Issue 17 September 2013
Bryan Gibson Talks to the
Is this the most haunted venue in England?
Haunted Southampton Spent the night finding out
The Southampton Ghost Walks
Featured Articles this month
Freaky Folk Tales with Recommencing October 2013
HAUNTED SOUTHAMPTON Haunted Southampton arranges and hosts paranormal investigations across the South of England.
Join us for the night , all tickets for our event investigations are available at the website
Based in Southampton, England. Haunted Southampton is a team of paranormal investigators undertaking investigations of a variety of locations that have reports of unexplainable occurrences. Since 2009 we have investigated over 60 locations and still find the experience fascinating , enjoyable and great fun . The majority of our investigations are available for members of the public to join us , using the extensive range of equipment we use and experiments we undertake to try and establish if indeed these venues are as haunted as they claim to be. You can find out more about our investigations through our website and Facebook group page - with over one thousand pictures posted of investigations by people who have joined us investigating the paranormal we hope you too may want to become part of our work. Haunted Southampton is (left to right)
Juliet Collins, Patrick Collins, Pete Collins, James Lysandrides & Rebecca Lysandrides
Inside This Issue Features Regular Features INVESTIGATION SPOTLIGHT A look at our investigation of The Ancient Ram Inn
Paranormal Press Facebook Page
Paranormal Press September 2013 Issue 17
Anita Jo Intenzo: How to tell if your house is haunted. GETTING CONNECTED Charlotte Kosa from California Haunts
EDITORIAL Content Peter Collins _____
JULIET WRITES IT DOWN
Thoughts about the world of the paranormal.
Andy Ford —————— THIS MONTHS ARTICLES Andy Ford talks to Bryan Gibson for The Paranormal Press. Interview with Paul Hodge: The author of Freaky Folk Tales Famous Ghosts : Just how many venues is Ann Boleyn haunting?
James Lysandrides Juliet Collins Bryan Gibson Paul Hodge Anita Jo Intenzo Penny Legg Charlotte Kosa
Contact The Paranormal Press
An interview with:
Bryan Gibson by Andy Ford Andy Ford
Hello Bryan; How did you become involved in Spiritualism? I came into spiritualism when I decided to leave my life in London and return to Lincolnshire where I was born. I did not know many people, just family, as my friends were still in London. I basically visited the local spiritualist church in Sleaford to hopefully meet new people. Why I should be drawn to the church is a mystery, as I was not spiritually aware and had not had any experiences apart from the odd visit to a medium. Which was not very convincing at the time just a bit of fun.
Regular contributor to The Paranormal Press. Psychic Medium Andy Ford undertakes interviews with various psychic practioners across the globe.
http://www.andy-ford.com/ Andy Ford has been involved in Spiritualism for several years and is a Spiritualist Medium, Reiki Master, Trance Healer, Teacher and Tarot Reader
How did you realise that you had the ability to communicate with the Spirit World? I was only aware of my ability to communicate with spirit when I visited another church at Bingham. The Medium from the platform told me I was spiritually aware and should develop. On enquiring after the service, when I learnt that she came from Sleaford, she invited me to visit her at the mobile home she had in a caravan park next to the spiritual church. It all started from there thanks to Joyce . Has the way that you work within your mediumship changed over the years? My mediumship has become more positive the more work I did with sittings, church services and the many demonstrations in theatres, clubs and even pubs. Also I learnt to develop my own way of communicating the personality with respect for spirit while reaching out to as many people as possible. Do you know who your guide is and also about the life that they lived here on the earth plane? My spirit guide is a wonderful Indian Chief called Running Foot from the Sioux tribe. I am able to talk with him directly and he as a wonderful sense of humour with a very loud laugh. I have him on tape as his voice is so much deeper than mine and he has shown me many native songs and dances. If anyone saw me doing them in my home they would have me committed. He also talks about his family and life, which is very personal to us both. Have you ever appeared on radio or television and do you think it is a good idea for medium's to appear on such things? I was very lucky to have my own radio show for Century Radio in Gateshead. This went out live every Monday, once a fortnight for 2 hours, and became so popular the phone lines became hectic with people trying to phone in before I arrived at the studio. Sadly, I gave it up when they wanted to change it to a Sunday night running from 10pm to midnight, which I felt was not the right audience to reach out to. Television is another matter as I was filmed for a BBC documentary as part of the Everyman series. This was filmed over a 3 week period and when it was edited and aired, it did present the positive spirit work but just presented some negative features. Thankfully it did me no harm but never again will I trust the BBC, and other mediums have had the same experience and said the same thing. Television I feel is not the right medium for spirit as the producers only seem to want to sell the program and not worry about the content.
What do you think the job of the medium is? As a medium it is to show that our loved ones and friends still exist in the spirit world and can communicate and reassure us of their peace and love.
Why did you decide to write your book 'Is there anybody there'? I felt a need to put my experiences of my work, warts and all, to help people to understand how spirit communicates and that there is no fear just love. I know from the feedback from readers that they received the peace and help it has given to those, who may never visit a medium or spiritualist church. My book has also been passed around and reaches those in need. Have you written any other books? 'Is there anybody there?' is my fourth book and the only one now in print although the others do sometimes appear on Amazon for silly prices (I saw one being sold for £199 a couple of years ago!)
In your book you mention Stewart Alexander who is a Physical medium – what would you say is your most memorable experience within a physical séance? I have not attended many Physical séances but my most memorable was with David Thompson where I was spoken to by Quentin Crisp, amid much laughter, where we shared a joke or two. He once presented me with a small Christmas tree that was in the room at another séance via my partner John as I did not attended that séance.
Why do you think that there are not so many Physical mediums around now? Physical mediumship needs a long time to develop and is very physically demanding on the medium as it drains them. I do admire their dedication and commitment and trust in their guides and helpers. You also mention in your book about Germany. Do you still work within that country and how does it differ to working within England? I really enjoy working abroad especially Germany which I have done for many years. German people are so enthusiastic and really keen to learn. If you have good interpreters, which we have at Vlotho, it is very satisfying and great fun as I have stated in my book. What plans do you now have for the future? What has the future still got for me? Hopefully I will continue working although now in my seventies. I can still improve my mediumship and help those who come to see me with communication from their loved ones in spirit. Sadly, I do not like travelling as much as I did in the past so limit my charity and demonstration work, but will still continue with my one to ones at home. Than you to Andy Ford for this insightful interview with Bryan You can find out much more about Bryan Gibson , his work events and publications at his website
Guest Contributor. Anita Jo Intenzo WHAT MAKES A HOUSE HAUNTED? I want to post the top criteria for a haunting that we experienced while at my friend’s house. The unexplained phenomena didn’t happen overnight. We spent 10 months at my friend’s estate to clear out his “hoarder’s home” until it was ready for sale. His house was not anything special-a simple 1950’s ranch style house. This extended time spent at his house presented a unique set of circumstances as we (my son and I) were at the house for many hours each week, for a final total of over 2000 hours. Small things happened randomly and us being novices to any haunting experience, we didn’t recognize them right away, until things started to escalate on a regular basis of such extraordinary scope that we could no longer deny that what we were witnessing was of a supernatural origin. Luckily we did document by keeping a written record and by filming, photographing, tape recording evidence and verifying eye witness accounts. We now realize we had the Trifecta of Hauntings: Residual Haunting, Poltergeist Activity and Intelligent Spirit Interaction. In the ghost hunting shows on T.V. you see a group of investigators with their paranormal sensing equipment stay up to 24 hours (sometimes 3 days) at a “Haunted Location”. This in a way is putting the ghosts on notice to perform just for the audience. It doesn’t happen that way in a serious investigation of the paranormal. The audience doesn’t know the editing that goes behind the scenes so it appears as spontaneous activity. Remember this is for the entertainment value. It brings in revenue. The residents of a home or a volunteer at a local historical site supposedly haunted have much more time and hours spent at that same location day in and day out than the sporadic visitor. Their personal experiences become a more accurate gauge with the consistency or pattern the unusual events keep occurring. They “feel” and live it every day. This is invaluable for serious investigation. Here is a list of some of the top points we have complied by our documented evidence and reading other sources that match a classic haunting with our own “Haunting”. Here is how it started and progressed. 1. Cold air in areas where it is unexplained. There can be wavy distortions in the air, which can look like white or gray mist, or even feel like cobwebs. Our Experience: We had sickening “cold spots” that occurred in certain parts of the living room and then the basement that physically affected my son. He would become nauseated and sick to his stomach and didn’t know why. 2. Residual-activity of an unexplained nature witnessed by the living where things, people or an evident is played in a loop, over and over again (like a tape) without any interaction with living.
Classically trained as a fine artist, I graduated with honors from Moore College of Art in Philadelphia. I started restoring old photos over 30 years ago and have literally restored thousands of them in my career. I am now considered one of the top in this field and my services are sort after by many historical institutes. My fine arts training in painting and sculpture along with my knowledge of restoration materials and love of history has led me to a side profession of restoring antique dolls. www.pastimagesbyanita.com has evolved into a business where I'm able to preserve and restore family treasures so that their history will endure for future generations. I welcome the chance to restore your past images. I have taken on a new venture besides being the owner of a photo and art restoration business. I currently have a literary agent who is submitting my debut non-fiction book, Estate of Horror to publishers. www.anitajointenzo.com/ Estate_Of_Horror.html This has been a 4 year project that has taken me on an unexpected journey dealing with my deeply personal connections to the terrifying world of the paranormal and how it has affected my life after becoming the Executrix of a deceased friend's estate. We intend the project to become not only a published book but a movie or TV series.
Our Experience: As Executor of my friend’s estate, I had to pay the house bills. While reviewing his phone bill, an unexplained phone number kept appearing on it and we were being billed for a long distance call each week at the same day and time. This was strange as the calls were being made from his home at 4:05 AM same day, every week when no one was in the house. We had taken long distance services off the phone and when asked, the phone company had no explanation why the calls were going through. They took off the charges but the calls continued for 6 months until we had to change phone providers. Then the mysterious calls stopped. This is going to be further researched by the estate lawyer. 3. Excessive noise such as creaking, growling, faint voices, tapping or scratching. The sounds can be animal, human or demonic/inhuman sounding. Our Experience: The first eerie sounds we heard were one Saturday morning. My son and I had stopped to check on the house and as I walked into the living room I heard 3 long moans. Chilling! Another time there was a noise so loud and long the vibration shook and rattled the dining room. Later sounds of an animal scratching, tapping, people whispering and then inhuman voices mocking us became more and more prevalent while the work at my friend’s house progressed. 4. Being suddenly locked in or out of a door to a room to cause separation and panic. Our Experience: My son, Chris was locked in a bathroom for several minutes. He remembers not closing the door to the bathroom completely but the door slammed shut and he was locked in. The door handle was frozen when I tried to turn it, then inexplicably it opened several seconds later. Needless to say my son was very frightened. We also faced a crisis when my son and I became locked in the basement and his friend was on the other side of the door in the kitchen and the door lock was frozen. His friend was screaming that something was behind him and we were deliberately separated and unable to help him for several minutes. Needless to say his friend never came back to the house! 5. Poltergeist-(German for “noisy ghost”)- objects moved from one place to another or misplaced objects. Some of this activity can start out as innocent but can become quite violent, destructive and threatening. Our Experience: We had poltergeist activity right around the time we had construction work done in the basement.
This was only the beginning of the months of this type of ghostly activity we would be involved with-starting as benign and really funny but then it was much more personally directed at us with violent and sinister motivations. We have numerous witnesses that observed this rare phenomenon on many occasions. 6. Unusual unexplained smells, such as tobacco, a decayed smell, flowers, or perfume. Our Experience: We would smell, outside of the hideous moldy, dusty and damp smells that reeked in the basement, that of a wet cat, something burning and a man’s cologne. 7. Flashes of light or orbs in your sight or peripheral vision. Our Experience: We saw flashes of light in my friend’s bedroom, gold shimmering orbs on walls and on a kitchen table, black orbs go into a wall, and later digital photos captured large orbs in my friend’s bedroom, his parent’s bedroom and basement. 8. Unexplained shadows, figures or apparitions in or around the dwelling or in certain “hot spots” Our Experience: My son’s friend was the first to see an actual apparition down below the basement steps. We also had a shadow figure reflected on an appliance in the basement; a photo captured a dark figure peeking behind a wardrobe closet in the basement-which was the worst “hot spot” 9. Direct contact/interaction with a spirit by ways of asking a question and receiving within seconds an intelligent answer by ways of recorded EVP’s or physical action. Our Experience: It was an amazing event to me when I posed a question to whatever spirit was in the basement and then received an immediate answer by way of an object being thrown that only I would know and recognize. When I again asked for verification of the spirit another object was thrown near my foot within seconds. Our audio tapes of EVPs are numerous and our videos verify the close interaction we had with the ghosts in the house. Sometimes with unpleasant results. 10. Electronics unexplainably shutting off and on. Experience: It was learned early on that we always needed to carry extra batteries and tapes and extension cords when we started to document the paranormal activity in my friend’s house. We could only use our camcorder battery pack for less than an hour, sometimes less before it would lose power. (Con’t ) Our
WHAT MAKES A HOUSE HAUNTED?
The batteries would be drained although they were fully charged before entering the house. The lights in the house would also shut off and on, and the refrigerator and freezer doors would open suddenly. 11. Physical attacks by unknown entities that can cause serious injury. This is the most dangerous when dealing with the unknown. Some people can be singled out for attacks. Our Experience: At the beginning of the poltergeist activity objects were never thrown at us but around the rooms. Then as the work of clearing out my friend’s house, objects were thrown at us and some were near misses meant to intimate and frighten us. I experienced a physical attack (of being pushed) outside on the grounds of my friend’s estate and my son was thrown to the floor in the living room-he said something grabbed his ankle and tripped him. We had bumps and bruises for weeks. We knew then that we were dealing with something dangerous. 12: Spirits Attached to People/Objects-Is This For Real? Our Experience: YES! This can be true. I would have never in a million years believed this but I’ve become a believer since it’s happened to my son and me. My deceased friend was an anthropologist and world traveller and he willed to me hundreds of his artefacts and souvenirs. I had no idea until his sudden death the scope and depth of his collection. It was like cleaning out a museum. We now believe that some of these objects that I possess had negative energy associated with them and I unknowingly stored many in my home months prior to the paranormal activity. Bad Idea!
What to do? Document, keep a diary, dust off your video recorder or buy a new digital camera and audio recorder. Review the evidenceLook at photographs, listen to the audio and view the video from the “haunted location” for anomalies that might be caught on film or tape (EVP’s-electronic voice phenomenon). You are not imaging all this. You may have people that will say to you, "Oh, you are just imagined it or that you made things up". You have to be careful with whom you share your experience.
Some artistic renderings of my friend's house.
Who are you going to call? Calling in professional help when intervention is required to know what you are dealing with and what you are up against. This can be a paranormal team of investigators, a psychic medium or a parapsychologist. You have to do your homework and it can be a tough call as there are many people out there calling themselves paranormal investigators and they could make your situation worse. You need to be careful on picking someone who is out just out for the entertainment venue at your expense or someone who is a true professional in the field. I learned this the hard way and you can read about that experience in my book. You need to educate yourself (knowledge is power), check credentials, their organization, and their websites, ask others for referrals, check out other clients who may have used them and also go with your gut instinct. Your biggest offense is a good defence. Show them you are not afraid as spirit entities feed off that negative energy. Take control- don’t let them control you. Stay strong physically, mentally and spiritually. Good Luck!
Find out more about my work here
Anita Jo Intenzo
The Southampton Ghost Walks
Haunted Southampton and Derek Callaghan offer you an opportunity to explore the darker side of Southampton, with factual experiences of paranormal investigations within the city and Derek's knowledge of all ghostly sightings; you may not want to walk the streets alone again. The Southampton Ghost Walk takes a ninety minute journey through the most haunted locations of the city - joining Derek is Peter Collins, paranormal investigator with Haunted Southampton. Travel through the city and find out about the hauntings and ghost stories: who are the ghostly figures seen leaving the historic Red Lion? Why does Lizzie Loader come back to haunt the Bargate area and what made a young bride scream out in terror at her wedding reception? As the walk takes us into The Undercroft Vault - can we pick up any signs of its resident ghosts using some paranormal detection equipment supplied by paranormal investigation company Haunted Southampton? Maybe you can capture an image of the ghosts using the latest thermal imaging and full spectrum cameras.
http://hauntedsouthampton.com/ghostwalks.html Bring your cameras and experience the Ghost Stories of Old Sout
TTarot Card Course With
If you are interested in learning Tarot then this is the course for you. Not only will you be taught the meaning of the cards but how to intuitively read them as well. Intuitive Tarot Course Starts Wednesday 18th Sept 2013 at Wilton Holistic Centre, Wilton, Salisbury, Wiltshire. Time 7:30pm Contact Andy for more details firstname.lastname@example.org
or 07983 356 894
Order your copies at
James Marsh was born during the first year of the Second World War and many of his infant years were spent in air-raid shelters outside his home. Bombs rained down from the German Luftwaffe as they tried to destroy the city of Southampton,.
Amazon.com Robert Brown WE ARE ETERNAL
Purchase on Amazon Here
A spine tingling glimpse of things that go bump in the night in the port town. This in-depth look at the city features interviews with mediums and investigators, first hand stories and photographs.
Andy Ford Psychic Medium 1 - 1 Mediumistic Sittings
Past Life Regression
Group Sessions / Workshops
Skype readings available
Contact me through my website or directly for further details about bookings.
Andy Ford Website 07983 356894
Getting Connected With... California Haunts, located in Sacramento, California, the California Gold Country, the Bay Area, Nevada and Texas is dedicated to the investigation of alleged paranormal activity. The team is dedicated to â€œproof and truthâ€? and goes through exhaustive measures to investigate each alleged haunting. By utilizing infrared monitoring cameras, motion detectors, electro-magnetic frequency meters, tri-field meters, thermometers, Internet resources and good, old-fashioned research, the team makes every effort to understand why the activity is occurring. Founder and lead investigator CHARLOTTE KOSA When is it better to err on the side of caution when you are responsible for the well-being of others? Over the 8 years that I have run California Haunts, I have never had to face any decision about the safety of my team during an investigation. Now, I am not talking about old buildings that have no floors in places or stairways with no handrails. I am talking about coming face to face with something that could very well affect those who come in contact with it. Recently, we were called out to a residence where the client claimed that her two-year-old daughter might be possessed. On the phone with me the client described personality changes and physical feats that most people cannot do. Keeping an open mind, I listened to her and I could hear the fear in her voice so I set up the preliminary investigation. As ghost hunters, we teach ourselves to have open minds and to look for every possible cause as a way to come up with real-world explanations for activity and that is what I did. A lot of what the client told me was going on was typical of what has been seen on a lot of the TV shows but it is my belief that every client deserves a full preliminary and investigation. Our job is to help and we go out of our way to do that. I did not
Pete Collins attend this particular prelim as I had to work that day. I did however, pick team members who I knew would look at the facts involved and do the job asked of them. That afternoon I received a phone call from one of the investigators and she described how her husband, who I know to be very logical and rational was shook up. She described how the little girl would be sweet as can be and then in an instant her voice would change and get very deep and tell the husband to get away from her very articulately. She also described how the EMF meters were off the charts when near the little girl or any of her belongings. As I listened to her, I could her hear her husband in the background recount his experience in a shaky voice. He said he had felt drained and had to sit on the couch..he then fell asleep. His wife described looking into a dark corner of the home and feeling uneasy...she saw the outline of something with claws and then the little girl appeared from the shadows. Another investigator described talking with the parents of the girl and of how terrified they were. The mother had described seeing a gargoyle-type shadow in the home. The investigator also reported that the little girl did a spider walk as she went into another room. There is more but I do not want give away everything that happened. After hearing the investigators, I made the decision to pull back and seek other help for the client. Some of you may say that I am doing a disservice to the client because of this. I don't feel that way. I pride myself on the fact that my team members come from varying backgrounds. Some are social workers, others are psychiatrists and others have skills as well so we are equipped to handle just about any case. But at what point do you look at the overall safety of your team? What if this does in fact turn into a legitimate demon possession case? We as a team are not trained to handle that. What if we make things worse? What if by being there it lashes out and hurts someone? You can find out more about the work of Charlotte and California Haunts at the website
By Pete Collins
How many locations is Anne Boleyn haunting? For the many years I have research ghost stories and various reports of ghostly activity, I have always been surprised at the amount of such accounts are linked to Anne Boleyn. From royal castles to churches and various houses her apparition has been seen along the breadth of the United Kingdom , so can one lady be haunting various places ? I took a quick look at some of the locations , reported sightings of one of the most famous Queens of England. The Tower of London, a location that has numerous eyewitness accounts of the ghost of Ann. Her association with the Tower is the sight of her execution plus she spent the night here before her coronation. At a meeting of the Ghost Club in 1899, Lady Biddulph reported seeing a woman with a carnation tucked behind her ear, looking out of the window of the Queen’s House, and concluded that it was Anne. Also in the late 19th century, a yeoman warder swore under Oath, that he had seen a blueish form drifting towards the Queen’s House, whilst another soldier saw a woman in white emerging from the house after midnight. As she approached Tower Green he was shocked to see she had no head. All of these accounts thinking this was the ghost of Ann. A royal house, Hampton Court Palace, a location where Anne spent many an hour courting Henry VIII. Anne’s ghost has been seen, dressed in blue, floating along the passageways. Staff at the palace who saw her at the end of the 19th century, reported that she looked sad. In 1945 Lady Baden-Powell, who had a grace-and-favour apartment at the palace, wrote in her diary that a visitor had sensed the presence of Queen Anne Boleyn, in a little turret-room which Lady Baden-Powell said Anne had used as a private praying-room. A stately home in Norfolk , often accredited to the birth place of Queen Anne lies Blickling Hall. It is said at midnight on the anniversary of her death, she is said to make a dramatic return, travelling up to the house in a carriage pulled by headless horses, dressed all in white, bathed in a red glow, and cradling her head in her lap. Blickling was rebuilt over a hundred years after Anne’s death, but that doesn’t stop her ghost being seen indoors as well. She was seen by a house steward in 1979, having apparently just been browsing through a book of portraits by Hans Holbein (although he never painted Anne). In 1985 Steve Ingram, an administrator at the Hall, heard light footsteps approaching the bedroom in his flat late one night. He thought at first that it was his wife, until he realised she was lying asleep next to him. The next day his colleagues pointed out the date to him: 19 May. Is Anne Boleyn’s ghost been reported in a location near you ? She seem to pop up all over the country , a very busy ghost indeed.
Anne Boleyn (c. 1501– 19 May 1536) Was Queen of England from 1533 to 1536 as the second wife of King Henry VIII and Marquess of Pembroke in her own right. Henry's marriage to Anne, and her subsequent execution, made her a key figure in the political and religious upheaval that was the start of the English Reformation. Anne was the daughter of Thomas Boleyn, 1st Earl of Wiltshire, and his wife, Lady Elizabeth Howard, and was educated in the Netherlands and France, largely as a maid of honour to Claude of France. She returned to England in early 1522, to marry her Irish cousin James Butler, 9th Earl of Ormond; however, the marriage plans ended in failure and she secured a post at court as maid of honour to Henry VIII's wife, Catherine of Aragon
An update from author Penny Legg. Penny Legg’s World
Actually, my world has been a lot brighter recently. I have had two new books published (Bloody British History: Southampton and A 1950s Southampton Childhood which was co-written by James Marsh) and am busy on three further titles. I want to finish my next book of ghost stories soon, so have been working on generating and writing up content. I have been helped enormously by Andy Ford, who readers of The Paranormal Press will know well. In fact, Andy and I met up in his home town of Salisbury recently to do a little gentle ghost story following. We started with a quick trip out of town to the Wilton Shopping Village, where, many moons ago, Andy worked. There are several stories attached to the old carpet factory and the site manager there gave us permission to take photographs and generally follow our noses. It is always best to ask permission first at a site if you want to take images for commercial use. In this age of terrorism a couple of unidentified bods wandering around the shops with a camera, rather than shopping for bargains, stand out. From Wilton we headed back into the city for a chat at the Haunch of Venison Public House, famous for its severed hand in a blue-lit display case. This led us up a rickety ladder into their loft, home to child spirits apparently, for a quick look around and down into their basement, which has an unused bar area and a regular ghostly visitor. The Poultry Cross has its own ghost story, as anyone who has tried to strike up a conversation with the suited gentleman often seen there will attest. The Guildhall and the quaint Cross Keys Restaurant are also very active, so of course, we stopped by each. Staff at the Cross Keys were very helpful and once more we ended up at the scene of unexplained phenomena. There was a distinct temperature drop in the loft of the sports shop that took over from one of Salisbury’s oldest china shops. When we went in and asked about the well-documented chap that used to inhabit the old shop, we were led upstairs into the sectioned off part of the attic all the staff refuse to enter. The atmosphere was completely different there to the rest of the shop, much of which dates back centuries. By the time we had walked around Salisbury, my camera was full of useful images and poor Andy was deadbeat. It must be hard to be a medium and to visit so many haunted places, one after the other. I know he has to ‘tune in’ so to speak, but the mental stimuli of so many active properties must have been hard work for him. He was still smiling though when he dropped me back to the railway station for my train home! I am also indebted to Simon Smith, the Sussex-based ‘scientific paranormal researcher’ from Sussex Paranormal, who gave up his afternoon for me the other day. We met up in Bognor Regis and went off to several local places of interest. One of these was the Walnut Tree public house, a pretty pub set next to a very busy main road in Mundham, near Chichester. It is also adjacent to the old RAF Runction site. The pilot of a WW2 RAF bomber did not make it back to the station and crashed just behind the Walnut Tree, leaving a crater that Simon and I searched for and found amongst the overgrown undergrowth. The pilot is still in the area. Writing about true ghost stories and meeting people who have experienced strange phenomena are both very interesting to me as an author. Writing generally means that no two days are ever the same and working on a book of the paranormal is a case in point. I hope to have the book finished shortly, so, hopefully, it will be out in time for Halloween. The Thorn Press will publish True Ghost Stories.
Penny Legg. Books Haunted Southampton Explore the darkest secrets of Southampton's past with this collection of stories telling of the inexplicable occurrences and ghostly apparitions that have haunted residents of the city for centuries. From the Roman soldiers who pervade Bitterne Manor to the Grey Lady at the Royal Victoria Country Park, the site of a former military hospital, the city is host to spirits not yet departed who send a shiver down the spines of the living. No matter where you are in the city, incidents of unexplained phenomena have taken place nearby. The Tudor House Museum is frequently visited by poltergeists, while numerous mysterious figures have spooked the staff at the City College. Southampton is 'alive' with ghosts and, for those who dare, their stories can be discovered in this chilling book. Under the Queen’s Colours, which is a book of the reminiscences of service men and women who have served under the Queen’s colours in the sixty years of Her Majesty’s reign. The book raises money for three service charities. Promoting the book has led to my making appearances at the War and Peace Show, several veterans events around the country and at Australia House in London. I have been privileged to meet some super people and it is great to know that the book will, in a small way, go towards helping those who have served their country in both Britain’s and the Commonwealth’s armed forces.
You can find out more about the work of Penny Legg by visiting her website, where also signed copies of her books can be purchased ..
INVESTIGATION SPOTLIGHT WITH HAUNTED SOUTHAMPTON.
The Ancient Ram Inn
The Ancient Ram Inn Investigation Date. July 2013 Time 21:00 - 04:00
Haunted Southampton Team Within a sleepy Gloucester village The Ancient Ram Inn has been a haunt of many paranormal investigation. It’s reputation stemming from various television programmes as one of the most haunted places in England , we spent the night trying to find out what all the fuss was about. At the end of the night I think we all left the location with some lasting memories and experiences that may just warrant one of it’s notorious statements within the guest book, “never been to a scarier place”
& 18 Guests
Psychic Team John Taylor
As per usual, upon arrival the team started unloading the vehicles of various bags of equipment whilst Juliet under takes an initial walk around with our medium for the night. The précis of that walk around is documented on page 17. The Ram Inn is believed to have been built in 1145 , it is said to have numerous accounts of hauntings and paranormal activity. Including the ghosts of people who have reported to have been murdered and buried inside the building. Accounts of Murder, satanism and child sacrifice are just some of the light-hearted activities supposed to have taken place in this ramshackle building, dating from the 12th century and reportedly built on a pagan burial ground. For me two areas of the building were of real interest. The outer barn and the infamous Bishops Room . Collectively a small group had gathered in both areas , setting up various experiments . The atmosphere in the outer barn was indeed one of hairs raising on the back of your neck, with un explainable lights in the doorway and the mist of a black shadow appearing at the same spot with fluctuating temperature readings and indications from our EMF Meters all happening at the same time made this vigil a nerve tangling experience.
The Ancient Ram Inn The Bishops Room , another vigil that I took part in. Setting up various pieces of equipment to monitor the whole room , for an hour we were sat waiting to see what would happen. With all of the equipment remaining silent we started asking out for any responses and within five minutes it all seemed to start happening. Temperature drops of 5 degrees , responses from vibration , EMF and motion meters it seemed that the fireplace area was a good place to set up. It seemed to be one of the areas of the inn that produced the best responses for me , I became aware of other vigils that had also had our guests being a bit spooked . Whether the reputation of the building played on our minds or if indeed this is one of the most haunted venues in England is always for debate. What I can say is you have to experience this venue during the early hours and ask yourself - Did I really see that ? Sometimes seeing is believing , The Ram Inn a night of intrigue , bewilderment and fun , love to return again soon.
Walk round with Medium John Taylor
The image also came of people drinking and laughing, from the 1800’s, and the sound of some saying ‘Ring the bell’ for last orders.
John felt all tingly and was aware of the presence of a little girl. Was also aware of people with hoods – made from something like sack cloth, maybe part of some kind of brother hood. Wondered if royalty had visited here, that in the past the inn had been a coach house – picked up the name Richard, but on the whole the energy was positive, and felt that it had been a place of worship. As before we left the room got the name William, from way back.
John had the image come to him of the door being left open to caller, and also of a hatch from here that lifted up. Also had the image of a young girl in a pink dress with white trim and short sleeves, aged about 8 to 10, and galloping round on what used to be called a hobby horse. He felt that she came from a well to do family, and that her and other children might even had been seen.
The Bishop’s Room Instantly got the sensation of suffocation, as if he couldn’t catch his breath, and felt quite dizzy. He was aware of a sense of derision and a feeling as if people laughing at us, but not in a pleasant way. The atmosphere he felt could be ‘cut with a knife’. He felt that there had been people in black robes in this room, but not in the same material as before, but more like well made with cowls, and that there was also a sense of worship, but not in a pleasant way. Then we both heard six very quick knocks from the direction of the wardrobe. On asking round the building, no one admitted to making the noise, and on returning to the room John said that he felt we were again being laughed at – belittled. We left with him still feeling very uneasy. As we had left the room and stood in the hallway, he got the sense that there were different individuals out here, but that they were laughing at what had happened in the Bishops Room. He also felt the presence of a lady at the bottom of the stairs to the attic, perhaps called Mary, that she was from a well off family, possibly gentry. Store Room In the store room on the first floor John had the sense of kids kicking balls around, an old leather ball, in a game similar but not actual football. The name Bill came to him, possibly with the surname Wandsworth, and also the image of a doll, with the name Antoinette associated with it.
The Attic To the right of the stairs John felt that the room might have been used for guests, and was aware of sailor’s uniforms – he felt that they might have stopped here on leave in the past and drank here. He had the phrase ‘You are most welcome, feel free to walk round’. He also became aware of sickly children, maybe suffering from Typhoid or Cholera and that they were hot and feverish, and that a doctor had been called out. Left of the stairs he had the impression that it may have been used for a family sing song, but other than that had nothing but the vague inkling that it had been used for a work room or a store room. The Entrance Smuggling was the first thing that came to mind here – that it had been almost a kind of big joke and that it was being undertaken by rich people – that an awful lot of people were ‘in the know’ but that it was completely accepted that it was a way of improving fortunes and those involved would look after each other. This was an area where they planned their next skulduggery. He also got an impression of a processional – of a line of people marching bearing crosses, and that they were going to an altar. The Main Bar Area John’s first impression was that of an ancient burial ground though he did admit that he had seen the notices. However he felt his perception went much beyond that. The energy was pleasant, but he felt that there were more skeletons beneath our feet, as well as that of someone who had been ‘dumped’ in the area – outside the pub. He had the sense that soldiers from the civil war had been here, and then got the name ‘Annie’, which belonged to a little blond girl of between 4 – 6 year. He felt that she had passed here from some illness, but was happy and smiling. As we were talking there was a stuffed crow slowly turning on a wire above the excavated grave, but as I looked at it, it appeared to stop and look at me. I jokingly said please don’t stare at me, and it proceeded to start turning again, but as it came back round it stopped at me again. This occurred several times: by then end of the walk round I was quite unnerved as it seemed to do it every time I was there.
An Interview with Paul Hodge Hello Paul, Please introduce yourself, who are you and what do you do? Paul Hodge, author, teacher, bad banjo player, married with children but given a very long leash to gallivant about the country to explore and write about the seemingly inexhaustible plethora of tales of supernatural happenings upon these shores. I begin in Hampshire and work outwards. What is the idea behind your blog Freaky Folk Tales?
Paul Hodge is the author of Freaky Folk Tales, a blog featuring fictional and factual accounts of ghosts, revenants and possessed objects that have inhabited ancestral homes in the south of England. The stories are brought to life through atmospheric prose, beautiful photography and artwork inspired by the golden era of ghosts, the Victorian age.
Freaky Folk Tales is an anthology of tales of the macabre and supernatural, from the haunting of ancestral homes to the malignancy of inanimate objects. The tales typically begin in the archives, from the report of a well or lesser known haunting that took place in a southern English county, and from here somewhat two-dimensional characters from history are given personalities and placed upon a stage where they creep ineluctably towards something dark calling them from the shadows. Why a blog, though? Choosing a blog to profile my writing was an obvious choice because of the unrivalled exposure it offers up-andcoming authors. I believe strongly that writing should not be practised and performed in a vacuum; it’s important for an author to have some sort of dialogue with his or her readers. This is especially important in the genre of supernatural writing where anecdotal information coming back from a readership eager to share their tales of ghostly encounters can help to build a community of interest. It may even help to rejuvenate the powerful art of storytelling; I remember so vividly what it’s like to be scared by a story told around a campfire (or, in my case, a demolished factory on a London building site!)
Are there any places in Hampshire or neighbouring counties that feature in your writing? Yes! I’ve been meaning to put together a map that pinpoints the locations of these stories because most stem from a visit to an actual town or village, church or stately home. So, for Hampshire, there is The Box-room, a tale of terror set in Fair Oak, Walk with Me (to the estuary), a story of a death foretold that developed out of a winter evening stroll around Lepe Beach, and The Terror of Tichborne, that hopefully speaks for itself! Dorset is another county rich in ghostlore. The Flames of Stalbridge Manor, John Daniels Returns and The Dark Conjurer of Batcombe are all set there. It’s also the setting for Return to Tyneham, a personal favourite of mine despite its long gestation! What are your most notable works? I guess these would be The Yews of Kingley Vale and Return to Tyneham. The first is based on my interest in the Yew as a tree to be primarily admired but, secondly, to be slightly wary of. “Kingley Vale, north-west of Chichester is the largest yew woodland in Britain. One story concerning the ancient woodland has always fascinated me. It tells of Danish invaders who came to Sussex over a thousand years ago. They had travelled great distances to conquer the Saxon communities of south Britain but the locals had fought back, slaying some of the invaders in skirmishes amongst the yew trees near Bow Hill. Legend says that the four large
barrows upon the hill, known as The Devil’s Humps, are the graves of the dead Vikings. In late summer evenings, when the blood-red sap of the yews spills onto the chalk hill it is said that their ghosts roam the dark and silent wood, tormented by defeat”. Inspired by several visits to this beautiful, but eerie, sanctuary, I wrote The Yews of Kingley Vale. What is Return to Tyneham about? Tyneham stands as a defining example of the term ‘ghost village’. It was once a quiet little place, nestled on the Dorset coast; a quintessential chocolate box scene of a church, a school house and tidy lines of cottages. However, in 1943, the residents of the village were asked to leave so that the army could use the area for training. At the time, the folk received a promise from the government that once the war had ended they would be allowed to return. Sadly this did not happen; the promise was never honoured. Years passed, and the villagers accepted, sometimes grudgingly but always with a sense of honour in sacrifice, that they would never return. After years of neglect the church and the school house have been restored and are now museums. The remaining buildings are derelict and have a distinct presence about them, serving as a reminder of the many home sacrifices that were made for the war effort. Over the years, the plight of Tyneham has continued to touch me; and the more I investigated its history, the more I felt compelled to write about it. And so, using the writing genre I know best – the ghost story – I wrote Return to Tyneham and attempted to convey the sense of duty that comforted and supported these people in their valiant efforts to help Britain win the war. How did your interest in the paranormal and the unexplained begin? I am indebted to an unfettered childhood spent traipsing over fields and amongst ruins for providing a collection of vivid imagery that has fuelled my writing. I grew up in London in the 1970s at a time when the city still retained the shells of crumbling post-war factories, littered with shadows of the past. Though pretty hazardous, they were my playground. This, together with Bunyan’s churches and graveyards, and the covered plague pits of Bunhill Row, was the catalyst for a life lived imagining what may lie beyond this earthly veil. I spent my childhood reading HG Wells, Poe, Ray Bradbury and borrowed numerous tomes on ghostlore and legends from my local library. Though I found it easy to get vicarious thrills through the safe medium of fiction, I wanted to explore the places I had read about. And so I went exploring, typically on train journeys to the home counties. I even found myself organising trips to visit the remains of places such as Borley Rectory (yes, I was on a very long leash at 11 years of age - my, how things have changed!) Is it just books that have influenced your work? No, far from it, though books have been the primary influence. I am also indebted to my father for allowing me to watch such a rich diet of supernatural TV and film at a relatively young age (and fortunately I’m only ever so slightly unhinged because of it!) The 70s was a golden age for such themes of folk horror, stories of death foretold and children’s supernatural TV drama. So, in no particular order: Roeg’s Don’t Look Now (the Du Maurier book being wonderful too), The Woman in Black (1989 TV adaptation), The Signal Man (BBC TV adaptation), The Children of the Stones, Quatermass and the Pit and nearly all of the BBC’s Ghost Stories for Christmas, including the deliciously chilling Whistle and I’ll Come To You. What do you hope to achieve from your stories? I just hope that through my writing I am able to spark an interest in these places, the sites that are off the beaten track yet tantalisingly close to our doorsteps. The world ‘appears’ to be a much more threatening place than it was when I was a child but what a redundant life it would be if we were to always tread so carefully that our knowledge became entirely dependent on the internet and second-hand sources of information. Not only do these fail in delivering the first-hand practical experience of actual physical encounter but they never tell us the whole story. For this, we need to venture forth, brave and dare I say it, slightly foolhardy, to gain such treasures of the imagination. Why, specifically, ghost stories? My partner often asks me why I write ghost stories - and why I don’t write wholesome stories for children! My answer is simple: there is more horror in our local communities, on every street corner, than there is a single macabre tale. Tales of nefarious deeds and the supernatural are often vehicles for exploring human frailty; in telling them, we may help society to debate and unravel the age-old moralistic dilemmas we as humans are constantly trying to understand and define. (con’t)
Which is the most memorable place you have investigated? Why? That would be Balcombe Viaduct which crosses the Ouse Valley in West Sussex. The railway itself is an engineering marvel, with its long turreted tunnels and huge, red-bricked viaducts that took three years to build. But for every such project of its day, there was a cost in human lives as well as financial. It took over three thousand men to build the railway, the workers equipped with little more than gunpowder, picks and shovels. For a construction project of this size, accidents would have been a fairly regular occurrence; if a tunnel or bank were to collapse, the consequences would be extremely grim. And where there is toil, hardship and tragedy, the ghosts of men are sure to follow. These ghosts are explored in my short story, The Viaduct
Balcombe Viaduct A favourite haunt for Paul
What are some of your favourite ghost stories? Oh, anything by MR James of course! But beyond Monty’s seminal tales, I have always been a big fan of gothic writing of the 19th and early 20th century , particularly the supernatural stories written by women writers who were highly prolific in the ghost story genre during Victorian and Edwardian times. In my opinion there’s no one better at telling a tale of flesh-creeping terror than Edith Nesbit, primarily associated with fantasy novels for children, but not at all well known today as a Gothic writer. What I love about Nesbit is that she not only places emphasis on the impact that unexplained phenomena have upon her characters but, most importantly, she presents the terrifying experience as a means of unravelling whatever it is that lies within the core of relationships. Again, the ghost story used a vehicle for dealing with the foibles of what makes humans human! Do you believe in ghosts? I was wondering when you were going to ask that! Well, in a short answer, yes, but I think I’ll ask one of my characters to elaborate on my behalf: “It appears to me that it is entirely possible that a spiritual or unearthly shape, a spectral simulacrum, a belated reflection of life, is capable of subsisting for some period, of releasing itself from the body, or surviving it, of traversing vast distances in the twinkling of an eye, of manifesting in solid form to the living and, sometimes, of communicating with them. There is no earthly use trying to banish or exorcise them by such a simple thing as disbelief in them. I say that it is entirely the prerogative of the spirit, or for those who make use of its name first to prove that it exists. In this sense, I very much welcome their manifestations!” Have you had an experience that could not be explained? No, but a number of people who I hold in the highest regard have told me tales that have chilled my spine. One in particular was told by my ex-father-in-law, a well respected Medical officer for the county of Gwent. One Christmas Eve, several years ago, he had gathered with friends at his home in Cardiff to celebrate. After a few light drinks, the host, Mr H, bid goodbye to one of his medical team who had to return home, a journey of several miles out of the city. It was a particularly cold and icy night, and he reminded the young fellow to drive carefully considering the inclement conditions. It was no more than half an hour after he had left when Mr H and his wife heard an almighty crash from an upstairs bedroom. When they entered the room to check what had made such a commotion they found that an ornament of significant size and weight had shattered into pieces. Nothing had fallen upon it; neither was there anything or anyone around at the time to topple it from its base. For some reason unexplained it had simply splintered into fragments. Later that night, Mr H received a distressing telephone phone call from the police. It appeared that shortly after the young medical chap had left their home, he had encountered a patch of ice just before crossing a bridge, skidded uncontrollably and ended up driving off the road and into the river, where he had little chance of survival. Well you guess how upset Mr H and his wife were. It wasn’t until they had gotten over their initial shock, however,
when their thoughts turned to the figurine that had broken into bits. Their conclusions were cold and unsettling. You see, they realised that not only had the ornament been given to them as a gift by their medical friend, the one who had been killed, but it was likely that the figure had smashed into pieces at almost exactly the time when the unfortunate chap had entered the river and drowned. What are you working on now? Three things. The first is a story provisionally titled The Ghost Bureau. It’s based on research I’ve completed on the life of William T. Stead, an English newspaper editor who claimed to be in receipt of messages from the spirit world. In 1909, he established Julia’s Bureau where inquirers could obtain information about the spirit world from a group of resident mediums. The story is about one of the many people he employed to document these manifestations – his private secretaries to the dead. The second does not yet have a title but it involves one of my favourite themes: the malignancy of inanimate objects. It’s the story of a Hampshire watermill, built from the timbers of an 18th century American warship, that’s host to several unbidden guests. The third, Rise of the Dolmen, is something completely different. It’s a little reminiscent of the 1970s TV series, Children of the Stones and book by Jeremy Burnham. In a nutshell, it’s the tale of a Victorian farmer who disturbs fragments of a megalithic tomb and revives an ancient curse! Do you have any published stories? I’m excited to announce that my first collection of stories, Ghosts, revenants and other unbidden guests; The First Volume of supernatural stories from the pages of Freaky Folk Tales will be published in November/December and will be available to purchase in Kindle ebook, Paperback and Hardback from Amazon. Four of my short stories are currently available in published form: A Tale of Chirbury has been published by Darker Times, available in paperback from Amazon. The Haunted Cupboard and Return to Tyneham are due to be published by Darker Times in September, and will be available to purchase on Amazon. If readers want to find out more about you and your works, where can they go? They should visit the Freaky Folk Tales blog For those with a Facebook account, please visit and ‘like’ Freaky Folk Tales Facebook
The Paranormal Press really appreciate the time Paul gave to this interview and hopefully can contribute future articles . Please take the time to visit his website where you can find out much more information about his work , you can sign up for regular news about forthcoming stories plus take a look at the wonderful artwork associated with his stories.
The latest article from Freaky Folk Tales
JulietWrites It Down
Keeping it fresh! Though our first official overnight investigation was in 2009, my first actual ‘ghost hunt’ was undertaken at a location on the Isle of Wight in November 2008. I well remember the trepidation with which I stumbled down the stairs into the cellar, listening to the guides telling us how there was a male presence who resented women invading his space. Using glass divination for the first time, I was astonished how the glass seemed to be alive, and when the lights flickered as we were discussing a lady servant upstairs, the mediums told us that her influence was causing this phenomena, showing us her understanding that we were discussing her. The very first time I sat in an attic and undertook a ‘calling out’, I was so nervous that along with my companions we actually started to giggle, not an kind of ‘aren’t we silly’ giggle but an extended period of almost forced hilarity that was only stopped by the arrival of one of the mediums that were with us for the night. However by the end of the night I felt a little disillusioned that no definitive evidence had come forth and actually went down in the cellar by myself to confront and force the antagonistic spirit down there to actively hurl things at me in an effort to make him show himself. We all know the result of that – as in I am not famous for presenting the world with the desired proof of the Afterlife. Now as we approach our 45th public investigation, that familiar buzz is starting to build up inside – those butterflies are getting up and about again! Much to my amusement, one of my other work colleagues - as in from my ‘proper’ job – asked me wasn’t I bored with it now and had I considered getting a more conventional hobby like train spotting ( well as he said at least I am actually guaranteed to see one of those occasionally).
I suppose it might be a reasonable suggestion, as in I have not yet seen a spirit, or got certain proof of their existence, but as a group our anticipation is as yet untarnished. We try to prepare for these investigations as thoroughly as possible, and are always reading up on the possible application of different equipment; not only for our own personal use but for those members of the general public who are just crazy enough to accompany us. This is not an exact science – in fact it is not an acknowledged science at all – and I guess that as there are no result based methods of ‘ghost detection’ then anything that might conceivably aid in the hunt is acceptable to be used. – from bells to infrasound detectors and anything in between. And that for me is what is most exciting – talking to other groups or individuals from around the globe, speculating on what might be shown in those photos, or sharing ideas about how to best apply known science in a speculative field.
With a new piece of equipment to play with, in other words another tool to use in the work of investigating, we yet again forge our path into the dark and the unknown. Every time is like that first time in that we never know what is going to happen, but the fear has dwindled and been overtaken by the excitement of visiting another new location, and hope springs eternal as we look forward to another sleepless night spent in the pursuit of that one piece of evidence that will give us all something to look forward to. And that’s why it is always fresh and why you will never find me on a railway bridge. Unless there is a chocolate shop on the other side….
Hope to see you soon on an investigation...
The 17th edition of The Paranormal Press