Okay, trip down memory lane again!
When my family moved to Llandudno in 1982, it was quite an exciting experience, possibly not so for my sister who took a while longer to adjust. She was losing school friends who were close to her and still in the Blaenau area, whilst most of mine had moved on, but nevertheless I had (and still do) have a great friend in Richard, who has never let me down and kept in touch over the years. I certainly missed him, but I wasn't too far away and I got down to Blaenau pretty regularly until I moved to Portsmouth to study. During this period of time (1982-1986) I became open minded about the world, possibly because Blaenau wasn't the centre of the universe any more; Llandudno was a lonely place with friends that would come and go, and I was jobless (don't forget that it was Thatcher's Britain), and I became self sufficient or even self indulgent, in respect that I had no real resposibilities as such, only myself to think of. Anyway, more on my depressing, lonely time at the beginning of the 80's another time (bet you can't wait for that rivetting tale!). The reason why I go back to this period is the fact that I used to read more and in particular about the paranormal. I knew all about UFO and abductions long before Fox Mulder came on the scene! I told you I was more open minded didn't I! There just seemed to me that there was some pretty strange stuff going around, but the more I read there seemed to be a secret history of the world that not a lot of people knew of. An example of the books I was reading was the Charles Berlitz series on The Philadelphia Experiment and the famous Roswell incident of 1947, among others. I also read about spiritual phenomena, the possible existance of life after death, and these things certainly seemed plausable to me at the time. Why not!
Anyway, we go forward to 1987 and I am in Portsmouth, in my 2nd year of my Historical Studies degree, and have agreed to take part in a seance with some friends. Now, I can't remember why this happened or who suggested it. I think we were at Gary Parker's flat on the South Parade in Southsea, and he was on my History course. He and his girlfriend dropped out of the seance early as they didn't take it seriously, so that left me, my course mate Simon Oliver, and a lass from Liverpool, whom I have forgotten her name. As soon as the disbelievers had gone, we started the proceedings with the usual 'Is anybody there?', which come to think of it was not the correct phrase as there couldn't possibly be a body there! Anyway, the glass started moving around the makeshift board (letters written on pieces of paper), and I remember looking over to Simon and asking him to stop playing about, and I was convinced that it was him doing this, as he had told me and the girl earlier that he had done 'loads' of seances before, and told us tales of horror, with bad spirits coming through, chucking knives about. So, I was sceptical, let's say.
Then, a while later, Simon went to the toilet and it was just me and the girl (I wish I could remember her name, it's gonna bug me!), AND THE GLASS WAS STILL MOVING! This, you can imagine, freaked us out! I looked at her, she looked at me, and we both shouted 'SIMON!' He came back, cool as a cucumber (nothing could phase him!) sat down, and just carried on asking questions, with a look on his face as if to say 'see I knew what I was talking about'. We decided to see if we could get further verification of what we were experiencing, and asked other questions. I remember asking about my gran's brother David, who had passed away in late 1982, and got the message back from beyond that he could not come through. I suppose he was too busy playing snooker up there and just could not tear himself to speak to his great nephew! I must admit I did feel a bit deflated as it's not often I dabble in the occult and I didn't know when I'd get the chance again. As it happens I have not tried again, so I guess he'll just have to wait!The girl that was with us tried to get in touch with a relative and did get through to an uncle who had died in Germany while in the army. He gave her a message for her not to go to Africa as she would be killed. She looked up and her mouth fell lower than it usually did. This was her final year in university and she was intending to go to Africa to do volunteer work. So, that changed her plans! When I saw her the following year she was a barmaid at a local snooker club! I guess the seance did change her life and scared the hell out of her.
However, for me the clincher was this. We asked the spirit (the girl's uncle) if anyone we knew secretly fancied any of us. Simon got a girl in our History year, the girl from Liverpool some lad she knew, and I got my landlady's daughter! This is a true story I swear. The spirit even got her surname right - Inkpen. Even her first name, Rose! I would ask questions mentally and the spirit would answer by moving the glass to the appropriate letters. So, that's how they do it. They can read minds. Simon nor the girl could know my landlady's surname, and let's face it, not the most widespread of names. So this carried on till about 4 in the morning, and after a very exciting and fruitful night we agreed to do it again the following week. It did happen but I was away that week-end visiting Tracy up in Suffolk. When I got back on Monday morning, Simon told me that even though they started off ok, but there was another person who joined them instead of me, and she got so upset and histerical they had to stop proceedings. News of her imminent death is what was the cause of her freaking out, which I'm glad I wasn't there for that! We never attempted this sort of thing again, but it will remain with me till the day I die...and beyond obviously!
A footnote: A few weeks later I was home for Easter and unfortunately there was a young girl I knew before I went to Portsmouth was murdered in Rhos-on-Sea. The police came to question me on my wherabouts on that night, so I told them, I was at a seance in Portsmouth till 4 am! They looked at me, as you can imagine, as if I was making it up so I had to give names of people I was with to prove where I was. I said Simon, this girl from Liverpool, and her uncle! He was there in spirit, I added!