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Praise be

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In the spirit of investigative journalism and channeling our inner Louis Theroux, my ghosthunting pal and I went to church last night.

Not any old church. The Life Church no less.

We wanted to see what the buzz was and whether it smacked of the old Jim Jones Peoples’ Temple.


We were welcomed into the car park of the aircraft hangar-esque building by a young lass in a Hi-Vis vest waving some kind of glow stick at us, as loud music pumped out of speakers on the building.  It put me in mind of arriving at a festival at gate opening time. 


We sat in the car a while trying to decide whether to use false names (Regina Falange style) or a suitable backstory if we were interrogated or had to register.  My pal started spluttering with laughter before we’d even got inside and had to pretend to rearrange her car boot in order to compose herself.

We strolled straight in. Could have been anyone packing anything! Socks full of semtex ready to blow the infidels to kingdom come. Not so much as a bag check or divine pat-down.
One of us got a high five from a lanyard-wearing greeter in a baseball cap, who was merrily dancing away in the doorway.  I would not have been surprised to hear a DisneyLand styl
e, “Hi. How many in your party today Maam?”


Welcome. Welcome. Join us on a FastPass to Jeebus

The foyer area was like a youth club.  Pool tables, people drinking coffee and greeting one another like they’d not seen each other for years.  We went through into the main auditorium . There were probably about 500 seats set out in rows. Each with a prayer form, an envelope for your donation (cash, cheques, direct debit, Standing orders all welcome – you could even pay on the app you could download to your phone or text an amount of your choice!)




We took a seat somewhere in the middle. I moved the other side of my pal as I got scared at being too close to the aisle. I feared for being made to participate in some way, like at a pantomime or when the Woman in Black rustles up next to you, or at a performance of Cats when they crawl up the aisle and paw at your trouser leg.  There was a huge LED screen with a countdown to when the service was to begin.  The young musicians and singers took to the stage and the evening commenced, all filmed for live streaming on GodTube or whatever.  Lots of singing. Quality singing to be fair and good musicians (just with ‘jeebus loves you’ lyrics).


To maintain our cover, we occasionally whooped and put our arms in the air, nodded vigorously and said things like “Awesome!” “Amen” and “That’s right!” (which was what everyone else was doing).
We got slightly alarmed when it came time for the One Minute Mingle and a giant stopwatch appeared on screen and everyone was encouraged to meet someone new.  Speed dating for the Lord as it were.  I panicked when approached by a lady who came down the aisle hugging people and I told her my real name instead of saying Bubbles DeVere or Marjory Daw or whatever.


Like a rave – but with less class A drugs

FFS!  I was logged into the guest WiFi too so they’ve got me for sure now by the short and curlies.  Probably reading this as we speak and sending a black Sedan or a flatbed truck full of armed, dungaree-clad ‘communards’ to lurk outside my house or go through my bins for my bank statements.

Paranoid much?

We shared a furtive look when it came time for the collection. Armed with black buckets emblazoned with the word LIFE, helpers manned the aisles.  I realised that the auditorium doors were now shut and guarded.  The fire exit was manned and two men who hadn’t been there before had suddenly appeared, sat either side of me and my friend – the one on my side smelled funny and soon fell asleep (or did he? He may have been a stooge sent to listen in to see if our devotion was genuine).

We were penned in and I had no wallet nor any intention of donating even if I had.

Luckily my pal found 85p in her pocket so we maintained our cover a bit longer.

The pastor dude came on and did his bit.  What I took from it was that if your life is shit, it’s God’s will.  If your life is going well then that’s God’s will too.  Whatever happens – it’s the will of the Big Man and his big plan.  You shouldn’t sit with ‘mockers’ and ‘ridiculers’ and that, as we all know, the devil will make work for idle hands.


The demographic was a lot younger and more diverse than I had imagined – which goes to show (just like the song) that You Never Can Tell.
Young and old were embracing the Lord and shouting Amen and holding their arms aloft and I won’t lie, I could see the appeal… and that’s what scared me the most. 

 I have raked about in some dark and creepy places in my time (usually with the same mate) 😀 but last night was probably the most afraid I’ve ever been on one of our investigations.
   One day you’re lost and lonely. You find a warm welcome and a new ‘family’ and before you know it you’ve handed over your passport and you’re on a one way ticket to the back of beyond with all the KoolAid you can drink.

I’m sure it’s nothing like as extreme,  and everybody was very friendly and seemed really happy (that’s possibly why I didn’t trust them, me being such a maudlin auld miseryguts).


Doesn’t mean I’m going back.

So we left before we could be persuaded to partake of the free coffee for first timers, but we did have a gander in the gift shop on the way out.  You heard me. A motherfucking gift shop y’all!  Tee shirts, mugs, DVDs of the sermons, keyrings and a very wide selection of books – some of which I found quite alarming if I’m honest.


They didn’t sell the LIFE buckets, which was a shame. I would’ve liked one to use as a pisspot for when we go camping. It would appeal to my heretic nature. Because let’s face it, if I’m wrong and there is a heaven and hell, we all know I’m taking the down escalator!


 Next stop – a local Spiritual church just to see what goes on there and then who knows?  Mosque, Gurdwara, Synagogue – bring it on in the name of scientific interest – because I have a mind as idle as my hands and we all know that Satan loves a lazy ass slacker.

Ciao Ciao MoFos and remember – Be yourself!


Someone tell me what to do

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If anyone could sort me out with winning lotto numbers so I can stay home watching ‘Bondi Rescue’ and ‘There’s a ghost up my arse’ or whatever, while doing my step machine and occasionally ironing, then that’d be great.


I’ve been researching other potential career prospects.  So far this is my list:-

*Continue being a HLTA.
*More swim teaching (skin & hair getting buggered up).
*Retraining as a Retained Reflexes Therapist.
*Setting up own ghost hunting company (market pretty saturated right now though).
*Hiring self out as Humanist celebrant (clashes somewhat with supernatural beliefs.
and also costs a stupid amount of money to ‘train’ to write ceremonies).
*1:1 TA work for SEN pupils.
*Write bestselling novel & sell the movie rights – relocate to LA.
*Setting up mobile beer van with pal “Oldies with Coldies” & doing the festy circuit.

My list of credentials is a sorry state of oddities indeed:-

*8 GCSEs.
*2 A levels.
*Some Secretarial qualification I forget the name of that included a proficiency.
certificate in the art of ‘WordStar4’ (a long defunct word processing program).
*NVQs in Childcare Learning & Development and Support Teaching & Learning.
*Higher Level Teaching Assistant status.
*ASA Swimming National Curriculum Training Program Levels 1&2.
*STA Award in Swim Teaching.
*STA Pool Safety Award.
*Diploma in Parapsychology (I shit you not).
*Diploma in Demonology (fact. It’s true – bring it on Beelzebub).
*Am also an ordained Humanist Celebrant (god bless the Internet).

I must be able to do something different with that lot – surely Shirley? Or a mish-mash of it all – a bit like I am now, but with more structure & less hours.
The thought of being self-employed scares me though. What about holidays? Tax? Sick pay? But I don’t want to work for some big corporate gig either.  


I do need a change though. I need to do something exciting. Am starting to feel a little stagnant – like an old pond.


Maybe I need to invent some kind of anti-snoring device (before I throttle Bman with the cord of my MP3 headphones, because seriously? I can still hear you man). 





Spooks and spills

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Ghosthunting season is back up on us.  Spent some hours raking about in the basements of Knottingley Town Hall on Friday.


Wasn’t as keen on this one.  Even though we did manage to arrive on time this time.

The basement was good but I would have liked more time to wander around it.  Wasn’t as interested in the upstairs area, especially the part where two people in the circle seemingly had their hands raised in the air by unseen hands and remained there for 40 (that’s FORTY!) minutes while a man commanded by the power of St Michael, all that is holy and the power of Greyskull, for their hands to be lowered.  Linda and I were bored shitless so we broke the circle (“don’t cross the streams”). Rather than be allowed to perhaps go rogue at this point and do a little wandering or piss about on a ouija board, we had to sit /stand in the dark waiting for these sodding hands to be lowered.  I was very respectful but inside my head I was screaming “FFS put your bloody arms down you dozy cows”.


Bored and sleepy, waiting for the arms to be lowered

So, despite the feeling that someone rather chilly was sat in my lap at one point in the cellar and that someone equally as chilly had walked through me during the stupid human pendulum, duck duck goose circle time – I wasn’t impressed with this one.



Best part of night. These ‘Heaven’s Gate’ Nikes

Saturday morning I set off to Malton to meet Gill, as the rest of my Fam had gone to Farndale on Friday night while I was arsing about in the dark.  We had a most civilised luncheon in Malton and a float around the food fair.  I made purchase of some cheese, some pork pies for Bman and treated myself to two bottles of artisan cider brewed in Ryedale. 


Civilised luncheon at a Tea Rooms

There were concerns that we may not make it all the way back to the house in the car due to the snow, but by the time we got into Farndale it was clear that most of it had gone.  However, there was still a bit of black ice. I discovered that the hard way when I got out of the car with 3 bags.  One second I was vertical, the next I was face down on the ground, laid in the mud, bleeding from where my chin broke my fall on a rock and now only in possession of one bottle of artisan cider. The other smashed to smithereens!


It really shook me up, I won’t lie.  Thank goodness I’ve got such a Desperate Dan chin to help break my fall.  Could have been worse.  Could have broken my nose or my cheekbone or lost a tooth and had to spend Saturday night at A&E – probably in Scarborough. Nightmare!

My broken face was a bit of a party killer and I ended up in bed by 10:30pm, so not the usual drunken shenanegins of a weekend in the Dales. But still a good laugh.  It’s only a shame that there was no video footage of me stacking it!


How it looks today


The next day, as if I hadn’t hurt myself enough, I was pursuaded by my youngest to have a go at bareback horse riding.  Never having been on a horse, but always quite fancied it, I was game.  It wasn’t a very big horse. But it felt high to me.  I didn’t stay aboard for long before I panicked about falling again so I got off.  My youngest was like a natural though. Hopefully she won’t decide to take it up as a hobby.  I’ll be forced to steal one of the local piebald ponies that tend to wander freely around the neighbourhood and keep it in the garden.


When we got home I fired up my remaining bottle of artisan cider and it was rank! I threw it down the sink.  Gutted!  It ended up costing me a fiver after the second one broke.


Its half term now and I am ready for it.  Am about to head out to meet a friend for lunch.  Hopefully I won’t fall over on the way.

Ciao Ciao Xx





Knock once for Yes & Twice for No

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The past two weekends I’ve been raking about in the dark til silly o’clock in the morning. Armed to the teeth with gadgets, in an attempt to converse with the dead. When I say ‘converse with the dead’, I mean, pratting about with my mate, sniggering like Beavis & Butthead & tutting at fakery & those more gullible than ourselves. Not that I am a non believer. More of a hopeful skeptic who needs to test all scientific reasoning first.

Our first adventure was at Fort Paull with Glen, the resident skeptic, from the ‘Most Haunted’ team.


I am in there somewhere – in a yellow coat


We liked Glen

In the supposedly haunted train carriage (which nobody seemed to know the history of) we almost had a stand up row with a lady who was determined to kill a moth.  “It deserves to die!” she screeched whilst removing her walking boot to try and squish it against the window.  “They’re not like butterflies inside you know” said her mate.  “A butterfly has innards and stuff when you squash one – but a moth is just dust. They’re just made of dust”.

Who the hell squashes a butterfly?

Who does that?

We managed to persuade her to leave the moth alone by employing stern teacher voices.

The venue was very interesting.  Comprising underground tunnels, a Beverley Bomber and various artillery gun thingumies  – and a shitload of moths, just for our lepidopterophobic friend.  An entertaining session on a ouija board ensued where I was seemingly contacted by someone called ‘Ash’. I denied any knowledge of knowing anyone of this name until Linda could tell by the look in my eye that I did.  Through stifled laughter I explained that the only Ash I knew was my eldest childerbeast’s dead dwarf hamster!  And that I doubted very much that he had gained the ability to spell in the afterlife, particularly as he only had one eye when he was alive!  One of the ladies around the board then suggested that perhaps the deceased had been cremated and this is why they were spelling out ‘Ash’ when asked their name.


Time for a wander and an explore.


Anybody there. Where? There on the stair


Creepy Wheelchair in the Victorian Hospital area

We did have a moment like that film “Left Behind” when the Rapture comes and claims the pious.  We got split up from our group in one of the tunnels and realised we were wandering about a deserted garrison on our own, calling out to the living this time rather than the dead.  “Hallooo is there anybody there?”  We were half expecting to find piles of clothes on the ground.
We were finally put out of our misery by the lovely Glen who appeared behind a laser-grid pen from inside the Beverley Bomber.


There’s those Lidl blow-up dolls again


Come aboard the lurve train


Note to self:  if you want to keep things on a serious note, it’s probably best not to say things like “Have we got any seamen with us?” and not expect at least a bit of an immature titter in the dark.

Making the most of our visit to Hull, we decided in the morning to visit the supposed haunted hostel in DeGrey Street, Hull where Bman used to live.  He didn’t live at the haunted property (although he says he wouldn’t go in the attic room out of fear). He lived 3 doors up.  I say lived.  I mean squatted.  🙂

DSC_0578 (1).JPG

Money for old rope anyone?

Am not convinced by the authenticity of this alleged haunted property.  It smacks to me of a decrepit old house someone can’t be arsed to renovate to a livable standard so a spooky back story has been invented.  I’ve told Bman we need to do this ourselves.  Bid on some old battered fixer-upper at auction and float some ideas out on the internet about spectral goings-on and then charge ghosthunters £40 a head to wander around it in the dark with torches on a weekend.


Last Friday we opted out of the (not quite yet) end of term drunken teachers shenanigans in Leeds and went instead to Bradford City Hall.  A beautiful building in the middle of a big shithole.  


They don’t build them like they used to 




Raking about again in the dark. debunking charlatans and trying not to actually laugh out loud at Stuart the Medium as he rather camply said; “Ooh hello Colin. I’ve got a gentleman called Colin here” and “Push the table harder for the ladies Colin, they like it harder. get it up on two legs for them Colin rather than 4”. as well as, “Let’s have a bit of vibration Gerry (it had changed from Colin to Gerry by this time) the ladies like things that vibrate.”

Alright Stuart – that’s enough now!


Steve Irwin was here before the stingray got him

Not sure that Stuart liked it when we went rogue and wandered off around the old police cells by ourselves.  Not sure he could cope with us being seemingly unperturbed by the dark and the unknown, or the fact that we had our own tech.  Admittedly his tech was way funner (it’s a word) than ours:-  Sound amplifying headphones, weird rag dolls with light up eyes, interactive bears and night vision goggles.  We found ourselves especially hilarious at 1:45am when using an Ovulus speaking device and decided we must surely have contacted the spirit of Norman Collier.


Why hello there Norman

Am pretty sure Stuart was glad to be rid of us at 2am.  No comedy wanderings through the streets of Bradford, chasing lights this time – just straight home.

Until next time, at Armley Mills in October, where I may not be so blase about it because that place is creepy in the bloody day time, as I think I have said before.

Ciao MoFos (alive or dead)









Still here then.

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So I didn’t deactivate FarceBook, but I haven’t looked at it as much and to be honest it doesn’t look like I have missed much.  Thank you to those who private messaged me to ask if I was alright.

I have mostly spent the last few days explaining to small people that killer clowns are not to be feared as they are just silly people with nothing better to do than stand about in bushes waving plastic weapons. Ignore them! Don’t give them the satisfaction of letting them know you actually saw them.  It’s the ones without masks that look normal that they should really be afraid of. (I didn’t actually say the last bit out loud).

This ridiculous phase has even made it onto BBC Look North this evening. Complete with comedic scary looking clown imagery looming over a map of North Yorkshire.  Cut to John Cundy, Crime Correspondent, reporting very seriously, from somewhere or other on the matter.  Could only have been more entertaining if he had been wearing a red nose or a green wig.  Privately I am hoping that off camera, out of view, he was sporting giant hooped trousers under his mac or a pair of ludicrously bendy giant shoes just to try and make the camera man lose his focus.

You know I would have done if it was me…. and this is why I’ll never be a serious news reporter.


Meanwhile, to prove that the dead don’t scare me nearly as much as the living –  I have booked to go spend an evening investigating 30 East Drive in Pontefract in the New Year with my friend.  It is one of, if not THE most (allegedly) haunted house in the UK. (AKA money for old rope).  Quite the cash cow so it would seem.  Am considering installing Bman in the loft to moan and make unusual smells (skills he has in spades) while I charge £60 a head, 5 nights a week,  for people to sit in my lounge in the dark, asking if there’s anybody there.

Ciao Xx


A good scare these days is hard to find

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Exibit A

Exhibit A

Did I not say ony yesterday that Bman continually finds it amusing to put stickers on my stuff?  I discovered this on my bag while I sat in the cinema yesterday afternoon!


Yes, I went to the movies, to see something not made by Pixar for a change – not that I am knocking Pixar & the like – I love a bit of animation.  It was good to get to go and see a grown up film for a change though – and great to see some friends.

I scoffed to myself at the disclaimer at the beginning of The conjuring claiming it was all based on a true story (sure it was, just like that stinker, The Blair Witch Project) but it turns out it actually was:

Even after reading everything about the Amityville case and many other supposed possession/haunting stories from America (why is it always America – are they weaker than us Brits or something? Why so many in the 70’s too?  Acid casualties maybe or the demons objecting to the cheesecloth shirts and bellbottoms perhaps?)

Anyway I should have recognised the names of Ed and Lorraine Warren.
$109 for dinner with the lady herself and a tour round her museum of demonic artefacts… I’m in!

I enjoyed the movie and got a couple of decent scares out of it.  It did seem to have rather a lot going on though and raised the usual questions: – Why are you still in the damn house? For god’s sake why haven’t you got a decent torch.  The cellar was clearly blocked off for a reason so brick the fucker back up!  And get those matches away from that 1970’s wincyette nightgown before the whole place goes up like Piper Alpha!
The dog had more sense – it wouldn’t go inside the house.  If that’s not a clue right there then I don’t know what is.  Listen to your pets dudes – they know stuff.

  Clichés aside (imaginary friends, freaky tree outside the house; blocked up cellars; pictures falling off the wall; funky smells, weird old fashioned music box, rotating heads etc). I liked this film and didn’t immediately think What a  crock of shit!” which is what I did later on when tuning in to Film 4 to watch Splice’ – utter bobbins, don’t watch it!

It got me thinking about these possessed artefacts though.  I loved the way, (after a bit of research on the old Google) that the film makers used considerable artistic licence with the Annabel doll.  Though to be fair, despite the real doll (cos it is a real doll) being a little less innocuous looking then the one in the movie – It’s still a tad too freaky for my tastes. 


Movie version

Real one

The doll is the redheaded one

I of course would never entertain having anything weird in my house….

           … oh hang on…  I just looked around my house.

Given the choice of anything in Casa Brew being demonically possessed, other than myself of course, I’ve narrowed it down to these 4 possibilities:-

Marvin the Martian's dog biscuit barrel

Marvin the Martian’s dog biscuit barrel

African dude from my grandparents

African dude from my grandparents

Clown moneybox from my childhood

Clown moneybox from my childhood

Gollum doorstop - gift from a Bric a Brac in Farndale

Gollum doorstop – tasteful gift from the Bric a Brac sale in Farndale

My money’s on the clown – everyone knows clowns are scary.

Big thanks to Baby Dave for the freebies – likely to be the last one so I’m glad I enjoyed the movie