Down in the dark, humid cellar of a building that had hosted 300 years worth of occupants, activities and events – a group of intrepid ghost hunters huddled around a spirit board. Guided by the brightness of only one torch, the members called out into the darkness – encouraging lost spirits to communicate with them.
The ghost hunters had many varied reasons for gathering together at Tettenhall Towers on that night in late July, 2010. One of the members vividly recounted an experience from her childhood:
Around 20 years ago at an isolated cottage on the isle of Anglesey in North Wales, a child awoke from a turbulent nights sleep to see a figure standing at the bottom of her bed. The figure was dressed in conservative Victorian clothing – her hair neatly scrapped and pinned back into a bun, a delicate formation of lace fluttering over and covering the bosom with the dress suddenly drawing in and tightening around the waist like some exotic Boa Constrictor. The thick, heavy broad skirt suddenly billowed and cascaded outwards, tumbling downwards and resting on the floor.
The compelling sight did not scare the young child resting in her bed. It fascinated her – while she recognised that such a sight couldn’t possibly be true, the sleepy confusion that still hung over the room like a thick smog prevented the young child from reaching this conclusion.
Yet, after burying her head in the pillow for a fraction of a second, the child arose and went into the breakfast room where other members of her family awaited. She eagerly told the story of the strange figure standing at the bottom of her bed.
A short while later, the child’s Sister who had also been sleeping in the same space entered the breakfast room and within minutes described to her family exactly the same figure. The two sisters had not spoken to each other before this moment – yet how was it possible that they could describe identical apparitions?
Tour of Tettenhall Towers
Another member recounted an outer body experience during a session at a Spiritualist Church. Although only in casual attendance with several of his friends, some of which were there as a joke, others out of a more serious level of curiosity, he remembered taking part in a mass meditation session. The church leader taught him and the rest of the group breathing exercises, relaxed them and calmed their minds so that silence reigned across the entire room. While sitting completely still, the leader then made them gradually aware of different parts of their bodies.
Starting with their feet and moving up their legs, they were encouraged to sense every inch of their bodies. Every bone, every pulse, every hair on their skin until eventually they were sitting there with their entire body buzzing.
The leader then encouraged the participants to take this sensation and elevate it above their bodies. They were encouraged to visualise looking down on their bodies from above. Slowly, rising above themselves at ever increasing heights, the participants were pushed to imagine looking down on themselves from the ceiling of the room, then through the roof of the building, and eventually from a great distance among the stars in the sky.
Although there were people attending the ghost hunt who considered themselves to be spiritual, there were also others who had never experienced anything like this. There were some individuals who had lost loved ones and were hoping for some proof that these lost souls were still in existence somewhere. Other attendees doubted that there was any form of existence apart from what they could see in front of them – although that begs the question why they were at Tettenhall Towers to begin with.
Ghost hunts are more common than one might think – it would be possible for the curious readers of this article to find one happening this weekend within a short drive of their home. As long as the reader would be willing to stay up from around 8pm through till 4am the following morning and brave dark, damp conditions while stumping up anywhere from £30 – £60, then a Ghost hunt would be on the cards.
Ghost hunts vary from location to location, but also with the company acting as hosts along with those in attendance. Some hunts may be filled with hosts that act as channels for the spirits all night long. Shouting and screaming about the terrible things that these entities have committed in their past lives, while other companies prefer to give the attendees more control over the nights events.
The company organising this Ghost hunt – Spooks Nights, started the evening by giving everyone a guided tour of the building, followed by a training session in various mystic arts including tutoring in the art of guided drawing – where you were meant to let a spirit take over your hand and draw for you. This was followed by using crystal pendulums – which would move in certain directions after the attendee would ask a spirit a yes or no question, even though the attendee was doing their very best to keep their hand and hence the pendulum perfectly still…..
Hand lifting was also demonstrated which involved a medium shouting at the present spirit to lift the hand of the attendee under scrutiny. Fingers would slowly levitate off the table much to the amusement and / or surprise of the fingers’ owner (they were still attached to the owner at all times).
The attendees then broke off into groups and were taken to various places around Tettenhall Towers for the Ghost hunt. Spirit boards and calling out (to the spirits, asking them to demonstrate their presence by moving something or making a sound) were the most popular forms of communication used by the group that I was a member of.
Communicating With The Spirits
I would consider myself to be a complete sceptic. It would take the levitation of a solid table or an apparition to make me consider otherwise – something which was not encountered at this event. Never the less, it was an entertaining and sometimes frightening way to spend an evening.