For Gill, mother of twin daughters aged 18, living in her three bedroom house in Stockport was an enjoyable one; that is, until the paranormal came calling. the dark nights had drawn in quickly, it was Novermber 1998 when I received word that a family living in Stockport were finding it difficult to live in their home due to consistent paranormal incidents, which included audible disturbances, physical interaction and object manipulation.
The investigation started by visiting the family and interviewing them and of course assessing the situation, ie, severity and frequency of reported incidents. The three bedroom terrace house was no different than any others on their road, except, this house allegedly had paranormal disturbances. Gill, mother of two told me that her youngest of the twins had felt something tapping her on the head and often reported being touched by an invisible hand. This was also confirmed by Julie, Gills older daughter, who had also experienced the same thing.
Such things as strange banging sounds, taps being turned on, appliances regularly breaking down, bulbs jumping out of their fittings only to be found intact on the floor were regularly witnessed. Objects were also found to have been moved throughout the night. For Gill, things had suddenly become more serious when Julie woke in the morning to find scratch marks on her legs. Julie had no recollection of how or where they had come from. As the days followed, the family became more nervous after seeing a dark amorphous shape moving about the house. Keys and important letters turned up in the most unusual places and sometimes disappeared and turned up in the most obvious places where they had looked several times before. House plants would inexplicably die and the pet dog was often upset during the night.
One particular morning, Julie had heard a noise in her sisters room and went to investigate. She entered the room expecting to see her sister Michelle. But the room was empty. Julie claimed to have clearly heard the wardrobe doors open and shut and the sound of ornaments being moved around. Julie noticed that both wardrobe doors were wide open and the small table with ornaments on it had moved from its usual position about a foot nearer to the window. Such periodic disturbances started to increase in frequency. The family were plagued by the sound of scratching at night, which seemed to emanate from the walls and ceilings. Beds would often shake accompanied by coldness. Gill, now desperate to get help confided in a friend who had previously visited the house and thought she saw something at the top of the stairs.
Days past and the family were now suffering from sleepless nights. Michelle had to quit work at the local public house as glasses would suddenly come crashing down at hear and on one occasion the landlord watched as a number of glasses launched themselves off the shelf and across the bar. These incidents, plus having to come in late at home led Michelle to leave. Investigators did talk with the landlord who not only confirmed that glasses would fly off the shelves when Michelle was working, but the till would always play up and light would often flicker...
Gill and the girls had now become use to barricading themselves into the front bedroom together. The night time was dreaded by all and often drove the family to travel to the bathroom together. They longed for sun-up, but then, incicidents started to take place during the day. They were at their whits end. Julie and her sister Michelle would often jump up screaming after their backsides were touched or pinched. The girls were generally upset and scared. Gill's dog, a small white Scottish Terrier would often cry out and howl at night but when Gill tried to take the dog upstairs with them at night, it simply refused, even to the point of being agressive. There was one particular occasion the girls had managed to force the dog upstairs but the Terrier scratched madly at the closed bedroom doom and would not stop. Fearful of her dog hurting himself on splinters of wood, Gill picked up enough courage to take the dog back downstairs and put him in his kitchen bed. She quickly scooped up the dog and headed downstairs. Suddenly, she found herself stood at the bottom of the stairs outside the lounge. She could see that the lounge door was open, yet she had closed it tight behind her earlier so to stop her dog from entering the lounge in a desperate attempt to flee her arms. Petrified, she reached into the dark lounge and switched the light on. At that very moment, Gill heard a strange crackling sound and the lounge bulb suddenly launched itself out of its fixing and across the room. Dropping the dog she let out a scream and found herself stumbling up the stairs as fast as she could. She reached the bedroom, slammed the door and put the furniture up against it.
It was now December 2nd 1998. It had become regular routine to barricade themselves into the front bedroom around 7.00pm, before the late hours arrived. On visiting you could clearly see that the family had spent most of their time in the front bedroom. They had errected a TV in the corner and dragged their phone on an extention lead into the bedroom. There was a kettle, milk, crisps and buscuit packets around accompanied by a bottle of tap water and a couple of touches (just in case the electric went off). One on particular night, Julie could not wait till morning and needed to go to the bathroom. Gill reluctantly moved the furniture away from the door and opened it. As she peered into the hallway, she truley saw something terrifying. There, on the staircase stood a large dark figure. When they caught sight of it, the apparition quickly started to move towards them, stamping its feet up the remaining two or three steps and turning towards the front bedroom. Screaming and crying they slammed the door shut, throwing furniture in front of the door but this time including a tipped up matress and single bed. They sat huddled together in the corner of the room shaking in terror expecting the door to be kicked open.... But nothing... complete silence.
It was at this time I received a telephone call at around 3.20am. Gill was crying down the phone so much I could hardly understand her. She needed help and fast. I headed down to the family home and arrived around 3.50am. I walked up the dark path to the house, I could clearly see the upstairs bedroom light on. Just as I got to the front door I heard my name called. Gill and the girls had opened the front bedroom window and was telling me what had happened. I asked them to come and open the front door, but none of them would open the bedroom door. I told them I could not help them unless I gained access. Again they were adament they would not come down to open the front door. It took me a little over ten minutes to convince them that they would be ok and nothing would happen now I was there. Gill reluctantly grabbed the girls (arm in arm) and made her way to the front door. In the process putting on every light she could. (I was hoping in the back of my mind that they would not experience anything on the way). It was a gamble, but one which I needed to take for them to open the front door. (I remember thinking to myself, that if they see something on their way down, they will never get this damn front door open). The halway light went on and the front door opened. As I went to ask how they were my conversation was cut short by Gill's arms grabbing hold of me. She gripped me tight in a hug, crying and sobbing. I felt so sorry for them, what they must be going through must be terrifying. I truly began to worry for their well being.
Rushed off to the lounge and countless cups of coffee, Julie and Michelle told me that they had all seen an apparition. It looked to be at least 6 - 7 foot tall, wide shoulders and a rather small head for its size. The figure was dark in colour but little parts of it you could see through. There were no feet and no hands, it was as if the extremities had faded away. I calmed the family down and told them I will do all in my power to help them. The family were being plagued by paranormal incidents, of which most happen at night, but do continue during the day with less severity. Small and large objects will be found to have been moved. Items going missing and turning up in odd places, light bulbs jumping out of their fixings and in some cases launching themselves across the room. Electrical items would constantly break down such as, in a six month spate 2 hoovers, a hair dryer, 2 toasters, 2 CD Players, 2 irons, 3 video recorders, a dryer and 4 tvs had gone faulty. Strange sounds could be heard regularly, described as scratching, knocking, banging, crackling and tapping sounds which were often accompanied by cold areas. The sounds often emanated from the walls or ceilings above the lounge couch and beds throughout the house. Strange dark shadows and shapes would be seen to move about the house and now an apparition of a dark tall figure. Julie had complained of strange scratch marks on her legs on several occasions. Beds would shake, blankets started to be pulled off them during the night and flashes of light could often be seen coming from the corners of several rooms.
Baseline tests found no rational explanations. No unusual EMF, Static, Microwave Energy, no faulty wiring, nor negative ions. The only thing we obtained was the faulting of equipment... Temperature units would fail, 3 cameras failed to work properly and one of our video recorders just died, but started working fine once we had left the building. Very odd... A large amount of incidents were forms of physical interaction. Julie and Michelle often reported being touched on their backsides, and their hair tugged and of course scratch marks appearing on Julies legs during the night. Also, a number of rooms were plagued by bad odours. The smell of rotten meat. I had experienced this myself during a visit on December 4th 1998 whilst in the back bedroom. Suddenly there was an odour that filled the air. To be honest, it kind of took my breath away. It was a horrific smell that left me teary eyed and on the verge of vomitting. Another investigator did experience the smell before mysteriously disappearing. The whole thing last only a couple of minutes. One of the video cameras had caught some small flashes of light. This occurred 4 times on film during the investigation.
December 5th 1998. I knew I needed to help this family, and, it had gone past the need for me to obtain further data. I searched for someone who may be able to help. I contacted a local Methodist Church and agreed to visit the reverand. I met with Rev. Thomas and explained my concerns. He agreed to help and would visit the family home that week. I informed Gill and told her that I and other investigators would gladly stay with them until he arrived. Myself and three other investigators set up camp for about 3 days. During that time we conducted a thorough investigation of the building. We had now accumilated 102 hours of video surveillance, about 60 hours of audio recordings and had taken around 96 photographs. Sensor sweeps were carried out every hour or so. Occasional high EMF spikes would appear then drop away. We had also noted at times that the pet dog was acting rather unusual. He would stop and stare at empty walls and corners, as if he was watching something. He ran off into the kitchen on two occasions in the same evening and was heard growling. After fixing a sandwich a loaf of bread suddenly launched itself off the worktop and across the kitchen. There were also some strange banging sounds coming from upstairs even though no one was up there, and on two seperate occasions we heard the upstairs taps turn themselves on. I had even gone to the front door several times due to the front door bell ringing, only to find know one there. Over the three days Gill and her daughters were plagued by bad dreams and would often sit awake through the night.
December 8th 1998. It was Julie and Michelles birthday, and Gill had bought them a new CD System as the last one had (like most other stuff) stopped working.It was 1.58pm, Julie was on her way downstairs when she heard a deep rasping voice shout out 'Happy Birthday', as she turned she suddenly felt two hands push her down the stairs. Julie landed at the bottom in a heap and screaming. It was obviously she was injured. Julie was helped to the car and Gill rushed her off to hospital. Sometime later Gill returned with Julie who had her leg in plaster. She had severly fractured her ankle. Julie explained that the voice she heard must have come from the new CD System but on investigation it was found not to be plugged in. By this time Gill was now taking Vallium which had been prescribed by her local GP. Gill was a complete wreck, often shaking from being nervous, and the girls were complaining of regular migrains.
December 9th 1998. Investigators reported that the downstairs fire was turned on several times and the kitchen cooker rings had also been turned on. The strong smell of gas would often fill the air, which prompted regular checks. Fire and cooker knobs were fasted down by strong carpet tape. This was becoming dangerous. I telephoned Rev. Thomas and told him what was happening. He said he would come to the house tomorrow.
December 10th 1998. I unfortunately could not be there for Rev. Thomas's visit. I was exhausted and need to rest. I had been awake for 72 hours and was starting to have difficulties concentrating. I had asked two investigators to attend the family home so to meet up with Rev. Thomas and to make sure everything went smoothly. At 8.00pm promptly Rev. Thomas and four associates arrived. After a brief interview with Gill and the girls, the reverend started to carry out a blessing of the property, starting in the kitchen, then the lounge and dining area. He asked the family to come upstairs as he thought the focal point was somewhere up there. The investigators remained downstairs as Rev. Thomas, his four associates, Gill and her daughters made their way upstairs. A quietness fell over the house, the investigators could just make out the sound of chanting of some kind. About half an hour later they all came back downstairs. Rev. Thomas said 'All should be fine now, God has blessed your home). two of the associates mentioned that they were aware of an evil presence which they had never felt before and would never want to again. Rev. Thomas asked Gill to contact him if there was any further problems, and left along with his associates.
Days past... Even though I kept in regular contact with Gill, there had been no further incidents. In fact, the two investigators that attended during the blessing had reported a strange calmness fell over the house. Days turned into weeks which turned into months. Gill and her family went on to have an enjoyable Christmas with not a single incident taking place. They also managed to go away on holiday in the Spring of 1999 and returned to a much more pleasant home.
I have never been much of a believer in the power of the church, and often attributed success to the placebo affect, (where residents believe so strongly that the blessing with work, that they somehow convince themselves that it has worked or somehow adversely affect the conditions in that environment). Maybe it was simply down to Gill's and her daughters beliefs. I was taught that only 12% of blessings were said to be actually successful. My main concern was the safety of this family. I felt as if I was grasping at straws but needed to do something. I have been involved in a number of cases when I have had to introduce the church to the investigation and can honestly say it has not been very helpful, however, in this circumstance, when all activity suddenly stops and does not return after a blessing is perfomed. One cannot help think that maybe,... just maybe, there is something to it. Whatever it was that helped, be it a placebo or the power of God, the family continued to have a normal life free of any further activity.
Years have now past and I regularly receive Christmas cards from those I have helped, thanking me for my assistance. But was it me or something of a higher consciousness? Maybe I will never know... I finished this investigation by sending a letter out to Rev. Thomas. It read:
Dear Rev. Thomas,
I would like to thank you for your assistance regarding the issues that the Rollingson family of Stockport had reported to us. I have recently talked with the mother Gill who informed me that everything was fine and as it should be. Not a single reported incident since your assistance has been reported. I cannot thank you enough. Coming from an organisation that have been operating since 1974 in the attempt to assist such families with their disturbances or experiences, I have never been more satisfied with an outcome. I am indebted to you. Thank you for your kind assistance and understanding of this matter.
Compiled by Steve Mera.
Special thanks to Rev. Thomas & his associates and the many investigators involved in the case.