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'Paranormal Norfolk' Magazine

 
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graylien
Great Old One
Location: Norwich - home of the Puppet Man!
Age: 43
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 23-10-2005 14:48    Post subject: 'Paranormal Norfolk' Magazine Reply with quote

Forum members in East Anglia may be interested to know that the first edition of the new "Paranormal Norfolk" magazine is now on the magazine racks of WH Smiths (at least in Norwich). The magazine is produced by the Archant group (a big name in local media) and is certainly well designed and illustrated. Unfortunately, the content leaves much to be desired, and the quality of the writing is rather second rate. Even the editor, Robin Vyrnwy-Pierce, seems to have difficulty constructing a coherent sentence; opening his editorial by declaring:
Quote:

When I found out that Norfolk was part of a triangle with Cornwall and York as the 'paranormal triangle' of the UK it made me think deeply about the whole subject.


The magazine's content is dominated by ghosts. Particularily by ghosts which haunt pubs. (Particularily by ghosts which haunt pubs which seem to have advertising contracts with Archant, a cynic might add!). Medium Paul Hanrahan visits the Maids Head Hotel in Norwich and takes some rather unconvincing photos of orbs, as well as encountering a handful of ghosts wandering around rather aimlessly. This is followed by a trio of blandly written articles promoting the ghosts of the Adam and Eve pub (Norwich), George Hotel (Swaffham) and King's Head (Loddon).

Mr Vyrnwy-Pierce then returns with a rather muddled essay about witches, which is followed by an interminable piece by a local New Age store owner promoting Tarot cards. There are also totally uncritical articles about tea leaf reading, past life regression, and clairvoyancy - each written by a practitioner of the art.

Other highlights include some rather mediocre pieces about Halloween and Black Dogs, and a cynical look at aliens by someone claiming to be "the most sceptical person in Norfolk" which is the worst presentation of the sceptical argument that I've ever read. It would embarrass even a school magazine, let alone a newstand glossy (albeit, a local one).

All in all, rather a waste of my £2.95, I thought, although it did make me appreciate the Fortean Times a little more (which was actually what I'd gone into WH Smiths looking for).

Still, that's just my opinion, and maybe future issues will prove more worthwhile. I'd be interested to hear what other readers thought of it...
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Mighty_EmperorOffline
Divine Wind
Joined: 18 Aug 2002
Total posts: 19440
Location: Mongo
Age: 43
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PostPosted: 23-10-2005 15:12    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the headsup and review Smile

They also missed out on the chance to go with ParaNorFolk - ah well.
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Timble2Offline
Imaginary person
Joined: 09 Feb 2003
Total posts: 5358
Location: Practically in Narnia
Age: 59
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PostPosted: 24-10-2005 08:24    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I lived in Norwich, I heard the story (probably a UL) from people at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital that the medical records of people from some of the more "rural" parts of the county were marked "NFN", "Normal, For Norfolk".

This is obviously "PFN" - Paranormal For Norfolk.

Perhaps it's time for reissue of Joan Foreman's books, "Haunted East Anglia" and "The Mask of Time", which both contain East Anglian weirdness.
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graylien
Great Old One
Location: Norwich - home of the Puppet Man!
Age: 43
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 24-10-2005 09:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

The magazine boldly proclaims on the cover that Norfolk is "The most haunted county in England", although a quick Google reveals that similar claims are made for Kent, Berkshire, and Shropshire - with a similar lack of any statistical evidence to back up the claim.

You can read up on paranormal Norfolk for free on the web at BBC Norfolks Weird Norfolk and the EDP's Spooky Norfolk. (Paranormal website? That'll be green on black, then! Rolling Eyes )

Highlights include glowing barn owls (which, contrary to what the article says, have been sighted elsewhere) Phantom Airships, the Lantern Man (Swamp Gas! Wink) and the WereDog of Lowestoft. So there's certainly no lack of high strangeness in Norfolk, despite the uninspired blandness of the Paranormal Norfolk magazine itself.
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graylien
Great Old One
Location: Norwich - home of the Puppet Man!
Age: 43
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 20-03-2006 20:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, issue two of Paranormal Norfolk is now out - and I'd like to say it's a big improvement on the first issue. Sadly, I can't - because it isn't.

I'll gloss over the lengthy new-age ramblings about Tarot cards and palm reading (Johnny Fincham's Guide to Your Man's Passion Rating - it's all in the length of the ring finger, apparently) and skip to the actual paranormal content.

I was only tempted into buying this turkey again because the cover proclaimed "Thetford Priory: Secrets of the Ghostly Monks!". Sadly, the article itself turned out to no more than a rather dull history lesson about the priory with only a passing mention of the ghostly monks - or rather monk; there being only one.

The highlight of the issue was a lengthy piece about an investigation of Coronation Hall, Mundesley, undertaken by two paranormal research groups - one "spiritual", the other "scientific". Both went looking for ghosts, and both - unsurprisingly - found what they were looking for.

Having played some 1940's dance music to draw out the ghosts, the spiritual investigators busied themselves holding a seance, then chased a table around the hall for half an hour (this is known as "table turning" in spiritual circles). Meanwhile the "scientific" group were busy trotting about with thermometers and EMF meters. Although these recorded nothing significant, the scientists managed to scare themselves silly wandering about in the dark and felt several 'presences'. They also tried a spot of dowsing in the men's toilets (I was previously unaware that dowsing was considered a scientific method of research).

Between them, the groups managed to come up with the names Edward, John and Peter. Being common enough names, they had little difficulty in connecting them with people who had died in the area. And they also managed to photograph some "definite Orbs". The investigators triumphantly concluded that the investigation was "very interesting in terms of the correlation between the spiritual and the scientific" and a milestone on the road to "achieving the ultimate aim of proving life after death".

Rather more interesting was a piece by Jac Goldeagle (chairman of Anglia Earth Mysteries) detailing a lifelong series of UFO sightings and visionary experiences - including Native American braves riding on clouds and semi- materialised grey aliens.

Other highlights include a banal interview with Trisha Goddard about Channel 5's Britain's Psychic Challenge and an interview with local ghosthunter Richard Keeble in which he is asked hard-hitting questions like "Do you get scared?" and "Are there evil spirits?"

Most annoying of all is a piece by Lisa Turner of 'The Psychic University' entitled Are You Under Psychic Attack? Well, if you're feeling a bit gloomy or you've had a run of bad luck recently, chances are that you are indeed under attack. The only cure, it seems, is to have Lisa come round armed with her angelic guides and her Tibetian singing bowl to cleanse your house of evil spirits.

Lastly, the letters page features a rather indignant letter from David Spoor belittling UFO sceptics. (Mr Spoor's claim to fame lies in some UFO footage he shot in his Lowestoft garden in the late 90's, which was rapidly torn to shreds on the UFO Updates mailing list.)

All in all, another rather poor effort. And I noticed that although the magazine featured the leaders of several local paranormal groups, none took even a remotely Fortean approach to the subject.

When the next issue comes out, I think I'll just give my £2.95 to that mad bugger who's always standing about and gibbering outside the off licence and spare myself the trouble of reading this uninspired cliched tripe.
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Roswell_DemiGodOffline
Grey
Joined: 25 Aug 2009
Total posts: 1
Location: Eerie, East Anglia
Gender: Male
PostPosted: 16-11-2010 20:16    Post subject: Reply with quote

So in the end... How many issues of Paranormal Norfolk were published?

The irony being that its publisher, Archant, is a Christian-based company.
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StormkhanOffline
Disturbingly familiar
Joined: 28 May 2003
Total posts: 3897
Location: Robin Hood country.
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PostPosted: 16-11-2010 21:04    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if this will encourage other counties to produce their own paranormal magazines. I'd like to think so, though publishing periodicals is a risky business.
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Anome_Offline
Faceless Man
Joined: 23 May 2002
Total posts: 4896
Location: Left, and to the back.
Age: 46
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PostPosted: 17-11-2010 06:02    Post subject: Reply with quote

After watching an old episode of QI the other night, maybe it should be called Normal For Norfolk.


I do apologise, I don't know what came over me. I'll just be going, then.
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