Tuesday, 30 October 2012

White Light Paranormal Investigations Q&A

With Halloween looming over us, it’s hard to avoid thinking about ghosties 'n' ghoulies. Do ghosts exist? Do you believe in the supernatural? Is there such a thing as an afterlife? To tackle these big questions, I was surprised to discover that Thanet has its own team of paranormal researchers going by the name of White Light Investigations.

I decided to send some questions to Claire Clifford-Fennell, Lead Investigator for The White Light Investigation Team to find out more about them:

Can you tell me a bit more about White Light Investigations?

CLAIRE: “White Light Investigations have been going for around 6 years now with more or less the same Team as we started.  I wanted to get a Team of people together, Spirit sensitives, open minded sceptics, and sceptics, to record paranormal activity for people to see what I have seen with my own eyes. 

I like to think that with the mixture of people we have, we acheive a balance in our findings. We are a Team of 8, 6 of which live in the local area, 2 live in Essex. We all trust each other and we all strive for the same thing -- to find out the truth behind paranormal activity.”

Who are you, and what got you into the business of paranormal investigations?

CLAIRE: “I am a Spirit sensitive, and have had many paranormal experiences from an early age, I sometimes wondered if I was going mad!! after a lifetime of experiences, I wanted to delve deeper into the Paranormal to try and find answers, and also ask "why me".

I dont know how, but I have found myself at this point in my life -- being Lead Investigator and Founder of White Light Investigations! It is something I feel very strongly about, and I am very proud of what I do.”

Do you personally believe in ghosts? Would you care to share any stories or experiences?

CLAIRE: “I believe in Ghosts! My experiences in Life have proved to me that there is something else out there, a thin veil between our reality and the "other side". I have had many strange, and also scary experiences with the Paranormal.

On one particular occasion, I was alone in my house, when I felt a nudge in the middle of my back, and I proceed to tumble to the bottom of my stairs! I was quite angry about this as you can imagine.  Not long after this "episode", I found out that the Lady who had lived in the house previously, had died in hospital from falling down the stairs.

Another incident that springs to mind, was at Crampton Tower in Broadstairs when we were investigating. Myself and my Sister Emma (who is also a Spirit sensitive -- it runs in our Family), were both touched on our bottoms by what we feel was a rather cheeky Spirit!”

Which locations in Thanet would you say have the reputation for being the most haunted? Have you witnessed any spooky occurrences in those places?

CLAIRE: “There are many locations in Thanet which I believed to be "haunted".  The Tudor House in King Street Margate has never failed to deliver activity.  We have investigated there several times, and feel that the house "knows us", as soon as we walk in the door, there are bangs, knocks and footsteps to greet us.  The Margate Museum is also very atmospheric, as well as the Tom Thumb Theatre, The Brittania pub, and most recently The Hoy pub, which was extremely interesting.”

Have White Light Investigations got any special plans for Halloween this year? How can people get involved in what you do?

CLAIRE: “Unfortunately we won't be conducting any investigations on Halloween, as I will be on a busman's holiday, in Edinburgh!  I will drag my Family on all the Ghost walks, and also down to Mary Kings close.  Edinburgh is extremely haunted as a City, and I just love it!

We have done many public investigations, where people can come and investigate with the White Light Team. We dont have any planned for the rest of the year, but hope to organise one in the New Year.  We show people how to use equipment, and guide our Guests through the night using our experience and ways of trying to engage Spirit.”

If you’d like to find out more about White Light Investigations, please visit their website www.white-light-investigations.com. You can also follow them on Facebook and on Twitter.

What do you think? Have you ever had any supernatural experiences in Thanet? Please feel free to share your spooky stories below.

Image © Copyright Claire Clifford-Fennell and the White Light Investigation Team.

Friday, 5 October 2012

Cool for Katz

Just to give you a heads up, a new art exhibition at the Turner Contemporary in Margate opens on Saturday 6th October – ‘Give Me Tomorrow’ will play host to a career retrospective of pop art pioneer Alex Katz. Now 85-years-old, Mr. Katz’s work laid the groundwork for the pop art movement with his unique approach to figurative painting.

From what is disclosed on the Turner Contemporary website, in his heyday Alex Katz “developed a contemporary figurative language combining the enlarged scale of American abstract painting with the bright colours and graphic style of advertising billboards.” As a keen fan of retro posters and graphic art, look at this Guardian article to see how inspirational Katz's work is to modern eyes. It’s definitely stood the test of time.

I’m actually quite excited by this exhibition. I’ve always been a sucker for pop art. It might be the most hackneyed reference point I can think of, I know, but Roy Liechtenstein’s ‘Whaam!’ painting adorned the wall of my secondary school, so pop art was bound to stick with me through the years.

I really recommend you pay a visit to the Turner Contemporary tomorrow. I’m sure it will be mind-blowing. The gallery opens at 12:30pm and will be open until late so there’s no excuses. Go on, give it a try – it’s cool for Katz!

Image © Copyright James Green via Flickr and licensed for reuse. The inclusion of this image is not an endorsement of this post.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

RIP Thanet Times (1896-2012)

The Thanet Times is officially no more. It is an ex-newspaper. It has ceased to be. Pardon the pun, but sadly this is a sign of the times – beset by dwindling newspaper circulations figures, local journalism is nursing a severe case of financial anaemia, largely because these days consumers prefer to read the news for free on the internet.

From a circulation standpoint, the decision to close Thanet Times must have been difficult. According to HoldthePage.co.uk:

“The Thanet Times was 91pc free and according to the most recent ABC figures had an average weekly distribution of 33,509. 

Paid-for sister title the Isle of Thanet Gazette, which has a circulation of 9,867, will continue to be published.“

Despite 91% of its copies being free, it’s a shame to bid farewell to the Thanet Times when the Thanet Gazette only has a fraction of its circulation figures. If the Thanet Gazette gets 70.5% less potential readers than its sister paper, that’s a lot of potential households who might miss out on reading local news in the future – especially if they happen to be elderly or don’t have internet access.

Still... at least people can still buy the Thanet Gazette and I’m sure the This Is Kent website will continue to be a useful online resource for those of us who seek local news. But the closure of the Thanet Times does make me wonder how local journalism will look in thirty years from now. Does anyone care to make any predictions?!