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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July 8

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

Firstly, a missing post from June, circa 19 (that was the date I was told this but it had happened a few days earlier).

Two of the staff had walked up to the back of the building, before opening hours, to find a pane of glass smashed in one of the shrubs below the back windows, and on the decking. Nothing too weird about that, except nobody can find where it came from – there are none missing from the building. So we’re looking at one of two explanations here: somebody climbed an eight foot wall or gate to deliberately smash a pane of glass on our terrace for no reason over night, or it appeared from nowhere/dropped out of the sky. Third explanations welcome as neither of them appeal to me.

There are times when, as a paranormal investigator, you can have such a thing as a crisis of faith. I know its not just me from talking to other people, and it does worry me. The people I know who have been doing investigations for years tend to remain strong in their belief of ghosts/spirits/etc (usually mediums/psychics), or as time goes on they believe less and less (parapsychs etc). Falling in with the latter category as a paranormal historian, it depresses me. I’ve known a few investigations in recent years where that gut feeling that something could happen, and how much I want it to happen, has been lacking, and it takes the fun out of it.

An investigation a few months back at the Old Lodge, Malton on behalf of Spiritual Universe events was the first time in a long while I felt that buzz again. Working in the Golden Fleece has been a bit hit and miss: I don’t get that buzz even when I’m wandering about the building alone, but I am sufficiently intrigued by the strange happenings to have started this blog.

Which brings us to July 8.

I’m stood in the back bar, looking up the corridor towards the front of the building, about 10am. The only other people in the building at this point is the acting manager, who is ‘somewhere’ in the building (i.e. I know he’s on site but not where), some workmen in one of the top rooms, and four guests (two couples).

I see him come out of the door to The Meadery (the function room, as you leave the back bar heading to the front its the first door on the right), and head up to the front bar quite swiftly. I turn back to what I am doing, hear a noise, and turn round to see him behind the back bar. There’s no way he could have moved fast enough to have been in both places at the times I saw him, so I go for the logical conclusion: a member of the public has wandered in, and must be apprehended. I did first ask where he had been, and he said the back cellar, as I reach my conclusion I say “then who just walked up that corridor?”

The staircase to The Meadery is off limits to the public unless the room is open for an event, so there shouldn’t have been guests up there. The workmen are at the front of the building (guest bedroom staircase, not The Meadery staircase) and all in hi-vis vests over the work clothes, so I’ve run out of options.

I run up the corridor, followed by the acting manager, and nobody is going to be surprised when I say “and there was nobody there…” Of course not. This is about ghosts, so here we have one.

Now lets look logically at this. From where I was, they could only gone up the front staircase as they weren’t in the front bar, the front door was locked, and they weren’t in the toilets. I knew what all the guests looked like, and it wasn’t one of them. I know what all of the workmen looked like, and hi-vis vests apart, it wasn’t one of them. Thinking back, nor was it the acting manager: they both had mid-blue jeans on, and a dark blue t-shirt with white piping, but the style wasn’t identical. Also, the figure I saw was that little bit shorter, little bit smaller frame, and had short hair (as opposed to an almost shaved head). So who – or what – did I see?

Crisis of faith averted? Possibly so. What worries me now is the amount of times figures in modern clothing are being seen in the Golden Fleece, especially ones resembling current members of staff. As mentioned in my first blog, the staff corridors are a bit of a rabbit warren, and chef Anna has frequently heard her name called, even glimpsing through a door who called her, but never quite catching up with them. On one occasion, she even phoned the member of staff she could hear calling her on the ground floor, to find that said member of staff was in the top guest room making up the bed. Who – or maybe that should be what – are we seeing?

My new seance nights start on Tuesday, July 19 – join us if you want to know more about this, skeptics welcome!

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

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