COME DIE WITH ME! PETER ANDRE GHOSTHUNTER EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW
JAILHOUSE ROCK! THE HISTORY, MYSTERY AND GHOSTS OF THE GALLERIES OF JUSTICE
THE GREAT BRITISH FAKE OFF? HOW THE HECK DID THEY CAPTURE THAT GHOST?
LET’S POP THE TRUNK ON DALEN, JUWAN & MARCUS FEATURING:
PEGGY THE DOLL THE PUZZLING, PERPLEXING, PARANORMAL STORY OF PEGGY
HAUNTED ASYLUMS, TERRIFYING EXORCISMS, SCARY STORIES, LEGENDS, POLTERGEISTS, CELEBRITY GHOST HUNTER LEE ROBERTS, NEWS, VIEWS, MUSE AND BOOS… PACKED TO THE BRIM WITH PARANORMAL GOODNESS AND DEMONIC BADNESS!!
#DONTBENORMAL - BE PARANORMAL!
LET’S ALL DITCH THE DOWSING RODS AND TAKE UP ANOTHER HOBBY!
don’t know why I am bothering writing this, ghosts their posts where they’ve criticised the believers and have been proven to be real* so we might as well go into hiding and never to be seen again AND what all pack up our K2 Meters and go home, it’s just not about the believers, I can see sales of I TOLD YOU fun anymore. Imagine going to an alleged haunted SO t-shirts going through the roof. location knowing full well that ghosts are real and at And what of Haunted Magazine, if I can be selfish and any time you could see a bald ghost walking very talk about us for a while, do we change stance and slowly along some stairs, where’s the fun in that eh? bring you exclusive interviews with, not just the ghost Where’s the mystery of not know what the Scoobyhunters, but the hunted as well, imagine EXCLUSIVE Doo is going to happen. Imagine the events company INTERVIEWS WITH FRED THE POLTERGEIST who you are ghost hunting with not having to say, or KING HENRY THE EIGHTH, do we accept “sorry we can’t guarantee any activity, what happens, adverts from ghosts wanting human guides to be what happens” anymore, instead they’d have to say, able to communicate to us. Better still do we have “tonight you will see a ghost, YES a ghost resembling submissions from ghosts about their life and times a human being, don’t panic, IT WILL HAPPEN, just as a ghost “so I blew in his ear and stay calm and enjoy”. Gone are the he literally shit his pants” or “I know “Imagine the Fox days of exciting uncertainty as to Derek Acorah’s spirit guide Sam, and sisters, thinking “well what you will experience on a ghost we managed to make a he sometimes gives him fake news hunt. The fear and the trepidation. mockery of it for nearly just for a laugh” The media will become bored with 180 years, we’ve had a And what of so called Paranormal it, NOT ANOTHER GHOST PICTURE good run!” Investigators and Ghost Hunters, are will be the headlines of the day, every they now simply to be known as people who want to day. Gadgets will become irrelevant, a ghost walks hang out with entities, to be the first to have a selfie past you, the K2 doesn’t flicker, the Rem-Pod doesn’t with one, be the first to quaff a beer or two with them. light up, the only gadget you will need is your eyes, ears and a camera to catch the ghost, and even the The paranormal world has changed. you don’t have to panic cos it walks that slow, it gives Anyway, enjoy this is issue of Haunted Magazine. It is you enough time to turn around, focus your camera, packed full of paranormal goodness, badness, stuff whisper to your mate, “oh my effing lord, look over and nonsense, history, mystery, legends, tales, stories there” and take pictures / record the entity. and so much more. Some of it was written before And can you imagine over in the spirit world, the ghosts ghosts were proven to be real, some written after, so will be up in arms, we’ll have poltergeists mouthing off you might see a subtle difference in some features, “we were only ever going to play around with these BUT it is still created, designed and writer by lovers of living beings, NEVER show ourselves, what have you the paranormal for other lovers of the paranormal, as done Baldy Man Ghost?”, ghosts of little girls will be for a new hobby, I am torn between Stamp Collecting crying “I only wanted to move some ping pong balls or taking up Decoupage, I’ll keep you posted. when they sang Ring-a-Ring-a-Roses, I don’t want to *if ghosts aren’t proven to be real after all, and it was show myself”, let’s face it the Paranormal world will all a con, a lie, a haunted hustle, I am returning my I never be the same again. TOLD YOU SO T-SHIRT Let’s not forget about the sceptics, not the sit on the fence ones, I mean the ones who 100% categorically deny ghosts aren’t real, what are they going to do, #dontbenormal BE PARANORMAL offer a full apology on social media, take down all
“POPPING THE TRUNK ON THE PARANORMAL” EDITOR-IN-CHIEF: Paul Stevenson @hauntedmagazine firstname.lastname@example.org DESIGNER: Andy Soar @thehauntedguy email@example.com Writing Talent: James Pykett Jayne Harris Richard Estep Clare Burrows Charlotte Baker Mike Covell Dale Makin CL Raven 3 Girls in the Dark Valentina Lomborg Lee Roberts Matthew Eastwood Leonard Low Thanks to: Dalen Spratt Juwan Mass Marcus Harvey Quest Red Destination America Peter Andre James Hickox Bambos Georgiou Mychailo Kazybrid Merlin Annual Pass
28 GHOST BROTHERS 10 PEGGY THE DOLL
Peter Andre Image courtesy of The Can Group Dr Queer courtesy of Bambos Georgiou (script) & Mychailo Kazybrid (art) Copyright 2017 Haunted on the web: www.hauntedmagazine.co.uk Facebook: k.com/groups/ eboo www.fac HauntedDigitalMagazine www.facebook.com/ HauntedDigitalMagazine Haunted Magazine is a Dead Good Publishing Ltd Production Company Number: 08446465 www.deadgoodpublishing.com
HAUNTED MAGAZINE. IN DIGITAL. IN PRINT.
16 THE EXORCISM OF ANNALIESE MICHEL 06 Galleries of injustice
36 THE GREA T FAKE OF
what happens in vegas... with CALAMITYVILLE HORROR
14 inside asylum 49
54 Poltergeists come when
34 The bloodthirsty bride of bridlington
64 the lowdown on the
you don’t want to grow up leven pit ponies haunting
21 THE WAITING ROOM 52 THE FIVE BEDROO MS AT 74 23 VAPE 55 Six Word Scares
RK: 44 3 GIRLS IN THE DA PITTSBURGH HOSPITAL
24 OLD STINKER
T BRITISH FF
R SIDE 56 LIFE ON THE OTHE
61 FILM REVIEWS: ESS GET OUT / THE CURE FOR WELLN
E 48 PETER ANDR
#don't be normal be paranormal
James pykett’s Haunted Nottinghamshire
THE GALLERIES OF
INJUSTICE? I t has been known by many names, today’s name is different from its first, its first different from its last. Is it trying to shake it’s dark and violent history? Let’s find out, no matter what name it uses, the history footprint can’t be swept under the carpet.
Today it stands as The National Justice Museum in an area known as The Lace Market, in the heart of Nottingham’s City Centre. The Lace Market area is renowned for its dark and criminal background, but it also showed signs of revival throughout the early 19th Century due to the product that came from it – Lace. At its height, Nottingham became one of the World leaders in Lace Manufacture and Production. So, what is it that casts a dark shadow throughout the streets of this Quarter Mile square area? In one word: Death. The National Justice Museum sits on a site that has been used for law and punishment for over 600 years. In fact, the first ever recorded case of a court of law being here was recorded in 1375 and a prison since at least 1449. Over the centuries, many thousands of people have entered the building with a sense of dread for their future. The very steps to the entrance were the site of many public executions. 6
Since then, the site has grown in both size, and reputation. It was originally known as the Shire Hall, but the large and intimidating structure that you see today was built between 1769-1772 and cost about £2,500, the inscription on the top of the building reads: This County Hall was erected in the year MDCCLXX and in the tenth year of the reign of His Majesty George III. The building was fronted by an iron palisade to help control unruly crowds on the occasion of a public hanging. Here is the transcript: “On Monday morning, after the Judge had gone into the County Hall, and a great crowd of people being there, a tracing or two that supported the floor broke and fell in and several people fell in with it, about three yards into the cellar underneath. Some were bruised, but one man named Fellingham was pretty much hurt, one leg being stripped to the bone, and was much hurt. This caused great consternation in Court, some apprehending the Hall might fall, others crying out “Fire”! etc. which made several people climb out of the windows. The Judge, being also terribly frightened, cried out “A plot! A plot!”, but the consternation soon being HAUNTED MAGAZINE
over the Court proceeded to business”
In 1876 major improvements were made and the front was redesigned in a style described as Italianate by Mr. Bliss-Sanders of Nottingham. Within a few weeks a fire broke out and nearly destroyed all the newly completed work, sadly, following a fire in 1876, the courts were largely rebuilt between over the next three years and in 1879, by the end of the refurbishment, the prison gaol was closed. Suffice to say the location, the site, the area, the building seems to have been used in some way to enforce law and order for the county for nearly 1500 years. There are many stories from the Old Shire Hall, from courtroom human dissections to murder between inmates, but what is really the fuel to the Paranormal fire? For me, there are several catalysts, starting with the very land it is stood on. Like many of Nottingham’s ‘Haunted’ locations, the Shire Hall is built on and into the sandstone that Nottingham harbours under it’s very surface. If you are aware of the Stone Tape Theory, would it be too hard to believe that the high emotion and tragic events that occurred here, were captured and absorbed by the fabric of the building itself? Playing out over and over, only when conditions are right?
The Galleries stands on a site dating back to 600AD and is the base for Nottinghamâ€™s original Saxon settlement, known then as Snotta Inga Ham. Thereâ€™s obviously no written records from that time but Archaeologists have uncovered clues in the sandstone caves underneath to suggest that the site was linked to punishment and execution, even from then.
In 1724 one of the courtroom floors collapsed causing the barristers, the jury and the accused to fall into the cellars, whilst the honourable judge looked on.
There are then then rumours of Child snatching and witchcraft in the heart of the Hall – The Dungeon.
Human remains have been uncovered in this area, is it possible that unrested souls are still roaming the site due to poor treatment of their remains and a total loss of dignity? Let’s remember, this was a Court of Law and a Prison. We can take away all rumours and stick to facts on the next possible catalyst, that fact being that inmates were hung here, executions did take place in Nottingham, some at this very location. There’s far too many to document in this feature, here’s a few that I thought interesting: 1720. Richard Comyn, for uttering a base shilling at Mansfield (note: that’s counterfeiting to you and me) 1729. John Revell, for shooting a trespasser on his land in Papplewick. He was conveyed to the gallows in his own carriage and horses. 1732. William Pycroft, lived in Nottingham, and for some years gained a subsistence by fraud and imposture. He pretended to tell fortunes by the occult science of astrology, and was a coiner of base money. 1735. Henry Parnell, for murdering his wife at Cotgrave. 1737. James Gibbons, for highway robbery. 1738. Thomas Hallam. He was a respectable servant to a farmer of Wilford, and being a remarkably handsome young man, of fine figure, was much courted by members of the fair sex of his neighbourhood, but having misplaced his affections, 8
the equilibrium of his mind was disturbed, he quitted his place of servitude, became embarrassed in circumstances, and stole a cow, for which he was hanged, much pitied and lamented. Hallam was interred in the churchyard of StMary, Nottingham, and a surgeon of the town, anxious to possess the body for dissection, engaged a man named Rolleston to clandestinely remove it from its resting-place. Accordingly, Rolleston and a confederate disinterred the body the night after burial, and placing it in a sack, the former took it away on his back. Police and gaslights being then equally unknown, the undertaking, thus far, was comparatively easy. But on passing along Stoney-street, Rolleston fancied he heard the dead man pant, and his t! error was so great, that he gladly left hold of his burden, and with his assistant, ran as if for life. Becoming, however, somewhat reassured, they, after an interval, deliberated on the course best to be pursued. If they took poor Hammond to a surgeon, it was their conviction, uncharitable as it might seem, that he would cut him up, dead or alive; and if he really should not be dead, it would be equally dangerous to leave him in the street as to take him away. They therefore took the corpse, and placed it in a barn of a field. It was found there in the morning by a woman who came to milk, and was subsequently reinterred by friends, at Sutton-in-Ashfield. 1753. Woolston Roberts and William Sandham, for maiming a recruit in Nottingham, by cutting off his little finger. 1763. Elizabeth Morton, for strangling an infant
August 16. An unfortunate incident happened at his execution. He had hung a few seconds, when the knot of the rope gave way, and the wretched man fell heavily to the ground. Upon being raised, and the preparations for his suspension commencing afresh, he seemed painfully conscious of his situation and exclaimed “My God, this is hard work”. 1803. William Hill was hung for committing a rape (attended with great brutality), on the person of Mrs Sarah Justice, the wife of a respectable farmer, at Bole, near Gainsborough, on the 28th of the previous May. Hill was the son of a labouring man of Lowdham, and was brought up very imperfectly, – an associate of bad men, dissolute, and grossly licentious. He acknowledged to the chaplain, after conviction, that he had made criminal attempts upon other females, one of whom was only 12 years of age, but without success. The chaplain, and several pious persons, attempted to soften the ferocity of his disposition, by representing to him the extent of his crime, and the danger of dying in hardened state, but all their efforts proved utterly in vain. On the morning of death, he manifested the most extreme reluctance to
1766. James Bromage and William Wainer, for plundering a coach on the highway 1769. Robert (Robin) Downe, for stabbing a boy at Mansfield 1775. William Voce, for committing a rape at Sneinton, 1781. George Brown, alias Bounds, and Ann Bagshaw, for burglary. (Note: love to know why he was called Bounds) 1797. John Milner, for cow stealing, HAUNTED MAGAZINE
submit to the sentence of the law. He had to be dragged out of his cell by main force, and the exertions of half-a-dozen men were scarcely sufficient for the task of pinning him. He was then conveyed in the customary manner to Gallows-Hill;
but no sooner did he feel the cord loose by which he was tied to the cart, then he leapt over the side of the vehicle, and endeavoured to escape, to the great astonishment and agitation of the multitude. Several of the Sheriff’s men immediately struck him with the blunt end of javelins, and despite his horrid language and struggles, he was again forced to ascend the cart, and compelled to meet his fate. This hardened malefactor was about five feet eight inches high, and extremely robust and muscular. 1812. Benjamin Renshaw, for firing a haystack 1817. Charles Rotherham, for the murder of Bessie Shephard
their throats one by one. In total, he murdered his wife and then his three children. After being spotted and identified by children playing nearby, he was subsequently arrested and sentenced to death for his crimes. It was one of the most high profile and public scandals that drew crowds from all over the East Midlands. People wanted to see him punished, they wanted to see ‘Justice’. The date was set, on the 7th of August 1844, Mr Saville would be publicly hung on the steps of the Shire Hall for all to see. The craze and hysteria caused crowds to gather the night before the 8am
1832. George Beck, George Hearson, and John Armstrong, for firing a silk-mill, part of the Reform Bill Riots in 1831 1844. William Saville, for murder 1860. John Fenton, for murder I think you’ll agree, what constituted death by hanging ranged from petty to pretty brutal, but there is one name that stands out, that of William Saville. William’s story has gone down in local folklore. He was a troubled man, a character that I may focus on solely in the future, but also a person whose ghost may play a big part in the possible hauntings of the site. His crime was gut wrenching, dark and one that only a very sick person could have committed. The name of Nottingham man William Saville is writ large in the annals of criminology and social history. It holds against it the direct responsibility for the deaths of at least 21 individuals and the serious injury of many more. However, Saville was no mass-murderer. His crime was the murder of his wife and three children. It was the circumstances of his public execution outside Nottingham’s Shire Hall on the 8th Aug. 1844 which led to the unforeseen deaths and mutilations of his other victims. It also led directly to the change in the local authority’s policy towards public hangings and indirectly influenced attitudes regarding capital punishment. After falsely drawing his family into Colwick Woods with a promise of a picnic, he callously and horridly slit
The irony of it all was that people attended that day to see ‘Justice’ but this unfortunately led to many innocent lives lost. William Saville may not be the only lost ghost to tread the Galleries of Justice, there have been many reports over the years, there’s talk of four ghosts in the entrance hall, a Victorian Gentleman, a soldier and a gown-wearing lady, there’s also a reported cold spot which is supposedly the spirit of a little girl. Not a bad start as soon as you walk in yes? In the Courtroom were many men and women were sentenced to their deaths reports knocking, moans, groans, footsteps, shadows and a rather pungent smell from time to time. In the Cell area, there is reported sounds of keys jangling, cells opening and closing and even the ghost of a Prison Guard. Some of the cells are even too scary for people to even step foot in leaving people very depressed and really upset. In the Laundry Room, aka the female part of the prison there are reports of female voices, children’s cries, doors slamming shut and a lot of female visitors become unwell and some have said they have the feeling of “being pregnant”.
execution, people were waiting, they were hungry to see this man die for his crimes, but further tragedy awaited! On the morning of the event, people were crammed into the narrow streets of High Pavement, wall to wall with very little room to manoeuvre. As the man dropped and the noose tightened, the frenzy began, pushing, shoving and eventually crushing. There were too many people there, they had nowhere to run. Doors were flung open by local residents to relieve the pressure and to aid the injured. Mr Saville wasn’t just directly responsible for killing four family members, but he was also responsible for the deaths of 12 members of the public and either seriously of fatally injuring over 150 more. You could say he wasn’t to blame for those killed at the scene of the execution, but if this man’s crimes weren’t so sadistic and sickening then those that lost their lives wouldn’t have been there that day. HAUNTED MAGAZINE
There is a cave in the Galleries of Justice called the Chapel, so named because of its shape and not because of it being a place for prayer. FAR FROM IT. People have reported crosses being thrown, growls, voices and people have also been touched and pushed. Speaking of the caves, probably the most haunted location at this location, people have felt sick, dizzy and disorientated. Dark shadows have been seen, stones being thrown, scratching noises and people always seem to feel that they’re being watched. Standing now in its more calm and tranquil setting, The National Justice Museum does very well to hide it’s dark and death ridden past. Now used as an Educational Museum, it looks back into Law and Punishment and its own eventful past. Once known as the UK’s Most Haunted Location, with what I have told you here, you may not even have to step foot in it to experience why… 9
GOT MYSELF A CRYING, TALKING, SLEEPING, WALKING,
HAUNTED DOLL By Jayne HARRIS
ark corridors, gothic paintings, oil lamps, antique books and leather armchairs. No, we’re not on the set of a Hammer Horror movie, we’re in downtown Las Vegas in what is set to be the most bizarre and intriguing attraction that Sin City can offer… and that’s quite a claim!
This is no ordinary building. This is Zak Bagan’s Haunted Museum, a place where macabre and potentially supernatural objects from all over the world have found their eternal resting place. Of course, the idea of a ‘haunted museum’ may not necessarily be a new one, but having seen this place being created first hand, I can honestly say that I believe there is no other place like it on earth…and I’ve been to some crazy places!
I can’t sleep at all and today is now the 5th day that I have been awake, no sleep at all. There is a figure that comes to me at night, stands at my bed. It’s dark, a lady I think, but doesn’t move or speak. I end up frozen to the bed in fear. I tried to put a cross on my wall and pray to Jesus but it doesn’t help.
Visitors are in for a real treat when they step through the doors of this historic mansion. Those of us who are familiar with Ghost Adventures (and let’s face it who isn’t?) will probably have also seen Zak’s show ‘Deadly Possessions’ filmed within the walls of his museum. In the series guests bring along a wide array of disturbing and unusual objects to tell their stories to the world.
One object left an impression…Peggy the Doll. When I was asked to take the her to meet Zak I had no idea what was going to happen. I’d heard he suffered from Pediophobia (a fear of dolls) and so was intrigued and nervous about his reaction to her, given the reactions of so many ‘non-pediophobes’ worldwide! When I was asked if I would place a bag on her head before taking her in to meet him for the first time however I was left in no doubt at all about just how seriously he took her. For anyone who is unfamiliar with this fear inducing vintage mannequin, here is a toe dipped into her story. In 2014, my life as a paranormal investigator changed forever when I sat down to an email from a lady who, as we would later discover, was on the brink of losing her mind. The email was much longer than this, but as it largely consisted of panicked ramblings, I have chosen to select the most coherent parts of it to share. Looking back, I felt driven to act quickly and not hesitate. It was incredibly impulsive.
EXCERPTS TAKEN FROM ORIGINAL EMAIL RECEIVED ON 09:09:14
I am writing this is the hope that you can please help me. I have reached a point now at which I can’t carry on this way. I can’t talk to anyone about this, as I am sure they will think I am crazy. Some days I wonder if I’m crazy myself. I have a doll here which I am sure is causing my house, maybe even me, to be haunted. If I hadn’t lived through it for the last few months I’d think that sounded completely insane.
Please come soon J.W”
A few days later we found ourselves on the M5 motorway heading north to Sheffield. I recall an air of tension amongst the passengers, and Hazel, the psychic medium we took with us, was very quiet in the car throughout the journey. It wasn’t too surprising as she often goes into ‘the zone’ as she calls it when trying to connect with the spirit world, however there seemed to be something bothering her, and her unease was apparent, something I didn’t recognize as part of her usual demeanour. She later shared with us that at some point in the journey she had closed her eyes and asked for some protection and support in the upcoming encounter, something she does frequently. Instead of the usual circle of golden light she expected to feel surround her, she saw something quite different. “I remember that the car journey was particularly uncomfortable that day. It is only a 90 minute or so drive but I felt almost trapped in time. When I asked my guides to surround me with light and protection the face of a man appeared to me and whispered 3 words to me. “they won’t help”. I was shaken but didn’t want to worry Jayne or Si so I just carried on staring out of the window, at trees, signposts anything I could in an attempt to distract myself. I knew we were driving towards something that would challenge us, and part of me was screaming inside to turn around and go home”. Hazel Myers, Psychic Medium. In the book I detail that first encounter with Peggy’s previous owner, who for the purposes of protecting her identity is
referred to as JW, and of course our first experience of Peggy herself. What remains etched in my memory most strongly from that fateful September day were JW’s parting words:
“That doll nearly ruined my life. I want to forget it ever existed and I hope God protects you all”. JW, Peggy’s previous owner. The next 2 years would be a rollercoaster of emotions and experiences, none of which seemed to offer a solution to the increasingly obvious situation. I was forced to re-evaluate my belief system, my faith in God and my position on the spirit world and all things paranormal.
“I didn’t want to take any chances at first, hell, I didn’t want a heart attack!” Zak Bagans. But of course, the doll came back, but not without some precautions. We had our home blessed and anointed with Holy Water along with a set of rosary beads I had received during a trip to Vatican City in Rome several years prior. Those beads I placed on the doll, and they remain with her to this day in Zak’s museum, however we have been told numerous times that the entities around the doll dislike religion, and the 3 scratches I received while I was provoking whatever was with the doll to come forward certainly add weight to that claim. (3 scratches are believed by some to be symbolic of something mocking the Holy Trinity).
When I began investigating potentially haunted locations when I was just 15, I was filled with excitement. I didn’t consider what I could be opening myself up to, on any deeper level than pure juvenile thrill seeking, but at that point of course I had lived less than half the life I have lived now, and had trials yet to face that I couldn’t have possibly imagined. In November 2014, 2 months after bringing what was then simply known as “the doll” into my home, I fell ill. It wasn’t a sudden thing, it had been a very slow enduring process that had seen me go from my usual motivated and active self, to a woman who could barely get out of bed in the morning. I ached, felt tired, was suffering nightmares and was physically weaker by the day. Psychologically too I began to suffer, as the depression that came with my failing body took its toll on my outlook on life. I had no interest in my work and even family life took a nosedive. Looking back, I see how absolute it all was. It was as if something was slowly eating away at my life, in a very subtle but very effective way. The connection between JWs parting words, her experiences and my own downturn was one that at that time was not apparent, but is painfully clear now. Of course, I could have chalked it all up to coincidence, if it hadn’t been for what happened when the doll was removed from my home. I became well again. It took 2 or 3 days, but whatever had been hanging over me, draining my life force and weighing me down seemed to have lifted. Had I not acted when I did I can only imagine what the outcome for me may have been.
I have witnessed 2 very different sides to the case of Peggy the Doll in the time she has been with me. There are times when things happen that are quite frightening, and unexplainable, and there are times when I felt a warmth around her, especially when certain people meet her. Indeed, there have been occasions when people have felt incredibly loving towards the doll, as if there is someone associated with it, who needs protecting. During Patti Negi’s séance on Deadly Possessions she picked up on both a male and a female energy. The male she said was dark and controlling, the female was light and sweet. I found it fascinating as it had always been my experience, and gut feeling that if there were any spirits connected to the doll, if it all were really happening (and despite the things I’ve seen and experienced there will always be a tiny part of me that can’t quite believe it!) then I felt there would be multiple attachments, one in domination over the other. It certainly seemed that the darker entity was at play during Olivia Taylors overnight vigil with the doll in February 2016. Olivia was a trainee paranormal investigator living near Bewdley, Kidderminster and had desperately wanted to experience something paranormal. She had been on many investigations but never really felt she’s been in the presence of
a spirit, and so got in touch with me asking if she could hold a lone vigil with Peggy. I was hesitant, but we met, talked for a long time and it was agreed that she would spend 12 hours, from 8pm to 8am with Peggy in the hope of capturing some evidence of something supernatural. None of could have expected what happened. I’ll leave it to Olivia to tell her story, what I will say is, the investigation didn’t make it to 8am, and we wondered if Olivia would. “I couldn’t believe my luck when Jayne called me to say they’d decided to let me spend alone time with Peggy. I know it can’t have been an easy decision but from meeting Jayne in person I knew that she was as intrigued in the idea as I was, although she was very hesitant. Once I knew I’d be doing the lone vigil I suddenly felt nervous. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, but then I think you always feel like that when you’re about to embark upon something new and scary. When I met Jayne and Si at the hotel they had got Peggy ready, and all I had to do was set up my equipment. I’d decided not to take many things, being on my own I thought it would be interesting to try to use my own senses as much as possible rather than relying on my gadgets. Jayne had explained that I shouldn’t pick Peggy up, or touch her unless I’d asked aloud and felt I’d received a definite sign that it was ok. I decided to air on the side of caution and not even ask to be honest.
I’d say the first 2 or 3 hours were quite uneventful. I did get some fluctuations in temperature at odd, inconsistent times and had checked the air conditioning, which was off, so there wasn’t really an explanation. I kept making notes, every time something happened, thinking that maybe when I looked back over them the next day there might be a correlation or something. It was around 12.15am when I first noticed the shaking. I’d been questioning Peggy aloud about who she was, whether she could confirm how many fingers I was holding up by giving the correct number of taps, that kind of thing. I tried to write down the fact that I’d suddenly gone incredibly cold down my right side, and that the EMF meter had registered a change in the energy of the room when tingling started in my wrist, then spread up my arm. I assumed it was just the shivers as the room had gone much colder, but it didn’t stop. I ran my hand under warm water in the bathroom but still it wouldn’t stop. In the end, I sat on my hand and after about 3 minutes or so I felt it had calmed down, but I was feeling uneasy and watched. I tried to pick up my pen but my right arm was very weak and felt like I’d been laying down on it all night, like pins and needles, or what some people call a ‘dead arm’. I’ve never had anything like that happen before. I went to my bag to get my bottle of water but my arm and right side felt so weak by this point that I couldn’t open the zip. I was beginning to panic. I went right over to Peggy, stared her directly in the eyes and asked, “are you doing this?” I don’t remember much of what happened after that except that I had a sudden sharp pain in my head and the arm that had been tingling went completely numb. I lay on the end of the bed and suddenly the room was spinning. I had no sense of time at all. It could have been
a minute it could have been an hour. At some point, I felt I had enough strength to reach for my phone, which was on the floor and to this day I have no idea how it got there. Maybe I’d had it in my other hand and dropped it, I can’t remember. I called Jaynes number but I don’t remember saying anything. I think I blacked out, or maybe fell asleep on the end of the bed, as the next thing I remember is seeing people dressed in green (I soon realized they were paramedics) being let into the room by the hotel staff, followed by Jayne and Si. I could hear the paramedics asking me if I could speak and to tell them my name but it didn’t make any sense to me. I know I was taken to hospital, which is where I woke up the following day around 1pm they tell me. The experience has luckily left me without any permanent side effects or damage. Apparently, I’d suffered a sudden lack of oxygen to the brain, which could have been fatal. There is no proof that it was linked to something paranormal. But the odds are stacked strongly towards the suggestion that it was. What are the chances of someone young like me
having a stroke on the same night they try contacting a powerful spirit, and literally at the moment I asked Peggy if she was doing it? The experience hasn’t put me off paranormal work, if anything I’m more curious now than ever but as for Peggy, I won’t be getting involved again. No offense to Jayne or Si but I don’t see the point in risking my life and if anyone else is thinking of doing what I did…JUST DON’T”- Olivia Taylor After what happened to Olivia we were left with quite a dilemma. On a personal level I felt that it was only a matter of time before something fatal happened, after all the deaths of several dogs had already been linked to Peggy, and after the heart attack Katrin Reedik suffered in 2015 during an automatic writing session and now Olivia’s stroke I was concerned. In the book, I discuss my visit to a well-known psychic medium, who became so unsettled that she refunded me and told me she couldn’t read for me as the air in the room had become incredibly heavy. She was shaken and I was disappointed and
confused. If whatever energy or entity had accompanied me that day could un-nerve someone very versed with communing with those in spirit, then I had real problems! When Zak called me, and told me he wanted to dedicate the séance room in his museum to Peggy, I knew it was for the best. I knew I had reached a crossroads with her case, and that for the sake of my own sanity and the safety of my children I should let her go… but not completely. I agreed to remain involved in her case and to offer advice on her care, which has made letting her go much easier. You may well have noticed that when discussing Peggy, it is very much like I’m considering a ‘real’ person. This is how it has always been, and is for anyone who meets ‘her’. There is something about the energy that doll gives off that makes you not only feel watched, but at times judged too. One thing is for certain, when you’re in a room with Peggy the Doll you are certainly not alone and you know about it!
view Peggy, as unlike any other object visitors will be faced with a decision that could potentially have serious consequences…to look or not to look? She will put into question people’s bravery. If you were standing face to face with one of the most haunted objects in the world, responsible for heart attacks and strokes would YOU stare deep into her eyes? Or would your fear get the better of you? If you’re ever in Las Vegas I would encourage you to put yourself to the test…but don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Zak has taken the wise decision to request that visitors to the museum sign a release form if they want to
Early last spring, I was hard at work on a book that would come to be called The World’s Most Haunted Hospitals. The title is pretty self-explanatory: I wanted to identify hospitals and asylums from around the globe that are very paranormally active. It would have been great to actually get on a plane and visit each haunted location in person, but it wasn’t realistic, given how much it would cost; for many of them, I relied on interviews with eyewitness, mostly paranormal investigators who had put boots on the ground there themselves.
The hospital closed down more than ten years ago, supplanted by a newer, more modern facility. According to one of the owners, Mr. Kimm Andersen, it looks as though the staff basically just upped and left. Most of the equipment and fixtures were simply abandoned, including the patient beds, furniture, an X-ray machine, and most of the emergency room kit. So, what to do with an abandoned former hospital? Andersen’s answer was nothing short of inspired: turn it into a horror-themed Halloween haunted house attraction. Splatter the hallways and floors with blood, and place actors in ghoulish makeup throughout the place, all with the aim of giving visitors the fright of their lives.
THEY NAMED IT ASYLUM 49. One hospital was a little closer to home though: the old Tooele hospital, located just outside Salt Lake City, Utah. I first heard about the place from the TV show Ghost Adventures, where it was likened to being some kind of “ghost factory” by host Zak Bagans. Richard Estep has spent the last twenty years investigating claims of ghosts and hauntings on both sides of the Atlantic. Some of his cases (including Asylum 49) were filmed for the TV show Haunted Case Files. He is the author of In Search of the Paranormal, The World’s Most Haunted Hospitals, and Haunted Longmont. Richard lives in Colorado, where he makes his living as a paramedic.
What exactly makes a place like this so haunted? Part of it, I suspect, has to do with the former hospital’s proximity to the town cemetery, which sits right next door. Then there is the fact that the building adjoins a nursing home, where residents still report ghostly activity to this day.
When I spoke to the owners on the phone, they told me a bunch of hair-raising stories about the ghosts of Asylum 49, and then matter-of-factly invited me to come and see them for myself. How could I possibly refuse? Along with two fellow paranormal investigators, I loaded up my truck and headed 500 miles west to Utah. Walking around the Asylum was a cool experience, but our night there – a Saturday in April – was a little disappointing. Although we saw photos, listened to EVPs, and heard stories about the burned man who haunts the corridors, the playful children who run from room to room, and the dark, malevolent spirit whom staff have nicknamed “The Guardian” (many female employees flatly refuse to go into The Guardian’s area of the hospital) we passed a quiet and peaceful night, even drifting off to sleep at one point. No ghosts. No activity. I was disappointed.
“Here’s your problem,” Kimm and Cami Andersen told me when I gave them an update on my night there, “you came off-season. The place is basically abandoned right now. But when we ramp up for Halloween, we get over 30,000 visitors through those doors. That’s when the paranormal activity goes off the charts. You should come back in October.” That made perfect sense to me. “But it’s a long drive out there,” I winged. “One night won’t cut it.” “How about a week?” they countered. “We’ll give you the keys. You can move in.” Needless to say, I was sold. Which is how I found myself leading a team of paramedics, nurses, and paranormal investigators into the Asylum a second time…but this time, beginning from Halloween night onward, we would live in and thoroughly investigate the building, interrupted only for a few hours at night when it was operating as a haunted house. Once the visitors went home again, the Asylum went back to being a…well, a haunted house. A real one. Did we get any activity this time? Oh, hell yes. I encountered what I believe to be the first and only apparition I’ve ever seen in a twenty year career as a paranormal investigator, the ghost of a little girl who is often reported running and playing in the many rooms and corridors. An SB-11 Spirit Box session turned decidedly nasty when the voices made lewd and threatening remarks to my female investigators, and then proceeded to scratch one of them on the shoulder. She only noticed the three angry red lines when she was getting ready for bed the following morning. Having heard a great deal about Asylum 49’s “big bad,” The
Guardian, we decided to confront him on his own turf. This is a part of the hospital that has been converted into a series of mazes, and it is easy to get lost and disoriented in there, even with the lights on. We worked with the lights out, using thermal cameras and night vision to get around. The Asylum’s resident psychic medium accompanied us (albeit reluctantly) and told us that she could see The Guardian as a looming black mass in the same room as us. I proceeded to provoke him, and ended up getting him to leave. “He’s a bully,” she said, “and he doesn’t like the fact that you’re standing up to him. He’s leaving, going back out into the maze.” It would have been tempting to dismiss the entire story as just that – an imaginative story – were it not for the fact that all of us heard the sound of footsteps, slowly receding into the distance. We knew that the hospital was locked up as tight as a drum, because we’d done it ourselves before heading into the maze. An experiment in the old emergency room that involved performing CPR on a simulated cardiac arrest victim backfired, blowing up in my face in a chilling way. After it was over, I walked along the main corridor to go and fetch my portable radio from the security center. On the way back, a door that had been wedged open for the entire week slammed violently – and I really do mean violently – behind me, missing me by inches. A great deal more happened to us during that very busy and active week, and it would take a book to tell you the entire story. Which is why I wrote one, in conjunction with co-author Cami Andersen. The Haunting of Asylum 49 is currently available from bookshops and online retailers, and is published by Career Press/New Page Books. HAUNTED MAGAZINE
n 2005, The Blockbuster Movie â€˜THE EXORCISM OF EMILY ROSEâ€™ was to take the world by storm. The movie was about a young lady, that lost her short life battling with an alleged Demonic Possession, leaving behind a controversy of how she was either failed by medical science, or by her faith and religion, or even both? The Movie was centred on an alleged Demonic Possession, and who were to be held responsible of negligence towards her death, both medically and physically. It was also based on the Performance of Exorcism Rites, and involved a long and intricate court battle. Which made this movie different from your average Horror film.
T h e
E x o r c i s m
ANNALIESE MICHEL T H E
R E A L
E M I L Y
R O S E
BY CLARE BURROWS
So, what if I told you, this movie, ‘The Exorcism of Emily Rose’ was based on a very real and incredibly well documented event in history? Anneliese Elisabeth Michel was born on the 1st of September 1952, in a small town called Klingenberg, Bavaria, Western Germany. She was the eldest of four sisters and her parents Josef and Anna Michel raised their family as devout and traditional Catholics. Anneliese was reported to be a very bright and intelligent girl, and enjoyed her studies, as well as being a lover of music and singing, it was also reported by her teachers and classmates she was a quiet and happy child. Anneliese was also the victim of several illnesses throughout her childhood, and before the age of 5 had contracted
Mumps, Scarlet Fever and Measles. Her kindergarten teacher described her as a delicate child and she was kept at home a year longer than the other children. After this period of illness, she was also struck down with series of sore throats which resulted in having her tonsils removed, she then contracted a serious case of pleurisy and pneumonia, and this was then complicated further by a tuberculosis infection. It was around the time of Anneliese’s 16th birthday, that her life was about to take another downfall, she suffered what was thought to be a blackout whilst at school, and then later that evening, what some may call an ‘Epileptic Seizure’, She experienced waking up completely paralysed, short of breath, a sore tongue, a loss of control in her bladder
and was left completely terrified. This episode was again to be repeated almost a year later, in August 1969, where again she suffered a blackout, and then later, awoken again to a violent ‘seizure’ Anna Michel, took her daughter the following day to visit the family’s physician, and was referred onto a Neurologist by the name of Dr Siegfried Lüthy. Two days after the referral Anneliese had been given an EEG, and it was determined then, that her brain activity was presented as ‘normal’. Dr Lüthy had suggested of possible cerebral seizures, with symptoms of possible Grand Mal epilepsy, however no medications were prescribed to her at this stage. In early 1970, Anneliese was confined to her bed and stopped attending school due to
her tuberculosis infection, and was also admitted to a clinic which specialised in treating lung conditions in adolescents, it was also brought to her parent’s attention that Anneliese also suffered from circulatory and heart problems. In June 1970, Anneliese was then to suffer her Third violent blackout and paralysis, this time resulting in being seen by another Neurologist, Dr Von Haller, whom after performing another EEG, found irregularities in her brain patterns, resulting in being prescribed anticonvulsive medication, and being treated for Epilepsy. Now knowing the history of Anneliese Michel’s childhood, upbringing and medical history, it is now time to look further into what was the next phase of catastrophic events that were to occur over the next few years.
Psychosis or Possession? Over the next few years of Anneliese’s life, she became distant, and increasingly depressed. She had to endure constant Doctors’ appointments, clinic stays, tests, medication changes and suffered emotional trauma due to the constant stress. A close friend of Anneliese also made a claim that she had thrown herself in to her own religious studies as she withdrew from her friends. In September 1973, Anneliese made a new claim, and this was to her neurologist Dr Lüthy, she had been suffering from the
throughout her illness, and visions of demonic faces, this is also where she stated that he remained a constant during these episodes she support through this turmoil. felt ‘empty’ and confided in Anneliese was studying to her doctor “It was as though become a teacher, and was the devil were inside her”. planning to marry her teenage These episodes of demonic sweetheart Peter, however, faces appearing are known in the springtime of 1973, in German as ‘FRATZEN’ and Anneliese started to hear along with these visions, she tapping and knocking noises also claimed that she was in the middle of the night. She experiencing foul smelling was again, taken to a doctor odours, something of which who ran tests and the results in her words she described came back as as ‘burning normal. During faeces’. “The majority her academic As her have abandoned exams, condition, Anneliese’s the Nazarene. seizures symptoms and How foolish! erupted, The depression Convulsions, Those still intensified Demonic voices, faithful are a along and ‘Fratzen’ came the small flock”. became start of increasingly demonic voices also, claiming worse. She was beginning the voices were “damning her to have trouble walking and to hell”!! As these episodes talking and was also showing became more frequent and signs of aggression towards debilitating, she still managed family members, friends to function in everyday life, and herself. One reported and she was seen by several incident occurred whilst professionals and prescribed eating dinner one evening, both medication for her Anneliese’s hands swelled to seizures and psychosis. twice their normal size, Anna Anneliese still managed to stated her daughter cried maintain a loving relationship out “I have black hands, my with her boyfriend Peter, saviour, forgive me”. At the
time when this happened she also claimed she could see a vision on the walls, the demonic faces this time was described as “having 7 crowns and 7 horns” It was also reported that by this time she was becoming increasingly scared and disrespectful of religious imagery and certain religious objects. In 1973, Anneliese, along with her father Josef, attended a pilgrimage to San Damiano; during this visit she could not enter the shrine as she claimed that her feet were ‘burning’ from the ground underneath her. On the way home from the pilgrimage, there was a change to her vocal chords and her voice became more masculine and gravelled. She also protruded a vile stench coming from within her, which was also reported by other travellers amongst them on the journey home. By this point it was becoming clear to the Michel family that Anneliese, could perhaps possibly be possessed, after becoming increasingly more negative in nature and unresponsive to her medications, they turned to the Church for guidance.
Anneliese found solace at the hands of Father Ernst Alt, and although Father Alt, always believed possession couldn’t be possible to someone who was baptised, he became more convinced in a short period of time that this could be a full-blown possession by the Devil himself. It was in 1975 that Father Arnold Renz became involved with Anneliese’s case, and after exhausting all the medical avenues, and Anneliese’s physician/ Neurologist stating to the family ‘to consult with a Jesuit for guidance’ it was clear he had to move forward with the claim of possible Possession. Father Arnold Renz, a senior Priest and Exorcist was mortified at was he was first to witness. He claims, Anneliese was thrown from wall to wall and from wall to ground by some kind of unseen force in his presence, as Anneliese each time would get up and re-sight the ‘Hail Mary’, each time to be hauled back the ground again. He interrogated the apparent Demon within her, to support his claims for Demonic Possession and to pursue Exorcism Rites for this tortured young lady, when this happened Anneliese responded by grabbing herself around her throat and neck and violently destroyed her Rosary. Destroying such a Divine object of faith, to the deeply religious this was something only a Demon was capable of. In 1975, the Bishop of Wurzberg granted Father Arnold Renz Exorcism Rites for this case and on the 3rd August 1975, a Sunday, the day of the lord, Anneliese was to endure her first Exorcism.
She used to claim that the Demons she saw danced around the Priests mocking them. She spent two days under the kitchen table barking like a dog, she attacked and bit family members, was repeatedly thrown to the ground and from wall to wall by apparent invisible forces, she often spoke in tongues, and used the same Austrian inflections
As the Exorcisms began Anneliese was still fully medicated for her convulsions, however, her condition escalated rapidly and she became significantly worse. The Demons reported to have possessed Anneliese made their presence known almost instantly, and it was at this point they revealed themselves and spoke through Anneliese in a deeply disturbing “I took Judas with and unnatural manner. me! He is always at The Demons revealed my service. He is themselves as JUDAS, damned. He could CAIN, NERO, and HITLER, FLEISHMAN have saved himself, AND LUCIFER himself. but he has not I would like to point out followed the at this stage that some of Anneliese’s audio files Nazarene”. from the Exorcisms are available to listen to online, as Hitler apparently did in life as this case was so well during the exorcisms. She documented throughout, was also often found, kneeling they really make some and growling and spitting remarkable and incredibly in the corner of her room, chilling listening if you dare... As the Exorcism’s progressed, she took to eating bugs and spiders, she bit the head off Anneliese’s Demons became a dead bird and defecated on more agitated and volatile. her bedroom floor often licking Anneliese was becoming very up and drinking her own urine. withdrawn from everyone and Anneliese, the once beautiful, everything, she was tired, vibrant, academic, intelligent, battered and beginning to look emaciated. quiet and religious girl, was
now becoming a volatile product of Satan it seemed, and she went on to endure over 60 Exorcisms each time lasting up to four hours per session. The Medications were not working, the Exorcisms were escalating in volatility, Anneliese was emaciated, broken, battered, bruised from head to toe, tired and reduced to nothingness. Her eyes were withdrawn, she had dark circles ingrained in to her skin around her eyes, and her skin became infected from self-harm during the sessions and repeated throwing from wall to floor. Her Demons spoke through her with such hatred towards the church; it was becoming evident that Anneliese Michel was losing her battle to fight these Demons within her. In addition to what was happening to Anneliese in front of her family and the Priests, it was further documented that furniture began to move of its own accord around the house. The brutality suffered in these episodes of Exorcisms, would hear the deep howls, screams, and heart stopping cries from within Anneliese from the depths of what could be described as ‘HELL’.
She was often chained to a chair or held down by brute force during these episodes in a bid to prevent Anneliese from harming others and especially herself. During peaceful times in between these episodes, she would remain focused on her future, planning her career and marriage to Peter, hoping someday they would find a cure for her Demons, both mentally or physically perhaps? During one of her peaceful times, she went off for a walk with her partner Peter, and although very frail and aided by him in walking, Anneliese was reported to have entered a Trance like state and to Peter’s astonishment, she walked off alone...
THE VISION That day Anneliese walked alone in trance she stated, “she had a vision” this vision was that she walked alongside THE MOTHER OF CHRIST, THE VIRGIN MARY. Anneliese claimed the Mother of Christ had spoken to her, and chosen her to do Penance, for all the souls that were going to Hell. She claimed she was given 3 days to consider the offer. When Anneliese arrived back home after her vision she told her family and priests of what had happened and in an elated state said she had been relieved of her Possession for the next 3 days whilst she decided. Miraculously the next three days saw Anneliese in significantly better health. Just how can a girl so fragile, emaciated, battered, bruised, infected in her wounds and physically drained suddenly be relieved so rapidly from her symptoms? Just three days later Anneliese had made the decision to do Penance and become some form of Martyr for mankind and for the souls that were damned to hell. On the 31st of October 1975, the Mother
of Christ was to return and cast out The Demons that had been haunting Anneliese for so long. As the exorcism began this day, which is also heard on the audiotapes of this episode, Anneliese let out a blood-curdling roar and cried out “SHE IS COMING!!!” The Demons that entangled Anneliese’s soul apparently agreed to leave Anneliese one by one... each Demon, CAIN, JUDAS, FLEISHMAN, HITLER, NERO AND LUCIFER all speaking through Anneliese as they departed her body... Finally, Anneliese was free of her Demons and what was tormenting her for so long, but in a final shocking twist to any Exorcism ever documented, after just 15 minutes, the Demons were back, and stated through Anneliese “they were trapped inside of her”. From this point on the Demons would complain through her every day, Anneliese was so tormented no matter how much she gorged on food and drink her body was beginning to give up on her, she was dangerously thin and starting to rot, she was in excruciating pain and simply ‘dying’.
Anneliese Michel, sadly passed away at the mere age of just 23 on the 1st July 1976. What Anneliese had endured over the last 8 years of her young life was not only torture and terror, the last 9 months had been particularly brutal to any living entity here on earth, and with this as a huge factor towards her undeniable suffering, perhaps her death was a blessing for her soul and those close to her?
Father Alt suggested medication to help her pain and suffering and consulted with a friend and Physician Dr Richard Roth. He examined Anneliese and made a chilling statement “I cannot give medication to a Possessed person, there is no injection against the Devil” On further examination of Anneliese, it was reported that he noticed she had the marks of STIGMATA, the nail inflicted wounds of Christ were present in both her hands and her legs.
Anneliese’s death sparked a hugely controversial court case against her Priests, the Church and her family. In a widely renowned Atheist society in Germany after WW2, Exorcism and the aspect of Demonic Possession, simply was not entertained, nor recognised or taken seriously. Although the Michel family and the priests had carried out the wishes and beliefs of Anneliese and her apparent possession, they were all found guilty of the neglect of her psychosis and much needed physical medical attention.
Anneliese was decaying rapidly at this stage and around the beginning of 1976, Anneliese made a revelation and perhaps premonition, she pronounced “something would change in July” Tragically, the once beautiful, vibrant, quiet, intelligent and tormented
Anneliese had been the centre of 67 Exorcisms in total within a 9-month period, some lasting up to four hours per session, and there are up to 42 that are documented and recorded on files and audio. The Autopsy Report revealed that Anneliese had died from malnutrition and Starvation; she also had broken knees from the constant genuflections to her God and Faith. She weighed a mere 30 kilograms, which is just over 4.5 stone.
THE LEGALITIES AND CONTROVERSIAL COURT CASE
Although her Autopsy did reveal that her Brain results showed absolutely no signs of damage caused by ANY epileptic seizure, this was merely overlooked in Court along with the in-
depth documentations and audiotapes that were made throughout the possession period. In 1978, Anneliese’s parents Josef and Anna Michel, also, Father Erst Alt and Father Arnold Renz were found guilty and charged with Negligent Homicide, and each of them served a sentence of 6 months imprisonment with a 3-month suspended sentence. This story of Anneliese Michel is one of the most controversial, well documented and biggest cases of supposed Demonic Possession possibly ever recorded in our modern-day history. To Atheists, she is simply failed by medicine, relatives and her own faith. To several who failed to save her soul within her faith, she is simply best forgotten. And to the masses of religious individuals, she has become a modern-day Martyr. Whatever the belief system is of what happened to this poor, tragic and haunted Child of Christ, she was a product of failure and torture on all accounts, both physically and mentally. She suffered so brutally at the hands of Evil whether that was Demons possessing her or Demons within her psyche. Anneliese Michel now rests at the Cemetery, a stone’s throw away from the house she was once haunted in, which now has been burned down through apparent vandalism. Her grave is still to this day visited by thousands, who believe she died a Martyr, although sadly it is visited by Devil Worshippers also. Which makes this story even more profound to those who follow it, as even in death there is no answer. Whatever people and humanity truly believe of heaven and hell, the story of Anneliese Michel 1952-1976 certainly makes an impact to any soul that wishes to delve into her remarkable story....
CHARLOTTE’S FLESH FICTION
“Will he be long?” I asked, impatiently. “We don’t like to dictate set amounts of time, I’m afraid,” the woman replied. She was sat at a large wooden desk with jet black hair piled high on her head. It appeared as if she had too many teeth in her mouth and her eyes were bulging out of their sockets. I sighed loudly in response and sat back down. To my left, and the one up next, was a man who appeared to be in his late 70s, early 80s with age spots and wrinkled skin. He had a kind face and puffed out his lips to smile every time we made eye contact. To my right, a young teenage girl with blonde hair in gym gear. Next to her, a middleaged woman surrounded by shopping bags full of food. What an odd thing to bring into a doctor’s waiting room, I though. My head seared with pain, blinding lights and heat that I’d
never experienced before in my life flooded my mind. I heard, “Mr Jonson,” called by the receptionist, “would you like to go through?” The blinding heat made me scream, and I could feel the others in the room look at me, without even opening my eyes. I was surrounded by fire and flesh and metal. The smell was intoxicating, suffocating. I began to gag. The heat biting at every bit of my skin. Then, as fast as it came, the pain (and images) went, and once again I was back in the waiting room. No one was watching, no one had even noticed, I don’t think. After another few seconds, I tried to remember why I had come to the doctors; I had felt fine until that migraine imitation. This wasn’t even my doctors. I slammed my handbag to the floor once again, storming over to the receptionist, I asked once again, “Erm, where
am I exactly?” The pain and suffocation started again. I fell to the floor, on my knees. I grabbed at my hair which wasn’t there; only melted hot skin which merged with my melted finger tips. I tried to move from where I sat, but a seat belt stopped me. I realised I was in a car and looked to my left where my child’s burnt remains sat, still in her car seat. I awoke from this dream once again; all the pain had gone. The memories were fuzzy, unclear. I held on to the wooden desk and pulled myself up, “Where am I?” I asked, hazy. “You’re in the waiting room,” the woman retorted. “Yes,” I said, irritated, “Which waiting room?” “The waiting room for Hell,” she smiled, falsely.
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The vaped steam blew back on my face; the water vapour providing a visual representation of the smog that covered my mind. I stared at her. The etch of terror defined her face, her mouth elongated and contorted. This wasn’t my first attempt. I had tried with the ingestion of her eye drops into her green shake. It tasted vile before I put them in, it was just a different flavour of vile this time around. That evening, she near enough sicked up her own stomach, but no death. No suspicion. She just made the move to avoid raw eggs in her shakes from that point on. I took another breath of bubble gum and recoiled at the blood that oozed from her left eye. She enjoyed her morning moans: where I left
my clothes, the sound of the hamster wheel in the evening, the choice of television show. My own life dictated in my own house, by a woman I’d barely known four months. By the end of the first month, I had realised my mistake and her voice had morphed into this droned white noise, creeping and sweeping around my flat. By month two, I could hear that same voice even after she’d left the building. A constant echoed criticism of my life, my house. I crossed my aching legs in the opposite direction to what they had been, getting bored of bubble gum. I took a deep breath in and smelt the bitter almond odour that now filled the room. I made a mental note to change the fluid, almond would be nice. The third month,
that was my salt and eye drop attempt. Salt had been detected too quickly. I constructed my best sympathetic monologue and made my excuses, sugar mix-up. Even now, as I sit in front of her currently deformed stance, her blonde hair, blue-eyes and toned body was wasted on her. It was never good enough. She always wanted to be thinner, fitter, blonder. It’s a shame she couldn’t have aspired to be nicer. The last straw was her throwing away my e-cig, ‘passive smoking kills’, she said. “So does stupidity,” I laughed, looking at the bloodied sick down her top, piled in her lap.
ON THE TRAIL OF
“OLD STINKER” BY MIKE COVELL
ast year I wrote an article for the Hull Daily Mail, “The Beast of Barmston Drain,” (May 6th, 2016) with a view of creating an impartial article based on the sightings made by eyewitnesses across Hull in an area of Sculcoates around Barmston Drain. The sightings, which included an eyewitness pool of 20 individuals spanning back to the early 1980’s was made up of people whom had, or still do, work in professional jobs, including lorry drivers, RAF staff, a former armed forces member, a Hull City Councillor, and members of the retail industry. These individuals, with whom I spoke to, all
seemed genuine in what they had seen, and in many cases appeared to be frightened. None of them would return to the scene with me, resulting in me using maps and photos to establish where they had witnessed the creature. Within days the article began to spread with appearances in local, national and even international media outlets, with reporters from across the world turning their attention on Hull, with the story even making an appearance on BBC’s “Have I Got News For You.” Reporters made contact from America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and across the UK, and the stories of the sightings went viral, with
mentions on numerous websites, ezines, podcasts, and videos on YouTube. With the global media spotlight aimed at the “Beast of Barmston Drain,” or “Old Stinker” as it was now being dubbed, it made sense to mount another search for whatever it was that caused the sightings. I ended up taking numerous trips out in search of the mythical creature, what follows is an update on the case, and an investigation report in search of the creature the press have now dubbed “Old Stinker.” These included newspaper reports, television crews, and Rev. Peter Laws, who brought with him string and peppered steak to attract the creature!
On the evening of Friday May 20th, 2016, I headed out to Barmston Drain, armed with audio and visual recording equipment, my trusty torch, and battered old camera. I was met at the drain by Charles Christian, who has researched similar sightings in Yorkshire, his wife Jane Christian, who is an expert animal tracker, and representatives from the media. The night was overcast, with sporadic clearances in the cloud cover, and a minor rain shower that failed to dampen our enthusiasm. We could
A Picture of Barmston Drain taken in 2016
hear dogs howling in the distance, which added to the atmosphere, and a pungent smell filled the air. Initially it was believed that this smell could be “Old Stinker,” but I pointed out the close proximity of the tanning yard which stands off to the eastern side of the drain, and often fills the air with an awful aroma. As we walked along the drain, heading towards Stepney Lane, we noticed some bushes between the old railway embankment on the western side and the track next to the drain. They had been uprooted and flattened, almost as if something had made a flattened patch, but we could not rule out the human element, so walked on.
We walked towards the cycle track that stretches between Bridlington Avenue and Wincolmlee and walked towards the allotments on the western side of the drain. It was here where we encountered something rather odd. Standing on the western bank we witnessed a set of green eyes, about 20cm/8in apart on the eastern bank about half way up the drain embankment. We watched them as they watched us from the opposite side of the drain bank. As we watched a second set appeared about 20ft to the left-hand side, again bright green and watching us. We tried taking photos but the bank was about 30ft wide at that point
and all the images came back black, even with the three flashes and two torches. Whatever they were they ran as we tried to get a better view, on the way out of their hiding spot, which was halfway up the drain bank, they crashed very loudly through thick undergrowth, trees and bushes.
member of the paranormal community joined us. We retraced the previous night’s route, stopping to look at the broken branches. We noticed that they were quite a distance up the side of the embankment and surrounded by nettles.
With the rain getting heavier we retired a little after midnight in the search of a hot drink and shelter.
We headed out to the spot where I had seen the eyes the previous evening, and we followed the overgrown path, that was now like a babbling brook because the rainfall.
The second night, Saturday May 21st was the full moon, but a terrible rain storm meant that it remained hidden for about 40 minutes. Seven residents, including a group of documentary makers, a sceptic, and a well-respected
As we descended the embankment the rain stopped, the sky cleared and the moon presented itself. Everyone stopped and looked up at the celestial object and a moment of silence descended on the group.
We decided to retrace our steps but on encountering some tracks we followed them through the thick undergrowth, at this point we somehow got separated. Four of us ended up at one end of the drain but the other four could not be seen or heard. We tried calling them but despite a phone tower being at one end of the drain we lost signal in our phones, then a streetlight along Stepney Lane, closest to our position, turned off unexpectedly. We tried shouting but despite a fantastically atmospheric echo we did not hear from our friends. Eventually, 30 minutes later, we saw torchlight and signalled to them all meeting back up to finish off the search. We looked at the three local cemeteries, various tracks, the drain itself, the allotments, but found no tracks, no sign of animal activity, and certainly nothing that looked, smelled, sounded or acted like a wolf, werewolf, dogman, or big cat. The search has inspired others to come forward too, in the past week a plethora of sightings have arrived from all manner of residents and professionals. They include a gentleman who was driving across Fountain Road Bridge, driving towards Bridlington Avenue when off to the right he saw what he could only describe as a large dog near the allotments at the side of Barmston Drain. He went on to describe it having a huge frame, with very dark matted hair, and it stood looking at him as he drove over. He refused to return to the spot to show me where it had taken place. Then there was the dog warden who had worked for many years with Hull City Council, who informed me that years ago he had been asked to investigate reports of a wild dog along this stretch of Barmston Drain between Sculcoates Lane and Stepney Lane. He made inquiries, searched, but found no evidence of the creature that was reported to have chased people along the drain. There was the married couple who took me to not one but two spots where they had witnessed a large canine, one of these encounters took place on Stepney Lane, when it chased the witness and his friends as they rode home one evening. The other sighting took place on Reform Street, where they witnessed the creature jump over a wall adorned with barbed wire. When the couple, who were both down to earth and very genuine, took me to the spots of their sightings in their car, they refused to stop the engine or even get out of the car. The fear in their voices and their body language showed that whatever they had witnessed still created an element of fear.
WHAT COULD IT BE? To remain as impartial as possible I have been chatting with locals, wildlife experts, photographers, eyewitnesses and other researchers which have resulted in a few possibilities of what it is that has been seen on this stretch of the drain. Here are some of the suggestions put forward;
After two nights of searching along the drain in the hope of providing answers I have yet to see or document the mythical creature, but with interest at an all-time high, the search continues, full moon or not, we will continue the search. A photograph of Barmston Drain from the archives
1. BIG DOG SUPERNATURAL Big Dog sightings around the region have been going on for centuries, with nicknames given to the creatures such as the Barghest, Padfoot, and Old Shuck. They are believed to be portents of death, and have featured in popular culture, most notoriously in Sherlock Holmes Hound of the Baskervilles. Their origins are based in Germanic, Celtic, and European mythology, and it is claimed that they are often sighted near churches, cemeteries or other areas of religious worship. It should be noted that Sculcoates Lane has two cemeteries and St. Mary’s Church. That said, the dogs are usually described with large red eyes and accompanied by electrical storms, none of which have been reported.
2. BIG DOG NATURAL: So, if it’s not a supernatural big dog, perhaps it’s a natural one? At least two eyewitness’s independent of each other lay claim to having seen large wild dogs in the area as far back as the 1980’s, another eyewitness reported that he was tasked with investigating similar sightings but could not track the creature. Interestingly, in another edition of the Hull Daily Mail we reported on the sighting made at Hull’s Alexandra and King George Docks in the 1930’s. The hunt for the large oversized wolfhound made international headlines at the time, and despite several eyewitness reports, and a detective sergeant touching it, the dog vanished and no evidence was ever found of it.
Coincidentally, the railway lines that run to these docks run over Barmston Drain, off Sculcoates Lane, and did so at the time of the 1930’s sightings. Could the eyewitnesses be seeing a dog that has been set loose and is now living off the wildlife that is in abundance around the drain?
3. BIG CAT Big Cat sightings are nothing new in Hull, one of the earliest sightings in the region took place in 1947, when an unnamed East Yorkshire motorist saw a lion near Kirkella in his headlights. The sighting led to a high-profile search by the police but nothing was found. It wasn’t until the 1990’s, however; when a mass of sightings took place. Between 1994 and 2012 hundreds of sightings were made across East Yorkshire including sightings at Brough, Raywell, Welton, Bilton, Keyingham, Burstwick, Sproatley and at many other locations. One of the prevalent theories is that these big cats were pets until the introduction of the 1976 Dangerous Animal Act, which caused owners to buy licenses, thus making many allegedly release their pets into the wild.
4. DEER One suggestion hinted at the sightings being attributed to Roe Deer. Roe Deer have been spotted along Barmston Drain at numerous sites through the years, but these sightings usually take place at the northern end of the drain, towards Beverley. The vegetation and habitat along the northern stretches of the drain, where it is less populated, can support such creatures, with an abundance of grass,
leaves, young shoots and berries along the drain. Interestingly two features of the Roe Deer fit in with the sightings. The ability to leap large distances being the primary point raised in support of this creature being what people are reporting, but the lesser known fact that when these creatures are threatened they let out a bark, not unlike a dog.
5: HUMAN Could it be that eyewitnesses are seeing something natural, as opposed to supernatural, in the form of a man or woman? The area to the west of Barmston Drain where the vast majority of sightings take place is heavy populated with the estate off Bridlington Avenue housing thousands. Could eyewitnesses be seeing someone such as a dog walker, angler, or someone on the way along the track on the way to work? On the previous night and day walks along the track I have bumped into numerous people of all ages, seen workers cycling and walking to and from work, witnessed workers sitting on the public benches eating lunch, and watched as one lad sat with a hand-held fishing line in an attempt to lure one of the many fish to the banks. With poor lighting at the best of times and difficult visibility it’s a possibility, however, several of the sightings have come from the area across the drain on the side of the bank without a path, where it’s heavily populated with thick brush, nettles, thorns, and ivy.
UPDATE The search continues for the beast, and as it does more eyewitnesses come forward, a pattern of sightings has emerged showing that clusters of sightings take place at three distinct areas along the drain, all of which are a short distance away from each other. To date no one has captured video evidence of the creature, although one paranormal group did put forward a very dodgy looking photo mock up showing trees and a very dodgy looking image of a werewolf stood by the tree. More and more are joining the search, and with them come more equipment and skills in the hunt for whatever it is that people are seeing. One thing is for sure, there is no let up on the search for the “Beast of Barmston Drain.”
There are more American shows out there than ever before and a lot of them are doing the rounds on a few UK TV channels. Now, let’s not forget these are “entertainment” shows, that doesn’t mean that they are faked or staged, or must be faked or staged but their job is to entertain for an hour otherwise why would a TV channel show it? Anyway, enough of the paranormal politics, let’s get back to having fun. To me, from a personal point of view, ghost hunting is all about having fun, doing something you love doing but not knowing what the hell is going to happen, that’s fun, surely. Yes, there’s nothing wrong in people wanting to prove that ghosts are real or aren’t real (although I do find it weird people ghost hunting in the hope that they prove that ghosts don’t exist). There are crazy fools out there who believe that there’s no place for laughter and humour on a ghost hunt, apparently, it’s disrespectful to the spirits, the very same spirits that may or may not be real. (now that IS funny). Humour is a defence mechanism, a knee-jerk reaction to something, a way of unsettling the nerves, a way of building up the energies and can be an inducer of calmness when needed. 16 months ago (April 2016), a new American paranormal TV series debuted on Destination America. Ghost Brothers follows ghost hunters Dalen Spratt, Juwan Mass and Marcus Harvey investigating alleged haunted locations across America. Series 2 followed in March of this year. Series 2 followed in March of this year. What is special and different about the Ghost Brothers is that a) they are the first Afro-American ghost hunters to have their own series and b) they are possibly the first TV team to let their personalities and their humour play a massive role in ghost hunting. In May of this year the series debuted on a UK TV channel, Quest Red and at time of this magazine being out it has already become the most viewed programme on the channel and has become one of the most talked about paranormal TV shows on social media. We were over the paranormal moon when we got the chance to speak to Dalen, Juwan and Marcus a few days ago, note: Marcus had just become a Dad, so he couldn’t be there for all the questions, but we know the rules: family first, phantoms later.
Firstly, guys, welcome to the land of TV in the UK, how does it feel to be on TV in the UK, knowing that the UK are now watching your paranormal adventures? DALEN: Honestly, I am speechless. Never in a million years could we have ever dreamed of this. We are just a couple of southern boys who decided to step outside the box. We thought receiving a tv show was the biggest thing ever BUT now being received INTERNATIONALLY???? That’s like reaching inside your Happy Meal and finding a 20-dollar bill!! LUNCH ON ME! Well… come season 3 lol. JUWAN: Thank you! I can feel the excitement bubbling inside. It’s like a champagne cork about to burst. MARCUS: Love that we are in the UK hopefully the Queen will tune in lol but I’m serious the whole family. What can you tell us how you got into the paranormal? JUWAN: Playing in a cemetery as a child and feeling like something was chasing me that I couldn’t see it was made paranormal real for me. Once I got older and met these guys who had similar experiences we began exploring to answer the questions of our own curiosity. DALEN: We met in Atlanta, Georgia while me and Juwan were in college
and Marcus was cutting hair around the colleges. Just like most friends, we began to discuss topics from girls to ghosts. Come to find out, all three of us had unexplainable instances happen to us as kids. Us being adults now decided it was time for us to put on our big boy trousers and find out some answers for ourselves. MARCUS: My bro Dalen was getting a cut in my shop The Musa Lair when he started telling me about him and Juwan going hunting. I was like cool but he didn’t tell it was a ghost, I was tricked into it LOL. What are the freakiest and scariest places that you have investigated so far? MARCUS: House of Wills hands down, it was a vacation home for the devil DALEN: Have to agree with the man, by far the scariest place I have ever stepped foot in was the House of Wills in the HOOD of Cleveland, Ohio. Let’s just say I felt safer outside than I did inside. I am pretty sure the devil resides there… and may be renting rooms on Air BnB. JUWAN: Without a shadow of a doubt House of Wills, Cleveland, Ohio. It’s like if the devil had a vacation home, then it would be there.
Who gets scared the most? DALEN: Definitely Juwan. He is too big and his clothes are too tight for him to be as scary as he is. At least he’s handsome, poor child.
Have your own views changed on the paranormal since doing Ghost Brothers?
MARCUS: Juwan but this season he’s been down for whatever, which has probably put me in the lead for scariest (laughing)
JUWAN: I can’t say changed, but I think doing Ghost Brothers has opened my mind up to alternate perspectives about the afterlife.
JUWAN (laughing): I, Juwan Mass,
DALEN: Definitely before starting
MARCUS: I’m would say I’m more in tune with the spiritual side of my life now. Being a Christian has me still upholding a moral standard but with the profession you have to go to your limits. (Marcus’s phone rings, small exchange of words) Sorry guys, I got to go, I got a nappy to change and that’s scarier than ANY ghost. As he leaves the room he shouts “Marcus, GHOSTING OUT”
do, that’s the unanimous decision amongst the group.
Right, it’s time to pop the trunk on this interview guys, what is the best piece of ghost hunting that you like, and why? DALEN: What I enjoy most about ghost hunting is trying to speak to the spirts and connect with them on a personal level. Not judging them no matter the story, but truly trying to understand their perspective. Everyone yearns to be heard, both the
Ghost Brothers I was just uncertain. I didn’t know what to think. But NOW?? There is no doubt in my mind that we are not alone walking this earth. Conversely now, more questions have been sparked. Like, why are some spirits still here, and where do you actually go when you pass away… I guess I should be patient with my inquisitiveness because one way or another one day we will all find out.
living and the dead. Add a dope SLS Camera and I am in paranormal Heaven (all puns intended). JUWAN: I like using all types of equipment. There’s nothing like bringing versatility to an investigation. Would you like to come over to the UK and investigate, have you any particular locations that you’ve heard of over here?
DALEN (laughing): I would love to come to the U.K. period! I guess if I should investigate while I’m there, I will lol. I have been hearing about this place from of few people in our Ghost Brothers Family (fans), The Ancient Ram Inn. People have likened it to The House of Wills with all the evil energy surrounding it. Could be very interesting to investigate. Hell, I’m always down for an adventure.
JUWAN: I know that I can speak for nappy changer Marcus on his behalf on this one, we would love to investigate in the UK. I’ve always wanted to go straight ghosting in a castle. What’s your favourite scary movie? JUWAN: There are so many scary movie classics that it’s hard to pick one. But as of recently, I’ve enjoyed Get Out.
“Traditionally black folks have been taught not to “play” with spirits. Being deeply rooted in southern Christianity we’ve always been taught that the only ghost we acknowledge is the Holy Ghost.” - DALEN
DALEN: “Candyman”, hands down. That movie literally scared the life out of me as a child. I dare you till this day to look in the mirror and say his name 3 times! You say it yourself, so I must ask, why has it taken so long for Afro-American guys to ghost hunt and get on TV? Have you come across any black ghosts yet? DALEN: Traditionally black folks have been taught not to “play” with spirits. Being deeply rooted in southern Christianity we’ve always been taught that the only ghost we acknowledge is the Holy Ghost. And besides we have seen enough movies of white people playing with ghosts to know better… oh we pay attention (laughing). But the Ghost Brothers are here to break down all those myths! I am pretty sure at the Magnolia Plantation in Louisiana we ran across the spirits of some former slaves. That was probably one of the most interesting experiences I have ever been a part of. I could feel the history. JUWAN: I couldn’t tell you why it’s taken so long but we’re here now. And the Ghost Brothers ain’t going nowhere!! Now, aside from ghost hunting, Dalen and Juwan are fashion designers and Marcus is a barber, has the paranormal world made any difference to these careers, has it changed your views on fashion, made you think outside the box? JUWAN: It hasn’t change my views too much. Interesting story though... I allowed a friend to barrow my tuxedo for an event and when he called to return it he said to me, “You gave me your tux with a ghost in it, bro. Crazy unexplainable things are happening in my home and my girlfriend has had enough with the scary stuff.” So maybe it didn’t change my views but my exposure to the paranormal world has changed the views of friends/clients.
DALEN: Strangely, no. Loren Spratt is rocking and rolling as usual. What I have noticed is our personal style on the show. People always ask why do we dress up? Hell, I never considered us as dressed up… I was just putting on some clothes.
DALEN: Surprisingly my whole family has been on board with what we are doing. My mother who is a pastor of a church in Dallas, Texas is my biggest supporter… or she could just be waiting for that Bentley come season 10… gotta watch her (laughing)
You all had religious upbringings, was there some negativity from family and friends AND MAYBE YOURSELVES when they knew you were doing this?
JUWAN: I was anticipating some backlash, but surprisingly family and friends were very supportive. My mother would say, “If you’re a Ghost Brother, then I’m a Ghost Mother.”
DINNER PARTY TIME: You’re having a GB dinner party, you can each invite four guests each, living, dead, famous, none famous, you can each ask them one question each, what you really want to know from them and you can choose the starters, main courses and deserts for your guests for each group of people you invite. So, Dalen, Juwan and Marcus, who would you, choose to invite, what would you ask them and what would you give them to eat?
JUWAN: That’s a tough one (laughing). I think I’m going to yield to my fellow brother Dalen for this, he loves this type of question. DALEN: How long we got? Stitchy Guinn, my grandfather who passed when I was 1. I’d like to ask him “how did you feel having 9 girls and no boys? Do you think it was Karma from your “Player” days? I’d cook him Chicken Fried Steak, his favourite Bonnie and Clyde, my question “despite all the
wrong you did, what made you so fearless at such a young age? What motivated your decisions? Love? Loyalty? Greed? And I’d give them the Double meat Whataburger w/ cheese, they were from Texas and died before this earthly sensation was established. And finally, Jesus, I have a few questions about this whole “forgiveness” thing (laughing), and I’d give him Seafood Gumbo, cos bruv, Jesus has to try seafood gumbo.
Is there a location in the US that you’d love to investigate, if so, where and why? DALEN: For my birthday two years ago I was given the opportunity to have a private tour of Alcatraz. It was the most amazing thing I had ever done. I knew at that moment that I had to investigate there. That place HAS to be haunted. JUWAN: I think it would be interesting to investigate The White House. We’ve been saying for a very long time that humour plays a very important part in Ghost Hunting, you’re known for “utilizing their natural curiosity mixed with a comedic flair” so I know that you’ll probably all be agreeing on that, but why do you think it does play an important part? JUWAN: Honestly, I’m so scared sometimes I must laugh to keep from crying. No, but seriously I think we use humour because if you had a sense of humour while you were alive, then why wouldn’t you have it once you’ve passed on? DALEN: I tell people all the time that if spirits used to be alive then one would think that they would still have some of the same traits or characteristics as they had when they were alive… and who doesn’t love to smile? Even where I’m from, the hardest dudes in the neighbourhood still loved to laugh. Humour breaks the tension. My momma always taught me you catch more flies with sugar than you do with vinegar. Finally, you got a message for all the UK paranormal fans out there…. DALEN & JUWAN: This is from our brother too, Marcus. Thank you so much for welcoming us into your homes! Buckle up, because you are in store for a pretty entertaining emotional rollercoaster! #FrighteninglyFunny. And we will come over to the UK at some point. UPDATE: Marcus survived the nappy changing experience and is looking forward to his (much easier) exorcism ordeal / battle with demonic forces…. GHOST BROTHERS WILL RETURN TO HAUNTED MAGAZINE VERY SOON (YES MARCUS TOO) BUT FOR NOW… GHOST BROTHERS GHOSTING OUT!! 32
Welcome to the strange, yet unique world of Dr Quentin Weir PhD, aka Dr Queer, not forgetting his ever-faithful man-servant, Mr Herbert Oddfellow. Set within a Victorian/gothic society, our protagonists wander the eerie fogfilled city streets at the dead of night in search of supernatural creatures such as vampires, werewolves, witches and ghosts, and that only covers a small section of them, what other comic strip could involve such terrors as mummies and... killer pigeons from Hull? It’s certainly not to be missed. Tonight’s tale of terror is called….
So the UK’s number 1 (and only) paranormal TV show has finally captured a ghost. So, what happens now? Do we pack up and go home? We wanted to interview the ghost in another world’s first but sadly Stuart was unavailable for comment. Joking apart, DID they capture a ghost or not, Dale Makin of Paranormal Truth thinks not and he asked us if he could explain why he thinks not. Everyone will have his or her own views and opinions and respect to them for that. We are sitting on the fence on this one, picking the supernatural splinters out of our arses, whilst others mass debate out it. Take it away Dale...
ost Haunted have finally captured footage of a ghost and to their and our amazement, it’s the ghost of cast member, Stuart Torevell – who isn’t dead. Hang on a minute, stop there. They’ve done what?
By Dale Makin Founder, Paranormal Truth
That’s right, you aren’t having a medical episode where you suddenly have the inability to read correctly, they have captured on footage, the ghost of someone who is alive and well. That’s what they want you to believe anyway and unfortunately, the majority of Most Haunted fans have fell for their latest “Antix”, hook, line and sinker. The TV show produced by Antix Productions, Most Haunted, recently visited Wentworth Woodhouse in Rotherham where they claim to have captured footage of a full-bodied apparition walking up some stairs in the old stable block. As you can see from the image, the full-bodied apparition (left) and the image of Stuart (right), they are identical. The only difference being, the apparition has a level of transparency, as you are able to see the stairs through the figure. These are bold and groundbreaking claims as this would be a first time where somebody has captured a fullbodied apparition, not only on Most Haunted, but within the
paranormal field as a whole. Of course, there have been questionable mists and faint figures captured, but most of these are readily explained logically and are as the result of lighting conditions or coincidental environmental factors. For example, when people witness faces in clouds – it’s actually a psychological phenomenon known as Pareidolia. On a serious note, this has caused a somewhat fierce storm of negativity and anger in the paranormal community. I can hereby categorically state that Most Haunted have not captured a ghost or full-bodied apparition, and I will go into great detail why.
Before transparency is applied
Most Haunted have deceived viewers by using chroma-key or more widely known as an overlay technique. If you didn’t see my debunk video, head over to the Paranormal Truth YouTube channel where I have re-created the effect that they have used. The technique used is very basic video editing and somebody could learn how to do it in 2 minutes, it is not difficult at all. The technique is achieved when you have two pieces
of footage that are almost identical. One piece that is of the empty environment that you are filming, for example
an empty staircase. You would film the empty staircase for around a minute and then what you would do, is film your actor walking up the same staircase, with the camera in the same position, that both pieces of footage are aligned in your video editing software. It is worth noting at this point, that to achieve this effect, the camera must be in a still and locked off position, otherwise the two pieces of footage would be out of alignment and you would clearly see that it is two separate pieces of footage. Hold that thought. Once you have your two pieces of footage, you would set down your first piece, which would be the empty staircase. In a layer above the empty staircase, you would set down your second piece of footage with the actor walking up the stairs. Once the two pieces of footage are in place, you would apply a level of opacity or transparency to the top layer, which in turn allows you to see through the actor as if it was an apparition.
Opacity set to round 18% around 18% Now, if you recall earlier, I mentioned that in order to achieve this affect, the camera must be in a still and locked off position.
What was the first thing Karl Beattie did when they arrived in the corridor and began to hear footsteps? They positioned the camera down on top of something, so that it was completely still. This is very unusual as normally they are holding the cameras over their shoulders. If you recall Karl’s explanation for the cable that was tied to him during the Most Haunted Live at 30 East Drive in October 2015, where Karl was pulled up the stairs, he stated the cable was tied around his belt so that if anyone stepped on the cable, they didn’t jolt the camera that he was holding, so why is he now setting the camera down in the heat of the moment? If you think you can hear the footsteps of a ghost, the last thing, in my opinion, is to set down the camera into a still position. You would surely be waiting in earnest ready to capture the moment, and run after whatever it was you were hearing. But not on this occasion, because as I mentioned earlier, to achieve the overlay technique, the camera must be completely still.
After transparency is applied
In the aftermath of the Most Haunted episode, Glen Hunt and Yvette Fielding knew about the backlash that would be received from sceptics, so they pre-recorded an explanation about how the raw footage cannot be modified. Glen explained that he was happy with the process of copying the footage from the card and that there is no possible way that the raw footage had been tampered with in any way, but as is the case in Most Haunted evidence related controversy, they forgot something critical that eagle eye sceptics discovered – the “Date Modified” column in Windows Explorer for this particular piece of footage differed from every other piece of footage on the memory card, it had
been modified at a later date on 9th April – all other folders displayed a date of April 4th. Even if that wasn’t concrete enough evidence, there is nothing to suggest that a copy of the raw footage wasn’t modified at a later date in the edit. The footage had to go into the edit at some point because they do not just film and send the raw footage to
the TV network, it has to be edited by Antix Productions first. Yvette went on to say that what they believe the footage is that in fact of Stuart Torevell, but as the result of the Stone Tape Theory phenomenon. The chances of catching any apparition on footage is at a guess, roughly at the odds of 1 billion to 1, but with these claims that Most have stated, with Stuart Being the figure witnessed, this puts the likelihood of it happening into the realms of impossibility. In the wake of the media frenzy that followed, my agent contacted Antix Productions on a number of occasions, requesting that they release the “raw” footage under the Creative Commons license, for analysis by myself and anyone else in the field that would have been interested to do so. They were first contacted on the following Monday, but by the Friday they had failed to respond to the request. They refused to return any calls or emails about it. If I was in their position, and the footage was genuine, I would obviously not have an issue releasing the footage to further back up the claims and that I was in fact talking the truth. This only further points to them trying to pull the wool over people’s eyes. I find it amazing that despite this evidence, Most Haunted fans have been criticising people who are merely trying to show the viewers that
they are being duped on, not only on this occasion, but on multiple occasions in the past. I was once a Most Haunted fan myself and being honest, there would not be half the interest in the paranormal that there is today. But the giant that created the interest is on the verge of destroying the very community that it helped to create. As a result of what Most Haunted have done, they have in turn made a mockery of the paranormal community and have insulted the many genuine investigators in the
field who are serious about the research and investigation of the paranormal. If they clearly stated that the events were not real, then it would not be an issue, but genuine investigators are often compared to Most Haunted in the sense that everything they do is fake and fabricated, which is most definitely not the case. Most Haunted are destroying the reputations of individuals who are serious about the field. They are doing nothing for the paranormal community other than taking advantage of people and causing a lot of negativity and anger.
Written exclusively for Haunted Magazine. Author: Dale Makin, Founder, Paranormal Truth Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Web: http://www.paranormaltruth.co.uk http://www.dalemakin.com.
About the Author
I’ve presented to facts to you, I’m not here to tell you what to think, I’m merely trying to give you a realistic view about what is going on. What you decide to think is your choice, and providing you are happy that Most Haunted is a TV programme made only for entertainment purposes, and is not to be taken seriously, then in that respect there is no injustice done. Sadly, that is not the case for the most part and there are a lot of Most Haunted fans who genuinely believe that
everything shown in their productions are real. In closing, I conclude that Most Haunted represent nobody in the paranormal community, they are not paranormal investigators. As Lee Roberts has rightfully stated in a recent paranormal radio show I was listening to, they were not out investigating in the 2 or 3 years that Most Haunted was off air, when they didn’t have a TV network to channel their content to. They are a TV programme where only ratings count, not the research and discovery of paranormal phenomena.
Dale is an experienced Paranormal Investigator, Author, Director, Writer and Producer who researches and studies everything related to the paranormal. Dale is most known for his involvement with the TV show Paranormal Truth which consists of him and fellow investigator Justin Cowell, visiting some of the most haunted locations around the globe in search of the paranormal. Dale’s ethos is that of a level headed nature and is an open-minded sceptic. Most mainstream TV programmes are there for “Entertainment Purposes Only” but Dale’s work sees that he approaches all investigations with an open-minded and sensible approach, and is always on the lookout for a logical explanation before automatically classing phenomena or natural events as paranormal. Dale has proven to be credible and integral in his field and this is reflected in Paranormal Truth and other projects that he is involved in.
Well, not before its been in Haunted first, though… shhhhh!
A Roadtrip with Calamityville Horror
arriage proposals, gambling and meeting the Ghost Adventures Crew. Las Vegas lived up to its reputation. Humans have occupied south Nevada for 10,000 years and the Paiute tribe settled in 700AD. Prehistoric Nevada was a marsh with lush vegetation. The marsh receded and rivers dried, creating the desert. In 1829, Mexican trader Antonio Armijo led 60 men along the Spanish trail to Los Angeles to open a trading route but veered off course. 18-yearold Rafael Rivera found an oasis in unexplored desert and named it Las Vegas – Spanish for ‘the meadows.’ In 1848, it fell under American rule. In 1855-1858, Mormons built a church, planted fruit trees and vegetables and made bullets. Modern Las Vegas was born with the railroad and became home for quick divorces and marriages. Nevada was the first state to legalise gambling in 1931 – the year work began on the Hoover Dam. Casinos and showgirl venues opened on Fremont Street to attract workers. In 1941, the El Rancho Vegas resort opened on US 91. Other hotelcasinos joined it, creating The Strip.
The Strip’s first wedding chapel, Little Church of the West, opened in 1942. The Mafia built casinos with drug and trafficking money, then laundered money through them. On New Year’s Eve 1946, mobster Bugsy Segal opened the first luxury hotel, the Flamingo. His investors killed him in his apartment (now the wedding chapel) a year later. One book says an unknown gunman killed him six months later. The Mafia ruled Vegas until 1966 when Howard Hughes stayed in the Desert Inn. When asked to leave, he bought it. We should’ve tried this with Alcatraz. In 1967, a law passed allowing publicly traded corporations to obtain gambling licences, ending the mob’s reign. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Including its ghosts. Bally’s Hotel was once the MGM but that burned down November 1980. 650 people were injured and 85 died,
mostly from smoke inhalation after being trapped on stairwells. Others died in their sleep. Spirits haunt the corridors and employees’ toilets. Employees report seeing ghosts walking together. The tower where people died still remains. We wandered into a private area and were stopped by staff, so feigned being lost. They became distracted by us being twins and forgot our trespassing. We escaped and explored the guest floors. People experienced cold spots through Dunes Hotel’s main tower and casino. A blue glow and phantom voices haunted the top floor lounge. The hotel imploded 23rd October 1993 and is now the Bellagio. In Caesar’s Palace’s Forum Casino, a cocktail waitress claims the sensory taps operate by themselves in the downstairs toilets. Caesar’s Palace was so posh, we couldn’t afford to breathe. We spent a long time monitoring the taps while trying not to look suspicious. A cleaner noticed we were twins and chatted to us. Our ghostly mission remained undiscovered. We’re clearly MI5 material.
ircus Circus was built in 1968 by Jay Sarong, who built Caesar’s Palace in 1962 after borrowing money off the Teamsters. Circus Circus didn’t originally have a hotel and fell into debt as gamblers had nowhere to stay. Jay borrowed money off the mob on the condition Anthony Spilotro of the Chicago Mafia ran a gift shop there. It’s hard envisioning a mobster selling glittery snow globes and Vegas keyrings. Many people have ‘fallen’ from windows. Cries for help are heard in the poker room. In rooms 123, 576 and 203, people hear “help me” and screaming. ‘Help me’ appears on bathroom mirrors. A 76-year-old man who worked there for 20 years claims 3 people were murdered in the kitchen on the same night. A lady in room 123 reportedly shot herself and her son and they’re still searching for her husband. Black haired men named Robert apparently get hanged from the ceiling. In room 230, “help me” is whispered, growing louder until it becomes a scream. We failed to find the haunted rooms, as they appear to be renamed.
Guests near the Flamingo’s pool have seen Bugsy Segal. A woman quit after encountering him on the 5th floor. We called for him on 5th floor, but he didn’t show. Maybe he was entertaining guests. Flamingos and other birds and animals live on the grounds. Surprisingly, we weren’t barred from the wedding chapel. Maybe they’re used to people hunting Bugsy. They eyed us as we approached the pool with our cameras, so we made
a swift U-turn. It’s ok, we’re ghost hunters, not perverts! The Luxor is reportedly haunted by 2 construction workers who died building the pyramid. Another website says there are 5 ghosts – 3 construction workers and 2 guests who died after jumping from open hallways into the casino. One woman haunts the 12th and 14th floors. Guests report cold spots and someone breathing on their necks. We visited it to see the excellent Bodies and Titanic Exhibitions, but the only dead people we met were on display.
ight shift workers in the MGM Grand witness someone lying on a bed. Cleaners hold rosary beads while walking the corridors.
The Excalibur opened in 1990 and is one of the few hotels without a seedy history. Along the 10th floor corridor, people feel someone hovering at their back and hear whispering in their ear. There’s also the “Megabucks Curse.” A cocktail waitress won Excalibur’s first Megabucks jackpot, worth $34.9 million then a car accident left her paralysed. Other curses linked to jackpot winners are untrue.
In the Mirage, the sensor taps turn on in the toilets by Danny Gans’s theatre. A cleaner holds rosary beads when passing. A wall allegedly collapsed on workers during the casino’s construction. We didn’t find the theatre but did find resident dolphins and big cats. People reportedly suffer a purple rash after
touching the tiki mask at the Tropicana’s entrance and a purple haze appears in photographs. Sadly, we couldn’t find it. Our Vegas adventure started badly. At Gatwick, Cat triggered the bleepers and assumed the frisking stance in the body scanner. Then her bottles of Cranberry and Raspberry squash led to an incident with security and Cat being escorted to the security gates. After an 11-hour flight, Lynx fled the plane or the first thing she would’ve done in Vegas was vomit.
e caught a bus to our hotel – The Excalibur. Sadly, we weren’t on the haunted floor and didn’t win the Megabucks jackpot. On some parts of The Strip, it’s illegal to cross the road at street level. They trust people with guns, but not road safety. Our holiday started in style – a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon. The downtrodden bus driver seemed determined to end it and take us with her. The Colorado River formed the stunning Grand Canyon over a six-millionyear period. We landed in the Canyon and took rocks as souvenirs. Turns out, there’s a curse attached to taking rocks. Whoops. Fortunately, our rocks haven’t bestowed misfortune upon us. However, the rock we gave our sister might need exorcising. Weirdly, being twin Goths made us popular. We had two marriage proposals and street performers dressed as Transformers begged us for photos. On our penultimate day, we learned that Ghost Adventures were investigating the Riveria. We couldn’t miss this opportunity. By the time we arrived, Zak was finishing his camera interview. He turned to leave and his intense stare fell on us. We quivered. Girls mobbed him, taking selfies without speaking to him, other than shouting his name. Pretty sure he knows it. Cat tapped him and asked for a photo. He vanished in a crush of fans. As we lamented our missed chance, he pulled Cat to him for a photo. She called Lynx. We were the only ones he put his arms around. Being polite to Zak earns the gift of the grab. And yes, he is as muscular in real life. We recently met horror actor Kane Hodder, whose Hollywood Ghost Hunters team joined them for one episode. He asked if Zak flirted with us and was shocked he hadn’t. Last year, thanks to Haunted Digital Magazine, Zak wished us happy birthday. Not many can claim that! Lynx spotted Billy standing unmolested. He was lovely and we chatted for a few minutes, revealing our Alcatraz ghost hunting plans. After a photo with Jay, our mutual shyness prevented conversation. Then we approached Aaron. He pulled faces with everyone, but someone talked to him through ours, so we have a rare sensible photo. We’d stolen an Excalibur notepad and pen to get their autographs. Yes, we made Ghost Adventures sign stolen property. We wanted Zak’s autograph but he was surrounded. After we Tweeted our photos and tagged them, Billy messaged us at 3 a.m. during their lockdown. We said it was fantastic meeting them but our social awkwardness made us tonguetied. He said we were awesome, it was really great meeting us and he hoped we were enjoying his city. We might not be the most ‘professional’ ghost hunters, but Billy Tolley thinks we’re awesome.
THE OLD SOUTH PITTSBURGH HOSPITAL THE PROPERTY • Considered to be one of the most haunted locations in Tennessee • Located in the foothills of South Pittsburgh Mountains • Founded in 1959, closed in 1998 • 68,000 sq. ft., 3 floors including multiple wings • 2nd floor is the largest floor, it houses the ER, morgue, nursery and geriatrics • Involved with wrongful death lawsuits, child abuse deaths, and tragic deaths due to fatal illnesses while in operation • 2 nurses died from heart attacks in the hospital
• A janitor committed suicide on the property • 1920’s a large plantation burned to the ground and 7 children lost their lives • 1778 a Cherokee Tribe used the land where the hospital now sits • During the American Civil War, both Indians and Soldiers were killed on the land during a Confederate Invasion • Natural based spring runs underneath the hospital • Hospital sits on solid limestone
PARANORMAL ACTIVITY Objects move on their own throughout the hospital • Sounds of furniture moving, banging, and women screaming can be heard throughout the hospital • 2nd floor: 1. Shadow figure has been caught in pictures and on video 2. Spirit caught on thermal Flir, believed to be of a young girl who died of a head injury
known to open and close when requested, and by themselves 4. Interactions with what is believed to be a toddler spirit named “Buddy” who likes playing with the living 5. Psych ward is known to have 2 spirits. Irene who swears a lot and Nellie who is fond of young males • Basement:
• 3rd floor:
1. Female spirt known as the “Naughty Nurse” who likes to get handsy and will whisper in your ear
1. 7ft. shadow man has been seen and heard, telling people to “get out”
2. Some have encountered what they believe to be a Doctor Spirit
2. Apparition of an elderly woman has been seen
3. A protective soul of a former janitor is believed to stay here
3. Doors have been
3 Girls in the Dark
Tennessee wraith chasers http://www.tennesseewraithchasers.com
would to like to introduce you to Old South Pittsburgh Hospital (OSPH). Did you read the property and Paranormal section on the previous page? Don’t skip that part! That’s where all the juicy gossip is! What’s listed in this article is only the beginning. Look this place up and you will see even more stories and evidence findings from respectable teams that have visited. You might also notice this location has been featured on a few of the paranormal shows. OSPH is a hot spot, a perfect storm for paranormal activity. So, you can see why our team wanted to get in there. Our case manager Shona booked the location for an overnight private investigation. We packed up two cars full of equipment and crew and headed seven hours (eight hours including stopping for snacks, coffee, and truck stop souvenirs), to South Pittsburgh Tennessee. With 68,000 sq. ft., three floors, and multiple wings of hospital to investigate we decided to bring in some help. Who better to tag team this place with than some OSPH veterans, the Tennessee Wraith Chasers. TWC (founded in 2009) is a team of paranormal investigators
and researchers located out of Gallatin, TN. These boys have investigated OSPH numerous times and have captured some amazing evidence. Their findings included everything from class A EVP’s to full spectrum visuals of shadow figures. Not to mention some crazy personal experiences too! The hospital is tucked away in a small neighbourhood at the foothills of the Old South Pittsburgh Mountain. As we approached the building we started to get this eerie feeling. Looking up at it, you wonder who is looking back from the windows of the abandon rooms. It is just a little creepy. We found the Tennessee Wraith Chasers around back unloading their equipment and setting up basecamp. Our team decided to do a quick walk through to get to know the place. The inside walls are graffitied with the signatures of all the visitors and teams who have investigated there. Around every corner is a new odd smell. A car (yes, a car) is parked in one of the hallways which makes for an interesting site along with a lot of hospital paraphernalia that still lies in its original spot from when OSPH closed. We found books of patient’s names and diagnoses, closets filled with
clothing, wheel chairs in the hallway, medical equipment and even some x-rays. All of which would soon become great trigger objects. Our team set up basecamp in one of the only rooms with air conditioning and electric. It was July, in Tennessee, in a large sealed up hospital, and fast turned into one of our hottest and grossest investigations to date. Hey no one said paranormal was pretty! Ryan our research specialist and Shona our case manager held down basecamp while the rest of us headed out into the building. Emily ventured upstairs with TWC and Gina and Christy set up shop in the lobby. Christy sat on the floor in the middle of the lobby and placed a REM Pod next to her. She faced a long hallway that disappeared into darkness.
At the end of the hallway we had one of our DVR cameras set up. Earlier in the day this DVR camera and tripod somehow mysteriously been knocked over, this was after we taped down the wires and secured the tripod. Gina stood behind the lobby desk with
investigation. Somehow, they got Emily to sing nursery rhymes! This took place not far from the nursery and resulted in some hits on their equipment. Maybe this was Buddy coming out to play? Doogie did a session in Nellie’s room
a K2 and EVP recorder. She opened a medical records book containing the names of patients and their diagnoses and started reading from it.
and was receiving hits on his 360 parascope when requested. Brannon brought some new contraptions he built to test out. They all had experiences from growls to knocking noises, cold spots, whispers, and even the jingling of keys. Going live was a way for anyone interested to become part of the investigation. The viewers helped with ideas to try and activity that may have not been seen by the investigators. If you want to see Emily singing and any of the great footage they captured check out the video section on their Facebook page.
Christy, who is sensitive, started picking up on a change in the atmosphere right away. We immediately went silent. You could hear footsteps coming down the hall towards us. The footsteps stopped and there was a loud deep sigh. Sounded as if someone was taking their last breath. This was also caught on EVP. Gina continued reading names and we started having K2 hits, the elevator, which is not working, dinged and then everything went silent. We stayed a little longer but had no activity and the strange feeling in the room left. So, we moved on, but not bad for our first 15 minutes at OSPH. Meanwhile, Emily was upstairs with the Tennessee Wraith Chasers. At 87 degrees, this was one of the hottest floors to investigate and with all its claims, its known as one of the hottest floors for activity. They decided to go live for this portion of the 46
Remember our feature at The Golden Rod in a previous issue? Fantastic news! It was saved and won’t be closed for long!
Feeling a little theatrical, we decided to recreate what could be a real situation at the hospital. We asked Emily to come back down and help us. Ryan and Christy dressed as nurses, Gina played doctor, and Emily was our patient. A moaning and groaning Emily was pushed down the hallway in a wheelchair to a large room. We put Emily into a hospital bed and placed a K2 by her head and legs, a REM Pod by her knees, and an EVP recorder by her neck. HAUNTED MAGAZINE
Gina found an x-ray on the floor, of someone’s knee and started talking about having to amputate Emily’s leg. As soon as Christy started feeling like we were being watcher our REM Pod started continuously going off. Gina asked for whatever it was to step away and leave the device alone. The REM Pod stopped. We then hear another deep sigh, like the one Christy and Gina heard earlier in the hallway, some shuffling, and another hit on the REM Pod. The K2’s start going off and suddenly Ryan jumps and starts freaking out. Something had touched him on his back and as fast as all this happened, it was over. It was time to hit the basement. Gina and Chris started an EVP session in the same room Chris had his rosary tugged on at a prior investigation. It was pitch black, couldn’t see your hand in front of your face. We started hearing solid footsteps directly in front of us. It was odd because there was a lot of junk in the room. Walking a direct
path from where the sound was coming from would have been hard to accomplish especially in the dark. If it were an animal, you would think to hear scurrying or a more indirect path. The footsteps stopped and we had some hits on our K2 and EDI. Gina asked, “It,” to step closer. The footsteps became louder as they got closer. Chris turned on his flashlight and nothing was there. We searched the room and looked for anything that could create that sound and found nothing. Back upstairs we found Ryan and Stacey (OSPH Caretaker) watching the monitors at basecamp and Shona giving tarot card reading (FYI she’s awesome). Emily and the guys wanted to see if we could get any interaction from Shona reading her tarot cards. They moved to one
of the rooms on the main floor where she began pulling from her deck and doing a reading on the room. They heard a really loud whistle and it echoed in the hallway. It was so loud we all stopped in our tracks and froze and stared at each other. Seconds later, Mike comes in asking about the whistle. He wanted to know who did it, but it was none of us at basecamp and no one else was in the building at that point. After hours of investigating we decided to call it a night, but didn’t leave without placing a few... 50, 3GD cards around the hospital. This location was completely worth the time and effort put into the investigation. We walked away with many personal experiences, great pieces of evidence and some fun memories with our favourite Tennessee crew.
Special Thanks to The Old South Pittsburgh Hospital http://osphghosthunts.com
rt imitating life imitating art. As a man in my 40s and a ghost hunter if I was to be played in a film, then a certain Mr Peter Andre would be a perfect fit: smooth, charming, handsome and then there’s Peter, smooth charming and handsome, a match made in heaven or HELL if the mini description of The Unnamed is to go by. A mini synopsis of the film reads: “When a group of sceptical TV ghost hunters stumble upon a real haunting, they think they have hit the jackpot to prove the paranormal does exist. With an eminent scientist in tow, they unleash a horror of such magnitude that only the lucky ones are systematically and brutally murdered.” Sounds like this could be a great film, the premise that a group of TV ghost hunters get more than they bargained for is something that I, personally, want to see happen. We managed to catch up with Peter and grab a chat about the film, the paranormal and the wonderful world of the weird. How did the part of a paranormal investigator in The Unnamed happen to be? I’ve always been fascinated with the paranormal and when the director James Hickox and I met and spoke, I explained my passion for UFOs and the Paranormal, and also my passion for acting, and he said he may have something for me. Months later, he rang me and said “remember the chat we had? Here’s a script for you”. He also said, “by the way, it’s a big part, you may as well get thrown in at the deep end”. All I could say was thank you, thanks you thank you. You’ve been hunting UFOs, the Ripper and ghosts in a new series for This Morning, is this a new passion of yours or something that been of interest for a long time? I am a big fan of UFOs more than any of the others. I’m a believer and the subject matter also fascinates me. Don’t forget that a big percentage of the world believe in UFOs with many claiming to have seen or even had a close encounter. So, what is the truth? The Roswell
Incident and the technology since the alleged crash still fascinates me greatly. Going back to The Unnamed, is there anything that you can tell us about it, without giving too much information away. Not yet, only because I know that James will want to change parts of the script. This I know, because there have been three drafts already and there’s more to come. We’ve that you’ve seen a UFO, can you describe what happened? I along with one of my brothers had the crazy experience of getting as close to Area 51 as possible, in fact we actually got closer than most as we met someone that lived nearby and they took us to a different part not known to the general public. It didn’t happen straight away, but maybe 4 hours into us being there, and remember we were as close to the base as possible, without getting shot, we noticed crafts appearing, disappearing and then reappearing in completely different locations in the sky within split seconds. Also, the way they moved was very erratic and to be honest, quite mind blowing. One of my brother, along with me and my kids also witnessed a strange spiral in the sky that grew and grew until what appeared to be an opening, some sort of craft came out of it,
then the hole then just closed and the object shot off. Apparently, it is known as a worm hole, yes it sounds crazy, but I don’t care, we all know what we saw. What I am not able to say is
what type of craft was it, or where it came from, or whether it was earthly or unearthly. Do you believe in Ghosts? Have you ever had a paranormal experience? Mum always told me if you look for those kinds of spirits you will find them. I don’t want to find them, but do I believe? It’s hard to say. I haven’t looked, so therefore I haven’t seen. I have experienced strange things but there may be other explanations.
AND NOW HE’S GOING TO BE A GHOST HUNTER. The Unnamed may be in its very early days, post production, post filming, but one thing is for sure,
the paranormal world needs a good paranormal film that’s about ghost hunters, it has been a while. I can think of two really good ones, The Haunting (1963) and The Legend of Hell House, (1973), two of my favourites films in the genre of all time.
So, why did writer and director James DR Hickox cast Peter Andre as a ghost hunter? “It’s not often that one meets an individual who is as nice in person as they are portrayed in the press, but much to my delight, Peter is one of those rare cases where the man is perhaps even nicer in the flesh than had been portrayed therein. Having spent the better part of my life over here in L.A. rather than my place of birth, the UK, I had in fact never heard of Peter before we met on a Greek island to shoot a show, but we immediately hit it off. After working with him for a few weeks, I was somewhat baffled as to why he had not crossed the Atlantic, for he was clearly bursting with talent. He explained that he hadn’t really tried yet, but that he was ready to give it a go. I immediately started to think what I had that would be right for him, something that would be completely different than how he is portrayed in
We love a good ghost story / film. What is your favourite scary / spooky / ghostly film? Ghost, just kidding. I’m not very knowledgeable on horror, so I best get more knowledgeable before I start filming The Unnamed. What a nice chap Peter Andre is, you see them on TV and you think they invent a persona specifically for TV, but the more I watch him and speak to him, the more I realise that he is a genuine nice guy who has worked hard and is where he is because of that.
I can’t think of any modern ones to actually feature a ghost hunting team. Fingers crossed that The Unnamed is going to be up there with them and finally prove, once and for all, that male ghost hunters are smooth, sophisticated, suave and can hold a note or two.
the rest of the world. The answer was of course a Horror flick. I had been writing a few in my off time and sent him a few to look at. We decided to do a short first, to find out his strengths and where he could do with some more training, but the main part of the battle was already proven... the camera clearly like him. Peter will be coming over to L.A. sometime before the end of the year and while here we will shoot what is now entitled ‘The Inheritance’, which we will place into the short’s festival circuit when complete. We plan to follow that up with ‘The Unnamed’, the horror I am writing now, not the one we originally announced (long story). This being that I have written the lead specifically for Peter. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait to see him thrown into the deep end of Horror”
The Five Bedrooms in 74
by Charlotte Baker
“They actually look like eyes,” I whispered in awe, staring at the two windows at the top of the house. “Hmm,” my mum replied, clearing the next lot of boxes out of the car. The boot screamed close as the unsecured bits of red metal scraped together. “Here, take them to the cellar.” “You are joking, right?” I replied, halflaughing. “Do I look like I’m joking?” “Urgh!” I grabbed the boxes from her hands and walked through the grass,
the morning dew scuttling across my ankles as the sun shone brightly, leaving a dark shadow in front of the house. I used a squashed hand to twist the knob of the door and my feet and back to wiggle my way through. My first impression was that the house looked like some 1970s throw back. It was rather garish and needed modernising. Mum needed to spend a small fortune making this look presentable, no wonder it was so cheap.
Fancy writing a short story for Haunted Magazine? If you do send it to shortstory@hauntedmagazine. co.uk and you could feature in the leading paranormal magazine out there (ahem, that’s us by the way)
I walked around the downstairs, the boxes still in my arms, until I reached the cellar door. It was locked. I tried again, more vigorously this time, putting the box on the floor. Walking a little faster, my wet pumps now screeching against the glossed wooden flooring, I called out for mum. “Oh, for god’s sake, want a job doing, may as well do it yourself,” she muttered, storming towards me. I held my hands up, squishing myself to the wall as she pushed passed. “Seriously, Annabel? Jesus!” She gave me a look of pure disgust as the cellar door was now propped open by the box I’d just put on the floor. “Woah! I swear to God—” I retorted, throwing my hands up again; this time in innocence. “Don’t. You. Dare,” she said, barging back out the door. “Take it down to the cellar, NOW!” she demanded. I scowled so hard that the muscles in my face pulled hard, causing a ripple of pain. I picked the box up and headed down the wooden slat steps. It was dark; so dark that I was pointing my toes to reach the next step as I couldn’t see a few feet in front of me. Precisely five steps down, I stopped. I could feel something sliding across my head. The hairs on the back of my neck trembled. Forming a makeshift shelf with the box precariously balanced between my knee and the wall, I touched my head. I grabbed it and pulled. “Ah-ha, we have light!” I sighed, partly relieved, partly stupid. I looked around, the basement was full. It hadn’t been emptied like the other rooms in the house. I made my way down the rest of the stairs and put the box on the green sofa that sat in front of a huge television box, again, it looked like the oldest TV in existence! There was a small table next to the sofa, it looked rusted, but it was made of wood. So that was impossible. On it was a cobwebbed bottle of whiskey (half empty) and a clock. The time read 3:13. I picked the clock up and looked closely at the first 3 which seemed darker that
the other numbers. I could hear my mother walking around upstairs and at this point, there was little other sound. The clock was making a fuzzy whirring, so I moved it closer to my ear. Then, like some sort of hurricane vacuum, the clock stuck to my ear. In silent panic, I pulled and pulled at the clock that started to cave its way into my skin, my flesh. There was no pain, but a strong smell of burning plastic. I could see what was in front of me, the boxes of kids’ toys and the huge TV, but I was also experiencing — what I can only call — visions. Images in my head of two children sleeping, then it cut to them laughing outside, swinging off the main tree, cut with images of them on their back, bloodied and in white. Then, a teenager, the same, then to her chatting with friends on a bed then to a man sat watching the television right in front of me, drinking the exact same whiskey that stood on the rusted wooden table. His long shaggy hair covering his eyes, sat with jeans on, his legs spread out and a shot gun laying between them. The vision sped up, like someone pressing fast forward on an old VHS tape, like I’d seen in the movies. Faster and faster, the image moved until his face was a blur. A blur of disjointed movements, smiles and different placements of the gun. Then, six loud gunshots rang in my ears. It hurt. The clock detached itself from my face and threw itself across the room. I ran back up the stairs, children’s laughter seemed to chase me up. I closed the cellar door and screamed as I ran out of the house, calling for my mum. Currently, I live with my grandma as I have never (nor will I ever) stepped foot in the house again. Mum has not experienced anything in that house, no unusual disturbances or noises, but she saw how shaken up I was after that day. We see each other daily, for at least an hour or so, after school. Since then, I’ve come to learn of its past, of the Amityville tragedy, of the six deaths in 1974.
POLTERGEISTS COME WHEN YOU DON’T WANT TO GROW UP! At around age 13, whilst living at The Top of The World, also known as Point Barrow, Alaska, I became very fascinated with the concept of ghosts, and read every book published on the subject. The most widely published photograph was a ghost on the stairs, which eventually was proven to be a hoax, much to many believer’s disappointment. Back then, before Photoshop, photos could easily be manipulated by now antiquated trickery that was fool proof to most. Either way, that began a lifelong interest with the spirit world. So, at 14, I was deathly afraid of leaving teen hood to become an adult. I wasn’t ready yet, and I struggled heavily with it mentally and emotionally, so much that the tumultuous energy inside me caused a Poltergeist to be summoned and enter my life. One frigid -40 below zero night, I was lying in my bed, which was next to a wall, and on the other side of that was my parents’ very large master bedroom, when suddenly I heard loud knocking on the wall right next to me. So, thinking my mum wanted something, so I jumped out of bed and went into her room and said “Do you want something? Why did you knock on my wall?’, she told me she had been in bed the whole time watching TV. So, perplexed, I walked
back into my room and crawled into my bed. Again, the knocking started. So, I went back into her room and asked her again. With the same response. I was starting to get a little mad, because there was no reason for knocking to be coming from INSIDE the walls! Unable to figure it out, I eventually fell asleep. Every night, the knocking continued at almost the same time, shortly after I crawled into bed. I sort of learned to deal with it, because it was inexplicable and I had no solution. For two weeks, I endured the mysterious knocking in between the walls, the one night, it knocked and then it sounded like an explosion inside the wall! It was the scariest and loudest sound I had heard yet. It almost sounded angry! I ran back into my mum’s room and of course asked her again, knowing already that the answer would be that it wasn’t her, but maybe just a small part of me was hoping it WAS her this time. It wasn’t. So reluctantly I crawled back into bed, feeling stupid for asking her. The next night, I laid awake, waiting once again for the knock, but for some odd reason, I had a feeling it wouldn’t knock again. That last knock was so violent, it felt final for some reason...and I was RIGHT! That was the
LAST time I ever heard any more knocking. I was quite relieved. The next day I got some books from the library on Poltergeists, and got my answer. Poltergeist, is from the German word meaning ‘noisy ghost’. They tend to be attracted to teenagers that DON’T want to go into adulthood. The emotions run so high that it creates this insanely strong energy that can actually create sounds, move things around physically, make things fly around the room and throw things! I started thinking about how much I feared becoming a woman, I just DIDN’T want that responsibility yet, and I was extremely angry that I had gotten my menstruation at 14. That is EXACTLY what had happened to me, I had CREATED this myself! I eventually accepted the fact that I was growing up and never had any more odd experiences after that that I can remember. A few years later, the movie ‘Poltergeist’ came out, which I went to see at 16 and everything made way more sense to me, and I knew that I wasn’t alone with this experience. It is just a natural occurring phenomenon that could happen to anyone, it just happened to pick me! Valentina
CAN YOU TELL A GHOST STORY IN JUST SIX WORDS? IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE TO SCARE THE PARANORMAL POO OUT OF SOMEONE IN JUST SIX WORDS?
“HUNGRILY EATING HER CHILD, SHE WEPT.” “ATTENTION ALL PASSENGERS! PLEASE REMAIN CALM.” “SUCH BEAUTIFUL EYES. I KEPT THEM.” “FRESH MEAT FOR SALE: UNINFECTED CHILD.” “I SCREAMED. MY REFLECTION WATCHED, SMILING.” “KEEP SCREAMING. WE’RE ALREADY INSIDE YOU.” “MY TEDDY BEAR HAD GROWN TEETH.” “I’M STILL AWAKE. PLEASE NOTICE, DOCTOR.” “I AWOKE TO THEM EATING ME.” “THE FACELESS MEN WAIT PATIENTLY OUTSIDE.” “IT KNOWS YOU CAN SEE IT.” “WE’RE SORRY. THE MAGGOTS HAVE SPREAD.” “HE LOOKED UP, AND IT SMILED.” “ALL AROUND US … THEY ARE WAITING.” “SOMEONE’S KNOCKING. ON THE CLOSET DOOR.” “FEEL THEM CRAWL BENEATH YOUR SKIN.” “‘WHAT’S FOR DINNER,’ I ASKED. YOU.” “TWENTY YEARS PASSED WHEN I AWOKE.” “ANAESTHESIA WORE OFF DURING THE OPERATION.” “ALL I HEARD WAS IT BREATHING.” “HE WHISPERED “CHOOSE.” EACH ONE BEGGED.” ” NOT ALL THE SHADOWS WERE FAMILIAR.” “THE ONLY SURVIVOR HEARD HORRIBLE LAUGHTER.” “HE SMILED THROUGH HIS RIGOR MORTIS.” “FOUND A PULSE, BUT NO HEAD.”
CAN YOU BEAT THESE WE PREPARED EARLIER…? NO STICKY BACK PLASTIC OR OLD WASHING UP BOTTLES WERE USED... SEND YOUR STORIES TO 666@HAUNTEDMAGAZINE.C O.UK AND YOU COULD BAG YOURSE LF YOUR VERY OWN BOO PETER BADGE…. REMEMBER SIX WORDS, NO MORE NO LESS….
Life on the
other side BY LEE ROBERTS
How do we describe Lee Roberts? Paranormal Investigator, Ghost Hunter, owner of Haunted Events UK, Haunted Magazine writer, Presenter of #Haun7edLIVE and good friend of ours, he is also called a lot of other things by a lot of other people, but hey that’s for another issue… Lee is writing a book (don’t worry we will spell check it for him first), a book based not on just his life as a paranormal investigator but about his early experiences with the paranormal, his life as a Policeman, the good AND the bad and his interpretation of one of the biggest paranormal cases in Nottinghamshire … EVER!! Lee has given us the very first chapter of his book to exclusively show in Haunted Magazine, don’t worry we won’t spoil the ending for you!
think the hardest part of writing a book about your own story is working out where to start, so many twists and turns, highs and lows. I think the best place to start is at the beginning, the beginning of my paranormal journey that is. I was six years old or there about and attended Leamington Primary school in Sutton in Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, which is an old Market trading town. We were on a school trip to Newstead Abbey which is one of the famous landmarks of the area. The poet Lord Byron used to reside there and we were looking at poetry as a topic at school at that time. I remember arriving and pulling up on the bus, looking out of the window and thinking this place looks so cool, I don’t think I could compare it to anything else I had ever seen at that age. The sandy gravelled court yard at the front of the Abbey and the greenery and lake opposite made the place look Royal like. I remember walking into the front entrance, the first thing I remember was a tomb of some sort and I was fascinated, was it real? Are dead people really inside there? The usual things a six year old boy would think.
We were guided around the Abbey by a tour guide, I don’t remember anything they were telling us or who was guiding us around at this point. I just remember the very high ceilings and red wall paper. The amazing pictures on the wall and ropes everywhere, to stop people like me from touching or walking where I shouldn’t. We came across an old book in a glass cabinet, our teacher at the time told us to take note of this book as it contained poems in from Lord Byron. I remember thinking how special this book must be, staring at the hand writing thinking Lord Byron actually wrote that. The tour carried on, room after room, I began to lose interest and my concentration started to sway, we eventually arrived at Lord Byron’s bedroom. The tour guide was telling the group about the bed and how people used to live back then, all I could focus on was the room next door, I could just see inside the room behind the tour guide, it was an empty room, no grand wallpaper, no furniture and no big pictures. No other room we had gone in looked like this one and I was intrigued to what it was used for and why it was so empty.
After what seemed like a lifetime we eventually moved into the empty room. The guide closed the door behind us and gathered us in a circle. The roof was so high in the room, or it might have been that I was so small. We were told that this room was where Lord Byron’s maid used to reside, she was secretly in love with Byron and when he left for war she tragically died when running after his cart and was mowed down. She is known now as The White Lady. This is the point my life changed forever, the first time I had heard a real ghost story and was at the actual location these events had occurred, I was stood there wide eyed, open mouthed, wanting to know more. Before I could ask any questions, something happened that if my passion for Ghosts were not already running through my veins it soon would be. My best friend Marc Garcia was stood next to me, I noticed he was starting to sway a little and then quickly fell to the floor, as a six-yearold I hadn’t a clue what was happening and it seemed to happen so quick.
“This is the point my life changed forever, the first time I had heard a real ghost story and was at the actual location these events had occurred”
he teacher and guide rushed over and asked if he was ok. Marc, to everyone’s amazement, said he was stood listening to the guide talking when he felt someone place their hand on his shoulders, these hand started to pull his whole body to the ground as if pulling him into the floor. I heard the guide say to our teacher that this was not the first time this had happened. Most of the children were starting to get scared and upset, some of the girls in the class were crying and asking to get out. The guide went to open the
door to lead us out only to find it was locked, he tried the door we had just came through leading to Byron’s bedroom, again locked or jammed. He radioed down to his colleague explaining we were trapped in the White Ladies room; the reply was “Those doors don’t lock”. We must have been in there 10 minutes before a guy opened the door from the other side to let us out; he had a big grin on his face and obviously found it very amusing. Everyone rushed to get out the room. If I’m honest I could have stayed in there longer, I thought it
was great fun, however Marc didn’t see the funny side, nor did he share my enthusiasm to stay. I don’t remember any more of the tour; my mind was full of Ghost stories, The White Lady, Lord Byron and the Abbey’s monks that were also mentioned by the guide. The next day we were asked to draw a picture of Newstead Abbey or write a poem like Lord Byron had in our work books. I decided to take a different angle, I did draw a picture of Newstead Abbey, but it featured the White Lady. I didn’t write a
poem though; instead I wrote several Ghost Stories based on Newstead Abbey. That wouldn’t be the last time I had an experience of a paranormal kind at Newstead Abbey, but my next encounter with the white lady would come many years later. I’m not sure if that experienced opened me up a little or the fact that around that time was the launch of the original Ghostbusters movie, which I loved, but I began looking at every location different from then onwards, even my school.
used to play Ghostbusters in the playground and make up Ghost Stories about old class rooms.
I once got in trouble for telling some younger children that one of the classrooms was haunted by an old teacher. She has left for school one day and was never seen again, I don’t know where I got the story from but I thought it was fun seeing other children’s reactions to it. I was sent to see the headmaster, Mr Chamberlin, who laughed at me for making up such a wild story, but said he had to punish me anyway; I was made to stand looking at his yellow brick wall for 30 minutes. I actually think that story stuck, I recently attended an open day at the school before it was knocked down and I was told my story by the current teachers there explaining how a teacher had died on her way to school and she haunts the classrooms. It wasn’t just at locations and school I was experiencing paranormal activity; at home I was also starting to be aware of strange happenings. I was always kid that although loved Ghost stories and the thought of going on a ghost hunt, I was quite scared of the dark at night. I always woke up needing the toilet around two o’clock, I would wait until I really had to go and couldn’t hold it any longer and then jump out of bed and run. My brother who was a few years older than me used to be annoyed that I seemed to wake him up each time with my heavy footsteps. I always used to look behind the bathroom door when entering, do my business and then on the way back I would jump into bed in case anything was trying to grab me from under my bed. Get my head under the covers and try and go back to sleep. On this one occasion I remember going through the same routine, waiting till I was desperate, running to the toilet, looking behind the door, doing my business and
back to bed, it was on my way back to bed I was in for a shock. My parents’ house was and still is a typical three up, two down kind of house, the living room and dining room where knocked into one big room though and the kitchen was just off into the hallway, the stairs were as you came in through the front door with a window on the landing at the top, them the bathroom, mine and my brother’s room, parents room and my little sister having the smaller room. It was on the landing I stood in shock for a few seconds, just outside the bathroom door and in front of my bedroom door knelt a young boy, similar age to myself, so around seven years old, he had blue pyjamas on, kneeling on a red pillow holding a book. He was looking up into the light that was shining in through the landing window. The boy didn’t move and he didn’t acknowledge me. I felt like I was stood there for ages but I know it was a matter of seconds. Flight or fight kicked in and I flew, I ran back to bed, jumped into bed and screamed as loud as I could for my Mum. I must have waked the whole house. My mum came in and once I had explained what had happened she said “You were dreaming, go back to sleep”. I know I wasn’t dreaming, I know that boy was really there. I remember him so clearly. I still speak about this boy to my parents now and they still say I was dreaming. This fuelled my fire even more, who was this boy? What did he want in my house? Would he show himself again? I kind of hoped he would but knew if he did I would be so scared. I never did see the boy again, but I did have a few more experiences in that house. A few years later I was at home in the day time, it was a bright sunny day, my family were on the back yard and I and my brother were in the
house alone. We were playing on our Amiga game console at the time and we wanted a drink so I popped downstairs. As I entered the kitchen I noticed a dark shadow in the reflection on the oven, I’m not sure what made me notice it or why I was nervous about it but as soon as I saw it I felt it, panic, I knew something was wrong and I wasn’t sure what, I began breathing heavier and my heart felt like it was about to leap out of my chest. I tried to focus on it knowing no one else was in the house and I couldn’t be making the shadow, I shouted “Who’s there!” as I did the shadow moved from left to right and out of my vision. I panicked and ran back upstairs and jumped on my bed next to my brother. I’m not sure if he noticed what state I was in but I calmed myself down, I never told anyone about that until now, I was too scared for some reason. I don’t know what it was but there was something not quite right about that experience and quite possibly my first encounter with a darker spirit. Something I’d have to get used to in years to come. As a teenager I began to aware that for some reason I had a strange sixth sense for when something was going to happen significant. I just woke up in a morning and could say if something was going to happen or not in the world, I just had a gut feeling about things. When I was thirteen fourteen years old I was walking home from school and for no reason my Great Grandad Chas popped into my head, Chas was my Dad’s Grandad and must have been in his 70’s or 80’s at that time, I wasn’t overly close to him but he always made me laugh and everyone said we were alike, we liked sport, football, boxing where no other member of my family did. I’m not sure why but I knew something was wrong, I knew for some reason he wasn’t with us anymore, I couldn’t see him or hear him but it was if he was telling me. I
got home and I remember my mum stood washing the dishes, as I walked in the kitchen she said “I’ve got something to tell you”. I knew straight away what it was, she went on to tell me that Grandad Chas had passed away peacefully overnight at his home. I tried to act surprised but I don’t think I did a very good job, I think my mum just thought I was a typical teenager that didn’t have emotion. The fact was I had already processed those emotions tem minutes earlier and knew that he was ok. A few weeks later me, my brother, sister and mum were all at home watching some weekend television, trying to stay as quiet as we can because my Dad had been on nights and was in bed. The next thing we knew my Dad burst into the room and grabbed the morning paper which we had delivered back then. He was looking at the racing section, my mum was asking what the matter was and he explained he had just had a dream that he was at the races with his Grandad, Chas, Chas was telling him to back Starsky, that all he can remember, repeated over and over, his Grandad telling him to back Starsky. There was no horse by that name but my mum suggested looking at the jockeys. There was a Jockey that day racing with the surname of Starsky. My Dad got dressed and went to the bookies and put a few pounds on Starsky’s horse to win. Guess what, he won, it only won him around £14 but a wins a win. He came home to tell us all the good news and went back to bed, on his way up I heard him saying “Chas, I’m coming back, give me another winner and I’ll put more on this time”. Chas never did appear again in my Dad’s dreams, not to give tips out anyway. Chas loved Horse racing and I think that was his way of saying he was ok and there looking out over us. TO BE CONTINUED…. When Lee gets his writing head on
Auditioning ghosts? A day in the life of one of Merlin’s creative managers For the past 2 years, Natalie Weetman has worked at Alton Towers Resort as a creative manager, producing live shows in the resort and its hotels, plus annual events such as Scarefest. We spent some time asking her what exactly her job involves. “I’m part of a team of three, which is great as we can bounce ideas off each other,” said Natalie.
“Our job doesn’t always fit into a typical working day – we’re often found at 2am busy choreographing routines, writing scripts or clutching onto a Pritt stick and making mood boards!” “The really great thing is the variety. One minute we’re looking at budgets and the next, we’re asking people to run around a room as
ghosts for an audition – I’m currently in the middle of an audition tour, visiting eight cities around the UK to find new talent. It’s one of my favourite things as we get to discover and nurture a variety of new performers. We’re really lucky in having a great team of performers with so many talents who can always help us turn our ideas into
something truly fantastical!” “What’s really rewarding about this role is that it’s always stretching me. I’m constantly learning and developing my creative skills and I consider myself really lucky to have a job that lets me do that.”
Alton Towers Scarefest
7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 20th - 31st October
Back from the Dead and Back at the Cinema
GET OUT Director: Jordan Peele Certificate: 15 Horror 1h 44min
Get Out is a film that will be brought up as a discussion piece in filmmaking circles for the rest of time, guaranteed, primarily on the topic of race and racism. This isn’t to say that this is the film’s only merit – it certainly isn’t as it’s competently shot, directed and, for the most part, very well acted – but even from its opening segment and just about every third line from the two leads it’s clear that American (and beyond) race relations are the framework that the whole film works around and, whether this is by accident or design, it works in its favour. Chris (Daniel Kaluuya) and his girlfriend Rose (Allison Williams) go to visit the latter’s white upper-class parents and seeing as they, for some reason, have no idea about Chris’ ethic origin despite him being told that they are staunch Obama voters provides a profoundly unconvincing setup
predictably leading to a lot of weird goings on at the family home with a whole number of horror tropes thrown in all the way through. It’s a lot of fun and has something for everyone if horror movies are their thing so there’s no need to ruin aforesaid fun here. As for the race related topics, the reason why the film will be much discussed lies a lot in its ambiguity of the motives and methods the antagonists utilise in their nefarious schemes. Part of this might be down to deliberate obfuscation, which would be a testament to first-time director Jordan Peele’s skill and intelligence, or is simply down to luck brought on by a kitchen-sink approach to shocks and scares and a sensible change of the original ending. Either way, ones opinion of the racial element will ultimately come down to a person’s own ethos on the matter, especially in the modern age.
The exact same film could be (and no doubt will) construed as a commentary on racism against African Americans; on perceived falsehoods of white guilt; a film that is outright racist AGAINST whites, if one is overly sensitive to the concept; hell, it could even subvert race altogether and be a critique on economic standing of privileged elites over those worse off, if you look at it from an objective position. As mentioned previously, it’s the films ambiguity that helps it from an ideological point of view although there are some moments in the film that really make no sense in the given context and feel like they are there just to set up a few new creepy situations but nothing to detract from the overall quality. However, the film has been described as a horror comedy and it’s the second part that falls flat – the only real comedy, especially when the main plot is revealed,
comes from Chris’s best friend who is off-site for most of the film as a Transportation Security Administration employee and is contacted primarily by phone. I, and I wasn’t alone, found his forthright exclamations in American vernacular about the events as he sees them pretty funny most of the time and perhaps the intention was to question if the reasons why it IS funny carries racial or cultural weighting? Lack of (or failure of?) comedy aside Get Out is a worthwhile film to go and see for a variety of filmgoers. Want a creepy atmosphere, a few jump scares, and a bit of blood and gore? Check, check and check. Want to dissemble hundreds of years of cultural oppression and have long intellectual discussions about race in the modern world? Up to you. Get Out will provide both. Review by Matthew Eastwood
THE CURE FOR WELLNESS Director: Gore Verbinski Certificate: 18 Horror 2h 26min A Cure for Wellness is Gore Verbinski’s contribution to the psychological horror/suspense genre and, as shown with his remake of The Ring and in a few sequences in his Pirates of the Caribbean movies, he definitely has a flair for atmospheric foreboding and sinister imagery – from a technique standpoint Wellness holds up well, but falls short of being a great movie by falling into a modern trap of being overly long without the story or characters to hold the attention throughout. Dane DeHann plays a young executive at a financial
services firm in New York who is sent by the Board to retrieve one of their members from a “wellness centre” in Switzerland after they received a troubling letter from him saying that he had no intention of returning. Being a New York finance firm they’re clearly up to no good and want to use him – or failing that, DeHann – as a scapegoat for whatever naughty things these institutions are prone to get up to. DeHann does as he’s told and – predictably – ends up as a patient himself with much of the 2 hours 10 mins running time spent unravelling the mystery of the water supply that all staff and patients are encouraged to drink constantly, the mistrust of the locals about anyone associated with the centre, and the general weird goings on that usually accompany large, suspicious psychiatric wards.
Wellness’s biggest problem is that it’s really covering well covered ground – it’s never going to come as a major surprise to anyone that deHann will end up as a patient, that weird things will happen to him, and who the antagonists will turn out to be. With that in the back of their mind the audience is only really interested in what creepy imaginative sequences the movie can through out there, and when they happen they’re often very effective, but it takes too long to get to each one and so well built up tension dissipates while we listen to a lot of exposition about things that most already strongly suspect and that, turn out, to be completely as expected. The unexpected only really comes at the big reveal at the end just what’s really going on under the surface (as it were), but it’s tone is so different to what has
been set up that it feels tacked on, or wrapped up altogether too quickly for build up. What’s left is a functional suspense horror with a few underlying themes about family and isolation which are never effectively explored and take away from the central purpose of horror – to either terrify or unnerve – and that’s quite a gamble, and one that doesn’t pay off here. At no point should the audience be approaching boredom and Wellness straddles that line a little too often with no real pay off. As already mentioned, A Cure for Wellness’s biggest problem is that large number of the movie’s ideas have been done before and done better – it doesn’t make it a bad film, just a sadly irrelevant one. Review by Matthew Eastwood
THE LEVEN PIT PONIES HAUNTING BY LEONARD LOW
’m a writer and investigator of the strange and bizarre; I surround myself in ancient manuscripts and the world of the persecuted Heretics of old Scotland. Heretics named and burnt as Witches. I write about those who suffered under the draconian measures of the church, and resurrect their stories as full as I can from the ancient town minutes and old Parish records that survive on the cases. For some, nothing official has survived but letters from one gentleman to the next discussing the burning of a Witch and the repercussions. I find the stories utterly fascinating. I turned one such story into a bestselling book “THE WEEM WITCH” and closely
followed that by “LARGOS UNTOLD STORIES” both cover Witch tales I have unearthed. But it’s while doing a lecture in the town of Leven on the above books I was approached by a woman with a strange story, a story as bizarre it may sound, I think I found an answer to her problem! I had just given a lecture on a haunting I had witnessed when an old lady (who wanted to remain anonymous) I will call Mrs Reid, came for a talk. She had a house in Methil, just across the Ba’ Bee Bridge up the pathway from Wellsley road from Leven. Mrs Reid lived in Kinnarchie Crescent, on this street she had a house in the row of council houses built around 1950. I’m accustomed to being addressed
with people’s problems in the spiritual field in the manner of “dark shadows” moving around the house, figures of dead family members being seen and likewise phantom phenomena. Usually it’s a rational explanation that resolves the fear of a haunting. I recently was in a hotel in Lundin Links that complained of a ghost, a ghost that left sink taps running! a demonstration of the tap running hot then shutting it off…. give the pipes 15 min to cool down and indeed the water started to run again! it’s nothing but the fixtures overheating and expanding. When cooled the pipes have shrunk back to normal size, requiring another half turn to properly shut the water flow!.as simple as that! No ghostie!
But Mrs Reid, a 70+ year old living 40 years in the Kinnarchie Crescent area, gave more food for thought on her problem she brought to me. She had a two-bedroom ground floor house and at certain times of the month sitting quietly at night she could hear the unmistakable sound of horses baying, horses in utter distress, the whining of these creatures would be easily heard. It seemed to come from the floor of the house! This to me was very intriguing, and I was invited to the property to hear this phenomenon myself. It took a couple of weeks until my diary was free and I indeed went to her house, the house was what you expect from someone who had lived in the same house for so long, the family home where the kids have left to live their own life’s leaving smiling faces all over the house in happy memories of photographs of holidays abroad and grandchildren with first chocolate biscuit faces. A smell of homemade lentil soup filled the household in a warm and welcome environment. I had experience of phantom noises from the past in previous buildings, doors slamming where now no doors exist, people talking where no one’s around in dialects not used anymore, heavy footsteps where no one’s around! It’s like watching a black and white movie from 100 years ago everyone in the movie has died but we can still see them and hear them now, as live as they were then. Some buildings retain the functions of old at the right time and right circumstance the voices return from the yesteryear and carry on. There’s no reasoning to it, we can only study and learn.
I must admit I stayed 6 hours in the house in Kinnarchie and although I never doubted the story of the Horse noises, I myself never heard anything unusual. I had a walk around and had digital recorders in all the rooms. I left the house to study my old books on the area the house was built on, my suspicions were that there may have been a tavern or stables on this land at one point and the house was built over it, but I knew there existed photos from 1900s of this area, and apart from a railway track and two coal pits the land was flat bear, arable farming land and unpopulated, so no taverns were found in this area. But it was from the two coal pits, Leven Pit 1 and 2, I got some interesting information. The mines had been operational from late 1878 and had produced quality seams of coal, the mines were on the area today of Kinnarchie crescent. The mines went so deep they had continual problems with flooding, and although they were very active and profitable, the human cost of lives was terrible. The casualties are listed every month in
the records I was looking at and it must have been an incredibly hard and dangerous job going by the deaths involved in digging out coal (nearly one a month). By 1921 both Leven pits were exhausted and were to be made redundant, the problem was there were 4 pit horses left down in the mine! A letter dated 6th April to Sir John Butcher the Conservative MP 18531935 asked…
“The secretary of mines askes for further information, to give for the withdrawal of pit ponies and horses from mines and save them from starvation and drowning especially the mines of Leven.” Pit horses were now too big to be brought out by hoist, they had been brought into the mine just months old, and working down them was all they knew. The debate continued with the men desperate to rescue their work colleagues’….as men and politicians debated...The empty Leven Mine flooded...The screams of the drowning horses could be heard from above and nothing could be done for them! Looking at old maps Mrs Reid’s house sits right above the Pit 1 shaft, is this what she’s hearing at night, an echo from the past of Pit Ponies screaming as the waters from the mine slowly rose and drowns them nearly 100 years ago.! I took my news back to Mrs Reid, I arrived at 8, 0 clock and she had baked a tray of shortbread, I sat with a hot coffee as I regaled what findings I had made. She had put the television on mute and there was no other disturbance as we talked, then I heard what sounded like a parrots whitter! I mentioned “do you have a parrot in the kitchen?” …. she just smiled and said, “that’s them! they have started again” ….3 minutes later I heard the faint unmistakable sound…. of a horse in distress. I must admit. I left the house with tears.
Witches, murdered Monks, Priests, Bishops and Archbishops, cannibalism, perverts, lunatics and poisoned Sausages… it’s all in here!
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Published on Jul 1, 2017
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