CHRISTINE MILLER takes a look at Northern Ireland’s Greatest Haunt’s Direct Wine Shipments episode
Situated in what once was known Sailors Town, Belfast, Direct Wine Shipments is a wine merchants owned by the McAlindon brothers.
The building is home to a lot of paranormal activity. On locking up at night for instance, footsteps have been heard walking across the stone floor when no one else (living, at least) was present. Also reported is the feeling of someone being present and watching the employees as they carry out their duties.
The owners do not feel that the energy is a particularly malicious spirit, but it does give the building, particularly the third floor, a very uneasy feeling.
Easily, it is this third floor which holds most of the paranormal activity – chairs have been tipped upside down when no one else in the building and coffee cups have been knocked out of people’s hands by forces unseen.
When Marion arrives, she picks up on an energy next door to the wine merchants – a barrel-chested spirit called John who tells her he once worked in a hotel as a doorman. Marion says John is a bit concerned about her as it’s “a rough area” (coming from Belfast myself, I would tend to agree with John’s statement) and she laughs as she says, “he wants to look after me, he thinks I’m a lady”.
On entering the wine merchants, Marion picks up on an energy which is scared. Although she cannot see her psychically, she can strongly sense her presence and she believes this female lost her life on the premises. Marion begins to feel what she describes as “utter panic”. Meanwhile, the spirit of John has followed Marion into the building in from next door, and shows her a tall, skinny man who she believes is the murderer of the woman.
Continuing on to where the chair was moved on the third floor, Marion says she feels like something is “sucking the life out of me”, while picking up on a man who was extremely depressed whom she believes committed suicide by hanging in this very room. Disturbingly, she adds that he was more strangled than hanged, and that his death would have been a slow and painful one.
Andy asks Marion if the spirit of this man is strong enough to move objects and she answers in the affirmative, so he then proceeds to tell Marion the story of one of the owners returning to his desk in the room only to find the chair had been tipped upside down. Marion tragically states that she believes this would have been the man kicking the chair away in order to hang himself.
Both owners say that this room on the third floor has always felt to them cold and dismal, leaving some staff members feeling so uneasy that they have refused to come into the room.
Somewhat surprisingly, Marion and Andy both believe that the spirit of the hanged man is attached to both the owners, and not the building in particular.
Marion picks up on the name of Jamie whose spirit begins praying and then moves to another part of the building but they have difficulty locating to where exactly.
They eventually find him in the kitchen and try to help him move on to be at peace in the afterlife.
After much concentration, Andy and Marion believe that they have been able to move Jamie on.
Six weeks on, Direct Wine Shipments has felt much more peaceful and the atmosphere calmer, so much so that one of the owners asks, “it’s actually quite boring now, can you bring them back?”