I get mail from angry ghost hunters…

I’ve written previously about the Worsley Paranormal Team on my blog here, and also as a guest writer for the Young Australian Skeptics here. The group investigate Saddleworth moor and have claimed to find items that are linked to the murders of the victims of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, including Keith Bennett whose body has never been found. The evidence they provide is typical of a pseudo-scientific paranormal investigation team – electronic voice phenomena and such, most of which can be found on either their team website here or their active Facebook Page here.

Today I received an email through my website from the team founder, Erica Gregory, explaining that my criticisms were stupid and I ‘obviously have no idea about the paranormal to state things that you don’t know anything about’.  Erica also hinted that I should possibly consider removing the blog post or criticisms and point out how wrong I have been, providing a link that apparently would clear my allegedly ill-informed remarks up.

The problem is, of course, that my criticisms are actually well informed, and the Worsley Paranormal Team are still pseudo-scientific paranormal investigators whose methodology had led to ethical problems with those who are closely linked to the Moors Murders. In fact, the link provided by Gregory that was supposed to show me how wrong I was actually just supported what I originally thought. You can visit the website yourself by clicking here.

In summary though, the website makes clear some things about the roots of Worsley Paranormal team (which was set up after the death of a family member) and their work with the Moors Murders.

The work of Worsley Paranormal Group includes research into discovering any missing or unnamed victims of Ian Brady and Myra Hindley …

On the origins of the group the site tells that that Erica formed the group…

after taking a Diploma in Paranormal Investigation she studied the work of famous investigators. The investigators are not mediums, nor are the members of Worsley Paranormal Group – instead they use various devices which are widely available for others to use.

The thing is… there is no such thing as an accredited Diploma in Paranormal Investigation. There are many courses you can pay to take – some from the back of magazines, some over the internet – but they do not necessarily teach the logical ways in which to investigate anomalous phenomena, or how to be an ethical investigator. You should be skeptical of anyone claiming to have a degree or diploma in this field. Even accredited courses like the one to soon be offered by the Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena isn’t necessarily going to stop people from using bad methodology, sadly.

Anyway, the site I was sent goes on to explain that the group rely largely upon Electronic Voice Phenomena, which is a pseudo-scientific method of investigation which you can learn more about on the Talk About Strange website by clicking here.

Voices were giving names and responding to questions. Some of these are so clear that it sounds like there are people sat in the room with them – others are quiet and distant. They were finding physical evidence that the claims made by the home owners were accurate. The group continue to investigate different homes and areas.
The website also details how Erica Gregory got a recording that sounded as though it said ‘saddleworth’ and ‘sheep pen’, posting this on the Facebook group led to a medium already working on the moor getting in touch which, long story short, led to them going to the Moors to investigate.
EVPs were captured which were linked to the Moors – they were cryptic words. All of their work is online to view. On a 3rd visit to the moors they found the shovel buried near a stream in a shale embankment. Many more items and symbols have also been found in the same area – SOUTH of the other children. The rest is explained in the book.
What is meant here by ‘other children’ is ‘those that aren’t the missing child, Keith Bennett’ whom the group seem to focus on a lot. I wasn’t surprised to see that a book is being released either as I had seen mention of it a lot on the Worsley Paranormal Team Facebook page. It’s coming out later this month, but I’m not going to give it any publicity here because it’s probably going to be crap. Especially considering everything it is about has resulted in the upsetting of the family of Keith Bennett which is appalling. I  have written in length about the unethical consequences of amateur paranormal researchers before, which can be read by clicking here.
In her angry email today, Erica Gregory also alluded to the fact they’d worked with people who are considered authorities in the paranormal research field, but I was quick to point out in my response that this was simply a logical fallacy called an argument from authority, that even experts get things wrong and that this didn’t deter from the fact that the Worsley Paranormal Team were using pseudo-scientific methods of investigation, and presenting their findings in an unethical fashion.
Gregory signed her email off with a warning ‘Keep the stupid items on and it will be you who will be shown up when all is revealed shortly.’ 
I actually cannot wait (but I’m not holding my breath).
Gif of Impatient boy tapping his fingers on a table

p.s. please support the family of Keith Bennett by singing an e-petition asking the British Government to search for Keith once again. Click here to do so, and please pass this on. 

About Hayley Stevens 442 Articles
Hayley is a ghost geek and started to blog in 2007. She uses scientific scepticism to investigate weird stuff and writes about it here while also speaking publicly about how to hunt ghosts as a skeptic.

8 Comments on I get mail from angry ghost hunters…

  1. Just wondering if annoying Hayley into writing a blog was meant as a way to get publicity for their book?

    • Probably. They’ve certainly been looking themselves up on Google as I’m one of the top results when you search for them.

  2. Hayley, I wouldn’t worry. These Paranormal Journeymen are not proper investigators. They have no intention in trying to discover what, if anything, is behind their recordings. I have just visited the Worsley site and have listened to their so-called ‘voices of the dead’ and I am not in the least impressed.

    They are translating strange noises, which should rightly be investigated, into words that meet their expectations. It’s a bit like seeing faces in a flickering fire or in a pattern of tree leaves.

    When you think you have a genuine phenomena you should: A) Come up with a theory as to what could be happening and B) Carry out test to prove this theory. These should be test that show it isn’t being caused by something other than what you think it is. In other words the majority of the work should be in trying to disprove your theory.

    If we take radio as an example: then we can see that by understanding the phenomena there was a rapid development from blanket coverage telegraphy spark transmission to fixed frequency amplitude modulated broadcasting. This, of course, was backed-up by scientific understanding.

    So if, as Erica claims. she “… has studied EVP for many years now, and has a greater understanding of the paranormal field.” then WHERE is the evidence of any research to show HOW these “EVPs” are being recorded?

    Has she ever placed a recorder in metal mesh container (a Faraday Cage) to eliminate the possibilities of RF interference? Has she tried to ascertain if the “voices” are being actually recorded from variations in air pressure at the microphone or are they being “received” electronically by the internal circuitry? And, if the latter is the case, which parts of the recorder are responsible?

    Unfortunately it appears that the likes of Worsley and other such groups are incapable of rational thinking and are just not equipped with enough scientific knowledge or rigor to produce anything meaningful at all. They are still at the Pareidolia‎ stage.

    So Worsley, if you are reading this, how about a few one word blind challenges for your group? Someone who has no connection with your group supplies you with a set of small, sealed, identical, numbered boxes. Inside each of which is a card of a different colour. You then get your “voices” to tell you what the colour is and you write that on the outside of the relevant box. What could be simpler than that? The differences between the “EVPs” for Blue, Red, Yellow etc should be quite distinct. You don’t need to send the boxes back …. if you haven’t cheated then you can open them yourselves and find out whether you do indeed have ‘special powers’.

    When you have shown you have a genuine effect and are truely interested in a “…. greater understanding of the paranormal field” then the next thing is the Faraday Cage followed by the deactivation of the microphone. Interested?

  3. Hello Hayley,

    Not surprised you got an angry email from this bunch.
    They once told me that their ‘research’ has nothing to do with me, a very nice comment seeing as I am Keith’s brother.
    They think I am ‘nasty’ to them! I have requested many times that they stop using Keith’s name to promote their stupid theories and ideas out of respect for the wishes of Keith’s family. All requests have been ignored which shows just how much they are lacking in common decency, respect for the victims, compassion, morals and anything else that makes up a decent person(s).
    I feel nothing but total disgust over their actions and I have made it clear to them.
    I will never forget their publicity appearance in the press shotly after my mother died with their story about the spade they found on the moor and tried to say it was Brady’s. I must add it was one of several spades found on the moor in different locations. They also claim to have shut Brady’s gate to hell by chopping a tree down and spreading salt, very ‘Sleepy Hollow’ ,Hollywood, type thing. By the way, the film was more believable than the wild imaginings of this group.
    Their nonsense goes on and on.

    They are obsessed with Brady and his book and their imaginations have run wild. They should spend some time in the real world rather than spend their time in Brady’s world. A world where no normal people would wish to enter or be sucked in to, as they have been.
    They are all over the internet looking for an other oddballs they can recruit to their cause and the ones that are willing to associate themselves with this group are also of the same ilk……..very strange lot to say the least.

    In short, they have no hold on the real world, no real understanding of the Moors Murders case, no idea how ridiculous their claims are and, I have to repeat, no morals, no ethics, no compassion, no common decency, no respect, or anything else one would find in good people that do care for the victims or their families.

    They do not like to be challenged but they will be as long they persist with their nonsense.

    Thank you to the other people who have commented here before me and to you, Hayley.

  4. Does she have one of those ‘diplomas’ that can be completed in about two days with multiple choice as assessment? Let us hope not.

    Anyway, I have four degrees and I can neither change a light bulb nor contact the dead. A little bit of hobbyist study doesn’t make any person an expert, the only thing that does is measurable and sustained results in their field of choice. Regarding ethics, even basic research at uni level requires ethical approval from a panel. The above study, would not even come close.

    Tim, Hong Kong

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