The Black Monk of Pontefract
Team Event 29/11/14
From The Other Side team investigated the house at 30 East Drive in Pontefract. This normal looking council house sits in the middle of an estate however it is meant to be the most active Poltergeist in Europe.
This house was well known for Poltergeist activity in the 1960s. There has even been a film made about the events that happened in the house; “When the lights went out”, there have been plenty of books written about it too.
On the site of this house was originally a well and nearby, possibly by the side of the house were 3 gallows, in which many people have been killed.
The sightings of the Black Monk of Pontefract started in 1966. The Pritchard family lived in the house. The family consisted of mum, dad, a son and a daughter.
White flaky stuff started falling from the ceiling, pools of water kept appearing on the floor, there were loud banging, objects moving, even a physical apparition of a hooded figure was seen in the bedroom. Sudden drops of temperature, foul smells, heavy breathing and the list goes on.
As well as the family there were other witnesses to the activity. Neighbours would hear strange goings on in the house, local MPs, Police and a Vicar came to try and exorcise the house. Only it made the spirit even worse!
Floors were dug up four times by the council, who were trying to locate where the water was coming from. Though many people tried to debunk the events, there was no explanation for most of the things going on in this property.
The family made recordings of the noises and loud bangs that occurred. It sounded like someone frantically knocking on the door or walls for a good length of time.
The house’s poltergeist was named “Fred” by the Pritchard family.
Two years on and the poltergeist was still making himself known, the mother of the family was out one day when she met up with an old friend. Her friend’s occupation was a psychic and agreed to go to the house to see what she could pick up. This friend was convinced that the spirit was drawn to the two children especially the girl. While she was there, the mum suggested that they should do a séance. When the adults joined hands to form a circle to communicate with Fred a lot of activity kicked off. A gust of wind flew down the steps, the whole upper floor furniture moved and some of it was thrown down the stairs.
Someone said that the family should exorcise the house. The priest came out and said that it would be no good as this blessing of the property does not work on poltergeists. Fred got really mad about the Pritchard’s trying to exorcise him out of their house and started mocking them all by sending water dripping down the walls which made more puddles on the floor.
The scariest story was that the daughter was dragged up the stairs of the house by unseen hands around her throat and she was thrown against the wall.
Just how fast the whole thing started it stopped again, until a movie was made about the family’s story. The neighbour of the house went out into the garden and asked the son who was now the owner if his kids have been staying in the house, as his kids were death and the TV was very loud. To which he replied no I don’t have a television, oh god it’s started again. The neighbour never saw him again and the house was sold soon after that.
According to the neighbour the house sits on a small natural “Hillock” or a small hill, there used to be three hangman’s gallows and the land is known as “Gallows Hill”.
The most famous story is about a Monk, who lived in a nearby Abbey. The Monk lived in this area before the reformation of the Catholic Church by Henry the 8th. Anyway this Monk raped young girls and even murdered them on occasion. He would cut out or bite off their tongues so that if they survived they wouldn’t be able to tell anyone who he was. But, he was finally caught by a victim, even though she had her tongue bitten off, she worked for a nobleman and his daughter taught the young lady how to write and she identified him by writing down his name and where he was shortly before she died.
He was arrested and hung in the Abbeys grounds. Today if you go to see the Abbey they will tell you the story of what happened.
The plot thickens, a neighbour of the area said that father Michael was not the murderer and he had a twin brother who did the killings and out of loyalty he took the blame.
The girl’s murders took place on Gallows Hill where the well was situated. He threw the children’s bodies down there to disguise their deaths, making people think it was an accident.
The Monks brother was eventually captured and was hung at Gallows Hill. He didn’t die by the hanging though. It didn’t break his neck so the locals cut him down and threw him down the well.
30 East Drive is built over this well with half under the neighbours. The next door neighbours has had the well excavated, filled in and capped off with concrete. However the well under number 30 has been left alone and is situated under the fireplace/lounge floor.
Our team arrived at the house shortly before 7pm, in total there were 9 of us. 5 being Mediums. We entered the front door and you could feel the change of energy.
We had a quick look around the house and was told various stories of the History and of the activity.
You could feel yourself being carefully watched as our team moved from room to room.
Lyn started off our investigation by an opening protection and an energy wheel. Then we started our calling out session using K2’s, Night vision camera and a normal camera. We placed a hula hoop to show the spirit where the well is meant to be, and pretended to throw someone down. The K2’s (all three of them) went up to red and stayed there.
After calling out we all heard footsteps going up and down the stairs as well as growling which sounded like somebody’s stomach rumbling. After asking all the members if that’s what happened they all denied it. Anyway the noise continued.
Louise and JD were facing the door which led out to the hallway at the bottom of the stairs and they saw a big flashing light and figure. Everyone was in the room at that time and there was no windows where the light was just a solid door that led into the kitchen.
We ended up splitting into smaller groups and going into different rooms using the Frank’s/Spirit box, table tipping, dousing pendulums, night vision goggles and sound enhancers.
In all fairness nothing much out of the ordinary happened that doesn’t happen in ghost hunts. We felt that it almost felt like the calm before the storm only to go home asking more questions.
What the Mediums picked up
There were 5 mediums in the building that night all working in their own way as all mediums work differently.
As soon as you got to the front door the change in energy was massive. It made you feel sick and uneasy.
Almost instantly we all picked up on a small girl named Jessica/Jessy She has dirty blonde hair with a bonnet and ringlets. She was around 6 or 7 years old who had a bad childhood and died in an awful way. She liked speaking to the women more than the men.
We heard a few footsteps, growls and banging’s but nothing more than a normal hunt.
When we had finished our investigation our group combined notes and was a bit disappointed that nothing stood out. We felt that Father Michael isn’t the one (if any) doing the Poltergeist activity.
There was definitely something there, but was very quiet and stayed out of the way for some reason.
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