So Halloween is finally upon us, the time of year when lovers of all things spooky get to scare and be scared, with tricks and treats filling the darkness across the land. With all these ghoulish goings on, we got to thinking about what it would be like to spend time chasing ghosts rather than running scared of them.
Paranormal investigations have been taking place since the 19th century, but gained popularity again at the turn of the millennium with shows like Most Haunted tapping into our fascination of what lies beyond the veil. We spoke to a genuine ghost hunter, Marie Wesson, co-founder of UK Ghosthunts, to talk about her time stalking spooks and what it’s like to come face to face with a full bodied apparition.
How did you get into ghost hunting?
I’ve always been interested in the paranormal from a young age, so I started by attending some public paranormal events after a few years experience i then decided to start my own team of investigators and events company so that the public could experience the paranormal in a controlled environment with experienced investigators.
What was it like doing that 1st investigation?
With my first investigation I was petrified as the unknown is very nerve racking. I didn’t have a personal experience on my first investigation, but i instantly fell in love with it and have investigated every Saturday night since that day.
Do you always find instances of the paranormal on each hunt?
No, sometimes we can do an all night investigation and have no activity, then at all other times we can have spirit communication from start to finish.
What kit do you use?
We use a very wide range of equipment from EVP (electronic voice recorder), this picks up on voices that we cannot hear as it is out of our frequency range. The EVP picks up noises and voices from 6htz the same as animals and children do, whereas adults hear from 20htz. We have an SLS Camera (structured light sensor), this shoots out thousands of tiny beams, and if the beams are broken it shows up on the monitor. Our Spirit radio sweeps through radio stations at around 150 sweeps per second, making it near impossible for full words or even sentences to be heard. It is said that spirits can manipulate the radio waves in order to tell us their message or story. The K2 device is a EMF detector (electromagnetic fields), it’s said that spirits are made up of static and electromagnetic fields and the k2 picks this up showing different light changes when it does. We also use a Thermal imaging camera which detects hot and cold signatures. So if there is an area that should be warm and suddenly goes cold the camera will pick this up and at the same time show us the shape of what is causing this and much more.
How much has the technology moved on? With new tech you’d think it would make it easier to bring even more proof of the existence of spirits?
Tech has moved on extremely fast, there is so much equipment out there. But as for finding hard evidence, it is near impossible, as even if you capture a full bodied apparition there would still be a lot of people that do not believe the evidence presented.
Tell us about your personal experiences…
I have had numerous experiences, I have seen a full bodied apparition, but in the back of your mind your always trying to rationalise everything. I’ve been pushed and scratched so many times! The first time I actually saw a fully bodied apparition was when I was investigating with the team at an old building, we were walking down a long corridor, I was walking near the back and I turned around to speak to the team member behind me who was walking at the back. There was a very tall man standing over the team member. I looked away and then looked back thinking my eyes were playing tricks on me, but he was still there. I couldn’t see any facial features but to be honest I didn’t stand around long enough to look! All I could see was a very thick black shadow of a man and his eyes were red and they seemed to be glaring at me. I ran and nearly climbed over every team member to get away, I will never forget that night.
Do you ever get scared doing it? Or is it more of a thrill?
Oh I get scared. I have run and screamed lots of times but the thrill is amazing! Its the adrenalin rush and the excitement more than anything as even the smallest amount of activity is amazing and gets your heart pumping.
Is there ever a concern about stirring up spirits that might be best left alone?
Usually if spirits want to be left alone they tell us they are not afraid to be straight with us and tell us to get out, more often than not though once they realise we are not there to harm them they are more happy to communicate with us using various pieces of equipment.
Have you captured much evidence in your time spent investigating the paranormal?
As a team we have caught a few apparitions on our static cameras that we are very proud of and still cannot believe how lucky we are to have captured what we have. One that we are overly proud of was caught at a hall in Nottingham. We set up our static cameras and placed one in the cellar, when reviewing the footage we saw what looked like a figure appear in the doorway. Everybody in the building was accounted for at the time and the figure then seemed to turn and disappear.
What would you say to sceptics who don’t believe ghosts exist?
Everyone has their own opinion and beliefs, this is something that should be left to the individual to decide.
Is there a way people can become more attuned to feeling a spirit’s presence?
Staying open minded and positive is the first step, spirits find it very difficult to communicate with closed minded people the barrier is sometimes too strong for them to break through.
Where is the most haunted place you’ve visited?
This is a hard question as every active location we have investigated is the most haunted place in their own right as no location is the same, no haunting is the same and no spirit is the same. That being said the most scared I’ve felt was in Manby hall in Lincolnshire. It has that very eerie depressed feeling and you never know what you’re going to encounter, each and every time is different, but as scary as the last time.
Have you got a dream location you’d love to investigate?
This is the easiest question to answer! My dream location is Alcatraz and one day i plan to get there.
Should people fear the paranormal?
No the paranormal doesn’t need to be feared, just understood.
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