Halloween 2012: My evening ghost hunting at The Old Oak House Museum
Halloween has never been one of my favourite times of the year, and as a cynical hack, ghouls, ghosts and vampires don’t get to me much.
However, that doesn’t mean that when I was presented with the chance to go and do some ghost hunting in a haunted museum, that I wasn’t rather worried about the whole ordeal.
The gents down at Buyagift sent me to West Bromwich, slightly north-west of Birmingham, to test out one of their experiences in which I would go looking for the dead in, what I was reliably told was, one of the most haunted locations in Britain.
The entire weekend began much like many contemporary horror movies, as we sat in a train carriage looking out at the awful weather outside. It was dark relatively early which only added to the tension.
You might read this thinking “as if you’d be worried about doing it beforehand,” but we read some reviews, which spoke about being touched, pushed, prodded and poked by spirits at the museum.
Now, to be honest, I was expecting over-zealous instructors who might knock on doors and stamp on floors as you entered a room; this wasn’t the case.
After a brief, in which we were promised that there would be no trickery or tom-foolery on their part, we were away, learning the historic secrets of the beautiful Old Oak House Museum.
The mediums (yes, there were jokes about certainly not squeezing into a small) were introduced and, so they said, had never set foot in the building before and had no idea of its history – I believed it.
From there, we were taken on a a history tour, it was pitch black and each reveller had to wield a torch. The building, as you can see from the image above, is clearly Tudor and absolutely beautiful with it.
Later came the actual ghost hunt: I was surprised about the number of unexplained bumps which happened throughout the beginning.
I’m a logical man, I like logical things, but no matter how quickly I rushed upstairs or how thoroughly we searched the floor, we couldn’t find any explanation to any of the noises.
Now, I’m reasonably sure that the mediums picked on me. There were a number of occasions when they asked me to be a victim… ahem… volunteer. Most of which involved me asking a spirit to push or prod me.
Petrified that anything would push or prod me, but still thinking logically enough to know that that sort of thing doesn’t actually happen, I called out to the darkness as instructed; nothing pushed me, nor did anything prod me. Phew.
A number of people were pushed and prodded, however, just not me or my ghost hunting buddy/girlfriend. There was an argument between two people over a table, who claimed they were being given things to say by spirits.
Partly disappointed that no spirits in fancied giving me a poke and partly pleased by the same statement, we did have a couple of creepy moments.
Well, my ghost hunting partner/girlfriend, Jasmine, did, anyway. I was mostly a bystander.
In one room in the house, we were told that we may feel certain emotions as we stood close to other-worldy energies, and stood in one particular spot in that room, Jasmine took away her grasp on my hand and buried herself into her scarf. It was only after the medium’s asked if everyone was ok that she mentioned how horribly lonely she felt.
So, as any loving boyfriend and responsible psychic does, we tested the situation and moved her to the other side of the room – asking another woman to stand where she previously was.
The change in mood was almost instantaneous: Jasmine had perked up the other woman had surrendered to the throes of unhappiness. Bizarre, eh?
Although I was slightly nervous beforehand, I never actually felt genuinely terrified at any point in the museum. The evening was more of an educational experience, we learnt about the paranormal and, as the mediums suggested, we became more sensitive to it.
So, if you’re looking for a bit of a bond with those on the slightly more transparent side, definitely give it a go and definitely check out The Old Oak House Museum – if you don’t like the spooks, you’ll certainly like the history and architecture.
Oh – and I haven’t even mentioned the lengthy conversation we had with William, who worked at the house, slept with a member of the family and was stabbed to death as a result… no, seriously, he’s buried in the back garden.Birmingham, ghost, ghost hunting, halloween, old oak house museum, West Brom
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