Its Not All Done With Smoke & Mirrors

Originally posted: 25/10/2009

Saturday night (October 24) saw the opener for York Ghost Festival: ‘Orribly Original 2009, as we (Paranormal & Spectral Investigations) teamed up with Hull Paranormal Ghost Society (HPGS) for a night in which we planned to have one person in each room of Haunted, the reputedly haunted house at 35 Stonegate, York.

During the lone vigils, other than the creaks and groans of the building settling, nothing much was heard or seen, except the occasional sound of a chair being scrapped across a floor even though there was nobody moving about.

Feet were seen in the light under doors outside dark rooms as if somebody was pacing back and forth… when nobody was moving about. Doors opening and shutting with accompanying bangs and creaks where heard by everybody during the night… when nobody was moving about.

And in one room, an investigator from the Hull group saw a man appear, reflected around her in the mirrored walls and ceiling!

I faced up to my own personal demons when I sat alone in the Mask Room, a wood panelled room which I took a strong dislike to some years before. At the time I had crossed what is now the Mirror Room and in to the Mask Room at some speed, looking for a member of staff at the end of the day to relay an urgent message to, when it felt like something chased me across the room, starting off in the Mirror Room. By the time I was leaving the Mask Room and heading in to the Hallway it felt like it was right behind me. Until then I could have written it off as panic, until I felt its breath on the back of my neck and heard a low growl in my ear…

However, after an hour alone in there all I felt was the effects of spending too long sat on a very uncomfortable wooden bench!

I do wonder how many people watched us on Haunted’s webcams on their webpage, and wondered what on earth I was doing just sitting there. Nothing exciting happened in my room, so after a quick comfort break we switched rooms.

The Dining Room, where a number of visitors during the day had seen an old woman in black, proved to be only slightly more interesting as my second choice of room. Whilst in there, i heard somebody talking in the next room over, the Mirror Room, and thought they must be having a much more interesting night than I was.

Little did I know that Sara from HPGS, who bravely went in to a room she hated and sat in the pitch darkness, had just had a very unpleasant figure appear before her. Sara was a star: after a break to get over the shock, it must have taken her some guts to go back through the room to take part in the finale, a vigil involving both teams in the Seance Room, but she did it.

What a pity anybody watching on the webcams couldn’t see our reaction when we heard the doors opening and closing, our first thought was that somehow somebody had broken in to the building. We sped off to investigate and found nothing. I would be interested to hear from anybody who was watching on webcam and saw several of us moving through the rooms quickly as to whether they’d seen doors opening and closing shortly before they saw us. With one exception each time it happened we were in our break room which isn’t on webcam, the only other time we heard it we were in the Seance Room at the end of the night but the noise came from downstairs (the Seance Room is at the top of the building).

Both PSI and HPGS will be helping out at Haunted’s attempt to set a new record for the World’s Biggest Ghost Vigil, which will be taking place on Hallowe’en on the Eye of York (next to Clifford’s Tower). At 7.30pm events will start including ghost stories, psychic readings, dowsing, remote viewing and live video links to investigations at other haunted locations in York. The attempt at breaking the record will be at 9.30pm. Its free to come along, although donations to charity (York Stables Educational Project) are welcome.

Afterwards, there will be séances and a paranormal investigations at Haunted as the teams from PSI and Hull Paranormal Ghost Society will be conducting a short series of séances, followed by an overnight investigation. Séances will be on a first come, first served basis between 10.30pm and midnight, the overnight investigation is ticket only, and will cost £20 a head.

Remember: keep your equipment dry, and your coffee strong.
Rachel Lacy
Ghost Finder General

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