Monday, April 16, 2018

The Hottest Cold spots

People often ask me what personal experiences I have had on my paranormal journey. I usually start with one or two anecdotes and if the person is especially unlucky I will still be talking an hour later!

Personal experiences are just that; things that I alone have heard, felt, seen, smelt or touched. These experiences are, more often than not, unconfirmed by anyone else and not captured on any recording devices.

This does not mean that they are not valid, it simply means that they happened to me and me alone.


Feelings of being touched can happen at any time. The first time I felt this was as I tripped on an old staircase. A hand reached out - unseen by me - and gently took hold of my elbow, steadying me and stopping me from falling.

Another time, I felt a gentle touch on the back of my head as if someone was stroking my hair.

In an abandoned women's home, in the maternity section, I felt hands moving over my belly as if someone was examining me.

Lying in bed and having my quilt pulled off me.


Quite often when we are investigating we do not hear anything at the time but when we play back the audio we find we have caught moans, cries, voices and other strange phenomena that went unheard by us at the time.

Sometimes, however, I am lucky enough to hear something strange at the time it happens;

A muttering of many voices from the end of a corridor in an abandoned castle.

A knocking on a wall - on request - when there was clearly no one within touching distance.

Footsteps walking around our group despite us having our torches switched on and all of us accounted for.


It can be difficult to make things out in the half-light during investigations but I have come across quite a few oddities. Here are some of them;

A fleeting glimpse of a hooded figure standing beside me in full daylight.

Shadows moving around a doorway moments before footsteps were heard running up the stairs in an old mill.

A big black ball of energy appearing in a doorway seconds before all the EMF meters went off.

A white light flying above our heads in an erratic fashion in an abandoned asylum.


Sometimes, on investigations, we mention to each other that we can smell flowers or smoke or some other scent. It is difficult to classify these as paranormal as there are so many possible explanations
  • Aftershave, perfume, deodorant, toothpaste or other personal hygiene products worn by the investigators.
  • Wood often holds aromas such as cigarette, cigar or pipe smoke which can be released by heat from the sun or artificial heating.
  • The smell of spilt alcohol can often linger for quite some time so if the location has recently hosted a party this can contaminate the scene.
I have sometimes smelled flowers during an investigation but have always ruled it out as a possible perfume contaminant.

I would love to hear of any possible paranormal personal experiences that you may have had. Feel free to add yours in the comments section!

Friday, November 10, 2017

The Emotional Paranormal Investigator

I was asked recently if I had ever been affected by a location and this got me thinking. Can the paranormal affect our emotions? Or are we simply projecting our thoughts and affecting ourselves?

Paranormal Emotional Transference

This is the transferring of energy from a paranormal source onto a living entity. If you love reading about the paranormal you will, no doubt, have come across lots of stories about transference.
  • Dogs barking at nothing.
  • Horses getting spooked for no reason.
  • People being overcome by feelings of grief or unease.
These are only some of the many examples that have been documented and discussed over the years.

But, is there any truth to these stories?

Taking the above examples and looking at them objectively, we can come up with some logical explanations that may have been overlooked or simply ignored.
  • Dogs' hearing, especially at very high frequencies, enables them to hear things that most humans simply cannot.
  • Horses are notorious for getting spooked over seemingly trivial things - a bird fluttering in a bush, a sudden gust of wind, a piece of discarded rubbish - things that we may not notice ourselves are they are so commonplace.
  • Some people have little control over their emotions and may feel uneasy or sad without realising it. Even seasoned ghost hunters may suffer from tiredness, stress or illness and tis may lead to them appearing to take on some form of paranormal emotion.
Before we assume that paranormal emotional transference is the cause of these emotional outbursts, all other avenues should be investigated.
Rule out the obvious, the probable and the possible.
Only after doing this, can we say that paranormal emotional transference may have taken place.


It is far more likely that the seemingly paranormal experience can be explained logically on examination of all that facts.

But ...

Did I fall victim to Paranormal Emotional Transference?

I remember entering the kitchen area of a large abandoned building where woman - both young and old - had been treated brutally. I was chatting to one of the team and suddenly I felt tears well up. I tried to blink them away but the sadness I suddenly felt was overwhelming and I couldn't stop the tears from falling.
As I fought to hide my distress from the other people present, I heard one of the team remark that this area was called the crying room as people often became upset when they entered the area.

When I visited an old empty house that my parents were hoping to buy, I walked around on my own and as I reached the back of the house I suddenly felt sad. I sat on a ledge at the back corner of the house nearest the road. My Dad came around the corner and asked me why I was crying. I shrugged through my tears. I had no idea what had come over me.
Years later, we found out that a woman spent a lot of her life locked in an upstairs room at the back of the house on the side nearest the road. She was often seen by passers-by and they said she stood at the window weeping.

There are possibly logical explanations for what I felt but I believe that something outside myself affected me for those few moments.

Demonic Possessions

So, if energy can affect us, can energy manipulate us? Is this where the idea of demonic possession come from? Or poltergeists?

Once again, there are many theories but my own personal beliefs are that, as in everyday life, if we choose to give away our power then yes, energy can manipulate us, but we have a choice. We can choose how we react to energy around us - either by allowing it to affect us or by refusing to let it in.

  • If we walk into a room where there has been an argument, we can often feel the air thick with negativity. We then have a choice; either let the energy affect us and make us angry, sad or afraid or, we can choose to ignore the energy and carry on as if nothing had happened.
  • If a friend comes to us with their problems we can feel empathy for them and allow their anger, sadness or fear to become ours or, we can choose to listen, offer advice but refuse to allow their negative energy to affect us.

Future Investigations

I will continue to keep aware of my emotions during paranormal investigations and will report any new experiences or findings.

Perhaps we will never know if paranormal emotional transference really occurs.

But, I'll have fun trying to find out!

Further Reading

Monday, October 9, 2017

EMF? What has this got to do with Ghosts?

What is EMF?

EMF is the abbreviation for electromagnetic fields. According to the WHO, these fields are around us all the time but are invisible to the human eye. (WHO web link)


Natural sources include thunderstorms and the earth's magnetic field.

Man-made sources include x-rays, electricity and mobile phones.

Possible ill effects of high EMF

  • fatigue, stress and sleep disturbances
  • skin rashes
  • depression
  • sore throats
  • digestive disorders
  • infertility
  • cancer clusters
Research is ongoing and although these effects are often reported, no conclusive link has been found between them and high EMF levels.

So what has this to do with Ghost Hunting?

Most paranormal investigators carry at least one EMF meter with them. The meters' flashing lights are well-known to most paranormal fans.

But why do they flash? What does it all mean?

For years, paranormal researchers have believed that bursts of EMF signal the possible manifestation of a spirit.

There is no proof to state that this is the case but conversely, there is no proof that this is NOT the case!

Confusing? Yes.

These days, most paranormal investigators use these meters as, simply, another tool to point them in the right direction. Unexplained readings (flashing lights) guide us to spend a little more time in the area, perhaps taking more photographs or calling out.

Sometimes the pulsing of the lights seems to be intelligent. They seem to flash on demand or in response to questions. While this can be interesting, it does not prove the existence of spirits.

Things that can affect EMF

Sometimes, on a ghost hunt, the EMF meters flash throughout the investigation. We have to rule out natural or normal causes such as;

  • mobile phones not switched off
  • passing taxis or police cars (the radios send out waves that can affect our meters)
  • other items of gear too close to the meters - my audio recorder sets mine off if I hold them too close together
  • electricity meters
These are the most obvious things we have to look out for but there may well be other things that we do not notice at the time (thunder, overhead power lines).

If we have a lot of activity with the EMF meters but no other items of interest during the investigation, we make a point of returning at a later date to see if we get the same response.

If, on the other hand, we pick up EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), unexplained mists or shadows on photographs or film and have some personal experiences around the time of the high EMF readings, we are inclined to say that they may be of a paranormal nature.

In conclusion

High EMF readings are always of interest. Shorts bursts may simply mean that we have inadvertently contaminated our investigation or that a spirt is trying to manifest or that a taxi has just driven past close by.

Longer, more sustained, high readings suggest that there may be a source of electricity, WIFI, cordless or mobile phone or other radio wave producing element in our vicinity. In this case (especially in a private house investigation), we will try to locate the source so that we can advise the homeowners that this may be a potential health issue.

EMF readings are interesting but not conclusive. No self-respecting paranormal investigator would rely solely on these little flashing lights - but, they are still fun!

Friday, September 22, 2017

Return to Ballinacarriga

This castle has always had a special place in my heart - it was the first place I went as a paranormal investigator. That night was full of excitement and for me, this beautiful castle has never lost its appeal.

A locked-off room where I thought I heard footsteps

I was the last to arrive and the team were already in place and about to begin. The rain was pouring down but it was a mild night and we decided to start the investigation at the top or chapel area.

In the past I have always picked up on a male figure on this floor but on this occasion I was disappointed. We did get some K11 hits but, unlike other times, only one K11 was affected.

I thought I heard shuffling footsteps behind me at one point but as nothing else happened to confirm this, I can not be sure that I actually heard them and so must put these down to a simple 'personal experience'.

We moved down to a lower floor and entered a room where I have sometimes felt a presence. I called out to Randal Og and sent him a personal message. One of the K11s immediately lit up. Again, only one K11 in the room was affected.

The top floor - in the rain

Barrie and I decided to stay in this room for a little while, leaving the other investigators to move down to the next floor. We didn't notice anything definite here but I was intrigued by a shadow by the door that appeared to move at times, getting a little bigger then shrinking back again. I wasn't able to document this or catch it on film so once again, I must put it down to a 'personal experience'.

We did get a full K11 hit here as we called out to Randal Og once more.

Barrie and I then moved to a narrow corridor. Barrie complained of pressure in his head and said that the place felt really heavy. I was talking away (as I usually do!) calling out and chatting with any spirits when I suddenly felt the need to be quiet. I felt that something wanted me to shut up! I also got a bad pain in my back but thought maybe this was because I had been standing for a while (it hasn't happened before though).

The ground floor

Barrie then discovered the 'pooka hole' at the end of the corridor. (The pooka is a celtic mythological creature that can change shape and can bring either good or evil, as it sees fit.) I knew that Barrie was feeling a bit  uncomfortable as his head was 'ready to burst' so I offered to change places with him and went to stand close to the pooka hole.

The Pooka Hole (Pic courtesy of Cork Supernatural Society)

Suddenly I found myself swaying and even as I was calling out, something seemed to want me to be quiet. I began to feel very sick. My head was aching, I got bad stomach cramps, I felt nauseated and the pain in my back was quickly becoming unbearable.

We moved to the corridor entrance, leaving the pooka hole behind, and I immediately began to feel better. We stayed at the entrance for a few more minutes and then decided to move to the ground floor for the last part of our investigation.

By the time we got down the stairs, I was feeling completely well although I did feel very tired and couldn't stop yawning even though it was only 10pm!

We didn't find anything else of note but the rest of the team were getting some good K11 hits and they seemed to get some intelligent responses.

On arrival home, I decided to listen to the audio. I was disappointed to find that I was missing at least twenty minutes from the middle of the night. Although my recorder clearly showed that it was recording all the time - I check it carefully as I set it down and again when I pick it up - for some unknown reason, it skipped the part where I called out to Randall Og and got the K11 hit.

Barrie reviewed his audio and found he has captured a woman's laughter while we were in the corridor near the pooka hole. Unfortunately, my audio was too near the entrance and picked up a lot of noise from the rest of the team, making it difficult to hear anything. I will, however, go over it carefully again to see if I have also captured the laughter.

All in all, it was a good night and I am sure that we will be returning here in the future.

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Don't forget I detail some of my most interesting investigations in my Irish Paranormal Haunts book series.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Abandoned Manor House

Four of the team recently investigated an abandoned manor house. The house is set on a hill and overlooks a nearby town. It has extensive grounds, although now, horses roam the once well-tended gardens and the house itself is in a sorry state with most of the roof missing and no doors or unbroken windows.

The downstairs rooms are full of rubble and debris. Here and there, hints of the once splendid house are still to be seen.

The staircase is rapidly becoming dangerous and the first floor is badly water-damaged from the elements. I did not venture further than the landing at the top of the stairs.

Paranormal Background

Paranormal investigations had been carried out here before this one. K11 hits and EVPs had already been noted here and some of the previous investigators felt that this was an active location.

We were all looking forward to this one.

On the night, things were very quiet. We did not get any K11 hits - although we do not rely on these to indicate the possibility of paranormal activity, we use the emf meters along with our other gear to guide us in the right direction.

We carried out a live EVP session and again, we did not get any sign of activity. We also used a spirit box but there were too many radio stations cutting in and this made it almost impossible to hear anything unusual.

Despite the lack of activity on the night, I am aware that sometimes places are simply 'quiet'. We all agreed that the location has potential and we will be carrying out more investigations here.

The house has a long history and as with all old buildings you never know who or what might be lurking in the shadows. Perhaps, on our next visit, we will have something to report!

I haven't yet gone through all the audio from the night but if I find anything of interest, I will publish the results.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Let's Get Personal!

Many of you are interested in finding out more about the paranormal and in particular, about what I actually do and the team I am with.

I have put together a list of links where you can go to find out more about us. Please feel free to share these with your friends and spread the word!

My flickr photos More photos from my investigations

Stuff of Nightmares Facebook page All things Paranormal

Shadowhunters Facebook page My old team

Cork Supernatural Society Facebook page My current team

Diary of a West Cork Ghost Hunter One of the team members new page

Forgotten Ireland Our team leader's new page

Irish Paranormal Haunts Book Link Details of my investigations. Now available on Audible too.

Irish Paranormal Haunts Vol 2 Book Link More details of my investigations

My Twitter feed Follow me!

Instagram Follow me here too!

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If you have any questions or queries, don't hesitate! Get in touch! I'd love to hear from you!

Irish Paranormal Haunts