Posts

Showing posts from August, 2019

Crimes and the undead - a ghost made me do it!

Image
Court cases featuring accounts of the paranormal have proven popular fodder for journalists, especially when the headline can feature some sort of genuinely frightening pun such as ‘Scary end for ghost’ Over the past twenty years the press has reported tales of ghosts connected  to all manner of offences. Ghosts have been blamed for encouraging people to commit a crime and there are instances of criminals pretending to be ghosts to intimidate victims and also claims for compensation when lives have been disrupted by unruly entities. This post highlights some of the stories that appeared in the press, from the sublime to the ridiculous. There is the case of a burglar who blamed his break-in on a ghost after he was arrested for breaking into a family home in Lincolnshire and helping himself to whisky and cigars . John Griffin, 60, said the spook, called Jennifer, told him to meet her at the farmhouse in Stainton by Langworth, Lincs. He was found "confused and rambling" on

A Prison Story

Image
A Prison Story Even at night, a prison is never truly silent. As you sit in your cramped little office, counting the ever-expanding hours until morning, you’ll hear the staccato of coughing or a prisoner crying out in his sleep, a sudden alarm announcing an overdose, and the whirr of CCTV. On some nights you’ll welcome the temporary illusion of quietness as if the prison has merged into a single sleeping giant and you are only the person awake in the world. But on other nights, without really knowing why, the atmosphere becomes oppressive and foreboding. I met Roy Clarke on one of my first nights on the watch. He was older than the other officers, myself included, but he shared the same stocky physique of his colleagues - the widening midriff, a generous beard making up for the lack of hair on his head and a smattering of tattoos inked so long ago they had blurred into nothing. I think he must have noted my horrified expression as I first entered J Wing and thought I needed looki

Writing Supernatural Fiction

Image
I had always wanted to write a novel with a ghost story at its heart. So I started with a  question - what is the most terrifying thing I could think of? The answer came immediately - the thought of my child going missing was the stuff of both my sleeping and waking nightmares. So what better way to channel my paranoia with interest in the supernatural? For anyone who has attempted to write a novel, you'll know what a long and arduous journey it can be. You can spend a day thinking your prose is worthy of an agent; followed by a week believing you are but one step away from the shredder. However, I persisted, and my ghost story grew from a vague outline to a novel with a full-blown plot and scenes and characters and hopefully a few scares along the way.  I had read countless times that authors should write what they would actually want to read themselves. Hence the inclusion of Ouija Boards and Psychics, crisis apparitions and demonic animals. I've poured 20 years

Strange goings on at Shepherd Neame Brewery

Image
Shepherd Neame Brewery  had long been on my list of dream investigation sites. Founded in 1698 the Brewery is the oldest official brewer in the UK, although brewing in the area is said to date back to the 12th Century. When I first joined the Ghost Club in the 1990s, I remember listening to stories of the frightening and foreboding atmosphere that investigators had experienced there. Fast forward 15 years and I was now investigations co-ordinator and had learned that Shepherd Neame was running their own ghost events for Halloween. Another clue of their continued fascination with ghosts was their promotion of the Halloween brew 'Spooks Ale' described as "offering protection to any who drink it against ghosts and ghouls encountered on All Hallows Eve". A letter and a couple of emails later and the Ghost Club was set for a return visit. As with all investigations, a pre-visit was a must to check the suitability of the venue, scope out areas of alleged activity and d