Spooky past of Daventry

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THE paranormal past of one of Daventry’s most historic buildings is being investigated by a local ghost detective.

Adrian Perkins, who lives in Nether Heyford, has been investigating the history of the town’s Moot Hall.

Together with his colleague Lewis Dellar, they are holding a talk on paranormal activity at the Moot Hall this weekend.

However, Mr Perkins has a long history of investigating the supernatural. He said: “I’ve investigated hauntings for the past 20 years and have written five books on the subject.

“I am a ghost detective, but I don’t go about it like the people you see on TV.

“I want to find out why hauntings happen, what people are actually seeing, and how they interpret that.

“I tend to do investigations that last for a long time – up to three years. That includes looking into the history of a place, as well as examining what potentially paranormal activities are going on now.

“Thankfully these days we can use lots of recording equipment, so it doesn’t mean quite so many late nights!

“I’ve been invited to lots of places around the country, quite a few pubs and places like Salcey Forest.

“Something like 95 per cent of what people believe as supernatural can be explained. It is the remainder, that which we can’t explain, that is paranormal.

“One of the best places I’ve ever been was a terraced house in Kettering. Investigating that place took two years.

“There was stuff moving about while you were sitting there.

“I actually work in graphic design, but over the years I’ve found myself doing more and more work with the paranormal, and now I think I do more work outside of my job.”

In preparing for his sold-out Moot Hall talk, Mr Perkins has been helped by Lewis Dellar.

Their work not only involves looking into what paranormal activity has been reported, but also what historical events have taken place which may have caused them.

Mr Perkins said: “The thing most people don’t realise is that there’s a difference between a ghost and a spirit.

“Ghosts are like the recording of an event. The theory is that certain types of geology can record the energy given off by people – a bit like a tape recorder. And then that action is played over as a ghost, but you can’t interact with it.

“Most ghosts reported are as a result of suicides, serious accidents or murders, and that’s because the emotions in those actions are really strong and are burnt into the surroundings.

“In theory you can see a ghost of a living person, or even yourself.”

“Over time these recordings lose quality and go from looking like a real person, to being less colourful and more see through, and eventually they end up just as sounds, which also fade over time.

“People say you can only get ghosts in old buildings, but say if you live on a housing estate built where an old factory used to stand, you may find there’s a ghost of a worker walking through your house for no apparent reason.

“Spirits on the other hand are people who have died and, for whatever reason, have come back.

“Usually it’s to give a message or a warning to someone they know or are related to. And with spirits you can interact with them because there’s actually someone there.

“But seeing a spirit is incredibly rare. In all my years doing this I’ve only seen three.”

Although he has only been investigating ghosts and spirits for the past 20 years, Mr Perkins’ interest in the supernatural started from an early age.

He said: “I saw my first ghost when I was six. I woke up and thought my mum or dad had walked into my bedroom.

“They sat on my bed and held their head in their hands, and remember rolling towards them.

“But then a car went past outside and its headlights came into the room and I realised I could see the wallpaper through this person on my bed. That really sparked off my interest in the paranormal.

“For my first book, I started just interviewing people about their experiences. Then I decided to do my own investigations – only working on places that hadn’t been investigated before. I also really like the research side of it all.”

His latest talk in Daventry will include the findings of his research into the Moot Hall’s own unique history.

He said: “With the Moot Hall we discovered that the cellars don’t match up quite right with the building above.

“That could mean the cellar is from an older building which used to stand there, or that the ground level used to be different and there was an under-croft there before. Also there’s an archway that connects to the cellar of the Plume of Feathers pub next door.

“If there was anywhere I could go and investigate, I’d want to do Hazelrigg House, which people probably know as Cromwell House, in Marefair, Northampton. It’s supposed to link to the nearby church and the old castle.

“All that history would hopefully have left its mark.”