I’m in the process of reminiscing about Ye Olde NGI investigations and making sure they are saved for posterity on the the Northern Ghost Investigations website. In my last blog entry, I talked about the Shadow Man at the Tontine Inn that I mistakenly thought was our own Mark.
It’s pretty annoying really because if I’d have realised at the time that I was potentially walking behind what could of been a ghost, I’d have jumped on its back, wrestled it to the ground and tweaked its nipples until it agreed to pose for a photo. Oh well, next time maybe.
Anyway, in this article I want to talk about the infamous Schooner Hotel Dancing Wardrobe. Like with the shadow man, there are snippets here and there about that night across the Internet and in peoples books (spare some royalties, guv’nor?) and so I’m going to collect them all together in this blog entry.
We’d arranged this night at the Schooner Hotel as a thank-you to our forum members at the time and offered them an night out investigating the place that had been voted the Most Haunted Hotel in Great Britain by some made up organisation, probably affiliated with the Schooner itself. Allegedly. And as it turned out it was the first official investigation with NGI for both Mark and the pink-haired one, Claire (who has since buggered off in a huff). There were probably others there too, but I mention those two because we traveled up to the Schooner together, got lost on the way despite my previous trips up there and had to beg for aid from a dark mysterious stranger we met on the windswept and mist covered moors. Or a bloke from a pub. One of the two.
Upon arrival the night progressed like a lot of these nights do : nothing much happened. Until later. We were spread out over the three rooms at the top of the Schooner : Room 28, 29 and 30. Now a lot of people talk about room 28 being the best of the three for activity, but truth is, I’ve never experienced anything in there. Room 29, however, I’d previously spent ten minutes talking to a knocking pipe. That’s maybe harsh, so I’ll let you decide.
On a previous visit, we spent a quiet hour or so in room 29 and when it was time for a break, the others I was with went off for a cuppa while I decided to stay in room 29. I lay on one of the beds and just began to talk about any old rubbish. I finished at one point asking something along the lines of : so, if anybody is listening, let me know. And there was a response in the room .. a quite loud tap-tap.
Having done this for a while, I’ve learnt not to get too excited by such things, but just to be complete I asked for a repeat. And I got it. Still not excited, I sat in silence for a couple of minutes before asking for the tap-tap again. It came instantly. That got my hhhhmm gene ticking over. Three times I’d now asked for something and got it immediately. What’s more, I couldn’t determine where it was coming from other than “the room”. There wasn’t a specific place but here and there in different locations. So, after a another short wait with nothing said or happening in the room, I asked for it again. Once more, immediately, there was a tap-tap.
This went on for about 10 minutes in total. Every time I asked for a noise, I got it immediately. When I sat in silence, there was nothing. Interesting, if nothing else. So, on this particular night, when we decided to spread out over rooms 28, 29 and 30, I bags-eyed the comfiest bed in 29 and settled in to see what would happen.
But there was nothing. There were half a dozen or so in the room and we’d spent half hour or so in there and nothing had happened. And so somebody suggested we try and raise some energy, whatever that was supposed to mean and so myself and Pam (cos I’m the gobby one and Pam was just .. Pam), started to talk out to try and tempt whatever dark spirits that roamed the Schooner into the room. And it didn’t take long.
Claire was sitting on another bed in the room and became all giggly. She wasn’t normally the giggly type and in the following years, I never saw her like this on any other investigation. She claimed she could feel something around her and when checked, the EMF reader went a bit silly when it was brought in close to her. But then the real fun started.
A couple of NGI’ers were sat on the floor and from between them we all heard what’s known as the Schooner Growl. A long drawn out growl very similar to what a dog would make. And it wasn’t just the once. We gathered around where they were sat on the floor and after a couple of more growls we pinpointed the position to about 2 feet off the floor right in the middle of where the two guys were sat. About where a dogs head would be?? I’ve heard the Schooner Growl on a couple of more occasions at the Schooner, in different parts of the hotel – what it is, I haven’t a clue.
Suddenly, there was a banging on the side of the wardrobe like somebody was pounding the palms of their hands against the wood. Everybody turned to look. Nobody from our group was stood near the wardrobe and as we looked, it happened again – about half a dozen thud-thud-thuds against the side of the wardrobe. And then, with many raised eye-brows as a response, the top of the wardrobe tipped forward. Not exactly 45 degrees, but not far off : 30 / 35 maybe. And then with a thud, it slammed backwards into the wall before dancing backwards and forwards on its front and back legs.
Again there was another palm slapping on the side of the wardrobe before it repeated it’s little previous trick by leaning forward and once more slamming back into the wall. Just as we had recovered from staring slack-jawed at what we were witnessing, the Schooner Growl once more rang out, louder this time, and then as a finale, there was one last slapping of palms against the wardrobe, but this time from the top of the wardrobe. And then silence. Other than the “WTFs?” from the room next door where people had heard the banging of the wardrobe. Sadly, the room where our video camera operator was.
Who knows what caused this to happen. And there is certainly no explanation for it we’ve ever been able to come up with. There was no little dwarf hiding in the wardrobe. No mechanism on the back of it. No strings, smoke or mirrors. Nada. The damn thing leaned forward by some unknown force and danced a little dance for us. Twice.
Maybe that alleged made up organisation who voted the Schooner Hotel the most haunted in Great Britain had had a point.
Or, we’re all mad.