Day Thirty - Lee Munro
Lee Munro has a long time interest in the paranormal and unexplained, going back to childhood. Lee has been a member of Otherworld North East for a number of years, conducting investigations, writing articles, and researching topics across a spectrum of paranormal topics. Neither a believer or dismissive, Lee's perspective falls in between and is interested in the experiences of the paranormal whatever the ultimate cause.
Check out and follow Lee's beautiful photography on Instagram @lee_d_munro
and find out more the work of Otherworld North East at www.otherworldnortheast.org.uk
Childhood Ghosts & Adult Musings
As an adult, I have spent some years researching ad investigating paranormal phenomena. From books, information on the web, talking to people and boots on the ground. I have had a lifelong interest in the spooky, the weird and mysterious. Since being a kid, a fascination with these subjects.
Often people ask if I believe in ghosts. That’s another article for another time. The other question often asked is where the interest stemmed from. Is it because you had an experience as a kid?
Well, yes, I did.
I don’t remember exactly how old I was. I know for certain it was between the age of 4 and 5 years old. I know this because I was going to school (more on this later) and we moved home twice within a year when I was 5/6.
So, I was 4 or 5 and living in the house that my Father had grown up in. My brother and myself shared room. Two single beds on each side of the room. One night I awoke without any apparent reason. I’ve no idea of the time, except it was late enough that myself and brother were in bed asleep, but not late enough that my parents were asleep as I could see their bedroom light was still on across the landing.
I woke to see a figure standing over my bed. Or at least next to my bed in the space between the two beds. No details, just the silhouette of a definite human form. I had the distinct impression that it was a male figure even though I do not remember any features or detail. Outside our bedroom was a nearby street light, which always shone through the window even when the curtains were drawn.
And that is the enduring visual memory of the experience – The silhouette of a figure cast by the dull light from the street light outside. Well, that and the primal fear when trying to scream out for my parents across the landing and realising no sound was coming out of me. Trying to call out whilst looking at the light from the half open bedroom door. And nothing. And then...
And then I must have fallen back to sleep.
Now one would question whether this was a real experience or a dream. I have countless times over the years. And the truth is, I don’t know. What I do know is that most people have scant memories of that age. Usually the memories are associated with big events such as first day of school, an accident, the death of a family member or pet. I've not met anyone who remembers a dream from that age.
In addition to this, this was not an isolated incident for myself. I have memories of doors opening whilst playing on the landing, sounds at night like someone walking up the stairs, and being awoken by the bed covers being pulled from the bed (which I remember blaming on Fred, the pet cat at the time!).
Furthermore, I learned later when I was older that my father and his sister also had an experience in the house.
They grew up in that house at a time when the streets were lit by gas lamps and before the houses had electricity. My father’s father carried a candle when coming up the stairs to retire to bed, the candle casting a glow on the walls as he ascended the stairs. My grandfather died when my father was around 9 years old. On the night he was buried, my father and his sister were in bed and saw the same glow on the stairs that accompanied their father’s night time ascent when he was alive.
Now, does any of this lend any confirm seeing the figure next to my bed? No, I’d say not. However, all the above taken together might indicate it maybe wasn’t simply down to sleepy child imaginings either.
And one might ask given the above - do I think it was my grandfather I saw? It’s a possibility I guess should such things be possible. But it’s not the most likely or most parsimonious. Aside from the connection to my father’s experience, I’ve no reason to subscribe to that. But again, it’s on the table.
Does the experience say anything about my lifelong interest in this stuff? Again, I’d say no. It certainly wasn’t the root cause of it, at least consciously. I think some of us are just wired in a way that we are drawn to the mystery and magic of it.
There is certainly one way that the experience manifested, of that I’m sure.
As I said, I was going to mention school.
While at school, prior to moving, I painted a picture in class. The painting was of a ghost. A ghost in front of a house.
I don’t recall why I painted it. And I don’t recall having any particular emotional reaction or connection to it. It must have impressed others however. For a while the teacher hung it above the doors to the main school hall. I remember seeing it every day for a while entering the hall for morning assembly. After this believe it or not, it was displayed for a period at Shipley Art Gallery in Gateshead, Tyne & Wear.
I never did get to see it in the art gallery tho.
Today's church door...
Cowper Memorial Church, Dereham
You would be forgiven for overlooking Cowper church, which is located on the bustling high street of East Dereham. Somewhat overshadowed by the larger, St Nicholas church, it is easy to walk on past the flint facade sandwiched between the Co-Op on one side and a pharmacy on the other. But once you know it is there it would unforgivable not to take a look inside as it has the most striking interior of mint ice cream green.