Most Haunted City in Europe: Ten Years On

Originally posted: 15/04/2012

It’s probably fair to say that interest in the paranormal hasn’t waned in York. It’s been ten years since we were declared the most haunted city in the world (not Europe, we already had that accolade) by Jason Karl of the Ghost Research Foundation International, and two years since the Reverend Lionel Fanthorpe’s Fringe Weird Report put Yorkshire top of reported hauntings in the UK for that year. It will also be the ninth York Ghost Festival later in the year.

This year will also see the launch of our first WraithWatch, a revival of an old English ghost hunting tradition. On St Mark’s Eve (April 24) it used to be traditional to watch graveyards from 11pm to 1am the following morning, waiting to see the ‘wraiths’ of everybody in that parish who was due to die in the following year. The earlier in that two hour slot they appeared, the sooner their death would be. If you fell asleep during the vigil, it would be a sign that you too were amongst those destined to die before the next St Mark’s Eve.

For some reason St Mary’s Church in Scarborough has been singled out on some websites as the site of this phenomena, however the tradition was originally for all churches in England.

So dare you become part of our WraithWatch?

If you do take part, remember to respect your surroundings (no trespassing etc!), and report back your findings – even if nothing happened, as this is still a valid result. A photo of your chosen watch would also be good. If it takes off I’ll build a website for the event and include any exciting photos that are submitted.

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

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The Real Exorcist

Originally posted: 2011

Remember the fuss seven years ago about the televised exorcism on Channel 4, overshadowing the far more interesting programme on the same subject on BBC2?

It wasn’t, as claimed, the first televised exorcism. In the same year that the film The Exorcist came out, the BBC showed the Penhill Exorcism.

No spinning heads. And no peas – more of a peace.

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

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York Ghost Festival 2011

Originally posted: October 2011

We’re off!

Eighth York Ghost Festival, second Yorkshire GhostFest, both now underway.

I’m not doing my own investigation this year, instead I will be at Haunted, for their night of seances. Booking advisable, but you can just turn up: if you do, see you there!

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

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Don’t Let The Sun Dazzle Your Eyes

Originally posted: October 2011

The Sun have posted a photo and video online of an alleged alien in the Brazilian rainforest.

Oh come ON!

If you have the technology to travel through space, are you likely to pop up behind a school group and let yourself be caught unawares on camera?

Given that it is the same colour as the trees, is it, just possibly, an optical illusion? Is there a new film due out soon about aliens in need of some major publicity by any chance?

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

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In the eye of the beholder…

Originally posted: 2011

I thought I’d share this link from ASSAP, which really struck a chord.

When we (humans, I am assuming here all my readers are living breathing humans) see images where it isn’t immediately obvious what they are, we try to make order out of chaos.

We automatically look for something human first, be it just a face or a full body.

James, our science bod, has been telling us this for years.

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

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A Trick of the Light?

Originally posted: 2008

Interesting image taken at the Edward Jenner Museum in Berkeley, Gloucestershire. It could very well be a trick of the light, its hard to tell without having a still image to blow up (screen shots aren’t quite the same). Which is a shame, because I’m not altogether sure on this one… it may well be something far more interesting.

I’ve not worked with 360 degree photos to know how they effect the image, I’ve only seen final versions, but as the trousers appeared to be the same colour as the wall in the room where the photo was being taken, it did look like its some sort of colour smudging. As it was the best I could do I had a screenshot of it analysed by a computer expert who showed that the RGB colour of the wall and the ‘ghost’ clothing were exactly the same. Worth noting for the future because if it has happened once, this sort of ‘ghost image’ could well happen again.

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

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October 12

Originally posted: 13/10/2011 as part of The Fleece Files

Another ‘doppleganger’ moment.

I popped in to the Golden Fleece first thing, and was sat talking with Steph, various workman currently there, and the other staff. Steph came back from the front bar and stopped in her tracks when she saw manager Guy behind the bar – having just seen him behind the bar at the front of the building. We could all assure her he’d been where we could see him all along, and nobody else had been at the front whom she could have mistaken for Guy.

Strange times in the Fleece again…

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

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More Things Going Bump In The Night: Haunted Live & Extreme

Originally posted: 28/08/2011

I was privileged to be at the taster night for Haunted’s new Live & Extreme, which is running over the August Bank Holiday weekend. Here’s hoping its successful enough to be repeated at other times, I certainly enjoyed myself going round this after hours, adults only show provided by GNG Entertainments.

Introduced to the venue at 35 Stonegate were flashing lights, audio, re-arranged rooms, body parts and actors, as the evening event turns the normally peaceful house in to a scare attraction.

I’d love to tell you more about it but that’s not playing fair: these things only work if you don’t know what’s coming next! I will at least say that my old bête noire, the Mask Room, was the best of the rooms – or worst, however you want to look at it. I crossed it with one of the Eye of Newt staff clinging on to me as she was too scared to even move, it took a few deep breaths before even I unpeeled myself from the wall to cross the floor to the next room!

Fanastic follow up at the Golden Fleece in the newly-named The Hangman’s Chambers (the function room), where we were treated to champagne fresh from the coffin, a show by Sweeney Todd (Pete from York Horror Tour), ‘intestines’ and ‘hands’ to nibble on (the hands were rather good!), and the pièce de résistance, a cake in the shape of a model graveyard complete with chocolate coffins which you had to dig through the cake to find. My daughter found one of them, I settled for eating a few tombstones, rocks and some fruity and fizzy bones. An evening for adults, that brought out the child in some of us!

Catch the show whilst you can, or hope it comes back again soon? Grab your tickets via the link on this blog for Monday or risk missing out.

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

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August 8

Originally posted: 09/08/2011 as part of The Fleece Files

At the end of the night, the last people in the back bar of the Golden Fleece were Steph (landlady), Caroline (bar staff), myself and two accountants enjoying the real ale and listening to our ghost stories.

Steph went to shut the till down, and as she turned away, there was a loud ping as it shot back open again. Its never done that before, so she shut it again and as she turned away, yes, it pinged back open again. People laughed and Arkwright’s till in Open All Hours was mentioned, so Steph tried to close it again.

For a third time, it pinged open as she turned away. After requests from several people to let the till stay shut, it eventually did – on the eighth attempt. If this becomes a regular thing, I suspect its a fault in the till. We shall see…

Mondays and Friday do seem to be the key days for strange things happening.

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

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July 15

Originally posted: 18/07/2011 as part of The Fleece Files

Another Friday, another strange happening…

End of the night, and I’m sat in the back bar with Steph (the landlady), the other staff that are still in the building, my daughter and a new friend who had just popped down from the psychic night at the Black Swan Inn (by co-incidence we’d never met her before, but just got chatting to find that I have worked with her husband for the last five months and we all hit it off).

The front bar was the first to have shut, the shutter being locked down, and the doors locked shut. We’re just finishing off in the back bar and we hear the bell in the front bar chiming very loudly, so myself, Guy (barman) and Steph all run to the front to see what’s happening – forgetting the keys. Seeing that it is all still looked up, Guy runs back for the keys, on his return he opens the doors to find the bell lying in the middle of the floor behind the bar.

The noise we heard wasn’t the bell falling and hitting things on the way, it rang out clearly several times before it fell, as if it had been rung so hard it was wrenched off the wall. Thinking back, it hadn’t fallen until Guy and myself were already half way up the corridor running to see why it was ringing. It had been on the wall in a corner, high enough above the bar that you could only just reach it to ring it. With the front bar locked up, there was no way anybody could have reached it, and besides, the bar was completely empty.

Falling off because the fixings had worked their way loose is one thing, but how come it was ringing for so long before it fell?

Ah well, its nice to know that the last two times I saw/heard something in the Golden Fleece, my first reaction was to run towards it. The sign of a seasoned investigator!

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

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