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Published on Monday 31 October 2011 08:00
Before I even had chance to tell GSI’s lead investigator, Jo Phillips, how scared I was she had already located the first ghost. As I opened the door she told me that she thought there was a woman, somewhere near to the back of the property but we’d find out more when the investigation started properly.
Jo and her team – Vicky, Sarah and Lisa – set up while me and my Advertiser colleagues – reporter Dave Wade, photographer Lindsay Martin and receptionist Rachel Kelvey – prepared ourselves to find out if the rumours about the building being haunted are true.
The very top floor of Advertiser towers is out of bounds, it’s like a haunted house complete with cobwebs, drafty floors and spooky looking cupboards and corners but it was agreed that for GSI’s visit, we would be allowed to unlock upstairs and see what or who was lurking.
We were armed with torches, all the lights were turned out and then came GSI’s first supernatural sighting – a dog ghost. Jo asked for a brave volunteer to stand in the corridor where she’d spotted the small black animal and see if they could see it too.
Dave stepped forward and thought he could see a tail wagging, Jo said there were two dogs and another of her team said they could see them too. With no luck on the human front in the haunted third storey we moved down to the ground floor where Jo said she had seen the woman ghost when she first arrived.
She placed a small wooden pointer on the table and asked for volunteers. Me, Dave and Rachel stepped forward and placed our fingers on a corner each.
We waited nervously as Jo asked for the pointer to move if there was anyone there. It was decided Dave would ask the questions as the lady was apparently happier responding to him.
The more questions we asked the more we found out and the more certain we became that we knew who the lady appeared to be. People who have worked at the Advertiser over the years have said that they believed the presence felt is that of Miss Dorothy Shakspeare, former owner and editor of the paper.If the pointer was telling us right, their thoughts were confirmed.
Moving on, a glass was placed on the table and again we all rested our fingertips ready to see who else may be with us. This time there were stronger answers as questions were asked and a man from the 1760s told of a fire that killed him and three of his children on the site where the office now stands. Despite the findings there are still sceptics here at the Advertiser but if GSI are to be believed then there could be up to seven spirits with us at the office.
The GSI team now want to come back for another investigation, but it’s up to the staff whether we’re brave enough to let them.
Ghost Hunt report by Ilkeston Advertiser