Tuesday, 3 March 2015

A DAYTIME ROADSIDE HAUNTING WITNESSED BY TWO SEPARATE MOTORISTS ON TWO SEPARATE DATES

Bretby Hall

It is seldom that in the studies of the paranormal that you find two unrelated witnesses to the appearance of an apparition at a location not noted for haunting, and perhaps more significantly, a ghost that appeared during the hours of daylight.

And by chance, both witness accounts came to light through the conduit of a regional newspaper, as in the accounts supplied separately to the Derby Telegraph.

The first report was posted to their online forum on February 4th, 2015 from a motorist named as  Lisa Fisher, who recounted her experience:

"I was driving towards Bretby Hall in Bretby on Monday around 2pm. There is a lane just off Ashby Road that leads up to the hall. As I turned into the lane I could see a young woman with black hair standing with a bike by the side of the road, about a 100m ahead. As I got closer I could see she was dressed in old fashioned clothes (floral dress and hair net). The bike had a wicker basket and also looked old. She watched me as I passed her. As I got further down the lane I happened to glance in the rear view mirror and saw the woman had disappeared."

Another report was made to the newspaper on February 26th by a motorist named as Janet Fielding, whose account bears striking similarities to the first:

"I was driving down Mount Road (not far from Bretby Hall) towards the Planters garden centre. It was around 4pm and raining quite badly. As I was driving down the road I passed a lady walking by the side of the road.

"She was quite tall and was wearing a floral dress and had her hair in a net. She looked in her early 30s and had black hair. The clothes looked very old fashioned and overall she looked out of place.

"When I passed her she turned her head and stared at me blankly. It was quite unnerving and creepy when she stared at me. I thought nothing of it and continued driving."

A Lady in a Floral Dress - similar to that seen by the witnesses

Bretby Hall was formerly the family seat of the Earl of Chesterfield.

Following the death of the 7th earl in 1871, the Estate passed to his widowed mother, Anne Elizabeth, Dowager Countess of Chesterfield (1802–1885), whose good friend, Benjamin Disraeli, paid frequent visits to Bretby.

On the death of the Countess, her estates devolved upon Lord Porchester, the eldest son of her daughter, Evelyn (died 1875), who married in 1861 the 4th Earl of Carnarvon.

The 5th Earl of Carnarvon, the famous egyptologist for whom Howard Carter discovered the tomb of Tutankhamun, commenced breaking up the Bretby estate during World War I. They never lived at Bretby, preferring their home at Highclere Castle, near Newbury, Berkshire. They did make regular visits, however, particularly for shooting.

The main estate was sold to Mr J D Wragg, the Swadlincote industrialist. The proceeds helped to fund the Carter’s search for the tomb of Tutankhamen in Egypt in the early 1920s.

In 1926, the Hall was sold to Derbyshire County Council and was run as an orthopaedic hospital until the 1990s when it was sold to a private developer, who has converted it into luxury apartments and suites.

Bretby Hall has little to say for itself with regard to hauntings, and the only account is that
of the ghost of the dying Lady Chesterfield who purportedly haunts the great bedroom.

She always appears to a bride who occupies the state chamber, but not necessarily to the bridegroom. A rather grand account of her haunting is given thus. `The unhappy lady partakes of the cup, then looks up with eyes full of agony and sorrow, but yet, expressing faith and innocence, utters a loud groan, falls back and dies.`

But no accounts as described by the two witnesses fits any known haunted tales, but it is worthy to mention that on both occasions that the witnesses were women.

So, who was this lady? Her clothing description fits any period from the 1920`s to the early 1950`s, and of course, it could be argued that the clothing description although classic, has still been worn in more contemporary times. However, the lady was seen twice wearing a simple floral dress in late winter without the comfort of warmer clothing.

Hopefully perhaps more witnesses will step forward to this roadside haunting, and hopefully perhaps one day her real identity in life will be known.

A very interesting tale.

Author: Chris Halton

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

IS THIS THE `GREY LADY` GHOST CAUGHT ON AN IPHONE AT HAMPTON COURT?

For nearly 200 years she is rumoured to have haunted the corridors of Hampton Court.
But now the ghost of the famous Grey Lady may finally have been captured on camera - by a schoolgirl and her iPhone.

Holly Hampsheir, 12, thought she was taking a fairly routine photo of her cousin Brook McGee, also 12, during a day out at the 16th century stately home.
But she appears unwittingly to have captured the spectral figure of Dame Sybil Penn who looms over the schoolgirl as her back is turned.



With flowing dark hair and a full length black gown the woman seems real enough in the picture.
But seconds later Brook turns around and the next image in the series shows no sign of the visitor at all.



The girls didn’t realise what they had encountered at the time and only made the terrifying discovery when looking through their photos of the outing a day later.
Miss McGee, from Hornchurch, Havering, told the Sun: ‘I was totally freaked out.
‘I didn’t see anything.

‘People say the room goes cold when ghosts appear but we had no idea.
‘We haven’t slept properly since.’

Dame Sybil died from after contracting smallpox in 1562.

A servant at Hampton Court to four Tudor monarchs she was the nurse of Prince Edward and also nursed Elizabeth I through the disease before succumbing to it herself.
Sightings of her ghost began to be reported in 1829 when the church at the palace was rebuilt and her tomb moved.
Soon after strange noises of a person working a spinning wheel were apparently heard through a wall at Hampton Court.

They led to the discovery of a previously unknown chamber containing an antique spinning wheel.
Hampton Court, home to Henry the VIII has a long been famed for its ghosts.
Amongst them the most famous is Henry’s fifth wife Catherine Howard who was dragged screaming through the palace after being accused of adultery.
It is said that after being beheaded, her spirit returned to haunt the home she had shared with her husband.

Hampton Court Palace, home to British monarchs for more than 500 years, is said to house the ghost of Catherine Howard, fifth wife of Henry VIII, who was executed on her husband's order in 1541.

Story: DailyMail

This reminds me of a story with ghost photographs shared in this blog in January 2014.
This image was captured in the main public entrance by a waiting coach driver,  Trevor Tye.
A full link to that story with images can be found HERE



Monday, 23 February 2015

DVD TRAILER FOR FORTHCOMING MAJOR PRODUCTION - `THE BEST OF HAUNTED EARTH`



Here is a small taster of a forthcoming journey into the archives and history of Haunted Earth with Chris Halton.
This new production DVD set will re-visit some of the many haunted locations visited by Haunted Earth over the years, and will include the very best and most interesting paranormal video and experiences in this large compilation presented to you by Chris.
Currently, the Haunted Churches section is being shot, but will include many other locales ranging from castles to houses both here in the UK and abroad.
This professionally edited and presented set will be an archive collection to treasure on real paranormal activity, and real experiences of stepping into the unknown.
Full announcements on costs and where to buy later.
In this video is a tiny part of the experiences and phenomena at England`s oldest church on the Essex marshes at Bradwell on Sea.
For updates on shoots with free `peek in` video, and photographs from location, please visit Chris on Facebook at facebook.com/Haunted.Earth.




Monday, 26 January 2015

NEWSPAPER HOAXES AND THE PARANORMAL

I was asked what my thoughts were on the press reporting different types of phenomena which appear to follow a theme.

As some of you know, I recently exposed the `black eyed ghost girl/child` ghost hoax which, if the press were to be believed, had almost reached plague proportions in sightings across the UK and elsewhere.

Add a few years before that, the `Shadow People` ghost phenomena, and now the `Slender Man`.
All of these stories collectively are just that, stories. Before I give a more fuller explanation, it`s better if I show by example how the media works.

The media is all about selling newspapers and news stories. It isn`t about telling the truth.

The `Vicious German Shepherd` Hoax
A long time back German Shepherd dogs (according to the media) were seemingly attacking people across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom. In fact, so many reports were shared by the media that people became genuinely frightened of seeing these dogs - even on a leash, and the inevitable backlash ended up with  thousands of this breed being put down by owners, or by the courts as `dangerous dogs`.

But, were they so dangerous?

No they weren`t, in fact there were more cases of small dogs attacking humans rather than German Shepherds or other large breed dogs. But the media were ignoring these reports, and instead only sharing dog attacks by German Shepherds - and all at a national level rather than in local news where these stories are often found. After a few weeks the media obviously became bored of the crazy German Shepherd phenomena, and the news reports died away.

It was all hype and sensationalist journalism.

The British Salt Hoax

On another note.  Years ago, Britain literally ran out of domestic  table salt. This was because of a deliberate media scare that salt supplies were running low (which wasn`t true).
The word soon got around, and everyone ran out to buy as much salt as they could before it disappeared.  The result?  Through panic buying, Britain did run out of table salt.

Everyone was hoarding it.

So, let`s return back to the media reports of different types of phenomena. Most of any newspaper campaigns are based around a source material. In the case of `unique ghostly beings`, they are largely based on urban legends, or simply ghost stories picked up from certain areas of the country.

The `Black Eyed Ghost Child` Hoax
 A classic case being that of the `black eyed ghost girl` from Staffordshire.  After the press pumped up alleged, `sightings`, the rest was left over to peoples imagination - which the media knew fully well was likely to happen, and especially on the advent of Halloween.
Very soon, she was being spotted in the South of England, and was reportedly `haunting` the London Underground!

Soon, further reports of her were spotted across the West Midlands. In fact, she was manifesting everywhere! And yet by the beginning of November, (after Halloween) she had completely disappeared.

Another hyped campaign had simply come to an end.

Before the popularity of the internet, these stories were largely confined to the countries of the reports origin.  But since the media now share their `news` across the web, phenomena campaigns run by the press have become global.

A recent example is that of the `Slender Man`.

Now `The Slender Man` Hoax
This phenomena has been reported across the internet world with many thousands of people believing it to be true.

The interesting fact is that the `Slender Man` was a fictional character created as an Internet meme  by Something Awful forums user Eric Knudsen (a.k.a. "Victor Surge") in 2009. It is depicted as resembling a thin, unnaturally tall man with a blank and usually featureless face, wearing a black suit. Stories of the Slender Man commonly feature him stalking, abducting, or traumatising people, particularly children.

It has no base in the etymology of any language or culture, and is pure fiction.

But regardless, no sooner than the name was known, people started to report seeing this creature.
It`s present popularity however is more due to online horror magazines than mainstream news, but as can be seen (left), the very same `news report` of the `black eyed ghost girl` has now been regurgitated as the `Slender Man` - So the media are now obviously hoping to exploit another myth which attacks the credibility of paranormal research, and by definition debases those that believe in this phenomena.

The important fact to bear in mind with any of these `manifestation reports` is that there is not one shred of evidence that supports these sightings as being true. Many alleged images are poorly made fakes, or misconstrued imagery, and the rest is left over to human gullibility , and vivid imaginations. If proof be necessary, read this famous account of what was later proved to be a hoax, but regardless even to this day, people still believe to be true.

The Vicar of Wapping Hoax
In the 1970s, a magazine printed the story of a famous ghost that haunted the Wapping and Limehouse riverfront known as the `Phantom Vicar of Radcliffe Wharf`. He was supposed to have run a seaman’s mission in the 1770s, although respected by the local community for his good deeds , he did however have a nasty sideline of killing his guests for their money and throwing their bodies into the water.

In the original  article written by a Frank Smyth for the  Man, Myth and  Magic  magazine, there were quotes from people who claimed to have seen the ghost of the evil cleric along the desolate riverfront. According to Smyth, local people who worked on the river never went down to the wharf after it got dark.

After the article, other magazines and books often made reference to Phantom Vicar who haunted the river-front, It was even featured in a TV special.

However in 1975, Frank Smyth who was a staff writer on the magazine  confessed to the Sunday Times magazine that he had invented the story. His motive was that he was so fed up with stories about modern ghosts that he decided to invent a good old-fashioned ghost and the derelict wharves seemed a perfect location for the mythical old vicar.

The reaction to the original story was such, that it soon become accepted that there was a Phantom Vicar and even when Smyth tried to convince some old river workers that it was fantasy, they replied they had heard the story from their Grandfathers when they were boys.

Which perhaps proves that many of us enjoy  a good scary story even if we know it’s not true.

And so here ends my article, but with a worrying thought that so many of us are willing to believe rather than what we know to be true because of what a newspaper tells us.

I am 100% a believer in the paranormal, but only on what I know from personal experience or have shown to be true. Media induced `urban legends` are not, and never will be an acceptable source of creditable research.

Chris Halton








Thursday, 25 December 2014

A GHOSTLY VISIT AND PARANORMAL INVESTIGATION AT BACONSTHORPE CASTLE, NORFOLK



Here is our Christmas Special, a daytime historical visit to medieval Baconsthorpe Castle in North Norfolk followed by a night time investigation inside a 600 year old late medieval gatehouse.
This video is quite different to the usual style of presentation, and employs during the day some effects to fire the imagination of any visitor to this rather remote landscape.
The night investigation features some interesting paranormal activity which I am sure you will find interesting.
I do hope you will enjoy this presentation.



NOTE: The video is live at 9pm GMT Christmas night 25th December 2014.