WE’VE all heard stories about haunted pubs.
Most of us have probably spun a few yarns ourselves about lingering spirits in the local boozer.
But, for Peter Willis, haunted pubs is serious business.
Peter, aged 39, from Gleadless, Sheffield, has set up a service that specialises in paranormal investigations in pubs.
It’s certainly a niche trade – and one that Peter believes will take off.
“There are 600,000 pubs in the UK – we have 100 stories about hauntings on our website alone and six of those stories are about Sheffield pubs,” he said.
Inspiration for Paranormal Pubs came from an aromatic visit to a haunted pub in Clay Cross in north Derbyshire.
“I remember being in the pub and having this feeling that something was following me,” Peter said.
“This feeling was accompanied by a sound like that of an aerosol can being sprayed, and a strong smell of flowers – it was a beautiful aroma.
“Later on that night the security guard said he too had experienced paranormal activity.”
The eerie experience wasn’t Peter’s only brush with the paranormal.
He says encounters started when he was a young boy.
“I remember one time being in Norfolk Park in Sheffield. I was sitting on a bench when this massive black figure came out of nowhere,” he said.
“It was really angry. I ran and it stood at the top of the hill looking down at me.
“It was a tall black figure and I couldn’t make out its features very clearly but it looked like a big human.”
Pubs, according to Peter, are breeding grounds for beyond-the-grave activity.
“There is so much history to a local pub that there’s bound to be activity there.”
To detect paranormal activity, the Gleadless ghost hunter uses a range of technical, sci-fi equipment, including a light laser which helps highlight the outline of a figure, a dictaphone to record any sounds, and a Gauss Master meter – an electro magnetic sensor which reads the electro magnetic activity of a haunted space.
And there’s a format to investigating haunted pubs.
He said: “We have to close off the room, then record any background noise and take electro magnetic readings and use the lasers to pick up on any forms then analyse the data.”
Other clues to whether a place is haunted include sudden dramatic drops in temperature in isolated parts of a room.
He said: “Sometimes you can have one spot in a building that’s freezing cold and you can’t explain why – often that can be put down to paranormal activity.
“People love hearing about haunted pubs – and it really helps a pub’s business too.”