Spooks galore in Suffolk

THE history of Suffolk is steeped in stories of ghostly goings on and eerie aparitions.But now it seems the county's plethora of paranormal phenomena can all be explained.

THE history of Suffolk is steeped in stories of ghostly goings on and eerie aparitions.

But now it seems the county's plethora of paranormal phenomena can all be explained.

A study published in the British Journal of Psychology claims that sighting of ghosts and the undead are due to natural causes and the human mind.

The study which is the first of its kind to appear in an academic publication, was carried out at two of Britain's most haunted places – Hampton Palace in London and Edinburgh's South Bridge Vaults.

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Almost 700 volunteers were asked to visit the sites and then note down how they felt and what they saw.

Dr Richard Wiseman, from the University of Hertfordshire, wrote in the study: "Results revealed significantly more reports of unusual experiences in areas that had a reputation for being haunted.

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"This effect was not related to participant's prior knowledge about the reputation of these areas.

"However, the location of participants' experiences correlated significantly with various environmental factors including for example, the variance of local magnetic fields and lighting levels.

"These findings strongly suggest that alleged hauntings may not necessarily represent evidence for 'ghostly activity' but could be the result of people responding to normal factors in the surroundings."

But the study's conclusions have been rubbished by people across Suffolk who have their own experiences of the spirit world.

Pam Franklin, a barlady at the tiny Nutshell Pub in Bury St Edmunds – a notoriously haunted location – said the pub had three ghosts, a young boy, a nun and a monk.

She added: "I'm a firm believer in the fact that ghosts do exist. I used to live in a 600-year-old cottage and we definitely had one.

"If you listen to the regulars that come in here they tell you tale after tale about ghosts. In fact, we had a very peculiar thing happen on Saturday.

"I nipped next door, and when I came back for no apparent reason a glass shattered on the floor. There was five other people in here but no-one knows where it came from and no glasses were missing – it shattered as if it had been thrown or dropped from a great height."

Another Suffolk pub The Crown in Bildeston, near Stowmarket, which has four ghosts, as well as Borley Rectory – said to be the most haunted place in the entire country.

In Ipswich, there are monthly ghost walks around the town, organised by Gemini Travel and led by Ed Nicholls.

Mr Nicholls said: "I couldn't really say whether I believe in ghosts or not but since I have done the ghost walks there have been some incredible happenings and experiences that can't be easily explained.

"Hearing about the research, it does seem to me that it was conducted in a very narrow way, in just two locations. It will take more than this study to convince me that ghosts do not exist."

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