Many people love a good scare on Halloween, but Freckleton man Steve Parkinson is extra keen on the spooky day where ghosties and ghoulies are believed to be at their busiest.
Steve has been investigating paranormal activity for the last two years and has an ever expanding collection of hi-tech gadgets that aid him in his hunts. As I live in a rather creepy old house that often produces inexplicable bumps and creaks, I invited Steve over to do his thing.
Joining our Scooby Gang were Beth and Chelsea, long time fans of ghost hunting TV shows such as Most Haunted and Ghost Adventures. My mother Yvonne was there disguised as Maleficent so we can stay incognito for our restaurant reviews, but mostly for my own personal amusement. The other house resident arrived home a little later and was reluctantly dragged into the investigation. In an earlier restaurant review she was referred to as Finicky, but today we will refer to her using her other alias; GZ aka Ground Zero.
The evening started off with a walk around my house so Steve could get an idea of where best to set up his gadgets. He informed me that old furniture and mirrors are most likely to have ghost energy attached to them, which meant that my home was probably riddled with them. In the living room he placed a MEL meter that measures electro-magnetic field.
In my bedroom was a laser pointer aimed at my bed, which beeped when the beam was broken. We also had an EVP recorder; a white noise microphone through which spirits are alleged to be able to talk and answer questions.
As night had fallen by the time we had finished the walk through, we dimmed the lights and started our investigation.
I decided that it might be sensible to confuse and alarm any evil entities loitering around upstairs by first sending Yvonne up on the stair lift. Up she went, no doubt feeling good about herself and her sacrifice for her family for which we were all moderately grateful.
We followed her up to my bedroom, where a middle-aged woman in a kaftan with tangled grey hair has often been sighted, muttering to herself and angrily eating a family bag of peanut M&Ms.
Steve started asking if there were any entities in the room with us, and requested that they break the laser beam to signal their presence. The laser alarm immediately went off and we turned to see that in the three seconds of silence following Steve’s question, Yvonne had lost interest, started tidying up and was triggering the alarm by manifesting back and forth with my clothes in her hands. She then announced that she didn’t like the investigation, handed in her Maleficent costume and chickened her way back home.
There wasn’t much else happening so Steve brought out his newest fancy gadget, a Kinect SLS camera. Ghost hunters believe that the camera can detect entities using infrared light and depth sensors to identify human forms that aren’t always visible to the naked eye.
Yvonne had scarpered at the right time, as almost immediately on the SLS screen two stick figures appeared in the mirror of an antique wardrobe. We thought at first it was our own reflections, but when we moved the figures stayed where they were. Panning the camera around, there was another straddling the canopy of my bed in a shameless position that would be particularly alarming if I woke up suddenly able to see it.
Back downstairs there were two more, one standing on the arm of the chair and one on the fire surround. At this point a disinterested Ground Zero arrived home and we filled her in on what was going on. She is known as Ground Zero because if there is any kind of virus going around our family it can always be traced back to her.
Oddly, when GZ walked anywhere near the formerly silent EMF detector box, it lit up and started beeping. Other people tried standing and walking near it with no response, and then stood around looking baffled. I was not baffled because it confirmed what I already knew deep down. Ground Zero was Pestilence, one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
We heard a beep from the EMF reader upstairs and headed back there, this time to the bathroom. The SLS camera detected another figure in the shower. I told Pestilence to get in with it, which she did whilst still texting on her phone. Suddenly there were two more creepy stick figures in there with her. After a few minutes the forms that had been moving around grew still and looked like they were hanging. I could sympathise as it was the same defeated stance I often find myself taking when I’ve failed to pry her attention away from her phone. We left them wondering what went wrong and wrapped up our investigation.
For anyone concerned, no Yvonnes were harmed during this investigation and the stair lift was moving at an appropriate pace. However when I played back the videos I took on my phone the film was speeded up but the sound wasn’t, making it look like Yvonne was launched into the void. Supernatural influence or wishful thinking? You decide.
Could my old house be haunted? It ticks all the spooky boxes with its antique furniture, creaky stairs and socially awkward inhabitants. But what about if you live in a new house? You never know what it’s been built on, it could be the sight of an ancient battle, or a plague house. It could be a dinosaur burial ground. It could even just be somewhere where a lonely cow keeled over and carked it.
The creak in your kitchen could be an echo of a wooden hut that collapsed a thousand years ago, and the soft touch on your shoulder could be the spectral udder of a lonely cow that has finally found a friend.
You can follow Steve’s adventures and add your stories and photos in his new Priest Town Paranormal Investigations Facebook group.
Are you troubled by strange noises in the middle of the night? Do you experience feelings of dread in your basement or attic? Have you or your family ever seen a spook, spectre or ghost? If the answer is “yes”, let us know in the comments.