I’ve been an extremely open-minded person ever since I was little. My mind has always been about that sense of hope and possibility – I guess I’m a bit of a fairy like that. I grew up wanting to believe witches and vampires were real – I wanted to be a Ghostbuster, a Lost Boy or one of the Goonies. I’ve always believed to some degree, but I’ve been on a journey during the last ten years that has provided me with so many different experiences, and I’ve come to realise that there are many different ways in which spirits present themselves to us. It doesn’t always have to be an apparition or a Ouija board message.
I’ve always been interested in the paranormal, witchcraft, aliens… anything and everything to do with the supernatural. I’m a paranormal investigator at heart, and that involves a lot of things, including running my own paranormal events company. It started when I went on a ghost hunt with my partner ten years ago and we were instantly hooked. I was scared, but I immediately wanted to know more. Very soon after that we started working for a paranormal events company, before eventually starting our own around six years ago.
One evening at an underground bunker, my partner and I were working in different areas of the location when I saw him come into the room. I called his name but he just ignored me. I was with a few other people, and we all saw him start walking towards us, but it was dark so I couldn’t see him clearly. Then I realised it wasn’t my partner at all, but a shadowy black figure which then walked straight through a wall. We all screamed and ran away, and were too scared to go back. Since then, we’ve had that exact experience happen in the same location on four separate occasions. We’ve even caught it on camera where you see it walking away across the room. That was our Holy Grail.
On a normal weekend we have around thirty to fifty guests, and we’ll split into small groups to investigate different areas within the location. We have traditional elements, like Ouija boards, table-tipping glasses, divination, planchettes, trigger objects, and then we have the more scientific equipment approach. This involves things like detecting white noise, EMF meters and Rem Pods, which are really cool. There are a lot of elements, and we try and incorporate everything so that there’s something for everyone, from the skeptic to the full-believer.
The technological aspect of paranormal investigation has changed so much over the last ten years, but I love the traditional elements – that feeling of a glass moving across a Ouija board when you know you’re not the one moving it is just fantastic. However, you always need to be prepared to debunk things, and the tech side has helped with that massively. There are so many new pieces of kit and equipment being made.
Another big change has come with people’s expectations – some people turn up thinking they’re going to have a five-hour conversation with Henry VIII. There are a lot more paranormal events companies out there now, which is great because we’re all doing what we love, but it’s raised the standard for everyone. Sometimes you go out for the night and nothing happens, and I’d much rather that be the case, and they go home knowing it was a genuine experience, rather than them thinking we were faking it. And even when that is the case, people still have fun. We like to think of ourselves as the Carry On version of the ghost world. I guess you can’t please everyone, can you? All you can do is try.
Ouija boards are like Facebook for the dead – you might think you’re talking to an eighteen-year-old blonde girl, when it’s actually some sixty-year-old bloke
Predominantly it’s women who do all the booking, and they then drag their boyfriends along. Boys tend not to be into it initially, but we need that balance to keep it real. Not everything we experience is paranormal – we have to make sure that we keep our scientific heads on, and try and debunk things. Sometimes a creaky floorboard is just a creaky floorboard.
The most memorable moments come when you get personal messages from people’s loved ones. You ask questions and get answers that there’s no way anyone else would know. To me, that’s such definitive proof, and makes you realise that it’s not all scary – some of it is really beautiful. It’s one of the most priceless experiences you can have in this life.
There are so many theories about the paranormal, that’s what makes it such a fascinating subject, and is why we do what we do. We want to know more. Do we pass on? Do we stay around for a while? Do we evolve to another level of spiritual being? That’s why we keep investigating, because hopefully one day we’ll find out.
The only element of the job that I don’t like is the tiredness. I permanently feel like the Cryptkeeper, I’m just exhausted all of the time. I genuinely think it’s how I’m going to die. I work Monday to Friday, and get up at 6am, but I don’t usually go to bed until about 1am because there’s so much to do. Then at the weekend when we have an event I won’t go to bed until 5am. In the space of a week you’re losing a full night of sleep along the way, so it’s really worth it once you see how much people enjoy themselves, even if it does hit you like a ton of bricks the next day.
I’m really fascinated by the darker sides of the paranormal, even the religious elements, like exorcisms and possessions. I’ve done more Ouija séances than I can remember – at one point I had a personal collection of over fifty boards, I kept them upstairs with all my haunted dolls. Some people are reluctant to get involved with them because of the potential dangers, but at the end of the day a Ouija board is a bit of wood with letters on it. The only danger comes from the people using them, because they ask stupid questions thinking they’re talking to their grandma or whoever. But if you just happen to have a spirit there with you and feel that glass move, you might find that spirit thinking, ‘All right, I’ll pretend to be your grandma for the next twenty minutes.’ Ouija boards are like Facebook for the dead – you might think you’re talking to an eighteen-year-old blonde girl, when it’s actually some sixty-year-old bloke. It’s like I always say: how you are in life is how you are in death.