Welcome to the very first Paranormal Q&A! In this new weekly series, I’ll be interviewing paranormal investigators, authors, and more to learn about their interests and experiences in the field. If you’re interested in being featured, contact me here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This week’s Paranormal Q&A features Paranormal Monkey, or @paranormalmonk, an independent paranormal investigator from England. Read on to learn about his ghost hunting experiences and his encounter with a real-life poltergeist.
Why are you interested in the paranormal?
The experience of having a poltergeist in my home at an early age definitely stirred my interest in all things paranormal. I can remember reading countless books on ghosts, poltergeists and haunted buildings from then on. It is an endlessly fascinating subject that continues to provide more questions than answers. On investigations, you tend to get very little activity. Odd noises mainly. However, every so often, something will happen that will just leave you standing there, with a great beaming smile on your face because you can’t easily debunk it. That’s when things become really interesting in my opinion.
Do you believe in ghosts?
I’ve never actually seen a ghost. That’s not to say they don’t exist. What I’m very more interested in is how or why certain people tend to see ghosts more than others. What are they experiencing? And is it they that are creating that ghost neurologically?
On your Twitter profile, you mention living with a poltergeist as a child. What was that like?
The poltergeist activity started at my home in 1983 and lasted for two months. At the time, my parents, who are both level-headed and skeptical in nature, were completely perplexed by it all. Even though I was only 8 at the time, I can still remember my parents being anxious, amused, and confused by the different occurrences. Things started on the first day we moved into the property, a 5-bedroom Victorian home that used to be a shop in days gone past.
My bedroom, despite the heating being on and South facing, was freezing cold. There was also an aroma in the room and an atmosphere whereby you tended to try and spend as little as time as possible in there. On that first night, my mum made me and my brothers sleep in the same room. Over the next few weeks, there would be a range of activity – the TV would change channels on its own, there would be sudden drops in temperature, and objects would disappear only to reappear in strange places like the top of wardrobes.
My two brothers were particularly young at the time, only 4 and 5 respectively. As such, they had a lot of toys that they would play with. My parents would pack them away in a toy box before going out, lock the house but find, once they had returned, that the toys would be strewn around the house again.
Objects would move across the mantelpiece above the fireplace and doors would shake and rattle despite all windows being closed. One particular event would occur on almost a regular basis. A wall between the hall and kitchen would bang loudly, as if somebody was beating it from the other side. My mum was at first frightened by this banging but after a while, became more and more frustrated with it. After all, she was concerned that the vibrations of the banging would knock off and break her collection of decorative plates which she used to display on the kitchen wall. On a number of occasions, she would swear at the poltergeist, telling it to stop. Which it would. Instantly.
In December 1983, the previous owner of the property was in the area and called into our home, interested to see what my parents had done with the property. They were a little embarrassed as they had been wallpapering rooms, knocking walls down etc,. but the lady was pleased and interested in their plans for the house. My parents took her for a walk round the house but decided against telling her about the poltergeist activity. Before she left, she turned round to my mum however and said, “You’ve been having some strange things happen here, haven’t you?”
My mum didn’t know what to say. “It’s alright,” she continued. “It’s Martin. He’s coming with me now. You’ll have no more trouble.” At that, she left the house. Martin was her husband who had died in a motorbike accident a few months before she decided to sell the house. After that, no more poltergeist activity occurred in the property and my bedroom became warmer.
Are you a member of a paranormal investigation team? If so, what was your most memorable experience?
I just recently left Phil Whyman’s Ghost Hunting Company where I worked as a team leader (Phil Whyman was an investigator on the British TV show Most Haunted). I had been with the team for the last year or so. In that time, I was lucky enough to visit a range of locations, including about nine visits to 30 East Drive in the town of Pontefract, Yorkshire, England. It will soon be known in the US as the ‘Black Monk House’ and is the location for the first episode of Nick Groff’s Paranormal Lockdown Halloween special later this year.
One of the most memorable experiences, however, was on a recent investigation at The Old Nick Theatre in Gainsborough, Lincolnshire. It had been a fairly quiet night with a few EVPs coming through and glass divination activity. Two of the male guests were trying their hand on a Ouija board in the main theatre area but with little response. They began to become more confrontational in their calling, i.e. “I don’t believe you’re real. I don’t believe you exist. Come on! Let’s hear you then. I want you to touch me. Walk round me. Come on. Throw something at me. This is rubbish. You’re not even real.”
At that, an object was thrown in the pitch black darkness, past the ear of one of the men (he heard it whoosh past him), hitting the other man square in the head before landing at my feet. The object had traveled from an area where no one was sitting and had flew a considerable distance with pinpoint accuracy. The object turned out to be a digital camera battery which didn’t belong to anyone there. I suppose the man asked for it though.
Do you use any equipment when/if searching for ghosts? What kind?
The equipment I take is fairly simple to be honest. I take a torch/flash light, note pad, digital camcorder, voice recorder, and MEL meter. I might occasionally take some photographs with a full-spectrum camera.
I also have an SB7 spirit box but tend not to use this as I feel the radio frequencies which it picks up lend itself to pareidolia rather than spirit communication. I’m also very skeptical of using other equipment such as any ‘ghost’ or ‘spirit box’ apps from mobile phones or the Ovilus.
Is there a haunted site/location that you find particularly intriguing?
I would say that 30 East Drive is perhaps the most intriguing. It’s not the most haunted location but it has gained a lot of publicity and notoriety over the years. I’ve not come across anything demonic, negative, or threatening on that property but what does tend to happen is that it gives paranormal groups or individuals subtle poltergeist phenomena that makes them want to find out more. For example, we were able to record deep knocking sounds from below the living room floor in response to questions during a group séance. Marbles have been heard by guests rolling along a chest of drawers, but after turning the lights on, we found no marbles present. On another occasion, we could hear whistling coming from different areas of the house and throughout the evening.
Is there a haunted site/location you’d really like to visit? If so, why?
This is such a difficult question as I have a long list. A very long list! The number one location would have to be The Tower of London with so much history and so much reported paranormal activity. Sadly, I don’t think they’ll be letting any investigator into that place soon. I shall have to say either the Edinburgh vaults or the Ram Inn. Both locations are supposedly highly active and I would like to investigate both places firsthand.
You can find Paranormal Monkey on Twitter @paranormalmonk.