Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Orbs, Paranormal or Not?

Every time I go out on an investigation I come back with lots of pictures with anomalies in them. Most of these anomalies are orbs. So have I made contact with the other side? Are spirits trying to communicate with me?

These lights (above) were photographed at Carriganass Castle in Co Cork. There were no lights coming from this area at the time and I couldn't see anything that would reflect light back to me. However, as it was taken outside in the open air, I am fairly sure that these were insects flying around at the time.

These anomalies are definitely raindrops reflecting my camera flash. The night was extremely wet and it was pouring with rain at the time I took this. (Kilcrea Castle, Co Cork)

We photographed a lot of orbs in this mill. There are a lot of strange things going on here - voices, footsteps, laughing, children appearing in one of the rooms. The orbs seemed to be following us around that night but once again, it was probably just dust.
My mind is open on this one though, as there is a lot of energy here and perhaps not all of the orbs were dust that night ... (Russagh Mill, Co Cork)

This strange picture was taken outside an old graveyard. We did not notice any mist but as it was taken fairly close to the sea, we can not rule out that a sea mist crept up on us unnoticed. We did not have this strange effect in any of the photographs taken either directly before or directly after it but I can not rule out the mist theory.
This graveyard really gives me the creeps and I would never go there on my own! I used to go there every day in the daytime to check on my horses in the field beside it but I always felt uncomfortable there - I never take any notice of any other graveyards either on my own or with others.

So, before we get too excited about orbs and other anomalies, remember that there is usually a simple explanation for them - dust, moisture, insects, reflections.

But occasionally, we might just come across an unexplained one ...

Monday, August 21, 2017

Kilcrea Castle and Abbey

We recently played host to a paranormal team from the United States. Craic Ghost Hunting (give them a like on Facebook!) live up their name!

We met Kerriann, Katie and Sheri on what turned out to be our wettest ghost hunt yet!

We visited the beautiful Kilcrea Abbey and Castle in County Cork but, due to the weather, our time in the abbey was limited as we were all soaked by the time we had finished investigating the castle.

It was so wet the pictures are full of water orbs and it was very hard to even stand outside to take them! Such a pity as it is a beautiful place. I will make another trip there to get some good pictures and try to do this fantastic place some justice.

I was fascinated by the perfect archways over the doors and windows.

We were able to get to the top of the castle and the view of the courtyard and surroundings was beautiful, unfortunately the rain prevented me from getting any good pictures.

We split into two teams and began our investigation. I was with Kerriann, Sheri and Katie from Craic Ghost Hunting and also, my own teammate Paul.

Matthew, Don and Ivan started on the upper levels while we concentrated on the ground floor. It was very quiet and the castle seemed very peaceful. The only thing of note was something small seemed to drop on one of the ladies every time we asked for a sign. We could not verify this although we were able to rule out drips at that spot and there was nothing that looked like it was loose higher up the wall so we really have no explanation for this.

When the teams met up again we all agreed that it was a beautiful place but very quiet and peaceful. We really did not expect to get any evidence so were surprised when Matthew announced, a few days later, that he had picked up a faint male voice on an EVP.

I have not gone through my own audio at this time and will update this post if I find anything of interest.

After we had finished in the castle we made our way back to the abbey. We had to return through a huge turnip field and although it had been quite damp the first time we crossed it, now it was very wet with a lot of surface water to splash through.

Needless to say, by the time we reached the abbey we were all too wet to stay too long or even to take any photographs so I will have to return to get some pictures.

A very sodden but happy, ghost hunting team!

Thank you Craic Ghost Hunting! It was a pleasure to meet you!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Coming soon to Audible!

Irish Paranormal Haunts will soon be available on Audible! Be one of the first to listen to a sample of the audio!


Monday, August 14, 2017

Carrignaphooka Castle

Sometimes it's not just about the ghost hunting. Sometimes it's great to explore places just for the fun of it.

I recently paid a visit to this beautiful castle with three other paranormal enthusiasts. We hoped to pick up the odd EVP or two or at least get some K11 hits. However, all was quiet although a sensor light did come on for no apparent reason and I did feel a burst of energy hit me in the chest just before this happened.

It may have been a simple coincidence but who knows?

It was a beautiful evening and although the 'farmers' among us (myself included!) brought wellingtons to cross the field to the castle, to our relief the ground was dry and the weather held fair for us.

The castle makes an impressive sight as it comes into view. Set on a rocky promontory in the middle of a field, the castle looms over the landscape and it is easy to imagine the apprehension beating in the enemies' breasts as they approach it.

We climbed the steep steps up to the entrance gate and stood for a moment enjoying the view of the surrounding area. Although the bulk of the castle was still overhead, the view from this relatively low level was already impressive.

We entered the castle and began to set up our gear.

It was very quiet in the castle with the only noise coming from the cattle in the nearby field. We did a calling out session on the top floor but not even the cows answered us.

We decided to move down to a lower level and try our luck there.

This is the area where the sensor light turned on by itself. It was tucked away in a window slit on the stairway and we were all around above it - well out of the way of its sensor. We had our backs to it and were facing this direction (see pic above) when I realised that the light had come on. We did not hear any birds or bats moving in the stairwell but there is still the possibility that they somehow triggered the light unnoticed by us.

We returned to the ground floor but once again we were greeted by silence despite our best efforts.

Although it was a disappointing night from a paranormal point of view, the castle itself has a sense of peace that deserves a visit despite its long and often bloody history.

If you are travelling in the Macroom area of County Cork make sure you take the time to check out this hidden gem. It's worth a visit just for its beauty and feeling of timelessness.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Interview for KICH Grip Alot Radio

I was recently interviewed by Tessa Mauro for KICH Grip Alot Radio.

Tessa and I had great fun talking about the paranormal and I have included most of the interview below.
Please join the Paranormal Prowlers Facebook group to keep up to date with the fantastic DJ and her great interviews as she has some amazing guests on her show.

Talk to us about Cork Supernatural Society.  
I’ve been with CSS for nearly three years now off and on. I had my own team for a while but due to work pressures and family we had to call it a day and so I joined CSS properly.

CSS have been going for about 5 years and as well as investigating together we all get on well.

We have various members but currently there are five of us who go out the most regularly.

Some of the places we go to are quite remote so we never investigate alone.

We travel around Ireland and have ben to most of the well-known places – Leap Castle, The Hell-Fire Club and Duckett’s Grove to name a few.

Do you investigate homes as well as haunted locations?
We are happy to help anyone out if they are in trouble. We recently investigated a house where the occupiers were complaining of presences lurking in doorways, feelings of being watched and an uneasy atmosphere. Their cat was acting strangely too. We discovered that the emf (electromagnetic frequency) was off the charts in the house. We traced it back to incorrectly earthed light switches and advised them to get an electrician to sort it out. They contacted us afterwards saying that since the electrician had rewired the house, they no longer had any problems.

It just shows that sometimes the seemingly paranormal can be explained quite easily. We always try to debunk and when or if that fails, then and only then we call it paranormal.

What made you a believer of the paranormal?
I suppose I grew up listening to my Dad and his family telling stories around the fireplace.

My Dad came from a small farm in Kenmare, Co Kerry and when I was young I would volunteer to go with my Dad to visit his family as we lived across the mountains in West Cork.

I loved hearing the strange tales and rather than being scared by them, I was fascinated.  In my book ‘True Stories from the Dark Side’, I share some of these tales as well as talking about things that happened to me personally before I became an investigator.

How old were you?
I was eighteen when I had my first paranormal experience. I was in an upstairs room at my parent’s house when I became aware of a lady standing beside me staring out of the window. She was wearing a dark blue cloak with the hood pulled up over her head. She was crying. I turned to look at her properly and she disappeared. The house had been built in the 1850s and she seemed to be from that time.

Years later we found out, from visiting descendants of the man who built the house, that his wife suffered from some affliction, probably depression, and used to stand crying at that window

To date what is your most memorable investigation and why?
A private gate lodge. The whole place was rotting from the inside out. Faulty wiring, plumbing accidents, equipment malfunctioning, even cars outside breaking down for no apparent reason. We investigated and when I went over the data the next day, I could hear children’s voices asking for help. We went back and attended a clearing ceremony. I had never been to one of these before and I was a bit skeptical. I was amazed at the things that happened that night. We could track a movement of cold air moving through the room and through the lady doing the clearing’s back. We all heard loud movements from the next room as the energies were called to come towards the light. At a critical point the lady that lived in the house began to cry and as we took pictures of her we were unable to see her clearly in the pictures. I felt that an energy was shielding her, perhaps worried that she was upset and I asked her to tell the energy that it was released and could move on. As soon as she did this, we were able to take clear photos of her again.

Do you have a fav place that you find yourself going back to investigate?
Ballinacarriga castle. It was the first place I went on an investigation and I immediately felt an affinity for the place. I always hear footsteps on the upper floor as someone unseen approaches and can warn investigators to watch the equipment as things are about to happen. There is a different energy on a lower floor and I find the energy there very strong and uplifting. I think this energy belongs to Randall Og who built the castle in the 1600s as it always responds when I speak directly to it.

Are there any local haunts where you live?
We have an old mill nearby that has been converted into a Hostel. It’s a great location and there is a definite presence there. Ghostly children have been seen playing in one of the rooms, doors have unbolted and opened themselves overnight, I myself heard loud footsteps on the stairs although no one was there and the sound of water rushing through the mill has been captured although the river was diverted many years ago.

While investigating, what is your favorite tool?
My favorite tool is the audio recorder. I love listening back afterwards, reliving the investigation and sometimes getting the bonus of a good evp.

What is the most active location you've investigated?
Duckett’s Grove in Co Carlow. I have heard footsteps, carriages crunching over non-existent gravel, unseen gardeners digging in the walled garden. I have felt hands touching my hair, found it difficult to stand still in one of the little rooms as the ground seemed to be almost moving – eight other people mentioned the same thing that night. A table tipped equipment onto me while I was filming and the chair one of the team was sitting on was suddenly pulled backwards.

Most memorable evps?
At Elizabeth fort in Cork city, we caught a class A evp saying ‘yes, walk away’ and a few seconds later ‘they’re not gone’.

Another night in the same location I was sitting on my own while the rest of the team were exploring the attic and I switched on the audio and began to talk. I was asking the usual, is there anyone there? Do you want to come and talk to me? Do you like me talking to you? And so on. When I played it back, a man’s voice answers ‘yes’ or mutters something to almost all of my questions.

The evps from the gate lodge were the most haunting things I have ever heard. They are not very clear but sound like children asking for help and talking among themselves.

Have you ever had a spiritual attachment? If so did you know who it was and how did you get rid of it?
Coming back from Ballinacarriga castle one night, I felt extremely ill. By the time I was home, I felt alright again but two nights later I was driving home in the dark when I became aware of someone in the car behind me. I knew it wasn’t a flesh and blood person so I thanked him – I felt it was a man from the castle – for coming to visit me but told him firmly that he needed to go back to the castle as there was nothing for him in the back seat of my car. I immediately felt him leave and have not had any repeat performances.

Share some of your paranormal experiences (investigations, etc)

I have written books on my investigations and experiences – Irish Paranormal Haunts Vol 1 and Irish Paranormal Haunts Vol 2 and True Stories from the Darkside  - They detail my personal experiences as well as any credible evidence we have been fortunate enough to capture.

Some of the items include:

Ballinacarriga castle

·        I was climbing a staircase and I tripped. I felt a hand on my arm steadying me but there was no one close to me at the time.

·        I was standing in a corridor on my own with the team leader and a cameraman filming me from the entrance. I heard the team leader say, ‘where has she gone’ and afterwards he explained that he had taken two pictures a few seconds apart and I am not in the first one even though I didn’t move.

·        On the top floor of the castle I always feel a male presence who always announces his arrival by shuffling his feet on the rough floor and then lighting up all the K11s. The name Stephen pops into my mind so I have come to call him that although I cannot find any reference to him anywhere.

The Magdalen Laundries  

·        I had the feeling of girls running down the stairs behind me – pushing and shoving, although nothing actually touched me –   and our K11s all lit up.  

·        In the kitchen area I felt an overwhelming sadness and later found out that it is called ‘the crying room’.

·        Upstairs I heard a sound like a nun’s habit swishing as she moved quickly down the stairs.

·        I felt unseen hands on my stomach in the dormitory, as if someone was examining a pregnant belly (I wasn’t pregnant!).

·        I also felt someone put their arm around me but when I swung my torch to see who it was, there was no one close to me.

·        Another time, I entered a room and moved aside to let a team member in behind me. I heard them enter the room and felt their presence but when I turned to ask them something, there was no one there.

Duckett’s Grove

·        As we walked down the driveway, I was chatting to one of the team. The others were all ahead of us but suddenly both of us heard footsteps behind us and we turned around to welcome the latecomer. There was no one there and we both burst out laughing.

·        In the garden, I was standing by myself in the dark and I clearly heard an unseen gardener digging beside me.

·        In the kitchen area we could hear movement in the corridor outside the kitchen and after a lot of persuasion, we convinced an unseen presence to enter the room with us and walk among us. We could clearly hear boots stomping around us but we had our torches on and there was no one visible.

·        During a Frank’s box (spirit or ghost box) session, I joined the investigation late. A question was put to the spirits ‘who has just joined us?’ my name ‘Kim’ came clearly through the static as did the answer to the question ‘where is she from?’ ‘West Cork.’

·        In the little room over the carriage house, we all sat around a table and at one point a rush of energy was felt entering the room and the table was lifted. I felt that someone wanted to take us up on our offer and join us at the table but as there was no room, he got a bit frustrated.

·        Soon after this, one of the team had her chair pulled backwards as she sat on it, again, as if someone wanted to sit at the table.

·        The night ended with one of the team chasing a figure down the driveway. We all assumed that someone had broken in to the grounds. The team member was chasing the figure with only a thermal imager (she didn’t have a torch with her). She took a picture of the figure but we were unable to find any unauthorised person on the grounds and when we looked at the heat signature, it was completely wrong – this picture can be seen at the end of this video 

Elizabeth fort

·        We found an old Irish Pound note in this building -  it had been used as a Garda (Police) station at one time. We jokingly said we would steal the pound and the K11s went crazy. We got a lot of intelligent responses to our questions after this.

·        We played host to a team from Northern Ireland and one of their experiments produced a Class A EVP. The team leader says that he will put the recorder down and walk away and if anyone wants to communicate this is their chance. When the recording was played back, a voice clearly says ‘yes, walk away.’

·        Later, in the old air raid shelter we got a lot of intelligent responses (K11 hits) as we offered to sing marching songs. Every time we stopped and asked if we should continue we got K11 hits indicating that we should keep singing.

I am looking forward to paying a return visit to the Paranormal Prowler show in the very near future!