In 2005, my mum and I created our own ghost hunting team. At the time, we were called H.U.G.S, which stood for Have U Got Spooks? We later renamed ourselves Twelfth Hour Paranormal and then- when we became more rational investigators -Wiltshire Phenomena Research. I’ve decided to start sharing memories of ghost hunting with mum on this blog.. The first I’ve decided to share is quite a funny one which I think really demonstrates the dynamic that mum and I had while on investigations, and in day-to-day life, too.
There aren’t many people who can say that they spent their late teens and early twenties researching the paranormal with their mum, and I feel lucky to be able to say this because it certainly led to some wonderful memories.
There was one location quite close to home that we investigated with our ghost hunting group on several occasions, and some very odd things did happen here which I can’t find a decent explanation for (this doesn’t mean there isn’t one, of course). In fact, we were the only paranormal research organisation who were granted access to this location at the trustees felt that we were trustworthy enough to have the keys.
I can’t tell you where it is (I don’t want to betray that trust) but it was a Victorian-era building with narrow staircases, twisty-turny corridors, and higgledy-piggledy rooms. There had been modern renovations made to the public areas of the building, but when you ventured past the ‘no access’ signs, it was sometimes like stepping back in time. it was wonderful and scary and even upon revisiting the location more recently as a non-believer, I was still on edge when walking up the small staircase to the attics.
It wasn’t unusual for our group to split into two teams and investigate different parts of the building at the same time. On this particular day, we had done just that and mum took a team of about eight people into the cellar, while I led a team of a similar number in a different area of the building. We would usually stay in place for about 30 minutes or so before regrouping, but on this occasion, part way through our session in whichever particular room we were in, we were surprised when my mum came to join us.
We carried on with our vigil (which essentially involved sitting in the dark and asking questions now and then, such as “is there anybody here with us?”, “please let us know you’re here by showing yourself or making a noise”.) After the vigil, we went to the base-camp in the kitchen area of the building and to wait for the others to re-emerge from the basement. It was as we walked towards the kitchen that mum gave me that look which always meant that she had something funny to share.
“Why did you leave the basement early?” I asked, and she giggled. It turns out that she had been kicked out of her own vigil for laughing. The group that she had led into the basement would later go on to create their own paranormal research team and on that day, when they reached the basement, they decided to conduct a chanting session. This wasn’t a technique that our team used but mum was outnumbered and decided to let them go ahead and try it.
Their hypothesis was that if they all stood in a circle and held hands, and they all hummed at the same frequency, this would enable any ghosts present to communicate with them. So, trying her best to be open-minded about the whole thing, mum joined the circle and held hands with the people next to her, but found that when it came to the humming, she couldn’t hum because she could feel a laugh building up in her throat. So mum did that awkward thing that any of us do when we’re trying not to laugh and stayed quiet, trying to swallow the laughter down. However, as the group changed the pitch of their humming, mum couldn’t hold it any longer and started laughing.
And once she started laughing, she couldn’t stop, and they had to halt their chanting circle so that mum could leave the basement, laughing all the way up to the main landing. I guess it didn’t surprise us when that group of people eventually left our investigation team and created their own. I’ve got a feeling that they still venture out to places said to be haunted and stand in circles, chanting and humming. I suspect that if you were to listen closely, you might also hear mum gently laughing.