Wednesday, 2 May 2012

FAMOUS `SOCIAL HOUSING` STORIES ABOUT GHOSTS

Here is an interesting piece from an `in house` public housing sector website
24dash.com

Genuine paranormal activity or risible attempts to get a bigger house? You be the judge as we reveal eight ‘facts’ about famous social housing ghosts. As always we want you to work out which is the hoax.

1. The Enfield Poltergeist


One of the UK’s best known cases of poltergeist activity took place during the 1970s at a council house in Enfield, north London. During this time, the property in Green Street was being rented by Peggy Hudson, a single parent with four children, who were subjected to a terrifying catalogue of incidents including flying furniture and toys, ghostly knockings on the walls, cold breezes, pools of water on the floor, physical assaults, graffiti and fires spontaneously igniting. Reports of the activity attracted huge interest from the press with one photographer even being hit on the forehead by a Lego brick. The poltergeist claim was given further credibility by a police officer who signed an affidavit to say that she saw a chair move while the Daily Mirror called for a formal investigation by the Society for Psychical Research (SPR). During the 13-month investigation, Maurice Grosse and Guy Lyon Playfair became convinced that the house was haunted but believed one of Mrs Hudson’s daughters, Janet, may have been behind some of the activity. Janet later admitted a number of the occurrences, but by no means all, had been fabricated. The case still attracts interest and is currently being turned into a film, due for release later this year.

2. Humphrey the trapeze artist

A star of this magazine’s Development of the Month slot, the Theatre Royal in Chatham has recently undergone a major transformation courtesy of Heart of Medway Housing Association after lying empty for nearly 50 years. In its heyday the once glamorous 3,000-seat auditorium attracted major stars including Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel and Gracie Fields as well as its fair share of ghosts – who re-appeared during the re-development process. Workers on site reported witnessing several ghosts including a woman on a second floor balcony wearing a long red dress and the spectral figure of a man. The theatre’s best known spirit, however, is Humphrey the trapeze artist. Legend has it that he fell during a performance watched by royalty and was so humiliated he committed suicide. His ghost was subsequently encountered in the theatre’s dress circle.

3. Ghostly happenings at Number 59

During the early months of 1955, a council house in the Yorkshire village of Sowerby became the centre of media attention when the occupiers – Doreen Georgeson and her Polish husband Bogden Tarandziej - reported a number of ghostly goings on. The family, who had lived in the property for three years, became so terrified by the paranormal activity they were forced to leave. Incidents included banging noises from the back bedroom, the living room becoming icy cold even though the fire was ablaze and ‘rushing noises’ at night. What gave the claims more credibility was the fact their neighbours also reported strange events from the house – even after the family had moved out. After remaining vacant for some years, Number 59 was eventually demolished by the council.

4. Psychic paid to evict council house ghost


In 2008, Easington Council was forced to defend its decision to pay a medium to rid a house in Peterlee of its poltergeist. Psychic Suzanne Hadwin was called in after tenant Sabrina Fallon threatened to leave and make her family – including two young children – homeless. The council acted after Miss Fallon contacted police to report ‘banging in the loft’, items flying across rooms and doors being slammed. The council said paying the medium £60 was cheaper than placing the family in emergency housing. Hadwin claimed the poltergeist activity was linked to the murder of a woman in the house years earlier but had ceased after she visited the property with her Russian spirit guide and some angels.

5. Ghost of sobbing child forces family to flee


Carlisle Housing Association tenant Allison Marshall was forced to flee in the middle of the night back in 2007 after a spate of distressing incidents at her home culminated in the sound of sobbing coming from a child that couldn’t be found. Other strange activity included the image of a skull appearing in a picture frame on display in a glass cabinet. The housing association eventually called in a priest to ‘cleanse’ the house and allay the family’s fears.


 6. A ghost in every room


In 1988, a council house in Northumberland considered to be one of the most haunted properties in the country was sold under Right to Buy for just £12. The tenant-turned-owner of the two-bed house, Brian Royston, had lived in the house for more than 20 years and become ‘good friends’ with a number of ghosts including a boy called Sam, a woman called Mandy and a dog called Digger. It later turned out that the ghosts were in fact family members and the house was not haunted at all. It did, however, help to get £30,000 knocked off the price of property.

7. Whitefriars poltergeist caught on camera


While the sceptics among you may question the veracity of some of what’s gone before, what happened to a family living in Coventry little more than a year ago is beyond all doubt – because it was caught on camera. Lisa Manning and her children Ellie and Jaydon spent months living with a poltergeist until one day, in a dramatic twist, they managed to film it using hidden cameras placed in an upstairs bedroom. The shocking footage, which attracted national media attention, shows a wardrobe door opening before a pink chair is seen slowly moving along the floor – even though the room is completely empty. The fact a piece of string can be seen pulling the chair is irrelevant.

8. Poltergeist blamed for all-night parties


A woman evicted from her home by Hull City Council for throwing wild all-night parties claimed a poltergeist was responsible. Leanne Fennell was evicted for ignoring a noise abatement order after repeated complaints from neighbours about her behaviour. Loud music was regularly heard coming from the house in the early hours of the morning and beer cans and wine bottles were found strewn across gardens. Fennell said the activity was carried out by a poltergeist who got up to mischief while she was in bed.

(Scroll down for the answer)



ANSWER: Number six is the hoax. Of course Brian Royston didn’t get away with such blatant social housing fraud. In an interesting twist, however, Brian himself now haunts the property following his death two years ago.

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