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.


Yes, Possibly (..the Worst Medium in the World)

Rifol is still a little put out.

 At the start of this project, I vowed to treat everyone with the respect they deserved.  I am still doing that, but nobody is getting more than they deserve.

 My third club investigation proved to be a dreadful disappointment.  I had assumed that it would be the best one, because this was the most well known, long established group.  Wrong again.  The rot set in from the start, when we found the team leaders in the car park, eating chips and amusing themselves by putting on comic Irish accents.  They moved on to poo jokes after a while.  The fart jokes they saved for later.

The whole group was in fine high spirits, anticipating an exciting evening’s entertainment.  We had only an hour and a half of waiting around, in the car park and the foyer, while the club officials carefully put batteries into a few hand-held instruments.  Then we were split into two teams.   Working with our team was the only obvious, see though fake medium I have met in the entire year.  This man made up stories which made no sense at all because he knew nothing at all.  Insufferably arrogant, he produced a torrent of ‘sensed’ balderdash, all of which exposed his ignorance of History, plays and the theatre. The criminal even pushed in front of us when we queued up for tea.   Lying to punters is naughty enough, but tea is tea, for heaven’s sake.

We visited several locations during that long, dark night of the intellect.  I enjoyed having a private tour of the theatre, especially backstage, where we could see some of the mechanisms and structures used to create the set.  I felt like a naughty child, exploring the posh boxes and sitting on any chair that took my fancy.   We even went in one of the subterranean dressing rooms, and sat in the chairs where actors put on make up.  Moving between the faded plush of the public areas and the functional concrete of the actors’ workplace provided an interesting contrast.  In every room, however, Mr Spouter treated us to the same meaningless fantasies.  Nothing else was allowed to happen.  If a punter suggested anything, Spouter changed the subject.

In the circle, I did see a blurred, shadowy figure moving quickly towards the aisle, but I was the only one.  It could have been a ghost; it could have been astigmatism.   When, from time to time, something of interest did happen, Mr Spouter and the Team Leader took care to ignore it, in case it interfered with the story telling.  Early on, the tinny little electro-magnetic field meter shot right up to red when held over a table in the bar.  Mr Spouter wisely took it away, just in case there was a danger of anyone gaining information from it. EC later told me her mobile phone had set it off.  Having an engineer in tow on an investigation is a very good idea, even if ‘mediums’ are not keen on them.  Later on, Spouter proudly showed everyone an anomalous photo he had taken.  He was not able to tell anyone where he had been standing when he took it, of course, so we could not return to that spot and do anything silly, like working out why it had happened. 

There was a floor length mirror in the corridor outside the dressing rooms, and there were greasy smudges on it.  The team leader gleefully claimed this to be proof that spirits were with us. 

The punters had a lovely time.  Sometimes, they had a turn at contributing to the stories spun by Spouter or Trainee Spouter.  Women’s magazines with lurid covers seemed to have had a very strong influence on their suggestions.  We heard about jealous lovers, nasty accidents, malicious plots and a secret love child.  It made a change.  In the breaks, we had chocolate biscuits.   Sometimes, there were jokes and fits of giggles.  They enjoyed their big night out.   We enjoyed some of it.

EC and I let ourselves out at about three thirty.  I felt I had done my time.  I asked EC if she would like to go again one day, but she said she would rather lick a toilet seat.  Children can be so cruel.

So that was the ignoble end to my short but expensive career as a punter with the clubs.  I met kind and friendly people each time.  Each time, I had an experience I could not easily explain.  I have learned why the clubs are popular with the regulars.  I have noticed, (and who could not have noticed?) that a lot of money is changing hands in the paranormal community.  I have formed my suspicion that some people running clubs may well be up to all kinds of interesting antics, possibly well considered, methodical antics at that, when the punters are not there.  As a punter, I have not been on anything that could truly be called an investigation; all three were Jolly Nights Out, especially for the regulars.

 I will have to wait for National Rational to help me to find the serious and systematic procedures I am looking for.  It is comforting to give up on the clubs – to know that I will no longer have to lurch clumsily around cold buildings in the middle of the night, debilitated by sleep deprivation, listening to mediums telling me stories.   I am in no position to say that some mediums may be honest, eerily skilled people or that they are all charlatans, every last one.  It was an entertaining experience, and apart from Mr Spouter, with his unruly tea-related behaviour and his outrageously bad performance, I will have fond memories of the spirit fans, but I cannot say with honesty that I regret leaving them behind on my journey.  Goodbye, spirits, spirit fans, mediums and punters, and good luck with the whole industry thing.

Rifol will be back, possibly in a better mood, on 30th October.  Until then, stay chipsy.

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