One week on since fun and games at a paranormal investigation…
Perhaps it’s safe to talk about it now. Perhaps it’s not. Perhaps, even, a little of both.

A group of hapless journalists, myself included, were guided on an evening of ghost-hunting, by a dastardly pair from Haunted Happenings, one of the UK’s growing number of such teams. Overseen by Jessica Robbins, a power-of-the-mind expert, the crux was to investigate whether observed paranormal activity was a reality, or to consider any perceived occurrences as having been created by our very own minds. I personally ponder the relationship between the two; psychological perception is reality, regardless of source. This is something that will be explored in a future issue of Exquisite Terror.

The location was not where you’d expect, deep in the woods or an abandoned hospital; rather, we occupied a top-floor apartment in the manically busy surrounds of London’s Shaftesbury Avenue. (The developers have requested the address remain a secret; pity the prospective tenants.) However, as logically pointed out by Haunted Happenings, it is the history of a location that is relevant, the very ground itself. Indeed, there are current reported hauntings in this particular area: the Lyric Theatre is said to be haunted by a murdered programme seller, whilst male actors complain of the feeling of being watched in the dressing rooms of the Queen’s Theatre. Armed with this knowledge and some healthy trepidation, we began…

I do so wish I could relate a tale of an angry, confrontational poltergeist, some real harm inflicted, but the ghosts we may, or may not have communicated with seemed gentle beings. As such, the activity that did occur was far from glamorous, the movement of our communicative glass at first interesting, but never achieving heart-pounding speed. An attempt at table-tipping did result in one, very assertive push across the floor, but the verdict on this was not unanimous. I believed it ghostly force, observing our Haunted Happenings representative, the only person who could have made the push to achieve the resultant direction, immediately leaping away, whilst others were convinced of his manual responsibility. However, consideration of the scientific factors, mechanical mathematics regards motion in relation to friction, could not explain the outcome… whilst consideration of our group psychology and the desire for such events could.

Further events were less ambiguous, but still inspired interesting debate. Myself observing orbs of light — a phenomenon I had read of but never experienced — could again be explained by Ms. Robbins as the power of my mind, but an initial shared observation, whereby I noted seeing ‘something’, agreed with immediately by Haunted Happenings’ psychic who herself confirmed the lights I saw but did not describe… well, that was particularly interesting. Did we both see it because it was there, or did I think I saw it, the psychic commenting from the viewpoint of her specific abilities, seeing it in my mind, then believing it herself due to the unconscious power of her mind, as opposed to a real, shared observation? One could theorise until the cows come home!

Activity was, if not in the full swing of a horror film, certainly more obvious now; we decided it a good time to conduct a seance, the spirits having made themselves known. And this was where the fun really began, our nerves nicely jangled, complemented by the instillment of fear as result of a select few of us unexpectedly dragged — by human force — into a tiny, pitch-black cupboard, locked inside in turn as bait to our ghostly friends (myself one such victim; thanks for that). Physical interaction began, PR girls whimpering outside of our circle as they observed one woman experiencing the slow lifting of her arm, seemingly against her will. Fascinating, and quite possibly proof of the power-of-the-mind concept, the subject having earlier shown herself as susceptible to group fear, the most jumpy of us all. Some minutes passed; I pondered if the evening’s events were spent. Not quite… As our psychic instructed us to reseal the circle, close our eyes and simply wait, I was to be the last to bear the brunt of activity. Aware of a pressure behind me that I decided against vocalising, assuming that I was bowing to the psychological pressure of the group for that ‘something’ to happen, I stood for a short while, the sensation of this pressure building along my back, forcing me forward. This I physically resisted until I could no longer do so, the result, my stumbling forward, very much feeling that I had been forced to do so. It was at this point we decided to end the event, our psychic rather surprisingly appearing nervous. The real fun had only just begun; we should have stayed on…

Those who would like to be guided on a ghostly experience of their own should visit where such events may be booked. Those who are intrigued by the concept of the power of the mind, perhaps needing a little guidance, should visit And those wondering what prompted this event in particular should purchase Dream House, available on Blu-ray™ triple play, DVD and digital download now.



Posted by Naila Scargill

Naila is the founder and editor of Exquisite Terror. Holding a broad editorial background, she has worked with an eclectic variety of content, 
ranging from film and the counterculture, to political news and finance. She is the Culture Editor at Trebuchet, and generally gets around.