Fearless Wigan mum is on a spooky quest

Lancaster Castle has its share of spectral inhabitants
Lancaster Castle has its share of spectral inhabitants

Carol Winstanley is no stranger to the paranormal.

In fact she’s been pushed around by ghosts and has heard voices from the other side.

Carol Winstanley

Carol Winstanley

But while this may put the frighteners on most people, for Carol it is a hobby as she is fascinated by the stories of spirits who are “waiting to be heard.”

The Orrell mother-of-one is part of ITS (Into The Shadows): a paranormal investigation group, which visits haunted venues across Lancashire and beyond.

She said: “My husband Neil and I (pictured right) have been doing paranormal investigations for eight years now.

“Initially we went to organised events by other established groups and we were asked to set up a franchise. However, we didn’t get to go where we wanted and we decided to go our own way. We got together with four other enthusiasts from across the North who we had met at other events and we set up ITS more than four years ago.

“We do all sorts. We set up Ouija boards and do old fashioned seances, pendulum work and do call outs. We use our senses to see, hear and feel the spirits. We carry out vigils and do video and voice recordings.

“Some people contact us, saying they have seen something, or something is going on and they want to investigate it. Other times we organise events for people to join at special venues. We can spend up to seven hours at a venue and we also organise sleep-overs at weekends.

“Sometimes a spirit has followed a participant and they have a message to pass on. Other times people can see outlines of apparitions or hear noises. Sometimes you can go somewhere and there can be lots of activity and other times you can go back to the same place and there is nothing.

“We do go back to some places where there has been a lot going on and we also go to new places so we can experience as much as we can.

“We have had a good experience at the The British Commercial Vehicle Museum. We saw some apparitions walk by and we had lots of activity with a Ouija board as we heard lots of voices.

“Samlesbury Hall used to be really strong but now the antiques have been cleared not much happens. It has a lot of history, especially with the Pendle witches. There has been a lot of death at the hall, with various historic battles, so there is a lot of residual energy around.

“There are a few places in Wigan. The old sea cadets in New Springs has seen a lot of activity and The Stork Inn, Billinge, has connections to the old Cromwell days. Lancaster Castle, Lancaster Theatre and Morecambe Winter Gardens have had a few interesting things happen.

“The strongest experience was one of the most haunted places: the Golden Fleece in York. The whole place is extremely haunted. I could feel someone pushing me and forcing me out of the way. That was amazing and such experience. Some people don’t like the physical side but it doesn’t happen often. I want to go back again.”