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Moving the ghoul posts.

A haunted Midland castle has been inundated by people hoping to get spooked by ghosts and ghouls over the Halloween weekend.

Kenilworth Castle in Warwickshire, where the silhouettes of thousands of murdered knights have been seen hovering over the nearby mere, has reported huge interest in its forthcoming ghost tours.

It comes as experts on the paranormal predict that an explanation for bumps in the night could be found within a decade.

Ghost hunters in Kenilworth will be hoping to see the 14th Century white lady stroll through the ruins of the medieval castle, and catch a glimpse of the spectral carriage which runs through the town.

Researcher Tracy Hauptfleisch said visitors often left the castle in fright, claiming they could feel the ghosts of murder victims upon them.

But she believed the castle had a peaceful aura, and only held the ghosts of good spirits.

'Some of the custodians won't go into the gatehouse, because they believe it's haunted. Other people believe it stands on a number of ley lines, and that the ghosts have cancelled them out with bad energy, but there is a wonderful feel about the place so it can't be true,' she said.

'I have never seen a ghost, but I believe they are there. The castle has stood for centuries as a place of power, and people always fight over power. They still do.'

The ghosts of the knights are said to date back to Simon de Montfort's ownership of the castle and the Battle of Evesham in 1265. De Montfort had an army ready for an attack by Edward I, but believed the opposition were a day away.

Edward I marched his troops through the night, and the soldiers were slain in their beds and their bodies thrown into the lake which then surrounded the castle.

Now the outline of their many suits of armour is said to be discernible when looking over the mere, and some knights are reported to still march through the yard.

The white lady has been seen sewing at an upper window, or drifting towards the castle gates.

And a ghostly coach runs from an old inn in the town towards the castle.

But villagers' reports of a woodman roaming the forest with a lantern were traced back to a living man, who was sent to scare and entertain Elizabeth I when she visited the castle to meet her sweetheart Robert Dudley in 1575.

Andrew Woods, a member of the British Society for Psychical Research who has written a number of books about ghosts in the Midlands, said he believed sightings were on the increase as a result of their increased credibility.

He thought an explanation for the paranormal phenomena would be found within the next decade.

'There has been considerable interest and a growing number of reports coming from various unexpected sources, such as respected organisations, councils, the Government and the Royal Albert Hall.

'It is in part down to the media coverage and programmes like the X-Files which has increased interest in the paranormal.'

Mr Woods found the belief that ghosts were human spirits stranded between one world and the next 'incomprehensible'.

He preferred the scientific explanation that they were electro-magnetic images, traces of energy left by the dead subject which could be picked up by people only when they least expected it.

'I believe they come from the human mind, the unconscious. The mind has to be completely blank, neutral to see one. And for that reason people will never see the same ghost in the same place twice, as they would be thinking about it and the conscious mind would tune out the image,' he said.

'But reports we hear all the time are indicative of genuine hauntings.'
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Author:Bruce, Helen
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 25, 2000
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