The Shared Diary of a Novice Paranormal Investigator, aged 52 and Three Quar

When you believe in things you don’t understand, then you suffer.

(Stevie Wonder)

There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio,

Than are dreamed of in your philosophy.


Ri fol ri fol tol de riddle dee.


Stone Circles and very Cold Sheep

Sunday arrived at last.  Sub-zero yet again, but we paranormal investigators are made of strong stuff

The first snowflakes were just starting to bode as we warmed up the car.  Long Suffering Spouse, Eldest Child and myself pretended we had not noticed them, and drove the few miles to Candle Town.  When the children were small, this had been a favourite haunt of ours at weekends.  A wander along the canal, a go on the swings and buying a book or a toy had made a day-long treat.  At that time, there had been a wonderful Italian ice cream parlour.  It is still much missed, even though all our little sweethearts are now six foot creatures with more attitude than is really necessary.  Proper ice cream parlours are rare as hen’s teeth and that is a shame.

By the time we had finished arguing about where to park the car, snow was blowing in on a stiffening wind.  Sensibly, we made straight for the unknown path on the moors.  We pushed through the farm gate and started off up the slippery path.  A fall would be bad news here.  We paranormal investigators are action heroes.  We marched uphill swiftly, to keep warm.  CF& C had told me that the circle must be between the road and the top of the hill. 

Once a few yards from the road, I started serious off-pathing, hunting around for clues and trying to be sensitive to any available vibes.  There were large frozen puddles, a few miserable looking sheep trying to eat the tough grass and, lying around everywhere, a surfeit of huge grey boulders.  Part of this dismal landscape appeared to have been a quarry.  There were boulders on boulders, next to boulders, surrounded by boulders with extra boulders.  There were so many boulders, there was not much room for the large stones.

Stone circle?  On my next day off, I might look for needles in haystacks.  Just as, after buying a new car you suddenly start seeing the same model all the time, once we had the notion there was a stone circle here, we saw them everywhere.  I made out at least a dozen.  EC charged off in all directions at once, a blur in Berghaus.  I think she spotted fifty or more.  LSS had become rather quiet and blue looking. 

I stood in what might have been my tenth version.  A big circle of peat was enclosed by huge slabs of rock.  It looked like a stone circle.  It also looked very natural.  ‘That’s it’ yelled EC, enthusiastically.  I did not think so.  She swooped up the path again and I watched her plunge into the heather on the other side, further up.  Near where she was looking were three huge pointed stones.  I imagined, long ago, people heaving them up so the points could serve as markers, showing the way, like a cairn on a path.  I steamed on up there.

Below the pointed stones was a small circular depression.  Around the rim of this were low boulders, overgrown by rough grass, heather and bilberries.  Apart from one empty space, they certainly looked like a stone circle of sorts.  Had we found it or not?  It was a contender.  We waymarked it on the GPS.  EC pointed to the horizon.  Far off the path was a large rocky outcrop.  ‘I’m sure that’s it.’ she said, and raced towards it.  Only then did I realise she had been looking for Stonehenge.  We followed, and climbed up on the outcrop to gain an overview, although by now we were far away from what we suspected should be the search area.  We saw two circles directly below us, and slithered down on them only to find they were not circles or stones; they were shadows cast where the ground was wearing away.

‘Let’s go home.’ I said, and we turned into the wind for the long trudge back to the car.  We had to go steeply up to the rocks and then find the path again.  Snow was driven into our faces, stinging our eyes so we could only look down at our feet.  The bitter cold stole our voices.  Each of us climbed that hill in isolation.  It was one of those Tess in the turnip field moments.  Snow swirled around us, making me dizzy.  ‘Are you sure we’re on the right path?’ I managed to call out to LSS.  ‘We’re on the wrong path’ I thought.  ‘Of course we’re on the right path’ he replied.  He did not add ‘You mad cow’ but I heard it anyway.  As the gusts died down a little, I could at last see that of course we were on the right path, and without that swirling assault on my wits, I could remember that there are not many paths to choose from up there anyway.

We escaped to the warm car and retreated gratefully to the warm kitchen.    We had become very cold and tired.  We had been too cold even to remember to take a photograph.  I had learned why walkers get lost in blizzards.  For what it is worth, we discovered that there may or may not be a small and not very good stone circle at GR 01637 05562. 

Fortified by cake, I returned to the forum.  Nobody had posted any more comments.  Nobody was interested.  Nobody wanted to talk about stones.  I had imagined others would be drawn into the conversation and that it would develop so that we would discuss mysteries and legends.  Wrong again!  I suppose if we had seen a few spirits with messages about where Auntie Susan had put the nail clippers, everyone would have been deliriously excited.  To be fair (which I must, because I promised) it was about this time that the organisers started to query why the forum was underused.  The members seem not to have been in discursive mood at all.  I felt quite deflated

LSS drew my attention to something.  He found another paranormal group operating locally.  That makes three so far.  I wonder how many more we will find?  I had better check with the neighbours, just in case someone is starting another.  The third group has a sophisticated looking website and, in a rash moment, LSS booked us two places on their next investigation.  It is very kind of him to keep me company.  I am sure he was influenced only by the spirit of matrimonial solidarity, and not at all by the nature of this particular investigation: a nearby pub known for good beer.  He was only a little gutted when he later discovered that all events of this nature are dry and that he will have less beer in the pub than he normally gets in his own sitting room.  The good news is that this will be happening in a couple of weeks.  Cosy Local’s investigation is still more than a month away.  I will not have to wait so long for a real experience, after all.

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