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My paranormal experience | #2

Since writing my last post, I have been wracking my brains for other paranormal experiences I've had. I find these kinds of stories so interesting; I hope you don't mind me rambling on once more!

Before I get into this, I definitely do not advocate messing with the paranormal. Whether you are a believer or not, I do find something so unsettling about ouija boards and seances and other ways of purposely trying to 'communicate with the dead'.

I know ouija boards at one time were sold as toys but I really do believe there's something dangerous about them. Inviting spirits into your life is probably not recommended. But be it on your own head if you do!

Despite that little disclaimer, lemme tell ya about that one time I did some communicating with spirits myself...

My friends and I love all things paranormal and we have been on quite a few 'ghost tours' in the past, mainly in London. They're basically tours where your guide will take you around different supposedly haunted areas of whatever city you're in, tell you some interesting (usually grisly) history about said places and tell tales about the spirits that haunt them.

It's just for fun; it's interesting to learn some history and even better if you go in the deep, dark depths of winter like we did - just for thrill's sake. If they run any tours like this near you, I'd definitely recommend it, even just for a laugh. Some are very theatrical!

Anyway, we booked on to a ghost night in Manchester a while back called 'Tavern of the Dead' - it was basically a part-theatre, part-paranormal-investigation evening, taking place in a supposedly super haunted pub in the city centre.

The performance section of the night was great; my friends, myself and a bunch of strangers sitting around a table shaped like a coffin, drinking wine and having ghost stories told to us by the light of some battery powered candles. You can imagine it, right?

After the theatrics were over, our host said he'd like to do some paranormal investigating. Full disclosure was given: this part of the evening was not part of the performance, so anything that may happen was not planned and not necessarily fake. He didn't lead anyone to believe anything, just that basically any weird stuff that happened from this point onwards definitely wasn't him.

This intrigued me straight away and I went into it with my mind wide open (with just a dash of scepticism, in case he was lying and it was all a set up).

The first investigation we did was called 'scrying', which is basically the act of looking or seeing into a certain object with the hopes of there being a vision or message. For this evening, we used a big mirror that was hung on the wall of the function room of this pub.

Someone from the group volunteered to try this out and was basically told to stand in front of the mirror, relax completely and keep staring at their reflection. Our host had told us earlier in the night about a grotesque man who used to work in the pub, who allegedly had done some pretty horrific things to a young girl there, who then died and he proceeded to kill himself in that very room.

Through the scrying activity, the volunteer was supposed to be able to see her own reflection start morphing into that of a fat, old man, with a crooked nose and bloated jowls. I could kind of see what was meant to happen, but since we were stood in the pitch black and the volunteer had a candle under her chin, the movement of the (fake) flames was definitely warping and manipulating the reflection in the mirror.

Overall, this activity didn't really impress me, but it was a bit of fun. After researching scrying more afterwards, I don't think it was really used properly here and it was probably more for the theatrics of the night.

Next, to my expected horror, our host whips out a ouija board and my heart sank a little. I don't know what it is about them that freaks me out so much, but I just don't want to be near one. We have one at work as part of one of our games and just touching it makes me feel icky.

Anyway, he called for some volunteers and I don't know if I was drunk off my single glass of wine or if I was a bit possessed, but I stuck my hand up and was like 'hell yeah, I'll have a go!'

There were three of us, total strangers, fingers placed lightly on the planchette. If you've never seen a ouija board before, it's basically a big board with the alphabet written on it, some numbers and some closed answers like 'yes', 'no', 'maybe' and 'goodbye'. The idea is to call out into the unknown and have the spirits move the planchette to the different letters, numbers and answers, essentially spelling out a message of some kind.

Our host was calling out generic questions, 'is there anybody out there? Does anyone want to communicate with us?' He then started linking his questions to the horror stories he'd told us earlier, so we could attempt to contact these alleged spirits.

There was a little bit of movement but nothing mind-blowing and I was already pretty sceptical about this guy stood to my left. Our host called out and asked whether the spirit of the young girl that had died could feel a connection with anyone in the room, whether they were by the board or not.

At this point, the planchette shot towards me and stopped dead in front of me. I'm just putting it out there that I one. hundred. percent. did. not. push. that. planchette. I think rigging a ouija board is just dumb; it either works or it doesn't. To this day I'm still pretty convinced that the man who was stood to my left was the one who pushed it towards me, just trying to be funny I guess. But even though I think it was faked, it led on to the third and final activity which I'm definitely glad to have experienced (weirdly).

Since the spirit apparently connected with me so much, the host asked if I would do one final thing for him, to which I agreed. He pulled out a different kind of board, one with a kind of star shape on it and at the various points of the star, answers like 'yes' 'no' and 'maybe' were written. He then brought out what looked like a necklace, with a long chain and a pointy crystal pendant on the end.

He informed me that he'd like me to try and conduct a pendulum reading, in which he'd ask questions out to the darkness and the spirits were supposed to swing the pendulum in the direction of the answer they wanted to give. I was a little more excited about this one, because I was the only person allowed to touch it, meaning that it couldn't be rigged by that annoying man from the ouija board.

The host took charge of asking the questions, starting with generic ones again that were getting a small response. Every movement of the pendulum did surprise me because I knew there was just no way of this being fake.

We decided to get a little more personal and rather than trying to communicate with spirits that allegedly haunted the pub, we were going to try and connect with spirits that had a personal connection to me. This is when shit got real.

He asked who I wanted to try and contact, so I decided to get in touch with my Grandad Harry, who passed away when I was around six years old. The host called out and asked for Harry to step forward, if he was here, and make himself known.

The pendulum was gently but rhythmically swinging in the direction of 'yes'.

He asked a few other questions; was he watching over me? Was he with me all the time? Was he happy? All to which the pendulum was swinging towards 'yes'.

Our host decided this was not affirmation enough and asked the (supposed) spirit of my late Grandad whether he was proud of me - it swung 'yes' - he then asked him to swing the pendulum harder, as hard as he could, because his mediocre 'yes' wasn't good enough.

To my surprise, the pendulum in my hand began to swing rapidly, harder than before and it kept increasing in speed. I hadn't moved an inch this entire time - in fact, when the session was over, my legs had completely turned dead because I'd rooted myself into the ground so hard for support.

The pendulum was going mad in my hands and I was half scared, half absolutely amazed at what I was seeing - and there were about a dozen other people there seeing it too. Our host thanked whatever spirits had made contact that evening and effectively closed the session, meaning those spirits were not invited to follow us home.

The weirdest part of the whole thing was that when he ended the session, rather than coming to a gradual halt as you would expect, the pendulum stopped dead in my hand and had no energy to it anymore.

I think some people in the audience thought I was faking it, but I actually came away from that pendulum session with tears in my eyes because I couldn't believe what had happened. I was a little bit frightened, a little bit full of adrenaline and unsure as to whether my late grandfather had actually just been able to tell me he was proud of me; something I'd wanted to hear from him so much.

I did a little research on pendulums later on and a lot of activity with these sessions can be put down to sheer psychology - often, the pendulum swings in the direction that you want it to, deep down, so you subconsciously move the pendulum yourself. I can see how this could be true but I believe with all my heart that I didn't make the pendulum move that night.

I have actually done a couple of independent pendulum sessions since and I definitely have received answers I didn't want, so I don't think my subconscious is in danger of intervening!

What do you think?!
Was my subconscious playing a role in the pendulum session?
Dare I ask, have you ever tried any kind of paranormal investigating?

Read part one of my paranormal experience [here]!

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