Sunday, 29 April 2012

Cornish Fairy Gardens & Satanic Locations

I loved Cornwall so much I returned. Went to Carnglaze slate caverns which was interesting, but slightly disappinted as I was expecting something along the lines of the Caves of Drac. There was also a cute little fairy garden and village you could walk around. When I returned home I was straight off to the Garden Centre to get myself some wild looking plants and some fairy and Dragon Statues. I was mightily dissappointed that they didn't have anything like that and this place is massive! You can buy little manquins made from coat hangers, smelly candles and pointless other stuff to make you house the envy of your neighbours, but sadly not a fairy or dragon in sight. Rubbish. Even tried to google some pictures of fairy gardens and all I got was a stupid site selling fairy liquid!
In complete contrast we went to see Roche Rock. A great spooky and sinister location that was used to film the third omen film. Very atmospheric and would love to use this location in one of my books. I was even brave enough to climb up the rickety ladders to the top. Cracking Views.

Sunday, 26 February 2012

City of Vikings

This has to be one of the best city breaks I would thoroughly recommend.

Yorvik Viking Centre:- An Interesting museum where you climb aboard a car and ride through the Viking Village of old York. You listen to conversations and interestingly they add the life like man sat on his porcelain throne at the bottom of his back garden… Yes Vikings had back gardens. Interesting. The place smelt of old York too, which wasn’t very pleasant, but I love museums.

Ghost walk:- York is such an old city that it cannot be visited without going on the obligatory ghost walk around the older parts of the city including The Shambles, which I loved, very atmospheric and reminding me of Diagon Alley in the Harry Potter movies. The stories were pretty much standard as I have heard on other ghost walks, vengeful spirits who have been wronged in life and death… blah, blah blah, but entertaining evening none the less. I love walking around old cities on a crisp dark evening whilst listening to ghost stories.

The Golden Fleece:- As you know I like all things supernatural so I had to visit the most haunted pub in York, The Golden Fleece, which has been investigated by the Most Haunted Team on a couple of occasions. It does have a very gothic and spooky feel to it, especially when they have a real human skeleton sat at the bar and every night they change it’s sitting posture and pour it a drink. Creepy and intriguing, God I love scary things and places. Am I weird? Probably… Do I care? Not really…

Tuesday, 7 February 2012

My First Ghost Hunt

I was doing some research for a book I was writing that featured ghosts and the paranormal.

I worked in an old mill converted into offices and I was hearing stories from some of the tenants who claimed they had heard noises such as factory machinery, people shouting when no-one else was in the building and two people told me they had seen a man in a brown foreman’s uniform on the stairs and in the corridor of the fourth floor then just disappeared in front of them. Both descriptions were almost identical and neither had told anyone else of the sightings.

Another claim was hearing voices of ladies chattering and laughing on the second floor. When I researched it I discovered that the foreman had died there and the loudest lady was known as Kathy who was the supervisor in the sewing room on the second floor. (This was all when the mill was a shoe factory that closed in the early eighties.)

I had a night vision camera so I decided to stay late one night when I knew a psychic was having a meeting with my boss.

I went wandering around the building in the dark armed only with my camera and began calling out for any spirits to make themselves known. I wasn’t in the least bit frightened of the dark, until I stood in the corridor on the second floor and began goading Kathy the loud and larger than life seamstress to show herself to me, saying things like “Come on I know you like playing jokes on people, show yourself unless your chicken.” Just then she appeared right at the side of my face, just for a brief second, but long enough to spook me so much I ran back up to the room where my boss was having the meeting. It was a real Most Haunted moment. I told them what had happened and the psychic just smiled and said, “Yes the foreman’s been keeping an eye on you, just in case Kathy went go too far, although he is curious why you would want to frighten yourself like that.”

My boss nor I had told the psychic anything about what I was doing there so late at night and she knew nothing of the history or the spirits in the building as she was visiting from another part of the country. It was so cool I would love to do a professional ghost hunt.

My website www.alisonkershaw.com

Sunday, 29 January 2012

The Best London Experiences

I have been to London many times, I wrote a blog a while back about the play Ghost Walk I so a couple of years ago and this has to have been the best trip, but here are some other highlights I recommend.

London Bridge Experience

This has to be the scariest of all horror tours and believe me I have been to many, including the dungeons in York and London.

First you tour around some horrific rooms depicting the worst of London's history including The Gun Powder Plot, Jack The Ripper, The Plague and The Great Fire of London, naturally.

Then you are taken through some scary rooms in a conga style with other tourists, however they have real actors coming up close and personal to scare you to death with things dropping from the ceiling a dungeon with a huge spider in and people wrapped up in cobwebs (weird), but the most frightening is the last room. Based on the Texas chain saw massacre you walk through this creepy butchers room then from nowhere this bloke runs out waving a real chainsaw about your head. I could even smell the petrol from the chainsaw. It was truly frightening and exhilarating.

Jack The Ripper Tour

This is great. A nighttime walk through Whitechapel as the guide takes you to each of the spots where the grisly murders of prostitutes were committed by the unidentified serial killer of Old London Town. Creepy and spine chilling.

Of Course I am a bit strange and love to have the beejeeze scared out of me.

Late Night Rickshaw Ride

This was absolutely hilarious. We had been partying around Leicester Square and couldn't get a taxi back to the hotel for love no money, so I had a brainwave and asked a Rickshaw rider to take us back to our hotel south of the Thames at two in the morning. Try to imagine two merry ladies scoffing kebabs on the back of this little carriage whilst watching a very fit tight little man bum bobbing up and down and side to side on the bike in front of us.

A black cab pulled up next to us at the traffic lights and fours blokes wound down the window and said very seriously. "Err excuse me love, but you appear to have lost the engine in your cab!" Naturally me and my friend found the funny side, I guess the bud helped. Anyway great fun and a different way to experience what would have been an embarrassing experience in daylight.

Hyde Park Speakers Corner

This is something I have always wanted to do... Heckle with a fanatical religious nut in Speakers Corner on a Sunday morning in Hyde Park. When we arrived there was just two speakers,one was a guy making everyone laugh about his anti religious notions and attempting to blaspheme on a holy day. Then there were two Muslims promoting very peacefully that Jesus, Moses and Mohamed were all basically promoting the same religious message, which is something I am very comfortable with despite being an atheist myself,but for those who follow organised religion I thought this was a very positive message to send out to people. Everything looked quite uneventful until the religious Christian nut showed up. Set himself up next to the Muslim table and began to preach that the Koran promoted fear and tyrannical law, which isn't true.

My friend being a Muslim and me just being me decided to challenge said Nut Ball. His arguments were weak saying that the Bible spoke the truth, until I pointed out that The spoken word of the man Jesus from Two Thousand years ago was spoken in Aramaic and the New Testament was written more than two hundred years later and has been translated from Latin to Old English to Modern English and so many times that the original words were probably long lost and none of us could possibly know exactly what Jesus said.

Then someone else stepped forward giving a much more eloquent theological argument than me, but I was shocked to see that a huge crowd had circled around us several people deep. I suddenly felt very shy and decided that although the heckling was fun I felt uncomfortable with and audience. When we returned with our coffees we quietly stood at the back when this girl looked at me then whispered to her group of friends "Hey that's the two women arguing with the guy." As they all looked me and my friend up and down I decided it was time to leave, but not before feeling a great sense of accomplishment.

Go to London Its fun... Oh and for a freebie delight The British Museum is a must. Go and get lost in the ancient artifacts, I saw the Rosetta Stone, something I always wanted to see with my own eyes and was on loan at the time. Big Bonus. Or There is nothing quite like sitting in the library, just sit and people watch!!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Ghost Stories Duke of York Theatre London.

What a fantastic Play. Immediately as you walk into the Theatre it has been decorated with plastic sheets yellow and black tape and industrial lights with lots of eerie base noise and dripping water in the background. Clearly we were meant to be in some deserted mill or building site.

The play was based on three ghost stories narrated by a professor of parapsychology. Some of the photos he showed on a slide show were creepy as was the first story about a father hearing his daughter’s voice as she followed him around a deserted building he was caretaker of. The Second one I was expecting what happened. The usual car in woodland then breaks down at night. The third story wasn’t particularly scary, but it was disturbing, the viewer makes of it what they will. My take was that the baby was Spawn of Satan and could manipulate those around him. The twist at the end though was truly amazing and one I hadn’t suspected at all.

Spoiler alert: All three stories were actually connected as the professor was the one in the coma dreaming these horrors and specific sentences used were in fact the staff talking around him. It brings to the forefront the question of what is reality exactly and whose reality is real and who’s is fake. Or my favourite, how do you know that this is reality?

Saturday, 4 September 2010

80's Rewind Festival 2010

What a fantastic weekend! This is how I like to spend my weekends, sat out in a huge field with the sun blazing down surrounded by a large group of friends, chilling with a beer and having a lot of laughs whilst listening to live music. Perfect!.

Well as the name of the festival suggests the whole theme is around 80's music and to have some of my favourite bands from my love struck, angst, teenage years brought back some wonderful memories and a great excuse to dress up (and I mean dress up) in the old eighties gordy and decadent outfits. More is more in the eighties, that meant more hair (big back combed effigy piled sideways on one's noggin... lots and lots of makeup, a Madonna beauty spot, fingerless gloves, leg warmers and bright nail polish...) and that was just the men!!!

Yes we all made an effort and making each other up gave us something to do in between sets. Some of those playing were Carol Decker of T'Pau who actually runs a pub in Henley these days made an appearance, as did Heaven 17, ABC. I'm not entirely sure why Chesney Hawkes was there, but I found it highly amusing whilst singing "I am the one and only" nearly half the crowd put on Chesney face masks...

I was in awe when Midge Ure sang "Vienna" which is one of my all time favourite 80's song. As was Tony Hadley singing "Gold". The whole crowd joined in and it is times like these I feel an affinity with the world. (I know, a bit deep, but that's how I feel when I'm in a big crowd all singing our hearts out.)

Anyway, I was really looking forward to Boy George, unfortunately I realised I didn't know the majority if his songs and asked a friend if he was going to be on for a while and if I had time to visit a portaloo. I really only wanted to hear Kama Chameleon and my friend thought that this would be his encore song. So off I trot to the loos only to my horror the moment I sat down said song came warbling out of Mr Georges mouth so I heard him live albeit through the echoing reverberation of a plastic box... Hey ho.

Rick Astley was good until he opened his mouth to speak, I'd never heard him talk before so it was a bit of a shock to hear this horrendous broad northern accent belt out insults to the crowd after each song. Ben from Curiosity not only killed the cat, but his entire set of songs. In fact I think a cat scraping it's claws down a blackboard would have been more entertaining and Hazel O'Connor is now just an old mad box of frogs!

Highlights had to be Jimmy Sommerville, Marc Almond, 10cc (I cried when they played "I'm not in love") and an impromptu sing along from our gang. We Sang Queens Mr Fahrenheit and we got quite a few others singing along too which was fabulous.

Mwah!

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Inspiration from Cornwall

I love my caravan holidays in Britain. I try to get away at least twice a year, just me Meg (my dog) and a friend. Coastal getaways in cute little caravans are my idea of vacation heaven. No fighting in queues at airports or long delays. I enjoy foreign holidays, but the hassle of getting there means I only go away if I REALLY REALLY want to see that country.

Anyway, last week we jumped in the car and headed to Cornwall, a county I have never visited before so was excited with anticipation of what to expect and I wasn't disappointed. We stayed near a tiny fishing town of Perranporth. The locals were very friendly and the beaches were spectacular, in particular Cartock beach, although I did end up with third degree burns. Damn my fair skin!

The Highlights:

TRERICE: This was a beautifully preserved Elizabethan Manor house. I arrived whilst it was still daylight and the gardens were outstanding, but the real tour of the house began as it turned to dusk. We were guided through the Orchards where they had candles hanging from the trees, which gave a romantic atmosphere. Then the tour turned to the great Hall with a roaring fire, mulled wine and savoury biscuits. To add to the ambiance foliage from the gardens had been scattered over the stone floors and candles dotted around the room and in the Minstrels gallery.



Once dusk had fallen to night, we were instructed not to utter a single word from there on. The whole house was lit only by candles and we were led to a drawing room and what I found so hypnotic were the paintings as the candles flickered I could have sworn one painting of a female smiled at me and another of a man winked at me! Spooky!

We were then led to the minstrels gallery and as I looked over into the hall we had just been sat in, two women dressed in Tudor clothes were giggling as they swept the floors by the fire. Now I found this bizarre because I felt like I was the Voyeur, none more so as we entered a bathroom. The bath filled with bubble bath and clothes and towels strewn on the floor we then entered a bedroom and as my eyes became accustomed to the light I looked at this body in the bed and thought"is this a dummy or real" so me being the curious creature I am walked towards the bed. I was seriously considering poking the bulk under the covers with my finger when the whole thing moved and began snoring! I nearly jumped out of my skin, then had to stifle an attack of one my famous giggling fits. I LOVE BEING SCARED. Whatever floats your boat right?




What I loved about this tour was the attention to detail the staff had put into this night time tour and instead of it being another Most Haunted style ghost hunt they had cleverly flipped it on it's head so that we were to experience what it must be like for a spirit to watch the living going about their daily lives without anyone being able to see or hear them. Fantastic!