Spooky Isles interviews MICKEY GOCOOL, the founder and lead investigator of North London Paranormal Investigations (NLPI), who has had an interest in “Ghosts and things that go bump in the night since I was seven. I finally became a Paranormal Investigator in 2001”.
What was your first Paranormal encounter?
One of the earliest Paranormal Encounters I can remember was being in Chestnuts Park in North London with my dog. I was seven at the time and i had just lost my dogs lead. Realising the trouble I would get into when I got home, I decided to report the lead as “Lost” and made my way towards the parks exit into St Annes Rd, where there was a police station opposite. As I approached the exit I noticed two large horses and riders stationary. I, having a love of horses and keen to report my lost dog lead, I assumed the riders were Mounted Parks Police and I made my way towards them. As I did so, I noticed that my dog had decided to make a dash for it but in the wrong direction, away from the “Mounted Police”. Did the horses scare my dog? I turned round again to face the riders and horses and that’s when I realised that there was something odd about them. They were fading away and as quick as I saw they had gone..
I carried on to the Police Station and got to the front desk where I was met by a sergeant. I reported my lead missing and went on to talk about the two horse riders. I notice that the police sergeant looked shocked, he loosened his tie and the buttons of his tunic and sat down. I thought he was having a heart attack. I left and ran home…
It was several years later that I realised that the police sergeant must have seen the same apparitions and even more interesting, St Annes Road, was formerly known as Claygate Lane and was a popular place for Higwaymen such as “Dick Turpin”.
Do you believe in ghosts, and if so, what is a ghost?
Yes, I believe in ghosts. A ghost is the residual energy of a person no longer living.
What evidence have you personally uncovered that makes you consider ghosts are real?
I have always known ghosts to be real, being sensitive to spirits. Being able to communicate with spirits was great for me but not very convincing for any observers. So we created a group consisting of professional evidence gatherers, police officers, close protection officers, even a crown prosecutor. When we go out on investigations, the team are able to focus on areas I pinpoint and as such we are able to use equipment such as EMF Detectors to communicate using a simple “One bleep for yes, Two bleeps for No” method. The Secret Nuclear Bunker gave us 40 mins of communications with such a device. This was witnessed by a doctor of parapsychology, two other paranormal teams and members of the public and a documentary maker. The documentary can be seen on Youtube.
Are you skeptical of the claims others make of their findings?
Yes! We find that there is alot of inexperience and as such individuals have little understanding of how their equipment works. We have noticed that a lot of claims are simply due to airborne particles and other naturally occurring phenomena. It just seems like people are posting anything they have they they can’t readily debunk…
How do prepare for a ghost hunt?
One thing we do at NLPI is “Recce” (Reconnaissance Mission) a location some time before we investigate. This gives us an opportunity to conduct a Health and Safety risk assessment and identifies any reported “Hot Spots”.
We have a huge array of Paranormal Tech and that needs to be checked and tested the night before an investigation.
On the day, the team’s protection expert, offers protections rituals which are reinforced during the investigation.
What tips would you give for someone going on a paranormal investigation for the first time?
a) Paranormal Investigations are dangerous so consider going to a public location during the day and conduct daytime investigations.
b) Never go alone.
c) Make sure you have protections in place and certainly NEVER do an investigation under the influence of drugs or drink.
d) Be careful what you wish for – Be specific and DO NOT say “Is there ANY spirits wishing to communicate?” . You will get anyone. Ask for a friendly Spirit.
What is your favourite piece of paranormal investigation equipment?
My favourite piece of kit? I would have to say my Night Vision (Infra Red) High Definition Sony Digital Video Camera which is fitted with a wide angle lens (prevents orbs), and mounted on a steadycam rig along with Infra Red and White LED Lighting. The rig has a 7 inch monitor which makes is easier to identify anomalies during filming and playback.
Are you psychic? Do you consider being psychic a help or a hindrance for paranormal investigations?
I hate the label of psychic has there are so many who make claims to be and they are clearly not. I am a psychic and my abilities have been witnessed many many times by many many people. I do not do readings nor do I use my “Gift” for financial gain. However, as mentioned above, being able to develop a relationship of trust with a spirit during an investigation usually results in some form of Visual or audible phenomena that we are likely to record.
What makes a great haunted location?
There are too many locations just interested in the revenue. Some will allow you to use a Ouija board. The problem with that is that the Ouija board sessions are rarely closed down thus leaving a portal open for ANYTHING to come through. So when subsequent ghost hunting groups visit a location, they actually get the spirits, good and bad from the unclosed previous session. So the place become MORE HAUNTED… This is a bad practice.
A great haunted location is one where there has been little structural changes and not open for financial gain. We have an old Manor House in Suffolk that we have investigated for a couple of years now. The family have lived in the manor house for some time and they had had a multitude of objects vanish and appear somewhere else later…
If you could investigate any haunted location, where would that be?
I have Investigated a lot of interesting locations over the years but the ONE location I would love to investigate would be The Tower Of London. Can you imagine?
What scares you about Ghost Hunting or Paranormal Investigations?
Like all Paranormal Investigators, I am scared of the stories of spirits following one home (attachments). I am very confident that I will never have that happen to our team as we have specific protections in place. Not only that , but we do not invoke negative energies, only the positive ones. So our experiences are pleasant and fear is rarely experienced if at all.
In your opinion, what is the most haunted area in the UK or Ireland?
I do not believe that one place is more haunted than another as this is measure by experiences alone. As most people experiences are seldom understood yet reported as Paranormal makes it hard to really know which areas are haunted.
From my experience, Highgate in North London is a PARANORMAL HOTSPOT with the ghost of Sir Francis Bacon apparently making himself known to us in the basement of a pub. The tales of The Highgate Vampire saw a small NLPI team investigate the location of several sighting resulting in a sighting of the spirit for myself. Only it was not a Vampire we saw but the tall dark figure of a former undertaker just outside the cemetery gates in Swains Lane.
Read any good paranormal books or watched any good paranormal TV shows/movies recently?
The Book I have recently read is “True Hauntings” by our good friends Edwin and Marsha Becker. They are a couple whose home was haunted in the 70s in the USA. The Beckers had to call an Exorcist and the event was screened on Live TV. It was the first of its kind.
Tell us about your favourite moment from a paranormal investigation.
My favourite moment was establishing spirit communication with “Charles” at the Secret Nuclear bunker – Kelvedon Hatch, Essex. We had a lot of controls and witnesses in place that day and the communication we got was described as “conclusive and accurate”. Thirty minutes of communications with a former communications officer who died in the 1990s and served at the bunker. The documentary is available on Youtube.