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Hauntings in my home city Birmingham

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#1    emmy


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Posted 08 July 2003 - 09:02 PM

                                                      ALEXANDRA THEATRE
Stafford Street
West Midlands
Though nothing is seen here the 'presence' of a former director, Leon Salberg, is 'definitely felt'standing at the back of the stalls. More tangible is the sound of soft footsteps of a former wardrobe master who died in his office one night. The current wardrobe mistress is one of the members of the team who has heard the `gentleman pattering from over concrete to wood along a passage leading to the room where the old man was found`. The master always wore carpet slippers for some unknown reason and the floor which he still frequents has been carpeted for some time, yet the distinct change in tone is `very noticeable`.

Foundation Lane
West Midlands
Stories of a 'ghostly old woman'haunting this park near Birmingham Canal, have been in existence for about 50 years. They gained more credence and authenticity however, when Mrs. Heeley of Warley told a local research group that the figure of a 'very old woman'had suddenly appeared in front of the pram containing her four year old son. `As I moved the pram to walk past her, she just vanished`, she said. The apparition was wearing a long black dress and surprisingly, a red cape. She also had ` beautiful long black hair for her age`. The exact site of the appearance was on a pathway and a few yards from a narrow bridge. She is thought to be the phantom of `Queen Henty` a gypsy who was responsible for a Romany encampment in the park earlier this century.

In a report to Colin Smith, Mrs. Edna Jefferies relates another instance of a telepathic phantom image being seen within hours of the death of a friend. In 1966, when a nurse at Bromsgrove General Hospital she was waiting for a number 144 `bus to take her to work for the afternoon duty when she saw the figure of a friend of hers, John Bevan walking towards her. As it was some three years since they had actually met, she rather wondered whether he had recognised her. She smiled and greeted him, Hello John, what brings you to this neck of the woods?'. Edna was shocked at the response for John ignored her and continued to look straight ahead. 'Very intensely and never glanced at me. He looked terribly ill, and I called his name again'. The 'bus arrived and with great concern she boarded the vehicle and anxious to see her friend again she looked through the window but the road was empty'. No shops, no side road John had vanished'. Later that day when she came off duty she met another mutual friend and told him of seeing John Bevan and her concern over his appearance. She described the clothes accurately but was puzzled as to why she was asked the question concerning his appearance.

`The reason was that John Bevan died here two days ado`, she was told. This fact was confirmed by a visit to the hospital mortuary. Perhaps other travellers might have noticed a solitary man who looks` terribly ill walking towards the 144 `bus stop and then suddenly disappearing? If so don't be frightened. John Bevan if that is who it is was a kindly man.

BBC Studios
Pebble Mill Road
'One of the largest and most modern television centres in Europe`, was the boast of the BBC when this expensive broadcasting area was opened by Princess Anne in November 1971. They made no comment naturally that during its construction one of the builders had fallen from the scaffolding and been killed. But in July 1977, the whole incident was recalled dramatically when the play 'Ritual of Stifling Air' was being prepared. The producer, Michale Rolfe admitted that during the recording, strange and mysterious noises were heard and an extremely unpleasant atmosphere was experienced by many of the cast. This phenomena was not at first associated with the fatal accident which had occurred years earlier until on of the BBC employees admitted at a phone programme on another channel that the dead work man had been seen on numerous occasions by maintenance staff and security officers.

Although there have been many programmes produced by the BBC, both on radio and television dealing with the paranormal, 'Auntie Beeb' is, it seems, reluctant to publicise the fact that not only does it have a ghost here in Birmingham but also one in the Langham, nearly opposite the headquarters in London. However, the ghost which has been recognised as the victim of the fatal accident at Pebble Mill remains and one presumes will continues to haunt for some years yet.

Tyburn and Chester Roads
West Midlands
It is not always wise to include a case in a book of this nature if a haunting has only been witnessed by one person, but in certain cases there is a strong possibility that there are other witnesses who have reluctant to report their experience. Such is the haunting of a stone bench situation near Tyburn House. Quite recently, a nurse from Good Hope Hospital was returning home one Sunday afternoon, having spent a few quiet minutes resting on one of the benches, and turned round to check that she had left nothing on the seat. Sitting on the bench was a misty figure dressed is a long grey garment. It remained for some 20 seconds before fading away but he witness was unable to see where the apparition was male or female for the face was not revealed. A local researcher established that there were two events which occurred in the nearby area which could have created the ghost and the 'North Birmingham Times' published his report. One of the incidents was that of a murder in 1745. A drunken colonel of the Duke of Cumberland's Regiment, irate at the failures incurred at Flanders, and at the fact he had left his sword behind in the hostelry many miles away, grabbed a passing lad and demanded to know the way to a particular building. Unfortunately, the local was not only scared by the sight of the war weary troops and the screaming officer, but had a deformed mouth and was therefore unable to provide the information. The colonel, believing the man to be a spy, ordered that he should be decapitated. His body was tossed into the nearby Pype Hayes Park but the head was thrown into a tree at New Shipston. The skull was revealed when the tree was felled in the nineteenth century and the headless skeleton discovered a week later. The alternative suggestion as to the identity is that the ghost is of Mary Ashford who was murdered following a Whit Monday dance at the Tyburn Inn in 1817. A young farmer named Thornton was tried for the murder but acquitted, but the local populace believing in his guilt, hounded him to such a degree that he emigrated to America where he died. A rather interesting postscript is that Erdington CID borrowed the notes of this case, for another murder occurred of a young girl on Whit Monday 1974 and the man accused was named Thorton. He too was acquitted. Both characters lived in Pype Hayes.

Coventry Road
West Midlands
Close to the ground of Birmingham City Football Club n St. Andrews, one finds an imposing Victorian building housing a division of the local police force. For it has been unusual for officers of the law to reveal their interest in the paranormal, though some of the more advanced freely admit not that assistance provided by hypnotists and clairvoyants has proved valuable in the fight against crime. At last, realising that extra-sensory faculties do exist in certain people and phenomena is experienced some members of `the force` are beginning to release information themselves concerning haunted property.

One such instance is the station on the Coventry Road where, according to one senior officer who spoke to the 'Sunday Mercury ' in January 1978 `Doors would slam upstairs when there was no-one up there, and some of the men were none too keen to investigate the mysterious noises they heard`. The figure of a woman has also been seen in the building and from the description given, established as that of 'Hilda'a former cleaner who died some time ago.

West Midlands
Not often seen in the graveyard here is the `tall figure of a woman in a long green gown`. However, she was witnessed as recently as 1977 and is believed to be the ghost of a relative of a Royalist Officer buried in a mass grave after a battle during the Civil War. There are certainly a number of such graves in the area and even a rumour that there is a `hoard of buried treasure` in the locality.

West Midlands
Walking to wok at 8.15 in the morning on 28th September 1971, along Victoria Road were two friends. Mrs. Bagley and Mrs. Heath. They had reached the site of a former police station when they spotted a woman `in a green frilly gown, standing in the middle of the road`. Both witnesses were apprehensive for their `bus was approaching but when only a few feet from the mysterious phantom the green lady vanished. Months later Mrs. McFarlane, in exactly the same area but at 9.30 in the evening, was shocked to see a woman in a `Yellowish green dress suddenly appear at the kerbside, hurriedly cross the road and disappear as she reached the pavement on the other side.` Mrs. McFarlane feels the ghost may be that of an usherette from the Aston Cross Cinema who was killed whilst crossing the road some years ago.

Warley Park
Abbey Road
West Midlands
Despite numerous attempts by serious researchers to capture 'The Grey Lady of Warley'on film, the phantom here refuses to oblige, yet continues to be witnessed by the occasional evening visitor to the grounds when, at the time, they were thinking of `nothing in particular`. She is known to have appeared in the late 1950`s and in the early 1970`s and is seen as a tall woman wearing a grey coat. The most frequent area is that of the site of Warley Abbey constructed in the eighteenth century and demolished in the mid twentieth century. Some believe she is the phantom of a murdered heiress to the estate There is certainly some connection with the original building for she appears where the original front door was situated, walks along a pathway and vanishes.

#2    Kismit



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Posted 09 July 2003 - 04:43 AM

                                                      I live in a small town but it was originally going to be the main port of the South Island , and is one of the oldest settlements in NZ. Because of this the place has a lot of apparently haunted houses and buildings . Particullarly the old colonial style 2 storyed place up in the bush that just reaks of atmosphere . Then of course there are apparently a whole familly of ghosts staying at the home of the local bus service operators. So many stories I have heard since moving into town and never experienced a thing .

  What I found particularly interesting in your post emmy is the crossroads haunting , arn't crossraods where murderers and such were left to rot in cages (Ithink they were called gallows but I'm working from memory again) . So that when there spirits departed the body they would be confused by the crossraod and be condemed to spend eternity wandering ?                                                      

#3    Sageghost


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Posted 09 July 2003 - 11:46 AM

                                                      Hey Kismit - I think you're thinking of a 'gibbet' which was a cage that was usually used to keep the bodies of criminals at crossroads. This was done because it was thought the ghost of the dead person would get confused by the crossroads and not know which road led back to the town where they were executed.                                                      

I was just thinking that of all the trails in this life, there is one that matters more than all the others. It is the trail of a true human being.

#4    PurpleStuart



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Posted 09 July 2003 - 09:09 PM

                                                      Emmy - have you thought of visiting these places or investigating any of them?                                                      

never take me too seriously

#5    Kismit



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Posted 10 July 2003 - 10:47 AM

                                                      Thank Sageghost , actually about a half hour after posting it I thought to myself . Hmmm Ithink it was a gibbet I meant . Then I thought no can't be , gibbets are something you find on chickens .

  Turns out that last time I meant Gibblets but I can't allways be right now can I  cat.gif                                                      

#6    Agent_21


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Posted 10 July 2003 - 07:41 PM

The accused was strung up by the giblets until dead.  laugh.gif

A nice collection of hauntings. Does the Ansells' Brewery at Aston Cross still exist? That was supposed to be haunted by a man in riding jacket, breeches, boots and cravat, a former occupant of the stables that pre-dated the brewery.

#7    Althalus


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Posted 10 July 2003 - 08:17 PM

Redditch is just 20 miles south of Birmingham and has a number of haunted hotspots also, the High School I used to go to, and it always felt creepy under the bell tower.

England - Redditch - Abbey High School - the head teacher of this school seems to haunt the students on the day of 17th may every year as they walk along the top corridor under the bell house there has been 42 sights of this head teacher in the last 7 years some say he helps you but others will not say incase of what might happen.

England - Redditch - Barley Mow Pub - Ghosts have been reported here by people who live near by this pub, which apparently is built on top of a massive graveyard.

The Brockhill Women's Prison near Redditch, Worcestershire, currently holds 159 women prisoners and one other. The other, the prison walls cannot hold. So says a prison spokesperson. "Some prisoners have reported the sighting of a ghost, believed to be that of a monk, passing through walls and staff have admitted having strange sensations, such as the prickling of hairs on the back of the neck, while on shifts." The prison, built in 1965 but converted for use by women in 1997, stands on the sprawling grounds of Hewell Grange, a former manor home owned by the Earl of Plymouth. An area author, Anne Bradford, who has written several books about Midland ghosts and haunted buildings, says, "[t]his is the first time I have heard of a ghost at Brockhill. But the description of it being a monk ties in with the historic monastic links between the Hewell Grange estate and the nearby Bordesley Abbey, in Redditch." Understandably, women captive behind locked doors, unable to escape a specter that wanders where it may, are frightened. The prison chief has offered counseling to both prisoners and staff, many of whom have reported feeling "weird" while working nightshifts. "If anyone has been unnerved by such apparitions, the governor said the prison chaplain is available to offer support," says the spokesperson. Also, during a routine search of the cells, guards uncovered parts of a home-made Ouija board. Says the spokesperson, "We are aware that evidence of a Ouija board may have been used, but we cannot be sure that the two events are linked."

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#8    SpaceyKC


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Posted 12 July 2003 - 11:46 PM

        They are all fascinating stories,  but the one about using a Ouija board in a
     prison....what were they thinking?   w00t.gif  

"Science may have found a cure for most evils;  but it has
         found no remedy for the worst of them all --- the apathy of human beings."
                                                     Helen Keller

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