The time now is Sun Oct 26, 2014 4:21 am | Log in to check your private messages
View unanswered posts  Ghost forum archive
World of Ghosts - Paranormal Forums Forum IndexWorld of Ghosts - Paranormal Forums Forum Index
World of Ghosts Worldofghosts 24 hour chat room
                          Register


The Black Monk of Pontefract
Post new topic   Reply to topic    World of Ghosts - Paranormal Forums Forum Index » poltergeist
View previous topic | View next topic  
Author Message
D B Sweeney



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 2837
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 12:26 am    Post subject: The Black Monk of Pontefract Reply with quote

The Black Monk of Pontefract - A study in a haunting of the poltergeist kind - Part 1

In the decade before the world famous Enfield case introduced the word Poltergeist into the wider public domain a little known but evidently more spectacular haunting played out in the east Yorkshire town of Pontefract. It featured all the classic symptoms of Poltergeist activity as well as some phenomena more akin to a haunting all of which will be detailed and examined during the course of our study.

Number 30 East Drive on the Chequerfields estate stood on a corner at the top of a hill, close to what was once the site of the town gallows. This in my opinion is circumstantial and not identifiably related to the events that took place at number 30. The Chequerfields estate back then was a pleasant maze of tree lined streets and well kept gardens.

Living at number 30 were the Pritchard family consisting of Jean and Joe, their son Philip aged 15 and daughter Diane aged 12. From what we know there appeared to be no problems within the family and to all intents and purposes they led a normal family life. However we must take this at face value since what people tell investigators (and market researchers) is not necessarily an accurate or full description of their opinions, relationships and experiences.

The events at 30 East Drive were reported in local newspapers but seem to have not to have reached a national audience. This comes as no surprise in an age when media syndication was a rarity and the internet in a recognisable form was nearly a decade away.
The only reason we have a record of those events is due to the research carried out ten years after the events by a young (back then) amateur historian - with an interest in the monks of Pontefract who contacted the well known author Colin Wilson suggesting the case would make a good book along the lines of The Amityville Horror.

The events began in August 1966 during the August Bank Holiday week. The family had gone on holiday to Devon leaving 15 year old Philip at home with Mrs Scholes (Mrs Pritchards mother) in charge. Philip was in the garden reading a book (it was a sunny day) whilst inside sat on the sofa knitting, Mrs Scholes noticed the room as being colder than usual.

At about eleven thirty Mrs Scholes reported a sudden gust of wind that she said, "rattled all the windows and made the back door slam." When Philip came into the house he reported that it was quite calm outside and went into the kitchen to make tea and coffee. Ten minutes later upon entering the lounge he was confronted by a fine grey-white layer of chalk powder drifting down from a level just below head height - the space above (unto the ceiling) remaining clear.

Their first assumption was that it was somehow falling from the ceiling however it had very recently been papered. At this point the pair were more baffled than scared and Mrs Scholes went to consult her daughter Marie Kelly who lived just across the road. When Mrs Kelly saw the white powder she stared at it then went into the kitchen to get a cloth to clean it up and promptly slipped in a pool of water that had formed on the kitchen floor.
Composing herself she started to mop up the water and then noticed another pool on the linoleum, as she began to clean that one up she noticed yet another before realising that new pools were forming as fast as she could mop them up.
Thinking the water was welling up from beneath the lino, Mrs Kelly lifted it up pulling it back. To her consternation the floor underneath was perfectly dry.

By now the next door neighbour Enid Pritchard had come round to number 30 to see what the commotion was about. Being the practical type she immediately went and turned off the water at the stop cock, however it made no difference and the pools of water still appeared. Mrs Kelly then decided to report the water 'leaks' to the Water Board who advised that they would send someone around as soon as possible.

Later that afternoon the man from the Water Board duly appeared (by now the falling dust had stopped and had been cleaned up). After much checking of pipes, rodding of drains and surmising that the water may be condensation he went away to report the problem to his manager and an hour later the pools of water stopped appearing.

This was only the beginning though. Later that evening at around 7pm Mrs Scholes was watching TV in the living room when from the kitchen Philip shouted 'Grandma, it's happening again!". The worktop in the kitchen was strewn with sugar and dry tea leaves and as they stared at it the button on the tea dispenser (fixed to the wall above the sink) went slowly in and then out several times covering the draining board in tea. This carried on even when the tea dispenser was empty prompting Mrs Scholes to shout in desperation "Stop it!". As she did so there came a loud crash from the hallway. They slowly opened the door leading to the hallway - half expecting to catch a burglar - only to find it silent, dark and empty until the hall light clicked on of it's own accord making them both jump.
They slowly made their way to the foot of the stairs and saw what had made the noise - a plant which was usually at the foot of the stairs was now sat halfway up them - minus its pot which was on the landing above. As if this was not enough to fray their nerves another sound rang out from the kitchen making them jump once again. On investigation they saw that the crockery cupboard was vibrating as though someone was trapped inside and trying to get out. As soon as Philip snatched open the door the vibrations stopped whilst almost immediately another loud banging noise started up somewhere else in the house - this was a noise that had been heard earlier but was assumed to be the next door neighbour May Mountains husband doing some DIY.
Mrs Scholes now noticed a sudden chill in the air and decided to fetch Marie Kelly again. As soon as Mrs Kelly stepped into the kitchen she was confronted by the shaking crockery cupboard and the sound of the cups and plates inside rattling. Mrs Scholes then went next door to ask the Mountains if they were responsible for the banging noises.
Mrs Mountain looked in amazement at Mrs Scholes saying, "We thought it was you". By the time Mrs Scholes returned the noises had thankfully stopped and there was a nice cup of tea waiting courtesy of Mrs Kelly.

The three of them sat discussing the unnerving events until around 9.30pm when Marie Kelly left hoping it was all over for the night. Philip decided that sleep was probably the best option and went up to bed and Mrs Scholes figured a good nights sleep was needed. After locking up and switching off the downstairs lights Mrs Scholes went into Philips room to wish him goodnight - as she did so she noticed Philip was staring over her shoulder at the wardrobe which was now tottering and swaying back and forth like a cork on water.

This was the final straw for one night and Mrs Scholes told Philip to "Get dressed quick, we're going!". A short while later they were both in the spare beds at Mrs Kellys house and for one night events seemed to have come to an end - or had they…..

Article researched and written by D B Sweeney

My thanks to:

Poltergeist (a study in destructive haunting) by Colin Wilson. Caxton Editions (1981)

_________________
If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
flossy
Moderator


Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 4817
Location: UK tyne/wear (geordie land)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 2:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

scary story there DB
is it fact or fiction?
...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Back to top
D B Sweeney



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 2837
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 3:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's a true story Flossy. It was reported in the local press at the time but it's a little known case in paranormal circles and got somewhat overshadowed by the Enfield case a decade later.
It was not investigated properly at the time and perhaps if it had been we'd have a better idea what the cause of the disturbances were - while it certainly seems cut n dried as a poltergeist type haunting I'm not sure that we can take these accounts as gospe for several reasons that I intend to cover at some point. Like most hauntings (and certainly Poltergeist cases) there are factors that are often overlooked and not considered when forming a definitive conclusion.
The Black Monk will be in several parts (this is part 1) and I do intend to analyse the possible causes and offer some explanations for consideration at the end.

DB

_________________
If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
flossy
Moderator


Joined: 17 Oct 2006
Posts: 4817
Location: UK tyne/wear (geordie land)

PostPosted: Mon Nov 01, 2010 6:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

its a shame it was looked into more at the time
i look forward to read part 2 Wink
...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Back to top
thecactus



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 3174
Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

DB when will you have part 2? - interesting case
_________________
It's good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out...
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
D B Sweeney



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 2837
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2011 12:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll try to get around to posting it soon Cactus.

DB

_________________
If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
D B Sweeney



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 2837
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Thu May 19, 2011 7:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

UPDATE to this post.

As part of my ongoing research I've not been sent an audio tape converted to CD recorded in 1970 by the son of someone who interviewed the family. The audio contains first hand accounts of the activities and some allegedly Poltergeist knockings. I'm still carefully examining this and it will take a few weeks before I can post my conclusions but from what I've heard so far - it's a very interesting addition to the Black Monk Poltergeist story.

DB

_________________
If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
bitterbuck1
Moderator


Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 3923
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to your synopsis.
_________________
Every year you live, you pass the anniversary of your death.

Where the Heart is
Billie Letts
...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Back to top
thecactus



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 3174
Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 1:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

D B Sweeney wrote:
UPDATE to this post.

As part of my ongoing research I've not been sent an audio tape converted to CD recorded in 1970 by the son of someone who interviewed the family. The audio contains first hand accounts of the activities and some allegedly Poltergeist knockings. I'm still carefully examining this and it will take a few weeks before I can post my conclusions but from what I've heard so far - it's a very interesting addition to the Black Monk Poltergeist story.

DB


Did you mean you've NOW been sent a tape? (I'm not being smart; I'm just not sure if you have the tape or not Wink)

_________________
It's good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out...
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
bitterbuck1
Moderator


Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 3923
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thecactus wrote:
D B Sweeney wrote:
UPDATE to this post.

As part of my ongoing research I've not been sent an audio tape converted to CD recorded in 1970 by the son of someone who interviewed the family. The audio contains first hand accounts of the activities and some allegedly Poltergeist knockings. I'm still carefully examining this and it will take a few weeks before I can post my conclusions but from what I've heard so far - it's a very interesting addition to the Black Monk Poltergeist story.

DB


Did you mean you've NOW been sent a tape? (I'm not being smart; I'm just not sure if you have the tape or not Wink)


Watch out DB.
Cactus is now correcting our writing!
Laughing

Wink

_________________
Every year you live, you pass the anniversary of your death.

Where the Heart is
Billie Letts
...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Back to top
thecactus



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 3174
Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitterbuck1, No I was asking has he got the tape or not.
_________________
It's good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out...
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
bitterbuck1
Moderator


Joined: 18 Nov 2006
Posts: 3923
Location: Arizona, USA

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Embarassed
_________________
Every year you live, you pass the anniversary of your death.

Where the Heart is
Billie Letts
...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Back to top
D B Sweeney



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 2837
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

LOL, You're quite right Cactus I did mean now not 'not'. I'm in the process of listening to it, getting names etc to cross ref against what is known about the case.

DB

_________________
If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
thecactus



Joined: 07 Mar 2011
Posts: 3174
Location: Northern Ireland

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 1:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

bitterbuck1, Laughing Wink

D B Sweeney, very interesting: how long is the audio? I don't think you will be able to get any proof from the poltergiest knockings as they could be anything.

From what you have done so far, do you think there is any chance this was a hoax/do the people inolved believe it was definitely supernatural?

_________________
It's good to have an open mind, but not so open that your brains fall out...
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
D B Sweeney



Joined: 27 Aug 2010
Posts: 2837
Location: Edinburgh, Scotland

PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 11:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

thecactus wrote:
bitterbuck1, Laughing Wink

D B Sweeney, very interesting: how long is the audio? I don't think you will be able to get any proof from the poltergiest knockings as they could be anything.

From what you have done so far, do you think there is any chance this was a hoax/do the people inolved believe it was definitely supernatural?


The audio is over 2hrs (which is why it's taking so long to transcribe).
The knockings are interesting but evidentially useless as they could indeed be hoaxed or caused by some non paranormal source. These are events that took place in 1970. That's a lifetime away.

From what I've read of the case and from what I've heard on the audio I don't believe this case was hoaxed. If the reports are to be believed this is certainly an odd case that defies rational explanation but then again the Enfield case can be debunked despite it allegedly being the best Poltergeist case on record.

I've a lot of work to do yet on this but my sceptical mind is being challenged by it. I'll hopefully post some interim findings in the next week or so.

DB

_________________
If you hear hoofbeats, think horses not zebras.
...
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Back to top
Post new topic   Reply to topic    World of Ghosts - Paranormal Forums Forum Index » poltergeist
Display posts from previous:   
 
 
All times are GMT
Jump to:  
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum