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.


Visiting the Haunted Pub

At last.

On Thursday night, in one of those hellish weeks when everything happened at once, I left behind the stressed spouse and the stroppy teenager, heading off into the comforting rain.  This was it.  The ghost spotting event run by the group with the good website.  Calling these ‘investigations’ gives them a professional feel.  LSS cried off.  He had enough to cope with.  Once again, the lone mad woman enters the pub…

By far the scariest part of poking around in the paranormal is driving to unfamiliar locations, especially on dark wet nights.  I knew where this pub was, but I did not know where to park.  It is on a corner, at the junction of two busy roads, and, as so often happens when a person needs to drive slowly, somebody was far too close behind me, on the verge of sliding into my hatchback every time I braked.  Indeed, I almost gained a back seat passenger when, outside the pub, a massive American style four by four vehicle appeared, causing me to jump on the brake in surprise.  Immediately, I knew this belonged to the organisers.  ‘God help me,’ I thought, ‘I’m here with the A-team.’  Then I realised that the car park was across the road and I had just driven past it.  Heart now thumping, I had to continue through two hairpin bends another mile into Candle Town before I could turn around in comfort.  By the time I had finally parked up and found my way in to the pub I was exhausted.

It was worth it.
Thursday night changed everything for me.
It is all about Agnes now.

‘Anybody can be open to spirit,’ said our Sensitive, as we made ready to encounter the unknown on the top floor of the old building.  ‘If you hear anything, or feel anything, or if a name pops into your head, then let us know.’  Now, as soon as she said ‘name’ I found myself thinking ‘Agnes’.  I involuntarily thought ‘Agnes’ three times.  I had barely had time to register what was being said before it happened.

Everyone knows that Agnes was a name more popular in times gone by, but I can stoutly declare that if I had chosen a name for a worker in that old building, I would have chosen something associated with the Victorian working class – Fanny, maybe, or Bess.    My only association with Agnes is that, about 40 years ago, I was taught a Keats poem called ‘St Agnes Eve.’  Education being rather different in those days, I can still remember the first verse.  To me, ‘Agnes’ has always been the name of a poem.

So, for no reason I can understand, this name jumped into my head three times.  No way was I intending to share this information.   I was going to wait, to see if anyone else said it.  If the name did crop up later, then this moment would become significant for me.   If I mentioned it now, I would never know if others had heard it for themselves or if they had been influenced by me.  If I kept silent, and someone else produced the name, then I would take this as an indication that we might both have acquired this name in the same, inexplicable fashion.  I would feel that there was, as they say, ‘something in it’.  I have since pondered whether or not this was fair on Agnes, but that is another story.

Later, I was pleased I had said nothing, for one of my fellow punters on the trip proved to be so impressionable that if I had claimed to be aware of a Fred Flintstone in the room, she would no doubt have sensed that Wilma and Pebbles were there too, and that they were all looking for Barney.

The high spot of the night happened a few hours later, when we had all explored the upper floors and were milling around in the bar. I overheard someone nearby saying ‘Agnes’.  I asked some of the second group what their trip to the top floor had been like.  ‘I didn’t like it’ said one, ruefully.  ‘It was all about the men and how they treated the girls.  It wasn’t nice.’
‘Was Agnes one of them?’ I asked, casually.
‘Yes.’ She said.

I was stunned.

Something had happened to me.  However sceptical I might feel about other events of that evening, I knew that there was Something, whatever it was, going off about Agnes, and it followed that there could well be other Stuff, whatever it might be, also going off.

It is all about Agnes.  I am even more fascinated that I was before.  I will never give up now.

Rifol has rather a lot to say about her special night out, so it is chopped up into bite-size chunks.  She will start it properly from the begining in the next post...

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