My First Ghost Hunt: Ordsall Hall, Salford, 25th November 2006

My very first overnight ghost hunt! I arrived at the site very excited and a little nervous, not least because I didn’t know anyone else there. I soon felt at ease with North West Spirit Seekers and was chatting with a couple of other first-time ghost hunters over a cup of hot coffee in the base room. We were all very impressed with the beauty of the Tudor building and couldn’t wait to explore.

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Our investigation began in the kitchen. This is laid out in the medieval style, as it would have been back in the day. There is a huge fireplace with large pots and cauldrons, a tiled floor, and an enormous scrubbed table in the centre. Looking around you could almost smell the smoke from the fire and see the kitchen maids and cooks rolling pastry and carving meat to serve to the Lords and Ladies. Our group sensed movement in the inner chamber leading from the large room and we noticed that the herb rack hanging from the ceiling was swinging even though there was no breeze. Once we sat in a circle on the floor the rack became still as though someone was waiting for us to say something… The Medium could see a man and two children in the room with us but they seemed reluctant to communicate.

We then moved into the Tudor Room. Here we used glass divination and spoke to a man who claimed to be Sir John Radcliffe, his daughter Elizabeth and a maid named Jane. Sir John told us he died in battle at Crecy, his children died of illness when they were nine (Elizabeth) and eleven (his son). He told us that his wife committed suicide while consumed with grief and depression. The maid, Jane, knew the children as she was a carer during their lives and she appeared to be a kind, friendly woman. Sir John would only answer our questions when we addressed him correctly which we found quite amusing! Elizabeth seemed quite playful and jolly. Two members of our group had sensations of their hair being pulled and movement around them, which was very interesting. We also sensed a terrier running around us, possibly a former playmate for the children. Generally the atmosphere was happy and welcoming, a nice family home environment.

Next was the Great Hall where there was a boy hiding behind the suit of armour near the large fireplace. He was afraid of a man in the house. He made contact with us via the glass but only for five minutes and he was very weak because of his fear. There was a spotlight on one wall, which flashed on and off, but we couldn’t get any information from the boy. He soon disappeared.

Our next room was the Star Chamber, which is a beautiful medieval bedroom with an original four-poster bed in the middle. It was named because of the lead stars set into the ceiling, which are very impressive to look at. We all sat on the floor, and suddenly we started giggling uncontrollably, almost like group hysteria! It wasn’t something I have experienced before but was quite funny! Then the atmosphere changed and became oppressive. We sensed an intimidating presence. The Medium told us it was a man near one of the doors and he was purposefully upsetting the women because we weren’t supposed to be in there. We found ourselves moving closer together so we were almost sitting on each other before our nerves failed and we all scarpered!

We retreated upstairs into the Main Chamber. I liked the atmosphere here even less and everyone else agreed with me. Two people in our group felt physically sick and the Medium heard a man telling us to ‘f**k off’. He was a very grumpy man who did not like intruders in his house. A few braver people in our group attempted table tipping but I didn’t want to take part, as I was afraid of what would happen. I really did not feel comfortable in this part of the house.

I decided to return to the Star Chamber but positioned myself away from the door where we had sensed the nasty man before. I had my jacket zipped close around my neck and kept my back to the wall but I was determined to stick it out to the end! The Medium sensed a Lady Margaret trying to show herself in the darkened room and throughout the next hour we saw tiny twinkling lights around the room, shadows as it grew lighter and darker (even though the heavy curtains were drawn completely across the window) and we felt fluctuations in the temperature. At one point we sensed a hooded figure in front of us and I saw someone stood by the fireplace, possibly a man but all I could see was a silhouette. The terrier and the children from earlier came in and out at intervals and lightened the mood.

I left Ordsall Hall with a promise to myself that I would return one day (still waiting!) and the knowledge that ghost hunting is what I was born to do. It really is a beautiful and active building and I am really happy that its history still lives on even after so many centuries have passed.

*Ordsall Hall image courtesy of BBC News Manchester 

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Love an Author Leave a Review

Originally posted on Official Site of Alex Laybourne - Author:

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I know that this is a drum much beaten, but there really is no better way of showing your support for an author than by leaving a review.

ReviewAs the indie writing culture continues to develop, and strengthen its place in the writing structure (and in the term Indie I include self published writers, for the sake of not having to write it individually every time), the importance of effective advertising is becoming even more evident.

A lot of writers, myself included, do not have a big budget to operate on. Personally speaking, I don’t even have the disposable income to run a $5 Facebook promotion without seriously having to rebudget the family groceries for the week ahead.

Using Facebook groups and blogs is good. Social Media is a growing beast and has a reach that offers more than enough potential readers to justify the free postings and link shouts…

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What Does a Ghost Hunter Do? #paranormalinvestigation

Have you ever watched an episode of the popular TV show Most Haunted, or Ghost Adventures, and wondered just how accurate and true to life the events really are? Well, I am here to tell you the truth. I am a ghost hunter. It is not glamorous, but it is one of the most exciting things I have ever done, and now I am eager to return to the hunts, after taking a break for a few years to have children.

I have decided to share with you some of my Ghost Hunter Diaries in the run up to Halloween. I will share reports of the first 3 hunts I ever did, and also the report of my treasured Halloween ghost hunt back in 2009. But perhaps first of all I should explain how it all works. What do I mean when I talk about ‘using the glass’ or ‘tipping the table?’

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Glass divination simply involves an upturned glass, a sturdy table, and a small group of people. Four people is usually enough. You each place the tip of one index finger on the edge of the glass. You do not exert any pressure, you focus your collective psychic energy using deep breathing exercises and meditation, and then you ask questions. If there is a spirit presence in the room, they may use the collective group energy and push the glass around the table. You can then ask questions, and everything will follow naturally. It is a similar process for table tipping. This time each person will lightly touch the edge of the table with their finger tips, but they can use both hands. The spirit will use their energy to move the table, tipping it in response to questions.

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I used to watch Most Haunted and I believed everything I saw. I couldn’t help it, I was sucked in by the action and drama on the screen before me. Now I can’t watch the show, because it literally makes me cringe. I mean, yes, it is very entertaining, and I believe parts of the stories must be true. But now that I have experienced séances, attended ghost hunts, and seen for myself just what happens, I know the difference between real and faked. I do not believe in antagonising spirits and ghosts by calling them out and being aggressive. I prefer to be polite, courteous, and respectful. All of the ghost hunts I attended were supervised and led by experienced mediums and paranormal investigators, and my own abilities grew over time as I also became more experienced and confident.

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Ghosts do exist. I am certain of that fact. I believe the experiences I have shared with fellow ghost hunters. I have seen a white mist apparition. I have been on the receiving end of glass divination, table tipping, and other paranormal investigation tools (including the Ouija board). And now I will show you some of the results of these experiments. During the coming days in the approach to Halloween I will share some of my early ghost hunting experiences. I hope you enjoy reading them, and please do feel free to ask questions.

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Catherine Green the Ghost Hunter

I have always had a fascination with the world of the supernatural and paranormal. It began as a child when I discovered books of ghost stories and tales of witches, vampires and werewolves. I would watch TV shows and documentaries about reported sightings of ghosts and other phenomena, and I was hooked. This stayed with me into adulthood as I became an author, but before I reached that point, I found another way to satisfy my curiosity about the unexplained world. I became a ghost hunter.

Although I had never displayed any obvious signs of mediumship, I did have strange experiences from time to time, and I would feel disconnected from people around me, as though I saw things differently to everyone else. As a child I had an imaginary friend who just happened to be a large chestnut racing horse named Drummerboy! I thought I dreamt him up after reading a particularly good story in a magazine, but it was years later while in my mid twenties that he reappeared to me one night when I was driving along the motorway. Since then I have come to know him as my travelling companion, galloping along the hard shoulder, warning me of any erratic traffic and protecting me on dark roads.

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It was the growth of the internet, and the beginnings of social media, that introduced me to other people who saw the world the way I do. Up until that point I had often felt lonely and disconnected, and I could never explain why. I have seen spirits in pubs and clubs while on nights out with my friends, but I have learnt whom I can reveal these to and who would rather not know. Many of my friends are also interested in ghost stories, but many simply prefer not to explore the hidden world. Some have joined investigations with me, and we have experienced many curious and fascinating events. Nowadays I am aware of spirit energy as I go about my daily life, and I accept it as normal. Sometimes I might speak to the spirits, and other times I am simply distracted, busy, or leave them alone.

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It is accepted by me and my husband that our house is haunted, but there is nothing dangerous or frightening here. The house is old, built in 1896, and so we understand that there are bound to be memories of previous tenants. We find it comforting that the families who lived here are comfortable in their home and like to check up on it from time to time. Being a terraced house, I often discuss the paranormal activity with my neighbour, who is fully aware of the ghosts, and likes to communicate via me and my dowsing rods on regular occasions.

I know there are spirits almost everywhere we travel these days and that some are conscious manifestations while others are simply ‘photographs’ frozen in time that show themselves in the Earth domain to people who are receptive. A building or piece of land that has seen a lot of human activity during life cannot simply be abandoned when the human dies. I believe that at the very least their memory lives on to be seen as a ghost by people that cross their territory. It seems to me that spirits and ghosts are a part of life (or death) and I will continue to communicate with them until my time comes to join them on the other side!

*Floating ghosts image courtesy of Net Animations

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The Snow Tiger and the Werewolf Alpha #paranormal

If you have not yet read the Redcliffe novels, and you intend to do so, then I recommend you do not read this post, for I am about to discuss a very large spoiler in my stories…

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When I wrote Love Hurts (A Redcliffe Novel), I intended to tell the story about a vampire and a human, and what happened when they fell in love. The vampire is a twin, and his brother just happens to be the alpha werewolf of the Redcliffe pack. Now, if that isn’t confusing enough, the objection of their affection is Jessica Stone, a woman who always thought she was human, until she met Jack Mason.

Something about the vampire brought out Jessica’s true nature. She is a witch. She never knew this because she is an orphan. As the story unfolds, we learn more about Jessica, as she discovers her own secrets. It isn’t until we move into book 2, Love Kills (A Redcliffe Novel), that we meet Jessica’s spirit animal, Suri the snow tiger. Why a snow tiger? I don’t know. I never created her, I never planned to include her. She suddenly appeared one evening during a frenzied writing session, and now she grows stronger every day.

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I am still a little confused about what Suri actually is. I mean, she is a metaphysical creature; she is not solid. She resides in a sort of spiritual plane, accessed via Jessica’s psychic mind. And yet, there is a possibility that Suri might become real, or a physical animal, at some point in the future. As I write book 4 in the Redcliffe series, Jessica and Suri are locked in a battle of wills.

You see, Suri wants the werewolf alpha, Danny Mason. She tasted his power in Love Redeems (A Redcliffe Novel), and now she wants more. He wants her too, and subsequently he wants Jessica, in every sense of the word. It is a very confusing and dramatic situation. And I never planned any of this. I just wrote it! I love the power of stories…

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*White Tiger image courtesy of Pinterest

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Resilience Is A Gift That Must Be Earned

I must share today’s post from Jane Kenyon, an inspirational woman and one of my role models in life… I had the pleasure of working with Jane for Girls Out Loud, and I look forward to more projects and adventures in the future.

Resilience Is A Gift That Must Be Earned.

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A Salute to Chocolate Week!

I love chocolate! It is one of my essential foods, a treat when I deserve it, and a pick-me-up when I need it (very frequent these days it seems). I am by no means a connoisseur of the stuff, but I know what I like. I enjoy milk chocolate, and I enjoy dark chocolate, but I can’t eat the really rich, bitter chunks. I am not particularly fond of white chocolate. At the moment, my favourite is a bargain brand from Lidl UK. Bellarom Milk Chocolate Hazelnut is delicious, and very affordable at only 99p for a large bar!

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Well it turns out there is now an official Chocolate Week celebration. Unfortunately it seems to be concentrated in London, and I am unable to travel down there for the events. I wouldn’t want to. Personally I far prefer to attend local events, and I am close enough to Chester and Manchester, and I feel far more at home in those beautiful cities than I do in our nation’s capital. But, for my southern friends reading this blog, you might like to check out some of the events in London.

Chocolate Week

I will sign off by saying that I do have a favoured local supplier of chocolate treats. The Chocolate Angel has a delectable range of goodies available, and I may have to treat myself for the event… I also enjoy a nice slice of Rocky Road cake in my local café, Drinks and Bites when I am out and about with the children. Happy Chocolate Week my friends!

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