Whether or not you believe in things that go bump in the night, it is undeniable there is certainly a lot of interest around all things spooky.
There are plenty of haunted places to visit in Hull and East Yorkshire and with historic tales of tragedy and gore, the stories alone are enough to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.
With no shortage of scary activities to join in and around the city, we decided to get involved in one of them to find out why such events are so popular.
Hull Live reporter Anna Riley popped along to an event at Fort Paull in June, where paranormal investigators were joined by members of the public for an interactive ghost hunt run by the company Ghost Hunters.
The site at Fort Paull was built in 1542, is famed for being Yorkshire’s only remaining Napoleonic Fortress and is located just outside of the village of Paull in East Yorkshire.
But as well as being famous for its history, the site is known for its spooky past.
A ghost hunt with a difference
A big advertising point of the Fort Paull ghost hunt was visitors would be able to get their hands on with experiments in a bid to seek out unusual occurrences for which the fort is famed, and organisers promised an interactive evening.
“Fort Paull, once a strong protection fortress on the Humber estuary protecting any enemy attacks during WW1 and WW2,” reads the Ghost Hunters website.
“Today, the mighty fortress is a museum housing some great artefacts, but is also keeping trapped souls within.
“Various reports have revealed strange shadows, noises, powerful activity and not to forget the spirits still travelling within the train carriage situated on the grounds.
“Are you brave enough to come and join our team and witness some activity for yourself?”
As well as the use of paranormal equipment, guests on the tour were shown haunted items in a box that they were invited to touch and even wear.
At the beginning of the evening, after all 23 of us signed a disclaimer, we were shown a doll from the 1920s and told lots of phenomena was alleged to happen around her.
The other item was a 1944 Second World War British Army gas mask that would have been worn by a soldier, who may have tragically died wearing it.
The format of the evening
We were first introduced to the group who would be leading the ghost hunt. The team have been together for more than 15 years and is made up of two paranormal investigators Mick and Nikki, and two mediums Jenny and Lynne.
The group leader Nikki told us there would be three “vigils” throughout the evening to try and find any spooky activity, with the group staying together at first and then being split into two later on during the visits inside the plane and train at the fort.
“Paranormal investigation gets extremely emotional so there could be a few tears, let it all out and we will get to know one another,” said Nikki.
She also told the group that as a paranormal investigator, she was completely sceptical of ghostly activity and had also not looked into the history of Fort Paull so as not to “aid or create suggestion”.
Everyone arrived at 8pm and were told the evening would run on well into the night past 2am, with refreshment and toilet breaks along the way.
‘Something has kicked my leg’
After a complete tour of Fort Paull taking in all the main landmarks including the underground hospital, the group were led to a long dark tunneled area for the first vigil.
Special electro-magnetic field devices had been set out in the tunnel to monitor any movement, and the group were told to join in with calling out to the spirits, and even invited people to hold hands to try and conjure up activity.
Nikki started the night with a Latin dictation to protect the group and then started calling out for any spirits to make themselves known.
Soon, her medium mum Lynne called out she had seen the ghost of a man in the tunnel who she started speaking with. She said the ghost was called George, a 27-year-old man who worked on planes at the fort.
A member of the group was called to the back of the tunnel where ‘George’ was supposedly standing in order to feel his touch. The man confirmed he could feel a “cold presence”.
Then bit by bit, the rest of the group were encouraged to move to the back of the tunnel to reach out to the spirits potentially lurking by holding hands, with the medium shouting out for George to touch someone to show his presence.
Watch: What are ghosts? Do they exist?
It was during this ritual that a woman in the group shouted out “something has just kicked me in the leg!”, and hopped about saying she was in pain from the fall.
Speaking to her outside the tunnel, she said she still could not feel her right leg after the kick and believed a ghost had made contact with her.
Investigating in the plane and train
After a break for a hot drink and a biscuit, the group were divided into two to go in to the plane and train to investigate further potential paranormal activity.
I went into the plane where Nikki had set up a recording device to listen out for any ghostly voices as she called for any spirits to come forward, again encouraging the group to hold hands and shout out themselves.
The group were also encouraged to ask questions of any spirit that may be there, which may then be answered by a voice from the “ghost box” set up in the middle of the group at the top of the plane where we sat.
The noise coming from the box sounded very much like static and I could not detect any words coming through. But another member of the group said they heard a name called when they asked a question.
It was interesting to be inside such an old plane and sat at the top where the paratroopers would have sat themselves in the war.
But other than the darkness in the plane to creep the group out, no other spooky thing seemed to be found by the investigators on the plane.
I certainly did not see any ghosts myself or feel a paranormal presence, although I did feel cold at times when the spirits were being called – but that is perhaps because we were outside or in an old tunnel.
All in all, for some entertainment, as well as a look around Fort Paull, it was an interesting evening, especially with the use of specialist equipment and the way that guests on the tour could get involved.
But for now, I will sleep safe on a night having not been convinced of a paranormal world – but my interest has definitely piqued and it was a fun experience.
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