Nicola Kirk: Author and Collector of Paranormal Stories and Other Strange Encounters

Posts tagged ‘supernatural’



Zombie Framed Tile

Unless They’re From Mount Fitchet, In Which Case They’ll Just Shuffle After You A Bit.

Ah, I love Hallowe’en – it’s my favourite time of year.  When a friend of mine mentioned there was a Hallowe’en event at Mount Fitchet Castle near Stansted, Essex, well, how could I refuse? On Friday 1st November (not quite Hallowe’en night, but it was still the Dia De Los Muertos or Day of the Dead… if you’re from Mexico…) my friend and I took a drive to Mount Fitchet and braced ourselves accordingly.

Do Not Drink The Water

In Mulled Wine There Is… Uh, I Think I’m Happier Not Knowing.

The evening started with an offer of hot mulled wine, which I unfortunately couldn’t partake in because I was driving but perhaps that wasn’t such a terrible thing because my friend advised me that it tasted like nothing she’d never tasted before.  And not in a good way.   Okay, I had a tiny sip just out of sheer curiosity and once I’d managed to uncross my eyeballs, I came to the decision that mulled wine could be used as a method of corporal punishment.

Common sense dictated it would be wise to hunt out the ladies toilets before the tour started and I was advised it was ‘outside… see that light over there in the distance?’  I had a squint through the pitch black night and saw what might have been the dim light of a bulb burning in the distance.  I was glad the designers of iPhone had seen fit to give my phone ‘torch’ mode.  Because of this minor detour, I missed the first couple of minutes of the warm up act, a woman dressed up in old rags who was busy instilling fear into the masses with tales of ‘the Master’ who was on his way to take us on the tour.    It was when ‘the Master’ bowled in that I realised the evening was definitely going to be a good giggle.  Sitting at the back of the room did not offer an ounce of protection from the Master’s beady eye and I was quizzed about why I’d brought my cat with me (I was wearing an enormous fluffy scarf) and was labelled ‘cat woman’ for the rest of the evening, but I got off lightly as the guy opposite me was nicknamed ‘Product Man’ seeing as he’d cleared his bathroom cabinet of hair gel that evening.

And Not In A Good Way

We were led out of the main reception area and out to the main encampment. Halfway up the hill a young man, who appeared to be part of our group, approached the Master.  I overheard the Master saying, ‘Oh, okay, well stay here with me and I’ll get someone to come and get you to take you back again…” but before the Master could finish the young lad keeled over onto the grass and the rest of us were left standing there thinking ‘is this part of the evening or should we also be down in the mud trying to help…?”  I don’t think any of us had quite gathered our wits before the lad started to growl in a most unseemly manner and claw his way towards the rest of us.  Ahh… I see – Zombie Night was under way!   Once we’d dodged around the groaning, and now slightly muddy individual on the floor (apparently he had another six performances of that to get through before he was done for the night) the Master regaled us with tales of how witches of old were dealt with by the fiendish self-proclaimed Witchfinder General, Matthew Hopkins.  There was an accompanying slide show which sent shivers up my spine – they really used to go all out when it came to dispatching suspected witches.  I think the woodcut of one individual being hung up by the legs and cut in half had us all crossing our legs with sympathy.

I Believe This Covers It…

It was at this point that the Master then passed us over into the care of the ‘military’ where I was asked for my name and age in a dark tent and then was squirted directly in the face with ‘decontamination’ spray.  Wasn’t expecting that.  I think I may have referred to the person that did it as a ‘total bugger’… or words to that effect.

There was no artificial lighting up on the Mount other than little bonfires lit here and there which were both welcome and eerie at the same time.  There was also a low-lying mist that added to the atmosphere.  Somehow my friend and I started off right at the front of our group and then after a few zombie attacks ended up right at the back, so wherever we went we seemed to be prime zombie fodder.  The actors were great fun, dressed up in their zombie outfits with hideous make-up and well-practised zombie shuffles.  My friend attached herself to the back of my coat as we ventured through pitch black ‘morgue tent’ where we were liberally accosted by flailing zombie hands and shut in unlit cabins with sinister hooded figures.  It was great fun.  It reminded me of a sanitised version of the film “28 Days Later”.

Would I go again?  Oh, most definitely!  Put a note in your diary to go next year if you can.

But if you’re not quite feeling brave enough to venture out at Hallowe’en to fend off the zombies, you can still go during the day when they are in hiding and enjoy a  family-friendly day out.  Click here to see when the castle is open (but bear in mind that it is seasonal and shuts for the winter).

©Nicola Kirk and 2013
Follow Me On Twitter: @Weirdworld2013

The Legend of 3:33am…

In my earlier article, The Gate House, Kieron Savill of Paranormal Knights mentioned that there were some interesting theories flying around on the internet as to why some people frequently find themselves waking up at 3.33am.    What is so special about 3:33am?

One forum user made an interesting comment: “333 is only half the message, that’s why it is being repeated. The whole message is 666. Sleep tight.”

It may be meant as a jokey comment, but is there more to it?  It is generally accepted that the ‘witching hour’ is 1am and it is considered a time when the veil between this world and the next is thin enough to allow things of a supernatural persuasion to take a peek into our world.  But some say the ‘witching hour’ can also be any time between 12am and 3am, with 3am being sometimes referred to as the ‘Devil’s Hour’. Perhaps waking up at 3:33am is the Devil’s rather persistent way of getting your attention…

Being the ‘Devil’s Hour’, 3am is also apparently a prime time to whip out your grimoire for Black Mass. I wonder if Satanists restrained themselves until 3:33am if they would have more luck.

Rather worryingly for those who find themselves waking up at 3am or 3:33am, Kenneth Deel’s website reports: “In short if you often wake up to see the clock is exactly 3:AM, you might being seeing this as a warning. The number 3 turning up is a Demonic symbol, so we take note on a short list when it occurs. As it can often defiantly (sic) be an indication something is manifesting or already has…”

In Will Storr’s book, Will Storr Vs the Supernatural (which is a book I would highly recommend – very entertaining and well written), he has included a section about strange occurrences between the hours of 3am and 4am (although from what I’ve seen so far it’s beginning to look like any time after the sun goes down is a good time to break out the EMF meter).

Another forum user suggested that if you sleep between two doors, you may be getting hit by the ‘spiritual traffic’ that moves around between the hours of 2am and 4am.  Perhaps 3:33am is rush hour on the spiritual plane.

Another interesting theory is that Christ was allegedly killed at 3pm, so what with 3am being the inversion of this time, it is the chosen hour for all things of an antichristian bent to come out and party.

On yet another forum (got to love forums, haven’t you?), this one being the GHE Paranormal forum that Dave Hobbs runs with general abandon, it is suggested that maybe people wake up once at 3:33am, think ‘what a coincidence, all the threes!’ and then manage to subconsciously programme themselves to wake up at the same time on subsequent nights.

On the other hand, perhaps the phenomenon can be explained in a rather more mundane fashion.  If anyone else out there is like me and wakes up bleary eyed in the night and looks at the clock, every time could read 3:33am.  Some digital clock displays fade over time until it can be a struggle to read the numbers, especially if you’re half asleep.  And can’t be bothered to put your glasses on.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

Who are the Black Eyed Children?

I heard mention of a curious thing the other day.  Black Eyed Children.  No, they are not victims of child abuse or a new rock band, but rather a strange new topic of discussion.  Well, new to me anyway.

The story goes that these Black Eyed Children (or BEK’s for short) go about in pairs or small groups, are usually aged between 12 and 17 and always seem to be male.  People have reported being approached by these strange children when they are getting into their cars, when they are at home or even when they are out skateboarding.  Far from being loutish and riddled with teenage angst, BEKs are polite, confident and eloquent as they request a ride home because they’ve ‘lost their bus money’ or knock on someone’s door because they ‘need to use the phone’.  People who have encountered BEKs report feeling a sense of dread and this feeling increases when they realise the children’s eyes have no whites or irises – they are completely black.  People do not seem to notice the BEK’s unusual eyes immediately, which is odd considering eyes are the first thing you tend look at when you talk to someone, although I have heard that if people are frightened of something, the first thing they do is look away, so perhaps that’s why people aren’t noticing the eyes until later.  It’s a possibility.

From the accounts I have read so far, it would appear that encounters with BEKs occur mainly (if not entirely) in America.  If anyone has an English account, or indeed an account from anywhere else in the world, I would be interested in hearing about it (same email address as usual:

According to The Black, stories of BEKs began to appear in January 1998 when a chap called Brian Bethel reported being accosted by two BEKs when he got into his car (read Brian’s original account here).  The children said they wanted a ride home but Bethel felt uneasy about the whole thing and refused.  He reported that the children’s eyes were completely black, although he didn’t notice this until halfway through their conversation, possibly because of some kind of ‘mind control’ being used by the children.  When he refused them access to his car they became annoyed and more insistent with their demands.  Although this belligerent kind of behaviour would not be out of place with any average teenager, it would appear that no threats of actual violence were issued, just a strange persistence that they be allowed into the car.   Bethel reported that he really struggled to refuse them.  BEKs also seem to have a strange ability to just ‘disappear’ without a trace when people manage to defy them or call the police.

BEKs reportedly appear at dusk or at night and this, in conjunction with their ‘requests’ to be let into people’s cars and homes, is reminiscent of vampire lore: they can’t enter without permission.  Another account of BEK’s trying to gain access to someone’s home can be heard towards the end of Jim Harold’s Paranormal Podcast (no. 106 – Real Vampires with Brad Steiger), although I’d highly recommend listening to the entire thing because Jim’s podcasts are entertaining and full of interesting bits and pieces and interviews.  You can download these podcasts free from iTunes.

Looking at BEKs’ behaviour in a rational light, it is not unusual for criminals to just walk up to their victims and demand they hand over their bag/phone/car keys.  People are sometimes too shocked and intimidated to do anything but handover whatever it is the criminal wants.  The implied threat of violence is there even if they’re not waving a knife in your face.  Perhaps it is the same with these BEKs – people are surprised and intimidated at what they are being faced with and for a moment they find it difficult to say no.  And then, fortunately, sense kicks in and they realise they can say no, after all, they are only kids.  And what of the strange eyes?  Well, obviously they could be wearing contacts.  All black contacts are readily available these days and it’s possible that as these kids only seem to appear at dusk when the light is beginning to fail, people don’t immediately notice the eyes, especially if they’re wearing a hoodie top or a baseball cap.

My final question is, has anyone actually given into these kids and, if so, what has become of them?  In the Paranormal Podcast mentioned earlier, Brad Steiger says that he knows of a couple of accounts where people have let these BEKs in and have been unable to get rid of them, to the point where people have been forced to move.   Surely a quick phone call to the police would sort that one out?

As mentioned earlier, BEKs seem to have a knack evaporating without a trace when their plans are foiled, but again this could be explained away by the fact that most kids know their neighbourhood area like the back of their hand and know all the little shortcuts and hidey holes that adults and police might not so they can effectively ‘disappear’.

Some people believe these BEKs are demons, vampires or even aliens.  Others believe they are a new urban legend or perhaps they are just badly behaved kids out causing mischief.  If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.


©Nicola Kirk and 2010

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