ALTHOUGH seemingly an unlikely venue for a haunting, one look up at the five storey-high Victorian structure looming above the shop confirms this building is steeped in history.
Believed to have been built in 1851, it was the town’s old Scala theatre until 1945, the original features from which remain largely intact today. In 1945 it was used as an Army recruitment centre. After that, it’s primarily been retail premises.
Arriving at the store I met GRUB’s Andy Kilbee, who was leading the ghost hunt. He promptly played me an audio recording of a ghostly ‘voice’ captured in a room above the shop.
“I managed to record this when I was setting up the equipment,” said Andy. The sound of muffled whispering sent a shiver down my spine, but I couldn’t make out any distinct words.
“When we are called in to conduct an investigation the first thing we do is rule out noises and visual sightings which can be easily explained,” he said. “When they cannot be explained we use our equipment to try and capture evidence of a haunting.”
GRUB’s impressive array of high-tech gadgets includes electronic voice phenomena recorders, laser motion-detectors, infrared cameras, electromagnetic field devices (EFDs), night vision cameras, thermometers and ghost radars.
“Ghosts are an invisible energy,” said Andy, “One way we can detect them is in reading sudden drops in temperature which some people believe occurs when a spirit is trying to manifest itself and drawing in energy around it.”
Making our way upstairs shop manager Tracy Lawson explained how she and other staff have been hearing footsteps from above for several years. “The only room we use above the shop is on the first floor for some storage,” she said. “This used to be an old cafeteria and there’s a feeling something’s not quite right up here.”
On the second floor was the theatre’s old gallery – minus the seats. The main seating area below now forms the shop floor with the wooden stage at the rear being used for a warehouse. Andy showed me the wooden trapdoor in the stage floor but I declined to venture down – although this was due to my fear of creepy crawlies – not ghosts!
Joined by five other members of the team, who came from as far as Louth and Grimsby, including medium Linzi Hallberg, we conducted vigils in each room until the early hours of the morning.
The results were mixed. Orbs caught on camera were dismissed as dust particles and a scream heard was discovered to be two locals having an altercation in the Market Place outside.
However, a strange rattling noise coinciding with a spike in the EFD device was not so easily explained. Upon hearing the noise Andy ran down the stairs to the ‘cafeteria room’ to investigate - the device lighting up in his hand as he went. As he got to the bottom of the stairs he suddenly froze. “Is there anything in front of me in the doorway?” he shouted up to us.
We looked on the camera monitor, scouring the shadows with our eyes but couldn’t see anything. The noise went again. “It can’t be the pipes up here as they were sealed off years ago,” said Andy.
After a few minutes the noise stopped and I gingerly followed the team back down into the cafeteria room.
In this large room, the ghost radar picked up the words ‘plate’, ‘food’ ‘cream’ and ‘Army’. ‘A bit too much to be just a coincidence?’ I asked myself. Maybe.
After the ghosthunt, medium Linzi said she didn’t feel there was a specific haunting brought on by a past tragedy or death on site: “It’s more of a residual haunting which can happen in some old buildings where traces of the past are left behind.”
Asked what they would do if confronted by a ghostly apparition, Andy concluded: “We’re not ghostbusters - we can’t get rid of them, only detect them. I’d recommend calling in a vicar to help with that sort of thing.”
* GRUB’s investigations are carried out free of charge. For more information visit www.grub-ghosthunters.co.uk
* Have you experienced a haunting in Boston? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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