Welcome to our next investigation blog where we traveled to Hinkley in Leicestershire to check out the paranormal goings on of a very unique location – The Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research Centre!
During this investigation we filmed a lot more than usual and boy are we glad we did as we captured some pretty amazing stuff! Below you will be able to find a breakdown of activity that have videos in each section to go along with it (sort of like highlights!)
But first, let’s hear a little more about the centre itself!
The magnificent centre opened in the summer of this year and is run by paranormal antique collector and investigator, Neil Packer.
The centre can be found at 11A Regent street in the heart of Hinkley and is open to the public where it has more than 100 items on display. After speaking with Neil he did state that not all of the items can be considered as ‘haunted‘ but most do have an energy which surrounds them. The entire reason for the centre is to conduct paranormal research into each item and share their findings with fellow paranormal enthusiasts!
The public are welcome to visit the centre (free of charge!) and Neil also welcomes you to bring in objects of your own, have a cup of tea and chat about any experiences you may of had.
I believe what makes this center so unique is the fact that it is like no other of it’s kind and I discovered this after meeting with the team and it became clear to me that they are truly dedicated with their research within the paranormal filed. It really was a breath of fresh air – Myself and James felt very welcomed.
None of the items are encased behind glass! In fact, Neil actually encourages his visitors to handle the items! (How great is that?!)
Very recently Neil was a guest on ITV’S this morning with Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield – I have found the interview online and you can watch the video below to learn a little more about what the centre has to offer!
What is a haunted object?
Written by James Bosley
We’ve all heard of haunted houses, haunted hospitals, castles, schools, tunnels etc. etc. and most of us have probably heard of haunted items, the most famous being the likes of the Annabel doll (featured in the conjuring films and investigated/secured by Ed and Lorraine Warren). When it comes to a haunted building, the immediate assumption is that a traumatic death occurred inside, or the previous tenant just can’t move on – whether residual energy is left in the surrounding environment immediately after death or an intelligent entity roams the corridors, too attached to ‘move out’.
So what is it that makes an object haunted, to the point that wherever the object might go the hauntings continue?
There are now several museums popping up around the world who claim to host the ‘worlds most haunted’ items; from furniture, dolls, weapons and cauldrons to bones, there’s a plethora of different objects that are reported to have tormented their original owners so much that they just had to get rid.
Before we look at possible causes let’s look at some of the most notorious ‘items’ that tend to be associated with hauntings:
The Dybbuk Box
If you haven’t seen the film ‘The Possession’ I’d recommend watching it to get a better idea of what these are – whilst the film is plagued with special effects and huge over exaggerations it does give some insight in to what this is.
Traditionally a Dybbuk box is a wine cabinet that is said to be haunted by a ‘Dybbuk’. A Dybbuk is a restless spirit, usually malicious with the ability to possess the living. The box was made famous when it was auctioned on eBay with a horror story written by Kevin Mannis, without going in to a heap of detail go an Google ‘eBay Dybbuk box’ if you want to find out more – it’s pretty interesting!
Kevin was a creative writer and therefore you have to take a lot of what is described with a pinch of salt. Since this first box there’s been many more pop up for sale, the vendors claiming that evil spirits have been trapped inside, which in the world of all things paranormal, makes them very expensive and saught after.
To cut a long story short for the purpose of this blog, when Kevin came in to possession of the box he immediately broke the golden rule ‘do not open’. When he opened it he found some strange items (pictured above) and locks of human hair bound in cord. He left his shop for the day and upon return found the whole place to be trashed with no sign of break-in or anything missing.
The crying boy painting
A very famous series of ‘cursed; paintings, renowned for spooky associations that carry an aura of uncertainty even today. ‘The crying boy’ is actually mass produced print of a collection of paintings of crying boys and girls which have sparked nationally feared urban legends.
Back in September 1985, The Sun newspaper reported that an Essex firefighter had claimed that undamaged copies of the paintings were frequently found in the embers of burned down houses. By the end of November word had spread and people had begun to accuse the painting of being cursed.
The Sun organised mass bonfires for those in fear to destroy their copy of the crying boy and people flocked to get rid of them in an effort to dodge the curse. The paintings were later investigated by BBC radio 4 who found that the prints were treated with varnish containing fire retardant chemicals, they also noted that the string holding the painting would be the first thing to deteriorate in a fire and the painting was likely to fall landing face down – protecting it from the flames.
Cursed or not, the crying boy is one of the most nationally feared haunted objects and is a unique case of where multiples of the same object are believed to be haunted (/cursed).
Robert the doll
Most people in the world of weird have heard of Robert, he’s a very tired looking sailor doll that has made news headlines multiple times for his creepy antics. The doll was originally owned by Robert Eugene Otto, an artist who belonged to the prominent Key West family. The doll was reportedly manufactured by the Steiff Company in Germany and purchased by Otto’s Grandfather on a trip in 1904.
There’s nothing conclusive as to why this doll is haunted, some say the doll remained at the Key West family household for a long time, even after new ownership had taken over the house. Others believe the supernatural powers of the doll were activated by Otto blaming it for his childhood misfortune. Either way, the claims are strong; starting from just a change in facial express, giggling noises and objects moving around the room the doll is in. Some claim that this doll will cause car accidents, broken bones, job loss, divorce and cornucopia. Robert now resides in the East Martello Museum and visitors have claimed to have suffered misfortune after visiting the doll for not ‘respecting robert’.
The doll has featured on Zag Bagans, Mystery Mansion in October 2015 and there has been a series of films produced on the doll starting with ‘Robert’ in 2015 then a sequel titled ‘The Curse of Robert The Doll’ and finally ‘The Toy Maker’ in 2017.
Still, what is a haunted item?
Well, that’s like asking what is a haunted building? what is a ghost? what is a spirit?
Its subjective and people will argue and disagree but essentially a haunted object/item is anything that has a spirit attached to it, rather than a spirit that roams freely. Some items like the Dybbuk box you can think of like a prisoner in a cell, instead the malicious spirit is contained. With some of the others they tend to be thought of as vessels, where the spirit can rest and manifest when it wishes (dolls, typically).
Most haunted objects tend to be creepy items to start with, if they are associated with traumatic death – like murder weapons, furniture surrounding a place of execution etc, coffin/funerary items we will already have a preconceived unease about the item.
However even in my time investigating I’ve seen a HUGE amount of weird and wacky haunted items – dolls, tables, lamps, telephones, jewellery, taxidermy, watches, clocks – the list is endless. It’s probably my biggest fascination with the paranormal world. I’ve been seeking out haunted and cursed objects for about 6 years now and in that time have amassed quite a collection (most of which I’ve since passed on). While I find it difficult to accept a spirit free from the parameters of mortality would be confined to something as trivial as a doll or wooden box, the overwhelming number of reports of people living through hell because of ‘haunted items’ is difficult to argue with.
A place like the Haunted Antiques Paranormal Research centre is a small version of heaven for me. Nowhere else can you get hands on with such a variety of haunted items in an environment that fosters authentic paranormal research through both traditional and modern methods. If you have any interest at all in learning more about haunted items I strongly recommend you visit the museum.
Written by Vicky Grant
We investigated the centre in late August of this year and Neil was kind enough to invite us down and leave us to our own devices!
We arrived at the centre at around 8PM and were greeted by Neil and two of his fellow team members, Sharon and Jane.
After chatting about a few of the items myself and James went off to take a few pictures of the location for you all to see and those can be found below in a slideshow.
When you first enter the centre you will find a small reception room for guests before you are taken fully into the museum. The first photos show the main room which is filled with an array of different items. After exploring this area you can move into the hallway where you will find the staircase and even more amazing objects! I was particularly fond of the dolls on the stairs….. ( and I have to admit, there was a completely different atmosphere in that area! )
Down the corridor at the bottom you will find some ‘darker‘ items.
On the night we visited, Neil had actually had a new item which had been delivered to him, it was a priests exorcism kit. ( You can imagine James’ excitement, he seriously was like a kid in a sweet shop! Ha! )
This particular item had only been at the museum for a few days so we decided right then and there that we would do some work with it ourselves on the night to see if we could contact anything that may have been attached to it.
After exploring the darker items we were then told of the isolation booth.
This is a room that has been set up for research where you can take a particular item into the room alone and sit quietly to see if you can make a connection with the item. If you ask me, It’s a brilliant idea! Though I wasn’t entirely sure about this whole ‘going on my own business‘ – I guess you’ll see why a little later!
At the very back of the centre is another small room which is known as the seance room. Their is a round table set up in the middle along with a few chairs. Not only is the Museum filled with a vast amount of Haunted Antiques but the building itself is said to be haunted within it’s own right.
Dating back to the 1800’s – you definitely get the full feel of the history as you step into the back room and are greeted by low beams which only add to that marvelous Victorian feel.
Before we began our investigation we got chatting with Jane about some of the experiences that had been had in the museum via the general public.
Jane is a Spiritual medium who is able to pick up on the energy of spirits around her. She told me she keeps a journal to jot down her feelings and she also draws the spirits she see’s.
She was kind enough to share the story of the man in the hat with us who is seen regularly by herself ( and others! ) on the stairs.
She’d told us that a child was visiting the museum one Saturday afternoon and he’d become scared whilst on the stairs. Saying that he’d seen a ‘monster‘.
Jane using her ‘researching‘ mind had asked the child to draw what he had seen.
Here is the photo!
As you can see – he’s wearing what looks like a bowler hat of some sort.
Jane then went on to show me the picture she had drawn herself of the man on the stairs when she first started out at the museum (many months before the little boy had visited!)
One photo drawn by a child and the other drawn by an adult yet the similarities of the Hat are uncanny!
I have to admit, this was one of the highlights of my evening!
Thank you for sharing this with us Jane!
The Seance Room
We began our investigation in the seance room and we had taken the exorcism kit along with us which had been set up in the middle of the table.
We started by calling out as we always would.
This particular room had a feel like no other and it was felt by myself and James as soon as we had stepped foot inside of it. It had a darker atmosphere which is generally hard to put into words unless you were there and able to witness it for yourself.
We spent a long time in this room calling out and so far we’d only received what seemed like small ‘taps’ in response to our questions, though how paranormal this was, we were unsure.
James began to include the exorcism kit into the line of questioning and we were both startled to hear what sounded like a ‘devious growl‘ – we both heard this and we’d turned to look at each other. Honestly, I was a little on edge after this as it sounded so very loud to me and as if it had been only a few inches away.
We were filming at this particular time and it was picked up on camera, although it sounded more like a ‘heavy breath‘ on film – Which in honesty was nothing compared to what we actually heard with our own ears! (Cue the impressions in the video!)
We also conducted an EVP session in this area but we only received one thing that could have been considered as a response. It sounded like a whistle, we also captured some odd ‘electrical interference‘ and you can check this out in the video below!
The hallway and the stairs
Venturing out into the hallway, we’d sat just outside of the seance room at the top end of the corridor. We’d placed an EMF trigger object bear at the bottom and I had the K2 in front of me. I’d only been filming for a few minutes when I heard what sounded like a mumbling voice. I honestly thought this was James, In fact as you will see from the video I went into full denial of it all and started to blame him for it over and over again. He was looking at me like I was mad so I’d turned the camera off and we did an instant review of the footage and sure enough, the voice could be heard and it was captured on camera.
I have no idea what it’s saying. It almost sounds like ‘sup‘ (haha!) – but it could certainly be conceived as just mumbling.
I’d like to apologize to James for yelling at him LOL!
We’d started off in this area with activity so we decided to stay where we were for a little while longer and continued to call out.
We didn’t receive anything more until we’d decided to get up and make our way towards the stairs.
I’d already ventured down to the bottom and James was behind me. It was then I heard an almighty crash and I about jumped out of my skin. I thought James had knocked something over as you’ll hear me say
‘What have you done?’
Only to turn and find him just stood (looking a little shocked) as he stared off into the corner. It turns out that the candle harbour that was placed on the top shelf had fallen off and gone with a bang!
As you’ll see, I got very excited about this. Mainly because at the very start of our night we were told during our walk-around by Jane and Sharon that the night previous to this one – This same candle harbour had flew off the shelf and somehow landed in the middle of the room.
After trying to debunk this we went and got the ladies to see exactly how it had been propped on the shelf. It actually took four of us to bounce up and down on the floor to get it to move. Not only that, but the object that was in it’s place prior to this one was also known to be somewhat of a trigger object.
Was this paranormal?
I honestly can not say!
I’d like to think it was because it took so many of us jumping up and down to make it move but then again, I guess it could have been slightly at a swerve on the shelf and it may have only took a small movement to make it go!
During the time of us trying to debunk this moment, we captured a strange sound on the audio which has been pointed out in the video, it sounds like an old fashioned child’s toy, the type you’d blow on to make a ‘swooping sound‘
You’ll hear it and it’s very freaky indeed!
Defying everything we moved to the bottom of the stairs regardless and began to conduct a spirit box session.
I will say that in this area there is a very high level of EMF as you’ll see from our K2 as it spiked to red. This is due to an electrical box at the top of the stairs.
High EMF readings can cause feelings of being uncomfortable and also hallucinations so after discovering this we kept that thought in mind although this would have no effect upon the spirit box. (And you’d have to be pretty close to the box to feel a profound effect!)
I am terrible with spirit box responses most of the time although on this particular occasion I did pick up on a few things whilst I was there, the majority I noticed after watching the footage back though!
My favorite moment was when we were talking about the K2 spikes and a female voice came though the box (who sounded as if she had a foreign accent!)
The words were ‘over the’ – ‘fire door‘
Pretty much a full sentence over several sweeps in the same voice! (Very rare indeed!)
What’s even more weird is that during the time of the voice – we were holding the K2 over the fire door!
During this time in the hallway we also ventured into the ‘Isolation Booth’ – James had been getting a very strange vibe from the room from the beginning of the night and I had too. Our original plan was to split up and take it in turns alone but evidently we both chickened out in the end and decided to go in together. Safety in numbers, ha!
We filmed for a short time in this area but I began to feel extremely nauseous so much so that I turned the camera off and just sat quietly in the room with James whilst he continued to call out.
It felt like the room was spinning. I was very dizzy and I didn’t spend long in there at all.
After an eventful session we decided we wanted to take the spirit box into the seance room where we’d earlier heard the growl to see if we could connect with the spirit that had made the sound.
We actually received some pretty amazing responses in here, my favorite being the point when a male voice came through the box and said ‘Hi Vicky‘ – It was so VERY clear and I heard it the moment it was spoken.
Upon review of the footage we were also surprised to hear an ‘aggressive‘ female voice come though the box – Jame’s thought at the time she was saying ‘stop it’ – but open listening properly she was actually saying ‘F**k it‘
The F at the start is so pronounced it couldn’t be mistaken for anything other!
We also captured what sounded like a conversation between two people.
You’ll hear a voice come through which says ‘Jonathan?‘ (as if asking where this person was!) then a couple of seconds later a male voice will come through and say ‘Don’t cry, I was joking‘ – Another full sentence over several sweeps in the same voice.
Did we pick up on a residual moment?
It sure sounded like it!
The Main Room.
For the last part of the evening we ventured into the main room to investigate and we decided to do some work with the ovilus.
I thought it’d be a good idea to take the device around the different objects in the room and to see if it would speak and say something relevant to the items.
I started on the left side of the room and we didn’t receive any solid responses until we reached an old radio. The lights on the device began to fluctuate from green to yellow indicating a change in temperature in this area. I’d been walking around with the device and this was the only time it had changed so far and it wasn’t something that was consistent ( If their was a solid temperature change it wouldn’t fluctuate and then suddenly stop for no reason! ) – sometimes it would change around the object and other times it wouldn’t. Very strange indeed.
Moving on from the radio we also received the same response on the opposite side of the room around an old army uniform. I then moved the device to a shelf of army memorabilia and it said the word ‘metal’
James was quick to point out that this made sense. Half of the objects on this particular shelf were made of metal. It had knifes, helmets and other weapons.
But it was about to get a lot more accurate!
I went to the last shelf in the room which had some dolls upon it and the device came out with the word ‘east‘
To me, it felt as if we were being directed so I’d instantly asked James which way it was.
He’d taken out his phone to find a compass and after a few moments we discovered east was in the corner of the room and you will hear James say…
‘Its where the Bike is’
The device is placed onto the shelf with the war memorabilia and I sat down. I then asked which item the spirit was attached too and what happened next was the most amazing intelligent response I have ever received!
The device said ‘BIKE’
ALL of this was captured on camera and I hope you’ll be just as amazed as I was!
First it told us to go EAST – Which is exactly where the Bike was and then it told us intelligently what item it was attached too!
I’ve never had an ovilus response be so accurate before and I was thoroughly impressed!
We had a really eventful night at the Haunted Antiques paranormal research centre and there is no doubt in my mind that this place and the objects certainly do hold some kind of residual and intelligent spirit energy!
I would like to say a huge thanks to Neil for having us!
We’d love to come back at some point in the future and maybe bring a part two to this blog and try to answer some of the questions this amazing location has left us with!
If you would like to know more about the centre then please do check them out on Facebook by clicking here.
Until next time…