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Talking To The Dead – Wardsend Cemetery – History and Sightings

By Charlene Kemp


Wardsend Cemetery was opened on 21st June 1857 as the burial ground for St. Philip’s Churh on Infirmary Road which is now demolished. The Rev. John Livesey, the vicar, had, at his own expense, bought five acres of land at wardsend when the churchyard was closed for burials. He paid towards building a small chapel and a sexton’s house. 

The Cemetery has a distinct military influence due to its close proximity to Hillsborough Barracks. The obelisk monument commemorates the soldiers of 6th, 19th, 24th, 33rd, 51st, 55th Regiments of Foot, Victorian Army, who died whilst at Hillsborough Barracks during the period 1866 – 1869.

There are also memorials to several soldiers who gave their lives during both World Wars. Some of the 240 victims of the Great Sheffield Flood of the night of 11th/12 March 1864, when the Dale Dyke reservoir at Bradfield collapsed, were laid to rest within the cemetery.

Other epitaphs of interest are dedications to a number of Bible readers, one a member of the Philadelphian Wesleyan church; the Secretary of Sheffield Angling Association, widows referred to as relicts, and a reference to a 15 year old boy trgically killed at work in a colliery accident.

By the turn of the century, some 20,000 burials had taken place and in 1901, a further two acres of land on the other side of the railway were added. Its the only cemetery in England with a railway running through it.

The final burial took place in 1977, when the re-interment of remains from a building site close to Sheffield Cathedral took place and the cemetery was officially closed in 1988.

Wardsend cemetery has been neglected over the last thirty or so years and following the demolition of the chapel and sexton’s house, was more or less abandoned by the parish and church authorities up until recent times as it appears a group named ‘Friends of Wardsend cemetery’ have given the site abit of TLC.

Nefarious deeds came to light in 1862, when a labourer named Robert Dixon accused the sexton, Isaac Howard of disinterring newly buried bodies and selling them for dissection.

Robert had moved into the sexton’s house in the cemetery and said in his words, “I observed a curious smell in the room above the stable. I thrust some knots out of the deal boards, and looked down into the stable. We had then been there two or three weeks. I saw about 20 coffins – some of persons about 15 and 16 and 10 years old – others were those of stillborn children. None of them appeared to be the coffins of grown-up persons. I had seen Howard lock and unlock this door, and knew he had the key. The coffins were not covered over with anything, and were lying on the ground, piled in heaps on the top of each other. I saw some broken-up coffins piled in a corner by themselves – the wood appeared to be new. Those pieces are there now. The day I flitted (last Monday) I and several other men saw in the stone shelf near the house four or five sides and lids of coffins.”

The suspicion was that Isaac Howard was supplying the Sheffield Medical School with corpses for dissection. Also that money supplied by the medical school for the ‘decent burial’ of remains legally obtained from the workhouse, was being kept by Howard and the bodies disposed of.

On the evening of June 3rd, the news broke, what became known as the Sheffield Cemetery Riots of 1862 took place when a crowd gathered at the cemetery to find a large hole containing coffins, with and without bodies, one of which had clearly been dissected. Underneath the coffins was said to be several feet of human remains. Many of the crowd began to disinter the coffins of their relatives and a number of graves were found to be empty.

The crowd forced their way into the sexton’s house demolishing the windows and doors, before marching to Howard’s home half a mile away in Burrowlee. Howard learned that he was wanted and fled and went into hiding, eventually being found in Bakewell, Derbyshire. The crowd set fire to his house and destroyed it.

It came to light that the law had been breached by both the medical school and the town’s workhouse. The workhouse had sent bodies to the school in sacks and the school, after dissecting them, had allowed Howard to convey them to Wardsend in plain wooden boxes. The law required that coffins should be used.

It appears that the medical school, nervous of its reputation as a school for bodysnatchers, were trying to cover up what had happened.

The suspicion began to then focus on the Rev. John Livesey. It was revealed that he had made a false entry in the burial register, having failed to check that the body of a boy named James Greatorex had been interred.

On June 11th, a public meeting of parishioners at the Peacock Inn, Hoyle Street, severely criticised Livesey. The next night a crowd of 3,000 Sheffielders gathered in the Temperance Hall, Townhead Street, and demanded Livesey should be suspended until he had either been cleared or condemned.

On June 23rd, Livesey was committed to York Assizes, charged with making a false entry in the burial register. Isaac Howard made a statement blaming Livesey. He said that he had removed bodies from their graves, but only on the instructions of the Vicar. Howard was committed to York Assizes, charged with unlawfully disinterring the bodies of two children, William Henry Johnson and Charley Hinchliffe.

Although there was little evidence against Livesey, the jury found him guilty. The judge showed what he thought of the verdict and sentenced the clergyman to one week imprisonment. Howard, also found guilty, was also treated leniently and was given a three month sentence. Livesey was later pardoned, after Howard came clean about his crimes.

Information found at

Ghost sightings

Said to have witchcraft assoicated with the graveyard since being abandoned some of the graves appeared to have markings upon them leading people to believe some of the graves are cursed.

One of the sightings is that of Issac Howard and John Livesey.

Another one is that of a football fan, a young lad that died on the railway track after his ball fell on the track and he went to collect it and was hit by a train.

Other sightings are of children at the top end near the railway bridge and strange like creatures believed to have been created by rituals that have suppose to have taken place in this area.

To watch the Lastest Talking to The Dead…Wardsend Cemetery click the below link

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The Moon and Its Magic

Philip Williams

 The moon a land mass made of rock is thought to have formed about 4.51 billion years ago, not long after Earth. There are several theories for its origin; the most accepted explanation is that the Moon formed from the debris left over after a giant impact between Earth and a planet called Theia. In Greek mythology Theia the mother of Selene (goddess of the moon) collided and made early earth around 4.51 billion years ago. The area that amazes me about the moon is its gravitational influence that  produces the oceantides and  body tides. I don’t want this article to get too confusing with science about how the ocean tides differ when the earth spins and one side of the moon changes the oceans high tides and low tides.The effects on your body on other hand is also theory based. from a woman’s menstruation to blood loss ,stress on full moon and  increase of birth control. Now let’s delve into its magic and practices.

 The Dark Moon

 Magical workings conducive to the dark moon include destroying or banishing very powerful things, such as unwanted entities, addictions or serious diseases. I would not use this time lightly– it’s got a little too much umph behind it to just get rid of a whiny ex who still calls you once in a while, to break your habit of having a second cup of coffee in the morning, or if you have the sniffles. But if you were dealing with, say, a stalker, a drug addiction, cancer, etc. something that poses a serious threat — then this is the best timing for it. The Dark Moon is also a good time to go within for soul-searching and to perform divination.

 The Waxing Moon

 When the moon is “waxing” it appears to be growing, the period from the dark to full moon phases. Its magnetic energy assists with bringing things to out. This entire waxing period is the best time to work with constructive magic.

 The waxing crescent is the best time for magic on yourself , like new beginnings, such as starting a new project or making plans for the future. If you’re looking to conjure energies into your life such as a more positive attitude, more patience, more understanding in your relationship, this is the perfect timing for such goals. When you want to cast spells for self improvement, such as if you want to improve your psychic abilities, to absorb the information in a new class, or bring out your inner beauty, this is the time to do it. Artists or anyone creative will find this the best time to cast spells or perform meditations that will bring inspiration and passion into your work.

 First Quarter Moon Magic

 The First Quarter, or Waxing Half Moon, is the time when energies are most conducive to attraction. Use this time for spells and meditations meant to attract things you want in your life, such as money, protection or success. It’s also an ideal time for attracting people into your life. If you are  looking also for lost objects, or house hunting, etc., this is a good time to perform spells for success in that area to help you bring that which you most desire. 

Waxing Gibbous Moon Magic

 The Waxing Gibbous is still a time for constructive magic, best used towards ;reeling in that which you been working for already. This phase is a great energy for renewing your strength, will and determination to see your efforts through. If you are giving in to temptation on your diet, working hard toward something and feeling burnt out or are at the point where you are getting lazy and distracted from completing your tasks, give yourself a power boost during the Waxing Gibbous.

Waning Crescent Moon Magic

If you need to clear your life and home of negativity and stress. The Waning Crescent, as it approaches the Dark Moon phase, it suitable for stronger banishing than any other time of the waning moon phases. Get rid of whatever has been plaguing you– anything you find to be seriously annoying, frustrating or concerning (save things that are serious threats for that Dark Moon).

 There is ways to use this magic and you don’t have to wait 3 weeks for a certain phase. For example, if you want to lose weight, look at the moon phases. If it’s the Waxing Crescent, cast a spell to improve your energy or will power. If it’s the Waxing Gibbous, cast it to triumph over cravings and urges to eat the wrong foods. If it’s the Waning Half-Moon, cast the spell to destroy the tempting effects that bad foods hold over you. No matter what the moon phase, you can use it toward your goal.

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Curiosity Corner – The Shrunken Head

By Charlene Kemp

Has many of you know, we have been collecting alleged haunted items over the past few months, which has resulted in us having our own haunted musuem. 

Recently we have teamed up with Phil and John Williams of Red Ridge Paranormal and formed Project Paranormal Yorkshire Diverson. 

We have Split ourselves and now we have  Project Paranormal West Midlands and Project Paranormal Yorkshire Diverson, this way the musuem can be explored more, more investigations and it will bring more to the Project Paranormal Page and make the Project we started in July 2016 even bigger.

Red Ridge Paranormal have their own collection of items and have placed these into what they have named the Curiosity Corner. 

As we have teamed up to form Project Paranormal Yorkshire we have decided to add to the corner. These items could hold energy, they are rare items and items that are of interest. 

So has we add to the corner we will be doing a brief history of the items added.

The Shrunken Head

Headhunting is something that many cultures all over the world have practiced. Many cultures displayed heads of their dead enemies around their waists, on sticks as a word of warning to oncoming enemies and used them also to represant a gathering of celebration.

Despite headhunting not being a uncommon practice to many, the shrinking of a human head is one that was unique to the Jivaro Indians of Ecuador and Peru.

How was it done

– The head would be removed at battle by cutting the skin at the extreme base of the neck, just above the clavicles and in a ‘v’ shape at the point between the nipples.

– A hair band or vine would then be fed through the open mouth allowing the warrior to carry it home.

– A incision would be made up the back of the neck in order to peel the flesh from the skull. 

– The skull would be then removed and thrown away.

– Red seeds are places in the eyes and they are sewn shut and the mouth closed by passing small, sharp palm pegs through the lips.

– The skin would then be boiled and left to simmer for about an hour to two hours. The timing of this had to be just right as too short of a time would result in the head not shrinking properly, while leaving the head too long would cause the hair remaining to fall out. When this processed was finished the head would be reduced by two thirds of its orginal size and would have a rubbery texture to it. 

– The skin was then turned inside out and any remaining flesh scraped away.

– The head would be dried to continue it to shrink, small rocks heated were used to fill the head and when the head became too small for the stones, heated sand was used instead. Heated rocks would be placed outside the head to maintain the features. This process could last up to several days.

– The Pegs through the lips were then removed and replaced with dangling cotton cords, Ash would be rubbed into the skin and then the head would be hung over a fire to allow it to dry and hardened.

– The head would then be attached to a cord through the scalp and then the warrior would be able to place it around their neck.

– A celebration and feast where the warrior would wear the shrunken heads would then be held.

so overall pretty gruesome right?

So why did they do this…What was the belief behind it? well Jivaro warfare was motivated by revenge, rather then territorial. Raids on enemy settlements were performed to avenge slain relatives. Headhunting was thought to appease the spirits of slain ancestors. It was believed that by shrinking the head, it would paralyze the spirit of their enemy and prevent any revenage. It was also believed that it would allow the victims strength to be passed on to those who had killed them.

By the 19th century, tales of the Shrunken heads reached western cultures, which created a demand for them as a morbid curiosity. Of course during this time the shrinking of heads was banned but the Jivaro tradition continued and today replicas of shrunken heads are made. These are clearly marked as replicas and are made from animal products. 

Below is a shrunkened head we have purchased from a antiques shop, we have added it to the corner……. on asking where it has came from the owners stated it had come from the Jivaro Tribe and it would have been used to hang up around the village to warn others of what may happen if attacked. Believed to be made of a animal product.

Even though banned, real shrunken heads are still available to buy as seen by the current advertisement in the Ripley’s Believe it or Not Catalogue. 

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10 Most HAUNTED Locations in the World.

By Charlene Kemp

10. White House

Probably the most famous house in the world, The white House, home and office to the President of the United States. John Adams first moved into the house and it has been the official residence of every president since the 1800. With such a vast amount of history and historical figures that that graced its rooms, it’s hardly surprising that The White House has a few ghost tales to tell, even by past presidents, their families and foreign dignitaries all having a story to tell. It is actually considered to be the most haunted house in America by some.

Winston Churchill, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom at the time, stayed in the Lincoln Bedroom. He recalls that after a bath, he walked back into the suite which he said he say Abraham Lincoln standing by the fireplace. Churchill refused to sleep in that room after.

Others have stated to have seen the ghost of Lincoln, who include, President’s Teddy Roosevelt, Herbert Hoover, Dwight Eisenhower, Jacquie Kennedy and Ladybird Johnson, Presidential children Susan Ford and Maureen Reagan. Maureen and her husband both stated that they witnessed Lincoln also standing by the same fireplace which Churchill had previously stated to have seen him.

Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands also reported that she was confronted by the ghost of Lincoln standing in the hallway after hearing a knock on the door of the Rose Room during the night.

President Andrew Jackson as well as numerous other White House Employees have reported hearing laugher, fits of rage and swearing in the Rose Room.

It is also said that the ghost of Abigail Adams (wife of John Adams) has been seen in the East Room. This would have been the room, which, she used to hang her laundry. Many have reported to have seen Abigail’s Spirit in the room walking to and from with her arms outstretched as if she is carrying a laundry basket.

Other reported activity by many is of sudden cold spots, disembodied footsteps, knocks, voices and screams.

9. Mary King’s Close

Once a thriving trade area for Edinburgh’s tradesman would live and work, Mary Kings Close is an underground warren of streets and buildings.

In 1645 it is believed that the close was abandoned after an outbreak of the plague. Those left behind was of those who was infected and they stayed behind in isolation. Today the location is a popular tourist destination, where daily tours are ran about the history and legends that are associated with the close.

Regarded as one of the most haunted places in Scotland, ghostly going ons have been reported in the close since the 17th century.  In 1685 the Coltheart family reported that as soon as they moved in after the outbreak of the plague, they began to see many ghostly figures. They also reported to see a phantom disembodied limbs and having very vivid nightmare.

Many today, staff and visitors of the close, have reported seeing the ghost of a ‘worried women’ in black and a little girl they believe to be named Annie. The spirit of Annie has been known to interact with those who leave her gifts in one of the rooms.

Other reported activity is sounds of scratching, a party or tavern and following footstep. There are also reports of stones being thrown and many have claimed to have caught intense EVP’s throughout the area, but in particular in Mr Chesney’s house.

8. Island of The Dolls, Xochimilco, Mexico

Located on Lake Teshuilo in Xochimilco near Mexico City, The Island La Isla De Munecas ( The Island of The Dolls) is properly one of the strangest haunted locations in the world.

During the 1950s a man named Julian Santan moved to the island leaving his family behind.

Unknown to Julian, the island had a dark history. The Legend is that in 1920 three young girls was playing near the water. One of the girls fell in and drowned. Locals believe that the young girl’s spirit has never been able to leave the island.

Julian claimed that as soon as he moved to the island, a little girl began speaking to him. He claimed that she told him how she had died and that she was trapped on the island.

Julian began getting dolls for the little girl, even selling his fruit and vegetables that he had grown so that he could provide dolls for her to play with.

One day Julian spoke to his nephew about how difficult it was becoming to please young girl with these dolls. He expressed his concern that this young girl wanted him to join her in her watery grave.  The same day Julian’s nephew came back to the island to find Julian’s body face down in the canal. His body laid apparently in the exact same area where the girl only passed several years earlier.

Tourists to the island today, often report that the doll’s eyes are following them. Others have reported that the dolls whisper to them, mainly at night. Julian’s spirit is also said to haunt the island.

7. Beechworth Lunatic Asylum, Victoria, Australia

The Asylum was later renamed the Mayday Hills Hospital, it is the second oldest asylum in Victoria, dating back to 1867. The Beechworth Lunatic Asylum held a total of 1200 patients when full, roughly about 600 men and 600 women at one time. Over 3000 patients died within its walls in the 128 years the hospital was open. Its doors closed in 1995. The Beechworth Asylum is now considered to be one of the most haunted buildings in Australia.

The signature of a J. Kelly is scratched in the glass in one of the day rooms. J Kelly was Ned Kelly’s (the famous outlaw) uncle James Kelly. After burning down his sister in laws house in Greta, in which a young Ned was in at the time, Jim was sentenced to 15 years. He was sent to Mayday Hills to help build the hospital as part of his sentence. After serving his time there, it’s said his mind “was broken” and as such spent the rest of his days housed in the hospital until he died in 1903.

One of the ghost sightings most commonly seen at Beechworth is that of Matron Sharpe, her apparition has been seen in several different parts of the hospital. It is believed that Matron Sharpe was very compassionate towards the patients, which is during this era was uncommon.

Another ghost thought to haunt Beechworth is Tommy Kennedy. Tommy was a patient and was well liked at the hospital and worked as a kitchen hand. Tommy actually died in the kitchen and now in this area people have claimed they have felt someone tugging at their clothes or poking their ribs.

The Reaction Hall was an area where patients could sing, play music or perform in plays and doubled as a chapel on Sundays. In 1939 the hall became a cinema and inmates could watch movies. There are two ghost sightings within this area, one is of a young girl, who approaches women and so eagerly tries to communicate with them and that of an elderly man facing away from the window is often seen that was once part of the Bell Tower.

The Grevillia wing was the section of the hospital all patients feared, it has been closed for 13 years, and now in an abandoned state. Medication wasn’t introduced until the 1950s meaning that before this restraints such as straitjackets and even shackles was mostly used as well as electro-shock treatment. Electro shock treatment had major effects on patients . When the shocks were administered to the patients the patient’s bodies either splayed out backwards with force or contracted inward into a fetal position, ligaments would snap, bones were often broken and sometimes their teeth would shatter.

The two ghost sightings in Grevilla, one is thought to be of a male doctor and he has been seen wandering the corridors at night. The other is of Matron Sharpe whose ghost was often seen in this area by the nurses who worked at Mayday Hills. They would report seeing the Matron sitting with patients who were due to have electro-shock treatment. Those who say they’ve witnessed this say the room was icy cold, but her presence was comforting and she seemed to bring a sense of reassurance to the patients.

Workmen at the hospital have reported hearing the sound of children laughing and playing and on investigating nobody was around.

The spirit of a lady has been seen on the spot where she fell, by several people over the last decade. She is thought to be a patient that was thrown out the window by another patient who wanted her cigarettes. The lady was Jewish and she was not allowed to be moved until a Rabbi had seen her. Her body laid outside the hospital for 2 days awaiting for the Rabbi to come.

(Pictured below is the window where she has been reported to have been seen)

Beechworth gardens have long been subdivided into allotments and those who live nearby have claimed to have seen the ghost of a man, wearing a green woollen jacket. It is thought to be of a gardener named Arthur who worked the gardens for many years. He wore his green jacket in winter and summer and no matter what he would never remove it. After Arthur died, it was discovered why Arthur didn’t like to remove his jacket, he had been secretly storing his wages in the seam of his jacket. When the nurses opened it, they found 140 pounds, over four years of his wages, hidden within.

The ghost of the patient has been seen near the entrance to the Asylum, the sightings have often been in the early hours of the morning and it is believed to be of a patient who disappeared during his stay. After several weeks of searching for him he was discovered by the resident dog Max. Max was found chewing on a leg at the gate house at the grounds entry. Upon searching the area, the patients body was found up a tree and his body was so decomposed that his leg had fell off.

6. The Screaming Tunnel, Niagara Falls

The Screaming tunnel is located in the North west end of Niagara Falls and was originally built in the early 1900s to be a rail tunnel, however the Grand Trunk Railroad went bankrupt after WWI and it was never finished.

There are many legends that surround this tunnel all which involve that of a screaming girl.

One legend says that a young girl who escaped a burning barn near the tunnel. On fire the girl ran to the tunnel to find water, She managed to reach the tunnel but as soon as she did it was too late, and she died from severe burns within.

Another legend is that of a jealous father who dragged his daughter down to the tunnel and set her on fire after losing a custody battle. Other variations of the story is that she was attacked by an old drunkard who did terrible things to her. He killed her, and then set her body alight to destroy any evidence.

Local historians have unearth an interesting and different tale, which is that the tunnel used to be surrounded by some houses. In one of the houses lived a couple who would argue and fight on a regular basis.

Each night after the fight the women would go out and into the tunnel where she would begin to scream as loud as she could, legend is that is was so all would hear her and feel her pain.

4. Changi Beach, Singapore

Changi Beach is alleged to be haunted by the ghosts of the executed Chinese during the Japanese occupation. People often report hearing strange crying and screams, the heads of the Chinese dead bodies are sometimes seen flying everywhere and headless bodies walking around the beach as well as blood stains appearing.

In 1942 Chinese civilians were shot dead during the Sook Ching operation. However, after the war and the Japanese surrender, Changi beach served too as an execution grounds for the culprits. About 135 people were executed upon the shore. Even two of the executions, was published in the Singapore newspapers along with photos of how it being taken place.

Also after this the Japanese rounded up a lot of Asian workers, all men of all ages from villages and took them down Changi Beach, where they made them stand in line for two days while they were interrogated. The innocent victims knew very clearly that they were wronged but still faced their doom and was shot. This was a large scale of execution after the Sook Ching operation.

5. The Ancient Ram Inn, UK

The Ancient Ram Inn was built in 1145, it is believed to be the most haunted house in the UK and some would say the world. Priests used the inn for slaves and workers who helped construct the St. Mary Church. In 1930, the inn was bought by Maurice de Bathe. Since then the inn has become a private property and it has changed hands several times.

Child sacrifices, devil worship and evil spirits are believed to be lurking in this building and is believed to be behind some terrifying activity.

The Inn is build on the intersection of 2 ley lines, which many believe this is a good reason for spiritual activity.It is also believed that a pagan burial ground could have resided in the property over 5,000 years ago.

Over the years it was a bed and breakfast, people staying would flee the ‘Bishop Room’ in the middle of the night claiming to have seen a full bodied apparition, being touched and pulled, voices and a general feel that they are surrounded by evil. It is said that the ghost of a monk haunts this room on a regular basis.

John Humphries bought the building in 1968 from brewers for £2,600. He saved the building from demolition and he has made it his life’s mission to save the structure from falling apart. He is now over 80 years old and he is the sole occupant of the house. John reports that on his first night in the house in 1968, he felt a presence grab his arm, before being dragged out of bed and across the room. John then found evidence to suggest devil worship and ritual sacrifices had taken place within the Inn and even found two child skeletons underneath the staircase, as well as broken daggers.

One popular legend surrounding the Ancient Ram Inn is that of the witch burned at the stake. She was burned at the stake in the 1500s. People believe that the woman’s spirit still haunts one of the rooms of the house to this day. It is believed that the woman took refuge in one of the rooms of the house before she was captured and killed. Today, that room is called ‘The Witch’s Room’.

The ghost of a centurion on horseback has also been spotted. It is said that the plumber who saw the apparition was startled out of his wits when the apparition went straight through the wall. People also believe that a succubus creeps into the beds of sleeping visitors at night.

(picture taken at The Ram Inn of a ghostly figure on the stairs)

4. Pluckley Village, Kent, UK

Pluckley has been named the Most Haunted village in England. It has 16 reported hauntings.

One of the most popular ghost sightings is that of a screaming man. He is believed to have worked in the village brickwork until one day he fell to his death.

Another sighting is that of a highwayman. When alive he ran through with a sword and was pinned to a tree in what is known as a fright corner. Locals and visitors often report seeing a shadowy figure believed to be the highwayman.

An apparition of an elderly women has been seen. Legend also tells the story of a schoolmaster who was found by the children hanging in his room in the 1800s after taking his own life. A spirit of a man has often been seen in the grounds wearing his coat and stripy trousers.

There is also reports of poltergeist activity in the farm house believed to be by a spirit named The ‘Walker’. 

There are also reports of The Red Lady who is believed to be a member of the ancient Dering family. She is said to haunt St Nicholas, some often refer to her has the white lady also.

Below a picture taken at Pluckley Church (source

3. Suicide Forest, Aokigahara, Japan

Located at the base of Mt. Fuji, Aokigahara Also known by many as the Sea of Trees, Suicide Forest and Japan’s Demon Forest. The forest has been home to over 500 confirmed suicides since the 1950s. Called by many as “the perfect place to die,”

Legend has it this all started after Seicho Matsumoto published a novel by the name of Kuroi Kaiju (Black Sea of Trees) in 1960. At the end of the story the two lovers commit suicide in the forest. However, the history of suicide in Aokigahara goes back before the novel, and the place has long been associated with death. Hundreds upon hundreds of Japanese people have hanged themselves from the trees located here. 

Wataru Tsurumui’s controversial 1993 bestseller, The Complete Suicide Manual, is a book that describes various modes of suicide and even recommends Aokigahara as the perfect place to die.  This book is also an often found in the forest, most commonly not too far away from a suicide victim and their belongings. The most common method of suicide in the forest is hanging but some do chose other methods such as overdose.

Legend also says that in ancient times families would abandon people, mainly the elderly,  in the forest during periods of famine when there was just not enough food to go around. Those abandoned family members, in the forest would die long, horrible, drawn out deaths due to starvation.It is said that the forest is haunted by the souls of these abandoned people.

There are many other ghost and demon tales associated with the forest. It is said that many ghosts and entities glide between the trees with their white, shifting forms being occasionally witnessed by unsuspecting visitors to the forest out of the corners of their eyes. Japanese spiritualists believe that the suicides committed in the forest have marked Aokigahara’s soil and trees, with it generating paranormal activity and preventing many who enter the forest from escaping.

Another common occurrence while in the forest is that compasses, phones, and GPS systems are useless by the rich deposits of magnetic iron in the area’s volcanic soil. 

Police have even put up signs around the forest with messages like “Your life is a precious gift from your parents,” and “Please consult with the police before you decide to die,” in an attempt to discourage those who are considering suicide.

For more information on The Suicide Forest please watch the documentary below I found while researching.

2. The Tower of London, UK 

The Tower of London has a history of torture and execution going back over 900 years and is often regarded by many as one of the most haunted places in the UK. Originally built in 1078 by William the Conqueror and over the years has served a major role in the history of England. 

The reports of the paranormal at the Tower of London over the years have been endless but the most famous of all the ghosts is that of Anne Boleyn. Anne Boleyn was the wife of King Henry VIII. She was beheaded in 1536. It has been reported that her headless body has been seen walking the Tower’s corridors and often near the spot where she faced her death. 

There has been many other sightings of full bodied apparitions that including  that of Lady Jane Grey, who was spotted by a guardsman in 1957 in the White Tower. She is often referred to as the White Lady and she has been seen often standing at window, where she once stood waving to her children on the other side of the building.

Two children have witnessed throughout the rooms of the castle. People have reported seeing them nightgowns, holding hands and with a look of terror on their faces. It is believed these are two children was former Prince’s, they were fascinated sent to the Tower after they were deemed illegitimate by Parliament. One day they vanished and it was assumed that they had been murdered by order of their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester. The most interesting part of this is that apparently, two small skeletons were found beneath a staircase in the White Tower.

(Picture taken of the tower of London source

1. Borley Rectory, Essex, UK 

Borley Rectory was  built back in 1863 on the site of an old monastery. The first reports of strange activity date back to the mid to late 1800s. The first documented evidence of paranormal activity was in the early 1900s. In 1928 the then owner Guy Eric Smith and his wife contacted the Daily Mirror newspaper to report the strange activity taking place. The newspaper asked the help of a paranormal investigator known as Harry Price. Mr Price stayed at the house to carry out extensive research for more than a year. In 1939 the house was burnt to the ground, the cause of the fire being an oil lamp. It was then left and in 1944 it was demolished.

One of the earliest ghost sightings was of a nun and over the years has been sighted several times. Even though the site did used to be a monastery you would expect it to be a monk rather than a nun, but according to local folklore stories, the nun ran a near by nunnery, who fell in love with a monk belonging to the monastery and the pair attempted a relationship together. It is believed that it was later found out and they both was sentenced to death. When sentenced the pair did not die together, the monk was sent to the monastery and the nun back to the nunnery. It is believed that she is still roaming the grounds looking for the monk in the hope of running away together once more.

The next most major report comes from Eric Smith and his wife. They reported hearing footsteps, doorbells ringing of their own and poltergeist activity which occurred on numerous occasions. It was at this point Eric Smith and his wife reported their experiences to the Daily Mirror newspaper, who then arranged for the paranormal investigator Harry Price to stay and investigate.

Whilst Price was staying there, Price witnessed the reported poltergeist activity first hand. He stated that he had been in touch with the spirit of past tenant Rev. Harry Bull who had died there years before. Numerous attempts at exorcising the property was conducted and but in 1930 Mr and Mrs Smith left the house for good.

The next residents of the house were Rev. Foyster and his wife Marianne. They both stated they too were experiencing the same phenomena that Price and the Smith’s had witnessed before them. At this point though, they said the poltergeist activity seemed to be more aggressive and reported glasses being smashed, broken windows and even Marianne being thrown from her bed by an unseen force. The couple also stated they experienced otherworldly messages on the walls.After 5 years of what must have been very frightening indeed, the Foysters left the house leaving Price to move in and continue his study without any contamination. 

However during his second stay he and his team of researchers were left somewhat disappointed as they witnessed very little compared to their last stay. Even after the house was burned down reports continued to emerged and that activity was now occurring in the Parish Church. Over the years the village has been littered and vandalised by many and locals have even taken the sign down stating that it is Borley so that the village cannot be found by those fascinated by the paranormal. 

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Start of My Paranormal Journey….

By Kyle Thompson

Soul Reaper Paranormal 

On November the 8th 1987 my mother gave birth to me at Barnsley hospital in south yorkshire. 

We grew up on a council estate called worsbrough common. The whole place was built upon on old military hill fort.

Built upon an ancient burial ground

To me it makes sense after all the street I spent most of my younger years playing on is actually noted as being the highest point in Barnsley. This made it a perfect strategic location to build a fort. 

Before we moved into number 78 my nan and grandad used to live there and he always tells me a story about a soldier. 

He got up one night and had used the toilet on his way back to the bedroom he looked down the landing and saw what he describes as a military man. Now this soldier did not say a word neither did it acknowledge him. The apparition simply walked through the wall.

To me this sounds like a ghost and ghosts are simply residual energies. They are believed to be from a past moment in kinda like a glitch in time and space if you like.

Shocked at what he had seen he froze in fear before running into the bedroom and going back to bed. I remember this story clearly as he always mentions it.

An old map of worsbrough common

Anyway some years later we moved into number 78 and almost immediately unexplainable events would take place. 

My little brother was around 3-4 years old at the time and we both used to sleep in the back bedroom. Almost every bedtime he would scream and refuse to go into that room. He couldn’t speak very well and all he would say was monsters! monsters! followed by a strange foreign name that I can’t recall anymore.

The room felt dark and it was always cold. Even the pet cat would go crazy in there and start scratching and attacking us for no apparent reason. It seemed totally out of character and it would only act this way once it was in the room.

I can always remember the horrendous scream my brother let out one particular evening. We were decorating the house and black bin liners were all over the landing. They were filled with old wallpaper which had been scraped off the wall.

Derek my younger brother was sat on the toilet when he let out this horrific scream. Panicking I ran up stairs to see what had happened. He said he was having a number two when he look towards the stairs. He said that a skeleton was looking it at him from around the corner, when all of a sudden it sprinted towards him before vanishing in front of his eyes. He described it as having red eyes and made of bones.

Could the monster be a demonic entity?

On the wall outside my sister’s room there was a strange face. No matter how much you scrubbed it, bleached it or even wallpapered over it, the face just kept coming back. In the end we put this down to mould. 

My sister tells me about how she once heard a voice say come on Amy, it’s time to go. She describes it quite clearly. A women’s voice.

As she walked towards it she realised it wasn’t normal and ran off. 

My own personal experiences didn’t start really until I was around 10 years of age.

We left number 78 and moved into another house, still in worsbrough common, just up the road.

One night I had fell asleep upstairs where I was watching a late night football match. Eventually falling into a deep sleep I was suddenly woken up.

My face was touching the ceiling, scared and unable to move, I floated there for a good few seconds before my body was lowered back down on to the bed.

I now know this was not an outer body experience as my body was not on the bed it was in the air!. It was as if I had been levitated by an unseen force.

My whole body was levitated

I have had many experiences since then. One included the voice of my mother. I was sat downstairs playing on the PlayStation like any 14 year old would do. When all of a sudden my mother shouted me to go upstairs.

As I walked up stairs she kept calling my name. What! I shouted, eager to get back to my game. Come here, she replied so as I walked into the room, it struck me!

She wasn’t even in. Instantly it had dawned on me what had happened. Every hair on my body stood up on end as the room turned ice cold. I made a dash for the stairs and as I made my way down them at the speed of a thousand gazelles copper coins were being thrown at me.

I sat outside for a good hour until my mother returned from shopping. I told her what had happened and in the end we put it down to being my imagination. But it wasn’t the coins were still at the bottom of the stairs.

I have seen many things I can’t explain since this moment and my senses are growing stronger everyday.

Since I began paranormal investigating almost two years ago I have heard voices calling my name, seen shadow beings and even being touched by unseen forces.

I will never stop investigating as I want to prove not only to myself but to others that the afterlife is real.

If you would like to see any of our investigations please search soul reaper paranormal on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

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Mandela Effect

By Charlene Kemp

The Mandela Effect and what is it? 
The Mandela Effect is a term used for a group of people, who all mis-remember the same detail, event or Physicality.

The Mandela Effect was named by paranormal enthusiast Fiona Broome in 2010. Fiona discovered she wasn’t the only one who wrongly believed Nelson Mandela died in prison in the 1980s.

Fiona shared her memories and thoughts in a group and set up a site called Since then the Mandela effect has took the internet by storm with many people coming forward to share the same thoughts, events and memories (seeing it on TV,  hearing about it on the Radio or seeing it in the papers) even though in the archieves there is no evidence of such in reality. Some even claimed that they had learnt of Mandela’s death at school.

At this time Mandela was alive at the time and he actually died in December 2013. Three years later, after Fiona had voiced her memories if it.

Explaining the Mandela effect

There are many different theories to explain the Mandela Effect and when exploring research into the term can leave you some what mind blown!

The 3 most interesting theories I have found to explain this theory is that –

We are living in some kind of parellel universe as believed by Fiona Broome.

Lack of education 

Time travellers have gone back into time and have changed our present.

There is no simple explanation, our explanations on it would be down to is our own opinions on what is occuring, it is something that people have tried to explain and have reached their own conclusions on. Best thing to do, if you want to look into the theory more is to look up the 3 mentioned explanation theories above and come to your own conclusions on it.

I feel it is also important to mention that its believed that the bible makes reference to The Mandela Effect and this could also be another explaination on it. 

Some alleged examples of the Mandela Effect are quite easily debunked. If you grew up knowing the line from the Lord’s Prayer as ‘Forgive us our trespasses’ you may very well be taken in by a Youtubers conspiracy theory that the text has changed over night to ‘ Forgive us our debts’ and upon checking it, it will say ‘debts’, but after researching you will find thats theres always been different versions that have been favoured by different denominations.

Regardless of what conclusion you come to, its interesting to say the least! 

Here are some other examples of The Mandela Effect which some of us may be surprised to find out, that we too may have experienced the Mandela Effect.

Curious George never had a tail

People claim to remember seeing curious george use his own tail to swing from tree to tree but if you look up pictures of him now, you will find that he doesnt have a tail. 

No dash in Kit Kat

People remember the Kit Kat bar being spelt “Kit-Kat” with a dash, but there isnt one and the company has claimed that there was never one. This frustrates people who seem to think that at some point there was one. 

Forest Gump – Life isnt a box of chocolates

It seems that people confidently remember Forrest Gump saying that his “mama always said life is like a box of chocolates” well it turns out that what was actually said is ” Life was like a box of chocolates”.

Snow White – It never was ‘Mirror, Mirror on the Wall’

One of the most famous and repeated lines and most rememebered from Snow White is ‘Mirror, mirror on the wall’, It turns out the line is actually ‘Magic mirror on the Wall’  and following that many remember the second line to be ‘ Who is the fairest of them all?’ but nope wrong again its actually ‘ Who is the fairest one of all?’

‘Fruit Loops’ or ‘Froot Loops’

Many believe that orginally it was ‘Fruit Loops’ and then changed to ‘Froot Loops’ while others believe it went from ‘Froot Loops’ to ‘Fruit Loops’. Many believe this change happened during their childhood, while others noticed it in recent months, but regardless of what you believe if you look up the cereal or find a box you will see the name ‘Froot Loops’ printed across unless of course you are reading it in another dimension ;).

Whats your thoughts…have you experienced this? if so please contact us to share your story.

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The Most Dangerous Paranormal Game! Elevator to Another World

By Charlene Kemp

‘Do  Not Speak or Look at The Lady on The 5th Floor’

The first time of hearing about this ritual was on a paranormal documentary previously to this I had never heard of such a ritual but decided to have a look into it.

The only information that I can find where its origins come from is Japan, china and Korea and is practiced throughout the culture as some kind of ritual to the otherside.

So the theory behind is that by following the instructions it allows you to go from our realm into anothet dimensional plane via a simple numerical code that you put into the elevator key pad….Yes it all sounds abit crackers but from researching it is highly believed by some that this actually works and has been linked to Elisa Lam case. Elisa Lam was a young women whos body was found in a hotels water tank. Elisa had been staying at the hotel on her travels when the morning she was due to check out she never did. A missing person’s report went out and the search for Elisa started. People staying at the hotel started reporting the water to be dark in colour and tasted funny. The hotel management went to check the water to find Elisa’s body in it. Her death was ruled an accidental drowning by the coroner, through surveilance video from the hotel’s elevator shown Elisa acting rather oddly. This then sparked conspiracy theories about the incident.

Below is the link to the CCTV footage, of course there is many speculations to what actually occurred, many more logical, but this is one of the theories that i thought was interesting and something i had never heard of.

Of Course many say it is a load of tosh and it is often referred to on the same par as the game “bloody Mary”. 

So whats needed

Yourself, 1 building, at least 10 stories high, with an elevator. All three of these conditions must be met in order for the game to go any further. 


– Enter your chosen building and get into the elevator on the first floor alone. Do not proceed if anyone else is in the elevator with you.

– Press the button for the fourth floor.

– When the elevator reaches the fourth floor, do not get out. Instead, remain in the elevator and press the button for the second floor.

– When you reach the second floor,remain in the elevator and press the button for the sixth floor.

– When you reach the sixth floor,remain in the elevator and press the button for the second floor.

– When you reach the second floor,remain in the elevator and press the button for the tenth floor.

– When you reach the tenth floor,remain in the elevator and press the button for the fifth floor.

– When you reach the fifth floor, a young woman may enter the elevator. Do not look at her; do not speak to her. She is not what she seems.

– Press the button for the first floor. If the elevator begins ascending to the tenth floor instead of descending to the first, you may proceed. If the elevator descends to the first floor,exit as soon as the doors open. Do not look back. Do not speak.

– If you reach the tenth floor, you may either choose to get off the elevator or to stay on it. If you choose to get off, and if the woman entered the elevator on the fifth floor, she will ask you, “Where are you going?” Do NOT answer her. Do NOT look at her.

– You will know whether you have arrived at the Otherworld by one indication, and one indication only: The only person present in it is you.


If you chose to stay on the elevator at the tenth floor:

– Press the button for the first floor. If it doesn’t work, keep pressing it until it finally does.

– When the elevator reaches the first floor, exit as soon as the doors open. Do not look back. Do not speak.

If you choose to exit the elevator at the 10th floor:

– You must use the same elevator to return as the one in which you arrived.

– When you enter the elevator, press the buttons in the same order you did in steps 2 through 8 of Venturing Out. You should finish at the fifth floor.

– When you reach the fifth floor, press the button for the first floor. The elevator will again begin to ascend to the tenth floor. Press any other floor’s button to cancel the ascension. You MUST press the button you use to cancel the ascension BEFORE you reach the tenth floor.

– After you reach the first floor, check your surroundings carefully. If anything seems off—even the smallest detail—do NOT exit the elevator. If you detect something wrong, repeat step 2 until your surroundings look as they should. Once you are confident you have returned to your own world, you may safely exit the elevator.

– Should you reach the Otherworld, the floor onto which you will emerge will look almost identical to the one from your own world, save for two things: All the lights will be off, and the only thing you will be able to see from the windows is a red cross in the distance.

– Some say that electronic devices for example mobile phones, cameras, MP3 players etc don’t work in the Otherworld but others say they do.

-.Getting back to your own world may be more difficult than it seems. You may become disoriented and forget which elevator which you arrived in. The elevator may seem to get further and further away from you as you walk towards and so on. Be vigilant, and keep your wits about you.

– If at any point during the ritual you faint, pass out, or otherwise lose consciousness, you will likely wake up in your own home. However, be sure to carefully examine your surroundings upon waking, the “home” to which you have been returned may not be the one you left when you first set out to attempt this ritual.

Concerning the Woman on the Fifth Floor:

Do NOT speak to her.

Do NOT look at her.

If you do, she may decide to keep you for her own.

Upon looking through peoples accounts of trying this out, people have reported feeling or experiencing something happening to them and some even reporting something following them home!

I must say however tempting it may seem to try, I actually wouldnt just incase, It may be one for our Sceptic LEE STEER to do.

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Delphine Lalaurie’s Portrait and The Dark History

By Charlene Kemp

Before I start this article I want to thank Paranormal Scholar on youtube for the inspiration on this. If you haven’t visited their you tube I strongly recommend you do.

The original 1997 portrait of Delphine Lalaurie image is not available to see but this 2004 portrait by the same artist, Ricardo Pustanio offers a good likeness to what the original would be like.

There has been many claims of paranormal activity that surrounds the original, but to understand the nature and background of this portrait, the chilling story of Madame Lalaurine and her horrific actions must be told.

Madame Marie Delphine Lalauire is most often referred to as the Most Evil women of all time and The Devil himself hiding behind a pretty face and innocence of a women. The secrets that were locked away in her attic mansion, Was so evil and vile that it has inspired centuries of ghost stories, crime books and even a character on American Horror Story.

Delphine was born to an influential white creole family and was raised with the much finer things life had to offer. Delphine married 3 times, first to Spanish diplomat, who died, secondly to a prominent banker who also left Delphine a widower and lastly the only city’s dentist Dr Leonard Louis Nicolas Lalaurie.

At this point Delphine was pretty wealthy and had inherited all of her parents wealth as well as her passed husbands. In 1831 Delphine purchased a property in her own name at 114 Rue Royale, New Orleans. She proceeded to decorate the mansion to her dreams and later her husband and daughters moved in.

Lalaurie hosted many balls and dinner parties and was quite popular and one of the most well known women in New Orleans. Rumours started to spread however that Lalaurie was mistreating her servants and was later stated that her servants haggered and wrenched appearance didn’t go unnoticed.

One neighbour who lived not far, recalled how she had been going up her stairs when she heard a piercing shriek coming from the Lalaurie courtyard. She stood and witnessed a young servant, around 8 years of age, fly across the yard towards the house. Madame Lalaurie pursing her and with a cowhide in hand. The lady watched in horror as she chased the child from one storey to another, until both had reached the roof of the building. The young child, so scared of her punishment she fell from the roof to her death. Later on in the evening, she witnessed the mangled young child be buried in a shallow grave in the corner of the yard.

On 10th of April, 1834, a fire broke out in the kitchen of the Lalaurie residence. It wasn’t until after the event that it was revealed that it had been the household cook  started the fire, a servant who had been chained within yards of the fireplace. The lady stated it was better to be all burnt together then to allow the mistress to indulge in their torture.

The flames spread quickly, attracting the attention of bystanders. Brave locals set out to assist the Lalauries with their assets. Lalauries only interest was gathering her valuables, jewellery and clothing.

As time past, people started to realise that Lalauries servants was still in the building. Lalaurine didn’t seem fussed about rescuing them at all, yet the house was heavily staffed by slaves like many households during that time. The keys for the servant quarters was demanded but Lalaurine refused to pass them over.

Determined to save as many as they could bystanders knocked down the door only to discover what they later described as ‘ too incredible for human belief’.

Seven slaves were found horrifically mutilated. Two corpses was found poking from a hole in the ground.

Those who was still alive had been suspended by their necks, their limbs torn and stretched. Many constrained in painful positions, forced to wear iron spiked collars to restrict movement. All had been tortured and beaten and the fire had been a saviour for these poor souls.

In local legend, bodies of tortured servants were still being found in the mansion over 100 years later, sealed beneath the floorboards where many was kept in the chamber.

After the fire the servants were taken to the local jail for their own safety. As for Delphine, she fled New Orleans, chased by an angry crowd and went to France. Where its believed she lived peacefully.

The mansion was demolished. The New Orleans Bee wrote ” early the whole of the edifice is demolished, and scarcely anything remains but the walls, which the popular vengeance have ornamented with various writings expressive of their indignation and the justness of their punishment”.

In the 1970s, centuries after the dreadful events, the Lalaurie mansion of Royal Street underwent major renovations to transform it into luxury apartments.

In 1997, the owners asked Ricardo Pustanio, a local artist, to create a portrait of the buildings previous owner, that being Delphine Lalaurie.

When the painting was placed within the walls of the building, along came a string of reports of it having a darkness attached to it.

For many years ghost sightings within the old Lalaurine Mansion had been reported. This painting once hung, may have attracted the dark entity.  It was believed that Madame Lalaurine herself was the one attached.

Reports of activity around the painting was that it moved walls, rock that violently that it tumbled on the floor, residents would report feeling unnerved around the painting, hearing echoing faint voices, feeling cold touches, strong smell of smoke and moved or missing possessions. One female tenant of the apartments claimed that the painting whispered to her directly and sounds of footsteps followed her around her apartment. He felt as though she was being tormented.

The painting gave off that much darkness that the painting was eventually returned to the artist.

Delphine in life, liked to show off her prized pieces of art. People would have travelled from afar to spend the night within the fine mansion. So could it be that in death,  Delphine was attracted to the self portrait so that her art was shown once again?

The artist, Ricardo Pustanio states that he never had the intention of labelling the piece as ‘haunted’. Ricardo, has in fact created several more likenesses of Delphine Lalaurine since the original portrait. As far as he is aware, nobody has tried to contact regarding any activity with these ones.

The original portrait is now in a private collection. The new owners refuse to discuss where it is located or if any unexplained occurrences have happened while its been with them.

The stories of what actually occurred on Royal Street has been warped beyond reality over the years, books published of storied of even more nightmarish scenes that could have occurred and with folklore and haunted tours. But if you strip it right back, brush the lies and look at the hard facts of the story the truth lays there, the events that took place was without a doubt horrific, barbarous and damn right evil without any need for exaggeration. Delphine Lalaurine, dubbed ” A demon in the shape of a women” by The New Orleans Bee, seems like the sort of character that would linger on after death, just to play up to her malevolent ways!

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Into The Unknown – Tune In for ALL Things Paranormal

Into the unknown is a show on WBRFM Internet radio 

TUNE in…Every Thursday 8PM GMT Repeated Sundays 1AM GMT.

Hosted by Dave Horrocks, Paranormal investigator and investigating the unknown for over 20 years, Covers a wide range of topics from paranormal to UFO’s, Occult to myths and legends and conspiracies. Also including all types of music. 

During 2017 Dave will be investigating different locations and conducting vigils, which his findings will be documentated on the show aswell as on his website.

You can find Dave’s team page with all info by clicking the below link
So TUNE in this Thurday for a show on all things VOODOO via this below link from 8PM GMT.

On the 31st of March a interview with Philip  Mantle.

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Angel Signs

By Charlene Kemp

White Feathers

Properly the most well known signs that you have been visited by your angels, These magical moments is something we should all keep an eye out for and when we are given one it should be treasured and kept, as a Thank you for sending it our way.

Often left or appear when we need a reminder that angels are near.

I can remember when my father passed staring out the window in an upset state, wondering where he was and if I would see him again, at this point I looked at my feet and there was a white feather, I do not have duck feather quilts nor pillows and no birds had been in my house nor had I been outside. To me theres a difference they can come in all sizes but are fluffier on the outer feathers.

I currently keep mine in a chest as it is said if you disregard them and don’t notice them as signs, spirit will stop sending you them so I do like to keep mine as a little reminder and a Thank you to those who have sent them.


It is believed that spirit/angels will leave coins for those they are watching over. If you have ever heard of the saying ‘pennies from heaven ‘ then this is where it originally came from. Believed to be left to console and reassure those who find them. Normally left when a person is feeling blue or poorly. Its said angels toss them out to turn a frown upside down to make a smile


A sign as it’s a visit from a passed family member, tend to visit the same gardens year after year. Offering reassurance to the living that their passed love ones are still near.

I remember when my grandad died, my dad (not that he was a spiritual person because he was not) said a robin kept appearing on the fence outside our kitchen window and many times when we would speak of my grandad there it would appear, we would say it’s my grandad giving us a sign he’s still around.

When my dad passed, a day later, along came the robin with a baby robin and sat on the fence looking through the kitchen window at us, we took it has a sign that now my grandad and dad was together. Even to this day two robins will appear in the garden and on the fence together, theres something special about it when it does happen and something some would laugh about but we take comfort in it.


Known for being sent to us by a passed love one, Its believed these beautiful insects are sent to remind us that they are watching nearby and to let us know they are ok.

I used to work as a carer in the community and i can remember looking after a women who had been diagnosis of cancer, only a young women who had children, she was given a month to live but lived a year on, within this time she became very spiritual, something before her diagnosis she had never been, she would often say that butterflies followed her and that when she passed she would give her family a sign through a butterfly.

After she passed on Christmas Day, the first christmas it would have been without her, I remember seeing a picture what her family had posted and that was a butterfly sitting on the kitchen curtain found while they were making dinner. Now it was December, not really the right time of year for butterflies so they took it has a sign that their mum was with them on Christmas Day watching over.


Angels and love ones can often show up in a dream while we sleep, this tends to be when we are more relaxed and receptive. Dreams as such tend to be more vivid then regular dreams and remain in your mind much fresher.

I have had a number of dreams that I have felt have had some importance to me. One being when my grandad passed days later, i dreamt i went to see him in hospital, he had a machine over his face, which when i think of how he died and what he died of would make sense, he told me he was ok, to tell everyone he was ok and was happy, he told me to go and to not worry and that he was in recovery and was getting better. He had nurses all around him and his parting words was they are looking after me. Depending on what you believe, I believe this was his way of saying I’ve made it to the afterlife I’m ok I just need to recover here before passing. Which I do believe happens to us when we die we go into a recovery like process in order to recover the soul from leaving our bodies?

Another dream i feel was a visit was from my dad, when alive at times we did not get on the best, he had done things i couldn’t get my head around, he wasn’t much of a talker so things was never explained or apologises was never made even though in the end it didn’t really matter and to me all was forgiven anyway to a degree and i understood but had not actually ever told him. He came to me in my dream, we went out and he took me to places which I think he felt would explain things better and we ended up sitting on a bench together speaking about what we should have done when he was alive. He was still very much the same person even to the degree where we even disagreed about things but He seemed a lot more open in my dream as if he didn’t lock up it up anymore or bury things. It ended where I say it was forgiven anyway and I did understand why things happened. He then left. Maybe this was more of a visit for himself then me so he could pass knowing that things was ok and he could let go.

These aren’t the only two occurrences I have had theres been a few when passed relatives have shown up and gave me guidance and support and I’ve questioned them about life after death, which they have always seem reluctant to speak about.

Building signs and advertising slogans

This could be just a simple sign after calling out for one such as noticing a name of building. Also it is believed that angels can show signs through recurring slogans on billboards  shop names, roads that seem to strike a cord in you 

Music and television

Hearing a song or a lyric on the radio can often be a sign, offering words that may help, reassure or confirm. Sometimes it could be that you put the TV on and flick through the channels and a show or documentary may be on which relates to your situation, don’t ignore it, it could come across as coincidence but it could also be something more.

I have also found that when you are missing someone who has passed or feeling a little low, you may pop the radio on or get into your car and turn the radio on and your passed love ones favourite song may be playing as you do or comes on. This can also happen when entering shops or public places. 

This has happened to me a few times but one that sticks with me is after my dad passed we put the radio on to which it was playing a classic by David Bowie, one of my dads favourite songs by him, someone my dad admired when he was alive. 

Telephone Calls

If you are thinking about someone and feeling as though you could do with their support and in that exact moment they ring to see how you are, this can be also classed as a sign from your angels. They are looking after you and sending you the help and support you 


Sometimes we are sent Scents to remind us of a presence  this scent can be a particular fragrance or smell which you can associate with a person who may have wore a certain perfume or had a particular smoke to them e.g tobacco. 

Often floral smells can be signs that an angel is following you or they have left a scent in their trail.

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Top 10 Paranormal Hoaxes

By Charlene Kemp

There is a certain criteria that a story meets in order for it to be classed as a hoax. Below is a list of criteria that the stories below meet and unfortunately is classed as being a hoax.


The hoax must be deliberate and may have a motive to what is wanting to be established.

The hoax must include an obvious “paranormal” occurrence of some kind.

The hoax must have achieved a reasonably high public profile.

The hoax must have made a lasting impact on human society. This is the deciding factor—more important than how well the hoax was executed or how believable it appears to be. Lack of information/background information or records to back the story up.
so here is a list of the Top 10 paranormal Hoaxes in History

10. King Tut’s Curse
Tutankhamen’s Tomb was discovered in the 20th Century. Upon the Tomb a curse was found inscribed over the entrance which read ‘Death shall come swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the king’ 

Not long after there was many stories being told about unnatural deaths of the workers on the site. It wasn’t long before this news spread and found its way into popular culture, which over time as set the stage for a whole sub genre of horror stories and movies.

In 1980 a security officer for the original excavation site admitted that such stories had been suggested and circulated to scare away any thieves. There are also historical records which back this claim up that show most excavation workers went on to lead long and healthy lives.

9. The Cottingley Fairies

Young cousins Elsie Wright and Frances Griffith produced a series of photographs in 1917 and 1920. These photographs displayed themselves interacting with fairies. In todays society it is hard to picture how so many could be fooled by such clear fake photographs but in the 20th century people was convinced and a huge following supported this.

It wasn’t until 1981 that Elsie and Frances admitted that in deed some of photographs was indeed a hoax but still claimed that they did indeed had seen fairies and that one of the pictures was genuine.

8. The Cardiff Giant

Workers digging a well in Cardiff, New York in the year 1869, uncovered what appeared to look like the petrified remains of a giant, The remains was of a man who was 10 foot in height.

Archaeologists declared that the body was indeed a fake but the public was more accepting to the idea and the reaction was in support of the claim, this was especially popular among those who thought it was evidence in support of biblical history. The body became popular and became somewhat of a business assets as crowds of people would pay for a glimpse. Showman P.T Barnum tried to have ownership of the body but after failing decided to make his own replica, which caused confusion to which one was the actual genuine giant found.

In 1869, George Hull a tobacconist, admitted it was indeed a hoax and that the body had been sculpted from concrete and buried a year before work commenced on the well digging.

7. Uri Geller – Spoon Bending 

During the 1979 Uri Geller enjoyed success with his mentalism acts. This was based on his ability to bend spoons with his mind. Throughout the years Uri Geller stood firmly by his claims of having supernatural powers up until James Randi published a book with hard evidence exposing Uri’s tricks. Geller was also caught numberous times on camera manipulating his stage props (mainly pre-bending spoons) before shows.

Uri Geller has never offically outted himself but he did tacitly confess to the hoax in 2007 expressing the following

Ill no longer say that I have supernatural powers. I am an entertainer….My entire Character has changed’.

6. The Amityville Horror

Ronald Defeo Jr shot six members of his family in 1974 in Amityville, Newyork. A year later The Lutz family moved in. 28 days later the family fled from the house claiming to have terrorised by an unseen forces ( a ghostly presences).

Jay Anson wrote a best selling book and made a series of films based on their story, which was highly successful based on the claim of a true and verifiable story.

However, on closer investigation, it seems that not much of any story can be verified. Police and other records contradicted the book’s claims and many holes had been found in the story. In 1979, A lawyer William Weber claimed

‘ I know this boom was a hoax, We Created this Horror story over many Bottles of wine.’

5. Loch Ness Monster – The Surgeon’s Photo

There are many hoaxes which surround the Loch Ness Monster but the one which stands out amongst them all is ‘ The Surgeon’s Photo’. This was submitted to the London Daily Mail in 1934 by Dr.R.Kenneth Wilson.

It wasn’t the first reported sighting of the monster, or even the most convincing but had somewhat became an icon in the world of cryptozoology.

It is believed that Marmaduke Wetherall orchestrated the hoax, a photographer who had previously been humiliated after taking pictures of a fake monster footprints.

In 1975 Werherall’s son, Ian, explained how the monster in the photo was actually a toy submarine what was attached to a wooden neck.

4. Alien Autopsy Footage

Ray Santili shocked viewers when he released what was alleged to be autopsy of an alien that was found in a craft.
The 17 minute black and white film titled the ‘Alien Autopsy’ featured what appeared to be real life dissection on film.

When Ray Santili was asked where he had got such footage, he claimed he had received it off a retired military cameraman who wished to remain anonymous.

After broadcasting and selling the footage to the television, 16 years later, in 2016, Santilli finally admitted that the film was indeed a hoax. He admitted that even though some of the film was fake there was a few scenes which was actual real autopsy footage but never stated or made clear which ones these were.

3. The Fiji/ Feejee Mermaid

P.T Barnum ( owner and founder of Barnum and Bailey Circus) rented what he believed to be a mermaid for $12.50 a week.

American sea captain Samuel Barrett Edes bought the mermaid off Barnum from Japanese sailors in 1822, this was displayed within several outlets and was believed to be caught off the coast of Fiji.

Barnum believed the mermaid was 100% real, sources close by stated they believed it wasn’t. A naturalist debunked the mermaid has being that of a head of a monkey attached to the flesh of a fish.

Despite this, Barnum had already prepared a show with fake advertisements, which shown a half women and half fish. The advertisements looked nothing like the mermaid he had on display and even hired a phony naturalist to give him a back up story that the mermaid was in fact real.

Nobody really knows what happened to the mermaid, Barnum’s museum caught on fire many times and it was rumoured that it had been destroyed by this along with countless other artefacts.

However, The Harvard University Peabidy Musueum of Archaeology and Ethnology had an artefact which appears very similar to the Fiji mermaid but had been given the name ‘The Banff Merman’ So over the years there has been many speculations and questions to whether or not it’s the same artefact or not.

2. The Well to Hell

A team of Russian engineers drilled a hole in an unknown part of Siberia. They said the hole, was deeper than what they had expected it to be. The hole according to them seemed to reach temperatures of 1,090 degrees. They also claimed to have heard noises and they decided to send down a heat tolerant microphone along with other sensory equipment. When they brought the equipment back from the well the team claimed to be shocked by what recordings they had captured.
They reported listening to strange noises and screams as though people was being tortured.

It was said that the whole crew was in a state of panic and they believed they had discovered the portal to hell.

The story was sold to the news and made major headlines, it even caused a stir between spiritual organisations who took to praying and preaching but this all came to an end when it was realised that the actual recordings was fake, they did indeed drill a hole but admitted that the screams and strange noises heard was actually a recording they had on a loop of the 1972 film ‘Baron Blood’

1. The Fox Sisters

The Fox Sisters are responsible for one of the most influential hoaxes of all time, although it is not well known today.

Even to this day more then 150 years on since the original events, the effects can still be seen in the spiritual beliefs of millions and millions of people.

In 1848, two sister Kate and Margaret Fox living in New York claimed that they could communicate with a spirit in their home. They claimed they could do this by audible tapping or ‘Rapping’. Later joined by their older sister Leah, the three toured the U.S and build a support for the spiritual movement.

By 1853 spiritualism claimed over two million followers worldwide, influenced hugely by the Fox sisters.

They influenced the idea that humans might be able to communicate with spirits and this became a part of western culture, which still continues today as we know it.

‘Rapping’, however has since long gone out of fashion and isnt used as it was.

Margaret Fox signed a confession which was published in the New York World in 1888 stating…

My sister Katie was the first to observe that by swishing her fingers she could produce certain noises with her knuckles and joints, and that the same effect could be made with the toes. Finding that we could make raps with our feet – first with one foot and then with both – we practiced until we could do this easily when the room was dark. Like most perplexing things when made clear, it is astonishing how easily it is done.”

The Fox sisters Fell out and difted apart and all three sisters died within 5 years of each other.

Even with the confession regarding the ‘rapping’ that did not stop people believing that the Fox sisters indeed have a genuine power.

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Folklore behind the Northern Lights

By Charlene Kemp

The Northern lights have intrigued many over the years and has somewhat scared communities to what they believe they represented.
There is also a southern lights which is less reported as it appears in the South pole, which I’m sure if penguins could talk they would tell you the fantastic stories of the displays they have seen.

So here I am going to detail some of the many stories and superstitions from different cultures and communities around the world and what they believed this display of lights represented.

It seems we have been festinated with the lights for many years and It is  believed that the northern lights is mentioned in the old testament in the bible.

The Ancient Greeks and Romans

The Northern Lights also known as Aurora Borealis. Aurora Borealis is derived from the Greek Words ‘Aurora’ meaning ‘Sunrise’ and ‘Boreas’ meaning ‘Wind’.

For the ancient Greeks to have even experienced seeing the Northern Lights suggests that some incredibly strong solar activity must have occurred as sightings to this day so far south are almost unheard of.

The Greeks believed that the Aurora was the sister of Helios and Seline, which was the sun and moon. If was believed that she would race across the morning sky in her multicoloured chariot to alert her siblings to a dawn of a new day.

The Romans also linked the northern lights with a new day belief with also associating them to be Aurora, Aurora who they believed to be the goddess of dawn.

North America

Omen of War – The Fox Indians, who lived within Wisconsin, thought that the lights represented that of war and that the lights was the ghosts of those who was their enemies, they believed that the ghosts of their enemies was that restless that they sent this as a sign for revenge and that they had tried to rise again in order to settle it.

Evil Thing – The Point Burrow Eskimos believed  that the lights was evil and carried knifes around with them in order to prevent seeing them.

Spirits of Children – The East Greenland Eskimos believed that the lights represented that of children who had died during birth. They believed that the dancing of the children round and round caused the streamers and draperies of the aurora to constantly move.

Game of Ball – Even though some Eskimos communities had varied belief’s to what the lights was a sign of, Most  Eskimo groups believed that it was spirits of the dead playing ball and that they played this with a warus head or skull. A different opinion on this was by the Eskimos of Nunivak, they thought it was Warus spirits playing with a human skull, so even though the same concept it was slightly different on what was potentially being portrayed to them.

Fires in the North – The Mahak Indians of Washington thought the lights was a fire that was occurring in the far north, over which a tribe of dwarfs, half the length of a canoe paddle and so strong that they caught whales with their hands, boiled blubber.

The Stew Pot – The Mandan of North Dakota also believed that the lights was a fire, which the great medicine men and warriors of the northern nations set their dead enemies alight in enormous pots. The Menominee Indians of Winsonsin however, regarded them as torches that was used by great, friendly giants in the northern nations to spear their fish at night.

Creator Reminder 

An Algonquin myth of Nanahbozho, believed to be the creator of the earth, travelled to the North after finishing his task of creation, where he remained and built great fires to create reflections, as a signal to his people that he is still thinking of them even though he is so far away.



In Scottish Gaelic Folklore the lights was know as the Na Fir Chlis meaning ‘the Nimble Men’ also known as the merry dancers. It was believed the Northern Lights was epic fights among sky warriors or fallen angels.


 In Finland the Northern lights was known as ‘Revontulet’ which was associated with the arctic fox.

Folk tales of the arctic fox, is that it runs far in the North, touching mountains with its fur, while doing this they believed sparks would fly off into the sky which created the lights.

Another tale with the arctic fox tells the story that the fox throws the lights up into the sky by sweeping snow upwards with its tail, later on a more developed tale was told was that it was actually the moonlights reflection on the snowflakes that caused the lights by the fox’s tail.

Iceland Greenland

It was believed by people living in Iceland that the lights was associated with childbirth and that they would relieve the pain of delivery as long as the expecting mother didn’t look at the aurora while giving birth.


In Greenland people believed the lights was also linked to childbirth but it was believed it was the souls of still born babies and babies who was killed at birth.


In Sweden the lights was often regarded as a coming of good news. Many believed that the lights was a gift from the benevolent gods providing warmth and light in the form of a volcano which was located in the North. Others believed the lights to be a light reflection from large shoals of herring and bode well for the local fisherman. The Swedish farming community took the lights as a sign that a good harvest was coming in the coming year.

In Norse mythology the lights was often mentioned and one of the legends surrounding them is that it was the lights was reflections or a glow from shields and armour of the Valkyrie. It was thought that it was a sign that female warriors who choose or may have died during battle and who may have lived to fight another day.

It was also mentioned within Norse mythology that the lights was ‘Bifrost Bridge’ a glowing and pulsating arch which could led to those fallen in battle to the warriors, where was their final resting place in Valhalla.

The Baltic States 

The Estonians believed the northern lights to be a magnificent horse drawn carriages carrying guests of the heavens to a spectacular celestial wedding.


Even though the lights should have been a rare occurrence within china they also must have experience a significant solar event to have witness them, but they were in absolute awe of them and early legends believed the lights was associated with dragons. The main belief was that the lights was fire and that battles was happening between good and evil dragons and while fighting the dragons would roar fire from their mouths.


The Japanese believed that if a child was conceived underneath the lights that the child would be bless with intellect, good fortune and good looks.


Aboriginal Australians would have experienced seeing the southern lights and also watched in awe and believed it was their gods dancing overhead.

Even though in some communities many have tried to turn to science for an explanation such as ancient greeks who did try to explain it has the sunlight reflecting of the earths surface  Even to this day modern day solar scientists admit that there is so much that is still not understood, which in turn continues to fuel stories passed on throughout the world from generation to generation.

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St Marks Eve – 24th April – The Old Forgotten Tradition

‘Tis now, replied the village belle, 
St. Mark’s mysterious eve,
And all that old traditions tell
I tremblingly believe;

How, when the midnight signal tolls, 
Along the churchyard green,
A mournful train of sentenced souls 
In winding-sheets are seen.

The ghosts of all whom death shall doom 
Within the coming year,
In pale procession walk the gloom, 
Amid the silence drear.’

What is the History behind St Marks Eve?

A old Tradition lost in time.

The feast day of St Mark the Evangelist (founder of the Church of Alexandria) falls on 25th April, but there are some interesting folk customs that fall on the eve of the feast the 24th April.

Between the 17th and 19th century it was thought that holding a vigil in a church porch during the hours of 11.00pm through to 1.00am on three successive years would reveal the identities of those due to die and be buried in the churchyard over the coming year as an apparition or coffins or headless corpses when the church bell strikes 1AM.

This was a tradition throughout Britain though probably more popular in the North and West. There are some variations on the tradition.

1. Some accounts say this vigil must be repeated each year of your live instead of just three.

2. Others say the exterior of church had to walked around before the vigil begins.

3. And another say that those undertaking the task had to be fasting.

4. Lastly some say just going on this night and partipating in a vigil will able you to see.

Divining For Future Husbands
It was also believed that St Marks Eve was also the time when young maids would try to use divination to discover the identity of their true love and husband to be. One method was to hang their smock before the fireplace and await for the arrival of an apparition of the man your due to marry to come in and turn it for you.

‘On St. Mark’s eve, at twelve o’clock, 
The fair maid will watch her smock, 
To find her husband in the dark, 
By praying unto good St. Mark.’

In North Kelsey, Lincolnshire young women would visit the Maiden Well on St Marks Eve.‘Girls coming to the spring with the view of divination must walk towards it backwards, and go round it three times in the same manner, each girl, meanwhile, wishing the wish that she may see her destined sweetheart. After the third circle is complete, the inquirer must kneel down and gaze into the spring, in which she will see her lover looking up out of the depths.’
(County Folk-Lore by Gutch and Peacock,1908)

Another method of employed by young women was to place a nut by the heath and whisper the name of the man they believe may be their true love. If the nut jumped from the fire then the love was meant to be.

So come and join us on The 24th April 2017, we will be broadcasting live from facebook bwtween 11PM and 1AM.

We will have equipment set up around the porch, Wildlife cameras scattered, a walk round of the area will be shown and we will even have the spirit box going to see what comes through, on The night the veil is meant to be at its Thinest so lets have a go to see what happens.

If you would also like to take part with us or want to take part from another church yard let us no we will do another article with who is taking part and what experiments they have planned. 

And please dont forget to send us any evidence you may have collected for our upcoming documentary on it.

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Christmas Hauntings: True Christmas Ghost Tales

By Charlene Kemp

Christmas and ghost stories, it may seem that the two don’t fit together well, but they actually do. When you think about it why wouldn’t our love ones pay us a visit at such a special time if they can, to offer us reassurance, make us feel their prescene and their love.

Even though it is not popular now days, in victorian times it was somewhat of a tradition at christmas time to gather around a fire and tell one another spooky ghostly tales. Remember that the victorian era is where spiritualism, seances, ectoplasm and table rapping became popular so it would make sense that victorians would have done such traditions rooting back to their roots in pagan custom.

Evidence lining this is in a line from ‘It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year’ where it is mentioned ” There’ll be scary ghost stories and tales of the glories of christmas long, long ago…”

There is also the Dickens classic ‘ A Christmas Carol ‘ which is properly one of the last remaining tales of a haunting one may associate with this time of year.

Then there is the miracles that surround Christmas itself, and that being the birth of Jesus Christ.

So I decided to look up 5 ghostly tales of christmas to somewhat put you in the spirit 😉 and of course follow a forgotten tradition.


I had an unusual visitor on Christmas Day, 2008 and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Santa Claus passing by my house in Bloomington, Indiana. The day started in typical fashion with the opening of gifts around the Christmas tree. I served an early Christmas dinner for family and friends, and everybody departed by 5 p.m., except my sister and brother-in-law who live with me. They were sleeping in a bedroom at the end of the hall with the door open.

I went into my bedroom with my dog, Toby and shut the door securely. Toby curled up on the foot of my bed to sleep, like he always does. It was chilly, so I pulled the blankets and comforter up around my head and curled up to nap for an hour.

I was just dozing off when I heard the latch on my bedroom door open. I waited several seconds for my sister or brother-in-law to ask me whatever they came to say, but there was no other sound. It was almost 7 p.m., so my bedroom was pitch black. I had left lights on in the kitchen and the bathroom, and there were lots of christmas lights in the living room, so the hallway would have been well lit.

I would be able to see whoever was at the door just by lifting my head.

I pushed the blankets down and lifted my head from the pillow, but just as I would have been able to see who was in the doorway, an extremely bright light hit me right in the eyes. I shielded my eyes and yelled, “Turn out that @#%$ light! You’re blinding me!” The light immediately disappeared and I heard the bedroom door latch closed. My bedside light is a touch lamp, so I tapped it on and looked around the bedroom. There was no one in the bedroom except me and Toby.

Toby jumped off the bed and went to the door without showing any signs of alarm. At first I wasn’t frightened because Toby is a Dutch shepherd — well trained to be an excellent watchdog and proven personal protection dog.

Since Toby was already up, I decided to go let him outside and see what Sis or brother-in-law needed. When I went into the hallway, I could see both of them still in bed. I took Toby to the living room to let him outside, and there was nobody there either.

So who opened my bedroom door and turned a spotlight on my face?

Ordinarily, I’m not a skittish person, and strange noises or lights wouldn’t alarm me, but this situation was just too eerie, and the light had made my skin crawl. Let me add that the latch on my bedroom door is broken in such a way that the inside door handle must be jiggled for the latch to pop out and engage. It makes a very distinctive sound that I’m used to listening for, because if it doesn’t latch, the door swings open. I am absolutely positive that the door was latched closed when I got into bed, just as I’m certain it was the door latch I heard during the incident.

When I left the bedroom, the door was latched closed again. I couldn’t understand how my sister or brother-in-law could have come into my room and then returned to their own bed and crawled under the covers in the few seconds it took me to reach the hallway, but I figured it had to be one of them, since Toby always barks and growls at everybody and everything he doesn’t immediately recognise.

When brother-in-law got up to get ready for work that night, I asked him what he wanted earlier in the evening when he opened my door. He looked puzzled and said, “I never got up and I certainly never opened your door. I slept soundly the whole time I was in bed.” Okay… I then asked Sis, “Did you want something earlier this evening when you opened my door?” She also looked puzzled and said, “I dozed off and on, but I never got out of bed and I never saw or heard anything in the hallway.” She leaves their bedroom door open at all times and she faces the hallway so she can see whoever is coming or going throughout the house.

So who was my special Christmas visitor and how did they get in and out so quickly? Like most people, the thoughts of loved ones are always close at hand during the holiday season. When I first went to lie down, I was thinking how happy I was that my small family had enjoyed a pleasant Christmas, but it would have been so much better if my mother and brother had still been alive to share it with us. I would like to think it was my brother’s spirit stopping by to say “Merry Christmas. I still think of you, too.”

I haven’t been able to debunk this strange event or find any kind of rational explanation. I’m half afraid that my heart stopped during my sleep and the light I saw was the bright light people report after near-death experiences. Leave it to me to see the Stairway to Heaven and ruin my chance at eternal paradise by saying “Turn out that #$%@ light!” I’ve made a mental note that if I ever see another bright light to clean up my language… just in case. — Scarlet Dragon


It was just a few days before Christmas, 1991, and I had some last minute Christmas shopping to do. Working full time and being a full-time mom, this was a rare chance to get out and have some time to myself. It was dusk, and the weather was overcast and chilly. I entered the store with a real Christmas spirit. I browsed here and there. Looking down at my ragged purse, I realized that perhaps I should splurge and buy myself a new purse.I decided that since I was there to shop, I may as well buy myself a new purse.

After about five minutes of browsing, I noticed a man. He did not bring attention to himself, rather something brought my attention to him. He was a young adult, dark-skinned, tall, with a head of long, dark, curly hair. He was really good looking with a well-defined jawline, high cheekbones and a great complexion. He was wearing a long, tan-coloured trench coat. He was standing in front of me about 10 feet away. He seemed interested in the purses also.

I resumed looking at every purse in the aisle when out of nowhere — and totally unexpected — a voice boomed in my head: “Look up, you are being followed!” Instinctively, I looked up without hesitation. There was the same man, standing several yards in front of me, still looking at purses. Of course this unsettled me, so I decided to leave the purse aisle. I went to a couple of other departments in the store, but the same guy was never more than 20 feet away from me.

He was unlikely store security.

The man was tracking me all right, but for ominous reasons. Unbeknownst to this man, I had been alerted to his presence by that voice.

By now my Christmas spirit was fading, and I decided to check out. As I approached the check-out counters, there stood the same young man, reading a paperback book from the book racks. I paid for my goods and headed for the front exit lobby doors.

As I approached the front exit, I saw this same individual again. He was in the store lobby, pacing back and forth! I was immediately reminded of how a lion acts in a cage at the zoo. And now I knew this person was just as deadly. A people greeter was standing just a few feet from the exit doors. I told her, “That young man in the trench coat in the lobby has been following me through the store. Can you please get someone to walk me to my car?” She said, “Yes, I’ll be right back.” I just stood there because I did not want my stalker to realise I was “onto him.”

I looked to my right. The canteen was there, and maybe I could waltz over and look at the menu. I was starting to get hungry. As I started to walk toward the canteen, my skin crawled. There in the canteen area, sitting at a table, glaring right at me, was my would-be stalker. His eyes met mine for about three-seconds. They were full of hate.

A guardian angel had thwarted whatever evil plan he had for me, and he was pissed. He walked back into the store while I stared at the floor, and then set down at the canteen to maintain an innocent demeanour. But the glare in his eyes gave it away. He knew I had been warned by a guardian angel — and I knew that he knew it. — Tonja Earles


The Returned Relative

It was Christmas time of 1995 or ’96 at my aunt’s house on a reservation in North Dakota. Some of my family was in the living room watching television, the kids were playing in the rooms or sleeping, and my uncle, aunt, and I were sitting at the table putting a puzzle together. My cousin, who worked at a casino, would come home around midnight or 1 a.m.

This night, as she pulled up and was walking toward the house, she looked in the window and saw me sitting at the table, my uncle sitting across from me, and someone standing to the left of me and someone standing in the corner, so she continued to walk in the house thinking nothing of it. As we were sitting there talking, she looked at me and asked who was standing next to me a few minutes ago and who was in the corner. I told her no one and she said, “Yeah, there was someone standing next to you. It looked like your mom and she was playing with your hair.” (I have long hair, which I used to wear down all the time.) She said this person was running her hand on my hair, like a mother does to a child.

It kinda freaked me out, being I was probably only 12 or 13 at the time. My cousin swears up and down that someone was standing over me rubbing my head and watching me put the puzzle together with my aunt and uncle, and that there was another person standing behind this person. We got around to thinking it was probably her mom she saw. (She passed away on her birthday a week before Christmas back in 1992.)

In my family we consider our aunts and uncles to be just like our moms and dads. After thinking that it could have been her, it didn’t scare me so much. However, we couldn’t figure out who the person was standing in the corner. And always around Christmas time something strange always happens … and we just think it’s her visiting us. – V. Page

The Haunted Tree

My parents and I lived in a small home that was around 90 years old. The year would have been 1996. We lived there from the time I was seven years old to the time I was 19. From the very day that we moved in, I felt that I was not alone. One year around Christmas time, I was having a friend spend the night. The heat had just shut off briefly and she and I were sitting in the living room watching television when the temperature dropped substantially. As I rose to turn up the heat, the Christmas tree began to shake violently. Ornaments were falling off right and left and she and I were terrified! We ran upstairs and lay down on my bed. My white cat curled up with us and my door was open slightly. When I gazed out at the dark hallway, I was horrified to see a tall white figure run down the hall. I turned to my friend and she acknowledged that she had seen the exact same thing. She never spent the night ever again. – Caitlin Williams

The Ghostly Choir

On Christmas Eve night, 1978 at about 3:00 a.m. in Klamath Falls, Oregon, I was suddenly awakened by a choir singing. The house was new construction, miles from the nearest church. I strained to hear any words that I could understand or a tune that I could identify, but I could not understand the language or tune. I did get a feeling of “angelic” exaltation, reverence, and gladness of heart. This was truly a heavenly choir lifting their voices on high, singing hosanna in the highest, in an unknown tongue, without accompaniment of instruments.

I examined the television, but it was turned off, as was the radio. I explored outside, but the singing was not heard outdoors. The way the countless male, female and children’s voices entwined together, the tonals going from operatic highs to the deepest bass voices in perfect harmony. It must have lasted about 10 minutes, but it was touching for an eternity. – Mel

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Ladybird Folklore

Abergavenny has seen an explosion of tiny red bugs in these last fee weeka, due to the unusually warm weather and all parts of the UK have also been reporting hundreds of Ladybirds invading our homes and gardens! Some reports suggest they may in fact be an unwelcome species originating from North America called the Harlequin which threatens our native ladybirds. Like them or loath them though, they do bring with them more links to our ancient beliefs and have a mystery surrounding them that attracts people from all cultures as many still uphold their beliefs today about their magical properties.

Legends vary about how the Ladybird came to be named, but the most common (and enduring) is this:   In Europe, during the Middle Ages, swarms of insects were destroying the crops.  The farmers prayed to the Virgin Mary for help.  Soon thereafter the Ladybirds came, devouring the plant-destroying pests and saving the crops!  The farmers called these beautiful insects “The Beetles of Our Lady”, and – over time – they eventually became popularly known as “Lady Beetles”.  The red wings were said to represent the Virgin’s cloak and the black spots were symbolic of both her joys and her sorrows. This links it to spiritual idealism and religious devotion.

Children’s songs and stories abound about the ladybird and children’s toys, stories, clothing, and room decor continually incorporate the image of the ladybird. I am still squeamish about picking up any insects, except for Ladybirds, I always loved them and I even kept them as “pets” as a child, and would make them miniature gardens out of moss and stones and little twigs. There is an invisible connection between Ladybirds and children. Ladybirds are easy to find and accessible, giving children their first intimate chance to relate hands-on with a wild and truly free being.

Ladybirds as a spirit animal is believed to be foretelling of the spark of a child-like wonder in the natural world, waking the nature child within us all. She prompts us to go outside and stoop down to come eye to eye with the flowers. So much of the weight of the world can be forgotten in a moment of childlike empathy with the natural world. This is how the healing energy of ladybug spirit animal works within many belief systems. 

Nearly ALL cultures believe that a Ladybird is lucky. Killing one is said to bring sadness and misfortune.

“Ladybird, Ladybird, fly away home….your house is on fire, and your children will burn.  Except 

little Nan, who sits in a pan, weaving gold laces as fast as she can!”

If you are familiar with this well-known children’s rhyme, do you know how it originated? In Medieval England, the farmers would set torches to the old Hop vines after the harvest, to clear the fields for the next planting. The poem was a warning to the aphid-eating Ladybirds, still crawling on the vines in search of aphids.  The Ladybirds’ children (larvae) could get away from the flames, but the immobile pupae (Nan) remained fastened to the plants (laces) and couldn’t escape. 

In the 1800’s, some doctors used Ladybirds to treat measles!  They also believed that if you mashed Ladybirds and put them into a cavity, the insects would stop a toothache! This would taste revolting as Ladybirds have a bitter foul taste as they emit a yellow substance.

Here are a few more folklore tales that surround the pretty little red bugs. 

 If the spots on the wings of a Ladybird are more than seven, it’s a sign of coming famine.  If less than seven, it means you will have a good harvest.

The Victorians in Britain believed that if a Ladybird alighted on your hand, you would be receiving new gloves…..if it landed on your head, a new hat would be in your future.

Folklore suggests if you catch a Ladybird in your home, count the number of spots and that’s how many coins you’ll soon find.

If a Ladybird is held in the hand while making a wish, the direction that it flies away to shows the direction in which your luck will come from.

In France, if a Ladybird landed on you, whatever ailment you had would fly away with the Ladybird.

In some Asian cultures, it is believed that the Ladybird understands human language, and has been blessed by God, Himself.

In Belgium, people believed that if a Ladybird crawled across a young girl’s hand, she would be married within a year. 

People in Switzerland told their young children that they were brought to them, as babies, by Ladybirds.

According to a Norse legend, the Ladybird came to earth riding on a bolt of lightning.

To dream of a ladybird is a sign that you are likely to experience a run of good luck in the near future. To dream of many ladybirds can point to feeling as though things are somewhat out of control, as though a lot of small things are going wrong. Consider ways in which you can take one step at a time to feel more in control of your life and your work. To see a ladybird in your dream can also symbolizes beauty. The dream may also be a metaphor for a lady who is bugging you in your waking life. Perhaps there is an issue that you need to address with this lady. If this insect is unusually big, then it is corresponding to the magnitude of the problem.

Their life cycle requires about four weeks, so several generations are produced each summer.  This cycle ties the ladybird to the energies of renewal and regeneration and so it is easy to see why this tiny little beetle brings with it a powerful message. Because the life cycle of the adult ladybird is short it shows us how to release worries and enjoy our lives to the fullest.

With the unusual increase in numbers lately, I think we should still all take great comfort from these legends and welcome any possibility of the good luck that has been foretold by these magical little bugs!

By Claire Barrand