I just had to share this article from my local newspaper 'The Sunderland Echo'. The house featured is one that I've featured in a number of my Steele novels because it was within a mile of the house I was brought up in from 1953 until I went to college at 18. For those people who have read the novels on ebook or paperback it will add some verisimilitude to the stories. Also there is something fundamentally humorous about people with 'Mackem' accents being serious about the subject of ghost hunting to be broadcast on American TV! If you want to know what I mean tune into your truly reading the article on YouTube.
http://youtu.be/yI3MZkKKIwc - link to the article on Youtube
The house itself, apart from the extensions to the right of the original building, always held a slightly spooky quality and Patrick Steele and pals have had some serious encounters in there.
“Randy ghost pinched my bum,” claims Sunderland spook hunter
WEARSIDE ghost hunters will share the city’s spooky secrets on international TV this week.
The group, Ghost (Ghost Hauntings Overnight Surveillance Team) has filmed an episode of My Ghost Story for a Los Angeles-based production company, which will air on the Sky Biography Channel tonight.
Fiona Vipond, 42, and partner Drew Bartley, 47, of Tunstall, who helped found Ghost, are thrilled their paranormal hobby will put Wearside on the map.
“I’m so proud it’s showing Sunderland to the world,” she told the Echo.
“The programme has 55 million viewers in America, so it’s giving the city a platform to be seen.”
The couple and the rest of their team, including Lady Yvonne Moore, 65, of Silksworth, Mark Winter, 39, from Blyth, and medium Noel Sorbie, 60, investigated the allegedly haunted Doxford House.
Fiona – who owns Park Grange Advanced Skin Clinic, in Grange Terrace – said the Doxford site is one of the most haunted places she has investigated.
“Put it this way,” she said. “It’s one of my top three for paranormal activity.
“We made contact with General Beckwith, who lived there, and a little girl called Emily who died in a fire.
“The last time we were in, Noel did a clearance to move the spirits on from the building, but we couldn’t move General Beckwith.”
Fiona, who has been investigating paranormal activity for the last 10 years, has had some hair-raising experiences.
“I’ve had a few,” she said. “When I’ve been on my own I’ve had my bottom pinched a few times.
“I don’t know whether it is cheeky kids, or randy old men.
“When we were in Doxford House I was the first to see the shadow man, who hangs around in the kitchen.
“I saw an apparition and felt a cold blast of air as I followed him – it was like he walked through me.”
The team claim they work scientifically to disprove paranormal theories using a K2 meter, which measures electromagnetic frequencies, and a digital dictaphone, which can pick up voices that the human ear can’t hear.
“Even I can’t disprove the K2 meter,” said Fiona. “If it picks something up, where is it coming from?
“Nowadays you can’t just tell people what you have found, you have to have evidence to back yourself up and be able to show them.
When you are writing there is an ocean of advice to be had but one piece which seemed natural to me is 'to write from where you are'. In other words write from experience and personal knowledge, it adds depth to your writing voice. The above is part of me!