One of our favourite questions to ask people is “How did you get interested in the paranormal?”

It’s a question that often results in a somewhat emotional response, many people relay childhood memories of ghosts at the end of their bed, or just an uneasy feeling in a previous home. In this case, our team member Martin Sumpter tells us about his experience with an object he found in his house that seemed to provoke paranormal activity. After that, Martin attended ghost hunting events at three different locations and continued to experience activity.  Martin tells us his story…

“I first got interested in the paranormal when I moved into a house in Birmingham. Being of an inquisitive nature, I went up into the loft and found a painting. It seemed unusual to me, a little different and for those reasons I liked it, and so, brought it downstairs and hung it on the wall.

Shortly afterwards, some strange things started happening.  Every time I went upstairs, I could hear footsteps; someone walking up behind me.

My late wife said she saw somebody sitting on a chair in the bay window; she was alone in the house at the time. On another occasion, I was sitting in the kitchen talking to my step- son, when he started to lean forward and shuffle his chair forward. I asked what he was doing? He replied with “Someone wants to get past”, but there was nobody there!

All the strange activity seemed to be in the main part of the house, never in the extension at the rear of the house. Chatting to one of the neighbours across the road one day, we happened to mention the painting to them. They told us it was ‘Joe’s’ painting and that he lived in the house around 20 years ago. He liked to paint and must have left the painting in the loft. I have taken the painting to my new house, but no activity has happened…as yet!   

My first ever ghost hunt was at The Falstaff’s Experience, in Stratford-Upon-Avon. As part of one of the vigils we experimented with table tipping along with glass divination. We got some good results and it appeared that we were communicating with my Father, who had not long passed away at the time. I was asking questions that only my Father would know the answers to and did not have my finger on the glass at the time.  This first ghost hunt got me well and truly hooked and I have been on many investigations since.

 My favourite location has got to be Woodchester Mansion. I saw my first apparition in one of the small rooms in the cellar. I was standing in the dark (as you do!) – absolutely pitch black, I couldn’t see my hand in front of me. I suddenly got the feeling that somebody was stood right next to me. When I looked to my left, I saw a hooded figure leaning over me. Even though it was pitch black, the figure seemed darker, darker than the darkness – if that makes sense.

Guys Cliffe House is another location where I experienced strange activity. I was in one of the rooms located upstairs, via a small staircase – the Mason’s rooms. There were two large chairs at either end of the room. I sat on one and my friend sat on the other. We turned the lights off and started to call out. We didn’t hear anything, so, after a while we both switched our torches on and looked around the room. We noticed there were cupboards on both sides of the room, so I said, “Let’s make sure all the cupboard doors are shut and ask out for them to be opened”. Ensuing all the cupboard doors were securely shut, we noticed they all had a type of catch that you have to push until they click shut. We sat back on the chairs at either end of the room and called out for the spirit to open the doors. We didn’t hear a thing, and slightly disappointed with no evidence of activity, we switched on our torches only to discover – and much to our surprise – every cupboard door was wide open!

 These are just a few of the many experiences I have had on ghost hunts.  One of my dream locations in the UK has got to be the Edinburgh Vaults. I would like to go to the US and investigate Eastern State Penitentiary, The Queen Mary and Waverley Hills Sanatorium too.  That’s my bucket list – what’s yours?”

Do you think Martin’s experience with the painting opened up his ability to sense things? Perhaps you believe it’s the same energy following him around? Have you experienced activity at these popular locations? Tell us below!

Martin Sumpter

Team Member – Paranormal Discovery

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