SHARON CLARKE describes her first-hand account of a disturbing paranormal haunting that terrorised an Armagh family in Northern Ireland
In the years of paranormal investigating there is always one or two cases that stand out as “unnerving” and unfortunately sometimes downright disturbing. The events I am going to share with you all are 100 percent genuine and were experienced not only by myself, a healthy open minded sceptic but also by others who got involved along the way.
It all began with a correspondence to myself via email, as many house cases do. A woman called Sharon had contacted me, relating stories of extreme paranormal activity, the kind of events that might have been deemed Hollywood worthy, tales of furniture moving, manifestations happening, her child being pinned to the bed during the day. I have to admit my immediate reaction was one of disbelief as I didn’t believe such negative energy could possibly be occurring in a three story house in Armagh. But I provide a service as well as promoting paranormal research and investigations. I like to think I have helped a few families along the way, even if that only means showing them the hole in the roof causing the draught that causes the door to close unexpectedly or finding out there’s mice in the floorboards causing scratching.
A person’s home should be a place of peace, of security, somewhere that we go to when the world feels tough so if a person or family feels afraid in their home then where do they go for security? So I phoned Sharon to see what I could do to help. She told me she had phoned a local paranormal team but things were getting worse since they had come and she didn’t know what to do, she was frightened as it was communicating directly with her child and whispering Sharon’s own name at night. The tone and urgency in her voice sent chills through me and as mother I definitely wanted to assist in any way I could, even if it just meant a trip down to chat and reassure. I was pregnant at the time so I decided to take another person with me, plus in cases like this a good investigator should bring another person, why? For validation.
I took down notes of all the events Sharon had relayed to me, lights dimming ,doors opening and closing, mist manifesting in her room but more horrifying was that her six-year-old son was heard talking to a non-existent person called Mick in his room. Her son had told her when they just moved in that mick was really cross someone had cut the tree down in the garden, Mick was coming across to the child as quite chatty and non-aggressive.
Sharon then went onto the most incredible part of her accounts, she told me she went into her 3 year old daughters room as there was crying and found her upside down pinned to the bed and Sharon tried to move her and couldn’t, she said she was beyond terrified now.
With an open mind I organised with Sharon to go have a look around her house with my colleague and see if we could find anything more about the house, even to look at the area or dig up a history, Sharon didn’t want to be there, at this point she was staying most nights in a different house as it was too much to live with.
I will admit I am generally quite open going to any case, but some part of me believed this lady. I felt that she was telling the truth, maybe it’s a case of experience, being too so many investigations you get a feel for true cases, maybe it’s my background in mental health or maybe it was something else…
So we started our journey, armed only with a digital recorder and a camera, and some very detailed directions we arrived in Armagh. Sharon had left us a key to find so we went round the back, acquired the key and opened the door. I don’t care how wacky this sounds but as soon as we opened that back door I could feel exactly what we had walked into… evil. Evil, negative energy, call it what you like, but that evil was there, watching us and circling us. It was daylight still and my very core being was crying out for me to run, get out but I shrugged it off and tried to convince myself it was suggestive fears and my imagination going into overload.
As in any investigation we decided to photograph every room and take recordings, go over those and if anything were found come back for a more extensive investigation. We locked the back door and walked into the kitchen, the kitchen led into the dining room and the atmosphere felt awful. How I would describe it would be like an experience of bullying, if anyone has been bullied then they will know what I’m talking about, that moment when you approach a group who may have isolated you at school or work and you get that feeling of contempt and unwant, you feel small and exposed, well that’s how I felt. To be honest I felt like crying and I felt very alone. I turned to my colleague and had a jest about something desperately trying to instigate positive feelings around us.
As we walked into the dining room I noticed to my right a table with a planchette and a pencil in it and some blank pages, evidence that a team had been in but hadn’t used it. We moved through into the hall which is where the stairs started, and that’s when the noises started, repetitive banging…Bang! Bang! Bang! Over and over. Now I knew we had to go up those stairs and trust me I really at this point didn’t want to but it’s like entering the ocean, you can either step in slowly and let the coldness creep up slowly and painfully or you can just jump in and get it over with quickly, I opted for jumping in, so I walked up the stairs with a grim determination.
I turned into a child’s room, a very pretty room and at the fireplace stood a wooden rocking horse still rocking, my thoughts were maybe someone is in the house with us? But I knew we were alone, well we were the only two human presences in that building. There were three floors in the house, typical architecture of a Georgian house and it’s hard to explain but each floor felt like a completely different house or different energies. As I made my way to next floor I looked at the wall and I saw what looked like water trickling down, of course I thought, aura migraine, but I looked at my colleagues face and she was looking at the same spot open-mouthed, she too could see it and as far as I am aware aura migraine is definitely not contagious. I walked into the master bedroom and I knew this presence was upon me, I have no shame in saying I prayed, and I prayed hard.
As I took photos of the bedroom each photo threw back blood stains on the carpet yet there were no stains visible to the human eye. Of course being pregnant at the time and also feeling incredibly afraid it was great timing that I needed to use the bathroom, I thought it was all calming down until I walked out of the bathroom to regroup downstairs and the door slammed shut on its own. As I made my way down I heard a scrapping sound, like something being dragged across the floor, my colleague was waiting for me on the second floor as she didn’t want to go down on her own. We made our way downstairs to the bottom floor to the main living room and the sofa had been moved to a 90 degree angle, it was getting a bit too much as I could feel a weird fog falling over my thinking. I went into the dining room and pulled out a prayer card I carry, and I said this prayer out loud. At this point I got clarity…we needed to leave and leave now, so we gathered ourselves up and left the house.
I went home and wrote up my notes. The next day Sharon phoned and asked me “Sharon did you guys use the planchette?” I responded very quickly that no we did not touch anything, she seemed shocked and said that she had gone back the next morning and all the pages were written on, the same room I recited the prayer in. I assured her I would contact the relevant people to help if help was indeed what she wanted, she assured me she did. That evening I got in touch with various people, researchers, demonologists etc. what annoyed me was most wanted an investigation not to get rid of whatever was there, but one demonologist said he would travel there and clear the house. He asked me to accompany him but due to the pregnancy I declined. I said I would keep in touch all night via phone etc he stayed the night and performed rituals, I might have as well went for I had one of the most frightening nights, I awoke at some point and saw something in my room, dark and threatening, I prayed and closed my eyes but I could still see it, so I got angry, very angry… how dare this thing turn up in my home so I got up and did my own cleansing, thankfully the rest of the night was uneventful.
Next day talking to the demonologist he stated that small handprints had appeared upside down in the mirrors and he saw red eyes appear, but hopefully it was gone. Sharon went back to the house and for a few days it appeared to be quiet but things started happening again so I offered for her to have a priest come in but by this stage she had moved out and things were normalising for her and her kids in the new house, so the house is still there, but has to my knowledge been sold. This may not be the end of the story – I recently spoke to Sharon and more than a year later her daughter aged 12 penned this poem which she sent me.
“As me and my family walked through the door,
my dog started to shake, which I couldn’t ignore,
we looked around and started to unpack,
but we woke up something that later would attack.
As we settled in noises were being heard,
things being tossed around,
I started to get scared.
Thump…thud were the noises on the stairs…
movement on the floor like the dragging of chairs.
Lights turning on and off on their own,
these freaky goings on chilled me to the bone.
Strange markings on the windows,
upside down handprints,
disturbances that made me wince.
Stones thrown at granny even pizza in fact,
and the table once moved where we all sat.
my little brother talked with a friend called mick,
the fact he wasn’t real made me feel sick.
Nights proved more chilling, it was now their time
the smoke alarms around 3 beginning to chime
phones were messed up, messages delivered the strangest sayings
we even got help to perform house blessings.