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Our FIRST televised ghost hunt in Slovakia

OUTAKES from the GhostHunter in Slovakia

GhostHunter Arrives in Poprad

Leigh G Banks Tour Of Poprad, Slovakia

Postcard from AquaCity Poprad

PostCard From Slovakia

Web mistress update

January 29th Postcard from Poprad starts with listeners messages. The guys sing Happy Birthday to a special lady !! Leigh takes a bath ? Trouble at Big Macs, Bob Dylan appears again as Lot 401 ? Hey Hey with the monkees!! An amazing youngster does good....Great show guys !!!

Web mistress update

January 22nd Postcard from Poprad. Listeners messages and birthdays. Whats my fine ? the new craze on Facebook. The guys rant about the new Haiti charity record. Bill Gates joins Twitter !! Amy Whinehouse at it again ? The British judicial system gets a bashing from Eric and Leigh, also where you can buy a picture of a 100yr old snowflake, seriously folks !!!

Web mistress update

15 January Postcard From Poprad
Your messages, followed by the Wyclef appeal for Haiti.
The UK is now moaning it's raining. A Polish dog caught to speak English.
Something for the ladies, a big bum is a good thing.
Boys should wear makeup, it's good for you.
Eric and Leigh applogise to the USA and more....

Web mistress update

The First Postcard From Poprad 2010

In this edition we mention the plight of shop workers, the latest research which could save every man on the planet, what’s wrong with the Moaning Lisa, and we will be speaking to Dr Charles Lannock MEP who explains how 95% of laws in EU member states are made in Brussels. Buy the way don’t forget your snow pictures, we want them!

Web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad 27th November, This week starts with listeners messages and birthdays. Poor Leigh has a sore throat but it does not affect his voice..Prisoners competition cancelled as the prize was a day release for a £1 ticket !! Also kidnapped cats and kangaroos ! And a big thank you to all our military guys who are rebuilding the bridges in Cumbria due to the floods.

Web mistress update

20th November Postcard from Poprad. The show starts off with listeners messages and birthdays...TheVelvet revolution anniversary. Children in need takes centre stage this week with Mike hayes Xmas charity single, i fell in love with a snowgirl...
PIRATES!!!! Oh and stuffing ! (the xmas kind that is ) Also do fish have a 3 second memory span ? good show guys !!

Xmas single

Come on you lot out there!!! download Mike Hayes Xmas song i fell in love with a snow girl , costs only £1 and all proceeds go to children in need ..

Web mistress update

13th november Postcard from Poprad, As usual folks we start off with listeners messages. Leigh tells some Ghosthunter tales.The Berlin wall gets Eric on a rant and also umbrellas and their myths, plus strange superstitions. Warning !! Dont eat the yellow snow !!

Web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad 6th november, This week starts with listeners messages and birthdays. Leigh winds Eric up literally!! A man makes an appearance at his own funeral, oh yes this is real. Oh and Balls!! (meatballs that is ) good show guys keep it up !

Web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad 30tgh 0ctober , welcome everyone, this week Leigh talks comando from his bed , oh yes !! Check out how domesticated the guys really are ? Leigh recieves his £1.50 slippers ! Walmart now selling D.I.Y coffins ? and Leigh and eric discuss funeral music choices..Happy halloween to all !!

Web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad 23rd October....Busy week with the listeners messages , Catch Leigh and Erics outakes of Leigh's visit to Poprad...sooo funny guys!!
This week the guys discuss cannabis for medicinal purposes and the man that is turning into a tree !! yeah this ones for real..

web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad sept. 25th Leigh comes live from plymouth this week from the hotel cubby hole. Hand gel that gets you drunk ? yes this is a true story.
Leigh certified mentally ill, but we all knew that !! Leigh and Eric also talk cars.....

Web mistress update

ANGRY ghosts and a collapsed housing deal led Leigh Banks on a bizarre journey which ended with him presenting a radio show broadcasting to two million listeners.

Leigh, aged 54, now co-presents the off-the-wall radio show, Postcard From Poprad, with friend and Slovakia-based former Radio Caroline and BBC presenter Eric Wiltsher.

After running the show jointly from Staffordshire and Slovakia for just five months, the radio show has now been picked up by two radio stations, Replay Radio – the new name of the re-launched pirate station Radio Caroline – and Talk Radio X, which broadcasts from Dallas to over a million Texans. Several more European stations have also expressed an interest.

But, if it wasn't for the ghost of a murderer living in his historic home, The Old Stalls, at Woodseaves near Eccleshall; Leigh and his partner Andrea Martin, aged 48, may well have retired to live in peace in Slovakia.

Leigh, who has worked for several national newspapers and is a freelance writer for a variety of magazines, said: "Twenty years ago when we bought The Old Stalls, we got it cheap because it is haunted. There's so many things that have happened, footsteps at night, knocking on the bedroom door, things disappearing.

"Four years ago I got planning permission to knock it down and build four houses on the site. We were going to sell up and move to Slovakia.

"As soon as I got planning permission to knock the house down, things went haywire.

"I ended up getting three mediums and a team of paranormal investigators in.

"Then, virtually the day the contract was due to be signed, the banks loaning policy changed because of the recession and the deal fell through.

"It was a bit of a blow. The house had fallen into disrepair, because we were knocking it down, the roof leaked right the way through and we had sold all our furniture – apart from an antique stuffed Victorian shark, which I wanted to keep.

"I bought some luxury seats which had come out of a 1970s jumbo jet, so we at least had something to sit down on. We've ended up keeping them because they are really comfortable."

While Leigh repaired his home – with the ghost stopping its mischievous behaviour after the threat of demolition had passed – Eric had emigrated to Slovakia, to produce and present his own radio show. But it was closed down by the Slovakian government, unhappy at its English language content.

Eric, aged 55, instead began putting out podcasts on the internet. Then, after speaking to his friend Leigh, he decided to interview him on air, about his ghostly problems.

That was earlier this year. But the chemistry between the pair proved an unlikely radio hit, and after inviting Leigh to co-present his show, their popularity has spiralled.

Leigh said: "Eric is like this big old mother hen who tries to keep everything together and I sound like a camp Liam Gallagher. It is a news-based show, but we are both grumpy old men and most of the time we end up having a big row on air. It shouldn't work, but somehow, it does. It is chaos."

Comments sent to the pair from their more than two million worldwide listeners have compared them to Morcambe and Wise and even Laurel and Hardy.

Eric, originally from Bedfordshire, who has worked for Radio Stoke, said: "Leigh is a radio natural.

"We will do some serious bits, but it normally ends up in a row.

"The show has its rebellious side, but it just holds on to the edge. We don't swear and hopefully we make people laugh.

"The Slovakian government closed us down because we spoke in English. We had a few running battles with them. In the end we said blow it and closed it down.

"Then we set it up over the internet. Now we get reaction from Canada, America and Scandinavia on a regular basis."

Web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad 11th sept, Thoughts and prayers go out to the victims and their families of 9/11 Twin towers disaster.eric reads the listeners messages.
Ooops !! Leigh has locked the photographer outside his house and cant find the keys to let him in , Bedlam folks !!! Also this week Traffic Wardens get some debate as well as Pratt's Bottom and Nobhead really guys !!!

Web mistress update

Hi all, just letting you know that our new monthly Ghosthunter Postcard is now avaiable for to listen to, This month Leigh tells his story of The Village Of The Damned ( This Property is Condemned) will find it on the player on also airing all over Texas on FM-Real Radio.....

Web mistress update

Sept 4th Postcard From Poprad, The guys start on a serious note this week , but not for long. Ho hum finally makes it into the Oxford dictionary , Leigh gets stressed over an ironing board ! Pink plastic flamingos and dogs eating car tyres !! yes the usual jumble of hillarious topics from Leigh and Eric, not to be missed show !!

Web mistress update

Hey everyone,
just letting you all know that Postcard from Poprad has now reached 1.2 million listeners worldwide...congratulations to Leigh and Eric for an amazing show every week and keep up the good work guys !!
Listen to the show on

Web mistress update

iphones been watched by the EU, Leigh expresses undying love for Ivana (he’s so shallow), how Canada wasted bundles of cash on daft research. Zombies taking over, maybe. And this week Top Tips for Postcard From Poprad – note the spelling TOP TIPS, not what Leigh suggested.

Web mistress update

August 14th Postcard from Poprad This week the guys go stateside on TalkRadioX, Also this day in 1967 Radio Caroline dies only to be reborn 7 yrs later. Leigh and Eric tie the knot! to each other ? And Leighs texts go astray, with amusing consequences. Best show yet guys !!

Web mistress update

PostCard From Poprad The Texas Two Ride Out! Robbie Williams might have failed - but Leigh and Eric have done it, they've broken into America! The two grumpy old gits are doing Dallas for the first time tonight - listen on TalkRadioX 1650 AM and it's going out on A.M., FM and the internet. Then Postcard from Poprad will be broadcast across Texas every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday, well done guys !

Web mistress update

Postcard from Poprad August 7th, Well our very own mr banks has come down with the piggy flu!! and stuck in isolation, Plus what on earth has happened to the news?..Train robber Ronnie biggs finally gets his freedom. The guys are on top form this week so dont miss it!

Web mistress update

July 31st Postcard from Poprad,Howd ya doo !!!! Michael shoemaker takes a lap again in the studio also what a strange name for a sausage dog ? oh and swearing ! yes well listen to the show to find out folks !!

Web mistress update

HOT NEWS!!! 30 degrees news from Postcard from Poprad July 24th, The piggy flu strikes again, yep our very own Leigh , full of rashers too!!
Eric gets a new computer, Leigh gets a new 813 channel tv and a free stalker!!! yes stalker you know who you are ....

Web mistress update

July 17th Postcard from Poprad..Eric thanks the astronauts for dried food, Leigh thanks the grannys knitting circle!!...Join Eric and Leigh for cookery lessons. The piggy flu spreads!! Enjoy a bit of journalistic cannibalism, name and shame em !!! and not forgetting PIRATES!!

Web Master Update

As Karen is still busy moving - the boys are doing the PostCard update:
19 June Postcard From Poprad, Eric gives Leigh a lesson in Digital Broadcasting. Leigh is off to pick his slippers. F1 and MPs get hammered. Councils come in for a blast. And we say hello to oodles of new Twitter people. Straight after Postcard Ian Gillan, lead singer of Deep Purple.

Web mistress update

June 12th Postcard from Poprad, Farmageddon hits !!! Leigh goes on a caravan rant this week folks !!! Did telephones exist 1000 years ago...Leigh reckons they did mmmmmm Also the builders are in ? find out for yourself listen to the show ...good one this week guys!!!!

Web mistress- Ghost Hunter update

June 5th Postcard From Poprad, see's the guys getting all fired up over Politics and Eric pollard!! oh yes really. The new legislations over psychics sets Leigh on a rant, how do you tell a genuine from a fraud?
The mushy peas strike back and GhosthunterTV goes live on Sunday at 10pm...


Ghosthuntertv's first no-frills LIVE! investigation takes place in the Black Bedroom of one of the UK's most terrifying houses, Sunday 10pm. It will be a straight-talking hunt - and it will be world first. Join us for two hours on Sunday 7th June at 10pm .
Don't miss it folks !!

Web mistress- Ghost Hunter update

May 29th Postcard From Poprad, well folks seems Leigh has had a stressful time, the stress balls are out and his new microphone is not helping at all!!
This week Leigh gets all butch...The Grand Prix takes a hammering and Leigh is naughty naughty "Blleeeeeeeeeeeep" The guys rant about pricey sandwiches and Francis rossi's teeth taking flight! and this week Leigh reckons Aqua City is cool !!!!

Web mistress- Ghost Hunter update

May 22nd Postcard from Poprad...Join the guys for the first time together in the studio in Poprad, What can i say, this week they talk to God from a big red phonebox in the desert, Hairy Harley bikers and secretaries and Leigh still never told the Dog story !! By the way Leigh also reckons Bob Dylan is cool !!

Web mistress- Ghost Hunter update

May 16th.... PostCard From Poprad, Leigh and Eric will be leaving daily boo's ( short audio messages) for you to listen to ...please listen and leave your comments at the botom of the boo page Thanks...

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

May 15th Postcard from Poprad. All mobile show this week guys!! Tennants Super lager, kebabs and fast limo's dont mix folks!!!!
Leigh and Eric talk, The simpsons ate my shorts, The village idiot strikes again ! Oh and Formula 1 Grand (Twix)...chocolate cars !! gotta listen the show is manic this week guys!!!!!

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

May 14th
Hi everyone,

Leigh is off to slovakia early in the morning to do some filming for us, he will talking to Eric live from his limo en route to Luton airport.. i see chaos ahead lol, you can listen to the show tomorrow here or on,

Please take a listen !!!!

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

May 8th Postcard from Poprad... What a show!! Eric and Leigh get serious ? NOT!!!
Joanna Lumley for prime minister ? Naked Radio and Leigh's ladder disappears!!
The Angels and the Fairies turn to fisticuffs, and the Witches and Druids psyche each other out. Eric and Leigh sing you a ditty or two throughout the show!! This show is hilarious ......

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

May 1st..Postcard from Poprad, Leigh and Eric go back to school and spelling classes, Eric sings Hymns,Leigh nods off and Eric does plenty shouting...oh and something a bit controversial "women should know their place" and not forgetting this weeks news . Swine Flu. Don't miss this show, best one yet guys!

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

April 24th Postcard from Poprad available now folks, Leigh and Eric go on a rant this week about.... How to run a smear campaign, fight the council, being serious? and F1..
Don't miss this show its hillarious!!!

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

April 17th Postcard from Poprad, Leigh and Eric have turned out an amazing show this week.
They talk, How do you arrest a snake?,why you shouldn't wear shark underpants after a night out, and we love Elvis, yes we do ! no we dont!. best show yet guys!

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

April 10th Postcard from Poprad available now...Leigh and Eric talk journalists, Aspirin and yep! manfinger......hilarious!

This Property is Condemned

I can hear the clock tick. I have never been so afraid in all my life. There’s a half-empty bottle of brandy on the floor.

The house has been like this for more than a week now, ever since we got permission to knock it down. And I don’t know what to do … but I do know if I don‘t do something soon, Stephen Heywood is going to kill Leigh, the man I love now more than anything in the world.

Ten years we’ve been haunted by this house, but it’s never been this bad before. We’re trapped inside a nightmare.

We’ve done everything right, cleaned the doors with brine, there’s frankincense and dried sage in the corners of every room and we’ve lit white candles and pinned prayers to the chimney breast.

The Land for Sale board outside rattles insanely. Logs are roaring on the fire … but the room is so cold my breath is frozen in the air.

The clock ticks …

… footsteps on the landing. Heywood’s back and he’s furious. Annie Campbell’s been freed, you see, and she’s taken all of his children with her.

Leigh moved in to The Old Stores, Staffordshire, a beautiful old English village, in 1987. The house was supposed to be a new beginning for him and his partner, Kath. But like most last-ditch efforts it didn’t work and they split up within a year. Leigh was left alone in its 20 echoing rooms.

He paid 50,000 for the old place but from day one things went bump in the night, lights danced across the ceilings, there were faces at the windows, the footsteps and a terrible smell of a dead thing on the landing.

He embarked on a spending spree to bring the old wreck with a broken roof in to the 20th century. The first thing was a £10,000 central heating system but the place remained as cold as the grave.

Leigh is the kindest, most gentle person I have ever known but there is a dark side going back to his childhood. It reveals itself in depression but he’d kept it buried away in his soul until the events of this terrifying day.

I met him in the village pub after my own marriage floundered and I moved in to the Old Stores with my boys on Millennium Eve. We really hoped it was a new beginning for us all.

But the house never welcomed Adam, aged 14, or Brad, 17. Brad refused to stay, he was so terrified. Adam chose to live in the front with its inglenook and oak beams but he was scared to be alone in there.

One night his best mate Leigh Lawrence stayed. He said: “I was in a sleeping bag on the floor when something woke me up. In the moonlight I could see an old man bending over me. He was dressed in black.

“He kept leaning closer and closer to me - it was terrifying. Then he screamed into my face, it was if he was blowing the life out of me.”
The next Christmas I was dressing the tree in front of the log fire. I used to be a florist and decked the old oak fireplace with beautiful displays of mistletoe and holly.

Leigh and I were both kneeling, putting baubles on the tree when I shivered: “Gosh, somebody’s just walked over my grave.”

Neither of us felt remotely intimidated by our visitor though. I think it was Annie Campbell seeking comfort.

Another time - I remember, it was 4am - we were lying in bed holding hands and listening to three children playing in the lounge. They were giggling. At times like this, our house was a home.

But a few nights later, Heywood pounded down the landing and rapped his knuckles on the bedroom door just to let us know he was still around.

The paranormal investigators arrived from Birmingham at midnight. It was like a military operation as they set up base camp in the old venison store. They put an infra-red camera in Adam’s room and sealed it off.

After two hours the house was quieter than an abandoned grave but then Mark, co-ordinator, nodded towards the infra-red monitor and I saw a diffused ball of light dancing on the screen.

“A Circle of Confusion …” Mark sounded relieved. “In a sealed room too.”

And that was just for openers. The crew couldn‘t believe their luck, hundreds of orbs were flitting around the screen and electrical equipment around the house started to pick up impossible temperature changes.

The Ghostbusters picked up footsteps on the landing and the sound of something heavy being dragged down stairs, exactly where the stench of death lingered.

Three days later, the house was still crazy. Leigh had gone to bed early and I’d stayed up watching TV. He could hear a snarl, half asleep he tried to drown it out with the radio. But the louder the radio, the louder the snarl.

Then he saw a pale-green glow by the wardrobe … it looked like worms feeding on a pile of disgusting rags on the floor. Something was moving under them, rising and falling.

Leigh jumped out of bed and bound naked down stairs. As he burst into the lounge something flung me sideways onto the couch like a discarded doll. I remember being angry with Leigh and demanded: “What did you do that for?”

“I didn’t do anything …”

“You were here, in front of me, holding my wrists and talking to me. Then you pushed me over.”

The three mediums from London arrived the next day. They’d been deliberately kept in the dark about their destination.

Shawn chose the top of the stairs and that’s where she saw them, three children and a teenage girl.

“Her name was Annie Campbell,” Shawn said. “Stephen Heywood bought her to look after his three children after his wife died. Her family in Edinburgh sold her, she was barely fourteen. I’ve released her and the children. They’re gone now.”

I asked: “Why were they here?”

“He tried to rape her and she ran down the corridor with him in pursuit. That’s the footsteps you can hear. She couldn’t escape him and when she died, she couldn’t escape the house. He strangled her on the stairs, you see. The children didn’t know what to do, so they stayed with her.”

“Is he still here?” I asked.

Shawn smiled sadly: “Yes. I’m sorry.” Then she turned to Leigh: “It’s him who is master of this house, Leigh, not you … but he gets his strength off you, off a deep-rooted fear you have from your own past.”

The clock ticks. Dust falls through the ceiling. He’s angry and stamps around in a slow war dance. I’ve never been as terrified in my life. I swig from our bottle of brandy.

It’s a storm outside and the Land for Sale sign yatters like its going to rip from its moorings. We light more white candles.

Leigh suddenly launches himself at the door and in that same instant boots begin to crash down the landing towards us! I grab Leigh’s arm and shout: “Where the hell are you going?”

“To face him!”

They say that if your fears are real, then you have to face them. And I know Heywood is taunting Leigh over his past.

Leigh throws the door open - the air in the hallway is foul, putrid. Heywood, so full of hatred that even the ground rejected him, is standing there, tall as a tree and dressed in black.

Leigh said afterwards: “I could see through him, right into myself and I could see it all … I was nine years old … and I was being abused in a great dark Victorian schoolhouse by a burly bearded teacher. He swore me to secrecy – he threatened to tell my parents if I didn’t. I never got over the shame, it left a hole in my soul.”

Heywood got in through that hole. The Victorian child killer had wandered the corridors of The Old Stores for 150 years until he finally found refuge inside the victim of a 20th century child molester.

Finally Leigh could slam the door shut on his tragic past and we could lay to rest four of the ghosts of the Old Stores. Now the house will be knocked down and a small housing development put in its place.

We were lucky that both scientists and spiritualists showed us that we weren’t mad, that there really were a series of anomalies at the Old Stores. We were also lucky that Leigh was able to face the thing which had haunted for decades.

We can move on in our lives now, just as Annie Campbell and her three wards were able, finally, to move on in their deaths.

But sometimes I wonder where did evil Stephen Heywood go?

Web mistress - Ghost Hunter update

April 3rd postcard from Poprad with Leigh and Eric talk, G20 summit, Grand Prix, The Boat That Rocked and yes folks ..Dishwashers... not to be missed..

Ghost Voices Magazine with Leigh Banks

Available in better News Agents

WebMaster Update

Check out the UPDATED LINKS - if you have any suggestions I.M. the Ghost Hunter

WebMaster Update - Ghost Hunter on the radio again

Back by popular demand, The Ghost Hunter appears AGAIN - this time the headline act - on Postcard From Poprad, 13 March - hmmmm, yes 13 March!!!

WebMaster Update - Ghost Hunter on the radio

Check it out - listen again PodCast - The Ghost Hunter appeared on PostCard from Poprad 03 March. He TAKES OVER ALL OF PART TWO!

WebMaster Update - WORLD FIRST?

Check out the Twitter Ghost Hunt - yes live Haunted House Action via Twitter

WebMaster Update - Skype The GHOST HUNTER

If you have Skype you can I.M. The Ghost Hunter DIRECT - look on the right

WebMaster Update - Twitter/FaceBook

DIRECT LINKS to Ghost Hunter TV can now be found on FaceBook and Twitter - AND THEY'RE FREE

WebMaster Update - Gas/Petrol/Benzine??

Added, who is looking after the service station and WHY!?

WebMaster Update - Bobby Picket added

Some Fun - Bobby Picket, Monster Mash added - we like fun here

WebMaster Update - Followers

We have now added a FOLLOWERS service - sign up NOW!

Blue Hill, Orbs, Electric LadyLand

These are the mysterious stones on Blue Hill - anybody able to read them? they change every few days ... this was taken in the summer

these orbs were shot in a store room at the house - the lens was clean, you gotta believe me - i took pix at the same time in other rooms and nothing appeared ...

One Night In Electric Ladyland

Welcome to Electric Lady land. What a curious place this is.

And sitting there, over by the roaring log fire, is Mavis Price, the Electric Lady herself. She prides herself on being able to cause electrical goods to explode simply by touching them; kettles, irons, toasters all have fallen victim to her kinetic powers.

Once she had to abandon a computer training course after blowing up an Apple Mac.

With her is Terry, a tortured little slip of a man who is staking his future on a liver transplant. He’s an ebullient character though and says he shares his rented flat with a man who died from liver failure decades ago. They communicate through a second-hand television set.

Mavis is middle-aged and full of raucous laughter. Periodically she wafts her walking cane at a ghost cat muling around her ankles. Terry might look ill but he is regaling Mavis with his camp and witty tales. His hands tremble as he warms them against the flames of the fire.

I wonder if he knows that those flames may be roaring up from the conflagration in Satan’s hearth? Mythology in this small rugged enclave of rural Shropshire has it that the fireplace Mavis and Terry are sharing is one of the county’s Gateway to Hell.

Nothing is what it seems here at the Alerston Inn, on the outskirts of Telford. Even the Gateway to Hell is, in reality, an ancient well capped after the tragic death of a young girl one hundred and fifty years ago.

And the inn? Well, that isn’t what it purports to be either. It looks like a bucolic 19th century coaching house, and boasts an ingle nook, crannies and corridors, a wealth of oak beams, uneven walls and a steep and narrow stairwell. The central heating rattles incessantly but makes the building hum with an almost oppressive heat. The floorboards creak and doors groan.

But the Alerston Inn is a modern folly, a house-that-John-built in 1985 on the site of an ancient piggery.

Local builder John Clarke wanted to construct a property that looked as if it had been there for centuries. And he succeeded. It’s an eccentric, charming and incomprehensible pile.

The motley crew of paranormal investigators, have taken up their posts around the pub and guest rooms, and they are quiet with anticipation. This could be a good investigation, some very strange things happened two weeks ago when MPI did their baseline tests.

Two happened to me. I really do not have a desire to be numbered amongst the haunted, but like Mavis has an effect on electrical goods, I seem to have an effect on things beyond the grave. That’s why I’m here with MPI, for a greater understanding of the fundaments of life after death.

The first incident happened at about 4pm as I photographed the outside of the £60-a-night inn.

The shutter captured two curious balls of light flitting across the roof. They are particularly curious because they have tails like comets, short and stubby, but tails all the same. And they are moving in different directions. Initial tests on the photograph show that these ’comets’ do not seem to be made up of the natural constituents of light, the red and blue of the rainbow appear to be missing.

Later that evening I was talking to Mark Cave, co-ordinator of MPI and other team members on the corridor outside Room 7, the room landlady Merle Cotterill says is her most haunted.

Suddenly the ceiling light above my head began to spin impossibly. Mark and I watched in astonishment as the lamp made a dozen circumnavigations of my head. Then it stopped dead. Not even a sway.

There were no draughts along the corridor, no open windows and the lamp was too high for me to have knocked.

And the movement it made could only be recreated by holding the flex and spinning the lamp vigorously.

This all added grist to the mill for the investigators. Merle had already told us of a chanting she heard on this same corridor: “It was almost like a red Indian chant, very disturbing. It just went on and on. I get very nervous up here and don’t like being by myself. And it’s not just me … the girl who cleans the rooms for us has told about things being moved from room to room. She describes it as a playful poltergeist.
“Then a guest in Room 7 became very uncomfortable after he saw a shadow walking around the bed.”
Mavis too has seen things: “I was sitting in the bar when a cat started brushing up against my leg, I kept shoo-ing it with my cane - but there was nothing there. Nothing, yet I could feel it brushing up against me. Another time, I had my credit card in my hand when something snatched it off me and flung it across the room.”

Terry claims to have seen two old men sitting in the bar area. The pub was closed. He described them as Victorian workmen, coats pulled tight against the cold, thick cavalry twirl pants, boots worn, soles still thick. Their hands were cracked and dry and looked like clay in the moonlight. Fingers tapped on the arms of the chair.

The investigation began late. It was almost 1am when the tills were cashed and staff had gone home. Mark, Merion, Paul and myself settled in the dark in Room 7 armed with recording equipment and monitors. Other investigators based themselves in the corridor at the top of the stairs with infra-red cameras and Tim set up camp in the bar near the entrance.

And so we waited in the dark in sweltering heat on a moonless night. The Alerston Inn yawed and groaned around us like an ancient sailing ship.

It was as hot as hell in Room 7, despite the fact the heating had gone off a couple of hours earlier. It was so hot that Merion lay down on the floor to find cooler air. Room 7 is very small, barely enough space for the double bed, hand wash basin and the wall mounted TV. It was airless and uncomfortable for four men.

Then something happened. Mark inexplicably began to complain of feeling cold down his right-hand side. He sounded spooked and shined a lamp onto his arm to show the goose-bumps spreading like a rash.

Paul pointed a directional thermometer at him and we watched as Mark’s temperature dropped by four degrees in as many seconds.

It was obviously bothering him despite his protests that he was fine. He kept muttering: “This is weird … this is weird … this is really weird.”

I felt the air around him, but there was no discernable change in the temperature. Paul started to get concerned and asked Mark if he wanted to take a break.

Mark’s reply was terse: “No - this is what we’re here for - note it down.”

Interestingly, the night’s log showed that Tim had experienced the thing at the same time downstairs in the bar.

The rest of the night passed uneventfully amidst the creaking of the inn, the hushed whispers of the investigators and the submarine-like bleeps of their equipment.

At 4.30am Mark called off the hunt and the team began packing up. But Mark had one last trick up his sleeve and the Alerston Inn was about to respond gamely.

He used a technique I’ve witnessed him use once before and it had an equally dramatic result then. Mark calls it Electronic Voice Phenomena, or, in laymen’s terms, Calling Out.

The simplest thing to do is give you a transcript of the three minutes ten second recording he made at dawn as embers died in the fireplace. There are long silences:

Mark: The beginning of EVP experiment … can you give us your name? (silence) Can you tell us if you live here? (silence) Can you tell us if you died in here? (silence) Can you tell us if you are a man? (silence) Can you tell us if you are a woman? (silence) Can you tell us if you are looking for somebody? (silence) If you are looking for somebody, is that somebody a girl? (silence) (Inaudible) … any messages you’d like to leave (inaudible) on this table? Leave any message you want. (Silence) I have one final question for you … are you a little girl who fell down the well?

(Silence) Are you looking for somebody who fell down the well which is situated under the fireplace?

Tape: (Muffled sound) ‘No’.

Mark: Did you say ‘No’? (silence) Was that you talking? Did you just say ‘No’ to my question? (silence) Did you say ‘No’ to your (sic) little girl? Or did you say ’No’ to the well?

The tape ends.

So, there we have it, one fascinating night in the land of the Electric Lady. Of course there is nothing conclusive, at best it’s a hotchpotch of unusual tales and mythologies, unexplained happenings and an indistinct voice on a bad recording.

None of it adds up and for a very good reason. Whereas the equation of life is calculable, written as it is across the face of the world, the equation of death is written in the recesses of the mind. Parts are hidden in dark places of fear, prejudice and ridicule and parts of it are undoubtedly written in places we have not yet discovered.

But the equation of death is the sum total of life itself, so we must keep on looking.