his mother Rene Holden, a(nother) psychic and relative of the Pritchards, having spent many days and evenings at number 30 witnessing a large number of paranormal events. ** Theoretical physicists can visit for free.


DR LAMB AND THE WITCHES £500 to build which was a small fortune, built by Phillip Henslowe and Edward Alleyn around 1600, it was open till 1642 when Oliver Cromwells puritan stance forbid such public shows although secret performances continued it was landscaped in 1661 for more housing.

The above engraving shows Dr Lamb attacked by the mob at Finsbury

I’m very familiar with the location in our next case in the Lowdown of Witches as I passed through Finsbury Park every day for about 23 years on my way to work. There once stood a very grand Theatre called the “Fortune Theatre” named after the Goddess Fortuna in which it had a statue at the front entrance. It was the height of exuberance and grandeur , a luxurious playhouse fit for such gentry. It had an open yard rectangle in shape and covered by a roof and had large changing rooms. It cost


It had an infamous guest on the night of 13th June 1628, 83 year old Dr John Lamb,(sometimes spelt Lambe) I have no details on what he was watching that night but for one thing it would be Dr John Lamb,s last performance


on this earth! Once outside the Theatre he would be recodnized and attacked by a mob who beat the old man so badly, it was said every bone in his body was broken. Although King Charles when hearing his friend was attacked sent the guard to his rescue, but they arrived too late. Dr John Lamb would die in his bed next day from his injuries. What is amazing about this fellow is that he had no docterate, he failed his exams at the college of physicians. But he remained a Kings favourite and bestowed upon himself the title of Doctor.

A rare engraving of the Fortune theatre in Finsbury park about 1600

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Very little is known about his early life but the consequences of knowing this man would bring many a person an early grave. He was in early life a teacher of writing for children in Worcestershire but made a reputation of a cunning man well known in astrology and magic. He claimed to read fortunes ,identify diseases, repel witchcraft and could locate stolen items with the use of a crystal ball. He attracted the attention of one of King James VI favourites Duke George Villiars of Buckingham. George Villiars had caught the Kings attentions in 1614 and was promoted to “Royal cupbearer” as the friendship blossomed he became “Duke of Buckingham “and was knighted, becoming Viscount Villiars. He would be given lands in Ireland and built huge estates there. He fashioned himself after Francis Drake and tried to repeat Drakes daring attack upon the Spanish in Cadiz where Drake surprised the Spanish on land and burned the fleet waiting in supposed safety down in the harbour. The Duke of Buckingham certainly landed in Cadiz with an army, albeit miles from the harbour, marched his army till they came to store rooms holding vast quantities of wine where the army helped themselves and feasted drunkenly on the booty. They got so drunk they could do nothing but find their way back to their own ships and go home to total humiliation.

THE UNFORTUNATE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM King James enemies laughed. But the Duke of Buckingham,s association with the magician Lamb had been the talk in the taverns, Lambs teachings and weirdness had not gone unnoticed. They thought he had demonic connections and was blamed for a recent Whirlwind that had struck down the Thames river destroying several boats and had uncovered some graves at a local church. With the king now interested in Lambs work he could charge £40- £50 a session which angered people even more. Mocking chants carried where Dr Lamb went…

“Who rules the kingdom—the King” “Who rules the King--- the Duke” “Who rules the Duke---the Devil (Dr Lamb)” The gossip mongers carried on the hatred of Dr Lamb. Lamb to demonstrate his greatness invited some of those abusers to his house and gave a demonstration of his powers. He conjured up a small tree and then 3 little woodsmen to cut the tree down to the horror of all the watchers. Things backfired hugely when one took home the felled tree and suffered a violent storm in his own house he claimed! This fueled talk of his demonic abilities but Lamb was protected by the arm of the Duke of Buckingham so no one moved against him.

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THE UNFORTUNATE DUKE OF BUCKINGHAM (CONT...) In 1623 he was finally charged with using Witchcraft and charms and was held in Worcester castle. But his fellow inmates started to die one by one of a strange illness and the Magistrates influenced by the Duke of Buckinghams pleas and generally scared at the mysterious deaths relocated him to London. By this time the 77 year old man “apologised that his mind was so perplexed and his memory weakened” At liberty again he was next accused of raping an 11 year old girl called Joan Seager in which he was given the death penalty. Again the Duke of Buckingham influenced the court getting a postponement of execution. To celebrate his liberty and toast his saviour the Dukes good health he went to the Theatre in Finsbury to celebrate. Once outside the hated Dr John Lamb was attacked and beaten by a mob in the street…although the town guard was called for his rescue, he died next day from his wounds. Every bone in his body was broken! His saviour The Duke of Buckingham would himself be knifed in a bar in Portsmouth 23rd August 1628 two months later by a disgruntled officer refused promotion in the Greyhound Pub. He was about to commence another sea voyage and died in the pub grounds. Dr Lambs fame never stopped with his death, a pamphlet surfaced on the streets of London and became a bestseller, next came a play from the very theatre he was last at “the Fortune theatre” called “DR LAMB AND THE WITCHES”in 1634.


An epitath was published it read….

Here Dr Lamb the conjurer lyes , Against his will untimely died, The Divell did show himself a glutton, By taking this Lamb before he was mutton, The Divell in Hell will roast him there, Whom the prentises basted there In Hell they wondered whence he came To see among the goats a Lamb. Further consequenses of Dr John Lambs association would eventually catch up with his own house maid Anne Bodenham! In 1653 when she was now in her 80s she was accused of conjuring evil spirits, entertaining diabolical imps and casting spells. She was written in the trial at Shaftsbury Dorset as “a cunning woman who suffered after finding a reprieve for her crimes was not coming, she said to her jailor when he came to take her to the scaffold, “take me now, I am ready” in a jolly manner” Edmond Bower who was a legal secretary watched her confession and hanging and turned her story and association of Dr Lamb into a pamphlet which sold well on the streets. “Necessary for all good christians to read” he depicted her with all the gusto of what everyone associated a Witch with..a black cat and decrepit. But in reality she had married well and could afford glasses, but her past with Dr Lamb never left her.

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BRIDGET CLEARY Another summer day beckons, and I’m lucky to live next to miles of golden sandy beaches, when the suns out it’s time to head on down to my favourite pub, The Crusoe Hotel, right in the centre of Largo bay. A view to die for sitting on the pier being blasted by the sun’s rays, me with a couple of bottles of Magners with the pint glass full of ice. It’s picturesque so it is, and as sit admiring the view I humbly raise a Magners bottle to the cider gods. I read the label “ Brewed in Clonmel”…..and it’s here to Clonmel now we take THE LOWDOWN ON WITCHES to a surprisingly modern Witch hunt in Southern Ireland, who would think the madness of the Witch-hunt’s would prevail to the end of Queen Victoria’s reign… there certainly was something brewing in Clonmel March 1895… and it wasn’t the cider!

In August 1887 Bridget Boland married Michael Cleary, she was a dressmaker and egg seller, he a Cooper. Both respectable jobs and with a working background they bought a house in Clonmel . For an age of no contraception and large families, 9 years later Bridget and Michael Cleary still had no children. She seemed untroubled by this and a very independent woman, business like and although not a mother she was a good house keeper. Bridget in 1894 was 26 years old and with a basket of eggs to sell she set off on the 4th of March over the Kilegranach hills to the nearby market to sell them. Michael sat at home pretty annoyed, his wife was late home, much later than usual! When she did turn up at the house it was in coughing fits,

she was obviously ill suffering headaches and congestion. Michael sat stony faced, studying his Wife… to him she seemed different, she spoke differently and seemed taller, he remained quiet bringing a doctor to see her then a Priest. The Doctor prescribed some medicines to

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combat what he saw as early Bronchitis leaving a bottle of thick yellowish liquid to be taken with water three times a day. Michael never trusted the Doctor saying he was “a drunk” and a “fairy doctor” he spoke to the local Minister saying “people may have some remedy of their own that may do more good that doctors medicine”.


THE CHANGELING: BRIDGET CLEARY (CONT...) You see Michael was convinced that his Wife…was not his wife! She had gone through the wooded Kilegranach hills a place famed for the haunt of Witches and faeries, she had come back hours later not his wife but a changeling! fairies had taken her and replaced his wife with another. The traditional method of ridding yourself a faery was special herbs boiled in “beastings” which was new milk from a newly calved cow…so rich its totally unpleasant to drink, Michael over the next few days forced his ill wife to drink this hellish concoction shouting at her “take it you witch”. Bridget’s father and cousins watched as the proceedings got more sinister. Once the minister Father Ryan gave her Holy Communion in her bed and while administering the holy sacrament as bread into her mouth, she was noted as taking it out her mouth and secretly rubbing it in her bed clothes. Michael had made up his own mind …this was not his wife!


The Cleary household where Bridget was murdered

Iron and fire were the known weapons against faeries, as was human urine and hen droppings all mixed together, so it was documented in Irish folklore. They administered the hellish beastings to her while shouting out…”away with you, come home Bridget Boland in the name of god” this was done by the entire family while slapping her and shouting violently. It went on for 10 days!

They then on March 14 raised her body over a burning fireplace in the living room, holding a limb each, again screaming for the faery to leave. The fireplace was sufficiently spacious for a person to be slung across and one foot wide at the fire grate. They took down Bridget who screamed in agony and lay her in front of the fire, Michael stripped his wife naked poured oils over her and inserted a burning timber into her

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mouth, what happened next has confusing confessions from all that were present. What did happen was Bridget erupted in flames and burnt while everyone watched…she was weakened by her illness couldn’t fight back and gave up her fight for life. Folk tradition in Ireland concerning Faeries suggest when the Faerie changeling has been destroyed, from the forest where the person was abducted, the

Faeries will release the person, and they should wander from the forest into freedom upon a white horse. Michael buried his wife’s burnt body in a field not far from his own house, he waited at the forest for her to appear….it was a long wait! All that turned up were the police who eventually arrested all nine family members. Bridget’s body was found on 22 March by members of the Royal Irish Constabulary in a field. At the trial at Clonmel courthouse Father Ryan, Mary Kennedy (Aunt), Patrick Boland (father) William Patrick, Michael and James Kennedy (cousins) Patrick Dunne, William Ahearn and Denis Ganey (Denis known as the herb doctor) had to walk through the streets from the jail to the courthouse where they were abused by all who were disgusted at what they had done. All stood in the dock charged with Bridget’s murder. William Simpson and his wife testified as witnesses of the awful murder and what treatment Bridget was subjected to. All through the trial Michael stood un-repented, he denied it was his wife he

put on the fire, he stuck to his belief that she was nothing but a changeling stolen by Witches and faery folk at Kilegranach woods. The judge was not impressed by Michael’s ignorance and he was convicted of manslaughter- sentenced to 20 years hard labour, Patrick Boland got 6 months, and the rest got between 3-5 year sentences each. Michael served 15 years and was released on the 28th April 1910 where he went to Liverpool, he was last noted as having emigrated from Liverpool to Montreal on 30th June of that year. Bridget’s body was strangely unclaimed by any members of her family (her father and cousins were now in jail) and the Church wanted nothing to do with her, (probably because of the scandal of father Ryan being involved) so poor Bridget Cleary was given a paupers burial beside her own mother at the Dragan and Cloneen Parish Church by members of the Police. Ireland for as religious a country as it is strangely devoid of the Witch-hunt

Bridget Cleary’s Last Resting Place in Drangan and Cloneen Parish Church

madness that overtook Europe. It did have a few trials; between 1324 and 1711 it had a total of 6! There was of course widespread fear of superstition especially the folklore on Faeries. The Witchcraft act remained law in Ireland till as late as 1821, but it was hardly used. What is fascinating is the English newspapers tried to discredit The Bridgit Cleary Witch-hunt as backward peasants. Michael Cleary was an educated man as his letters sent from jail certainly establish. He owned his house and had a respectable job as did his wife…but the fear of Faeries and

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Witches got the better of him, or was it a crude reason to rid a barren wombed wife, murder hidden under the shield of Witchcraft? Bridget is probably best remembered in a rhyme created during her husband’s trial…..

Is it a Witch, Or is it a faery Or is it the Wife of Michael Cleary




Scotland 1040, the winds of war again spread her wings over the Northern lands. Duncan was king of Scotland and the Norsemen under Thorfinn had risen. The Norse lords Black Raven Banners struck fear as the Viking hordes spread out from the castle stronghold of Torfness where Burghead was his headquarters. The castle (Broch) had timber ramparts 20 foot high and a masonry wall facing the sea equally as large, inside was a Viking town protected handsomely by the wall and full of battle hardened warriors. King Duncan’s attack was in two prongs, from the sea and the land. His sea galleys were no match for the Viking maritime war machine and off the coast of Caithness they met and were worsted by the Dragon figure headed fleet of Thorfinn. On land King Duncan’s force vastly outnumbered Thorfinns Vikings but valour beats odds every time. Duncan’s army contained Irish mercenaries and they were first to test the Viking steel, they fought bravely but were no match and were quickly routed off the field. Duncan


brought his standard up front to face Thorfinns men head on and the might of his army went with him. Thorfinn was the target and he could be seen fighting in his golden helmet and coat of mail, his long sword flashing in the sunlight slaying foes and leading by example he spurned on his men to defeat King Duncan’s army and send the King running from the field of slaughter. The King ran with the remains of his army and one of his lieutenants, “Mac Beth” as they ran eastwards they neared

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Bothgounan (now called Pitgaveny) near the head of Loch Spynie and it was here Mac Beth turned on his master and cut him down and killed him. With King Duncan dead Macbeth took the Scottish throne and formed a treaty with Thorfinn and hostilities ceased between the Scots and Vikings. In reality Thorfinns men were the victors on sea and land but he had lost so many men, Mac Beth if he wished could summon up more armies and finish of Thorfinn, so an uneasy peace was created that suited both parties.

What made Mac Beth turn on his master has been romanticised by William Shakespeare in his play Macbeth, meeting 3 Witches on the moors of Forres, where they prophesized he would be crowned King. Written in 1606 to great acclaim from the new British Monarch James 1st we know where he got his source material for his character Mac Beth but what about the three Witches of Forres heath? Well we have to go back to Forres in Caithness Northern Scotland to 961 AD and find yet another Scottish King who was at war with the Vikings. King Duff or (Duffus) was the 78th King of Scots 962 -967 AD and had already lost his father King Indulf to the Viking invaders four years previous, and with trouble brewing again he suddenly took ill after going through the lands of Foress and at Scone where he finally rested, he demanded a search for Witches as he was convinced at Forres he had been bewitched. Three women were soon found at Forres and its claimed they had been playing with a doll made from wax and were melting it into the fire. A waxen image of the king! The Witches were taken alive to the top of a local hill in Forres called Cluny Hill, where herring barrels were sitting waiting for them.

I’m rather hardened to the process of torture in the Witch trials, with the documents at my disposal I have read horror stories of women having skin ripped off and vinegar poured on them, beaten and brutalized people managing a cross as a signature to signify a confession as their fingers are all broken by the tortures put to them. Man is pretty inventive in the Witchhunt’s at coming up with many industrious methods of hurting his fellow man. What came next at Cluny hill Forres tops the lot for its ingenuity in pain. The crowd waited at the bottom of the hill, the authorities placed the women in each of the three barrels then fixed the wooden lid on it. They then hammered huge iron nails into the side of the barrels piercing through the wood to stick through with inches to spare, the woman still trapped

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inside, unaware to what was in store for her. They turned the barrels on their sides and then rolled them one by one down the hill‌the Witch trapped inside with all the nails stuck through the side would be reduced to nothing but mince by the time the barrel stopped rolling. It was here where they covered the barrel in timber and heather and burnt it to ashes at the very spot where it stopped rolling. Three boulders were left to commemorate the last resting place and where the women had all burned. They were still standing until the early 18oos when the local estate owner decided to smash them up and use them in the masonry of nearby buildings, one was saved before it was destroyed and remains today with a small plaque to commemorate the three Witches.


Where the stone was bashed by stone masons eager to add it to the nearby infrastructure, historians saved it and fixed it back in place by an iron band. They added the plaque later. It’s no mistake that Shakespeare must have read this tale to influence his play and give him thought towards the three Witches he placed on Forres Heath to taunt Mac Beth. For an age the stones were known as “the three sisters” till the 1800s, and the destruction of two of the stones. And it’s with this signature in 1606 that Shakespeare no doubt took his Witches. The three Forres Witches from 965 don’t appear in official records, their names don’t exist, but they do exist in folklore and fleeting history. The stone sits right on the roadside (Victoria road) it was famed in a local book in 1932 (the Pageant of Morayland by J.B Richie) but is also written about in the Statistical accounts of Scotland 1844. The Annuls of Ulster (4311540) a book written by Monks which give credence to the Viking movements and the Irish mercenaries claim King Dufus was killed by his own Scots in 967. His body was hidden under the bridge at Kinloss where it’s reported the Sun never shone till the body was buried. What we have here is information to a solar eclipse which astrologers today can precisely identify one happening on the 10th of July 967!


This confirms the story of Duffus being murdered and hidden. With the Witch information related to the threat on his life it’s fair to say the information carried in this book is fairly accurate. The three stones sat for near 800 years with the history about them being told by word of mouth till the 1800s when authors started to write about it. Modern Historians cannot verify the account without proper records so it slips into myth. Forres would experience the Witch hunts (officially) in 1663 where in the Diary of Alexander Brodie it mentions “1st of May, this day appointed for the trial of the Witches Isobel Elder and Isobel Simpson who would be burned at Forres and died obstinate” Another Witch was found about this time called Dorothy Calder; she was known as a “kindly canny (clever) Wife” and lived in a house where the suspension bridge now stands. She put the fear of death into a fisherman after he had a great catch of salmon, he boasted of catching a massive fish but kissed it and placed it back in the water as he had caught enough already. Dorothy claimed he had

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kissed the Devil and his presence was about her, within 24 hours of this she was charged with witchcraft and burnt on the Moor at Drumduan. She was tied to a stake and destroyed amid the shouts of a merciless mob! Again no official files exist of this mob action or proper date, but its imprint into local folklore keeps it alive, and repeated again here for another generation to keep the awful story alive.

THE BURNING Copyright Leonard Low

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EVERYONE LOVES A SCARY MOVIE RIGHT?! with Michael York The word scared is defined as being fearful, frightened or afraid. This is why people love watching horror films. We are want to be scared, to get that adrenaline rush! My love for scary films started, probably earlier than it should have. I was 12 or 13 and one night I remember staying up late in my bedroom to watch Halloween. I still remember the opening scenes with Michael Myers walking down the street towards the house and hearing that creepy, yet hypnotic tune! My heart was racing and I was buzzing from being scared. I was even too scared to leave my bedroom to go to the toilet. From that day onwards, I knew that horror and things that had the potential to scare me, would play a major part of my life. Watching scary films (good ones that is) is quite similar to Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigating. Putting yourself out there


in the dark, relying on your senses to get you through the night. The films suck you into the story as if you are there with them on screen, and when Ghost hunting you are relying on your equipment, your own senses and the spirits themselves. Getting the adrenaline rush every time you hear a bang in person or on the screen. It’s like a drug, we, as human being just love being scared. In my late teens, I went to watch the Blair Witch Project at the cinema. I went with the ‘lads’ one Friday night. I didn’t know much about the film, but I knew it was supposed to be footage that was found. This was a great example of a media controlled film. It got me thinking it was real and the ending of the film really freaked me out. Standing in the corner of that dark room...F*** that! There have been many different types of films over the years. The old hammer horror films, slasher films such as the Scream franchise. The pure blood and guts films, like Saw. Then you have the

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films that play on your mind and are more subtle with a twist, such as Shutter Island and Sixth Sense. These are all prime examples of the ending revealing the true story of the film and then leaving the viewing in utter shock. We also have the low-budget films set in asylums and woods. These are scary, as they play on your mind. You can actually see yourself in their position and it could happen to you. Then we come to the biggest horror franchise in the last few years, Paranormal Activity. We are currently on 4 at the moment, with a 5th on the way this year. This takes demonic storytelling to whole new level. Depicting the classic demon possesses and takes over and destroys the family. The one film that I had heard so much about while growing up was the Exorcist. The film that was banned because reports of people fainting, vomiting and having break downs. Obviously seeing this sought of horror film back in the 1970s was too much for people to be able to stand.

Now we come on to my all-time top 5 horror films.

No.5 Annabelle

The story of the famous doll that is locked away in John Zaffis’s haunted artefacts museum. This film being a prequel to the Conjuring, it follows the story of a young couple who have the doll in their house that has a demonic attachment. The evil spirit is looking for a human soul to claim and it goes after the couple’s young baby. I’m fascinated by haunted objects and especially dolls. I think this is why this film appeals to me so much. It did make me jump a few times while watching it in the dark. With this story being linked to Ed and Lorraine Warren and also the fact that the Annabelle doll is real, just makes this film scarier and a great film to watch.

No.4 The Amityville Horror (2005) Another great film based on a true story. Based in 1974, a family of 6 were brutally murdered by an evil and murderous presence. This film always has me glued to my screen when I watch it, no matter how many times I’ve seen it. How the Dad can go so weird and start to go crazy as the evil force takes over him and encourages him to harm and kill his family. I love films that are based on true events.

This film is evil in its purest form. Two rogue priests have the task of saving this poor woman. I think this film is a better version than the Exorcist and it shows the real dangers of the paranormal and spirit world.

The boys Dad ends up playing a major part in trying to bring him back to the world of the living. Lots of scares and jumps make this a must watch. This film is brilliant and I could watch it every day.

No.1 The Conjuring This is my favourite horror film of all time. It’s a true story, has the Annabelle doll in, has Ed and Lorraine Warren in and it makes me jump and freaks me out.

No.2 Insidious Now we get to the top 2 films! This film follows a couple whose son suddenly stops communicating and falls into a coma like state. Things start happening around their home and they seek professional help.

No.3 The Devil Inside I do like my true story horror films, another one here. The Exorcist of the 21st century! This woman confesses to three brutal murders, she is found to be insane but something else found her first, a demon or four!

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It tells the story of a family in need that seeks the help of the Warren’s because they have evil spirits in their house that attacks their children. So many times I have sat in the dark watching this film and it still makes me jump! Brilliant, Brilliant, Brilliant!

MIKI 113




Earlier this year we asked the many fans of UK Haunted to send in questions to the magazine so that we could pick the best ones and sit Alex and Miki down and get them to answer them. We had over 1,000 questions sent to us, so

a) thank YOU for that b) if your question appears then well done you and c) if your question doesn’t appear then just ask the boys on Twitter or something, they’re always on there! It’s the norm for Ghost Hunters, “hunters by night, tweeters by day”. 116

Why do you do what you do? Has If one of you didn’t want to do the paranormal always interested your show any more and hung you? up your ghost hunting boots, would you call it a day or would M: I always loved watching Most you do your own thing or would Haunted (MH) and when the you continue and add another chance came to investigate myself member, maybe even a woman? with a local team, I jumped at the chance. It has only interested me M: I wouldn’t carry on with since watching MH. another person and still call it UK A: I personally think it’s about Haunted. The great thing about having your own paranormal Alex and myself is that we work journey. I’ve always wanted to well together. He is strong in areas know if there really is anything after and I’m strong in other areas. Put we die, but I needed to actually together and we have the perfect see it with my own eyes. I’ve had partnership. Working with a woman an interest in the paranormal for would be good, but being alone in as long as I can remember. Since the dark with a woman might be a the school playground, when my problem for my wife LOL. friends and I would try and scare each other with ghost stories. A: I definitely would carry on (sorry Miki) LOL. As I said earlier, What would your Superhero name be and what power would I’m on my own journey for my you choose? personal reasons. For me it’s about controlling the environment M: Spooky Man LOL! My power and with the paranormal less would be to freeze spirits. is definitely more. The most important thing is having someone A: Big Al and would have to be I could trust 100%. flying!

Haunted Magazine Issue 14

50 QUESTIONS Where do you see yourself 20 years from now? M: Hopefully I will have had a successful TV show and can go to events sharing my experiences and helping and giving advice to others. A: Alive hopefully! LOL I would hope that Miki and I, as UK Haunted, would continue to progress in the field. We have lots more to give and there are so many places we want to visit around the world! If you could have one spirit visit you (through a portal) from all the past investigations, who would that one spirit be and why? M: It would definitely be the spirit of Bernard Madgwick (Bertie), from our #FreakyFriday episode at Town & County Club. He told us he was an RAF pilot and he told us his name twice on different pieces of equipment. I would like to find out more about him and why he never moved on. A: I would also choose Bertie/ Bernard from the Town & County club investigation. I firmly believe we contacted the spirit of an RAF pilot. At the time we were very excited, but it wasn’t until after, when we researched the history, that we came up with all the matching details. Amazing! (Check out our #FreakyFriday Episode: Town & County club) If you could re investigate/film one of your previous investigations which would it be and why?? M: I have lots of favourites, but I would like to return to Rhuddlan Castle in North Wales. We had the sounds of large rocks being thrown at us and hitting the castle walls. I have never experienced anything like that before and would love to have another visit.


A: The Ancient Ram Inn for sure! VERY ACTIVE! The house and history is amazing and John the owner is a legend. Has anything ever caught you off guard and made you wish you hadn’t gone to a certain location to do an investigation, if so where was it? M: No, I’ve always been ready for the night’s investigation and we normally know what the area/building will be like before we go. A: Not really. We’ve had a few close calls at some outside locations, shall we say. Definitely need to be more wary of the living! What do your wives and kids think of what you do? M: LOL Good question. My wife knows that I have a passion for ghost hunting and that it’s something that I just have to do. Sometimes it’s hard being away from the family home but she is very supportive in our TV projects. My kids love what I do and they try to make their own ghost hunting videos on their phones. A: My eldest, Aidan loves it! His daddy is a ghost hunter, cool! LOL My wife doesn’t want to know. She gets too scared of it! You got loads of gadgets and equipment, what do you think about Ouija boards, table tipping and glass moving etc? M: Ouija boards are good for public events, because it gets people involved but for a credible experiment and a sure sign that a spirit is making contact, then I don’t think they are good. I don’t have a problem with the whole ‘Ouija boards are bad ‘ and bring only evil. I don’t think they

Haunted Magazine Issue 14

are bad, just inexperienced people controlling them. Table tipping, pretty much the same, not credible as evidence because the human body is in control. Glass moving or divination is again affected by the human body. I used to do divination when I first started out. A: I am open minded about everything, I think you have to be. I personally have seen them used and come up with some very interesting results. The problem is that they are too easily manipulated. They could never be used as credible research, unless no one was near the table and the glass moved on its own!

Do you believe we will ever fundamentally prove the existence of ghosts, beyond any reasonable doubt? M: NO! People will always disbelieve and say photos, sounds and videos are faked. I have seen spirits and believe 100% that they are real, but I can’t prove it. It’s like Santa Claus, God and the Easter Bunny, some people believe but others don’t and we will never ever get evidence to prove it. A: I think that even if you had ‘undoubtable evidence’ there will always be someone who doesn’t believe you. To truly believe you have to see it for your own eyes. But to be honest, even then some people still wouldn’t believe their own eyes! You are UK-Haunted, but is there anywhere where you would go to investigate, as in USA etc?


50 QUESTIONS M: I would love to investigate abroad, like in the US. Going to Letchworth Village, or Eastern State Penitentiary, or Waverley Hills Asylum. Some amazing locations with lots of evil and bad stories. Would see it as a test of my skills, to investigate these locations. A: We would love to travel all over the world. My number one place would probably be the catacombs under Paris. Ever since I watched a documentary on it years ago it’s always fascinated me. You’re filming a new TV show, what are your thoughts on Most Haunted? M: Most Haunted got me into the wonderful world of the paranormal. I loved the early years of the TV show and I will leave it at that.

A: Definitely! We love sharing and seeing peoples findings from all over the world. As far as our show, it’s the same as any TV show I think. People love to be involved and to interact. Our new show will involve all of our twitter followers! A or B? ;) Question for both of you separately, Miki what is Alex’s worst trait, and Alex, same question to you for Miki? M: Alex’s worst trait is that he is too nice LOL and likes to please people. A: He’s Mr Grumpy! Ha-ha ;) I worry too much and he moans at me LOL What are the names of the places that are on your paranormal bucket list that you wish to investigate?

M: We are looking to visit Scotland soon for our TV show and we all know the A: I think that most haunted big locations in Scotland. Without naming names, is an ‘entertaining’ show. I’ll leave it to people’s The new upcoming series imagination. has our friend Eamonn in, one of the world’s leading A: Catacombs, London EVP specialists, so we wish Underground, Alcatraz, any him all the best. castles in Ireland, Wales or Do you think social media has a part to play in ghost hunting these days? M: Yes, most definitely, it is a massive tool to have if you can get interaction with the public and get them involved. Chatting to people while on location is like letting people feel like they are there with us.




channels to just buy in the American shows like Ghost Adventures, than take a chance on a new show from the UK. Although I think it would be easier for a UK show to be on a US channel, just because of the American’s love of all things paranormal and also our accents LOL!

Can’t believe you’re going to be on a UK TV channel, it’s fantastic, why do you think there’s no UK TV paranormal shows?

A: I think some have maybe copied certain shows and the only shows that have done well are those with completely different formats to each other.

M: I think that following on from Most Haunted was a big ask from the massive fan base it had. I think it’s easier for UK

From your very first investigation to your latest one, how have you changed as a team and as

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individuals? M: We have matured as investigators and feel no fear at any locations. We are very confident and have 100% belief in our ability. In a way it is down to the people and public that have supported us from day one. We wouldn’t be where we are today without them. A: I think we are a lot calmer and relaxed. Me personally, not so scared of the dark! LOL when the lights go out it is a completely different atmosphere no matter where you are. You played a couple of policemen in a recent



gives us his professional opinion about what we have captured and if we don’t agree, then so be it. It’s great banter! A: It’s great! He’s very down to earth and will always listen and respect your opinions. We may not always agree but that’s the paranormal field. To be a true sceptic, I believe you have to have an open mind. You need to look at all the rational answers first and then scratch your head. If you could only choose one piece of ghost hunting equipment for your next investigation what would it be and why?

film, any more plans to act? M: I totally loved being involved in the film, producing it and having a little cameo at the end. I would like to do more acting I think, if given the opportunity. A: No BAFTA yet?! Ha-ha I’m too forgetful with my lines so probably not. What advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a professional paranormal investigator, what’s the three top tips that you would give? M: Never be fooled, never fake anything and believe

in yourself 100%.

M: The P-SB7 spirit box. We have always had amazing responses and many conversations with spirits on this piece of equipment.

A: Be true to yourself, never forget why you want to search for the paranormal, never fake it and ask questions as you will never stop learning.

A: Spirit box. Without doubt it’s our number one piece of kit. When you have names come through, as clear as a bell, you have to sit up and listen. Crazy!

What’s it like working with Ciaran O’Keeffe? With him being a sceptic and looking to rationalise what you see and hear, are there any arguments?

What do you think about the explosion of ghost hunting companies and events in the UK, are they just ripping people off?

M: Ciaran is great and to have him join us on our show as the parapsychologist to review our findings is amazing. He has always been one of the credible ones that came out of Most Haunted with his head held high. He

M: I’m sure most companies have good intentions and do their best to keep costs down, but some are not experienced enough and think they can just start a company and then charge the earth per ticket. There seems to be more and more lately and as long as

Haunted Magazine Issue 14

people have a good time then everyone’s a winner. A: It’s the same with every industry, you have the good ones but you will always get bad ones. Some may rip people off but many locations do cost a hell of a lot to hire. When will your show be on UK TV? Will we be able to get it in Canada? M: We don’t know when we will be on TV and it will only be in the UK to start with. Hopefully it will do well and then go to countries around the world, including Canada. A: We are filming at the moment so hopefully it will be ready around Halloween time in the UK. Though we are taking this very seriously and we don’t want to rush it. We will look to take worldwide following the UK release. Fingers crossed! I love your Freaky Friday shows, I can’t get enough, and won’t TV people say to you that you’ve got to make stuff up so it gets the ratings up? That’s what worries me about TV shows. M: Our #FreakyFriday shows were originally filmed and made for American TV. But things didn’t go to plan

and we decided that they should be seen by everyone and so put them on YouTube. In my experience, we have never had to fake


50 QUESTIONS evidence to get activity, maybe the spirits like us. A: Thank you very much for your kind words! We have all of the control for our TV show. No one is telling us how to investigate or to fake anything. We are a paranormal investigation show, not an ‘entertainment’ show. I do however think, that with any paranormal show that has the platform of TV, people will always suggest that things have been staged for ratings anyway. In our TV show we will be working with a parapsychologist. He will look over all of our findings from the raw edit and give his professional opinion at the end of each show. Would you ever do a joint investigation with Ghost Adventures or do you like to work alone? M: Yes, we would love to work with Zak and Aaron and the rest of the GAC. They have shown the world that you can combine reality TV with Ghost hunting and make it the best paranormal show in the world. No TV crew, just like us! A: I personally prefer it with just myself and Miki. We have also investigated with many teams in the past. Ghost Adventures would be amazing. I have followed you for ages and want to know what happened with the



TV show that you were going to be over her in the USA? M: Things didn’t go to plan with the schedule and when the show was going to air. Even down to which channel it was going to broadcast on. Lots of things that we cannot go into detail I’m afraid. A: We voided our contract. It didn’t turn out to be what we first thought. Not everything you read on the internet is always as it seems. What are your thoughts on EVP? M: EVP fascinates me and would love to work harder in the future on this area. I don’t think that the scratchy static EVPs are spirit voices though. A: We don’t get many EVP’s. Over all of our years of investigating I would say that we have caught around 10 in total. Most of them are caught simply on our cameras mic. Which I personally believe, makes them stand up with more credibility. Is there anything to do with the paranormal that you will refuse to do? M: For UK Haunted would be using a Ouija board, table tipping, glass divination, dowsing rods and pendulums.

They can all be manipulated by us humans, whether it be in the mind or body. A: Fake it! You don’t need too. Where would you haunt if you were a ghost? M: My family home. A: Great question! Probably Buckingham palace so I can hear all of the gossip! What is it about the paranormal that makes you want to ghost hunt and why do you feel the need to be different and use all your technical equipment?

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M: I want to speak with the dead to find out what happens when we die. We use equipment because we can’t manipulate it like Ouija boards etc... A: I love the history and also when you speak with an intelligent spirit it is amazing! We like to use lots of equipment. Mainly because it will bring more credibility to our findings. E.g. your body feels a cold spot. The thermometer confirms there is a cold spot. The night vision camera picks up a strange light at the same time as your voice recorder picks up



M: I think having a little girls voice in my ear would freak me out and actually scare me. A: A spirit shouting in my ear, “BOO!”

an EVP. I always say listen to your body. You may feel something at the same time as you get something on the technical equipment. This just brings more credence to your findings.

M: One piece that blew my mind was while we were filming our pilot episode at The Falstaff. It was a response on our P-SB7 spirit box, and Ciaran said it was a brilliant capture.

Which piece of evidence, throughout all of the investigations that you have undertaken, would you be most confident in showing a sceptic and making them a believer? If you can’t reveal the evidence, then where was it captured?

A: Probably our Overstone Hall investigation, on our #FreakyFriday playlist, we had so many clear intelligent responses come through on the Spirit Box. What would truly freak you out in a paranormal investigation?

You work together, just the two of you, (with 3 including Ciaran), is there an advantage in smaller numbers?

M: Yes I think so. The spirits seem to be less intimidated Whilst you’ve been filming by us and nearly always for your show has Ciaran make contact with us. offered any advice as to Always better with smaller what NOT to do so that groups. you’re just compared to A: Definitely less is more on Most Haunted? an investigation I believe. If you are looking for credible M: He told us to carry on research then you have to doing what we are doing control your environment as and not to fake anything. much as possible. If I hear a We are nothing like Most noise behind me and Miki is Haunted in style, set up, in front of me then it’s quite ethics or anything else. We easy to know that it wasn’t are our own team and we us that made the noise! don’t style ourselves on anyone. Would you ever do public ghost hunting events A: He’s advised us to continue to look for ‘normal’ where we can come and explanations for activity first see you and your gadgets work? which we always try to do. He’s also teaching us some M: We have done a few of the scientific terms that public events in the past we will bring into our future and I’m sure we will be investigations. again in the near future, if the location is right. Your personalities are so different but that’s what A: Yes, we have done a few I like about it, if you were in the past. We really enjoy similar do you think it them and treat them exactly wouldn’t work? the same as when we are out on an investigation. M: No, I don’t think it would. Quite a few people have I’m grumpy and miserable been telling us to organise and Alex is happy and nice another one so hopefully LOL that is why we work we’ll arrange a location perfect as a team. soon. A: Yeah, totally agree. I think you need to have different qualities to work well together.

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The Enfield Poltergeist case has now been made into a drama, who would you want to play you if


50 QUESTIONS UK-Haunted was made into a drama?

A: Alan Carr. I think laughter really helps with the energy of an investigation. He’s also a local boy to where we live.


M: LOL Adam Sandler would be good. He is weird and mostly not happy, but he has Ghosts aren’t real, you’re just wasting your time a laugh at the same time. surely? A: Keith Lemon. You can’t M: LOL of course??????? take yourself too seriously! And he’s strawberry blonde A: I have seen too many like me ;) things to be so closed minded. I personally want to The paranormal world know the truth so I don’t see is horrible sometimes, I it as wasting my time. have seen the nasty side of it more so than I care to With the recent Enfield think about, and why has poltergeist back in the it become a quite nasty news, if you could go back and venomous industry to in time, what would you work in? do differently to what investigators could do in M: One word...Jealousy. 1977? People thinking they can

side is just crazy at the moment with so many new companies popping up every week. We have no plans to start UK Haunted Events though.

weekend to a freezing cold graveyard and sit in the dark. When you have a passion for something then you just do it. Simple.

A: We are making six episodes for our first season and then fingers crossed everyone likes it! I would like to have a platform that would get us into some amazing locations that normally we wouldn’t even get a foot in the door.

Do you think that there will ever be any concrete evidence of ghosts or will it always be doubted by the so called experts?

What sets you aside from the mass of paranormal investigators out there, why do you think you’re different?

M: In a way we are not be TV stars or be the best M: I would spend more time different from anyone out events company and get the in the most active rooms there. We are just 2 normal best locations. It is a horrible and try and get the activity guys that watched the vile industry but the best to happen to me. Maybe shows on TV and wanted to thing to do is ignore the shit provoke the poltergeist and try and see if we could get and just stick to what you see if it can be enticed to do evidence. We have learnt things on command. are doing and be the best a lot over the last 3 years you can be. A: I think the technology has and I feel we have grown in attitude, experience, A: Same as with any industry progressed so much in the last 30 years that people can confidence and knowledge really. We just say keep your document evidence much of the paranormal. We have head down and do your own better. a great partnership that thing. Sometimes the only the spirits seem to like. We way to win the game is not What’s in store for 2015 to play it. and beyond, ghost hunting nearly always get activity when we go out, maybe seems to be big business If you could invite any because there is only 2 of us these days. celebrity to join you on an and they are not intimidated investigation who would it M: We have a very busy by us. be and why? 2015 still to come. We are currently filming for A: We are not necessarily M: I would invite Katy Perry, our début season for TV different. We have a passion so if she got scared she broadcast. Hopefully once for what we do. Some could hold on to me LOL season one is complete and people have doubted and No, maybe Will Smith or all the details are finalised, put us down us in the past Chris Tucker. Would be a we will be in a position to and we have just carried great laugh and they would film for season 2. It is big on. We still go out on a scream if they saw a ghost. business and the events


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M: I think it will never be proved that ghosts and spirits exist. There have been lots of photos and videos that I think are genuine but we are still debating the subject and I believe we always will. A: There will always be doubters. Simple. You don’t have a medium on your investigations, what do you think about them? M: I don’t feel that having a medium on our show would be beneficial to us. We are scientific equipment based and having a medium would go against how we believe investigating should be done. I’m sure there are lots of brilliant mediums around who can really speak to the dead, but there have been a lot of high profile fakes as well and it has tainted them all of them as a whole. A: I have an open mind to it. I’ve never seen one so until I experience it personally I couldn’t form an educated opinion.

50 QUESTIONS Why is it that most people who go on paid ghost events are predominantly female but when it comes to TV shows, it seems to be more men ghost hunting? M: Women like to go out on events and be scared, whereas men are too proud to admit when they are scared. It’s a macho thing I think. I have been scared on a few occasions over the years and being in the public on an event, men are not ready to show that they need new pants LOL. There are only a couple of female investigators on TV, most are in fact men. Maybe it’s because the TV networks have an idea of what their shows need to be like and who they will appeal too. Lots of men on TV will draw in the female audience sat at home in their living rooms, i.e. Mr Zak Bagans A: Tough question! I honestly don’t know. There are some amazing female teams out there so hopefully we might start seeing more. You’re dropped on a deserted desert island and you’ve been allowed to take 1 book, 1 CD, 1 DVD and 1 luxury food item, what would they be? M: Book, Karl Pilkington, an Idiot Abroad. CD, Imagine Dragons, Night Visions, DVD, Geordie Shore, Luxury food, Chinese Crispy Beef A: Book, A guide to Desert Survival. CD, some Ibiza Chill out compilation for sunbathing. DVD, Bear Grylls Survival Guide to tell me


what bugs to eat after I finish time to be honest. Being in my Luxury food item of a KFC the paranormal business is bucket. very cut throat, people are just waiting to bring you Why don’t people ghost down, abuse you and spread hunt in the daytime? any rumour or lie about you. We have learnt the hard way M: That’s a good question. but we have learnt a very People generally think that valuable lesson. We just sit you need to investigate back and watch the back at night time because it’s stabbing and abuse and have scarier, but that’s not the a little chuckle to ourselves. case. Spirits are just as active #BlockAndDelete in the day time as at night. But it’s quieter at night and A: My view on the normally the location you are paranormal has changed investigating is empty and so greatly. I’d never actually any activity can be ruled out seen anything ‘paranormal’ as being from workers or the until I started looking for it. Since starting UK Haunted I public. believe I’ve actually seen 3 A: I believe one big reason ghosts now! So I now know I is, people like being scared am not wasting my time LOL and it’s obviously a lot Alex, why is Miki growing scarier at night, when you a stupid ridiculous goatee? can’t see what’s lurking And Miki, why are you in the shadows! The main growing a stupid ridiculous reason is actually simply goatee, please trim it down to noise pollution. and would you do a UK In the daytime many Haunted Calendar for 2016 locations are not able to PLEASE!!!! close off completely, so you will always get noise and therefore you will not be able M: I’ve come to realise that lots of people haven’t been to control the environment. Also, it might sound strange liking the beast beard on my chin LOL! That is why I but when it’s dark your decided to trim it and raise pupils open more, so in a money for Cynthia Spencer way you should actually be Hospice, they provide able to see more at night. specialist palliative care to people with life limiting Has your views on the paranormal changed since illnesses. I raised £355 in the end so thank YOU so much UK-Haunted started. If so, for your kind donations. Lots why? of people have donated and thank everyone for their M: They have changed over the years. We were very naive support. I would love to do a 2016 UK Haunted calendar... back then, just wanted to that is an awesome idea, not investigate scary places, we that I like seeing pictures of hadn’t been pulled into the politics of the paranormal at myself LOL (I do really) Stay tuned for that one... this stage. It was an easier

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A: Ha-ha he calls it the BEAST! I guess if people really wanted a calendar of our ugly mugs then why not LOL

Thanks to Miki and Alex for taking the time to answer so many of your questions!





Guest Editors UK Haunted: Alex Duggan & Michael York @ukhaunted

------------Editor-in-chief Paul Stevenson @hauntedmagazine

Art Direction & Design Andy Soar @haunteddigital

Senior Staff Writer Jason Jay White


web: E on the N I Z A G A M HAUNTED m te www.haun


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Writing Talents

Special, Special Thanks to

Anne Deesore, Steven Paulson, Lee Roberts, Cathryn & Lynsey Davies aka CL Raven aka Calamityville, Peter Drake, Pat Bussard, Professor John Poynton, John Bowen, Alex Davis, Michael York, Hazel Ford, Bil Bungay and Leonard Low

Sky TV & Sky Living HD for bringing paranormal kicking and screaming into the 1970s, Guy Lyon Playfair (for being 80 and coolness personif ied), Douglas Bence (for THAT headline!)

Special Thanks to UK Haunted: (Alex Duggan & Michael York), Olivia Williams, The Secret Ghosthunter, The Society for Psychical Research (SPR), 3 Girls in the Dark, Boo Books, Helen Lederer, Eleven Films, Jamie Campbell, Joel Wilson, Timothy Spall, Matthew Macfadyen, Juliet Stevenson, Rosie Cavaliero, Eleanor Worthington-Cox, Kristoffer Nyholm, Adrian Sturges, Emily Kirkpatrick and Bil Bungay

Got a story to tell? Want to featur e in the magazine?

Email us at features@deadgoodp

Got a product to sell? Want to use and abuse the magazine?

Email us at advertising@deadgoo

Haunted Magazine returns mid-Summer 2015


All the respective photography in this magazine Š is held by the individual photographer concerned. All rights reserved. You may not copy, reproduce, distribute, publish, display, modify, plagiarise, transmit, or exploit any of the material from this publication. You are permitted to produce one print copy for personal use.

Haunted 14 The Swinging Supernatural 70s  

38 years ago I was but a mere young boy, out on my space hopper at the weekends, thinking I was the Fonz from Happy Days, listening to Showa...

Haunted 14 The Swinging Supernatural 70s  

38 years ago I was but a mere young boy, out on my space hopper at the weekends, thinking I was the Fonz from Happy Days, listening to Showa...