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The South Shields Poltergeist
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gncxxOffline
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PostPosted: 21-08-2008 21:23    Post subject: Reply with quote

So it's a plastic bottle with a dented base?
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colpepper1
Location: England
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PostPosted: 21-08-2008 21:31    Post subject: Reply with quote

azuredoor wrote:
Quote:
The footage was taken on a digital stills camera


O dear, the 'investigators' lose a ton of points.

I have no way of knowing the veracity of the imagery or the story accompanying them and have no investment either way in it being real or otherwise, but did talk to Mike Hallowell (and his wife) about the case at the weekend and see no reason to doubt his word. His conclusions I can take issue with but suspect he's giving a fair account of what he felt or saw happening.

I am surprised people lay such emphasis on visual or audio recording to underline a case. It provides a context, yes, but any old parlour trick could be knocked up before we even get to image manipulation software and the like. He explained that he was getting terrified calls from the householders at all times of day and night and his prime motivation was giving the occupants some kind of support, not (I suggest) festooning the house with ghostbusters style gear, which is usually only marginally successful at gathering evidence anyway.
He said that since the case he is far less tolerant of people who say, 'it's all rubbish' than he was previously which, if the events occured as portrayed, is a fair attitude - no marginal temperature drops and fluctuating meters can do justice to such high strangeness.

Ultimately belief will always be in the eyes and ears of the beholder. I hope the cfz gang put the talk on their site, it's well worth a look.
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RavenstoneOffline
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PostPosted: 21-08-2008 21:46    Post subject: Reply with quote

What is in that bottle? Shocked

On second thoughts, probably best not to ask Wink

My Other Half got a much more impressive version by denting in a couple of the prongs on the bottom of a bottle, and balancing the bottle at a steeper angle. (steeper? less steep? Perhaps? Okay, it was lent over more, at about 45 degrees, when he did it).

I would say, though, for either of them, they were fairly stable. The bottle on the South Shields incident appears to sort of wobble a bit. It seems more precarious anyway. And when it falls over, it doesn't appear to have any Blu-Tack attached to the bottom. The South Shields bottle is also more lent over than your versions

Thing is, if this whole story were based on just these two incidents, I don't think there would be a book in it, never mind a documentary. There is - or was - a lot more going on that just these two bitty pictures.
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EponastillOffline
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PostPosted: 26-07-2009 12:40    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've just finished reading the book, and I haven't seen any of the videos - I don't really want to start another argumentative discussion about the video sbut rather ask people-who've-read-it's opinions of the book.

The reason I borrowed the book was because I'd read the Invisikids article in last month's FT, which I thought was very interesting, because it showed Mr Hallowell's analysis of the phenomenon. I was a bit disappointed that the poltergeist case didn't seem so thoroughly analysed. Obviously the things that were alleged to have happened were very thoroughly described, and that's really good. But it is written in a bit of a sensationalist way (ends of chapters are always "BUT THINGS WERE ABOUT TO GET MUCH WORSE") - I think the book about the Enfield poltergeist is much more soberly written, and so seems more... authoritative? But I think that was mostly due to the apparently hurried way the SS book was put together?? There are so many cliched phrases and the odd grammatical error, you feel like no-one proofread or edited the book before it went to press? I mean this does give it a very honest feel, as though the writers are talking to you directly, so the approach has its advantages, but it loses some kind of professional edge I think??

Obviously, from an everyday point of view, the events described make no sense - it almost seems daft to believe them unless you were there to see them (if you don't keep some scepticism then it's like you're admitting you'll believe anything you read, really). But if you're going to believe in poltergeists I guess you might as well believe what they've written, as none of it is particularly outlandish (relatively speaking!) So for its detailed descriptions, it's great. But then everything stops very suddenly at the end of the book, and there doesn't seem to be much discussion about what was going on, even though the events seemed to have stopped as a result of turning off all the electrical equipment, and much of the activity centres round battery operated toys and mobile phones - the 'conclusions' chapter is only just over 3 pages.

One thing that is simply not discussed is the possiblity that the scratches that appear (apparently on camera) on the stepfather's body could be similar to stigmata... I mean, psychosomatically caused. I don't think that's unreasonable? but their cause isn't speculated about at all.

I'm sure in the midst of it it would be hard to think clearly, and certainly it wouldn't be a situation that turns up all the time - but (and I know this kind of criticism has wound up the authors before) you would think they would try to obtain some more professional recording equipment than the video function on an ordinary little camera? and perhaps would think of some experiments to set up (other than the drawing board ones)? and also there was often mention of 'locking off' rooms, but really they hadn't been locked at all, just left. Maybe these are little details and part of a investigator's learning process.

So what I'm saying really, is that the book is great for sucking you in as a story and a description of a poltergeist haunting. But I think there should have been more questioning of certain things that were just presented as 'accepted' (such as the use of protective circles and rituals and things that really don't make sense as we know it like the ripped up lottery ticket reforming). And then, it would have been so nice to have much more analysis of what had happened, at the end of the book.

NOT that I could write a book or anything - this isn't supposed to be a personal attack but a critique of the book!

Anyway. I am still keen to get hold of the invisikids book!
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MoookstaOffline
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PostPosted: 01-08-2009 20:08    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Epona, I purchased the book after I read your post above and have to agree with review. A very abrupt ending and a tad overly long. Every item logged seems to be mentioned and for me it became to repetitive. Infact if the phrases "it threw the small yellow nut" / "we had an full English Breakfast" / "Marianne made us tea and coffee" they book would be at least ten pages shorter.

As for the polt...does Wraithscape still visit the boards?

I'd like to know what happened to the documentary? Are the audio recordings available anywhere? Am I right in thinking that all the footage that exists show only stationary items and any paranormal events are only heard?

There's some other stuff I'd like to know. What was the history of the property? Were any of the neighbours questioned?

One of the things that struck me was the first doodleboard message "Bey bey" which I read phonetically as "baby" and one of the entities had female characteristics. I'm couris as to how Marc, who is named as the "generator" can create a "female" aspect of the polt.

mooks out
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EponastillOffline
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PostPosted: 02-08-2009 19:42    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the response, Mooks.

You're not wrong about the repetitive yellow nut and the full english breakfasts! The bey bey thing seemed obvious to me as well when I read it. I trust you didn't think you'd wasted your money! It was still interesting even if lacking in various directions.

I've looked on the Wraithscape website but there's a surprising lack of information and no videos. Which is a bit weird considering. Yeah they'd probably get picked over for Fakeness, but at least they're theoretically shored up by a whole book, unlike all the phoney videos on you tube. I'd have thought they'd sell a few more books by putting the videos on their site! There was supposed to be one at the Sun website but that wasn't working as far I could tell. And nothing on you tube at all?
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MoookstaOffline
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PostPosted: 02-08-2009 20:55    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="EponastillI trust you didn't think you'd wasted your money! [/quote]

Not at all, for all it's faults it was still a thorough (to thorough in some aspects) chronicling of interesting investigation, that was quite dark in its nature. Would still like to see some of the footage.

mooks out
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DucadoOffline
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PostPosted: 11-02-2010 19:21    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nearly finished reading the book, the authors seem pretty genuine to me, a little bit to sensationalist for my liking.

My main complaint is the general writing style, not the content I beleive it is the writing style that makes some people doubt it, (if you understand what I mean) Still a good read nonetheless
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TapeloopOffline
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PostPosted: 13-02-2010 22:05    Post subject: Reply with quote

Did any more details of this case ever get published to us good old general public in the end? I know they did the book and some lectures, plus there was talk of a tv program, but did any more footage or photos get released on the net? I'm not sure where to look. I'm lazy and rely on things like that to filter along to FT. I've not seen any more about it recently.

Such a shame that there must be so much documentation in a modern case like this one, yet not much seems to have made it into the public domain so far. I'd love to see more video footage.

I enjoyed Darren Ritson's book, In Search of Ghosts, too. Bit pricey mind, £18, ouch.
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tonylovellOffline
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PostPosted: 20-09-2010 22:27    Post subject: Reply with quote

The words media savvy were mentioned. The minute money and agents are mentioned (especially so soon) I have to say I back off. A while ago I tried to meet a touring psychic to ask him about his experiences and he said he couldn't discuss cases as he owned the copyright to them or some such thing. Arsehole.
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gordonrutterOffline
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PostPosted: 21-09-2010 06:32    Post subject: Reply with quote

Mike Hallowell will be talking about the South Shields Poltergeist at UnCon this year - still a chance to get tickets!

Gordon
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ritchiehardcoreOffline
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PostPosted: 17-10-2010 20:17    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just been watching the youtube video of Mike Hallowell at the Alum House. That place was my watering hole from the day it re-opened as a pub and i worked there for a good while and had a 'ghostly experience' of my own one evening.
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MythopoeikaOffline
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PostPosted: 17-10-2010 20:54    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tell us more, ritchiehardcore.
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Pietro_Mercurios
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PostPosted: 17-10-2010 21:07    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes please. Smile
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ritchiehardcoreOffline
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PostPosted: 20-10-2010 21:01    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not quite 20 years back i was working one evening behind the bar, we'd ran out of ice, so i'd gone upstairs along the passage shown in the video to the room where we kept the ice cube machine. It was quite dark upstairs with a little light from the windows in the rooms off the passage and no-one in residence at the time. On reaching the room with the ice cube machine and filling the ice bucket i heard a noise behind me. Stopping what i was doing to hear better the unmistakable sound of footsteps coming up the stairs approached. The stairs at the time were uncarpeted and the tread of foot on hard surface repeated steadily, i shouted down the passage that i was already getting ice for the bar, thinking it was one of my colleagues. There was no answering voice nor any pause in the footsteps, it then started to dawn on me that the amount of footsteps i heard vastly outnumbered the amount of stairs from the bar. Shouldn't whoever was approaching be visible in the gloom of the hall by now? Then i did either the bravest or most cowardly thing i'd ever done. With the hair stood up on the back of my neck and clutching a bucket of ice, i flew down the dark passage not knowing what i might bump into and bounded down the stairs to burst into the welcome light and company of the bar. By all accounts i was as white as a sheet and needed several stiff drinks and roll-ups to regain my composure and good humour. In fact i didnt have to put my hand in my pocket all the next night as i retold it for the regulars who had missed my high velocity re-appearance the previous evening.

I would spend many hours alone in the cellar and in the cellar bar and it does have an 'atmosphere' but i would put that down to it being cold, ill lit and quiet due to it being below street level. I did encounter a figure propped up in a corner of the cellar bar a la Blair Witch Project one night but it was just a paralytic drunk who'd been looking for the netty. Still it gave me quite a turn.

Anyone in the area could do a lot worse than pay a visit, its an interesting wee place and the ale's not bad either.
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