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Ghostly goings-on at Devon's old haunts


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« on: July 25, 2009, 11:05:11 am »

The Torbay Investigators of the Paranormal are on a ghost hunt - and you can help them. The group visits haunted buildings to see if they can spot evidence of spirits. And they've even got the equipment to prove ghostly goings-on...

Everybody - or almost everybody - has their own ghost story to tell. Something which is unexplained...something we've seen or heard or felt which has no logical explanation to it.

And what do we do with these spooky exeriences? Keep them to ourselves mostly, because we think people will laugh at us. And then there's the fear of ghosts, which puts people off investigating unexplained events too deeply.

But that's not the case for some brave souls - those who are members of paranormal groups who go in search of "The Truth."

One such group is the Torbay Investigators of the Paranormal (TIP), which was set up in 1995 by founder members David Phillips, Adrian Lodge and David Brown.

The group meets each Monday night at one of Devon's most reputedly haunted buildings - the centuries-old Churston Court Hotel in Torbay. The Saxon building has, it seems, more than one ghost lurking in the nooks and crannies.

There are stories of candles being re-lit of their own accord, and of a monk's habit being seen leaving rooms - so this is a perfect meeting place for TIP.

The group is made up of people who've had unexplained experiences, psychics, mediums, healers, and those who are simply interested in all things paranormal - and that includes UFOs.

TIP are also on hand to respond to requests to investigate the presence of spirits - at public buildings, pubs, or even people's homes.

But what exactly is a ghost? And what do they want with us? David Phillips explains: "Ghosts are the human energy - released from the spirit - of someone who has passed on.

"They come back because they've got a message for someone, or they want to see somebody. The chances are that if they were nice when they were alive, they'll be nice as ghosts."

As part of their investigations, TIP hold all-night vigils at buildings to gather evidence of spirits. They use infra-red video cameras, and digital stills cameras.

Both types of camera have captured unexplained white objects which are not seen by the naked eye - and these are said to be the orbs of the spirit.

Sound recording equipment is also used - and has in the past succeeded in capturing the unexplained sound of footsteps and other noises.

A thermometer is also used, because the presence of a spirit is always accompanied by a sudden drop in temperature.

"There is a frequency at which paranormal events are detected, and the temperature is another sign of something being present," said David. "There's just too much evidence to suggest there's nothing in the paranormal," he added.

There are loads of ghost stories in Devon, and a lot of old properties are said to be haunted - The Palace Theatre in Paignton, Bowden House near Totnes, Braunton Museum, and, of course, Churston Court - to name but a few.

Then there are the haunted pubs - the Tower at Slapton, the Pilchard on Burgh Island, and the Kingsbridge Inn at Totnes are among those being investigated by TIP.

And, there's a clear Number One in the Devon ghosts chart, according to David: "Berry Pomeroy Castle," he said. "I've had experiences there, of hearing gunfire and muskets going off.

"There are so many stories of ghosts and unexplained things going on there, it's got to be the most haunted building in Devon." Unless YOU know differently, of course...

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