The advent of Hallowe'en may turn people's thoughts towards the eerie and the occult, but for one member of the University of Leicester, ghost hunting has almost turned into an occupation!
Andrew Wright, a porter at the University of Leicester, is a leading paranormal investigator, and has recently come back from a successful ghost hunt in Ireland.
Andrew claims to be unique in his field. He explains: "I'm the only paranormal investigator in England who provides guided ghost tours.
"Most paranormal investigators tend to be very secretive. I tend to describe my tours as walking lectures. Paranormal activity usually occurs around the older parts of Leicester so my tours are usually around old churches - I go to the Guildhall as well as Tudor period and 15th century parts of Leicester."
Andrew's 20-year interest stems from childhood. "I was brought up in a pub. A lot of pubs have a history of ghost-like activity and my home was no exception. Because I grew up around a ghost, as a child, I regarded the idea of ghosts as quite normal. I never actually saw the ghost - however my mother did regularly!"
Andrew has written three local guides explaining the history of different ghost spots in and around Leicestershire and is now on his fourth publication entitled A Diary of a Ghosthunter. The paranormal investigator explains, "I felt there was a gap in the market when it came to promoting this issue. All of my books have proved very good sellers."
According to Andrew the popular image of a ghost as a transparent figure is incorrect as his sources explain that ghosts are solid figures. "I've yet to actually see a ghost and so I am therefore quite sceptical. However I have seen some strange things such as weird light effects which defy explanation, vaporous mist, shadows and blinding light.
"There are certain tools which prove that some kind of paranormal activity exists. For example certain cameras are highly sensitive when determining an apparition from a living person. An ex-colleague of mine said whilst on holiday in India he took a picture of a man on a bed of nails. The picture came out perfectly, apart from the fact that the man who had been lying on the bed of nails was not visible in the picture at all!"
Andrew is now in search of something else-others who share a similar eerie interest to his own. He is planning to build up a team of ghost hunters to conduct investigations locally, nationally and possibly internationally.
Anyone interested can give Andrew a call on 0116 270 8465.
Andrew has written three local guides explaining the history of different ghost spots in and around Leicestershire including ghoulish spots around the University of Leicester.
"I once did a ghost hunt around the Knoll which is part of the University's Digby Hall of Residences in Oadby. A murder of a child took place there in 1916 or 1917, and according to the halls sub-warden, the child's attacker has been seen around the house dressed in a long black cloak!
"When I got to the Knoll I made sure everyone was out of there so that I knew I was alone. At around 1am I went for a tour around the house and, as I was walking around, someone came up behind me and made a chilling groan which I believe was the child's killer.
"Another part of the University which is meant to house a certain amount of paranormal activity is the Fielding Johnson Building. This may be due to the building's history as a mental asylum and the fact that patients were often left to rot away in the cellars. Many of my colleagues are quite wary of going into the building alone at night and report feeling a presence within the building."
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