Get involved: send your pictures, video, news & views by texting ENFIELD NEWS to 80360, or email us
Reporter Hermione Wright turned ghostbuster takes on 'haunted' Royal British Legion club
I started my paranormal investigation with an open mind; unfortunately I left with a closed one.
On Saturday, I blew caution to the wind and spent a night at the Royal British Legion club in Holtwhite’s Hill, Chase Side, with the North London Paranormal Investigation squad.
According to folklore, the former fire station is haunted by two spirits – fireman Fred who was run over by a truck and a woman who fell down a fireman’s pole during a party many years before... Legend has it, committee meetings were moved downstairs after members came across flags fluttering mysteriously on the first floor.
This was out of my comfort zone. I cry at horror films, and with my closest reference point to the supernatural being a grandmother who believes in fairies, I didn’t know what to expect. I dressed in dark clothing – trying my best to exude a gothic aura, grabbed my notepad, some mixed nuts, a pack of candles (just in case the dark got too much), and made my way.
9pm: I arrived at the club, meeting chief investigator and former policeman Mickey Gocool and the rest of his crew on the first floor. Mickey says he doesn't know why but he is "sensitive" to spirits. A party was in full flow in the ground floor of club, with the loud retro tunes and cheery crowd going some way to calm my nerves.
However, I noticed the clock had stopped, like in the movies. Club secretary Maria Hamer told me that none of the clocks work and no amount of batteries will make them tick.
10pm: Mickey set up his equipment before taking me downstairs to the old committee room. Investigator Jay Hollis pointed out how cold and clammy the marble banister felt on the way down. I’d like to say I saw it as a sign, but I couldn’t control my inner cynic from thinking ‘it’s a cold old building and it’s a late October night!’
Mickey used a snazzy EMF device to check the room for energy, believing when it lit up it was a sign of roaming spirits. We turned off the lights, and he said: “Is there an energy in this space? Can you hear my voice?” I couldn't help but concentrate on old school hit Mambo Number Five bellowing from the next-door room.
The spirits were shy on coming forward but Mickey had to leave the room as he felt out of breath – it happens to him every time he comes into contact with paranormal activity. I’d like to believe it, I really would, but maybe his illness is due to nerves, or the musty room, or a dodgy dinner?
11pm: Medium Toni Pritchard took us outside for a protection spell. She asked for us to breathe out our negative energy and breathe in pure bright light. I got the giggles watching the pint-drinking legion members giving us the strangest of looks.
12am: The witching hour. We traipsed back upstairs and switched off the lights. Toni and Mickey used their devices to tempt the spirits to “reveal themselves.” They said they felt the presence of former club members Patricia and Patrick. I’m sure they did, but the silly little cynical journalist that I am felt and saw nothing. Someone jumped when bubble wrap fell from the wall, and another complained of having cold legs – to me, doubting Thomas, I needed more solid proof.
Mickey knew I was underwhelmed so he tried to use his powers to tell me my middle-name. I had my fingers crossed, I really wanted him to guess it. Sadly, he thought it was Jane and that's nowhere near Leslie Anne.
2am: Ouija board time. Despite my obvious doubt, I didn’t want a go. I couldn't help thinking 'why weren’t the board users screaming with fear when their hands started moving?' They asked the spirits their names and I took down the letter combinations: Peap, Cece, Tove, Cec, Fusb, Oueoe, Firc, Andy. Okay, Andy I can work with. The others? I know I have an unusual name, but really...?
The paranormal team whizzed through radio frequencies to see if they could find any evidence of spirits attempting to communicate. All I could hear – the non-believer, was static and bursts of music reminding me of the night out I was missing out on with my friends.
3am: Mickey tests activity in the downstairs toilet. He discovers a toilet roll strewn on the floor and thinks it could be a sign. Again, I wish I had the faith, but to me, that signals something else.
3.30am: Home time. Mickey was disappointed. He said he was “hoping for a lot more lights and energy and it just didn’t happen.” He’ll be analysing the radio frequencies and video and sound recordings to see if any further evidence shows up.
I really wanted to believe it, but I’d be lying if I said I was convinced. All I can say, is I hope fireman Fred springs up behind me in the coming weeks to prove me wrong. Until then, I’m cynical Sue.