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21 Sep 2010



"Ghosts" found at county museum
Zoe Kleinman
BBC Reporter, Dorset
Judge Jeffrey
The PIT believe this image is the ghostly figure of Judge Jeffreys

A group of investigators from Weymouth have released the findings of their investigation into paranormal activity in Dorset County Museum in Dorchester.

They have photos which they believe to be of "hanging" Judge Jeffreys and local fossil collector Mary Anning in the museum's main hall.

Judge George Jeffreys died in 1689 and Mary Anning in 1847.

The team used infra red cameras, barrier alarms and EMF meters during their investigation.

EMF meters measure electromagnetic fields. They are scientific instruments that are often also used by people with an interest in the paranormal.

"What we've found now is amazing - we're really chuffed," said case manager Trudy Jordan of the PIT (Paranormal Investigation Team) group.

"It wasn't until we looked at the footage afterwards that you could actually make out the figure of a man.... You can make your own mind up but it's so detailed," she said.

"We also have a photo of a woman with a cape going round her shoulders, and no head."



Dorset County Museum
The current home of the Dorset Museum was built in 1884.

Both Judge Jeffreys and Mary Anning have links with the museum - it is home of the chair from which he sentenced many convicts to death, and Mary Anning was the establishment's first honorary member.

Ms Jordan also said that the barrier alarms they set up in the Victorian Hall part of the museum went off repeatedly. They are sensors which detect physical movement.

"We've used them now since 2003 and never known anything affect them to make them go off unless someone actually goes through them."

Meanwhile upstairs in another part of the museum known as the writers gallery, Beryl Smith said she experienced strange swings in measurements from her EMF meter.

"I thought it was fascinating because somebody had come to me to want to talk through the meter," she said.

She believes she was communicating with a male spirit, but admits that she does not have any proof.

"I asked one of my colleagues to come and stand next to me to verify what the meter was doing and it started fading."

Fundraising officer Nel Duke has worked at Dorset County Museum for over a year and says she is "unconvinced".

"I haven't had any paranormal experiences here," she said.

"I don't know to be honest, I can see an argument on either side, there is some compelling evidence but I'll stay open minded to all the different explanations - I'm unconvinced but could go either way."

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