The True Story Of A North East Derbyshire Family's Haunting
In North East Derbyshire lies the village of Killamarsh, where a rather unusual tale unfolded. This story, far from the dramatic narratives often found in Hollywood, remains grounded in the reality of Hazel and Gary Price's experience, a couple residing in a semi-detached house just off Sheffield Road. Their story is meticulously detailed in 'The Killamarsh Poltergeist' by Steve Higgins.
Hazel and Gary's home, affectionately referred to as 'Number 27,' is a property built in the early 1980s on what was once farmland. It's a typical residential house that, at first glance, offers no hint of the peculiar events that took place in 2012. The Prices lived there with their daughter, Jemma, who moved to university in Leeds in 2011, and their two cats, rounding out a seemingly normal family life.
However, one snowy Thursday evening in February 2012, after returning from a night out at a local pub, the couple discovered a scene that would puzzle and unsettle them. Gary, entering the house first, was met with a sight that led him to believe they had been burgled. Gary found their dining room in disarray. Calling Hazel inside, they surveyed the chaos together. Their fruit bowl had been emptied onto the table, and three orange candles from a candelabra had been broken in half and scattered over the table, yet, inexplicably, the candelabra itself remained upright.
This bewildering scene left Hazel and Gary feeling uneasy. It bore the hallmarks of a classic poltergeist experience, which are said to be entities capable of manipulating physical objects to cause disturbances.
The first thought that springs to mind is that the Prices' cats could have caused the chaos, but the family is quick to dismiss this theory, as the cats weren't even in the house at the time of the incident. Plus, the fruity bowl was low and sturdy, it's unlikely that a cat could not only disturb the bowl but also break the candles in such a manner.
The theory of their pets' involvement collapses when you consider what happened next. Gary decided to check the rest of their home and headed upstairs. Upon entering their bedroom, Gary found that their quilt had been pulled completely down the bed. His investigation didn't end there. Upon checking his daughter Jemma's room, which had been left untouched since she moved to university in Leeds, he found that the bed had been stripped of its covers as well. This detail was particularly striking given Jemma's absence and the room's disuse, effectively ruling out the possibility of a forgotten mess or an unmade bed as the cause.
The Prices were forced to consider the possibility of a paranormal explanation for these events, especially in the absence of any signs of forced entry into their home. Hazel pointed out that there were no footprints in the snow around their property, which might have suggested an intruder. This lack of physical evidence of a break-in, coupled with the bizarre nature of the disturbances, led them to speculate about the involvement of something, or someone, beyond the physical realm.
In search of an explanation, Hazel and Gary contemplated a connection to a recent tragedy in Gary's workplace. A colleague named Dave had suffered a fatal heart attack at work, an event that occurred roughly two weeks before the disturbances at their home began. Gary, having been the last person to speak to and hold Dave before he passed, shared a poignant moment during which he mentally urged Dave not to fight the inevitable outcome of his condition. Hazel speculated that perhaps Dave was unsettled by Gary's unspoken thoughts, suggesting his spirit might have been responsible for the incidents in their home.
The Price family continued to experience events that defied logical explanation. One such incident occurred during a seemingly ordinary family gathering to celebrate the birthday of Jemma, Hazel, and Gary Price's daughter. With Gary's mother also in attendance, the family settled into the living room.
As they sat watching TV, a distinct rattle interrupted the peace of the moment. The sound, clear and unmistakable, originated from a small object within the room, a Chinese rice wine jar, merely three inches tall and two inches in diameter, adorned with a cork and standing empty on a unit. Gary, upon turning to identify the source of the disturbance, observed the vase engaging in an unusual dance, rocking from side to side as if moved by unseen forces.
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Hazel corroborated the surreal nature of the event, noting the absence of any vibrations in the house that could account for the vase's peculiar motion. This incident only lasted around 10 seconds, but left the family in awe. Gary, despite his understanding of forces and vibrations, found himself at a loss to rationalise the jar's movement. He noted that there were no external vibrations, no heavy traffic nearby, and nothing else that could account for such an anomaly. Plus, nothing else in the living room was vibrating.
The evening took an even more disturbing turn, adding a personal and physical dimension to the inexplicable events that had thus far been limited to inanimate objects. While sitting in the living room, Gary suddenly experienced a sharp pain on his leg, akin to a cat scratch. Upon inspection, he discovered a line of blood running down his leg, despite the fact that their cats were not indoors at the time. Hazel revealed that this alarming experience was not an isolated incident. Gary was scratched again the following night, suggesting a deliberate targeting that was both specific and repeated.
One evening, as Hazel headed into the kitchen with Gary seated on the sofa facing the kitchen door, an unexpected flash occurred as she opened the door. In that brief moment, both Hazel and Gary witnessed the silhouette of a person. Described by Hazel as resembling an "oldish man" with a beard, the figure appeared tall and was outlined in white, adorned in what seemed like robes. This fleeting vision left them both reassured that they weren't alone in their experiences, yet it added to the growing sense of unease.
The idea of seeking help naturally arose, with religious interventions such as house blessings coming to mind. However, Gary's recollection of his Aunty Pamela's negative experience with an exorcism conducted by the Diocese of Derby made them hesitant to pursue external assistance. The fear of social ostracisation and the desire to avoid exacerbating the situation led them to seek alternative solutions.
Determined to address the disturbances on their own terms, Gary turned to the internet for guidance. He discovered the Prayer of St. Michael, a traditional invocation used for protection against evil and spiritual adversity. With Hazel away, Gary took it upon himself to recite this prayer throughout their home, covering all eight rooms plus the hall and landing. His approach was one of peace and intention, aimed at blessing their home and signalling to any present entities that their actions were meant to harm no one.
This DIY ritual, performed with sincerity and hope, marked a turning point for the Prices. Although the immediate effect wasn't as tangible as they might have hoped, the absence of further disturbances in the following days was a relief. Yet, Gary admits that the questions and the search for understanding persist, acknowledging that some answers may forever remain elusive.
'The Killamarish Poltergeist' not only chronicles the Price family's encounters but also situates them within the broader context of paranormal phenomena, exploring both rational and supernatural explanations. Available in paperback, hardcover, and eBook formats, the book invites readers into the Prices' world, offering a nuanced look at the complexities of experiencing and interpreting the unexplainable.
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