Page 60 - BWS 72 WEB
P. 60

 ‘ the public to join them in spending the night at supposed haunted locations.
Ghouls just wanna have fun, as they say, so in the name of investigative journalism, I agreed to join Ghost Hunt UK at Rougham itself, where the former control tower has a number of spooks hidden in, ahem, plane sight. It stands to reason that the airbase should be haunted, with so many young men cut off in their prime during the Second World War. Writer Alan Murdie details sightings of spectral pilots, phantom engine noises and faint snatches of radio transmissions in his 2006 book Haunted Bury St Edmunds.
Before we embarked on our fright night I asked the group’s founder, Joanne Hunt, why she chose such an unusual pastime. “I have been interested in the paranormal since I saw my late grandad at a young age. I wanted to know more and took part in my first paranormal investigation at Kelvedon Hatch Secret Nuclear Bunker in Essex with some friends over 15 years ago. I was hooked, met people with similar interests, and it went from there. I wanted to explore the science behind it.”
Does she believe the dead walk among us or are there down-to-earth reasons for so-called manifestations? “I have seen many things, but I still try to debunk them. There can be rational explanations, such as when your eyes adapt to the dark they see things that maybe aren’t there. The power of suggestion can be a powerful thing, too. It has been said that a strong electrical current in a room can cause your mind to play tricks. You must
determine what’s factual and what is a trick of the mind. Science has proven that we all have an energy which is the soul of a person. When we pass, where does that energy go? Is there a reason for the spirit of that soul to stay? I will leave you with that thought.”
Joanne went on to describe Ghost Hunt UK’s scariest encounter. “It was at a Georgian house called Strelley Hall in Nottinghamshire, which was originally built as a castle in the 1200s. Four team members and six of our guests went down into a network of cellars under the basement,” she says. “One of the guests
threw a pencil and asked for it to be thrown back. Within 10 seconds we heard footsteps coming toward us, then we heard a growl followed by the pencil being tossed. Everybody left very quickly and the door slammed shut behind us. No one could explain what had happened.”
It is undeniable that ghosts hold a fascination for people of all ages and backgrounds and a quick glance at Joanne’s team proves this. “There is a good balance,” she agrees. “Some are full believers, some are sceptics and others sit on the fence. It enables us to examine things from all angles.” She believes most
people will experience paranormal activity in their lives. “Some choose to explore it while others shut it down through fear of the unknown.”
Ghost Hunt UK have been asked to rid Suffolk homes of unwanted visitors. “We do get requests from time to time and are more than happy to investigate. The spirits we’ve come across are not usually harmful, just ones that want attention and acknowledgment.”
They chose Rougham as a base after reading about strange goings-on and believe the resident ghosts actually recognise them now. To date, there have been reports of disembodied voices, sharp temperature drops, an unexplained shadow and the presence of a spirit who may be a ladies’ man as he gravitates towards female members and guests.
So dear readers, are you all a quiver (or should that be shiver?) to learn if I saw or heard anything out of the ordinary? Well, I did have a distinct feeling of being watched by unseen eyes. Maybe it was just the Ghost Hunt UK guide checking that I did not trip over her expensive detection equipment in the dark, or could it have been something altogether more sinister? Be afraid, be very afraid.
n If anyone is interested in a spooktacular night out, Ghost Hunt UK can be contacted through their website: ghosthuntuk.co.uk
You can also follow them on Twitter @ghosthuntuk1 or via facebook.com/ghosthuntuk.co.uk. They have three October Rougham Control Tower events on 24, 30 and Halloween itself.
  Bury’s macabre history
Bury St Edmunds is a charming town for a daytime guided tour, but as the darker evenings arrive so does the opportunity to explore the town’s ghostly and macabre side. Appropriately launching this season’s tours on Halloween Eve (October 30), the town’s guides have had to make some Covid-19 forced changes this year but promise the usual entertainment. Small groups will still retain the special atmosphere people experience on these tours, and guides get into character. Dressed all in black with a Lincoln hat, Mike Dean, one of the founder
guides is a casual nod to the notorious and local 17th century Witchfinder General, Mathew Hopkins. “Although these tours reference a few of the darker periods of our local history, the underlying theme is fun.” Or your tour might be led by the Grey Lady, the only female spirit in the team of guides. Her alter-ego Lynn Whitehead is fascinated by the Stone Tape theory - could this be what made Room 63 of the now gone Suffolk Hotel so chilly? Information about the tours, dates, how to book and pay can be found at www.burystedmundstourguides.org - but book early.
Ghost Hunt UK founder, Joanne Hunt, says she has always wanted to explore the science behind the paranormal
 60
















































































   58   59   60   61   62