As you may have seen, Ashley Knibb and I decided to collaborate again once more. It started many years ago when fellow bloggers started chatting online about our interests in the paranormal, and the research we were working on. I was here in Australia and Ashley in the UK. To this day we have never met in person. Most of our conversations have been over text and email, yet we seem to bring out a side in one another that aids our research and our writing. It led to our blog series Supernatural Synchronicity in which a book soon followed. After it finished, while we had wanted to focus on our own work, reviving the series was something always at the back of our minds. Over the last two years, we have kept in touch and talking about the ways in which we might work together again one day. After a couple of false starts, it was only a week ago that we decided to go ahead with a new idea. We wanted to explore experiences and chat about what we thought. Was it a paranormal experience or just perception? It was essentially us bringing our late-night cross Atlantic conversations to a new blog. So here we are!
While we both may talk about the paranormal in a very matter-of-fact way and demand evidence and look at the rational, we too have had our own experiences. I mean we probably wouldn't be here still researching the paranormal if we hadn't.
Ashley opened the series talking about his very first paranormal experience, The Woman in the window.
On one occasion, not unlike any of the others, my relationship with the manor changed forever. We quickly made our way through the hole in the fence and across the corner of the now overgrown lawn to the cover of tree line. From there my friends waited as each of us made our way across the grass. Even though the place was empty we took every precaution not to get caught, we were not that bad kids and trespassing was probably the worse thing we done back then. This time I was last through, but as I reached the tree line I looked up at the windows. By this time my friends had began to move off through the wooded area, but I became frozen as my eyes locked with those of a woman staring back at me. My memory is a little hazy on this, but I believe she was in an attic window or certainly an upper floor window. Eventually I blinked and looked towards my friends, called out to them, but when I looked back at the window she had vanished. I shared what I had seen with my friends, but it was dismissed quickly. I never really understood if they did not believe me or simply did not want to consider that someone could be in the manor.
What struck me most with Ashley's story was how 'common' it is when it comes to paranormal sightings. The typical components were all involved. A historical location, a sighting of a person dressed in period clothing that is mistaken as a very real person. Whenever I visit a new location, I will usually have a chat with the tour guide or historians that work there. One of my questions is always, "have you seen any ghosts?" There is usually at least one person that will tell a similar story. At work one day they have a sighting of a person in period dress, only to find out there was no living person around dressed like that or even on the premises at all. While we can't ignore the fact that in some cases it could very well be a real person, most people make the assumption that they are witnessing a form of apparition. Ashley however questions if, in fact, he was experiencing an act of precognition.
Is it also possible that what I saw was precognitive, showing me someone in the building in the future? That remains to be seen and is hard to prove as seeing a ghost in the window.
I find this quite an interesting theory and one we probably don't consider. We often think we are getting a glimpse of the past, what if however we are getting a glimpse of the future?
I guess this is the part where I add my own experience. It isn't quite my own experience, however, it is something that I was there to witness. In fact, it occurred quite recently at my last investigation at Black Rock House. My brother in a lot of ways is like me when it comes to the paranormal. He definitely doesn't like to jump to conclusions and when we are running a tour, he makes a point that he doesn't like to talk about anything he sees or feels because to the people attending, they could just think we are having them on or trying to create an atmosphere. We have all seen the 'Do you feel that?' narrative, so we make sure we don't play into it. So when he does say something, I take notice because I know he genuinely has no idea what is going on.
We were all sitting in the drawing-room of Black Rock House and he was in the doorway. It meant he had a view of the hallway. At the end of the hallway is a door with a glass window. Behind this door is the back entrance to the house where there is an external door. All night, various guests felt that they were picking up on a little boy. Myself nor my brother are psychic mediums so it is not something we were picking up on ourselves, but it seemed to be where the night was leading. Suddenly I heard my brother yell out. "Hey kid!". I asked him, "oh are you seeing this boy everyone is talking about?". His response was "No I saw a real living kid in the window to the hallway door!". He yelled this as he took off running with one of the regular guests that attends our investigations as a backup. The back entrance door to the outside was closed. He opened it and ran outside. He went around every inch of the perimeter of the building to see if he could find this kid that he saw. He eventually came back in around 10 minutes later confused and a bit startled. There had been no trace of anyone on the grounds. You see if he had seen a real boy in the window when he spotted them, they would have ran outside as soon as they realized there were people inside. In order to do this, they would have had to of opened the door to the back entrance. If they were in a hurry, would they have carefully closed it behind them? If it was slammed, we would have heard it wouldn't we? I asked him how old the boy was. He guessed around my eldest son's age which is 10. Would a 10-year-old be out alone at night staring at us through a window in the door inside Black Rock House at 10 o clock at night? The more we started to look at things rationally, the more it seemed like maybe it wasn't a real-life boy he saw.
Now of course we can't rule out for certain that it wasn't a real boy. It is a historical location that is now known for the local ghost stories and there are always local kids hanging around the grounds. They usually just hang around outside during the day and sometimes they climb the big fig trees out the front to sit on top of the castle wall. They are often a bit older, in their teens. Local security patrols the area. We have never had an issue however of someone entering the building while we have been doing an investigation, but that doesn't mean they may not have tried. We have been there 6 years and only recently we have been interrupted and it was by the security to verify we were supposed to be there. We also make sure that we have our banners outside so that people know we are there (more so the local neighbours know that we have an event on). The only way we could definitely know if it was a real kid would be if we had CCTV footage which unfortunately there is no camera on that doorway. We were also not filming that night. The one and only night we didn't film because we had forgotten the camera, ironic isn't it?
A lot of the evening, we had been talking about this boy. At an unexpected moment, my brother saw a boy. Was he having a vision of the boy that the group had been talking about? Was it his brain playing tricks on him playing on the narrative that there was a little boy following us? What if instead of a precognitive vision like Ashley speculated he had, was it a retrocognitive vision of a past event? Just one week prior we had a working bee at Black Rock House. I was there along with many others cleaning the house as it had sat for 12 months gathering dust during COVID lockdowns. In attendance one of our regular couples came along and brought with them their two children. Both were boys who were around 11 and 9 from memory. At one point, they were cleaning the windows with one of the maintenance workers. They were possibly even cleaning that very window. There were several points where one of them was standing in that spot. Was my brother getting a vision of this event from the past? We talk often about precognition, but not so much about retrocognition. Maybe even the vigorous cleaning unlocked some sort of residual energy?
Whatever it was, when I read Ashley's account of the Woman in the window, I immediately thought of the boy in the window and saw the similarities. While Ashley was a young boy he saw the older woman in the window where they locked eyes. My brother was looking back at a young boy in the window where they too locked eyes for a moment. In some ways a little 'synchronicity' maybe?
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