During March of 2002 I was contacted by Joe Morgan and his partner Jackie Hulse. Both claimed to have witnessed paranormal phenomena taking place in their small two bedroom house in Sale Moor, Manchester. Joe told me that they had attempted to obtain assistance from a psychic who visited their home in hope of finding out why the disturbances were taking place. They had also had a visit from a local vicar who conducted a blessing of the property. But unfortunately, neither the psychic or vicar were successful in culling the activity. They then contacted a good friend of mine... Peter Hough, who had many years investigating such disturbances and was a well known author. Peter had advised Joe and Jackie to swap their bedroom around in hope of finding answers to why most of the disturbances took place in their little boys bedroom. (This was a good piece of advice and one I would have suggested myself).
I had worked with Peter for a number of years and I learnt many techniques from him, one of which is swapping bedrooms around. This undertaking had been found to be helpful in past investigations. A similar reported incident had also taken place on Norris Road, in Sale, only a mile or so away, and after convincing the family to swap their bedroom with their daughters, the incidents subsided and for whatever reason, the disturbances did not return.
Joe also told me that his and Jackie's family were aware of their difficulties dealing with the disturbances. Joe said that he had also talked with the local residents who could neither confirm nor deny knowledge of previous incidents reported at their home prior to them moving in. I agreed to take on the investigation in hope of finding some answers and possibly relieving some of their difficulties.
A couple of days later I visit Joe and Jackie. Their home was an average two bedroom house and their two son's (David aged 7 and Bradley aged 2) had their own bedroom at the upstairs front of the house. As I sat sipping at a mug of hot coffee I could clearly see that both Joe and Jackie seemed anxious. I conducted an interview trying to get all the details down on paper. There was a lot of incidents being reported...
The property was owned by Trafford Borough Council so I realised is was going to be reasonably easy to check through records for previous incidents at the location. Jackie explained that most of the disturbances were taking place in their Son's bedroom. She went on to say that she and Joe have seen a strange figure of a man that they did not recognise and that they had heard unusual sounds. On occasion they even claimed to have noticed that things had been moved around.
Jackie jumped up and went over to a cupboard and pulled out a pad. She had kept a diary of events. I was pleased... rarely do people keep a written account of a log of events and it is often difficult for them to remember all the details and when certain incidents took place. So... this would make my job a little easier. Joe and Jackie were at the time unemployed and had an interest in paranormal orientated TV shows which they had watched avidly since experiencing paranormal phenomena for themselves. Jackie flicked through the pages of her pad and looked up towards me before taking a deep breathe and started to read out some of the many things she had wrote down.
Jackie Had heard her son Bradley having a conversation on his own at the top of the stairs. She could clearly hear him say 'No, that's naughty', 'Come from front door' and You upstairs'. Bradley would not answer questions from Joe or Jackie. He just said 'Don't Know'. Bradley had also said that there was a dog in his bedroom. Neither Joe nor Jackie had ever had a pet dog. A few days later Bradley talked with his Nanna on the telephone and said 'Man in my room'.
Jackie had growing concerns for Bradley. As she was cleaning the lounge and she looked over at Bradley. He just stared at her and wet himself. This was not something Bradley had ever done. When Jackie asked him what was wrong Bradley said that he was sacred upstairs. Strange banging sounds continued to be heard from the upstairs back bedroom, yet on investigation, nothing was ever found out of place. Walking was again heard coming from upstairs when no one was up there and bangs and thuds were heard coming from the back bedroom again. Jackie had come to leaving bedside lamps on throughout the night, but on occasion she would discover that they had been turned off.
Joe and Jackie would often have sleepless nights due to their youngest son waking up screaming and the coat hangers in the built in wardrobe would make a noise as if being moved about. There was also the sound of a ball, bouncing off their bedroom wall. The sound would often be loud enough to wake David up who had now been relocated to their bedroom in fear of something tourmenting him.
Joe had also seen a dark figure in the lounge as he was heading upstairs. This was the first time he had seen the figure downstairs and was rather concerned. He described the figure as just a solid black mass which was the shape of a person. Joe was so sacred he contacted me on our 24 hour report line. As time went on other strange occurrences took place. The kitchen bin lid was regularly lifted off and dropped to the floor. Strange creaking sounds would be heard in the lounge just before their Sky TV system would mysteriously turn itself off.
One of David's toys in his cot would turn itself on and could often be heard from downstairs. Bradley had come to suddenly screaming out 'Man in my bedroom'. The sound of footsteps upstairs continued on a regular basis. Teaspoons would also be heard moving about in the kitchen draw along with shuffling sounds near the kitchen doorway. joe's mother and father had visited a number of occasions and had also heard the strange sounds throughout the house.
Bradley once again screamed out 'Man in my bedroom'. Joe and his mother were beginning to become angry. They stood in Bradley's room and asked him if he could see the man. Bradley looked up and pointed towards the corner of the room. Joe demanded the 'man' to make a noise so to prove he was there. Silence befell the room. Then suddenly both Joe and his mother heard whistling coming from the corner of the room. The exact place Bradley had pointed to. Jackie had reported hearing sounds whilst she was watching TV in the lounge. The sound of someone walking in front of her. She also recalled the bathroom door opening whilst she was on the toilet. She initially thought it was Joe, but on investigation, he was downstairs with the children. The sound of footsteps had become more regular and would often be heard to start in the bedroom and end at the doorway.
Once again, I had received another call on our 24 report line from Joe who had seen shadows moving across his bedroom wall. Clearly the couple were in distress and were sleeping very little. Doors had also been seen to open and close and the couple were often teased by knocking sounds on the back door as if someone wanted to come in. It was now time for Bradley's toys to turn themselves on. They would hear the musical toys from downstairs, yet on investigation they would suddenly stop or turn off. The bedroom cupboard doors had now started to open themselves during the night. Things were clearly getting worse. On one particular night Joe and Jackie were downstairs watch TV when an almighty crash came from upstairs. In sheer panic the two rushed up the stairs as fast as they could and burst into Bradley's room. Bradley was stood crying and his bookshelf had been ripped from the wall, Books were scattered around the floor. The bookshelf was too high for Bradley to reach and Joe and Jackie had Bradley sleep with them that night. There was now a growing concern for the safety of their children. Joe did not want to worry Jackie but eventually told her that he had found sharp knives on top of the laundry basket which was in reach of Bradley. This was the last straw. I was determined to help this family, or have them relocated...
I carried out some research and found that there had not been as many tenants at the property as I thought. Mr. Maureen Daniels had been the previous tenant, and before her it was Mr. and Mrs. Wadden. Mr. Wadden died in 1967 followed by his wife in 1971. Both had died whilst in hospital. As for Maureen Daniels, she was reputed to be a little eccentric or possibly having some mental problems brought on by illness. A number of the local residents had mentioned to Joe and Jackie that she was apparently a rather shy person who did not venture out of her home very often.
When Jackie and Joe moved into their house, they discovered a letter that was possibly written my Maureen. It gave mention to her locking herself in her bedroom due to her crazed boyfriend or partner. I do not know how accurate this information is, however, even though I know that Maureen does od did reside in another house locally, I did not persue her due to her previous mental illness. I believe Joe had tried to pursue this himself with very little success. Historical research was carried out, looking for any unusual or strange reported incidents in the local area. Since construction of the building in the early 1960's no unusual reports were documented. A psychological profile of the current tenants was also conducted. Even though they were both reasonably young and possibly still impressionable they both seemed to be sound of mind. Neither were drug users and they rarely ever drank alchohol. There interest in the subject of the paranormal may simple be due to them experiencing such disturbances. As for Bradley, he was a very alert child and seemed to be of average intelligence for his age. He did not seemed to be influenced by his parents regarding their interest in the subject of the paranormal. Bradley would always have been in bed at the time Joe and Jackie were watching TV shows on the subject. David, who was only 7 months old at the time of the investigation was far too young for any for of psychoanalysis.
It had come to my attention that the notes and diary events constructed by the witnesses, that there were a number of people who knew of the unusual actions Bradley and the disturbances that were taking place, such as Fiona, who was Jackie's younger sister and who had been staying over at their home, possibly because of a family dispute at her own home. Sandra which is Jackie's mother and Jackie's Nanna. There was also mention to Joe's mother and father and Tracy, Joe's sister. One of our investigators Elizabeth Roxburgh attempted to contact Tom Barlow, the priest who had allegedly visited the property and carried out a blessing. Tom did confirm that he did in fact visit and carry out a blessing in each and every room of the house. He also told us that the family seemed generally upset and he was concerned for them.
He would not go into any further details regarding his conversations with Joe and Jackie due to confidentiality but seemed pleased that we were trying to assist them. A number of photographs had been submitted to us for analysis. They had been taken by Joe. However we find rational explanations for all. Many contained illuminated dust particles and one of the photographs depicted an acute lens flare. None of which had any paranormal explanations.
It was interesting that investigator Lynn Offord thought she had seen a dog at the property. She recalled seeing a dog pass down the hallway and thought it had gone upstairs. This had taken place just before I conducted the preliminary interview and before we had any knowledge that Bradley also claimed to have seen a dog from time to time. Once again, I must state, Joe or Jackie did not have a pet dog as Bradley suffered from Asthma and had an allergic reaction to pet hair. When asked if anyone else had a dog that visited, the answer was 'No'.
Environmental checks were carried out. We had managed to obtain assistance from Pears Geological Unit who visit the location and carried out ground penetrating radar tests just to see if their may have been anything unusual in regards their readings. Electromagnetic and geomagnetic fields were measured and monitored for a duration of 50 minutes in certain specified locations.
The ground penetrating radar provides us a graphic image of the sub-surfaces, concrete slabs and floors which has a variety of applications. GPR is commonly used as part of a Phase II environmental site assessment and other environmental studies to locate underground features. During such tests we occasionally discover concentrated forms of artificial electromagnetic fields and natural geomagnetic hotspots which can contaminate a location causing psychological conditions such as hallucinatory events and lucid type experiences. However, no unusual readings were found throughout several local areas. Resistivity profiling is used to map changes within sub-surface electrical properties. Applications of a restivity survey are similar to those of electromagnetic (terrain conductivity) surveys. This form of profiling is most commonly used for locating contaminated groundwater plumes, but in our case we use it to locate water content underground. Seismic reflections and refractions are also monitored for sub-surface stratgraphy. This methodology can reveal forms of bedrock and granite which can over a period of time generate small electrical discharges. It is theorised that such charges can build up a dissipate causing electrical anomalies and adverse psychological conditions. Even water running through rock can cause a small electrical discharge. However, after completing all out environmental tests, nothing out of the ordinary was found.
The second stage of active investigation was to take place onsite. I attended Joe and Jackie's home with a few other investigators armed with numerous meters and detection devices. During our stay at the location our infra-red heat and motion detector was triggered around 11.30pm.
We had set it up in Joe and Jackie's bedroom. No explanation was could be found apart from the suggestion that an insect may have triggered the device, however, to do so, the insect would have had to be literally on the device itself. Around 12.10am the sound of a ball bouncing in the kitchen was clearly heard by 6 individuals. This happened twice but on investigation, nothing was found to have moved, but the audible recording device set up on the kitchen worktop did pick up the sound.
At around 12.30pm whilst doing a magnetic sweep in the lounge one of our investigators suddenly felt cold. She was stood in the corner of the lounge and when others approached the area, they to reported a strange cold feeling. I decided to check this out myself armed with a temperature gun. When I walked over to the corner of the lounge I was surprised... I could in fact feel a coldness, yet my temperature device did not record anything different than the normal temperature of the house. Again I came out and walked into the location again. Time and time again I felt the same thing. I thought it would be a good idea to fetch the cameras and film and photograph the location, however within minutes the coldness dissipated never to return. I have on occasion felt such cold spots before in alleged haunted locations. Hollywood films would have use believe that you can see your breathe in such cold areas, but I don't think this is a true representation. I have been in a number of cold spots and never have I seen physical evidence of it, such as my breathe. I believe it was simply a Hollywood spin on the phenomena so to visually represent a cold spot on screen. In some cases when temperature units and devices record sudden drops in temperature, you have to take into consideration the possibility of the equipment faulting or being adversely affected by means we do not understand. In a few cases, temperature devices also record spikes of increased heat and on investigation we find no explanation to why or how the incident took place. Equipment does require calibrating and examination to make sure they are working correctly before use on an active investigation... As to what was responsible for the cold spot in Joe and Jackie's lounge remains a mystery.
The next incident to be logged was the sound of footsteps heard coming from the front upstairs bedroom. I crept up the stairs as possible in hope of catching sight of this mysterious intruder. I reached the closed door to Bradley's bedroom and paused in hope of hearing something, but all was quiet. I opened the door and looked in. Bradley was sound asleep and nothing in the room looked out of place. Puzzled as to what exactly we had heard I went back downstairs and decided to set up a video camera at the bottom of the staircase looking up the stairs.
It was now almost 1.00am and even though we told Joe and Jackie they could go to bed if they wanted, they decided to stay up with us. Both seemed rather excited that we had heard things we couldn't explain. Joe went of to the kitchen to make more coffee, a necessity for most investigators. As I was sat in the lounge with the other investigators we heard a knocking sound coming from upstairs. This time, Lynn went up and could find nothing unusual. She came down shaking her head as if to indicate nothing was there. Around 2.00am the sound of a ball bouncing in the kitchen was heard again, identical to the previous time and again, nothing was found and the audible recorder had recorded it. The strange noises continued through the early hours and by 7.00am we had decided to pack up. We were to go away and look through all our video footage as well as check the audible recorders.
The following day we reviewed all the recordings we had made at the location. We could not work out why the motion detector had triggered and when reviewing the audible recorders we could clearly hear the unusual sounds of a bouncing ball at the times we noted. The most interesting find was something caught on the video camera which had been left running for a few hours at the bottom of their staircase. To the right of the camera was the hallway and entrance to the living room, and to the left (about a foot away) was the adjoining wall to next door. At precisely 3.48am a dark mass passed in front of the camera. Passing from right to left. This happened rather quickly and when frame stepped you could clearly see a dark mass move across the screen, but whatever it was, it seemed as if it had passed through the wall to the left of the camera and moved to the right (into the hallway). The audio of the camera picked no unusual sound up, only our distant conversations in the lounge. All our equipment was checked again to make sure they were all working as they should do. We found no problems. EMF, Ion Air Counts, GMF, Magnetic and Microwave meters shown no unusual readings. There were also no compass deflections or photographs of anything unusual. Just the odd sounds and that strange dark mass that seemed top pass in front of our video camera.
The property did not have central heating thus pipe expansion sounds were not an explanation for any of the odd noises we heard. The gas fire was checked for Carbon Monoxide leaks and nothing out of the normal was found. Inhalation of Carbon Monoxide can cause hallucinations, but this was not the case. Apart from the unusual cold feeling that lasted a few minutes in the corner of the lounge, nothing else of similarity happened. Temperature readings were as normal throughout the night.
I visited Joe and Jackie the following day to discuss our findings and our next step in assisting them. I had decided to telephone Trafford Borough Council to see what they had to say about the matter. After a lengthly conversation I was instructed to write to the head of housing about Joe and Jackie's problem. The following day I constructed a letter and mailed it to them. The letter read:
'In regards to a recent conversation with a member of your staff, I am writing this letter of confirmation that paranormal disturbances have been reported and logged with our organisation. The property has been under investigation by our organisation for several weeks. In that time we have got to know the tenants rather well. When we first initiated our investigation neither tenant expressed an interest in moving from their home, however, as time went on, reported disturbances increased thus causing the tenant's stress and concerns for the welfare of their two young children. Investigators attended the property several times in hope of recording such anomalies. After a number of onsite investigations we concluded a number of unusual occurrences. In conclusion I believe that the tenants are witnessing what can only be described as paranormal disturbances. I would gratefully request an electrical survey to be carried out at the property and to be informed of any abnormalities. I look forward to hearing from you'.
I was surprised how helpful Trafford Borough Council were being. A few days later I received a telephone call from Joe to inform us that two electrical surveyors had visited their home and carried out a number of tests on their electrical system. I asked Joe if the surveyors said anything to him about their findings. Joe replied 'No, they just wrote down stuff and then left'. Surely enough a couple of days later I received a letter from Trafford Borough Council explaining that they had sent electrical surveyors to their home to carry out tests and that nothing unusual was found. In fact, the surveyors had stated that their electrical wiring was better than average and met all current regulation and specification.
Well. it would seem Joe and Jackies electrical wiring was fine, just as we had suspected. I wrote to the housing manager once again just to ask he he had any details on file regarding similar paranormal reports at the property and/or suicides. Again I received a letter back within days saying they had no such information on file and that he had not heard of any unusual things goings on at the property before Joe and Jackie moved in.
I would at this stage like to thank Trafford Borough Council in their assistance, they were very helpful. On occasion I have had to deal with a number of councils and found most of them such as Stockport, Rochdale, Manchester etc very helpful. So... I had decided to re-interview Joe and Jackie and to compile my findings and feelings as to what was going on.
I arrived at their home and immediately noticed how tired both looked, they had been kept up again by unusual sounds and Bradley had woke up a couple night ago screaming out again about a man in his bedroom. Clearly swapping the bedrooms around hadn't helped. Joe said that they were at the end of their tether and even though they didn't want to move them may be forced to simply because they couldn't seem to get any sleep and Bradley was getting more and upset. I understood their concerns and agreed to help them. I told them that I would write one last letter to the council in hope of relocating them. At this point Jackie bust out crying, she really was stressed and I suggested that they try and get away from the house a while, maybe have a holiday or stay at their parents house. Jackie nodded as Joe held tight onto her hand. I felt so sorry for them. I can understand that how such paranormal disturbances can scare people and that living with it on a daily basis can be difficult and stressful.
I wrote a lengthly letter to Trafford Borough Council the following day explained my concerns for the family. I even gave them the vicars telephone number just in case they wanted to talk with him in regards his involvement at the property. Whilst waiting a reply I decided to write up a final report.
Joe and Jackie's home in Sale Moor, Manchester was a small two bedroom house that had panelled studded walls and was built around 1963. I found no evidence of suicides at the location, all environmental checks came up normal, their electrical wiring was fine. There seemed to be no evidence of previous paranormal incidents at the location. I cannot help think that Jackie's younger sister who had been staying over at their home and was experiencing problems in her own home was somehow attributing to the disturbances, very much like poltergeist infestations can seem to manifest around adolescent individuals that are experiencing stress or upset.
After completing my report I sat back and awaited one of two things. Either a phone call from a very desperate Joe or Jackie, or a letter from Trafford Borough Council hopefully informing me that they will relocate the family. It was now June 16th 2002. I had received a letter in the morning from Trafford Borough Council. I hasterly opened it and began to read... I couldn't believe it. They had taken my letter seriously and had arranged to help the family. There were to be relocated to one of three local properties. Fantastic! I couldn't wait to tell them. I decided not to telephone them. This deserved a visit so I could tell them face to face.
I arrived at the house. Probably the first time I had visited without any equipment. I knocked on the door and as normal Jackie and Joe were pleased to see me. I sat in their lounge and told them of what I had learnt. They were gobsmacked, they didn't think that the council would help them. I told them that I was sent a letter from the council explaining that they were going to be offered one of three different properties locally, so they didn't have to worry about changing Bradley's school. Jackie once again burst out crying and Joe approached me to (what I presumed) shake my hand.
I was wrong. Joe embraced me and gave me a hug. At that point I realised why I do this. Helping a family overcome such disturbances is very rewarding... I was touched. Clearly Joe was emotional. All this time and I had never seen him this way. He was usually the strong character looking after his regularly upset partner. Whatever was responsible for driving the family away from their once comfortable home, would have to remain there. As for Joe and Jackie, they were off and I wouldn't blame them if they never looked back.
Joe and Jackie moved house on the sunny morning of July 9th 2002. I was there that day to help out and give moral support. They moved into their slightly larger three bedroom home less than a mile away. Jackie was also happy that it was nearer to her mothers house and Bradley's school.
As the years passed I regularly received Christmas cards from them. Bradley was doing well at school and young David was now toddling around the house. None of them ever experienced strange things again and slept soundly. As I suspected, Joe and Jackie's interest in the subject subsided and gave way to Joe's new job as a sales consultant.
As for their previous home. Trafford Borough Council let the property stand empty for several months before an older gentleman moved in. In August of 2003 I called to introduce myself simply as a market researcher. I asked him one two questions. Did he believe in the paranormal and had he ever experienced something strange. Both his answers were.... 'NO'!
Special Thanks to our investigators Lynn Offord, Mike Offord and Elizabeth Roxburgh. Also, I'd like to thank Trafford Borough Council for their assistance and of course the local vicar.
Steve Mera BSc.