Ghostbusters called in at village hall

WITH Hallowe'en fast approaching it is understandable that some of us may be getting a little jumpy as our thoughts wander towards all things supernatural.

WITH Hallowe'en fast approaching it is understandable that some of us may be getting a little jumpy as our thoughts wander towards all things supernatural.

This is certainly true in one Suffolk village where a team of “ghostbusters” have been called in to rid residents of a suspected spirit.

Suffolk and Norfolk Paranormal Investigations (SNPI) was asked to look into a “presence” at Layham Village Hall following an incident last month.

A resident of the village, near Hadleigh, was working in the building when he had a “feeling of being pushed and a loss of balance”.

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As a result Haldeigh-based experts SNPI were contacted and set up their ghost hunting equipment for the night.

Richard Keeble, a founding member of SNPI, said: “We arrived at the hall around 10pm and immediately felt that something could be there.

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“We set up infra-red video equipment and audio recordings and the temperature was noted - which was considerably cooler within the hall than outside.

“Photos were taken within the building and a few orbs were caught on film. A quiet vigil was held within the hall and during this time the silhouette of a person was seen to walk outside past the windows and seemed to walk down one side of the hall.

“A short while later this was seen again so a member of the team went outside to see who was about, only to find no one in the area.”

At one point Mr Keeble said a strange feeling of being pushed and a loss of balance was felt when walking past a particular area in the hall and an infrared camera was set up.

“This was positioned looking out towards an old church which neighbours the village hall and was left running throughout the evening,” he said. “When I was outside I felt something hit my head, similar to a small stone being thrown, but nothing or no one was seen to be in the area.

“It seems the activity was more outside the building - from the direction of the church yard - and the spirit circulated the perimeters of the hall and occasionally came inside to visit.

“We were asked to get rid of it but couldn't because it was gone after an hour or so. We would like to return and carry out further investigations in the area surrounding the hall.”

Richard Groom, who takes bookings and holds the key to the village hall, said he contacted SNPI after listening to the concerns of a local resident.

“I know Richard Keeble who runs the outfit in Hadleigh so I gave him a call to come and investigate in the village hall,” he said. “A chap was working in there and said he had a feeling of being pushed and losing balance so I thought it might be interesting for Richard to have a look around.”

However residents in Layham are still yet to be convinced their village hall is the haunt of the undead.

David Pratt, chairman of the village hall committee and vice chairman of the parish council, said: “I wouldn't say I like being in there in the dark but I've never come across anything ghostly.”


EAST Anglia appears to have had more than its fair share of ghostly goings on over the centuries.

From hanged monks, to beheaded coachmen and things going bump in the night, the region has been home to plenty of paranormal activity.

Blythburgh Common is said to be haunted by the ghost of Tobias Gill, also known as Black Toby. Legend has it that his ghost is regularly seen thundering across the area where he was hanged on a hearse pulled by four black horses.

Borley Rectory, in Essex, near to the Suffolk border, is reputed to be the most haunted house in the UK, with a beheaded coachman, a hanged monk and a nun bricked up alive in the walls of the vaults beneath the rectory regularly roaming the area, according to some.

Ancient House in Ipswich is said to be haunted by an elderly woman, while the town's PJ McGinty's Pub, in Northgate Street, is thought to be haunted by a monk who was murdered and thrown down the indoor well.

The 'lost city' of Dunwich is another centre for paranormal activity. To this day, monks are said to walk in procession chanting ancient verses. Some claim the bells of Dunwich's lost churches can be heard ringing on stormy nights.

And there have been numerous reports of mysterious footsteps and unexplained knocks at the Crown Inn at Bildeston, with a maidservant believed to haunt the courtyard and stable where she took her own life.

Medieval Bury St Edmunds has a rich history of ghost sightings and stories, mainly centred around the Abbey ruins but also in the older buildings in the town centre.

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