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 Post subject: Changing Times
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 11:19 am 
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There are times when interest in the paranormal grows and when it declines. This usually corresponds with what is in the 'popular media' at the time.

When 'Strange But True' was on ITV years ago there was an increase of the amount of 'ghost enthusiast groups', then shortly afterwards when the X-Files took off, interest in UFO groups increased tenfold. Today with paranormal programming at a new height there is more interest than ever before.

There is a major difference though. In the past people tended to form groups and join existing ones purely for the interest in the subject matter. These groups weren't 'companies' as such. Today it seems the rout taken by most new groups is to plunge headfirst into the 'ghost experience' market even though their knowledge of running a company is limited and their knowledge of the paranormal is restricted to what they've seen on TV in recent years.

Why do you think this is?

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:09 pm 
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£££££££££££££££££££££££

But in saying that .. it only ever takes one and the rest HAVE to follow.

In Ye Olde days, NGI were pure investigation. We might not have been as good as it as we could have been - but the intent was there at least.

Nine out of Ten locations we phoned turned out to be "freebies" .. the owners would happily open their doors and let us in for the night. Sometimes they would ask if a couple of staff could take part and we were happy for that at times, but on the whole, it was just NGI.

The One in Ten times where a cost was to be involved usually consisted of a few £££ to cover the cost of a member of staff / security guy keeping his or her eye on things and locking up at the end of the night. Fine and dandy.

Then something happened. Two companies suddenly came to the fore .. I shall refrain from naming and shaming them ... but suddenly they were charging money - upwards of £99 a ticket for locations that were either free or pennies to book for the night.

One example of this stood out. Hartlepool Gun Battery. There was a charge, per person, associated with the place of £20. But for that, not only did you get access to the location (pre-done out - none of this swanky shit that exists there now) but you also got Ralph (ex Most Haunted medium and now TV star no less ............... well ) and Nikki as your hosts / guides. However, ALL the money went to the refurbishment fund as Ralph was the executive of the place and ALL the money went to the posh swanky Gun Battery that exists now. All good.

But Ralph told me that he banned a group from ever going there again - they were paying the £20 per person to book the Gun Battery for the night and then reselling the tickets on Ebay for £99 .. and selling in the region of 40 tickets ... you do the maths.

Not long after this .. it was 8 out of 10 places were free when you phoned them .. then 7 out of 10 .. then 6 .. then 5 .. until today, theres next to zilch. Somewhere like Castle keep went from £75 for the night to, 3 or 4 years later - £350 (and that was a year ago or so).

There was ONE .. at best TWO .. groups that spoilt it for everyone else ... and eventually NGI had to go down the path of guest nights otherwise we'd never have been able to afford to go out anywhere. I always resisted it and we even signed NGI up to a campaign against these groups - but nothing came of it because in the end, money talks.

Initially we were going to do guest nights as a subsidiary of NGI and leave NGI purely for "us" and investigations yet fund it from the other side ... but .. ermm .. someone no longer associated with NGI persuaded me to do it with NGI .. for good reasons that made sense at the time and reasons that today I still wouldn't argue with.

But then every two bit group that crops up HAS to go along and do guest nights from the start up.

The only people rolling in it today are the locations for doing nothing more than opening their doors, yet the people doing the work (the groups) barely get anything to scratch their arses with.

And all thanks to one or two fuckers who spoilt it for the rest with their tours of the paranormal and their nights of fright.

Whoops .. nearly ... :oops:

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:19 pm 
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I can understand a new group doing a couple of guest nights in order to gain access to a few 'good' locations and put a little money in the kitty, but many seem to be booking a ridiculous amount of locations and then it becomes a constant battle with similar groups to fill places to offset the costs.

Another thing that pushes up the price of locations is when groups book places and then cancel them at the last minute due to poor ticket sales. This really pisses venues off as they could have sold the date many times over.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:38 pm 
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The point is though is that they HAVE to do it .. they have no choice these days. Anywhere with any sort of ghostly reputation (and even those that don't - like certain places in York :wink: ) say "hey up - can make some extra cash off this".

Ok, some you accept and you can't argue with - say the Fleece for instance. Its a hotel and any given weekend it could look to hire its rooms to the public. So you book the rooms for the night. No problems with that. But there are other places that if the idea of "ghost hunts" were never invented they would just lock the building up and go home for the night. But they heard that ghostly "Ching Ching" noise and look to charge ridiculous prices. And for what?

Really, seriously. For what?

Come witness the Headless Highwayman lumbering around our halls of justice. We only charge groups like you £750 for the opportunity

Bollocks. I will probably state with close to a 100% certainty that NOBODY who has ever paid £750 has ever witnessed anything close to what is possible and claimed by any location. They'll pay £750 and get a few taps and clicks, a few mediums picking up on little Johnny and get spooked by their own shadow here and there.

No different to anywhere else. Now thats not a dig at the "ghosts", the mediums or peoples own shadows - thats the nature of the game. Yet people are looking to charge that and more in some cases for an "experience" thats no real different to what you'd get down your local pub if you switched the lights off (Nooo! Hate pubs!).

Yet they claim "Ahhh .. but we're a famous haunted location" .. Ching Ching.

So any new group - maybe with the best intentions - suddenly face this and HAVE to have paying guests to subsidise it. And thus, destroying any chance of headless highwaymen, boogey men or little johnnies ever making an appearance because the location is swamped with people. I've always stated it and always will : Shit happens when theres as few people as possible in a location.

.. But stuff will now rarely happen because everyone drags their neighbour and their dog along with them hoping to "see a ghost". Ultimately, the "energy" will become drained and if these things ever existed in the first place, they'll be less and less chance of them appearing again.

And all because of one or two "companies", who wanted "customers" and wanted "£££££££££££££" before investigation. Ok, can't argue - someone will always look to make a profit from anything - fair enough - but I tend to think they went to far with it and spoilt it for everyone else.

If the paranormal world eventually dies - it will be the locations and sadly the groups themselves which will have killed it.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 4:47 pm 
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I don't think it's going to die but I do think that for lots of groups there is a danger of them 'burning out' with the sheer amount of guest nights they are doing. People will soon bore of faint 'clicks' and 'apparent temp drops' if their hearts are not fully into it, and judging by the amount of report writing and discussion that many groups do it appears that this is the case.

If and when (as I believe it will) this does happen, the question is will 'big name' venues lower their prices in an attempt to regain the 'market'. I'm not too sure.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:40 pm 
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well excuse me! but didnt ngi charge x amounts of money for such places as the keep bowes etc. if i remember rightly, and but very little on for food,£30 for loads of guests.


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 4:45 pm 
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doktor_phibes wrote:
I can understand a new group doing a couple of guest nights in order to gain access to a few 'good' locations and put a little money in the kitty, but many seem to be booking a ridiculous amount of locations and then it becomes a constant battle with similar groups to fill places to offset the costs.


I refer you to my above quote. NGI has always done the occasional guest night for this very reason, but we've always charged fairly and kept guests to a minimum, in all the years I've been with the team anyway.

As for the food situation, the spreads that you used to put on Pam were really good, everyone said so. You shouldn't be so hard on yourself.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 5:05 pm 
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just to nice mark


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:07 am 
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Yip it all boils down to the locations and what they can make from it. And as all ready mentioned above too many teams these days (or companys!) One of the reasons I left NGI was due to the fact I didnt agree with the costs guests were going to be charged, and still to this day I try to get any guests out with us for as least as poss, but like Ive already said above, the cost of locations have jumped up over the years. If they want a daft amount then I simply do not book it, hopefully their costs will drop if ppl dont book em lol. Like now Im trying to sort out more invests, but part of me is thinking, is it worth it!


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:16 am 
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Its always a balancing act .. on the one hand, you have to charge enough to cover the location and what other expenses you occur. And then you're left thinking :

"Hold on - we're doing all this work on the night looking after a bunch of guests, effectively 'spoiling' our own night and totally limiting the investigation that we could / want to do ... so we have to add a bit on top of that to make it worth our while .. " .. the price charged then goes up ..

Without doing that - a group is effectively going from a group investigating or running guest nights, to being a glorified tour operator on behalf of the location and its THEM making the money at the groups expense.

Fuck 'em .. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2011 11:19 am 
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I had no idea the costs situation was one of the reasons you left NGI Sue. I'm must admit I'm quite surprised as although you left around the same time that I joined (hope the two incidents weren't related), even all those years ago NGI guest nights always seemed like good value for money.

NGI is very different nowadays and has been for years. Were very much more into private and team only investigations and apart from our charity work I think we've only done one guest night in over a year, and that was £10 a ticket including a buffet. Bargain!

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:36 am 
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yes, i remember being a tour operator, come sensetive come guide,come cook. come location finder, infact there was never a job in ngi that i never did, i seemed to be everything rolled into one, :roll: i also rember going to york with only 2 other ngi members, with about 30 guests, and running around like an idiot trying to get both groups of 15people intrested in there surroundings,then acting as sensetive and answering a million questions. :?


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:45 am 
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Nah, there were 3 of us Pam .. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:46 am 
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Wow. It does seem like NGI was a very different place in the old days, but I'm sure you coped well. Like a fine wine NGI gets better and matures with age and it's certainly getting on a bit now. :D

I'm sure your NGI 'baptism of fire' will stand you in good stead for the new group you are setting up.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 10:52 am 
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yes i did say 3 jay. and remember mark, i was one of the first, along with jay sue, the only origanal one there now is jay. well done jay for keeping ngi going :wink:


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:04 am 
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Yeah, what would we do without him.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:05 am 
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Never been easy, Pam - all about making decisions that are in the best interests of NGI as a whole and then crossing your fingers and hoping for the best .. :D .. We took NGI from a rabble to the best and most respected group in the North East (at least) within 2 years - and everyone played their part in that.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Fri Jul 22, 2011 12:11 pm 
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yes jay, sometimes the choices you had to make in hiring a newbie were very hard. not knowing what they truely were like.some good some not so much. but ngi will and always will be swaping and changing because of peronalitys between interviduals. or disputes. in the lenghth of time i was there, there was alot. but like i belive from the past, ngi will contiue to seek for the right person, maybe an alien next time


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:12 pm 
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Yip Jay, I do understand that, obv dragging guests along kinda spoils things for team members, you cant seem to "get into stuff" not with a lot of guests anyway, but still its good to get others out and involved as much as poss, (and for low as poss :wink: )

lol Dok, no me leaving and you joining were deffo not connected lol (bless) there was just way too much s**t going on at the time, and me being a stubborn cow (never? I hear u say :wink: ) I just walked, coz I cba with it all, tbh I cant even remember what it was all about now, was yrs ago anyway, history.

pam-ngi wrote:
yes i did say 3 jay. and remember mark, i was one of the first, along with jay sue, the only origanal one there now is jay. well done jay for keeping ngi going :wink:
-- NGI Started up with Andrea, Anita, Me & Danny we all met up at hylton castle one night and after a few weeks / mths got others involved (eg: Medium Chris, Rachel, Paul, Lesley, Jay, Pam, Leanne, Val (who sadly died btw guys for those that knew / remembered her it was last sept).. so officially there is no original members in it, But Yes Jay joined and has managed to keep it going years down the line, and now I hear its others running it, at least its still going strong and yeah it sounds as if it has changed a lot over the years, either way its all good! Obv its all the members keeping it going and by the sounds of Pams post poor Pam has all kinds to do too lol, but end of the day thats what its all about "team work" :wink:
doktor_phibes wrote:
Wow. It does seem like NGI was a very different place in the old days, but I'm sure you coped well. Like a fine wine NGI gets better and matures with age and it's certainly getting on a bit now. :D

I'm sure your NGI 'baptism of fire' will stand you in good stead for the new group you are setting up.
-- who is starting a new group now?


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:19 pm 
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Pam says she is. Got tons of invos lined up apparently. I wish her well.
As for others running NGI, it's still very much a team operation which Jay is very much a part of.

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 5:12 pm 
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Ahh I see. Well Good luck with that Pam. Personally though I really wouldnt bother, like Ive already said there is way too many grps out there now, and again as mentioned elsewhere, few yrs back there was a few teams out there, ghost haunted, ngi, off the top of my head, from them two teams alone, ghost haunted is now over, they split off over the years into 3 diff teams which I know of. Then obv look at me, ran ngi, then went to help danny with p-uk, then started ngn, and now gettn fed up with that! I honestly thought many a time to start all over again n then I think noway am I buying yet another fleece! I have a nice collection of 3 black fleeces now with 3 diff team webbys on the back lmao!! But Seriously Pam, if you plan to do it and offer guest nights I really wouldnt bother, but if its just a small team investigating places for evidence wise, be no harm going for it, but I think you will know that whoever you team up with will need to have that paranormal interest for more than just a month or 2. Look how many members have came n gone over the years. So Im guessing you are no longer an ngi member? is it safe to ask why? lol. Tell ya what like Pam was thinking of doing a few local outdoor places before the weather is too cold, if ya wanna come along? (anyone for that matter) be good to catch up... but honestly Id think long n hard about weather to start up you own team, too much hassle man lol


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 6:29 pm 
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I'll be in it for a laugh - could do them woods again at Hylton and this time I'll push YOU over .. :mrgreen:

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 7:28 pm 
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lmao Jay, I DIDNT push u over, eee that was so funny, u legged it coz u heard a noise in the woods, (was sick of telling u it was only a bird) :wink:

I liked that church / graveyard we went to one halloween, Ive wanted to go back ever since and havnt a clue where it is, I know its near you or dannys place... but tbh was thinking about Eggelstone Abbey, Bowes Castle, and app there was some roman ruins around that area??? 3 in 1 places... Also remember that night when we went to that clock pub / club in boro, then we went to some ruins after that in mid of night? Wey fancy going there again coz last time it was raining and windy, at least at Egglestone there is shelter too.. ahh there is loadsa outdoor places, but ano I deffo heard sumit that night I took my mate n kids (nasty mam i am) up to Egglestone Abbey at like midnite, thasts why I dragged u lot there. Also Easby Abbey too 00 not too far away :lol:


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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:06 pm 
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No matter how many times you tell that story, it isn't going to change that you, Mike and Andrea bricked yourselves and you, clinging onto my arm in sheer terror, bundled me over - face first no less - into a ditch in your attempt to run like an idiot. I never knew you could run before that night due to all the fags you smoked .. :D

What was funny was that night under the platform at Darlo Station and there was that huge bang on the door and you jumped into the air Scooby Doo style - the funny thing was I actually caught you .. :D

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 Post subject: Re: Changing Times
PostPosted: Tue Jul 26, 2011 9:09 pm 
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Edited the above!

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