A night with AGR Paranormal

Your Community Hub Talks Paranormal Activity with AGR Paranormal

Walking past a window in my local shop the other day I spied an advert offering investigations dealing with ghostly activity and anything paranormal. Being a curious chap I gave them a ring I didn’t have anything paranormal to report, however, I did want to find out more about what exactly it was they did. I was greeted on the phone (the ghost phone, I was later informed) by Ashley Jones the founder of AGR (Ashley-Ghost-Research) Paranormal. He was very friendly and politely agreed to an interview the following Sunday.

So it was with an open mind and a little trepidation that me and another member of the YCH team made our way to Maldon where AGR are based. We were greeted by Ash, Christine another member of the team and Sue. AGR had recently performed an exorcism at Sue’s house and she was here to tell her story, she is also interested in joining the team. We were there for two hours but could have easily spent a whole day; such was the vast amount of experience and stories AGR had to tell and share with us. Not to mention the video, photos and spooky audio they have captured over the years.

YCH: So Ash what got you interested in the paranormal?

Ash: Well It all started when I was 16 I’m in my late forties now so that’s over 30 years of my life I’ve dedicated to the paranormal.

YCH: Did something happen to you when you were 16 to spark your interest or was it just natural curiosity?

Ash: Well there were three incidents that happened when I was 16, the first one took place in a children’s home. I had been in children’s homes all my life, in Sheffield where I’m originally from. My mother had died when she was 22 and my dad left home when I was born. This particular children’s home had an annex. It was a sunny Saturday afternoon, no one was around I was bored and was just lying on my bed. I heard a voice, it was a calm voice but it was very clear, I remember it like it was yesterday, it was telling me to go downstairs and tell me what was in a particular draw, and I checked the draw then went back to my room to report what was in it. It was then that I questioned myself, what am I doing? I thought I was losing my mind I checked the bedroom looked under the bed, nothing. But I know what I heard.

YCH: So you say it was a calm voice but did you feel scared in anyway? Tell me about the other incidents

Ash: No I felt completely calm throughout, however the next experience was a nasty experience (it’s at this point Ash ushers his young daughter out of the room he deemed the following to disturbing for her young ears) I was staying at a mates house, Tim’s in Sheffield, I was in the spare room, I undressed, just had pants on and got into bed. I suddenly felt like something had grabbed my ankles and was pulling me towards the end of the bed. I looked up to see a cloaked figure no face just a cloak. I sat up in shock I was absolutely terrified. I still felt its tight grip on my ankles but then it just let go. It got on its hands and knees and crawled beside me. I felt angry, scared my heart was beating rapidly, it could have all happened in five minutes but to me it felt like hours. I couldn’t even escape the room the cloaked figure was between me and the door. So eventually I plucked up the courage to grab it and it was just a pile of clothes. I turned the light on, my ankles had purple bruises in the shape of fingers and thumb prints. I immediately phoned my social worker, she believed I had been assaulted and called the police. A big burly police officer turned up (Ash adopts a strong Sheffield accent) “what’s going on here then lad who did this to ya” well I just told him no one did it, it wasn’t a person, it was something not of this world. “Don’t be silly boy tell me the truth” it went on like this for a while. They wasn’t as open minded back in the eighties and I ended up being sectioned only for a week or so, before they concluded that I was 100 percent sane I didn’t suffer from any psychosis or any mental disorder whatsoever. I feel they only chucked me in the mental ward as they didn’t want to understand, they didn’t even try to understand.

YCH: So did you have any interest in the paranormal before this? Did this mark the turning point for you then?

Ash: I had absolutely no interest in ghosts the paranormal or anything like that before this I was just a normal cocky little sod from Sheffield! Well it did mark the turning point, this is roughly when I started my research but something else also happened, between these two incidents I had a motorbike accident I was clinically dead twice - once in the ambulance and once in the hospital room. I looked around me in the hospital room, everything was bright white I felt calm absolutely at peace, it was then that I felt I was travelling slowly towards the light and a voice said to me don’t fight it just go . Since that experience I have no fear of death at all. I feel that I know partly what it will feel like when I do finally go.

YCH: Ok, so how long was it after that, that you began researching and putting your team together?

Ash: Well as soon as I had recovered from the bike accident I began reading about it, researching trying to find out what had happened to me. A year or two later I got some equipment and with a few friends, started carrying out investigations. Now we have a team of 12 members. Some friends thought and probably still think I’m nuts! But I just do what I believe in. I know what happened to me. I’m following my beliefs.

YCH: So you mentioned you have a dedicated ghost phone how many calls do you get a week and how often do you go out on investigations?

Ash: Ah yes our ghost phone! Well we get a lot of calls, a lot of prank calls as well but we expect that, it’s just the nature of the work we do, I don’t mind, I just play along with it and give as good as I get. I would say at least five genuine calls a week and we try and carry out at least 3-4 investigations a week. We always try and rationalise and debunk an investigation first, there’s often a plausible explanation it’s only when we can’t debunk it that we will investigate further.

YCH: So how many generally scared people do you come across?

Ash: We come across scared people, people that are confused by what is happening it depends on the extremity of the case, in fact Sue will be a better person to talk to about this. We started an investigation at hers just a few weeks ago

YCH: Ok Sue tells us your story what happened to you and what made you contact AGR paranormal?

Ash: Well I moved into my house 18 years ago and I’ve had nothing but trouble ever since. Moving into that place was the biggest mistake of my life, nothing good has ever come of it, rows, arguments, split up with partner you know when you enter a house or a property and get a bad feeling that something isn’t right. We know that the previous owner had mental problems; all the doors the bedrooms etc. had locks on the outside which I thought was strange.

YCH: if you had such a bad feeling why did you move into the property? Was it an old property? Describe some of the strange occurrence’s that happened?

Sue: Well we moved into that house for shear convenience, at the time my then husband thought it would be fine; it was near my daughter’s school the convenience of this out-weighed my negative feelings. It was built in the sixties and on an estate. We started hearing banging and crashing noises and something running up and down the stairs when I knew nobody else was in the property. It all got worse when I bought a Ouija board for my daughter.

YCH: A Ouija board how comes you bought one for your daughter? How did it make the situation worse?

Sue: My daughter was into crystals, buffy the vampire slayer, magic potions etc. I was out shopping one day and I just saw this game for sale ’magical Ouija board’ or something. I thought my daughter would love it and she and her friends would use it. I thought it was just some silly game, but it seemed to make the activity much worse there were strange smells such as burning. I would come into my living room and all the ornaments on the mantel piece had moved to one side, there was also letters J P written on the wall. You know when a snail leaves a trail -that is exactly what the initials looked like they were written in (Ash states that it could be ectoplasm)

YCH: So when did you contact AGR Paranormal? And Ash would you describe Sue’s experience as a typical one?

Ash: Yes this is a very typical case we see this kind of thing a lot. Sue had contacted us a few weeks ago to begin the investigation, a crew of four of us went around, the first thing we do is get a general feel for the place. We can tell if there is negativity in a certain room or area, we conduct an interview with the client, we have standard questionnaires we get them to fill out and we take some pictures around the property particularly where there has been a lot of activity. We document everything and create a case study then we file it and can later add any relevant incidents to it. After that we bring out the equipment movement sensors, CCTV cameras etc.

YCH: So what is the conclusion to Sue’s case?

Ash: Well the investigation is still ongoing, it’s still open. We have got rid of the negative side though, using holy water…

YCH: Holy water? So you performed an exorcism? This has religious connotations, are you religious?

Ash: Yes we performed an exorcism on the board (Ouija board) and the property, we use holy water, we have an opening prayer and a closing prayer we sometimes use a cross. A lot of problems occur with Ouija boards as people don’t close them down properly.

I don’t go to church because I believe you can pray anywhere, you don’t need a building for that. I do believe in God. If you believe in the devil you have to believe in God you can’t have one without the other. You can’t have light without dark. I don’t know if I had mentioned it earlier but we also have a dog as part of our team

YCH: A dog?

Ash: Yes Bobby the dog, he’s our AGR dog (Ash shows me a picture of bobby shown below) he comes out with us sometimes. Some animals are very sensitive; he may pick up on things we might not. If he barks and growls at a certain area then we can take photos of that area and see if anything comes to light. He is new to the team and is still in training really.

YCH: So have you captured many ghostly images over the years?

Ash: Yes we have thousands of images. We also have video and audio as well. (Ash moves to his pc and begins giving us a guided tour around some of the more prominent images he has captured in recent years, there are pictures of the crew out on the field in graveyards, by old buildings and train stations, there all sorts of images of strange mists some black, some white, ghostly figures and orbs, images shown below)

YCH: You seem to have a lot of images of what people call orbs (they resemble clear bubbles), what is your personal take on orbs?

Ash: Well some members of the team dismiss them and some can easily be dismissed as, say insects or a bit of dust. However some can’t be so easily dismissed and I believe, well my theory is that these are smaller manifestations of a spirit. You see it takes a lot of energy for a full manifestation to take place and manifestations can come in all shapes and sizes. They can also make themselves known by moving objects around such as poltergeist activity or even sound. (We are shown video of a moving candle on a mantelpiece and also audio of a spirit saying…well we will let you decide for yourselves)

YCH: So do you believe it’s a person that is haunted or is it say an object or a place?

Ash: Well I think it can be all three. If something horrific happens in a building then that building may act as a kind of recorder for the event and replay it or re-enact it. We spoke of Sues Ouija board story earlier we believe that you shouldn’t use them unless you can use them properly i.e. open and closing prayers as they can act as a portal, some people are more sensitive and can pick up on things more easily than others and spirits can attach themselves to these people. My daughter when she was a very young used to speak to an old lady in the corner of a house, I didn’t see this lady but took some photo’s in the general area (Ash shows us the images, they depict his daughter just smiling at the camera but just behind her are several orbs and strange white blurs, perhaps orbs in flight it is genuinely quite unnerving).

We had an excellent afternoon talking with AGR Paranormal and left with many more questions to be asked and images, video to be viewed. They very kindly agreed to more interviews and said that if I’m brave enough I could join them out on an investigation.
Everything they do is for free and they give up their own time to investigate houses, pubs, hotels and churches. They help to put people’s minds at rest by first offering logical explanations for the strange occurrences and if no rational explanation can be found they will help rid the place of the haunting.

They do however accept donations and are looking to buy a new van as there other van has given up the ghost (excuse the pun) contact details are shown below.

Steve G. Feature Writer












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