Letting children watch movies like Ghostbusters at the age of five is a risky business. Some kids will get scared and hide behind the sofa; others will keep their bedroom light on all night for weeks.
Me? I saw a career path.
I might not have a proton pack or a catchy theme tune (yet), but over the last ten years, I’ve become one of the UK’s leading real-life Ghostbusters – at least, that’s what Eamonn Holmes called me on ITV’s This Morning during an interview about Black Eyed-Child sightings at Cannock Chase.
I can’t give Hollywood films all the credit for my interest in the paranormal though. While they definitely opened my eyes to the strange and unusual, it was a series of experiences in my childhood home that cemented the obsession at ten years old.
When sitting in the living room during the evening hours, I would often see shadows moving slowly across one of the walls behind our sofa. My father would see them too, although he’d talk about something else to draw my attention away.
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There was another time when I walked into the kitchen in the middle of the night and a single cup was violently swinging from side to side under a cupboard. It was hanging from a hook alongside multiple other cups that were all motionless.
Years later I learned that my great uncle died in that house, and my father now tells me he believes our deceased relative was behind the haunting.
I grew up in a small mining town near Cannock Chase, a large spooky forest in Staffordshire where people have seen ghosts and all manner of supernatural creatures for many years. It therefore seemed logical for someone with my interests to investigate these sightings further, and that’s precisely what I’ve done..
So far, I have written and published four books on the subject of weird happenings in the area, and my latest title Ghosts Of Cannock Chase : Terrifying Reports Of Paranormal Activity From The UK’s Most Haunted Town is selling exceptionally well.
According to many locals, the woodland is home to spirits, werewolves, black-eyed children, a pigman, and allegedly, even Bigfoot.
During my investigations, I’ve interviewed lots of seemingly genuine people who claim to have seen something scary in the forest, and I’ve even had a couple of unexplainable encounters of my own.
In April 2018, I believe I saw the infamous Black-Eyed Child in an area of Cannock Chase called Birches Valley. She appeared about a hundred metres in front of me, stared right at me for about thirty seconds, then vanished without a trace.
In June 2019, I saw what can only be described as a man-monkey running through the woods when I was investigating an alleged Bigfoot footprint – I wrote another book that covers this investigation called On The Hunt For The British Bigfoot.
Being able to spend my time writing about the paranormal is both a gift and a curse. On the one hand, I get to live my dream of investigating the unexplained and gathering evidence of the supernatural. On the other, people tend to give me a very funny look if I’m asked to explain what I do for a living at dinner parties.
I’ve never told anyone this before, but the career advisor at my high school laughed when I told her I wanted to be a ghostbuster. She said it wasn’t a real job and I could earn more money working in a factory.
But as I sit here ready to continue writing my fifth book about a frightening poltergeist case in Birmingham, I can’t help but smile and take comfort in the fact that my career advisor was definitely wrong, and she isn’t laughing any more.
If investigating ghosts and writing about the paranormal has taught me anything, it’s that worrying about what other people think is pointless, and no matter what those naysayers might insist, NOTHING is impossible.
An old ghost-hunter once told me that reality is barely understood, and possibility is limitless.
That’s why I believe in the paranormal… and it’s also why I believe in myself.